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Film / Child's Play 3

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Chucky's going ballistic.

The third film of the Child's Play series.

Andy Barclay (Justin Whalin) is now 16 years old. He has apparently lost contact with his foster sister Kyle and has been through several foster homes. He failed to adapt and is currently attending a Military School. He becomes enemies with Lieutenant Colonel Brett C. Shelton (Travis Fine), a high-ranking cadet who is notorious for bullying weaker recruits, while developing an attraction to female student Kristen De Silva (Perrey Reeves). Meanwhile, the old "Good Guy" doll line is being revived for a new generation. Charles Lee Ray immediately possesses one and goes in search of Andy again, which spells doom for the military school.

This film provides examples of:

  • Abandoned War Child: Tyler, in a sense. His father is away in Japan on some specified military duty and he has been left in the care of Kent, where he is by far the youngest cadet present (there are other cadets Tyler's age in the novelization, though).
  • Absurdly Powerful Student Council: Aside from the school's head and one other adult, Kent seems to be run almost entirely by its officer cadets. This is a case of Shown Their Work, as many real-life military academies are run the same way (though with more adults around, obviously).
  • Actionized Sequel: Due to being set at a military school, it has More Dakka (most of which is provided by the military school's armory that Chucky uses to his advantage in his murder spree) and gunfights than the last film.
  • Adaptation Deviation: As with the second film, Matthew Costello wrote a novelization for the third film. It's mostly accurate, though the ending resembles the original only in the broad strokes.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Shelton falls somewhere between this and being an Adaptational Dumbass, as the novelization portrays him as a good deal less competent than the film version (though still just as antagonistic).
  • Aggressive Negotiations: Chucky arranges for Andy and his team to meet him to exchange De Silva (who he's ambushed and taken prisoner) for Tyler. The team surrounds Chucky and opens fire, though their paintballs don't exactly do a whole lot of damage. Then the enemy team shows up and things get really aggressive.
  • Amusement Park of Doom: The climax takes place in an amusement park haunted house ride.
  • Artistic License – Engineering: Real life garbage trucks don't have a grinder inside them. It was just added to heighten the threat.
  • Artistic License – Gun Safety: It's actually impossible to switch paintball rounds with live ammunition. The guns are modified to use marker rounds and if a live bullet was put inside then the gun would jam. On another note, when using these guns, protective gear is worn to prevent any real harm.
  • Artistic License – Military: The military cuts the boys receive, especially Andy, are nowhere near short enough for simple recruits who aren't given the option to style it how they see fit in order to properly pass ranks.
  • Artistic License – Physics: What kind of amusement park uses a real blade on the scythe of its giant animatronic grim reaper?
  • Asshole Victim: Sullivan, Shelton and Sergeant Botnick. Downplayed for Cochran, aside from being apathetic to Andy's dilemma (as he views him as a "troublemaker") and being somewhat neglectful of Shelton's bullying, he is not as unlikeable as former three listed victims.
  • Badass Bandolier: Chucky wears one at one point, apparently purely for the Rule of Cool to fit with the military theme of this movie.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Quite a few, Sullivan, Shelton and the barber Botnick, due to a case of Wrong Genre Savvy as they think they're a Big Bad in a movie that its genre reflects on any of their beings (Sullivan thinks he's a Big Bad of a corporate espionage film, while Shelton thinks he's the Big Bad of a teen drama or even Full Metal Jacket with teens) than a Killer Doll Slasher Movie that this film really is.
  • Big "NO!" / Eat the Camera: A combination of these after the Chucky head has finished regenerating at the beginning.
  • Bittersweet Ending: At the end, Chucky is killed... again, but Andy is taken in for questioning with the police and would likely be sent to prison afterwards. Fortunately, in Curse of Chucky, it is revealed that his name was cleared and he returned to military school and graduated.
  • Bloodless Carnage: For a series known for its over-the-top violence, Whitehurst's death by Jumping on a Grenade is surprisingly not that gory.
  • Body Horror: Half of Chucky's face gets sliced off by a swinging blade, giving him a distinctly Two-Face look. It's not a pretty sight...
  • Boot Camp Episode: For the series as a whole, as it features a heavy military theme found in no other installment. As one review put it, "Take out the killer doll and you have a pilot for Full Metal Jacket: The TV Series."
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: Chucky puts a twist on Botnick's "Presto! You're bald," with "Presto! You're dead."
  • Butt-Monkey: Harold Whitehurst, the token geeky kid at the academy before Andy shows up (and even to some degree after). He's first introduced tumbling Bound and Gagged out of a closet (he was put there by Shelton as a hazing ritual), just to drive it home.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Tyler's pocket knife.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Andy learning how to aim and fire a gun.
  • Celebrity Paradox:
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Sgt. Botnick, the Military School's barber, is a vaguely unsettling variant of this, as he loves his job a little too much.
  • Colonel Kilgore: Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Shelton is a mild version of this. He puts Andy through a lot of hell, but from his perspective it's justified as he's trying to train a late arrival to his squad. He's still just a little too into his duty though, with Kent head Colonel Cochran aptly describing him in the novelization as having "an excess of zeal".
  • Conspicuous Consumption: Despite presiding over a toy company that has spent the past eight years digging itself out from under the crushing weight of scandal, CEO Sullivan resides in an absurdly spacious penthouse suite full of toys.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Tom Sullivan, the CEO of the Play Pals company that makes Good Guy dolls (or made them, before the scandals). He Took a Level in Jerkass since the second film, cynically referring to children as "consumer trainees" and dismissing Andy Barclay as "ancient history" that no one cares about (while privately conducting Sinister Surveillance on him).
  • Continuity Nod: Andy's framed photo of himself at 6 years old and his mother from the first film that he's had since the previous film.
  • Cowardly Lion: Whitehurst knows Chucky is alive but refuses to say anything or back up Andy out of sheer terror. That is, until he grows a pair and makes a Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Creative Closing Credits: Of the opening credits variety. The film's Title Sequence is close-up, reversed footage of Chucky melting, making it appear as if he's Pulling Himself Together before the plastic dries and he screams.
  • Dangerously Close Shave: Chucky kills Botnick by slashing his throat with a razor blade while Botnick stupidly attempts to give him a haircut.
  • Deadly Rotary Fan: Andy throws Chucky into an industrial-sized fan at the end which is completely uncovered despite being at a carnival. Doubles as Chucky's Disney Villain Death.
  • Eldritch Abomination: We finally get a description of Chucky's god, the voodoo entity Damballa, in the film novelization. It is described as an amorphous shape Charles Lee Ray can only barely comprehend, "gray, like the clouds, wet, covered with some slick, oily liquid" and surrounded by armlike things with three fingers that completely fill the basement room Ray has summoned it to. To cap off this description, the narration gives us this Wham Line:
    It lives in some pool, a pool of the damned at the end of the universe. Damballa. The soul catcher. The eater of spirits.
  • Evil Is Visceral: Chucky describes the smell and even taste of Damballa very specifically in the novelization, saying that he "gulped at the air" when it appeared because it apparently smelled so good (to an Ax-Crazy Serial Killer anyway...) and that even after it disappeared that "the smell and taste of the creature still filled his senses" and "he would never lose it completely".
  • Evil Laugh: Chucky is so busy indulging in maniacal laughter that the boy he keeps as a hostage takes advantage of the situation to run away.
  • First-Name Basis: Krista asks Andy to call her by her first name before the War Games start, signaling their blossoming romance.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: At the carnival when Andy almost falls into the giant, uncovered fan.
  • Foreshadowing: In his introductory scene, Sergeant Botnick tells Andy that the military haircut was invented by the ancient Romans so that the enemy wouldn't be able to grab hold of your hair and slit your throat, and he eerily mimics the gesture of slitting Andy's throat with his razor. Guess what Chucky is going to do to him later.
  • Foregone Conclusion: For some reason, Sullivan allows a lower-tier employee to make a presentation trying to persuade him not to put the Good Guy doll back on the market, even though he's already gotten the factories back up and running days before the meeting even takes place. The novelization even calls it a foregone conclusion directly in the narration.
  • Friendly War: The paintball "war games" that take up the third act. Chucky throws a few wrenches into the mix to make the Non-Lethal Warfare a little more lethal.
  • Fright Deathtrap: An unintentional Scared Stiff example. Colonel Cochran suffered a fatal heart attack before Chucky even got a chance to stab him.
    Chucky: Oh, you've gotta be fucking kidding me...
  • From a Single Cell: If we take the film's opening sequence at face value, then Chucky's rebirth was the result of a few drops of blood from his previous body falling into a vat of plastic used to make the first Good Guy doll of the '90s.
  • Geek Physiques: Whitehurst in the novelization is described as being geeky and fat, out of shape, and even "pear-shaped". This becomes an Informed Attribute for readers who then watch the film, as while Dean Jacobson pulls off "geeky" he doesn't hit any of the other descriptions.
  • Gender Is No Object: One of the few positive things that can be said about Cadet Colonel Shelton. He even makes a speech about how gender makes no difference among cadets at Kent (while making secondary protagonist De Silva do pushups for back-talking him at formation).
  • God of Evil: The voodoo entity Damballa, who Chucky has been calling on since the very first film, is finally revealed in the novelization as this.
  • Grammar Nazi: Chucky, of all people, notes in the novelization that Tyler has "lousy penmanship". And when a high school dropout turned voodoo Serial Killer says that...
  • Gory Discretion Shot: When the garbage man gets his arm snapped off by a hydraulic press.
  • Ham-to-Ham Combat: The duel between two different psychos, Brad Dourif's Chucky versus Andrew Robinson's Sgt. Botnick. However, Chucky is definitely homicidal unlike just the verbal and non-fatally physical threats of Botnick.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Shelton gets one for all of five minutes or so after Chucky captures De Silva. He still doesn't realize how high the stakes are until it's too late, though.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Andy's reputation still follows him as insane at best and the actual one responsible for Chucky's murders at worst. When De Silva is looking at his file, she's distracted just before getting to the "killer doll" parts.
  • Hollywood Heart Attack: Chucky is able to literally scare Colonel Cochrane to death this way by simply giving a big scare.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Tyler is charmed by Chucky initially, just like Andy before him. Chucky decides to steal Tyler's body instead this time since he is younger and more naive than Andy and thus an easier target.
  • Human Mail: Chucky mails himself to Andy.
  • Human Sacrifice: The sacrificial offering to Damballa that is first described in the novelization of the second film is expounded upon in the novelization of this movie, which reveals what happened after the ritual.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Chucky warns Tyler that tampering with the mail is a federal offense after he opens Andy's package. Coming from a sadistic serial killer, this is just priceless.
  • I Have Your Wife: Chucky uses Kristen as a hostage against Andy near the end of the film demanding Tyler's surrender in exchange for her release.
  • Ironic Echo: Botnick's Catchphrase is "Presto, you're bald!" When Chucky kills him, he says "Presto, you're dead!
  • Jumping on a Grenade: Whitehurst goes out this way.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: After surviving the beginning of the last film, Sullivan finally gets his at the beginning of this film.
  • Killed Offscreen: The carnival security guard ends up dying this way after he reveals Chucky to Tyler in an attempt to cheer him up.
  • Made of Explodium: When Chucky falls into the industrial fan at the end, his sliced pieces spontaneously combust as if made of fireworks.
  • Majorly Awesome: Cadet Lt. Colonel Shelton's The Dragon and fellow The Neidermeyer, Major Ellis, is a very downplayed example. He's mostly a secondary antagonist, but he does show Undying Loyalty to his commanding officer when he is killed, violently attacking Andy (who he believes is behind the paintballs-to-bullet switch).
  • Men Are the Expendable Gender: In contrast to the other films where Chucky would kill any woman he could, the only deaths in this film are of men. Somewhat justified as the setting is a military academy staffed with mostly male cadets.
  • Military School: Kent Military School, the setting for most of the film, is so much this that it even provides the current image for the trope.
  • Misfit Mobilization Moment: Attempted by Andy with Whitehurst after the latter sees Chucky. Whitehurst refuses the call out of fear, but redeems himself by jumping on the grenade Chucky throws in the middle of the squad.
  • Mouth of Sauron: The novelization reveals that after summoning Damballa the voodoo entity decided Chucky was worthy of becoming his emissary, telling him "without words" that he "had a master now, someone to serve" and that his life now had a goal and purpose. The text does not explicitly spell out what that purpose is, but given Chucky's later activities and resurrections, it's not too hard to figure out.
  • Near-Villain Victory: Chucky would've succeeded in possessing Tyler at the end if Damballa's lightning hadn't missed them for some reason during the soul transfer ritual, buying Andy time to save Tyler.
  • The Neidermeyer: The Cadet Lt. Colonel Shelton, to a point he's an almost uncanny Expy of its Trope Namer from another Universal film (other than this film) Animal House.
    • They even shared the same fate of being shot to death by their own troops (well, troops for the Trope Namer, classmates for Shelton - and in Shelton's case, this occurs onscreen and by accident).
    • The Dragon for Shelton, Major Ellis, also qualifies.
    • Cochran is a downplayed Dean Bitterman example.
  • New Meat: Andy is this when he first arrives at Kent, having no prior military experience of any kind.
  • Next Sunday A.D.: Since the story picks up eight years after 1990s Child's Play 2, it does technically make it take place in the year 1998 (thus making the release date of Bride of Chucky match up seamlessly as it takes place roughly a month after the events of Child's Play 3).
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In the novelization only. When Andy goes looking for Tyler, he doesn't realize he's literally carrying Chucky straight to him inside his backpack.
  • No OSHA Compliance: The amusement park at the end has a giant, uncovered fan and a giant Grim Reaper that swings a real blade capable of chopping off half of Chucky's face. Although, the fan being uncovered is a Chekhov's Gun.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Averted when De Silva is shot in the leg during the climax. She's taken out of commission and can only sit and nurse her injury while Andy confronts Chucky.
  • Playing Both Sides: Chucky plays the two teams of cadets against each other during the war games.
  • Punishment Detail: Shelton makes Whitehurst shine his shoes as punishment for...something. It's never quite made clear what.
  • Reset Button: Because Chucky has been reincarnated in a new doll body, the rules binding his transfer to a new body have been reset as he is no longer bound to transfer his soul into Andy. Being Chucky, he of course binds himself to the first young boy he meets. It's not made easier that Chucky committed himself to possessing a boy inside a heavily monitored military school where the boy is frequently thrown back and forth by his superiors.
  • Sanity Slippage: Though he was Ax-Crazy pretty much right from the start, Chucky's sanity (and competence) take a dip when compared to previous installments, diving straight into Stupid Evil. He murders the CEO of the toy company that just made him a new body (preventing any future such resurrections), literally jumps right out of his box at the first young kid he meets, and then alienates said young boy after binding himself to him as his new Soul Jar.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shown Their Work: Shelton's Insistent Terminology that Andy refers to his rifle as specifically a rifle and not a gun is accurate to military training.
  • Sinister Minister: Continuing the theme introduced in the novelization of the second film, Chucky is very devout in a twisted sort of way to his dark god Damballa, even swearing by him in this book and thinking of himself as the voodoo entity's apostle.
  • Slippery Skid: Chucky spills the contents of a jar filled with marbles to make Sullivan fall on the ground after stepping on them.
  • Sound Off: Cadence calls occur in two separate scenes, as is to be expected of a film with a military theme.
  • Stalker Without A Crush: Play Pals CEO Sullivan keeps a disturbing level of Sinister Surveillance on Andy, having an entire dossier file for the boy on his computer that his own personal assistant keeps regularly updated for him and knowing right off the top of his head how old he is.
  • The Squadette: Kristen De Silva, the secondary protagonist.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: After surviving the previous film entirely removed from Chucky’s killing spree, Sullivan winds up being the opening victim.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: After his previous assistant was Chucky's first victim in the last movie, Sullivian's new one looks like he could be his twin.
  • Take Your Time: Chucky wastes an entire seven minutes playing cat and mouse with Sullivan before killing him.
  • Tempting Fate: Botnick gets the bright idea of giving Chucky a haircut. No points for guessing how that turns out.
  • This Means War!: Chucky says this after having lipstick smeared around his mouth by teenage girls.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Andy was already learning how to take care of himself in the second film, but this one sees him grow into full-blown hero territory when Chucky is after Tyler's soul.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Continuing the theme from the second film's novelization, Andy in the novelization of this film is shown as having some rather... troubling thoughts, even if they are justified.
    I'll cut him to pieces, Andy thought. I'll slice that doll into so many small sections that it would take him an eternity to put himself back together again.
    • And later:
    Andy (of Chucky): Sick thing. He's sick. A million pieces. I'll make it so hard . . .
  • Too Dumb to Live: Tyler, big time but doesn't die thanks to Andy. Along with the garbageman and carnival security guard who tries to comfort Tyler.
  • Two-Faced: Chucky becomes this rather gruesomely after getting his face partially sliced off by an animatronic grim reaper.
  • The Unfettered: Flashbacks in the novelization reveal Charles Lee Ray was this, as he notes at one point he got his start in crime working for an old pro who took him under his wing only because he would do anything, from breaking into homes in broad daylight to casually strangling witnesses to death with his bare hands.
  • Universal Ammunition: Chucky is able to replace the paintballs that are being used for the training exercise for live bullets, something that shouldn't be possible because guns designed to fire paintballs have been heavily modified, mostly to prevent this very thing from happening.
  • We Are Everywhere: In the novelization only, there's a bit towards the end where Andy and De Silva are hunting for Tyler and think they find him and Chucky... only to find it's another kid with another Good Guy doll... and then another, and another, and then they see a vendor with a whole stall full of them. Andy quite aptly calls it a nightmare.
  • Welcome to Hell: Whitehurst tells Andy this upon his arrival at Kent.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: At one point in the novelization Chucky muses on how much trouble Andy has given him, and wonders if Andy might have "some powerful mojo magic working for him" the way Chucky himself has via Damballa. This is never brought up or addressed again.
  • Your Head A-Splode: This is how Chucky dies in the novelization. Instead of being tossed into a fan, Andy shoots him in the head at point-blank range. Repeatedly.


Video Example(s):


Recklessness Knows no Bounds

Chucky switches out the Ammo in the War Game Rifles as both Phoebus and the Nostalgia Critic point out how this does not work at all.

How well does it match the trope?

3.73 (15 votes)

Example of:

Main / ArtisticLicenseGunSafety

Media sources: