Friday the 13th Part 3 (1982)
US (dir. Steve Miner)
Cast: Anne Gaybis, Catherine Parks, Dana Kimmell, David Katims, Jeffrey Rogers, Kevin O’Brien, Larry Zerner, Nick Savage, Paul Kratka, Richard Brooker, Steve Susskind, Tracie Savage
Synopsis: Having escaped in the last episode, Jason is back, hockey mask and all, to continue his murderous rampage across Crystal Lake.
Review: “Friday the 13th Part 3” isn’t the greatest installment in the “Friday the 13th” franchise, but it does offer some great scenes, a handful of unique kills, and the Friday the 13th essentials which include pot, sex, boobs, a barn, and of course, the hockey mask. In fact, this film would be the first to feature Jason in a hockey mask. It’s not fully explained, how Jason procures the mask – all we know is that Shelley (the fat jokester kid) wears the mask at one point, is killed off screen, and then the mask appears on Jason’s face. It’s not the most exciting explanation for how the mask is “discovered” by Jason, but at least it’s a better explanation than the one given in the “Friday the 13th” remakequel.
One of the great things about Part 3 is the fact that it doesn’t take itself too seriously. There are some great goofy bits with Shelley (likely the most memorable of Jason’s kills), a hippie couple who smoke pot non-stop throughout the movie, an ending that twists on the original Friday the 13th ending, and of course – it’s in 3D! I’ll admit though, the 3D effects aren’t exactly incredible. Most of the effects are wasted on non-horror-related events (i.e. a joint getting passed around, a yo-yo going up and down, juggling fruit, and the antennae of a TV set getting adjusted). There are roughly maybe 2 or 3 instances where 3D effects are used during an actual kill scene or in relation to Jason coming after someone. In order to make the 3D effect really worthwhile in a horror movie, you gotta use the kill scenes to your advantage and make them pop out at the audience. However, since this was made in the early 80s, I can forgive that they didn’t use the 3D effects to their full advantage. Having seen the movie in both 3D and on regular screen, I can truly say the film has a certain charm in 3D but really, it’s just as good without the 3D effects.
The movie itself is the blueprint for future Friday the 13th movies. It was the first one to include the hockey mask on Jason (as I previously mentioned) and it was the first one to not rely on camp counsellors coming to Crystal Lake to run the camp ground. In this one, it’s just a bunch of teens heading to the cottage for a little fun – basically the prototype for every Jason movie to follow after it (including the remakequel in 2009). The first half of the movie unfortunately sucks. A good 15 minutes or more is dedicated to Jason killing a grocery store owner and his naggy wife, and 0 minutes are dedicated to explaining anything about Jason, Pamela Voorhees, the campground at Crystal Lake, or any murders from the past. It kinda sucks that the third one (essentially the film meant to close up the trilogy) doesn’t explain anything at all, but I guess leaving it open like they did really helped with spawning the 7+ sequels that would follow. The storyline is pretty solid and fairly coherent. The girl who owns the cottage (Chris) brings her friends along to spend the weekend. She reconnects with an old flame (Rick) and recounts her horrifying tale of being attacked by a grotesque man a few years before she left the Crystal Lake area for good. Pretty much everyone is killed, and Chris goes bonkers in the end. The end. Bottomline: Good in 3D, but just as good as on a regular screen.