Friday the 13th Part III (1982)
FRIDAY THE 13TH PART III
WRITERS: Screenplay by Martin Kitrosser and Carol Watson
DIRECTOR: Steve Miner
STARRING: Dana Kimmell as Chris
Paul Kratka as Rick
Tracie Savage as Debbie
Jeffrey Rogers as Andy
Catherine Parks as Vera
Larry Zerner as Shelly
David Katims as Chuck
Rachel Howard as Chili
Richard Brooker as Jason
QUICK CUT: A group of friends head off into the woods for a relaxing weekend, and are surprised when an old friend shows up.
Chris - Our lead girl this time out, and she's your average good girl, but she has a bit of a vague history with the Crystal Lake area.
Rick - Chris's boyfriend, who just wants to get with her on the site of where she was attacked a few years ago. Yeah, smooth.
Shelly - One of Chris's friends who comes along for the weekend getaway to the woods. He's a prankster, and a nerd, and really into makeup effects and movies. Everyone else in the group is pretty much straight out of stock character tropes like stoner.
Jason - Our villain is back again, and he ditches the burlap sack, and finds a more familiar look in this third installment. Jason is finally fully formed as a force of nature in this movie.
THE GUTS: Happy New Year, Triskelions! As I am sure y'all can guess, it's time to hit Friday the 13th part 3...IN 3D!! Because New Year's Day has become the traditional trip to Crystal Lake. Except we won't be watching it in 3D because of reasons. But oh, do not worry. The 3D may be gone, but all the terrible, over the top, in your face (literally!) gimmicks, they remain. And I will be keeping track of every. Single. One. So let's dive on in, the lake is fine.
First of all, it starts off with a lengthy replay of the final scene from #2, and I would appreciate the recap more, if this movie was an actual continuation, and not just another chapter of Jason's life. This COULD have easily played into the movie, but they didn't take that route.
But once the Phantom is done with his summer job and returns to Texarkana, we jump over to a gas station/convenience store, where Jason decides to wander over to and get some snacks. Bring me back a Mountain Dew!
Oh, and the movie's credits start off the long, long 90 minutes of cheap 3D gags. The names all ZOOOOM out at you with lengthy red trails behind them, and then recede. LOOK MA I'M IN 3D! This may be the *least* egregious use of the gimmick. You get a sense of it in that title cap back there.
The opening scene here at the store is a bit slow, but there is that lurking Jason at least. I'd be more forgiving if not for the five minutes of reused footage. It does at least offer up some humour to keep you entertained, as the store's owner wanders around and eats and drinks from items on the shelf. He's the reason why half my bag of chips is filled with air, isn't he?
Harold goes to put his bunny back, but lurking in the hutch is cheap 3D gimmick #4, a pouncing snake that whooshes right into the camera lens. Okay, that's it, get ready. I'm going to try and keep a running tally, but there is the occasional question of "3D gimmick or actual cinematography?" For the record thus far...
- Cheap 3D Gimmick Count #1 - The opening titles.
- Cheap 3D Gimmick Count #2 - Harold waving the pole at the camera.
- Cheap 3D Gimmick Count #3 - Harold's wife adjusting the tv antenna JUST to get the little ball on the end pointing right at the audience.
- Cheap 3D Gimmick Count #4 - Pouncing snake sssss!
I think that's going to be my criteria. Moments where things are done that have nothing to do with the plot and are solely there to go LOOK! and not moments where actual direction makes use of 3D because that's just the way film works, like a moment where the camera looks down rows of laundry like a tunnel, and zooms through it. Oh wait, here comes another one now!
- Cheap 3D Gimmick Count #5 - Jason's cleaver swinging at the camera
Which means finally someone dies in this movie, and Harold falls over. Now, to be fair, that's actually a classic kinda horror shot with the cleaver, but it's still largely there for the 3D.
Hearing her husband Harold's horrible homicide, his wife goes to investigate, and finds Jason ready and willing to reunite her with Harold, and even more gimmicks.
- Cheap 3D gimmick count #6 - a mouse walking along a board towards the camera.
- Cheap 3D gimmick count #7 - Jason's weapon of choice to stab the wife, zooming away from the camera.
- Cheap 3D gimmick count #8 - a bat pointed right at the camera lens as we fade to another part of the movie. Oh yes, they come fast and furious, folks!
But finally, after 16 minutes, we start to meet the ACTUAL cast of this movie, as your typical group of teens gather together to head out to the woods to have sex. No seriously, they outright admit this as their plan. We're not even trying to hide it at this point.
They stop to pick up another person for the sexnannigans, but oh no! There's a strange figure in a mask lurking towards them! With a knife! And oh no, he...he's actually just another one of the kids, playing a prank.
But then suddenly, oh no! The van's on fire! They all rush back and discover oh no, it's just two pothead friends in the back getting lit. So they all have a good laugh, and get driving off into this plot, and run into...
- Cheap 3D Gimmick Count #9 - The movie tries to pass a joint out of the screen.
And someone in the audience must be a narc, because the cops show up...but ah ha ha, after they try and ditch or eat or anything with the drugs so they don't get caught, the cops just drive right by for another thing more important! That is three rapid fire fakeouts, this movie is straining my patience.
I'm just gonna guess that this entire movie is a drug induced mess from this point onwards, since everyone shoved giant wads of pot in their mouths.
The kids drive by the gas station crime scene the cops were actually going to, and they're baffled that the typical appointed stop at the Harbinger station was cut short by Jason.
Before they can get very far though, they almost run over a guy in the road. We came this close to this movie becoming I Know What You Did at Last Summer Camp.
And oh look, he fulfills our role of Harbinger, shouting out the typical doom and gloom nonsense we usually get from a gas station attendant. Just as I'm about to praise them for breaking conventions, they do it anyways.
- Cheap 3D Gimmick Count #10 - the harbinger holding up an eyeball.
The gang arrives at Higgins Haven and uh, they never really explain what this has to do with Crystal Lake, so I'm just going to move on and assume Jason wandered to a cabin down the way. We also meet the last of our crew, Chris's boyfriend Rick.
We also hint that Something Bad Happened to Chris here, two years ago and um, okay? This almost would've been a more effective movie if it was one of the survivors of the previous two movies, returning to the scene of the massacre and dealing with the trauma, but no. Heck, if it was the survivor from #2, that would've even let me let the opening five minutes slide more!
- Cheap 3D Gimmick Count #11 - hay being raised and swinging towards camera.
Now, this doesn't quite go full on in your face gimmickry, but it comes close, and there is NO other purpose for it. They even go out of their way to lampshade the fact that the hay is utterly pointless with a handwavey explanation.
They hear some screams and rush back to the cabin, searching for the cause, and eventually they find Shelly in the closet with an axe in his head...but oh wait, he's just a prankster and aspiring makeup artist/actor! And we are rapidly approaching these fakeout threats of something serious actually being nothing becoming just as common as the 3D gimmicks.
After his mischief kills the mood, Vera decides to head to the store and get some stuff, and Shelly tags along, because if he sticks around, he's going to have to deal with glares from everyone.
- Cheap 3D Gimmick Count #12 - Shelly tossing his wallet at the camera.
While at the store, they run afoul of a trio of bikers. This scene is largely filler, distracting from the looming killer in the woods (Who's been suspiciously absent for awhile now, damnit), but it does actually build to a plot point later, so there's at least some pay off.
Things only get worse when, as they try and leave, Shelly backs their car right into the trio's bikes. Before they can properly escape, one of the bikers roughs up the car as vengeance, breaking some windows.
- Cheap 3D Gimmick Count #13 - biker dude punching out a window, and almost taking the camera with him!
Rather than leave well enough alone, Shelly turns the car around and heads right at the biker, just intending to scare him, before driving back to the cabin. Oh, I'm sure this won't come around to bite them, not at all!
- Cheap 3D Gimmick Count #14 - Andy playing with a yo yo so it goes up and down at the camera.
This may be the single worst offender in the entire movie, because it's that pointless, that much of a contrived camera angle, and has zero point beyond gimmickry.
Rick's not happy with his car's windows being smashed, so he and Chris drive out of the plot for a bit, leaving the rest of the cast to deal with the lurking Jason, who remembered this is his movie.
But before he can wreak some havoc, the bikers arrive to drain the gas from the group's van as vengeance. Now see, that's a clever way to build a plot, AND have it explain the ever present eventual problems with just driving out of the movie when things get bad. I actually would've liked to have the whole group piss off the bikers early in the movie, they show up at the cabin in the background, and the rest of the movie you're wondering, "Is this caused by Jason, or the bikers?"
While the two guys do that, the biker gang's leader heads to the barn to kick over bales of hay. Yeah! You show them! They'll have to...have to pick them up!
One of the other gang members tries to find Fox in the barn when she goes silent, and eventually finds her and more gimmickry in the loft.
- Cheap 3D Gimmick Count #15 - biker leader looking up a ladder at the camera as hay falls down at her.
- Cheap 3D Gimmick Count #16 - her swinging off the rope at the hay loft.
- Cheap 3D Gimmick Count #17 - Fox stabbed through the neck with a pitchfork, and the handle comin' right for us.
- Cheap 3D Gimmick Count #18 - another pitchfork coming at the camera before it stabs the other gang member.
Ali wonders what's going on with his crew, heading to the barn, and quickly finds them when they get dropped on them from the loft above.
- Cheap 3D Gimmick Count #19 - gang member falling onto Ali.
Jason shows up, and Ali briefly tries to put up a fight, but our villain knocks the guy out with one punch like he's Batman laying out Guy Gardner, and proceeds to hack up the biker.
We briefly check in with Chris and Rick as they take a break from the movie and talk about their feelings, before returning back to the camp and...
- Cheap 3D Gimmick Count #20 - Andy and Shelly juggling fruit at the camera.
Andy gets dragged off from that by Debbie so SOMEone in this movie can have sex and justify Jason's killings, leaving Shelly and Vera to not have a moment, and Jason starts to lurk outside.
We jump back to movie B before anything can happen, but we at least get a flashback from Chris about what happened Before. I still wish it was more tied to previous movies, but it at least established a connection with Jason and what's going on.
They also superimpose the flashback scene with Chris telling the story, and it's actually pretty effective. I wonder if this would've looked good in 3D? Is that why they did it, or just to be artistic?
With their time at Exposition Cove done, the two head back to camp on foot, because the car's battery died. Meanwhile, the two requisite stoners decided to do nothing back at camp. I'd complain about them doing nothing the whole movie long, they barely have two lines, and are clearly there just to die, but...they're stoners. What do you WANT them to do?
The dude heads to the outhouse, and I swear, he has a reaction when Jason's signature music starts to ki-ki-ki in the woods.
Our stoner couple follows the musical cue into the barn and managed to find...nothing. Sigh. Stop slacking Jason, you have stoners and horny teens to kill already.
Out on the dock, Vera gets grabbed from the water, but of course it turns out to be Shelly pranking her while wearing a hockey mask. He tries to explain that he does these things for attention, and being a jerk is better than being a nobody. Careful, the wrong person might notice you some day...
But now it's Shelly's turn to see what's going on in the barn and, new horror movie rule of survival, Triskelions; NEVER GO IN THE BARN.
Down by the lake, Vera drops Shelly's wallet in the lake, and as she retrieves it, she sees a guy wearing Shelly's hockey mask from earlier, and assumes it must be him.
But oh no, it's not! Whomever could this man in a recognisable mask be??
It took us three movies, but yes, here we are. Jason Voorhees in all his iconic glory is now upon us. Took us long enough. Oh yes, and...
- Cheap 3D Gimmick Count #21 - harpoon bolt at the camera.
But it's just Andy wandering around on his hands, looking for beer in all the wrong places. Instead, he finds Jason ready and waiting to chop some nuts.
- Cheap 3D Gimmick Count #22 - Jason hacking down at the camera.
Debbie finishes her shower and hits the hammock to wait for Andy to show up, which he does! Dribbling blood from the rafters above her! Which gives Jason the distraction he needs to stab her from underneath, in a reprise of a kill from the first movie. I'm surprised THAT wasn't 3Ded. And meanwhile, the somehow still not dead stoner dude is making popcorn...
- Cheap 3D Gimmick Count #23 - Andy dangling down at the camera.
- Cheap 3D Gimmick Count #24 - popcorn exploding out of a pot right at the camera.
As the power goes out, Stoner Dude is sent down to the basement in a surprisingly self aware moment when he realises he's in a horror movie and doesn't want to go into the dark. Alone.
While he's stumbling around in the darkness, his girlfriend answers the door and Shelly stumbles in with a slashed neck. But since he's the boy who called slasher one too many times, she assumes it's fake, until she figures it out.
Stoner dude gets the lights on, and Jason kills him to thank him, before heading upstairs to kill his girlfriend.
- Cheap 3D Gimmick Count #25 - red hot fireplace poker poking at the screen.
The girl runs around screaming as she's figured out Shelly is actually dead, until Jason wanders by to quiet her down by stoking the fireplace in her belly.
Now that everyone in the cabin is dead dead dead, it's the perfect time for Rick and Chris to wander back into the movie. Boy, are THEY in for a surprise.
They wander around trying to find anyone, and eventually Rick gets grabbed by Jason, and his head squeezed until his eyes pop out.
- Cheap 3D Gimmick Count #26 - Rick's eyes launching out of their sockets.
I might have actually let that one be, but they super exaggerate the effect into the lens.
Um...this...this leaves only one character left, and Jason, for 20 more minutes of film. This always gets dicey to pull off, since you either get a silent series of scenes punctuated by screaming, or the final girl calling out to people, or a mix. This can be pulled off, but that much more movie left is a stretch.
At least with having them out of the movie all this time, and everyone missing so she has something to search for, it almost works.
Chris does the usual finding dead bodies routine, and eventually Jason refenestrates Rick's corpse. Which I am surprised they showed this from the side, and didn't have THAT come right at the camera. Seems like a missed opportunity.
But then Jason does climb in through the opening window, coming straight for us, so that kinda counts.
Chris runs upstairs, and dumps an entire bookcase on top of the poor guy. Books! The best weapons in the world!
- Cheap 3D Gimmick Count #27 - The cascade of books upon Jason Voorhees
She hides in a closet and finds another body, and the knife left behind by Jason. Sigh, did your mother teach you nothing? Always put away your toys!
Chris takes the knife and reverses the usual closet scene, by bursting OUT of it at the KILLER and going after HIM with the knife.
- Cheap 3D Gimmick Count #28 - Chris slashing away at the cameraman.
She stabs him in the leg and runs, but all that does is give him back a weapon, which he quickly throws at her head, narrowly missing.
Chris smashes a window and tries to escape, and if not for her jacket tearing, Jason would have dragged her right back in.
She watches Jason come down the stairs, grabs a log, and clobbers him from behind as he comes outside. He falls down and grasps at anything, as Chris runs for the van.
Yeah, remember the van? The van the bikers drained most of the gas out of? Oh, poor Chris, you're not getting very far at all.
- Cheap 3D Gimmick Count #29 - As Jason falls over, he gropes right at the camera and audience.
The van dies right on the bridge, and fortunately she remembers it has a secondary gas tank...but not before the bridge starts to give way beneath the weight, and not before Jason shows up to grab her.
She rolls up the window to trap Jason's hands as he tries to grab her. And so she can escape out the other side, while Jason stands there stuck in the window.
And in what may be one of my faovuirte horror movie moments, you know what Jason does? You know how he gets out of this mess? He freakin' headbutts the window to shatter the glass.
It may not be a Fuck Doors! moment, but it's awesome, and inventive, and I don't think I've seen anything quite like it before, or since. Jason smash puny windows!
Chris runs for the barn, and secures the door with a shovel, which Jason quickly moves out of the way. Once he's in the barn, he uses a good, solid timber to trap her inside with him, and shows her how you properly lock the barn door.
It did give her enough time to hide amongst the rafters though, and we watch a great scene of Jason just TEARING through the place, yanking doors, throwing around junk, flinging open chests, trying to find her. His frustration and determination are palpable, and it's a scene that says a lot about the nature of the character, almost moreso than anything else up to this point.
She eventually maneuvers herself and hops down on Jason, hoping to stun him as she runs away, but the big heavy wooden bar is not so easily moved, and Jason is even less easily stopped.
- Cheap 3D Gimmick Count #30 - Chris dropping on Jason
- Cheap 3D Gimmick Count #31 - Jason charging at the camera with his machete.
Chris escapes back up to the loft, and clobbers Jason with a shovel when he continues his pursuit. While he's down, she uses the ropes used to haul bales of hay into the loft, to tie him up around the neck, shove him out, and try to hang him.
AND THIS MAY BE THE SINGLE SMARTEST MOMENT IN ALL OF HORROR MOVIE HISTORY.
Okay, sure. It doesn't *work* but it's a GOOD move, uses the environment well, and taking a moment, with no hesitation whatsoever, to try and finish off the killer by hanging? Well done.
She finally gets the door open, and Jason's hanging right there, so he reveals he's not dead, hauls himself up on the rope, and pulls back the mask. The face is familiar to us, but Chris also recognises it as the face of the man who tried to kill her a few years ago. Which seems like a heck of a coincidence, but here we are.
Before Jason can finish the girl off though, a miraculously not dead Ali runs in to keep the movie going a little while longer. That lasts all of five seconds though, and Jason hacks him up some more, hopefully finishing the job this time.
Chris uses the distraction to get ahold of an axe, and bury it into Jason's hockey mask, but he just keeps on coming. Because he's Jason.
- Cheap 3D Gimmick Count #32, Jason's groping hands coming for the audience.
- Cheap 3D Gimmick Count #33, the axe handle poking out of the screen after he collapses.
Making her way to the lake, Chris finds a canoe and tries to use that to escape, and dozes off while she drifts around. She floats around the lake aimlessly until Jason appears on the shore, encouraging her to move a little faster, even though a lot of fallen, broken tree chunks are making it hard to navigate the waters.
And in a nice homage to the first movie, from behind her, a figure bursts out of the water to drag her from the canoe. But instead of it being Jason, the reversal continues, and it's Momma Voorhees that drags her under.
But we then wobble fade to the cops showing up to clean up the mess, and saying she must've flipped out, and there was no one in the lake. Also like the first movie. But it does raise the question...how would Chris know about the Voorhees? She didn't seem to know about the folklore of Jason and such at all during the movie, and only knew of the killer from her own experience.
And so another summer on Crystal Lake draws to a close, as a crazed and frantic Chris is driven off by the police, and a supposedly dead Jason lays in the barn with an axe to the face.
Which says to me, the entire canoe experience WAS a dream, but my questions remain, since the Momma Voorhees thing works as a gasp from the audience, but fails from her knowledge standpoint. Oh well, Chris is driven off to the sunset sanitarium to sort it out...
Video: This seems like a movie that might look okay, considering it's pedigree of being one of the big franchises, with a studio behind it, but SOMEthing went wrong on this release. I don't know if it's just because they put this version of the movie AND the 3D version on the same disc, cramming the two together, and meaning video quality would suffer with all that used space, or if it's because the movie being 3D meant the quality just wasn't there to begin with but...this just doesn't look great.
Audio: It sounds decent enough though, considering.
Sound Bite: "Go down to the cellar and check the fuse box!" "In the dark? Alone??" Stoner dude realises they're in a horror movie...
Body Count: Okay, sure, Santa's Slay is a tough act to follow. But Jason gives us a good pile, nonetheless.
1 - 4:30 minutes in, and we start off with the death of Jason. From the last movie. Ahahaha, that'll last.
2 - At the 15 minute mark, we get a proper death for this movie when Jason cleaves store clerk Harold.
3 - Harold's wife gets stabbied in the back.
4 - Jason wanders back into the movie to kill a gang member by pinning her to the barn.
5 - And another biker gets gutted by 3D effects.
6 - Vera gets a harpoon right in the eye.
7 - Andy gets dead when Jason wants some chopped nuts.
8 - Jason hides under the hammock SOMEhow and stabs Debbie from behind.
9 - Which also means the unborn baby she was carrying dies too! No one talks about this...
10 - Shelly, who died earlier, finally reveals his throat is cut.
11 - Stoner hippy dude gets tossed into an open fuse box and electrocutes himself.
12 - Stoner dude's girlfriend gets eviscerated.
13 - Rick dies by getting his skull crushed at the hands of Jason.
14 - Ali runs back in after not being dead to get actually deaded.
15 - Jason *snickers* dies with an axe to the face.
Best Corpse: Oh, nothing beats Rick's death. His skull was crushed by Jason's bare hands, and the eye bursting out is great.
Blood Type - C+: It's not the bloodiest movie out there, but it tries, and has a decent amount where required.
Sex Appeal: They sneak in the requisite boobs here and there.
Drink Up! ...Seriously? Do you *even need to ask*? Take a drink every damned time something whooshes at the camera.
Video Nasties: I love the turnaround of having Chris pounce from the closet at the killer, and it's a decent enough use of 3D with her slashing at the camera.
Movie Review: Okay, first thing, let me take this movie as a story minus all the jarring 3D gimmicks. It's not terrible. It's a decent enough entry in the story of Jason, and has a solid enough plot. I like that they give explanations for common tropes like the cars breaking down. The gang felt like padding, but then worked into the ongoing stuff pretty well, I would've loved more of that stuff, as I said. But those first five minutes of reused footage that was unnecessary, and the lengthy scene at the gas station before we even meet our cast, was just too much. The pacing of the movie, especially that opening, is a mess. It *tricks* you into seeming okay with Jason and a few deaths, but that's a looong time to wait before we get to the actual movie. Also, while that's all without the gimmicks, once you take those into account, and how they become SO distracting most of the time, so out of place, and so pointless, it really takes the movie down a notch. Without the gimmicks, this is a solid enough three out of five hammocks, but once you factor in everything in as a whole, it gets knocked down to two out of five juggled fruits.
Entertainment Value: If those 3D gimmicks remain annoying, they certainly are entertaining, as every following one makes you go "Come ON!" as they somehow managed to top the last one. With some solid kills, and an entertaining plot, this is at least a fun, watchable movie, even if the 3D stuff can become either annoying or amusing, depending on your mood. Three out of five bales of hay.