SLASHER MONTH: Child’s Play 3 (1991)

Written by the returning Don Mancini and directed by Jack Bender, whose career may have been mostly in TV, but he also directed The Midnight Hour so he gets horror, Child’s Play 3 would be the last Chucky movie Mancini would be involved in until Bride of Chucky.

Eight years after the events of the last movie, the Good Guys factory is reopened and near-immediately — why do they keep opening this place? — the blood of Chucky gets on a new doll, the CEO gets killed and Andy (now played by Justin Whalen) is tracked down at Kent Military School, as he has had so many foster families ruined by his PTSD from Chucky that he has to be drafted into this place. By the end, Chucky turns the place into a real warzone, trying to possess a young kid named Tyler (Jeremy Sylvers), slicing throats and throwing grenades.

This movie was made under pressure, as it was greenlit before Child’s Play 2 was even released and was in theaters nine months after that film. It also only made $20.5 million on a $13 million budget, ending the franchise for seven years.

In a replay of the video nasties era, Child’s Play 3 was part of a tabloid panic in Great Britain, where journalists claimed the film had influenced two 10-year-old boys in their murder of two-year-old James Bulger. It was later determined that neither had actually seen this movie. Additionally, sixteen-year-old Suzanne Capper of Manchester was kidnapped and tortured by former friends for several day, then set on fire and left to die. She was forced to listen to the song “Hi, I’m Chucky (Wanna Play?)” by 150 Volts while being abused and one of her abusers, Bernadette McNeilly, started each torture session with the phrase “Chucky’s coming to play.” As you can imagine, tabloids also had a field day with this story, blaming it on the movies when that song was in heavy rotation at the time. Child’s Play 3 was the movie they claimed caused all of this.

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