Of all the slasher-movie offspring of "Halloween," the "Child's Play" pictures — second only to the "Nightmare on Elm Street" films — are perhaps the most perverse.

The "Nightmare" movies are about the happy-go-lucky slayings of a child molester-burn victim. The "Child's Play" series is about the happy-go-lucky slayings of a child's doll.

The premise, set up in the first "Child's Play," had a wounded serial killer (Brad Dourif) muttering mumbo-jumbo to transfer his nasty spirit to a "Good Guy" doll named "Chucky." Throughout the rest of the film, the killer doll murdered everyone in sight while trying to take over a young boy named Andy.

Naturally, Andy outwitted the doll in that film — then again in "Child's Play 2," which last saw Chucky inside a toy factory being melted into a glob.

But you can't keep a bad doll down, and as "Child's Play 3" begins, the toy company is back in business, manufacturing new "Good Guy" dolls — and puts the melted Chucky back together. Why they'd do that is, of course, never explained.

Anyway, Andy is now a teenager in a military academy. Naturally, Chucky locates Andy and gets himself mailed there. How he manages to box, wrap and mail himself is, of course, never explained.

Meanwhile, poor wimpy Andy is being harassed by macho soldiers who wonder why he keeps threatening that silly doll.

And much of the plot has Andy trying to halt Chucky's efforts to take over the body of another kiddiesoldier, who doesn't seem at all surprised that this doll walks, talks and carries a big knife.

Andy also finds romance before the predictable climactic mayhem in a carnival fun house.

There is humor — the film's biggest joke being a doll that swears. First-time director Jack Bender obviously has video in mind, as he shoots most of the film in a series of close-ups.

And, naturally, the film's creative efforts are almost entirely spent on new and improved ways to kill — from marbles on a floor causing someone to stumble to death to a trash collector who is crushed in his own truck. But in the end, Chucky opts for a gun. Right.

"Child's Play 3" is rated R for considerable violence and profanity.