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Beloved & Bride of Chucky
by Betty Jo Tucker

I may have been the only critic in America who saw Beloved and Bride of Chucky on the same day back in 1998, No wonder I became fascinated by the similarities in these two movies. How could I ignore such an incredible discovery?  It seemed important to share my findings which are explained below.   

Neither Beloved, the film version of Toni Morrison’s acclaimed anti-slavery novel, nor Bride of Chucky, one of the campy sequels to 1988’s Child’s Play, should be viewed by the faint of heart. Moviegoers brave enough to see these two films will be surprised at the gruesome plot points they share, in spite of their very different subject matter.

Both films deal with the supernatural.  Beloved , from Touchstone Pictures, features the adult ghost of a dead child  come back to life to haunt its killer.  Universal’s Bride of Chucky presents the further misadventures of a psychopathic doll that comes to life after a dying serial killer transfers his soul into the doll’s body. Blood and gore fill the screen in both movies. Beatings, lynchings, and baby killing make up most of the violence in Beloved, while Chucky concentrates on explosions, severed body parts, and deaths by shattered  mirror glass.                      

An eyeball figures prominently in each film. In Beloved, former slave Sethe (Oprah Winfrey) puts her dog’s eyeball back into its socket after the animal is slammed into a wall  by a ghost. In Bride of Chucky, the woman who was once Chucky’s girlfriend (Jennifer Tilley) places a toy eyeball into  his doll face before bringing him back to life while performing a kind of “Voodoo for Dummies.”

I know it’s hard to believe, but both Sethe and Chucky’s girlfriends purchase dolls for their loved ones. Sethe spends the last of her meager funds on a doll for the ghost child.  Chucky gets (you guessed it) a bride doll. A strange pregnancy occurs in each film also. The ghost becomes pregnant by Sethe’s boyfriend (Danny Glover), and Chucky impregnates his re-vamped bride doll.  

 Bride of Chucky mixes weird humor with its scare tactics, including Tilley’s wickedly amusing bubble bath while watching the classic Bride of Frankenstein on TV. But there is nothing funny about Beloved. Instead, it reveals the intense pain and suffering of a woman who will do anything to keep her children from becoming slaves. Clearly, imaginary evils like those in this  Chucky flick are no match for the real horrors of slavery depicted so graphically in Beloved.

(Excerpt from  Confessions of a Movie Addict, my amusing life-at-the movies memoir. Available on Amazon in paperback or ebook format.)

PHOTO: multi award-winning poet and author Carolyn Howard-Johnson showcasing my book's "stylish index." 

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