It’s time to look back at Child’s Play 3 and give Chucky his due.
Chucky scared my entire generation. When we were kids we were scared shitless by the thought of our toys coming to life. Kids today have Ted and Toy Story to cuddle up with. We got Puppet Master and Child’s Play. We were carved out of stone – we grew up with Freddy, Jason and Chucky! An unholy trinity of slasher killers who just wanted to make life a living Hell for any one of us. We couldn’t go camping, go to sleep or even trust our toys! It was awesome! We were surrounded by horrors and we wouldn’t have had it any other way.
For many today Chucky is a dark-comedy star, someone who’s been used to parody romantic dramas as well as domestic ones. For those of us who grew up with Child’s Play through Child’s Play 3,Chucky was a demonic force to be reckoned with.
Chucky broke a major taboo though. I’d argue more so than Freddy or Jason. For Jason to get us, we had to at least travel to Crystal Lake. So we were safe from him. As for Freddy, well it seemed as though we could be safe from him too, as long as we slept with a Bible under our beds. Don’t question our logic. It kept us safe. But Chucky? That little bastard somehow managed to sneak his way right into our bedrooms! He was lowlife enough to cuddle right up next to us under the covers. Then, right after we accidentally fell asleep, the business end of his knife would slide coldly and quick right across our little throats. Because of Chucky, children suddenly didn’t feel safe alone with their toys. Brilliant! He got us. He truly managed to mesmerize and terrorize all of us.
I swear to this day of all the horror memorabilia I own the only thing I still can’t bring myself to buy is a Chucky doll. Call me a wuss, but that’s the kind of impact he had over a lot of us.
Chucky has experienced somewhat of a revival lately and interestingly enough this doesn’t mark his first one. Not too long ago, back when Bride of Chucky was released, we saw a renewed vigor in a franchise that was teetering on the edge of neglectful mediocrity. However BoC introduced a new generation to the chills and kills of our favorite murdering doll, not to mention, it breathed some much needed life into Chucky’s lungs. The Chuck was back and seemed badder than ever. The film not only gleaned the rewards of brand new fans, but also won over the affection of old-school horror fans – like me – as well.
Things were moving right along for the Child’s Play series. Then (for many fans) it felt as if Seed of Chucky went and stuck a knife right between Chucky’s glossy eyes, thus killing the newly rejuvenated franchise.
However, Chucky proved he can’t be so easily killed and slashed his way right back into our hearts with the immediate hit Curse of Chucky. The exploits of Charles Lee Ray have continued over to the recent Cult of Chucky with promises of future entries still to come. Not to mention – and just in time for Halloween! – all seven movies were just released in a handsome Blu-ray set, which you can order here.
So with all the popularity buzzing around Chucky I decided to kick it old school. That’s right, we’re going back to 1991 to look at Child’s Play 3 for this edition of Late to the Party. This was the only film in the franchise I had not watched until just now. So after all these years – and in light of his more recent successes – how well does Child’s Play 3 hold up?
Child’s Play 3 isn’t regularly hailed as anyone’s favorite in the series, and if we’re honest, it does suffer from the dreaded gimmicks curse. It’s a curse that has doomed many horror franchises. The gimmick in this movie is: “Chucky goes to military camp.” But hey, it’s not so bad all things considering. There have been way worse gimmicks. It’s still better than “Ghoulies go to college.” Or when Freddy wound up in a fetus in Nightmare Part V. And at least Chucky hasn’t had his little plastic ass shot into space…yet.
Child’s Play 3 does have a killer opening though! We’re treated to a abandoned factory littered with the dismembered parts of several mutilated Good Guy dolls. They lay scattered across moldy shelves like the discarded massacre victims, locked in a mausoleum of modern-day consumer negligence – the dire cost of high demand. Among the broken pieces there sits a clump of melted grotesquerie – the fatal remains of Chucky, a token of the previous movie’s victory over evil. But we know evil can’t stay dead for long, and Chucky is brought back by the flowing blood of his mutilated mold. The tainted blood spills into the mixing pot, bringing the new proto-type Good Guy to demonic life. Charles Lee Ray is given a new start to strangle throats and lay open veins.
This time around Andy (Justin Whalin) – the hero of the previous two movies – is sent to military camp in hopes to break his troubling record, a record of violence and mischief that follows him as close as a sinister shadow.
Chucky finds some way to mail himself to Andy’s camp, but quickly fixes his eyes on young Tyler (Jeremy Sylves). Planning to transfer his rotting soul into the new boy, Chucky befriends little Tyler and unleashes his murderous antics along the way.
Child’s Play 3 is a well-made goofy movie, one you can watch just for the fun of it. It was given a decent budget and boasts some beautiful shots throughout. Both the beginning and ending are my favorite chapters. The middle section is – eh – good enough for what we get.
I would recommend this one, especially for a good Halloween viewing! The final conflict takes place in a local fair’s haunted house, giving it a good old-fashioned creepy vibe. The final battle happens atop a mountain of skulls with Chucky at the peak doing what he does best! It’s awesome!
So brush off the old Child’s Play 3 cassette, grab your popcorn and kill those lights.
This has been Manic Exorcism, once again, wishing you my friends a happy Halloween season!