It’s that time of year, friends of the Tuesday Night Cigar Club! All Hallows Eve is upon us once again. Time for TNCC chairman Matthew Cade to smoke his Tatuaje Monster cigar and for The Doctor to take the simultaneous plunge back into familiar waters. We reviewed Child’s Play 2 for cigar and nostalgia purposes some time ago, but now it is time for more recent fare, the just released 7th iteration in the Child’s Play series, the highly entertaining Cult of Chucky (the unrated version is now available for rental, the R-rated cut is streaming on Netflix). So grab your hacksaw in case you run afoul of murderous dolls and grab your hip flask of Woodford Reserve in case you run afoul of anything else. Let’s go to the movies!
The previous Curse of Chucky teased the fans with an appearance by Alex Vincent reprising his role as Andy Barclay, and here he is again, all grown up and well into his thirties. Andy is on a dinner date with a lovely redhead, but this romance is short-lived, if it ever got off of the ground to begin with. Andy’s date has Googled him (that snooping bitch!) and this is obviously unfortunate for Andy, as well as any designs he may have had about getting laid. Imagine having to explain that one on your third internet date? “What happened was, when I was a child, a nefarious, demon worshipping serial killer managed to transfer his homicidal mind and spirit into a Good Guys doll named Chucky using some sort of Satanic voodoo. He then proceeded to murder everyone I knew over the course of a few years. As the doll. How’s your tiramisu?”
The date thusly over, Andy returns to his home, a secluded hunting lodge with floor-to-ceiling gun cabinets, a fridge filled with beer and a wall safe where he stores Chucky’s decapitated (and still talking) head. Andy likes to take Chucky’s head out and commiserate with him while splitting a joint and then torturing him with an acetylene torch. My medical opinion is that Andy has issues.
We are then treated to a really well done opening montage – The Doctor loves a good opening montage – leading us to the institutionalized Nica Pierce, played by Fiona Dourif (of course, as every fan of the Chucky movies is well aware, Fiona is the lovely daughter of actor Brad Dourif who is the voice of Chucky himself). Nica had originally claimed to anyone who would listen that the five people she had been accused of murdering were in fact done in by Chucky, but this doesn’t work any better for her than it did for Andy’s dating life. Nica has made progress in her “treatment” and is moved at the request of her doctor to a medium-level security nuthouse known as Harrogate. Now, behavioral medicine isn’t my field of expertise – come to think of it, I am not sure what my level of expertise is anymore – but Nica’s doctor can only be described as terrible. Harrogate itself looks like a replica of a building in Chernobyl, although the inside is slightly better and Nica seems somewhat sane when compared to the other looneys sharing the bin. In case you are uninformed, “looney” and “nuthouse” and “cuckoo” are all normally accepted medical terms. I think. It would probably be best to verify that for yourselves before using them in a scientific context. Nica’s notorious past is well known by the staff as well as the other batty burghers of the ward, and not all of them are happy at her arrival.
Jennifer Tilly soon returns as Tiffany. She isn’t around for long, but even a small supporting appearance from Jennifer is a welcome addition by The Doctor, for in my professional opinion she is still as lovely as ever with her gravelly voice, her sexy eyes, and her fabulous Decolletage. She delivers bad news about the fate of Nica’s niece and she also delivers a new Chucky doll. Dr. Foley decides that this will be useful in therapy! Didn’t I say he was a piss-poor doctor? Harrogate as a whole is really…just…awful when it comes to their ideas about how to treat the patients. As a film device, I found this to be endlessly amusing. In real life, I could probably be appointed administrator of Harrogate within six weeks, once again causing me to wax philosophical on why real life can’t be more like the movies. I’d know just what to do with Chucky if the little pain-in-the-ass showed up at my place…
Speaking of Chucky, apparently his alter ego Charles Lee Ray had learned how to possess multiple persons or objects at a time. Soon there is more than one Chucky running amok in Harrogate as part of therapy, and this is what all of the diehard fans know and love about these movies: the charm of Chucky, voiced as he only could have been by the inimitable Dourif, cursing, running around with a scalpel, and giving people the middle finger. In other words, basically the same activities that The Doctor engages in on a daily basis. I’ve always wanted to spend time myself in a nuthouse. There is something about rubber walls, twelve hours of sleep, and regular administrations of thorazine that I find appealing. Shit, I’ll probably be there soon enough, tending to my own little turnip patch.
Cult of Chucky is really well shot, with the director of photography employing a great use of color in stark extremes, from the bleakness of the fallen snow to shards of falling glass to the ever-present redness of blood and viscera. And boy is there plenty of that! The requisite splatter is delivered in spades in the unrated version available for rent on Amazon (that is not a pun, Chucky doesn’t use a spade to kill anyone; at least not that I remember. I was, of course, drinking tall cans of malt liquor during my viewing). My advice is to cough up the extra buck to rent the unrated version, but then that probably comes as the very definition of a no-brainer to anyone interested in horror movies.
Excellent performances are all around in Cult of Chucky, from each one of the drawn-out residents of Harrogate to the urbane yet lascivious Dr. Foley, played with charm and creepiness by Michael Therriault. Alex Vincent is entertaining in his scenes as the adult Andy, but the real star here is Fiona Dourif as Nica. She is nothing short of fantastic, alternating between states of being damaged, hopeful, defeated, and potentially dangerous herself. I assume, as most people would, that her father definitely helped his daughter get her foot in the door career-wise, but Fiona has to perform on her own and she delivers an A+ here. Everyone needs help getting their feet into the collective doors. Why, I myself wouldn’t be where I am today if a kindly night watchman hadn’t left a cemetery gate unlocked so that I could go graverobbing with my faithful assistant, Igor… wait, that isn’t part of my life, that’s a scene from Frankenstein!
Cult of Chucky gets two thumbs up from The Doctor. I’m sure fans of the series have already seen it or have it on their radar, and I don’t think you will be disappointed. Excellently acted, aesthetically pleasing and… well, its Chucky! Who doesn’t love that little foul mouthed, homicidal son of a bitch? Rent Cult of Chucky, it’s a nice appetizer for everything else in store during the festival of Samhain. As always, The Doctor wishes you all a clean bill of health.
reviewed by CADE
Size: 6×38 (lancero)
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Price: $8.20 ($81.99 for a Skinny Monster sampler of 10 at Famous Smoke Shop)
The extremely veiny Connecticut wrapper exudes a strong barnyard aroma while there is a hint of sweetness when sniffing the foot. I got a faint but intriguing sense of orange peel on the cold draw.
First impressions are those of dry cedar and mineral. The draw is perfect and smoke production is surprisingly ample considering the ring gauge and the dryness of the wrapper leaf. Was the “Tiff” character in the Child’s Play movies a dry character? Did she have a dry sense of humor? I’m ashamed to say that I never got that far in the series, I believe I stopped at Child’s Play 3 which did not yet feature the voluptuous beauty that is Jennifer Tilly. Have you ever seen the remake of The Getaway? If not you’re missing out homie…
What were we talking about? Oh yeah, the cigar! The generic woodsiness and earthy mineral flavors rule the roost for the majority of the first third of the smoking experience.
In the second third this mild cigar begins to develop a subtle coffee note accompanied by a nice creaminess. The cedar is still there; however, the mineral is gone. Will the earthy mineral component return? Have you run off to rent The Getaway yet? So many questions, and I have no answers at this point…
The ash drops midway through the second third but overall construction has been nice (I especially took notice of the straight burn line). That creamy coffee profile is the main focus now but it is leaving a bitterness on the back end that I hope doesn’t hang around much longer.
I’m going to attribute the bitterness to the cheap red wine I’m drinking. In the final third, we’ve got a resurgence of the woodsy note and the retrohale is now ALL OF A FUCKING SUDDEN delivering enough spice to make you wake up and take notice. Well hello, Tiff! There’s still a coffee note present but the creaminess is long gone. This Monster is making a strong final impression for sure.
As I haven’t seen the actual “Tiff” onscreen, I’m just going to call a very obscure audible here and associate this cigar instead with former Saved By The Bell actress Tiffany Amber Thieson’s performance as Valerie in the later seasons of my beloved Beverly Hills 90210. Don’t judge me asshole, it was and still is a phenomenal show. Well sultry Valerie was spicy, surprisingly strong, and ~ honestly ~ quite a sexual MONSTER at times!
Pete Johnson, if you’re listening, if you ever decide to make a bunch of Beverly Hills 90210 themed Tatuaje cigars it would behoove you to bring this highly regarded internet cigar/90210 expert in on that blending process. I already have something in mind for The McKay…
I thought this stogie was going to be boring and it surprised me. The final third jumped up a level in strength and spice while keeping some of the original flavors and I ended up enjoying it quite a bit. Whether that ties in to the fictional character of Tiff I don’t know but any time a cigar proves to not be boring after earlier opinions would have pegged it as such – I’m appreciative.
I nubbed this Skinny Tiff and I’m now going to head back inside to watch Curse Of Chucky based on The Doctor’s review. That’s why we do this, folks, it’s all a fun playful journey in this world of smokes and film. Now check out these two subjects and let us know what you think!!!