Friday, February 5, 2016

I have an idea for the next 'Child's Play' movie if anyone wants that.

The Chucktator.

I didn't really keep up with the Child's Play horror film franchise after the first couple of flicks. I haven't even gotten around to seeing 2004's Seed of Chucky, despite the fact that one of my personal heroes, John Waters, appears in it. I know that the murderous Chucky doll (voiced by Brad Dourif) acquired a female counterpart and some nasty, Frankenstein-like facial scars along the way. I'm still not wild about those scars, since I think they undermine the whole point of the character, which is that he looks like a creepy but harmless My Buddy doll from the 1980s. Anyhow, despite my almost-total ignorance of the property, I nevertheless would love the chance to write the next Child's Play sequel, if there is one. I have an idea ready to go. Be forewarned: This gets a tad convoluted.

Accurate but not respectable.
For whatever reason, I've been obsessed lately with the saga of General Idi Amin Dada (ca. 1923-2003), the military strongman who seized control of Uganda in the 1970s and terrorized and bankrupted the country for years as its dictator, killing off his enemies, real and perceived, by the thousands. YouTube, naturally, has countless hours of footage related to Amin: documentaries, news reports, interviews, etc. There, one can also find Amin: The Rise and Fall (or The Rise and Fall of Idi Amin), a sensational 1981 exploitation film featuring Kenyan actor Joseph Olita as the boastful African strongman. What's really surprising about The Rise and Fall is that, apart from the inclusion of some tasteless urban legends -- like the depiction of Amin as a cannibal -- the script largely sticks to the historical record and depicts Amin as he really was. Some especially horrific details -- like keeping the severed heads of his foes in his kitchen freezer -- are drawn from real life. So what makes this movie "exploitation" rather than an Oscar-winning, critically-praised "drama," like 2006's The Last King of Scotland, which also deals with the reign of Idi Amin? It's all a matter of tone, I guess. The Rise and Fall treats Amin's reign as a horror story, an approach that extends to the music, the camera angles, the acting, and the editing. It's all done for maximum shock effect. That makes critics uncomfortable.

While re-watching Amin: The Rise and Fall, I got to thinking that General Idi Amin, as a potential horror star, is a lot more effective than most of the major icons of the slasher genre, who tend to kill their victims one at a time. In terms of his overall body count, Amin leaves Freddy, Jason, and the rest in the dust. And he operates boldly in broad daylight, rather than skulking around in the shadows. Another advantage is that he doesn't have to do all the killing personally. He has soldiers and guards to do a lot of the dirty work for him. So then I started imagining a franchise film in which a famous horror character becomes the brutal dictator of a small country. Long-running horror franchises often tend to become gimmicky as the years go by, and this seemed no more extreme than, say, putting Jason Voorhees into outer space. But Jason's no good for this kind of picture. He doesn't talk, and he seems to derive no real pleasure from his killing. Ditto Michael Myers and Leatherface. It's difficult to imagine Freddy Krueger holding down a government job for long. Ditto Hannibal Lecter. So who's left?

Chucky, that's who. He's perfect. He seems like the kind of guy who'd get a kick out of bossing around a whole country. I pictured the little doll getting sick of causing mayhem in his home country and moving to some fictional country in Central America or South America, where he becomes known as "El Juguete," an incredibly corrupt, violent, and sadistic martinet. He'd have everything: an army of henchmen, a harem of love slaves, and a torture dungeon. And the image of little Chucky, still doll-sized, in a military uniform dripping with medals is surreal and funny and terrifying to me. I'd call it Reign of Chucky: Puppet Regime and advertise it with this tagline: "Running a country? It's child's play." As for the content of the movie, just watch this trailer for the Idi Amin flick and imagine that it's Chucky doing all of this awful stuff. Doesn't that sound kind of awesome?