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  Child's Play 3 Look Who's Stalking
Year: 1991
Director: Jack Bender
Stars: Justin Whalin, Perrey Reeves, Jeremy Sylvers, Travis Fine, Dean Jacobson, Brad Dourif, Peter Haskell, Dakin Matthews, Andrew Robinson, Burke Byrnes, Matthew Walker, Donna Eskra
Genre: HorrorBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: After a media backlash where one of their products was blamed for a series of murders, the company that makes the popular Good Guy doll is considering putting it back on the market. The story goes that one of the dolls called Chucky was possessed by the spirit of Charles Lee Ray, a serial killer who knew his voodoo, and vicitimised young Andy Barclay (Justin Whalin) whose body he wanted to transfer his soul into. Nobody really believes that tale now as anything more than the ramblings of a troubled child, and so the head of the toy company decides, business is business, and if the public want the doll back on the shelves then so be it, after all, they could make quite a bit of money from the deal. But Andy wasn't inventing his story, and since they use the left over plastic from Chucky's previous demise, Ray is about to make a comeback...

The writer of Child's Play 3, indeed the writer of all of the series, was Don Mancini and he admitted he was lacking in ideas after the first sequel since this second one was rushed into production. The result is the weakest of the lot, uninspired and lifeless throughout which offers unimaginative thrills and a sense that it was no wonder that it took so long for a third sequel, with a welcome change of approach to black comedy, to be released. Brad Dourif as always is the venomous voice of Chucky, but after three films you would have thought they would have been able to fashion a convincing puppet for its central villain. Nope, the evil doll is as clunky as ever, little wonder that laughs were the only way to redeem this character.

However, all this is not the reason Child's Play 3 sticks in the mind as there was a darker element to its notoriety. In Britain the film was blamed for prompting an infamous murder of a small child by two older children after the judge in the trial made a passing comment about the killers' access to horror films. As one of the older children's fathers had rented Child's Play 3 the week before the murder had occurred, the tabloid press were quick to point the finger at the film as the cause of the murder, never mind that there was no evidence that the killers had seen the film in the first place. So instead of a relevant social reason behind the tragedy being found, horror movies were made the easy scapegoat - and the resulting fuss was a great way of selling tabloid newspapers, of course.

Sadly, the film in question does neither side of the argument much good. It's not an especially violent entry into the genre (one victim simply keels over from a heart attack after the surprise of seeing Chucky), and neither is it particularly potent, more resembling a horror version of the first half of Full Metal Jacket. On the other hand, it's basically a bog standard sequel of the kind that plagued video store shelves in the eighties and nineties, and not worth championing by horror fans aggrieved that they're now suspected serial killers thanks to their taste in film. With only the infrequent nod to its own absurdity, such as where guest star Andrew Robinson threatens to give Chucky a haircut, the instalment's villain comes across as one of the most petty around, using the slimmest of excuses to fly off the handle, honestly, he takes everything personally. The setting of a military academy that the now teenage Andy has been sent to is different, but it's not a fertile ground for chills. Music by John D'Andrea and Cory Lerios.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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