To put my love for BRIDE OF CHUCKY (1998) in perspective, I saw it in the theater 5 times and then anxiously awaited its home video release. I needed that movie!
Jennifer Tilly’s Tiffany was like a live-action version of Harley Quinn long before Margot Robbie was a household name. She was tough, crazy, blonde, sexy and rocked a look that heated on sight. Beneath her heavy metal and rock star exterior, she was a softie and a romantic. She just saw love in darker and more macabre places than most. Just like Harley, she would go to any length for her beau, but also fight back when he pushed her too far. In other words, she’s goddamn perfection!
I always loved the CHILD’S PLAY (1988) franchise. I’m a huge Brad Dourif fan. I also have a thing for horny villains kicking it Bonnie & Clyde style. That combined with my huge crush on Tilly, made it so I had to see BRIDE OF CHUCKY on opening night and then once the night after, and three more times the following weekend. I’m a bit OCD.
From Tiff’s first scene, Tilly owns the audience. She taunts and then offs the cop who was dumb enough to steal Chucky for her while wearing a short black leather dress, heels and fishnets. Her hair and makeup are perfect. She even stops for a moment to work her fingernails with the same file she just killed the officer with. She slices, dices and never once looks anything but gorgeous while doing it.
She brings Chucky to her place and goes into psychotic nurturer mode. She mends his wounds with a staple gun and a sewing kit, before doing the occult ritual to bring him back to life. That’s love! When a chick is willing to not only run with black magic, but also picks up a needle and thread for her man, you know she’s got it bad.
She’s disappointed when it doesn’t work and even more disappointed when Damien (Alexis Arquette) shows up. Damien wants to rock out with her, but he’s a Hot Topic poser piece-of-shit. He lies and says that he murdered someone to impress Tiff, but she sees thru the bullshit. She’s no dummy, and he underestimates her. I don’t like that prick. She knows he fucking sucks, and she’s not the only one. Chucky comes back to life and fucks that faker-punk up wild-style which revs Tiffany’s engine all the more.
While he murders the dumbass, he and Tiff catch up and flirt like crazy. This early scene is one of my faves. Tiffany loves to see Chucky work and she loves to help him play. She restrains Damien to give her man the edge. She then watches the violence unfold, while wearing a black boa, matching panties, a sexy blue corset, more YUM YUM fishnets and leather boots that give the perfect finishing touch to her tantalizing and fantasy-inducing wardrobe. Admittedly, I pause that scene every time I watch the flick to admire her. RAWR RAWR RAWR
Chucky and Tiff have a tiny squabble over marriage, and Tiff’s no pushover. When she feels insulted, she plays rough with him. Sadly, Chucky plays rough too and he overreacts a bit. He kills Tiffany but does resurrect her into a rather ugly doll so it’s not REALLY murder. It’s like an unfortunate transfer. He apologizes later, so it’s totally cool! Don’t judge him and be a jerk about it. Everyone makes mistakes!
Tiff does the only thing a gal can do. She works her sexy Goddess magic and makes herself into the most fuckable doll in history. The dame has skills and Chucky definitely notices.
They decide to find new bodies to occupy. Tiff thinks her teen neighbor Jesse (Nick Stabile) is attractive and a fine fit for Chucky. I don’t. He’s plain, lame and dumb. Still, he and his annoying, whiny, bitch-ass girlfriend Jade (Katherine Heigl) seem to be easy prey.
I hate Jesse and Jade. They run off together because Jade’s guardian Uncle Warren (John Ritter) is the chief of police and forbid them from seeing each other. You know you’re an asshole if you made Jack Tripper into a jagoff!
Jade irks me more than Jesse because for all her bellyaching about Warren being judgmental, she looks down at Tiff from jump. Even before Tiffany is in the doll and fucking with her, Jade has her panties in a bunch. She doesn’t like the way Tiff acts, dresses and flirts. Fuck that uptight wench! Tiff can do whatever the fuck she wants to! Just because little Miss Priss-Twat is a self-righteous, holier-than-thou idiot who is afraid of her own shadow, doesn’t mean every chick is going to follow suit. Some dames have membership cards to Country Clubs and some dames hop the fence to steal the booze and cause a little trouble. I’ll always go for the latter. Hell, I am the latter.
Tiffany and Chucky terrorize the teen runaways for a bit and kill some peeps along the way. Sadly, Tiff’s heart is a bit too soft. I do love that quality in her, but her kindness is misplaced in Jade. That pompous tool doesn’t deserve it.
Still, Tiff can’t bring herself to go thru with the body switch. The ending is a sad one, but thankfully it wasn’t the last time we saw Tiff. SEED OF CHUCKY (2004) brought her back and Tilly had a few scenes in the later sequels too.
I’m anxiously awaiting the TV series and really hope Tilly and Dourif have some amazing scenes together, whether in doll form or not.
Twenty-two years later, BRIDE OF CHUCKY hits just as hard as it did upon it’s initial release. It’s quirky, funny, dark and one of the most romantic movies of all time – at least to me it is. Every time I watch it, I’m giddy and think “Chucky & Tiff, those crazy kids belong together! Imma love them so much.”
I also think very naughty thoughts about Jennifer Tilly but I’ll keep those to myself…mostly. She’s just beyond. Her portrayal is brilliant. She shows Tiffany as sassy, strong and sweet. Sure, she’s a homicidal maniac, but she’s a homicidal maniac with a heart! She isn’t without a conscience. It’s just skewed a bit.
She also has far more depth than I feel she gets credit for. There are components of her behaviour that are so relatable, especially to many female horror fans. She’s a badass! She doesn’t take shit. She’s wild and will definitely throw down if she needs to. She’ll do insane things to show she can be as bad as the boys, but that doesn’t mean she’s forced to give up her femininity. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. She’s vampy and sexy. She is proud of her sexuality and flaunts her prowess. She can own a man with a flick of her cigarette, and she knows it. More than that, she owns it! She adores being a woman who can play as hard as the dude she’s with. She doesn’t bow to the patriarchy or try to take it over. She doesn’t need to because it has no impact on her. She does what she wants and what fits within her moral compass, and she does so without apology. Whether someone agrees or disagrees with her is their problem; just don’t get mouthy about it or she’ll cut ya!
She may be a psycho, but she’s a psycho that definitely earns the title of Fem Goddess of Horror. I like her. I love her. I want some more of her.