Starring: Justin Whalin, Perrey Reeves, Jeremy Sylvers, voice of Brad Dourif
“You know what they say, you just can’t keep a Good Guy down.” (Chucky, Child’s Play 3)
It’s ironic that the worst film in the Child’s Play series was the one that gained the most notoriety. After the horrible killing of two-year-old James Bulger in1992, The Sun newspaper decided to pin the blame on Child’s Play 3, claiming that the young boys who murdered Bulger had seen the film numerous times. While police would later confirm that this was completely untrue and they had never even seen it once, the damage had been done – Child’s Play 3 and its predecessors were removed from video shelves all over theUK, never to be seen again for at least a decade. Incredibly, The Sun continues to blame Child’s Play for all manner of killings, while still maintaining (in the face of police statements reporting otherwise) that it was responsible for the Bulger killings.
Regardless, let’s move on before I go off on a rant. I’ll discuss the Bulger incident further in the future (I wrote my university dissertation on it) but for now let’s look at the “offending” article itself. Child’s Play 3 is set eight years after the second movie (even though it was only released a year later). Now aged 16, Andy has been sent to a military training camp after failing to settle in any of the foster homes he’s been to. Meanwhile, the company responsible for the Good Guy dolls has decided enough time has passed to start the production of Good Guys again, so the toy factory is re-opened and Chucky’s corpse is disposed of – but not before some of his blood drips onto the production line, causing Chucky’s soul to pass into a brand new doll. D’oh, you pesky toy makers and your piss-poor security measures.
After finding out where Andy’s based, Chucky mails himself (somehow) to the military camp so he can finally do what he’s been trying to do for so long – take over Andy’s body. When he gets there though he’s first found by Tyler, a young boy also at the camp. Since the voodoo rules state that he can only take over the body of the first person he reveals himself to, Chucky decides to take over Tyler instead. As luck would have it though, Andy finds out about Chucky’s surprise appearance and so he tries to put an end to the killer doll once and for all.
Rather than breathing new life into the series, the military camp setting is actually detrimental to Child’s Play 3’s quality. It’s packed with tired clichés – bossy drill sergeants, “yes” “yes what” “yes sir” chat and the old “drop and give me 20” bollocks – not to mention a few lines ripped completely from Full Metal Jacket. The result feels less like an original slasher film and more like an unoriginal war movie that happens to have a killer doll wandering around.
Despite this, Child’s Play 3 is actually superior to its predecessors in one aspect – the inventiveness of its kills. Whether it’s the garbage truck scene, the part where Chucky substitutes paintball pellets for live rounds or the amusing moment when Chucky doesn’t even have to do anything to cause one chap’s death, it’s certainly the most creative film in the series to date in that respect.
Child’s Play 3 is an average sequel at best. While kudos have to go to the filmmakers for at least trying something different by placing the movie in a military camp and aging Andy eight years so it’s not following the same old “doll chases young boy” routine again, the film messes up by regurgitating tired boot camp clichés and, um, following the same old “doll chases young boy” routine again with the introduction of the Tyler character. It’s a reasonable way to pass an hour and half, but of the five Chucky films to date this is the weakest of the bunch.
WHERE CAN I GET IT?
Child’s Play 3 is fairly cheap on DVD. If you live in the UK you should be able to get it for a few quid by clicking here. If you live in the US, you can get the Region 1 DVD by clicking here or get it in a box set with Child’s Play 2, Bride Of Chucky and Seed Of Chucky by clicking here.