Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Child's Play 3 - Terror Toys Season

Released only 9 months after after Child's Play 2 in 1991 and had a tag line of "Look Who's Stalking!"  This is the one which was very controversial here in the UK after the James Bulger case, and even though later it was proved to have no connection the damage had already been done and a lot of shops and video rental places voluntarily removed the title from their shelves. 

Warning, this is a spoiler based review


In case you didn't grow up in the UK during the James Bulger case, here's a brief history, it was alleged by various tabloids that the 10 year old boys who murdered 3 year old James Bulger were influenced after watching Child's Play 3 which had been rented by one of the boys father's from a video shop.  It was later established that the boy hadn't been at his fathers when the tape was rented and the boy wouldn't watch horror movies anyway, but the damage had been done and to this day people still believe a lot of inaccuracies about the case.

Enough of that stuff though, let's take a look at Child's Play 3!

Like Hostel, but for Barbie and Ken
We open on the Play Pals factory, which is looking a bit dusty, being dusted down and cleaned up and we see the melty mess of what was left of Chucky.  A machine grabs the large chunk of plastic, which starts bleeding, (come on!), a few drops of blood fall into the plastic vat and it looks all evil. 

Then we transition into a sort of evil James Bond intro and we get the titles.  The main title flashes up and there's various shots of melting plastic mixed with blood, which is frankly ridiculous, but this is a movie about an evil voodoo influenced doll, so why am I even complaining about that?  The plastic forms itself back into Chucky, we see a hand reforming and then the head which screams and we travel into it's mouth for black.

As you know, audience.
We see a board meeting discussing the history of the first two films, because I'm assuming, unlike the film makers, that if you're reading this review, you've either read the first two reviews or seen the movies yourselves and don't need me to tell you again, but in case you have no idea of what happens in Child's Play and Child's Play 2, the links are in the sidebar.

One of the men asks why they would consider making the Good Guys dolls again after they've had so much negative press.  The short answer is money, dear boy.  They decide to go ahead and the board director (I think it's actually the same guy from Child's Play 2) is given the first doll off the assembly line.  Of course, it's Chucky.

At the director's swanky apartment, his mook leaves and he makes himself a drink whilst the camera focuses in on the empty Good Guys doll box.  We get a POV camera of Chucky moving around the apartment, watching the director as he lights himself a cigar and sits down to watch some tv.  Chucky helpfully hands him a golf club and he gets up to play with one of those little triangle golf practise things you see in the movies.  We get a few shots of Chucky's feet and hands and then Chucky turns off the tv, the director looks around for the remote Chucky slides it to him below the sofa. 

Chucky spills some marbles across the floor which the director slips on, then he starts activating various wind up and remote control toys around the room.  Then he sees the arm of two Good Guys dolls as they sit in two chairs and start spouting the Good Guys phrases and the director gets up off the floor to look at the dolls, then Chucky hits him from behind with the golf club.

"Don't fuck with Chuck!"
The director realises the truth and starts to try and walk away, but Chucky throws darts at him, then strangles him with the string of a yoyo.  Chucky uses the director's computer to search for Andy who has been put in a military school.

Is that...?  Oh God, it is, they've replaced Andy with Jimmy Olsen.  Goddammit, movie.  Why?  Why?  What happened to Karen?  Surely after a while she would have been like, "I'll stop mentioning Chucky and they'll let me go", she was only in for an evaluation.  Bloody hell.  What happened to Kyle?  Couldn't she look after Andy?  She was almost out of the system herself, she could have taken Andy in or they could have run away together.

Gee, Mr Chucky, you missed Superman again!
In the office of Colonel Cochran (according to his name plate), he asks Andy why he never got settled anywhere, even though as he looks through Andy's file he reads various clippings about Chucky.  The Colonel tells Andy he'll cut him so slack, but he wants him to forget about Chucky and try to fit in at the military school. 

We cut to a kid getting his head shaved and....  Garak?!  Bloody hell, it's Andrew Robinson, my second favourite Cardassian.  Garak shaves a kids head, then it's Andy's turn, it doesn't seem so bad there, the kid is playing a video game and Garak has a telly on and there's a cool heavy metal style poster in the background.  Garak hacks away at Andy's hair, then a Good Guys cartoon (the one from the first movie) comes on the telly and Andy freaks out a bit, but doesn't say anything. 

With a spiffy new haircut Andy goes to his room, he sees a cupboard door shaking which freaks him out till he opens the door and finds his room mate bound and gagged inside.  Andy helps him and his room mate tells him a guy called Shelton did it to him.  Andy introduces himself to the room mate who is called Harold, but tells Andy everyone uses their surnames at the school.  The next morning all the Cadet's line up outside and Shelton helps Garak inspect them. 

Nice to meet you, Andy, I'll be your secondary bad guy for this movie.
Shelton pulls the whole, act like a nice guy, then act like a complete douche the next second for no reason at all.  No one stops Shelton from abusing the other cadets, till a girl calls him an arsehole, which is kinda funny, she's called De Silva, he tells her to do 25 push ups and she gives him loads of cheek, I like her. 

Later we see the little boy who has his hair cut, Tyler, going to see if he got any post.  The guy in charge takes pity on him because he checks everyday to see if his Dad has written and he never does, so he asks him to deliver a large parcel to Andy.  On route some boys knock into Tyler and he drops the parcel down the stairs, tearing the paper and revealing the Good Guys logo beneath.  Tyler gets all excited because he's a fan and takes the parcel to the armoury where he opens it and finds Chucky inside the box.  Chucky jumps out of the box at Tyler and asks who the fuck he is.

I thought you guys only said three sentences...
Chucky tells Tyler that he's new and improved, then asks where Andy is, he shows Tyler the label saying he was supposed to go straight to him and tampering with the mail is a federal offence.  Tyler apologises and asks if Andy is his best friend, Chucky tells him he's his new lease on life.  Then Chucky realises he has a new body and asks what Tyler's name is and Chucky tells Tyler his real name. 

At the shooting range, De Silva shoots a bullseye, Harold barely hits his and Andy can't even hit the target so he asks De Silva for help.  She shows Andy how to hold the gun properly and how to shoot and he actually manages to hit the target.  In the armory, Chucky has convinced Tyler to lie down as he performs his voodoo ritual and the storm clouds form over head, but two of the military guys come in.  The colonel tells Tyler off for playing with dolls and takes Chucky away, but Chucky tells Tyler he'll be back. 

While running drills on the field, Andy sees the Colonel carrying Chucky and gets distracted and then told off by Shelton.  The Colonel puts Chucky into a rubbish truck and Chucky starts screaming for help, the truck driver stops and climbs into the truck to help, allowing Chucky to climb out and get into the cab, he sets off the trash crusher, trapping and killing the driver, but it cuts away and we hear his scream.  The cadets on the field hear it and go to help the driver, but they see the blood and know he's dead.

Back in their room, Andy asks Harold if he saw the colonel carrying the doll, but he didn't, Harold goes to the wash room and we see that Chucky is hiding inside a chest, Harold comes back in and Chucky hides again.  Harold asks Andy if he got the parcel that Tyler was supposed to deliver, but of course, he hasn't.  Andy packs away his clothes and chucky grabs a knife from the desk, Andy sits on the bed and Chucky sneaks up on him from underneath.

Stealth like Ninja
Chucky cuts the back of Andy's ankle and comes out from under the bed, taunting Andy, telling him he's interested in Tyler now.  Andy throws a shoe at Chucky, (who throws a shoe?) and then starts shaking Chucky, but Shelton comes in.  Shelton gets all pissy about his shoe and then takes Chucky, despite Andy's protests. 

Later that night, Andy sneaks into Shelton's room with a knife, but he sees that a knife has been taken from Shelton's display, instead of leaving he decides to check under the bed and Chucky sneaks up behind him.Andy freaks out and jumps onto Shelton's bed and Chucky runs out of the room.  Shelton sees that Chucky is gone and starts choking Andy, others come into the room and then everyone is outside walking in a circle.  The Colonel comes out and asks why everyone is outside so late and Shelton says he just wants to know who took the doll, which belonged to Andy, the Colonel tells Shelton to get them in by 1.  Everyone blames Andy and someone pushes him into the mud.

Chucky goes to Tyler's room, but Tyler has sneaked out and wants to play hide and sneak, which pisses off Chucky and is kind of funny.  Outside Andy leaves the circle to sneak off to see De Silva, but he's caught by Shelton.  Tyler hides in a cupboard in the Colonel's office and Chucky finds him, with Tyler giggling and enjoying the game.  Harold asks what Andy is trying to prove, Andy tells him that Chucky's alive and trying to kill Tyler, of course Harold doesn't believe him.

Meanwhile, De Silva and a friend have snuck into the Colonel's office to look at Andy's file, they see the bit about foster homes, but not the article about Chucky.  The girls open the cupboard and find Tyler with Chucky, De Silva's friend takes Chucky, but De Silva takes it back and asks what Chucky's name is and Chucky responds with the Good Guys phrases.  De Silva puts lipstick on the doll, then they hear someone coming and she grabs Tyler and won't let him grab Chucky as they run out of the office.  Chucky is not pleased.

This means war!
The Colonel returns to his office and hears a sound and goes inside,  he sees a pencil pot has been knocked over and then sees Chucky behind the desk.  The Colonel puts Chucky in the bin, but the second he turns his back, Chucky is out again and jumps out at the Colonel with a knife.  This causes the Colonel to have a heart attack, which Chucky gets very annoyed about, the Colonel falls backwards into a display. 

Later we see the police removing the Colonel's body and Shelton seems genuinely upset about it.  The next day at a meal they have a moment of silence for the Colonel before eating their breakfast.  Garak walks amongst the students, pulling their hair if it's too long, telling them to come in for hair cuts.  It's an absolute delight, because Andrew Robinson just chews the scenery in this scene.

My, this wall is tasty.
Andy tries to get up to leave and someone trips him over, he goes over to talk to Tyler about Chucky, he tells Tyler to stay away from Chucky, but Tyler won't listen to him so Andy gives him a knife.  After breakfast, Garak finishes giving Harold a hair cut, then tells him to be on his way and as Garak is tidying, Chucky falls out of a cupboard, but in his doll form.  Garak having fun, tells him his haircut isn't regulation and needs a trim.  Garak sits Chucky in the barbers chair and gets out his clippers, but Chucky reaches down and grabs a straight razor and slashes Garak's throat.

He was like that when I found him
Harold returns and sees Chucky standing next to Garak's body and freaks out and runs away.  Meanwhile, the military school is having their annual war games.  Red vs blue the cadets are given rifles filled with paintballs.  Harold joins the ranks and De Silva asks what's wrong as he's clearly distressed, but he says nothing's wrong. 

In the armoury Chucky starts replacing the paintball ammo with real bullets, which is why you shouldn't use real guns to play paintball.  Andy tries to talk to Harold, but he won't talk.  Later that night, Andy's team, the blue team are sat around a fire telling crap ghost stories.  Andy walks away and De Silva follows him, then leads him to a secluded spot where he can see a funfair.  Chucky watches them and they hear a gun being cocked, but De Silva dismisses it and kisses Andy.

Later, Andy asks Harold to help him find Tyler, but Harold won't come so Andy sets off alone, then the others discover that the map is missing and plan to move out their camp.  They find out it was Andy who took the map and believe he's doubling for the red team.  Andy makes it to the red camp, but Tyler has gone with Chucky, the blue team split up into two teams. 

Best of friends
Andy almost finds Tyler and Chucky, but they escape him, Chucky wants to play "hide the soul" with Tyler, but Tyler is being uncooperative so Chucky turns on him, causing Tyler to realise that Andy was right about Chucky.  Tyler stabs Chucky with the knife that Andy gave him, and then runs off to find Andy.  Shelton and the blues find Andy, who tells them he is trying to find Tyler, Harold won't back him up.  They try to radio  De Silva, but she's ambushed by Chucky.  Tyler comes running in and runs straight to Andy, telling him he was right and that 'Charles' tried to hurt him, Shelton grabs Tyler and asks who 'Charles' is.

Then Chucky comes over the radio, asking for Chucky, Shelton answers the radio, but he thinks it's the red team.  De Silva shouts for Andy not to come.  Chucky demands that they bring Tyler to him then disconnects.  Chucky then radios the red team and we see he has a grenade, he tells the red team that the blue team are coming, setting a trap for the cadets. 

Shelton doesn't believe Andy when he tells him that Chucky is dangerous and makes Andy and Tyler approach Chucky.  Chucky exchanges De Silva for Tyler and makes Tyler sit down, the blue team come out of hiding and splatter Chucky with the paintballs.  Chucky greets Shelton, then the red team appear and one of them shoots Shelton in the chest.  The Red team haven't noticed they are using real bullets and keep firing until they do realise.  Chucky, who'd been laughing, notices Tyler has slipped away from him.

Don't worry, tomato sauce washes off.
One of the cadets blames Andy for Shelton being killed and starts beating him up until De Silva pulls him off.  Chucky throws the grenade at the cadets, but only Harold notices it and throws himself on top of it and he dies.  Andy sees Tyler run off and chases after him, De Silva follows, the cadets freak out and scream for a radio.  Tyler reaches the fairground and sees a security guard who is telling off a couple for playing a radio.

Tyler follows the security guard into the lost and found tent the guard gives him some chewing gum, then shows him the doll he's found, of course it's Chucky.  Andy and De Silva arrive at the fair and look around, then see the lost and found tent and find the security guard dead inside.  De Silva takes the guards gun and they go back out to look for Tyler.  Chucky makes Tyler go inside a haunted house ride through a back entrance, inside Tyler falls onto the tracks of the ride and in the confusion almost escapes Chucky.  Andy and De Silva arrive, Chucky shoots De Silva so she gives Andy the gun to chase after Chucky.  Tyler, still running away, gets caught in the scenery so Chucky has him, but the blade from a grim reaper on the ride swings down and slices off half of Chucky's face.

Health and Safetl would have a field day with this.
Tyler pulls himself free from the scenery, but Chucky follows him on, Tyler tries to escape using a fake flying dragon, but Chucky jumps on too and the fake dragon knocks Tyler out.  Andy arrives and is almost ran over by the ride, he spots a massive fan at the foot of a mountain of fake skulls, on top of which, Chucky has started his voodoo ritual and the storm clouds have appeared. 

Andy climbs to the top and shoots chucky, shooting his arm off, then he shoots him again, knocking him off the mountain.  Andy wakes Tyler up, but Chucky jumps up behind him and Tyler dangles over the fake mountain, Tyler gives Andy the knife as Chucky tries to choke Andy and Andy uses it to cut Chucky's hand off.  Andy throws Chucky off the fake mountain and Chucky lands in the fan and is cut into many pieces. 

The police and ambulance arrive at the fair and De Silva is put into an ambulance while Andy is taken away by the police.  End of movie.

Summary:  Well that was....  crap.  The effects were mostly good and the actors in the movie were pretty good, though the ending was a bit insane.  Plenty of witnesses, well, Tyler and De Silva, could tell the police that Andy had nothing to do with it, so I don't know why they decided to do that at the end of the movie.  It seems that Andy's had a terrible life and why not give him a happy ending instead of one which implies he'd be punished for Chucky killing people?

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.

The idea of putting bullets into guns for children to shoot at other children is a bit harsh, even for a Chucky movie and it's not the kind of thing you can cheer on, when you're watching these movies to see Chucky kill people in entertaining ways. 

The character of Shelton is an annoying power hungry douche, but seems to genuinely care about his school and in the end, didn't deserve to get shot in the chest and killed, because he's just a stupid kid.  In a horror movie, your victims have to really deserve it or not deserve it in the least, so you can either cheer on the killer or be really upset about the victim, if you half arse it, you lose any resonance or entertainment.  It's the same with Andrew Robinson's character, all he did was cut hair and chew the scenery a bit.  On the other side there's Harold, he threw himself on the grenade to save the others, but he was a middle of the road character who didn't really do anything.

Dourif was either phoning it in or he did the best he could with the script, Jimmy Olsen doesn't make a great Andy, nothing against him, he just doesn't seem to have Andy's vulnerability.  The little kid who played Tyler was pretty good. 

I'm going to give the movie it's props for the places it deserves, but it's not a great entry in the franchise and given the option I doubt I would ever watch it again.

6 out of 10

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