CHILD'S PLAY 3
Director: Jack Bender
Year of release: 1991
Country of origin: USA
Running time: 90 minutes
DVD/Blu ray: Both
Tagline: "Look who's stalking".
Casting the spotlight on the slasher genre
Story: Eight years on from the destruction of the Chucky doll in the Good Guys factory last time out the company decide to relaunch the doll due to its popularity back in the eighties. With all the controversy which once surrounded the product now mostly forgotten they feel the time is right for the toy-line to be reborn. Unfortunately for all concerned the vat of molten plastic being used to produce the new batch of dolls becomes infected with tainted Chucky blood which transfers the spirit of Charles Le Ray into the first new prototype doll produced.
Meanwhile after spending the intervening years in an array of foster homes Andy is the recent arrival at a military base camp for teenagers. As Andy struggles to fit in Chucky sets off to the camp himself to track down his old quarry. Before coming into contact with his target however Chucky runs across a younger kid at the base named Tyler whom he deems to be an easier to attain vessel for soul transferal. So begins a series of attempts by the pint sized terror to take over young Tyler’s body while Andy as the only one aware of the danger attempts to intervene and end Chucky once and far all.
Good points: *The military base makes for a good location, quite unique and it provides some good scenes even when Chucky isn’t around. Cadets being yelled at during formation training, an overenthusiastic barber and a shooting range all provide entertaining moments. Chucky fooling around with the guns by exchanging paint for live ammunition was a nice touch as well.
Tying in with the military base concept I also liked the bullying superior Shelton who liked to abuse his power at the expense of his young charges. As enjoyable as his scenes were though I did feel as if he wasn’t as harsh on Andy as he could have been taking into account how bizarre Andy was acting. I was surprised he didn’t pick on him more.
*Minor spoilers: I thought some of the kills were the best in the series so far, perhaps a bit over the top but inventive early on and fun as well. In particular I liked the ones where Chucky utilised some other toys and later on something involving a dustbin lorry. The barbers demise was another enjoyable part and even the heart attack thing deserves a mention just as something different and for the dolls reaction The film consisted entirely of male kills as well which was a nice change.
*This is a relatively small thing but I felt Chucky looked a bit better in the face this time, sort of more human like and probably a tad more scary because of it.
*He’s a bit of a polarising figure but I personally rather enjoyed the Tyler character. I found him funny early on before he realised how dangerous Chucky was. It was also refreshing to see Chucky have a different target this time out and although it was a shame Alex Vincent didn’t return as the now much older Andy I did like how we got something similar in a new little kid with Tyler. Though he wasn’t as good as an actor as the young Vincent turned out to be for me he was still one of the better aspects of the film.
Bad Points: *To start out with a picky thing Chucky at one point slashes the back of Andy’s ankle with a knife but Andy doesn’t seem very hurt by it and somehow it doesn’t even seem to draw blood.
*The last third of the movie I didn’t find to be as good as the rest and I felt it was beginning to drag and not provide as much entertainment as the earlier parts. From around the time of the wargames segment onward my mind began to wonder.
Strangely enough as I normally like carnival settings I wasn’t keen on the ending either in the haunted house attraction. It’s hard to put my finger on exactly why but maybe as it felt a little overblown, the place seemed too big for a small carnival attraction, too elaborate and expensive looking.
*This entry was missing a strong female final girl type which I found left it feeling empty in places. I guess they gave us De Silva who was supposed to take on this mantle to some extent but I didn’t find her to be developed enough or given enough screen time to make an impression or properly qualify as a final girl. With Andy being a bit older and played by a different actor it was more difficult to warm to him as well. In comparison to the first two movies I didn’t find the protagonists to be as strong.
Verdict: Child’s Play 3 is sometimes seen as second only to Seed of Chucky as the worst outing in the franchise and I would largely agree with that as I didn’t enjoy it as much as what had gone before. It all began well enough with a solid start and I did enjoy some aspects to it such as the military school setting which stood out as a memorable addition. As it wore on though I did find my interest beginning to wane and the latter parts didn’t entertain me too much or live up to the early promise. I can’t say it’s by any means a bad film but in what’s for me a strong franchise on the whole this was one of the lower points.
Bodycount (contains major spoilers):
1)Sullivan: Strangled with yo-yo string.
2)Refuse collector: Crushed in the back of his dustbin lorry.
3)Cochrane: Falls victim to a heart attack.
4)Botnick: Throat cut with straight razor.
5)Shelton: Shot in the chest.
6)Whitehurst: Blown up with a grenade.
7)Carnival security guard: Shot in the head (off camera).