Terror Tuesday: Minute By Minute #2 - CHILD’S PLAY 3

Brian breaks down the least successful CHILD’S PLAY movie minute by minute.

Anyway, it’s been a while since I have seen the film (at least 13 years), but I remember liking it and not getting the hate (Entertainment Weekly’s entire review: “In which Chucky proves his novelty value has long since worn off.  F.”).  I guess it could be the nostalgia factor of it being the first of many R rated horror movies I’d enjoy in a movie theater, but to this day I would argue that it’s better than Seed of Chucky, which I found nearly unwatchable.  Am I totally wrong?  Well, let’s see what I think of it based solely on 90 non-consecutive seconds of the film!

00:00 Universal logo starting up.  MGM released the first film, but Uni did all of the sequels, forever preventing a proper boxed set (in Region 1 anyway).

01:00 Some pincers inserted into Chucky’s mangled/melted corpse from the end of Child’s Play 2.  Continuity!  A couple weeks after this movie was released, Freddy’s Dead came along, and that one didn’t follow 5 or any other sequel (and it sucked).  And you know how much I appreciate strong sequel continuity.

02:00 Some sort of animated red swirl thing.  Like they were going to do a parody of the James Bond opening but forgot to finish it.

03:00 “Chucky Doll created by David Kirschner”.  Which some might mistake as an FX credit, but it’s really just him taking credit for the idea (he produced all of the films).  The Child’s Play movies are sort of anomalies in his filmography; the rest of his movies are predominantly animated/family fare (though he also produced the awesome Frailty, so: respect).

04:00 A portion of one of my favorite “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO”s ever, as Charles Lee Ray realizes that he has once again been trapped inside of a plastic doll.  Or that he’s been rushed into what would become the franchise’s least successful movie.  Either or.

05:00 A woman from the Good Guy company talking about the bad publicity and such.  Didn’t they do this shit in Child’s Play 2?  The PR department for this company must work double shifts.

06:00 Meeting adjourned.

07:00 Some Egon-y looking dude who works for the president of Good Guy, taking a file from him.

08:00  Good Guy pres pouring himself some bourbon.  Life is grand when you are the president of a toy factory that has TWICE been accused of its toys going on killing sprees.

09:00 Pres turning on his TV.  You know, they showed us Chucky had escaped from his box almost two minutes ago now, and no one cares about this asshole, so why is this taking so long?

10:00 Finally!

11:00 Nope, this guy’s still alive.  This is like the longest “suspense” scene in any of the sequels I think, and it’s to drag out the soulless asshole who refuses to cut his losses on the Good Guy doll line.

12:00 Two Good Guy dolls on chairs.  Incidentally, when I first saw the film and saw that Chucky’s blood was being mixed into a new vat of plastic, I thought maybe this movie would have multiple Chuckys running around all over the country or something, and this scene initially seemed to suggest I was right.  But they’re both normal Good Guy dolls.

13:00 A not very flattering shot of the old guy’s sweaty face as he recovers from a Chucky attack.  He seems to be taking it well.

14:00 He’s FINALLY dead.  Nearly 7 minutes after Chucky made his presence known to the audience.  Normally this is actually something I PREFER in a slasher movie, but this is the opening kill of a part 3 – things should be a bit speedier.  Even Drew Barrymore was dead by now in Scream, and she was someone we liked, and in a much longer movie to boot.  Get to the school!

15:00 A bus pulling up to the military school.

16:00 The great character actor Dakin Matthews, as the dean of the school.

17:00 Andy Barclay, now 16 or so and played by a different actor, watches in minor horror as he prepares to lose his fashionable 90s hair.

18:00  A closeup of the aforementioned hair being snipped.  The sadistic barber is played by Andy Robinson from Dirty Harry and Hellraiser, and he’s not in the movie nearly enough.

19:00 A newly buzzed Andy returning to his room.  He kind of looks like Wil Wheaton now, which is interesting since Wheaton appeared in his own military school epic a few months prior to this: the awesome Toy Soldiers.

20:00 Andy’s nerdy roommate, Whitehurst.  The type of guy who you wonder how he even passed the basic physical to get into the school.

21:00 A panning shot of a bunch of cadets, during some sort of inspection.

22:00 Whitehurst again, who appears to be wearing makeup?

23:00 The lovely DaSilva talking back to the Paul Walker-y asshole captain guy.  11 year old BC was quite smitten with this actress, and hoped she’d be the future Mrs. BC.  Instead she’s the future Mrs. Ari (Perrey Reeves, for the record).

24:00 DaSilva getting back up after doing pushups.

25:00 The little kid (Tyler) carrying a package, which is obviously Chucky.  How Chucky managed to get himself inside a wrapped box AND mail it to the school is none of our business, and you would be wise to just stop asking.

26:00  Tyler tearing open Andy’s package to keep it for himself.  Wonder why he was sent to military school?  Fucking thief.

27:00 Chucky devising his plan.  One thing I did like about this movie is that they didn’t repeat the first movie when it came to Chucky and the little kid.  Chucky doesn’t bother sneaking around or anything; he just bursts out of the box and starts talking to him about his curse and what not.  A more pro-active Chucky, if you will.

28:00  Andy decides to use his terrible shooting results to lay the groundwork with DaSilva.  Because if there’s one thing that turns a girl on, it’s a guy who can’t aim his gun.

29:00  The cutesy “she teaches him how to shoot” scene that you knew was coming.  Hey, at least they’re trying, and it’s also the rare horror film where the male lead is more vulnerable than the female.  Also, even though (spoiler) she survives, she’s not really the heroine of the movie – unlike the first two, where Andy was sort of an invalid being protected by older females, he’s a full blown hero at the end of this one.

30:00 A shot of clouds forming over the school while Chucky does his traditional “Give me the power I beg of you!” thing.  This shot is insanely long, by the way.

31:00 Matthews carting Chucky off, about to inadvertently whack his head against a door.  This was a real crowd-pleasing moment… is something I would know for sure to say if there were more than maybe 5-6 people besides me and my friend at the showing.

32:00  A zoom on Andy’s face as he sees something SHOCKING! (Chucky being carried away).

33:00 Paul Walker guy explains the difference between a rifle and a cock.  Sadly they couldn’t figure out a way to have this pay off when he dies later (by a rifle).

34:00 The world’s most caring garbage man jumping into the back of his truck to find the “kid” who got stuck in there (spoiler: it’s Chucky).

35:00 Garbage man’s agonized face as he loses his arm.  Now, if the idiot had just kept his arm in and moved to the back, he probably would have been OK – those things don’t push all the way to the other end of the container.  And obviously, there’s probably some food in there to enjoy until someone comes along and releases the compactor.  There, I just put more thought into this scene than anyone involved.

36:00 Andy and his roommate having a chat.

37:00 Andy unpacking his clothes.

38:00 Andy still unpacking his clothes.  You know, for a guy who directed what would become the most rushed series finale in TV history, Bender sure liked to take his goddamn time here.

39:00 Chucky reacting to Andy throwing a shoe at him, and thus we have an answer for the age-old question “Who throws a shoe?  Honestly?”

40:00 Establishing shot of the school’s main gate.

41:00 Andy creeping around Shelton’s (finally caught Paul Walker guy’s name!) room looking for Chucky, while holding the tiniest knife in the world.  And here I thought Seed Of Chucky was the one with all the subtext…

42:00 Andy creeping up on Shelton’s bed.

43:00  Shelton explaining to Matthews why everyone’s out in the middle of the night running drills.  I forgot how much of the military school stuff this movie had.  I knew it was the setting, but it’s like you can remove Chucky from the movie and be left with a pilot for Full Metal Jacket: The Series.

44:00 POV shot of Chucky I assume.

45:00 The cadets all running in a circle with their guns, er, RIFLES, over their heads.

46:00 Tyler hiding in a closet.  Moving on….

47:00 DaSilva and some redhaired girl who I don’t even remember being in the movie, sneaking around an office.  I used to watch this movie a lot as a kid, and these second long chunks are helping rejigger my memories, but this entire section of the movie is a blur to me.  I could theoretically watch this sequence as if it was the first time.

48:00 DaSilva and Red going to investigate a noise or something?  There’s a flashlight and ominous music at any rate.

49:00 Tyler protesting as DaSilva puts lipstick on Chucky.  So the confused gender nonsense in Seed is all HER fault, then?

50:00 Matthews poking around a future crime scene.

51:00 Matthews manhandling Chucky.  He seems kind of amused by it.  Normally when I find a talking male doll with lipstick smeared all over his face lying around in my office, I am more unnerved and annoyed than amused.  But that’s me.

52:00 Paramedics wheeling Matthews away.  Now THAT’s an efficient length of time to use to kill a supporting character!  Less than three minutes from his entrance to his death.

53:00 The cadets eating what looks like mashed potatoes, eggs, and a Hot Pocket.

54:00 Andy leaving… whatever meal this was. Seriously, eggs and mashed potatoes?

55:00 Andy trying to convince Tyler that his talking, walking doll is not to be trusted.  Why doesn’t Andy just say “Hey, asshole – that belongs to me.  Give it back?”  Why is he on the level with a 9 year old thief?

56:00 Andy Robinson cleaning up after a haircut.

57:00 This is the most terrifying image in the entire series.

58:00 Some guy we haven’t seen (apparently even higher up than Matthews was) giving a speech about the upcoming “War Games”, which is paintball and not a high stakes game of Tic-Tac-Toe.

59:00 The general guy cocking his rifle, demonstrating the difference between red and blue paint.  Now, I’m no paintball expert, but since when does the paint come in bullet-like casings that load into normal guns?  Where’s that little upside down cup on the top with all the pellets and a rubber band keeping them from spilling out all over the place?

1:00:00 Chucky making a very Chucky-like face as he replaces the paint bullets with live ammo.  Again, in theory this is kind of awesome, but in reality it doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.  Even for a killer doll movie.

1:01:00 All the cadets marching off to their war game.

1:02:00 A closeup of DaSilva as she tells a ghost story. Guess the military folks aren’t so strict after all, letting them sit around with “kids stories” and what not.

1:03:00 Andy and DaSilva taking a stroll through the woods.

1:04:00 Awww, their first kiss.

1:05:00 Andy looking at a map.

1:06:00 Andy sneaking around.  Half of this movie is just people trying not to be seen.  If they did a video game version, it would be a stealth game.

1:07:00 Tyler and Chucky heading off to play “Hide the Soul”.

1:08:00 Chucky grimacing after being stabbed.  The FX in this movie are really good, actually.  In the first two movies he was a bit stiff and they’d try to hide him as much as possible, but here he’s got really good facial expressions and such.  And I hated the redesign of the later sequels, so even though the movie isn’t so great, it’s the best one in terms of showing off the Chucky FX.

1:09:00 A very dark shot of a bunch of cadets facing away from the camera looking at Tyler.  Let’s get some lights, Bender!

1:10:00 Hahaha, YES.

1:11:00 Andy looking scared.

1:12:00 Shelton sees Chucky “alive” for the first time.  Response: “Fuck me.”

1:13:00 Some guy roughing up Andy, who blames him for the “live rounds” chaos.

1:14:00 DaSilva standing over Whitehurst’s corpse, moments after he finally manned up, diving on the world’s slowest grenade.

1:15:00 Tyler talking to a carnival security guard.  The actor looks a bit like Gerrit Graham, who appeared in part 2.

1:16:00 Andy and DaSilva looking around at the carnival.

1:17:00 Some little girls getting off the Ferris wheel.  Bender keeps cutting to this family as if they are going to become important, but they never do. (Note - according to the credits, they are apparently Bender’s kids.)

1:18:00 Tyler and Chucky find a place to play “Hide the Soul” inside the haunted house.  A word or two about this thing - the carnival is one of those “set it up on Thursday, open for the weekend, and have it completely broken down by Monday morning” deals, yet this haunted house is more state of the art than the goddamn Haunted Mansion.  It’s got a full roller coaster, a bunch of monsters on wires flying around like they were trying out for Turn Off The Dark, multiple levels, the whole nine yards.  Ever go on an ACTUAL haunted house for one of these things?  You’re in a rickety little cart if you’re lucky, and it’s just a trailer where you move along on a zig-zag pattern and hope some of the skeletons or ghosts actually pop out when they’re supposed to.  This movie glorifies crappy carnivals!

1:19:00 A shootout!

1:20:00 A shot of a Grim Reaper figure swinging a scythe inside the multi-million dollar carnival ride.  Also, as we’ll learn in a minute, the scythe is apparently real, as it slices Chucky’s face off.  Real safe.

1:21:00 Tyler jumping on a devil/bird thing.

1:22:00 Chucky menacing Tyler.

1:23:00 Andy scrambling around near the world’s largest industrial fan, which is seemingly there to keep about 2-3 ounces’ worth of plastic “flames” afloat, and like most things in this ride, is totally unsafe (no covering whatsoever).

1:24:00 Closeup of Chucky grabbing Andy. You can’t see it too well here, but he had a bizarrely full anatomy inside his plastic shell.  You can see all these veins and muscles pulsing around in the part of his face that was sliced off, and when Andy shot his arm off it exploded with blood.  Isn’t it just his soul inside a doll?  Why does he have like skinless Hellraiser folk makeup underneath?

1:25:00 Andy and Tyler looking down at Chucky’s guts spinning around inside the fan.

1:26:00 A big long shot of the carnival shutting down for the night (or due to an OSHA inspection).  It’s not unlike the great shot of the carnival in The Funhouse, though there it was setting up the movie, not finishing it up.

1:27:00 Credits, including the stunt guys.  Halloween II‘s Shape Dick Warlock was the coordinator and one of the stuntmen!

1:28:00 More credits, mostly for sound and casting folks.  None of the names stick out.

1:29:00 The movie was shot in Missouri!  Ah, the good ol’ days, when Hollywood would look beyond North Carolina, Louisiana, and Vancouver as a shooting location for their horror sequels.

And that’s it!  1:29:37 is the runtime here.

Overall, your enjoyment will depend what you want from your Chucky movies.  If you prefer the humorous approach then you will definitely hate this one, as it seems to be trying for the original’s sense of straight up horror (save the one-liners) as opposed to the campy tone of Bride and Seed.  But if you buy into this stuff and try to take it seriously, then I think this one is a tad underrated.  It’s no stupider than 2, but the change of scenery (and lead actor) is nice, and again, the FX are terrific.  Also, again, the movie was rushed into theaters 10 months after the last one, which has to be a record for a theatrical series (not counting actual back to back productions like the Matrix sequels).  It could certainly benefit from some fine-tuning, but otherwise, based on these scattered moments (which rejiggered my memories, save for that redhaired girl), I think it’s a perfectly decent Chucky movie.

Brian Collins watches a horror movie every single day of the week, and he writes about each and every one of them at Horror Movie A Day.