By Seed of Chucky

Two thousand and four will go down in history as the breakthrough year for puppets.
A couple of horny marionettes illustrated the Karma Sutra in Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s Team America: World Police and the newest Chucky film shows the delightful little hand-puppet masturbating into a plastic cup.
Who says technology can’t be beautiful?
The Seed of Chucky is one of the weirdest films this year. Not only do we get hideous to see little Chucky jerking off to Fangoria, but the film also features a transsexual puppet – a first, if I’m not mistaken – and a scene showing a puppet artificially inseminating actress Jennifer Tilly.
Puppets everywhere will applaud how this fifth movie in the Chucky franchise confronts dummy sexuality while dealing with other serious matters like (murder) addiction, abandonment issues, and the difficulties of keeping a nuclear family together in the modern area.
Seed of Chucky isn’t afraid to ask tough questions like how an anatomically incorrect doll forms its gender identity. This is the sort of thing Enquiring minds just need to know, and the film is more than happy to entertain the idea that gender – like virtually everything else – is just artifice, a dress-up game used to cloak the underlying insanity of the self.
Jennifer Tilly plays herself in this film, which sets up interesting post-modern questions about authenticity. After all, not only is Tilly twice-faked, she also voices Chucky’s bride, Tiffany, which means we hear a lot of her throughout the film. But whom do we believe when Tiffany calls Tilly fat or Tilly complains that she shouldn’t have to work of horror flicks because she’s an Oscar nominee? 
Tilly is herself a meat puppet, an empty receptor to be filled with whatever meaning the filmmakers deign necessary to advance the film’s message. This vacant quality is further illustrated when Chucky and Tiffany decide to artificially inseminate her in order to produce children for their transsexual love child, Glen / Glenda, to inhabit. After they have used her as a breeding machine Tiffany will transfer herself into Tilly’s body like a hand filling up an empty sock puppet.
But Tilly has already inhabited Tiffany by voicing for the puppet. So if the demon doll possesses her she will be fake four times over. The real Tilly is lost in the mirror-maze reflections. The actress has sacrificed her reality to serve the meaning of the film, which allows for a self-deprecating frankness not seen since Being John Malkovich.
The camera also objectifies Tilly, absolutely goggling her goodies whenever she’s on screen. Sweeping nuance aside, the filmmakers focus almost entirely on her body, and the actress as herself disappears under the camera. She is presented as an empty starlet, a body more than a personified individual, and yet when she does break through as an individual she appears even more fake. Offering to sleep with director to get a role to play the Virgin Marry – herself an instrument for a higher power – Tilly wills herself into non-existence.
This post-modern discourse might lead you to believe Seed of Chucky is a deep movie, but it is in fact extremely shallow. It is perhaps because it is so shallow that it is so postmodern. Baudrillardian analysis evolved out of watching too many commercials, after all, didn’t it?
There are literally no scary scenes in Seed of Chucky, although at its best it’s nearly as funny as Team America, which isn’t saying much. This puppet renaissance hasn’t uplifted the genre very much, and I’ll be happy if Parker, Stone and Chucky take some time off to play among themselves.
I think I stand with the great majority of Americans (which is nice after the recent election) when I say that it’s time to put the puppets away for a while.


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