Child’s Play 3 – Collector’s Edition (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Child’s Play 3 caps off the original run of films that would actually follow that title moniker. From here on out, everything would just be labeled “of Chucky” with the TV show merely called Chucky. This film isn’t the most popular of the bunch, but there’s a nostalgic good in its fit into the series and it still delivers many of the goods that you enjoy in the first two films. Scream Factory is giving it all the love you could want though with a brand new Collector’s Edition and bumping the film to 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray. Available on August 16th, this new edition contains a load of brand new interviews, including Perrey Reeves, scenes from the television cut and two commentary tracks. You can order yourself a copy by using the paid Amazon Associates link that follows the review at the bottom.



Originally published on Naptown Nerd 9/19/2013

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.

Andy Barclay’s second bout with the possessed Good Guy doll was a decent hit, so why not let these two duke it out for round 3.   And while you’re at it series’ writer Don Mancini, could you hurry it the f**k up?  This movie was rushed into production before the 2nd film even hit theaters.  Universal was thinking FRANCHISE FRANCHISE FRANCHISE here with Chucky and didn’t want to sit on him.  So, 9 months later, Child’s Play 3 was released to theaters.  Rushed, with a creator out of ideas at the time, this is what we get.

This film jumps 8 years ahead, so goodbye Alex Vincent, enter Justin Whalin.  Surprisngly, this is NOT the first time he’s appeared in a retrospective series.  He apparently had the role of “Jason” in the fifth Dirty Harry film The Dead Pool.  I’ve seen that movie many times and I can’t tell you anything of Justin in that movie.  I think he’s most notable as being the replacement Jimmy Olsen on Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman from Season 2 until the end.  Apparently Michael Landes looked too much like Dean Cain and got the axe.  If not from that, then people might recognize him as the lead in that amazing Dungeons & Dragons film adaptation from 2000.  No?  Serial Mom, then? Or then likely this movie we’re talking about today.  Well, he was this up and comer that was rather more of the poor man’s Jonathan Taylor-Thomas type that may be on TV and moreso graces so many Bop and teen girl magazines than produce any actual worthwhile product.

So, in this third installment, the Chucky doll comes back again, finally kills the CEO of the toy company and heads off to military school to go after Andy once again.  Chucky, Chucky, why do you keep going after this kid?  Fool me once… Well, so Chucky is intercepted by another kid that Chucky thinks he can possess instead of Andy.  So, he can kill Andy and then take this kid.  Same Chucky story, but a unique slasher setting.

This one comes from Jack Bender who is a legend in the TV directing field.  This is one of the few feature films the guy has done.  And, honestly, this one has the least of a feature film feel to it.  Its a very pedestrian presentation.  And quite honestly, this one is pretty boring.  One of my highlights of the film was seeing Andrew Robinson show up as the barber giving the kids buzzcuts.  Andrew Robinson now has appeared in 3 of these retrospectives (also Dirty Harry & Beverly Hills Cop for Cobra) and none have been Hellraiser.  Maybe we’ll even get to the Pumpkinhead and Trancers retreospectives before that?  Who knows. Let’s get back to Chucky.

While I found myself quite uninterested and pretty bored with this film, there is one thing that really did get me.  And its kind of a shocking moment.  I have to give the film some credit here as it does pick up some toward the end.  There is an event in the film where Chucky swaps paintball rounds in a drill between the kids with live action rounds.  Holy shit!  The kids actually go through the drill and fire on each other and yes people get shot and at least one dies.  Crazy for a lame movie like this to have a scene of such intensity and suspense, but it does.  Also, I do like the final confrontation with Chucky where he gets part of his face sliced off, his arm shot off and explodes when he gets chopped up in a fan.  The scene being set at a carnival is pretty cool too.

Child’s Play 3 was also known at the time for a bit of falsely accused controversy.  It was said to be an inspiration to the killers involved in the child murder of James Bulger by two 10 year olds.  Basically, there was something they did to the boys revolving them splashing blue paint on the victim which resembled Chucky doing the same in this film.  They accused the father’s rental of the movie months prior to have been the source to all this.  But, you know, after they actually sit and ask these people they found out the boy in question hadn’t been living with his father for a while and also didn’t like horror movies.  So there ya go.  Always easiest to point the blame somewhere other than the individual.

Sorry to end it on that downer circumstance, but it is part of this film’s history.  This movie didn’t do so hot at the box office so Chucky was then benched for roughly 7 years.  It’s a dull, boring film, so its not surprising.  And at the time, horror was really going into the shitter, so without…once again…Scream, Chucky might not have come back.  I know its the cool thing to hate on Scream, but its a really really really significant film for the horror genre.  I think most folks hate from it come for the things it inspired and hopefully not the film itself.


Disclaimer: Screen captures used in the review are taken from the standard Blu-ray disc, not the 4K UHD Blu-ray disc.

Encoding: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: 4K (2160p)

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

Layers: BD-66

Clarity/Detail:  Child’s Play 3 debuts on 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray with a new 4K restoration from the original camera negative. The amount of improvement of this third film is terrific. This used to look like some cheapie, but now it full fledged looks like a respectable film. There’s improved depth, color saturation and detail here that is much more flush, bold and enriched compared to what we had been used to with this film.

Depth:  Depth of field really expands and increases the quality of the image from what was before. Characters are much more free in their environments, which have much more 3 dimensional quality to them. Motions are smooth and filmic.

Black Levels: Blacks are deep and natural, really making some gorgeous shadows, nighttime scenes and darkened rooms. No crushing witnessed during this viewing.

Color Reproduction: Colors are very bold and well saturated here. The blue in the military uniforms really is a nice standout along with your reds, yellows and other extravagant colors that pop. The carnival is a blast of candy on your eyes, with much of the coloring getting a nice HDR glow to it. The contrast when their is a flag or colored marking against a military uniform is pretty impressive.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural and consistent from start to finish of the film. Facial features and textures, even when made gruesome, hold up strong with a good clear look at freckles, wrinkles, dried blood, sweat and more.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean


Audio Format(s): Dolby Atmos, English 2.0 DTS-HD MA

Subtitles: English SDH

DynamicsChild’s Play 3 features a rock solid Atmos track that really brings some deeper engagement with a nice loud presentation. It has some good rumble, layering and depth to a balanced mix that adds more fun to this movie than has been there before.

Height: Above speakers carry screen accurate material but also helps with music, debris falling, bullets whizzing and more.

Low Frequency Extension: Of all the Child’s Plays that have been given Atmos mixes, this one might have the most impactful of subwoofers. The bass in the music really gets it going, but we also have gunfire, crashing, large engines roaring, some carnival craziness and more to rumble.

Surround Sound Presentation: This one hangs out up front a lot, like the other 2 films have had, but it does track well off screen activity and provides excellent sound travel.

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are clear and crisp.


Child’s Play 3 is a 2-disc set that comes with the Blu-ray edition. All bonus materials outside of the commentary are found on the standard Blu-ray disc.

Audio Commentary

  • by Director Jack Bender
  • by Producer Robert Latham Brown

Ride The Frightening (HD, 13:18) – An interview with writer Don Mancini. He had been working on Child’s Play 3 while the second one while 2 was still in production. Mancini said he was working on The Green Hornet at the same time and was just tired. He “valiantly” takes responsibility for the failure of the film.

War Games (HD, 5:48) – An interview with actress Perrey Reeves. She felt she was the 10th grade version of Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2. Reeves credits director Jack Bender with helping to craft her character in such a positive light. Her deal was for 3 films but nothing ever came over her return.

Chucky Goes East (HD, 6:34) – An interview with producer David Kirschner. He feels that Jack Bender wasn’t right for the gig as “horror wasn’t his thing…his best work has been in episodic television and superb work”. Kirschner talks how Universal took a long while to even take a meeting about another Chucky movie after this one bombing. He credits an executive’s 14 year old daughter with getting Bride of Chucky greenlit after being passed on.

Carnivals And Campouts (HD, 4:21) – An interview with producer Robert Latham Brown. He focuses on figuring out how to resurrect Chucky for the film and goes into some location stories about the carnival and one about how they had to build the forest for the shootout sequence as the actual place didn’t pan out in horrible fashion.

Midway Centurions (HD, 4:15) – An interview with actor Michael Chieffo. The husband of Beth Grant, he talks how Don Mancini became a family friend of theirs working on Child’s Play 2 and he got the role for the 3rd from that relationship. Chieffo talks his difficulties in laying dead for a scene.

Shear Terror (HD, 7:36) – An interview with makeup artist Craig Reardon. Reardon had been interviewed to work on the first one and passed on it (“It would have been just makeup on the humans. I wanted Chucky”). He still has his crew shirt that has Chucky with a dog on it.

Unholy Mountain (HD, 6:58) – An interview with production designer Richard Sawyer. While he put together the amusement park, his focus is on the skull mountain and death of Chucky in the film.

Extra Scenes From The Broadcast TV Version (HD, 5:38) 

Theatrical Trailer (HD, 1:40) 

TV Spot (HD, :31)


While the 3rd installment of the Child’s Play franchise is one of the lesser chapters, it still delivers enough of what you want and is a decent film, just one that is a little tired in the sense that the series needs a newer direction. It’s 4K debut is anything but tired, and finally gets a direction people want with a load of glorious new interviews. The new transfer and Atmos mix are absolutely wonderful, having it look and sound better than ever. Pick it up for your collection. Here’s hoping that Bride, Seed, Curse and Cult and find some treatment like this in the near future.

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Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com). He is also the Moderator/MC of the Live Podcast Stage and on the Podcast Awards Committee for PopCon (popcon.us). In the past 10 years at Why So Blu, Brandon has amassed over 1,500 reviews of 4K, Blu-ray and DVD titles.

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