Friday, October 3, 2014

Child's Play 3 (1991)

Child's Play 3 (UK/USA, 1991) - Color, Director(s): Jack Bender
MPAA Rating: R
[UK: 18]
Approx. 90 min.

Z-rating: 2.5 stars out of 5

Cheese Factor: 4 stars out of 5

The movie starts with the machines in the old factory getting cleaned off as a claw descends and pierces Chucky's headless body, still glued to the ground from the end of the second movie. Blood gushes out of the wounds and drips into the vat of plastic they're using to create the new line of dolls. The vat of plastic starts to bubble, the blood and molten plastic slowly reforming Chucky's head as he awakens, screaming into the camera. This movie's opening has one of the best regeneration sequences of any movie. We've seen movies with regeneration sequences before, typically a vampire movie or some immortal killer like Jason Voorhees will be decomposing after having died in the last film. Something will "awaken" them, their shriveled heart starts to beat again, their flesh fills out to cover their bones, maybe a finger will twitch, and it usually ends with their eyes suddenly opening. The true mark of unconquerable evil, the ability to regenerate after death. 8 years after the events of the second film, Play Pals Toys is looking to bring back their Good Guys line once again. Mr. Sullivan (played by Peter Haskell), some bigwig at Play Pals Toys, watched someone on the assembly line die right in front of his eyes at the beginning of the second film. Yet here here is, at a meeting and pushing for the relaunch of the Good Guys line. Well, I guess business is business.

Mr. Sullivan gets the first toy off the line, none other than Chucky himself, and gets offed in his office while working late. In classic form, Chucky strangles him to death with a yo-yo! Hopping on the computer in Sullivan's office, he does a quick search to find that Andy Barclay is now at Kent Military School. This setting provides plenty of deadly weapons for Chucky to play with, like a kid in a toy store (for the lack of a better analogy). The principal players this time around are a hard ass Lt. Col. named Shelton, a tough as nails female Private named De Silva, a kid named Tyler, a wimpy sidekick named Whitehurst, and of course Andy Barclay. Chucky mails himself to Barclay but the package is opened by Tyler. Realizing that he's in a new body, Chucky figures out a loophole that if Tyler is the first person he reveals himself to, he can transfer his soul into the younger child instead. Barclay tries to stop this from happening but Lt. Col. Shelton is there to make his life a living hell and thwarts his attempts. After a few mysterious deaths that no one seems to question, they proceed with their annual war games using paint-filled ammunition for their rifles. Chucky switches out the red team's rounds for live ammo. Although Chucky does kill a couple people himself, he's perfectly content orchestrating chaos and mayhem.

"Seven-six-two millimeter. Full metal jacket."

With so many people around constantly, it's hard to pull of the same stalk 'n' slash formula but newcomer Jack Bender tries his best to make it all work. There's not much tension to build since there are so many people around constantly, so the director goes for drama between Shelton and the others. De Silva is there as a budding love interest that never fully blooms into a real relationship. Whitehurst is the friend who first shows interest in why Barclay's always getting in trouble over a doll but doesn't believe him about Chucky being alive. Even after Whitehurst sees Chucky walking and talking after a murder, he doesn't back up Barclay's story or warn anyone of the possible danger. Honestly, the whole movie is filled with plot holes because Chucky could've successfully transferred his soul into any child if he didn't send himself to Andy Barclay's military school in the first place.

"Holy dog shit, Texas?! Only steers and queers come from Texas, Pvt. Cowboy!"

After finally realizing that Chucky is bad news (because a talking doll that wants to play "Hide the Soul" doesn't automatically send up any red flags) Tyler runs off to a nearby carnival to escape. Chucky catches up and forces Tyler into one of those haunted house rides called "Devil's Lair" with Barclay and De Silva in pursuit. I actually really like the haunted house ride as a backdrop because it provides some much needed "creepy" visuals. The problem is that it's all fake, even in the context of the movie, which really takes away most of the impact. Chucky meets his end when he's thrown into a giant fan that chops him up into tiny little pieces.

Nudity: None.

Gore: Not much, there is one person who gets his throat slit open with a straight razor. Much like the second movie, the most memorable part of the entire film is at the climax in the haunted house. In a particularly gruesome scene, a giant grim reaper that swings his scythe down at the patrons for effects slices off half of Chucky's face. You can see half of his face flop off the scythe, it's pretty brutal. As usual, Chucky's dies the most horribly gruesome deaths of the entire movie. 

Awesome: Not very. This movie is alright but is easily the weakest of the Child's Play trilogy, in my opinion. The first is probably the most well-rounded film and Chucky's death in the second one was just brutal. Andrew Robinson (Hellraiser) plays Sgt. Botnick, a barber who gets some sort of sadistic thrill out from cutting hair. He even walks through the mess hall and grabs people by the hair, demanding they pay him a visit. I also noticed Tyler playing what looks to be an Atari Lynx the first time we see him, which is in Sgt. Botnick's barber chair.