Ronny Yu was one of Hong Kong’s top directors responsible for such action favorites as The Postman Fights Back and Legacy of Rage as well as the classic fantasy masterpiece The Bride with White Hair. Much like directors John Woo, Tsui Hark and Ringo Lam, Hong Kong movie fans waited with anticipation for Yu to begin directing Hollywood movies. Sadly, his first venture into the English language market was 1997’s Warriors of Virtue, a co-production between Hong Kong’s Law Brothers Entertainment and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in the United States that was a blatant rip-off of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle franchise using talking Kangaroos. Fortunately so few have seen that movie that only die hard Ronny Yu fans seem to even know it exits. Ronny’s first major Hollywood directed movie would be Bride of Chucky, Universal’s attempt to revive the Child’s Play franchise after a seven year hiatus.
Jennifer Tilly plays a floozy named Tiffany who was the girlfriend of serial killer Charles Lee Ray, before he was shot by the police and his soul got transported into the Chucky doll. After Ray’s death Tiffany had begun collecting news articles about him including some where people claimed that he was possessing a killer doll. Tiffany had spent years searching for the remains of the Chucky doll ( which had been torn apart by a fan at the end of Child’s Play III ) finally locating it at an evidence lockup that also holds Michael Meyers and Jason’s masks. A cop is bribed to steal the doll parts from the evidence locker, but while waiting in an abandoned warehouse he is double crossed by Tiffany and killed. Bringing the doll back to her trailer she repairs it using parts from other dolls and attempts to bring it back to life using a chant she reads out of the book Voodoo for Dummies. At first things between the reanimated Chucky doll and his former girlfriend are great, but when she discovers that he had never intended to marry her before he was shot she locks him in a baby crib. When she teases him by throwing a bride doll into the crib with him Chucky has had enough. Breaking out of the crib he murders Tiffany while she is taking a bath, then using the voodoo chant he puts her soul into the bride doll.
Tiffany is not pleased with her new body, but Chucky tells her of a way out. His former body was buried with an amulet that will allow both of them to move their souls into human bodies. Now needing someone to drive them to New Jersey and dig up Charles Lee Ray’s body, two things dolls can’t do, Tiffany makes a phone call to her unsuspecting teenage neighbor and offers him money to transport the two dolls. Not realizing the dolls are possessed he agrees, and brings along his girlfriend ( Katherine Heigl ) who’s strick police chief uncle ( John Ritter ) and loyal lieutenant decide to put a stop to the young couple’s road trip. That is before Chucky interferes and kills the two officers off. Eventually the teenagers realize that Chucky and Tiffany are possessed evil killer dolls but are then held at gunpoint and forced to continue with the road trip as the dolls decide to use their bodies for the possession. I will not give away how it all ends, but it sets up the next movie and you probably did not see it coming.
Since the Child’s Play series was all written by Don Mancini and production overseen by Universal Studios, Ronny Yu had little creative input. It seems such a waste of his talent to be used as simply a director for hire given what he had achieved back in Hong Kong. Yet much like other Hong Kong directors hired by Hollywood studios at the time Yu was able to give the movie an extra visual flair that only improved it. Such as a POV shot from inside the bag holding the remains of the Chucky doll as the cop who was told not to look inside does so. And from the same POV shot the same cop being grabbed from behind. And perhaps the most spectacularly gross image in any of the Child’s Play movies, a teenager being smashed into paste when he walks in front of the grill of a speeding truck. That shot so unexpected that even me warning you here about it you will most likely be caught off guard when it happens. Bride of Chucky is your typical genre horror movie but with a slight shot of Hong Kong adrenalin. Yu would go on to direct another Hollywood horror film, Freddy V.S. Jason, and was originally hired to direct Snakes on a Plane. In the meantime he returned to China to shoot one of his all time masterpieces, Fearless with Jet Li.
You were probably drawn to this movie due to the trailer. If you were expecting more then forget it. 4 minutes into the movie, after watching a police officer get his neck slashed open, we first see Jennifer. The POV is the underside of the car showing her high heeled shoes, following her feet until she walks out from behind the vehicle. This is some pretty fancy camerawork from director Ronny Yu. The camera pans up to her tight thigh high black latex skirt, part of an entire tight ensemble which includes the rest of the tight dress covered by a short black vinyl jacket. As the camera pans up Jennifer lounges on the car and files one of her nails before looking in the car for the bag containing the remains of the Chucky doll. She then saunters away from the camera to a door at the far side of the abandoned warehouse. That it. The next scene with her has her wearing a tight blue laced dress, nice to look at but not as interesting as the latex and vinyl outfit. This followed by a tight black dress that may have appeared to be shiny in some of the promotional photos, but is not. Jennifer’s character remains in the movie for 30 minutes before Chucky kills her. Plenty of time to wear tight dresses, but the only other fetish outfit she wears is a dark blue satin bustier with long black vinyl boots and gloves. She is first seen wearing it 16 minutes into the movie while doing a striptease for Chucky. The gloves come off and shortly after she puts on a sheer laced shirt over the bustier, but continues wearing the outfit for a few other scenes.