Child’s Play 3 – USA, 1991

‘Look who’s stalking!’

Child’s Play 3 is a 1991 American slasher horror feature film directed by Jack Bender (The Midnight Hour; Deadly Messages) from a screenplay by Don Mancini (writer of all the Chucky movies; Cellar Dweller). The movie stars Justin Whalin, Perrey Reeves and Jeremy Sylvers. Brad Dourif returned as the voice of Chucky.

Plot:

Eight years after Chucky’s second demise, the Play Pals company has recovered from bad publicity brought along by Chucky’s (voiced by Brad Dourif) murder spree and resumes manufacturing of the Good Guy dolls. The company revives the abandoned factory (where Chucky’s mutilated body still remains) and starts releasing a new line of Good Guy dolls.

However, in the process, the workers accidentally mix Chucky’s blood into a vat of plastic. Since the soul of serial killer Charles Lee Ray still inhabits the remains, the mixture of the plastic and his cursed blood causes Chucky to revive. Chucky is unwittingly given to Play Pals’ CEO Mr. Sullivan, whom he kills with a variety of toys. He then uses computer records to locate Andy.

Meanwhile,  sixteen year-old Andy Barclay (Justin Whalin), still troubled by his past encounters with Chucky, has been sent to Kent Military Academy after having failed to cope in several foster homes…

Reviews:

“Bender loves slow motion and lucky for him so do I; he cranks it up whenever he can. He also loves POV shots, be it of a dart or of Chucky. He offers us a few nice shots (loved the Chucky reflection in the computer screen) but unfortunately he knows jack all about suspense and doesn’t even try to make the film scary.” Arrow in the Head

“It just feels like the writers had a bunch of ideas for deaths and worked really hard to try to tie them together… somewhat unsuccessfully […] Justin Whalin isn’t bad as Andy, but his inclusion in the story just doesn’t always work out since Chucky no longer really wants him.” JP Roscoe, Basement Rejects

” …fumbles just about everything: dialogue, which is mind-numbingly bad; the Chucky kills, which are cheesy, stilted and ridiculous (the live rounds subplot anyone?); the cinematography […]; the music, the effects, good God the performances; troubles accumulate from the get-go and never stop mounting.” Kenneth Brown, Blu-ray.com

“This is a pretty dull outing for the wisecracking doll and the direction, effects and set piece murders are far from spectacular. It goes for the usual comedy tone but the script is less than witty and this is a very forgettable entry in the series.” Eat Horror

“There’s some good gore and Chucky looks better than ever! But when it comes down to it, Mancini really does great work by exploring issues of anti-capitalism and toxic masculinity, all in the disguise of a slasher horror about a doll hacking people to pieces. That’s impressive.” C.H. Newell, Father Son Holy Gore

“Even at just 90 minutes, the movie outstays its welcome by a long stretch. It’s boring, comparatively bloodless (and what deadly set-pieces we have are unentertaining and unexciting) and easily the worst of the series. Thank goodness for Brad Dourif’s vocal talent, stopping the movie from being a complete waste of time…” Kevin Matthews, Flick Feast

“Whalin hits every emotional note needed and has this innocence about him that reveals a ton of vulnerability. I could believe he would be Andy grown up. Perrey Reeves is very cool as De Silva. She plays a believable tough chick and has good chemistry with Whalin whenever they share scenes together.” Full Moon Reviews

“There were some entertaining bits, don’t get me wrong, but there were also some weird bits and it dragged a lot in the middle into a lackluster finale. It seems that they’d written this story about the military school, but had no idea how to end it there so they needed to write the fairground ending so it could try to live up to the finale of the second movie.” Ben Riley, I Spit on Your Taste

Child’s Play 3 is an adequate run through of the basics of the franchise – neither truly terrible as some have it, nor anything memorable. While the subsequent Child’s Play entries ventured into outrageous black humour, this seems driven more by a mean-spirited sadism. There is a nasty scene at the start where Chucky stalks Good Guys CEO Peter Haskell through his office…” Richard Scheib, Moria

“Even the carnival seems bland, and the only touch of humor comes from the school barber, who takes inordinate pleasure in chopping the students’ hair down to nothing. His attempt to give Chucky a regulation haircut is his last mistake.” Caryn James, The New York Times

“Chucky is now firmly in the role of anti-hero, a character that the audience knows that it shouldn’t be cheering on but they do because he’s fun to watch (and because the characters we’re supposed to empathise with are either dull as dishwater or total assholes).” Andrew Smith, Popcorn Pictures

” …an improvement over the second film but remains a rather uninspired offering. The finale is a good one and it delivers some inventive ideas and a fun nod to The Terminator but getting there isn’t worth the pay off.” Ian Jane, Rock! Shock! Pop!

” …the weakest of the lot, uninspired and lifeless throughout which offers unimaginative thrills and a sense that it was no wonder that it took so long for a third sequel, with a welcome change of approach to black comedy, to be released.” Graeme Clark, The Spinning Image

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…” Chris Scullion, That Was a Bit Mental

“Director Jack Bender films all this with enough style that Child’s Play 3 never becomes overly boring or tedious, and there’s some nicely timed tension and comic bits scattered throughout. Kevin Yagher’s effects work is expert, Andrew Robinson has a funny supporting turn…” TV Guide

” …it’s probably the least fun entry in the series, but a moderately enjoyable hour-and-a-half nonetheless and the military school setting is good, if not used to its full potential. And f*ck you, tabloid liars.” Hudson Lee, Vegan Voorhees

“Fine doll effects and sporadic gore are par for the genre. Acting is good, with honors going to the original Dirty Harry nemesis, Andrew Robinson, amusing as the school’s obsessive barber.” Variety

“Playing like a low-scale Taps at times this mediocre sequel brings back anti-hero Chucky for another round (voiced again by the great Brad Dourif) but has thrown him in a fairly sloppy movie that focuses on its jokey tone more than horror…” The Video Graveyard

“Chucky himself is an animatronic delight, but one suspects the film’s energies and budget have all been devoted to what is essentially a one-trick pony […] Slow, stupid and cheap, it effectively kills off any reason for Child’s Play 4.” Richard Harrington, Washington Post

Choice dialogue:

“And what are children, after all, but consumer trainees?”

“Don’t f*ck with the Chuck!”

Cast and characters:

  • Justin Whalin … Andy Barclay
  • Brad Dourif … Chucky
  • Perrey Reeves … Kristin De Silva
  • Jeremy Sylvers … Ronald Tyler
  • Dean Jacobson … Harold Aubrey Whitehurst
  • Travis Fine … Cadet Lt. Col. Brett C. Shelton
  • Donna Eskra … Jackie Ivers
  • Andrew Robinson … Sgt. Botnick – Hellraiser
  • Dakin Matthews … Colonel Cochrane
  • Burke Byrnes … Sgt. Clark
  • Matthew Walker … Major Ellis
  • Peter Haskell … Mr. Sullivan

Box office:

The movie earned $20.5 million worldwide.

Controversy:

Child’s Play 3 became notorious in the United Kingdom when it was suggested by the irresponsible tabloid gutter press that it might have inspired the real-life murder of British child James Bulger and the murder of Suzanne Capper, suggestions rejected by officers investigating both cases.

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