Title: Child’s Play 3
Director: Jack Bender
Released: August 30, 1991 (US)
Tagline: Look who’s stalking
Description: It’s been years since Chucky, the doll with the soul and the voice (Brad Dourif) of a psychopathic killer, was apparently destroyed in a fire at a doll factory. Now Chucky’s manufacturer is remaking the same line of toys with the old, still haunted materials. This resurrects Chucky, who goes after Andy (Justin Whalin), his former owner, who now attends military school. Chucky slashes his way through a string of grotesque murders as Andy tries to stop the homicidal doll and the spirit within it. (From Google movies)
Now, objectively this is the worst movie of the “original” three (23% Rotten Tomatoes; 5.1 IMDb), but it has a special place in my heart. It was the first Chucky movie I ever saw, recorded one night on a VHS tape that also had A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 & 5 on it. I had asked my dad to record one of those movies for me (I think it was Nightmare 5, because I remember the TV station was showing them out of order), and rather than program a recording time, my dad put the tape in, hit record, and let it record until the end of the six-hour tape. So I ended up with the two Freddy movies, with Child’s Play 3 in between them. And about 5-10 minutes of . . . something else at the end of the tape. The tape ended before that movie reached the opening credits, so it shall forever remain a mystery. (It might have been Halloween 2.)
I know Dove has something she wants to say about the controversy this movie caused in the UK because of some little shithead murderers, so I’ll let her get to that here if she feels like it, and then we’ll jump into the recap. Dove?
[Dove: If you’re in the UK and you were into horror movies in the 90s, then this film will be forever linked with the murder of James Bulger a month before his third birthday by two ten-year-old boys. At the time, our gobshite tabloids and Mary Whitehouse decided to push an agenda of trying to ban “video nasties”, by tastelessly cashing in on the brutal murder of a toddler. Even though it was a tenuous link (one of the murderers’ fathers had rented it, and it was never established whether either of the boys had ever seen it), the tabloids had a field day telling everyone that horror movies were to blame, due to some similarities. For me, this movie will always be attached to that horrible crime, even though I don’t believe it was a contributing factor – or if it was, it was at the bottom of a long list that started with far uglier things than a mediocre slasher movie. Also, people gave me the side-eye when I reported that I was only a year or two older than the murderers, I had rented the movie around the same time, and somehow I managed to not kill anyone.
I know this has nothing to do with the movie, but it feels a bit weird to recap it without mentioning the controversy that was attached – however feebly – to it.]
We open in the old, dusty, cobwebby toy factory from the second movie. Some unknown person is sweeping up various doll parts and tossing them away, and then we see the melted/exploded remains of the Chucky doll from the previous movie. For some reason, instead of a human picking this one up to clear it away, some spiky clamp thing (I’m pretty sure that’s the technical term for it) [Dove: I believe it’s “The claaaaaaaaaaaaaaw“.] [JC: That’s exactly what I thought of, too.] comes down from the ceiling and pierces this monstrosity through the chest to lift it up and out. It starts bleeding, leading me to question if Chucky has been trapped in this doll carcass all this time. I mean, it shouldn’t bleed like that if it’s just a plastic husk, should it? Do human bodies still bleed like that years after death? This makes little to no sense unless Chucky has been alive in there this whole time. And here’s me, offering up my existential crisis within the first minute of the movie. Getting it in early this time!
Anyway, the mangled Chucky mess is transported over a vat of liquid plastic, dripping his blood into the vat, and I in no way believe this. This factory has been abandoned for years, and yet this plastic is hot and melty? Did the filmmakers think that liquid plastic stays liquid when it’s cold? Did they think the plastic vat heaters would still be turned on after all this time? I have no idea what’s going on, but it’s all one big safety concern however you look at it. [Dove: Didn’t I raise this during Child’s Play 2? That factory was a lawsuit waiting to happen.]
Then the melted plastic starts swirling around, really mixing the blood in, and I imagine if you saw this on the big screen and have vertigo, you’d be feeling pretty poorly right about now. The screen turns to black with red spirals, and then we get opening credits, starting off with Justin Whalin, who is #NotMyAndy. I mean, he’s fine, it’s just strange seeing a teenage Andy after only one year of real time has gone by between movies. [Dove: I’m with you. Also: hey! It’s Jimmy Olson!]
The melted plastic with blood running through it is forming itself into Chucky, and I have questions. I’m like a two-year-old that way. First, is this doll forming by itself? It’s hard to tell, because it’s all done under the credits against a black background, so I have no idea if this is just a style thing or if it’s supernatural. [Dove: It’s very James Bond-esque.] Second, are we now to believe Chucky’s soul is in his blood? This was all about souls before, but now it seems to be some sort of blood magic. Third, are we to believe that all the blood got formed into the same doll, or are there other Good Guys out there with some Chucky blood mixed in? That would kind of make sense in light of Cult of Chucky, but . . . eh, we’ll get there, I suppose. (Upon further investigation, Don Mancini, Chucky’s creator, had actually planned to do a multiple Chuckys storyline here, but the idea got shelved until . . . well, you know.)
The doll head finishes forming, the mouth moves, and Chucky screams “Nooooooo” because he is just so done with this shit, I suppose. Can’t really blame him if he was . . . at peace in the afterlife? That can’t be right. If he was trapped in that melted mess, wouldn’t he be happy to be out of there and have a somewhat functional body again? [Dove: Maybe it was an expectation thing. Finally, I’m out of a mound of set plastic and… oh, I’m this fucking doll again. Not that he had any reason to expect things to get better.]
Cut to a boardroom full of toy execs, giving us the background on the first two movies. They say that Andy kicked all this off eight years ago, which would make him fourteen now, except . . . he’s not. I’ll get more into this later, because it really annoys me, but for now just know this: they made it a point in the first movie to say that Andy was six. They make it a point in this movie to say that the first movie took place eight years ago. Just keep that in mind.
The toy execs are debating putting Good Guys back on the market after all the negative publicity Andy caused them, but at the end of the day it’s all about money. I’m sure if it happens again, they’ll just cover it up again, nbd. Head Asshole in Charge, Sullivan, calls children “consumer trainees,” then goes on to say that nobody remembers or cares about Andy Barclay. Um, pretty sure Chucky does, but carry on, my dude. Carry on. [Dove: This is where my suspension of disbelief caved in. The first movie torpedoed those ugly dolls that JC sent me a picture of, but I can’t remember the name of. A movie killed a product line. And despite two major scandals that involved actual deaths, the USA is still crying out for Good Guy dolls?] [JC: Watch this commercial for the My Buddy dolls, and I guarantee you’ll never forget their name again. Due to never getting the fucking song out of your head.
As the meeting adjourns, Sullivan’s assistant (?) presents him with the first Good Guy off the line. Ah! Kill it! Kill it with fire! I don’t even care if it’s not Chucky; it’s ugly and creepy and needs to be killed immediately!
We know it’s Chucky, however, because we get POV from inside the doll box, looking out through the clear plastic window. And since I am watching this on my laptop, which has a dead pixel line running through the middle, it almost looks like I’m seeing crosshairs across Sullivans face.
Later on, Sullivan is in his office, which has so many toys in it that it looks like a kid’s paradise, except he’s a salty old man. His assistant starts to leave, since it’s his and his wife’s anniversary, but after a disapproving look from Sullivan, he takes a file home with him to look at after dinner. Wimp.
Sullivan gets up to make a drink at the bar (yep, his office has an actual bar in it) and the camera starts pushing in on the Good Guys box on the couch. Look, I know that’s what the movie wants us to focus on, but there’s a green-haired clown doll playing a saxophone on the bar to Sullivan’s left. I’m very distracted by this.
Anyway, the Good Guys doll box is empty. Dun dun DUN! I have no idea how Chucky keeps silently and stealthily crawling out of these boxes, but I suppose he’s had a lot of practice by now.
Chucky POV’s all over the place; we get a better view of the room, which includes an elevated toy train track hanging down from the ceiling (very cool); Sullivan sits down to watch the stock reports on TV; then we see a handle or stick of some kind bopping along the top of the couch behind Sullivan. The handle stops, and Sullivan turns to grab it (how did he know it was there if it wasn’t a moment ago? Fuck you for asking, the movie answers), and we see it’s a golf club. But, like, a really small one.
He does some putting into one of those little golf-hole-ball-return thingies (I’m totally a pro-golfer; can you tell?), and he’s having to lean down so far to use this club that I’m afraid he’s going to throw his back out before Chucky even gets a chance to kill him. Speaking of, we also see little Chucky legs running in the background.
Chucky hands grab a jar of marbles and then the TV shuts off. Sullivan goes on a remote control hunt, even though he’s definitely old enough to remember when you had to get up to change the channel. Instead of searching the obvious remote control hiding spot of between the couch cushions, he immediately starts crawling around on the floor, looking under the couch. Chucky slides the remote over to him so that he doesn’t miss any exciting information about T-bonds, then spills the marbles all over the floor so that Sullivan can do a pratfall. Can we pin down the exact moment these movies turned to slapstick? Because unless I’m forgetting something, I vote for this moment right here.
All the electronic toys in the office come to life like they think this is the Full Moon classic, Demonic Toys (it’s not on our list, but I would be more than willing to recap that ridiculousness with you, Dove), including a remote controlled police car, helicopter, robots, tanks, army men, and the train. And I only spotted wires on the helicopter, so respect, Movie! I have no idea if Chucky is somehow mind-controlling these toys or if he ran around winding them up and is now sitting in a corner with a few remote controls, but it seems like a lot of work on his part for no point, really. What a showoff. [Dove: Didn’t Billy Loomis say it’s all about execution. Or maybe it was Mickey. One of the Scream killers, anyway.]
Then we get two Good Guys dolls sitting in office chairs, stuck in an infinite loop of “Hi, my names is Larry!” “Hi, my name is Pauly!” “Hey! Wanna play?” “Hey! Wanna play?” “I like to be hugged!” “I like to be hugged!” Welp, I just found my own personal version of Hell; how about y’all? [Dove: I thought this was awesome. I suddenly flashed back to when Furbies were a thing. I worked for a funeral director at the time (in the back doing admin), and a friend of mine, who worked in the shop, arranging funerals, had all her Furbies lined up on a shelf in the back room. She was arranging a funeral when the back door slammed and woke up her Furbies, who all started singing and wailing. Every time one spoke, it activated the others, causing an endless creepy noise loop. After that she was not allowed Furbies at work. Also, don’t think this was a daft teen, this woman was in her 40s.] [JC: *blinks* That sounds nightmarish. And hilarious. And now I just want a space for you to tell all your stories like this.]
Sullivan grabs one of the dolls’ heads (Larry, if you’re curious) and stops my nightmare, for which I will be forever grateful, then Chucky comes up behind him and smacks him in the head with the baby golf club. Surprise! Chucky wasn’t pretending to be Larry (or Pauly)! We get a really awesome guitar lick for some reason, then some Chucky laughter, and then Chucky’s opening line to us: “Don’t fuck with the Chuck!”
I mean, okay. At least it rhymes? Other than that, weak, Chucky. Weak. And corny. And weak. Did I mention corny? Okay, just making sure. Ugh, do better, Charles.
Sullivan gets up and starts shuffling away, then Chucky throws a dart into his back, and I guess we’re supposed to believe it severed his spinal cord or something? Because Sullivan’s legs seem pretty useless now. I have my doubts, but I’ll go with it. He starts slithering away, trying to get to the phone, but Chucky throws another dart into his hand. He’s got pretty impressive aim, especially since the angles we’re being shown make these hits seem pretty unlikely.
Then Chucky does like a five foot vertical leap and strangles Sullivan with a yo-yo string. Wait, what? Is . . . is this an actual strangulation from the fucking Lakeshore Strangler? I’m in shock, guys. What does this bring the strangulation total up to, Dove? Like, three? [Dove: Two, JC. Two. *shakes head*] [JC: Numbers are not my friend. Also, I think my brain keeps trying to add in the non-lethal instances of Chucky trying to choke people out.]
Chucky tells us it’s just like the good old days; there’s nothing like a strangulation to get the circulation going. Not that we’d know, considering the distinct lack of strangulation in this series so far, but sure. If you say so, Chucky.
Chucky walks over Sullivan’s body to use the computer and somehow pulls up a file on Andy that I doubt the toy company would have. I dunno. Anyway, the file states that Andy is now sixteen years old. It also misspells the word “juvenile,” so you know it’s professional.
So. The whole Good Guys debacle with Andy started 8 years ago, when Andy was 6, yet somehow he’s now 16. Check my math, but 8 + 6 = 14, yeah? It would make sense if they were talking about the time between movie 2 and now, because I think Andy was meant to be about eight in that one, but they pretty clearly mean the first movie. This is so irritating. I hate when they fuck up the proper timeline.
Cut to Kent Military School, and a busload of new students (recruits?) rolling in, with a teenage boy we’ll soon find out is Andy staring out the window. He particularly notices a girl running some sort of rope-crawling drill, and this is De Silva (Perrey Reeves). She’s no Kyle, but she’s pretty badass in her own right. [Dove: She is, but I’m still bitter over the lack of Kyle. I can’t give her a fair trial because every time I watch this I’m furious we didn’t get Kyle back.]
The principal . . . wait, we probably don’t call him a principal in military school, do we? Commandant? Well, whatever. Head Dude in Charge, Colonel Cochrane, is sitting down with Andy, because he’s seen his file and all the stuff about the doll, and wants to make sure Andy isn’t going to cause trouble. He asks why Andy’s been shuttled around in the foster care system for eight years, and now the timeline seems correct if Andy was eight in the second movie, because I think Fuckwit Phil and Jerkass Joanne were his first foster family. So, being very generous here, maybe it took two years after the events in the first movie for it to become national news and whatnot? Except I’m sure in the second movie they act like Good Guys was already being ruined by this kid and his mom, so . . . I’m very confused. [Dove: The second movie made it clear that the events of the first movie were impactful enough to shut down their factories until the outrage calmed down. I think we can all just agree that the writers didn’t bother to re-watch the movies before making this one.] [JC: . . . Don Mancini wrote all three movies, but then again, I often forget things I’ve written and would be fucked if I didn’t go back to check, so I’ll accept this explanation for now.]
Cochrane tells Andy it’s time to grow up and forget these fantasies of killer dolls, then quotes Bible verse at him: “When I was a child I thought as a child, when I became a man, I put away childish things.” Cool, we’re totally gonna love this guy, right? I mean, there’s nothing better than a person who picks and chooses Bible verses out of context to “prove” their point, amirite?
Cochrane tells Andy that at Kent, they take bedwetters and turn them into men. Oh. Okay. Then we smash cut to a Sergeant named Botnick (played by Andrew Robinson, whom you may know as the killer in the first Dirty Harry movie, but whom my trekkie heart will always identify as Garak from Deep Space Nine) buzz-cutting a young boy’s hair. Botnick has a pedostache and sounds sexually excited by buzzing this kid’s hair, saying “Oh, yeah, we’re seeing some skin now!” Does every movie in this series have to have some creepy throwaway line with pedo subtext? I mean, it’s not just me, is it?
He tells the kid, “Presto, you’re bald,” and get used to this, because it’s apparently his catchphrase. Also, the kid, whose name is Tyler, isn’t even remotely bald now, but whatevs. It’s Andy’s turn next, and Botnick tells him the Romans invented the military cut so that their enemies couldn’t grab them by the hair in battle and slit their throats. He mimes slitting Andy’s throat with a pair of scissors, and this just can’t be professional. Holy shit.
The TV is on, and an ad for the new and improved Good Guys dolls comes on. Now, it’s hard to use the word “triggered” these days without sounding sarcastic, but Andy is triggered as fuck. Tyler, on the other hand, is delighted.
Andy, new and improved with short hair, reaches his dorm room, or maybe we should call them barracks – I’m not sure since it’s not the actual military. The closet door is rattling like something is in there and wants out, and you just know he’s flashing back to the second movie and Chucky locked in the coatroom in his school classroom. Anyway, after a slow creep toward the door, it turns out to be his new roommate, Whitehurst, who was tied up, gagged, and locked in the closet by Head Student Asshole in Charge, Shelton.
After introductions and Whitehurst telling Andy “welcome to hell,” we’re kicked outside for formation and our introduction to Shelton, who is played by Travis Fine. He played a lot of assholes in late eighties and early nineties TV and movies. I wonder whatever happened to him. (I Googled. Apparently he still writes and directs, but mostly pilots commercial airliners. Huh.) [Dove: Every time I see his scenes, I think to myself that he’s well cast. You can see he’s having the time of his life being that assholish. The guy is great. Also, my headcannon is that if his dad showed up, he’d be played by Clancy Brown. It just seems so obvious.] [JC: Oh, interesting. I could totally get behind that. From certain angles he kept reminding me of John Malkovich.]
Shelton inspects formation, then zeroes in on New Boy Andy. He torments him for a while, then moves on to Whitehurst. You can tell this guy jerks off to all of R. Lee Ermy’s scenes in Full Metal Jacket. He calls Whitehurst a nimrod, which is an insult I haven’t heard in a while, and then De Silva calls him an asshole just loud enough for him to hear her. He orders her to repeat what she said, and she does, complete with the required “Sir.” He asks if she thinks she’s funny. Yup, she does. I do, too, as a matter of fact. He demands she drop and give him twenty-five push-ups.
While she’s doing that, he lectures the group, claiming that “some of you women” might think they deserve special treatment because they’re so much more delicate, and they might expect everyone to just get out of their way once a month. But that’s not gonna happen, because the same rules apply for everyone, and only the fittest survive. I . . . honestly can’t tell if this is misogynist or feminist. Maybe it’s egalitarian. Like, sure, it’s equality, but it’s not equity.
He’s being obnoxious, at any rate.
But De Silva is kicking ass at those push-ups, even when he makes her finish them one-handed, so good for her. Andy’s impressed, too, and De Silva gives him a look that says, “Hell yeah I just did that.”
We follow Tyler as he goes to the mailroom, and the guy in charge there tells him there’s nothing from his dad today, sorry. He mentions that Tyler’s dad is flying jets defending the country. Then he takes pity on Tyler and gives him a giant Good Guys doll sized package to deliver to the new guy, Barclay. I dunno, guys, it might just be clothes again, what do you think?
This package is roughly the same size as Tyler, who looks to be about eight or ten years old, so he struggles with it through the hallways. It doesn’t help that everyone and their brother seems intent on crashing into Tyler with every step he takes. The package finally gets kicked down some stairs and the packaging paper tears off it enough to see the Good Guys logo. Tyler, who is definitely old enough to know that stealing is wrong, has a little joygasm and runs with the package to the armory, where he can be alone with it.
He rips the paper off and is thrilled to see this ugly-ass doll. That is, until Chucky busts through the clear plastic window in the box and asks Tyler who the fuck he is. Which is a totally fair question, but I’m just trying to imagine the logistics of Chucky mailing himself to this military school. How did he wrap himself up like that? Why go to the trouble? Chucky is a fucking showoff drama queen, isn’t he? [Dove: Yeah, he doesn’t even have Tiffany to help at this point.]
Anyway, Tyler, instead of screaming and running away like a child with any sense of self-preservation, says to Chucky that he thought Good Guys only said three sentences. Yeah, well, this is the new and improved version, kid. Deal with it. Chucky asks where the hell Andy is, and Tyler plays dumb. Except maybe not, since this is military school and everyone is called by their last names. Chucky points out the mailing label, and Tyler asks if Andy was his best friend. Sure, kid, something like that.
Then Chucky suddenly realizes that he’s got a new body and hasn’t told anyone his secret yet. I mean, I guess? Is that how it works? I feel like I need to see the fine print on this whole Damballa soul switching thing, because I’d think that it would still be Andy he’d need to switch into. [Dove: Exactly how much new body is required for it to be new? In the second film he was given new skin, clearly that’s not enough, but what if he kept his head and got a new body, is that enough? Give me percentages here.] Also, I guess why be a teenage boy when you could be a little kid. Also also, Tyler is a black kid, so he’s going to have a rougher life in a lot of respects than Andy would, but okay. I mean, if he pulls this off, Chucky is going to have a lot more reason to be wary of cops, to say the least.
So, Chucky turns on the nice, which is still creepy as fuck, and asks Tyler what his name is. Then he introduces himself as Chucky, but tells him that his real name is Charles Lee Ray. Of course Tyler is too young to immediately say “Oh my god, you mean the Lakeshore Strangler?!” but he’s still way too stoked about this doll who’s supposed to only know three phrases being wholly sentient. Tyler is adorable, but he’s got the survival instinct of a newborn puppy. [Dove: You find him adorable? *blinks* To be honest, I didn’t really like anyone in this movie.] [JC: Maybe we’re referring to different things. He’s a cute kid, looks-wise, but that level of almost willful cluelessness is annoying as hell, for sure.]
Cut to the shooting range, where we find out Andy is a terrible shot with a rifle, and De Silva is great. He asks her if there’s anything she can’t do, and she replies that she can’t seem to get herself kicked out of this place. I think I fell a little in love with her in that moment the first time I saw this. She shows Andy how to shoot properly (even though what she tells him isn’t 100% correct – you don’t hold your breath while shooting; you want to exhale as you squeeze the trigger, and also it doesn’t really matter if you close one eye to shoot, as long as you’re sighting properly down the barrel), and this time he at least hits the edge of the paper target. Not the actual target target, but the white space around it. Which is still an improvement.
Meanwhile in the armory, Chucky and Tyler are playing hide the soul. Chucky gets far enough into the chant for the supernatural storm clouds to start gathering before Cochrane and another officer walk in, talking about paint bullets for the red and blue teams. Chucky curses, and Tyler tells him to watch his language. Cochrane spots them and tells Tyler he better not be playing with dolls; dolls are for girls. Wow, fuck you too, buddy. Then he takes Chucky and walks out with him, but not before the doll voice says “I’ll be back!” So, Chucky’s been watching The Terminator, because that’s definitely not one of the three pre-programmed phrases.
Andy and the rest of his squad are outside doing, uh, gun . . . drill . . . stuff? Formations? I dunno. Shelton yells at Andy to fall out, and he clearly has no idea what that means until one of the others smacks him upside the head and pulls him to the front. Where he’s in a perfect position to see Cochrane walking across the grounds with Chucky. Again, Andy is triggered.
He makes the mistake of referring to his rifle as a gun, leading to Shelton’s friend demonstrating the difference with the old “this is my rifle, this is my gun, this one’s for shooting and this one’s for fun” bit, with the gun being his dick, complete with grabbing his junk. Lovely. I went to school with some real redneck types who were overly fond of this saying. It was obnoxious then, and it’s obnoxious now. Urgh. This line is also in Full Metal Jacket, further proving my point that these guys are jerking off to that movie nightly. [Dove: I’m suddenly very happy I’m British. This movie was the first time I ever heard that. Maybe the only. Ah, the joys of growing up in a no-gun environment.] [JC: That, and the distinct lack of constant mass shootings.]
Cochrane dumps Chucky into a dumpster that’s getting dumped into the back of the garbage truck. Chucky starts screaming when the truck starts grinding the trash up, and the driver immediately stops and climbs into the back. Chucky somehow climbs out of the back of the truck with his little tiny arms and legs, gets in the cab, and grinds the driver up in the back. Despite the driver being nice enough to, you know, save his life or whatever. Rude, Chucky. Rude. [Dove: This? Actual nightmare fuel.]
Somehow the kids out doing their drills hear the driver screaming, but they apparently didn’t hear Chucky screaming. That is some selective hearing right there. Everyone runs over to the truck, somehow they know which lever to pull to shut the grindy part down, and we stare at the sanitation worker’s arm sticking up out of the back with blood running down the side of the truck.
Cut to Andy and Whitehurst in their room. Andy’s playing with a pocketknife while Whitehurst shines Shelton’s shoes. You know, out of the kindness of his heart. He spits in one shoe while Andy questions if he saw Cochrane with the Good Guys doll. He didn’t, but he remembers them. Yeah, so does Andy. Whitehurst leaves to go wash up, Chucky starts to pop out of an empty footlocker but hides again when Whitehurst comes back in to ask if Andy ever got the package Tyler was supposed to give him. Well . . .
Whitehurst leaves again while Andy tries to figure out who would send him a package. He unpacks some clothes, putting them in the now Chucky-free footlocker. He sets up the picture of six-year-old Andy and Mom from the first movie while Chucky grabs the pocketknife off the desk.
Andy sits on the bed to finish unpacking, and we get Chucky doing a slow crawl under the bed toward Andy’s feet. He does the Pet Sematary Achilles tendon slashing thing that makes me do a full-body cringe every fucking time. Andy freaks the fuck out, saying that Chucky can’t be there; they killed him! Yeah! Twice, in fact!
Chucky spots a porn mag in Andy’s suitcase and comments how he’s grown up. Andy says Chucky can’t kill him because he needs his body, but Chucky’s all, Nah, I got some fresh meat, and somehow Andy immediately knows it’s Tyler. To which Chucky replies that just think, he’s gonna be a bro. I mean, cringey, but at least Chucky’s not racist? Unless it’s like a Get Out fetishization thing. Aaaaaand I’m probably putting more thought into this than the screenwriter did. Oh, well.
Andy vows to protect Tyler, then beans Chucky in the head with one of Shelton’s newly-shined shoes. Shelton walks in while Andy is pounding Chucky against the floor, and sometimes I like to imagine what that looked like from his perspective. Shelton seems amused until he spots his scuffed shoes, then he’s pissed and tells Andy to let Whitehurst know he’s off the hook – Andy is his new slave. Cool cool cool, so glad we’re using that terminology directly on the heels of Chucky revealing he’s gonna be black. Not cringey at all.
Shelton takes Chucky, claiming that it’s his kid sister’s birthday soon and he thinks she’s gonna love it. At least he’s a considerate big brother? I mean, aside from the fact that it’s a killer doll. So of course the next scene we get is Andy sneaking into Shelton’s room after lights-out with the open pocketknife. Shelton has a wall-o-weapons, with a very obviously missing very giant hunting knife. Chucky, the Lakeshore Strangler, has obviously appropriated it for himself.
Andy crouches down to check under Shelton’s bed, and when he turns around, Chucky’s there with the comically large hunting knife. Andy freaks out and falls backwards across Shelton’s bed, and Shelton himself. I mean, think about this from Shelton’s point of view. There you are just sleeping peacefully, dreaming about pushing younger kids’ faces in the mud, when suddenly some random kid who’s been classified a troublemaker jumps on top of you with a knife. Yeah, Shelton is a dick, but his reaction is understandable. He may even be underreacting.
He demands to know where the doll is, and since he wouldn’t believe Andy anyway, Andy doesn’t even try to tell him Chucky is alive. I see we’ve finally learned from the past. So, to flush out the thief, Shelton makes the entire squad go out and run drills/formation/whatever in the rain. They’re staying out there until someone confesses. Or until oh-one-hundred-hours, which is the time Cochrane tells him to get everyone inside by when he finds out what they’re doing.
While this is going on, Chucky is creeping into Tyler’s room with the giant knife, but Tyler has left a note in his bed addressed to “Charles,” because much like me, Tyler refuses to refer to a grown man as Chucky. Anyway, the note is telling Chucky to come and find him, because Tyler is dumb as a bag of rocks and somehow still thinks this is all a fun game. He doesn’t say it, but you can see on his little plastic face that this is the point at which Chucky realizes exactly how much he fucking hates kids.
Cue Chucky stalking the halls looking for this damn kid. And probably burning with a rage that won’t stop building. At one point Tyler pops around a corner and calls Charles to come find him, and Chucky says “Goddammit” in such an incredulous tone that I wonder if he’s just marveling at Tyler’s stupidity. Like, obviously he’s a killer doll, kid. What the fuck. [Dove: Tyler has literally never seen a horror movie. Or even heard an urban legend. He has lived a very sheltered life in that respect.]
Andy finds out from Whitehurst where the younger kids’ barracks are, and breaks formation to go find him. Somehow Shelton ends up popping out in front of him, punching him in the stomach, and Andy responds by punching Shelton in the face. Ballsy! Shelton actually seems impressed, then hauls Andy off by the scruff of the neck.
Tyler runs into Cochrane’s office, giggling in delight because he’s oblivious as hell. Chucky follows him in and after some grumbling realizes he must be in the closet, but now we’re switching back to Andy in formation outside, because we have to manufacture suspense, okay? Whitehurst asks Andy what his deal is, and Andy’s like, fine, the doll’s alive and after Tyler. Then he says he hopes Tyler can take care of himself, and I just laughed til I peed myself. We’re all doomed.
De Silva and her unnamed friend, who I’m going to call Top Ponytail, sneak into Cochrane’s office to read Andy’s file because De Silva thinks he’s cute. I guess. He’s not my type at all, but to each their own. Before they get to the “killer doll” part of the file, they hear a noise from the closet and open it to reveal Tyler and Chucky. Top Ponytail grabs Chucky and starts dancing around with him, then De Silva takes him, borrows Top Ponytail’s lipstick, and gives Chucky a makeover that I’m one hundred percent sure he does not appreciate. Tyler protests that she’s making him look stupid and like a wuss. I dunno. He’s no Eddie Izzard, but Chucky might be able to pull it off.
They hear someone coming, so De Silva tosses Chucky on the desk and hauls ass outta there with the others. Chucky, predictably, is pissed about the lipstick and tells us that this means war. I mean, calm down, dude. It takes literal seconds to wipe off. [Dove: Actually, it’s lucky they’ve given him a more plastic face this time around. In the second movie his skin was more rubbery and that would have absorbed that lipstick and left stains (I have some My Little Ponies that came with a lipstick, and yeah, they’re stained).] [JC: That makes sense. I was more the “give them face tattoos with Magic Markers” type, and that shit definitely wasn’t coming off.]
Cochrane walks into his office, probably wondering why the hell all the doors are open, and spots some pencils rolling off his desk. While he’s putting them back in the holder, he sees Chucky on the floor and promptly chucks (ha!) him head-first into the wastebasket. As soon as he turns around, he hears a noise and turns back around to see the wastebasket, knocked over and empty. Then Chucky leaps out from around the corner, knife held high and screaming, and . . .
. . . Cochrane has a fatal heart attack. Chucky watches, and says what I’m thinking, namely, “You gotta be fucking kidding me.” Much like me, he probably also is wondering if this counts toward his body count or not. I’m going to say yes. Scared the guy into a heart attack, totally legit. [Dove: I laughed my ass off at this. Not sure that’s the right reaction, but it tickled me.] [JC: I had somehow managed to forget this happens, and so spent the entire scene laughing and repeating “what?!” with increasing hilarity.]
There’s a moment of silence the next morning at breakfast, and also a moment of prayer, which I’m kinda fuzzy on the legality of, since it’s not a public school. Also, it’s not an official prayer led by a teacher or anything, it’s basically identical to the moment of silence. I don’t know; it just feels a little strange.
Botnick stalks around the breakfasting kids, doing an ocular patdown of their hair length and telling them when to come see him for a haircut, and De Silva flips her hair all around defiantly as he passes her. Apparently there are no rules when it comes to the girls’ hair, because not everyone has it pulled back or anything. Anyway, it’s a beautiful “fuck you” move and I love it.
Andy gets up to go talk to Tyler, someone trips him, everyone laughs because obviously falling down is the funniest thing ever. [Dove: Including Top Ponytail.] When Andy gets to Tyler (who is playing a very large handheld video game that I seriously doubt would be allowed in the mess hall) [Dove: It looks like a Sega Game Gear for size, but it’s a bit different in looks.] [JC: IMDb trivia says it’s an Atari Lynx, with the branding covered up], he tries to tell him that Chucky is bad, but Tyler protests that he’s a Good Guy, it says so on his shirt! Wow. Wow, kid. How has he not wandered into a panel van with “Free Puppies” written on the side yet? This is the sort of kid who just sort of cluelessly bumbles his way into and out of trouble, a la Inspector Clouseau, isn’t he?
Tyler accuses Andy of just being jealous because Chucky is his best friend now instead of Andy’s, and rather than keep arguing with a ten-year-old, Andy gives him his pocketknife for protection. [Dove: Any minute now, that kid’s going to run with it.]
Switch to Whitehurst getting his hair cut, and Botnick being an ass about what a loser Whitehurst is and why doesn’t he just leave? Whitehurst tells him if he had any choice, he would, and this petty motherfucker buzzes his ear with the clippers. Ow? We get another “Presto, you’re bald,” and after Whitehurst leaves, Botnick starts sweeping up the hair and doing a piss poor job of it, at that. He starts putting things away, and finds Chucky in a cabinet. He looks around surreptitiously, then tells Chucky that his haircut ain’t regulation, soldier.
So, he’s definitely jerking off with the hair he cuts, right?
He pops Chucky into the barber chair and comes at him with the electric clippers. The look on the doll’s face is hilarious, too. They made the regular doll face look like, “Oh, shit, what’s going on?” Chucky reaches down for the straight razor hanging off the chair (is that where the straight razors live? That seems like a bad idea), then brings it up and slashes Botnick’s throat. RIP, Garak. Oh, and let’s not forget Chucky getting his one-liner in: “Presto, you’re dead.” Eh, okay. Still pretty cringey, but not the worst I’ve heard in the last hour.
Whitehurst comes back into the room, having forgotten something, to find Chucky still laughing up a storm while holding the clippers. It looks like maybe he was about to give Botnick a haircut? Chucky and Whitehurst stare at each other for a second before Chucky says “Boo!” sending Whitehurst running. Fair. I wouldn’t stick around, either.
Cut to the entire school standing outside in ranks, divided into Red Team and Blue Team. They’re all about to go off on their annual war games thing, which is basically Capture the Flag, with paintball guns. Well, they’re real rifles, but loaded with paint bullets. I’m not sure if that’s possible, but for the plot it is. The next time we see Chucky, he’s in the armory switching out the red paint bullets for real bullets. Presumably because it’ll take a minute for people to realize the red when they shoot someone is blood instead of paint. With the prevalence of mass shootings these days, this bit is pretty uncomfortable. 1991 was a simpler time, when nobody gave a second thought to showing teenagers (and children! literal children!) running around the woods shooting each other during a school mandated activity.
Oh, one other reason Chucky only switches out the Red Team’s bullets – Tyler is on the Red Team, and Andy is on Blue. Protect the body he needs while disposing of the one he doesn’t, I guess. Shelton, Whitehurst, and De Silva are also on Blue Team, and when Whitehurst runs in late to join them, Andy immediately notices he looks like he saw a ghost. Or a killer doll. Whitehurst doesn’t want to talk about it, but Andy knows.
They march out to the war games grounds, and fade into nighttime at the Blue Team camp. De Silva is telling a campfire tale, something about a babysitter hearing noises coming from upstairs, going to check, and finding her boyfriend dismembered and pulling himself along the floor by his chin – THUMP, slide, THUMP, slide . . . I’m not familiar with this particular one. Lots of babysitter stories, yeah, but not this one.
Andy jumps up and takes off away from the fire, and De Silva gets up to follow him as her friend, Top Ponytail, starts to tell a story about a mental institution a few miles from here. Ah, yes, because mentally ill people are scary and dangerous, how dare I forget. *rolls eyes in Bipolar II font* [Dove: Also, her story is “true”.]
De Silva catches up to Andy, they chat a bit about where the Red Team might be, and De Silva tells Andy he can call her Kristen. Ladies, gentlemen, and nonbinary folks, we have a first name! Which is not really that big a deal since we’ve also learned Whitehurst (Harold) and Tyler’s (Ronald) first names, but eh. Then she drags Andy to an overlook where they can look down at a carnival set up below. Ooh, I think we have our set piece for the finale!
Then they make out a little, and Chucky, who’s watching from behind a tree, mutters that he’s really gotta get out of this body. Because watching teenagers makes him horny? Also, he’s planning on trading into the body of an at-the-most ten-years-old kid. What exactly does he think he’ll be able to do about said horniness? . . . You know what; never mind, I probably don’t want to follow this line of thought any farther. [Dove: I’m going with “it’s a bit like To Catch a Predator, only bloodier.”]
Back at camp after everyone’s in bed, Andy is going after Tyler with the reconnaissance map he stole from Shelton. He tries to get Whitehurst to go with him, but he’s too frozen with trauma.
Unfortunately, they’ve discovered the map is missing, and Shelton orders everyone up to move camp. His right-hand man, Ellis, sees that Andy’s gone AWOL, and Shelton immediately come to the conclusion that Andy is a double agent for the Reds. Sure . . . or he could just be taking the initiative to sneak in and capture the Reds flag by himself? I don’t see why stealing the map and going off on his own would automatically make him a traitor.
At Red Camp, Andy shines his flashlight in some kid’s face and asks where Tyler is. The kid tells him he went AWOL with some guy named Charles. Really? Forgetting for a moment that Charles happens to be a fucking doll, does nobody find it concerning that a child went off in the middle of the night with some guy? I distinctly remember Stranger Danger being taught in 1991, so what the hell, Movie? This kid is way too blase about his friend going off with some random dude.
Shelton sends De Silva off scouting ahead of the rest of the group, because we’ve got to have some excuse to get her alone. Meanwhile, Tyler and Chucky are hiking through the woods. Andy passes by and they hide from him, then Tyler, in pretty much the loudest voice possible, says that was a close one. Then he goes on to say that he doesn’t want to play that dumb Hide the Soul game anymore, and Chucky calls him a fucking drag. Tyler tells him to watch his mouth, Charles, and Chucky is more annoyed at being called Charles than he is at some snot-nosed brat telling him to stop swearing. He pulls the comically huge knife on Tyler, then tells him that a soldier always has to be prepared. No, I think you’re thinking of the Boy Scouts. Oh, and because I have to do this every damn time:
Tyler finally realizes that Andy was right – Chucky’s not a good guy. Even though he’s a Good Guy. Confused yet? Chucky’s like, “Yup, ya got me. I’m baaaaad.” But . . . but . . . we can fix him, right, Dove? [Dove: I don’t think anyone can fix Chucky’s sweary mouth.] Then he tells Tyler to assume the position, and I’m not imagining the pedophilic undertones here, am I? Is this whole movie actually an allegory for molestation? [Dove: Nope. That line has always creeped me out.]
Tyler pulls the little pocketknife Andy gave him and stabs Chucky in the shoulder. He bleeds, proving he’s turning human or whatever; I’m not even sure that means anything anymore, given that his years-old melted corpse in the abandoned toy factory also bled.
Tyler runs away, yelling for Andy, and Andy is also yelling for Tyler, but the rest of the Blue Team finds him first. Andy tries to tell Shelton that Tyler is in trouble, but he don’t give a fuck. Ellis calls De Silva on the walkie-talkie, but Chucky attacks her before she can reply. Then Tyler runs into Blue Team, yelling for Andy and telling him he was right; Charles tried to hurt him. Shelton wants to know who the fuck Charles is, and then Chucky calls for Andy over the walkie. Chucky calls Shelton a jarhead, and nope. Jarheads are Marines, and I’ve been seeing Army decals all over this school. Try again, my dude.
Shelton thinks this is a trick from the Red Team, but they play it like a hostage exchange since Chucky wants Tyler and then reveals he has De Silva. Shelton, you idiot, the kid literally said this guy is trying to hurt him! Also, Chucky in no way sounds like a school-aged person. You are making plans to deliver a child back to an adult the child said was trying to hurt him! What the fuck. Whether it was intentional or not, there’s definitely subtext here about child abuse and people not listening when kids try to report it. (It’s especially egregious when we get to the security guard scene, too. Holy shit.)
Chucky tells them to bring Tyler to the old abandoned Jeep, then we see him by the Jeep with De Silva, holding the walkie in one hand and a grenade in the other. Well, cool. That’s certainly nothing to worry about. Then he gets on the walkie to the Red Team and tells them that the Blue Team has been spotted by the Jeep. Basically just luring everyone into a bloodbath now. Awesome. [Dove: Say what you will, Chucky’s not daft when it comes to bloodshed.]
Blue Team shows up with Tyler, but only Andy is close enough to see that the person holding De Silva captive is three feet tall and made of plastic. They exchange prisoners, and Chucky pulls the pin on the grenade, just to show Andy he’s really serious. Are his tiny doll hands strong enough to hold the lever down? He basically just turned this grenade into a dead man’s switch. Blue Team starts firing in his direction, hitting him with blue paint once, but mostly just hitting the Jeep.
Shelton calls a cease fire when he realizes nobody is there, then he sees Chucky, who flips him off. Shelton’s response is an awe-filled “Well, fuck me,” which is probably the average response to seeing a living doll when it’s not actually killing someone. [Dove: The first time I watched this, I had a tiny hope spot, because if you have a dangerous killer like Chucky, what you want is a school-approved bully with a work ethic to help take him down. This could be his face turn. This could be–] [JC: *BLAM BLAM!* Welp, never mind now.]
Then Red Team shows up and all hell breaks loose. Someone shoots Shelton through the chest, and they take way too long to realize they’re shooting live rounds before calling a cease fire. Chucky is laughing his damn head off, because he just wants to watch the world burn, and in the chaos, Tyler sneaks away, crawling underneath the Jeep.
Shelton appears to be dead, and Ellis turns on Andy, attacking him and yelling that he did this. Uh, bro, did you not see the killer doll? De Silva starts yelling and trying to get him off Andy, and in this kerfuffle, nobody sees Chucky throw the grenade but Whitehurst. So, Whitehurst plays the Big Damn Hero and throws himself on top of the grenade. My first thought is that bone shrapnel is going to shred everyone up in a real-life scenario, but the Mythbusters tested this and apparently this really does work, with only those standing around five feet away sustaining minor injuries. Who would have guessed Hollywood had it right? [Dove: Whitehurst > Captain America.]
So, RIP Whitehurst and Shelton.
Chucky crawls under the Jeep after Tyler while everyone freaks out about what happened. This is the first scene that made me realize when it comes down to it, these are children alone in the woods who just accidentally shot their friend because some adult thought it was a good idea to send them out into the woods alone with firearms. Because it’s tradition, you see. Of course they fucking panic. And, like I said earlier, with all the mass shootings, school shootings in particular, that became so common after this, this scene is pretty hard to watch.
Tyler runs through the woods until he reaches the carnival grounds, and is this carnival set up in the middle of nowhere? Anyway, he spots a security guard and follows him into the security tent, yelling that Charles is after him, he wants to hurt him, and he wants to play Hide the Soul. Now, I don’t know about you, but if some kid told me some dude who was trying to hurt him wanted to play something called “Hide the Soul,” I would immediately assume this kid was about to be raped. I would, at the very least, ask some follow up questions. But no, this motherfucker right here tells Tyler that he’s sure Charles didn’t mean it, and he’s probably very sorry. Even after Tyler reiterates that this is a person who wants to hurt him. Oh my fucking god. This movie is about child abuse and how the cycle is perpetuated by people ignoring and enabling it, and I can’t be convinced otherwise at this point. [Dove: It could be the standard 80s/90s trope of “nobody believes the kids”, but bat and I recapped a vintage My Little Pony episode episode that was subtextually about the sexual abuse that is so prevelant in the showbiz industry. We will not be convinced otherwise. So I’m with you.]
Then this fucking piece of shit security guard says he’s got something that will cheer Tyler up, and pulls fucking Chucky out of a drawer. No idea how he got there first and knew Tyler would end up there, but sure. My head is still filled with red rage, so we’ll just go with this for now.
Andy and De Silva end up at the carnival and head for the security tent, hoping someone’s seen Tyler. They find the security guard dead, shot in the head with the gun we saw in a drawer earlier when he offered Tyler some gum. They leave the tent to look for Tyler, but not before De Silva takes the revolver out of the security guard’s holster, because she’s actually a smart protagonist.
Chucky’s holding the little gun on Tyler and points him toward the haunted house ride, called the Devil’s Lair. Cool name, and as my rage subsides, I remember that I really love this whole carnival thing. Tyler pulls the knife on Chucky, which is a nice try, kid, but you don’t bring a knife to a gun fight. They go in the Devil’s Lair, and it’s ridiculous and amazing. There’s a coffin that pops open with a skeleton that sits up and laughs, and it’s just like the cryptkeeper in the Tales From the Crypt intro. Amazing. Chucky has Tyler sit him down on top of this coffin, which opens up and flings him off when a passenger car come by. Whoops. Whattaya gonna do. [Dove: The level of detail on this ride is mind-boggling. Remember, it’s a carnival/fair, not a theme park. It’s a wild mouse ride, but it’s decked out like a dark ride. Surely everyone is going past too quickly to appreciate the jump-out scares and anamatronic devils and demons? Still, it’s a fucking badass setpiece.] [JC: Now I’m wondering if it is a traveling carnival or an amusement park. Before it shut down, my city had an amusement park similar to this. It’s probably a traveling one, but you’re right about the massive amount of detail in this ride.]
It at least gives Tyler a chance to get away, and he hides in one of the attractions after being jump scared by it. Andy and De Silva have followed him into the Devil’s Lair, and Tyler yells at them that Chucky’s got a gun (probably not as catchy as “Janie’s Got a Gun,” another piece of media about child abuse), and then Chucky shoots De Silva in the leg. Due to the absence of spurting, I don’t think it hit the femoral artery, but it still looks like it hurts like hell. Andy ties a tourniquet, De Silva gives him the revolver, and he goes after Tyler and Chucky.
Tyler’s got to a part of the ride where there’s a giant Grim Reaper who swings a scythe blade across the track, and we see an empty car go by. I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t be sending empty cars through this ride, so I’m really curious where the occupants of that car ended up. Maybe Top Ponytail could make a campfire tale out of that next time instead of demonizing the mentally ill. Just a thought. [Dove: I did see a movie like that. There was a bus crash near an empty but running theme park in the middle of nowhere, and every time someone went on a ride they vanished. I just pitched a winner there, didn’t I? Well, the rest sucked. I can’t even remember what it was called. It was really bad.]
Tyler slips and gets his leg stuck in, well, I’m not sure what it is, but he’s stuck all right. Chucky pops up, but before he can do anything of substance, the scythe blade swings down and slices half his face off. Even though it was written for the movie Bruiser, I feel the Misfits’ “Fiend Without a Face” would be very appropriate here, so enjoy:
Tyler runs away and jumps onto this flying demon/harpy thing that carries him up to the top of a mound of skulls, but Chucky has grabbed onto the underside of this thing at the last second. Tyler gets off, and Andy runs up, yelling for him, but then Tyler immediately gets knocked out when the demon starts its descent. Tyler. What the hell. This kid just has the worst fucking luck.
There are these giant fans set in the floor, blowing red curtains upwards for some sort of effect, and Andy has to climb across the elevated tracks to get to Tyler. A car goes along the tracks, forcing Andy to do a Lost Boys hanging-off-the-bridge thing before he can get over to Tyler.
Chucky starts the chanting, clouds gather, and lightning strikes the mountain of skulls. Which is inside an enclosed building, because supernatural lightning scoffs at architecture. I see now that the mountain of skulls is supposed to be a volcano, and the fans with the red curtains are probably supposed to simulate magma vents. I mean, it is the Devil’s Lair, after all.
Andy is climbing the skull volcano, trying to get to Tyler and Chucky, and slips, almost falling into the fan. These fans are probably five or six feet across, with steel blades, so it’s nothing to laugh at. They’ll fuck you up. Foreshadowing? Chekhov’s fans?
[Dove: For super-drama, lightning keeps striking the skull mountain. Which is interesting, because I’m pretty sure they’re indoors. Maybe it is an open top building, but with those fans, I’d say unlikely. A bit of rain and the fabric they’re using for flames will just flop and clog the blades.]
Chucky seems to be getting close to the end of the chant, and Andy’s still climbing. Better hurry up there, buddy. He makes it high enough up to see Chucky, and fires the revolver at him, missing by a mile. Andy gives himself a pep talk and fires again, hitting Chucky in the arm and blowing it completely off. Chucky’s like, fuck you, I’m finishing this shit, and continues chanting with hardly a pause. Until Andy’s next bullet hits him in the chest, sending him flying. Wheeeee!
Andy rouses Tyler, who’s been unconscious through all the chanting, and makes sure he’s okay and still, you know, himself. And he does seem remarkably okay considering the extremely fucked up night he’s having. Then Chucky jumps on Andy’s back, Tyler slips, and Andy is holding him over one of those fans by one hand as Chucky goes ballistic choking and hitting him in the back and yelling about how Tyler is his.
Tyler pushes the pocketknife at Andy, who uses it to cut off Chucky’s one remaining hand. Our poor little Chucky then somersaults over Andy’s back and into the fan, which chops him all to pieces. Ha, good luck coming back from that! Series over! . . . . Oh, wait, there are four more movies, aren’t there?
Andy pulls Tyler up, and they stare down at Chucky chop suey for a while. Then we’re outside and De Silva is being loaded into an ambulance as a cop tells Andy he’ll have to come with him. De Silva asks if he’ll be okay, and Andy tells her he’s been here before. [Dove: Also, that cop? Big Mike from Chuck.] [JC: Holy shit, I didn’t even notice that. Good eye!] Then he’s put in the back of a police car while the camera focuses for way too long on a carnival worker picking up trash, because this guy is the unit production manager, David Sosna. I have no idea what a unit production manager does, but apparently they liked the guy enough to put him in the movie. If you noticed some kids featured very prominently on some carnival rides and games, these were the children of director Jack Bender and executive producer David Kirschner. At least I assume that’s the case; the kids have those last names.
Anyway, the camera pulls out from the obviously involved in the production somehow garbage picker and scans across the carnival as it shuts down for the night, and the movie ends.
This is reportedly Brad Dourif’s least favorite of the series, which I can understand, but on the other hand, Seed of Chucky is a thing that exists, so I also very much don’t understand.
I always think this movie is a dreary slog to get through; then I watch it again and find myself enjoying it. Everything at the carnival is great, and the first kill is actually a strangulation, which is interesting since, for a supposed strangler, we don’t see Chucky do much strangling. I’m not sure if we’re counting Shelton and Cochrane as Chucky kills? They died because of him, but he didn’t actually kill them, so I’ll leave it up to Dove whether or not she wants to include them in her running tally of Chucky’s kills. (IMDb trivia counts 7 kills, so they’re definitely counting them, along with Whitehurst, it seems. Unless it’s just 4am as I write this and I’ve lost all ability to count, which wouldn’t surprise me at all.)
Overall, I always enjoy this one more than I think I do, but it’s definitely only a slight step above Seed. Although that one is so WTF over-the-top that it’s really in a category all to itself, and that’s what I’ve got in store for myself after Dove recaps Bride of Chucky next time. Yay, us?
[Dove: I actually have the same feeling as JC here. I always remember this as a terrible movie, but it’s actually so much better than I give it credit for. I think I remember it as awful because I only watched it the once when it was released on VHS to rent out, and my feeling was that it wasn’t as good as Child’s Play 2. Then it vanished off the shelves for quite awhile due to the tabloids spending a chunk of time blaming it for the death of a child. It never got officially banned, but I feel like some stores quietly took copies off the shelves and left them in the warehouse thinking, “I’ll get these out in a few years, when everything’s cooled down.”
Eventually I saw it again, and I know I enjoy it when I watch it, but apparently I can’t overwrite my original review of “No Kyle? Fuck this movie.”
The end setpiece is awesome. It really is. I think the lead-up can be a bit slow because we have a new kid, so we have to re-tread that part of the story, but once the story gets going, it really gets going.
All the same, I’m looking forward to Bride of Chucky, which is more fun and less entrenched in scandal and sadness. Oh, and let’s do the maths thing:]
Child’s Play – 0% strangulation
Maggie – hammer to face/fall from window
Eddie Caputo – explosion
John Bishop (not the Scouse comedian) – voodoo doll
Dr Ardmore – electrocution
Child’s Play 2 – 14% strangulation
Tech at Play Pals – electrocution and back flip of doom
Mattson – suffocation
Miss Kettlewell – stabbing and spanking (kinky)
Phil “Fuckwit” Simpson – broken neck (with creativity)
Joanne “Jerkass” Simpson – strangulation with an electric cable
Social worker – stabbing and photocopying
Factory tech – eyeball punch
Child’s Play 3 – 14% strangulation
Sullivan – strangulation
Garbage truck dude – crushing in a garbage truck
Cochrane – death by jump scare
Botnick – slashed throat
Shelton – friendly fire (via Chucky)
Whitehurst – explosion
Security guard – gunshot