Macabre Movie Mausoleum: Friday the 13th Part 3
Geekade is in full spook mode! Our 31 Days of Halloween celebration is about halfway through but that isn’t going to stop Jason Voorhees. Today my faithful gravediggers and undertakers, we take a look at Friday the 13th Part 3 in 3D!!! That’s right, Jason has joined the 3D craze that swept up most horror franchises of the time. Let’s see how it fared, shall we?
Friday the 13th Part 3 (1982)
Director: Steve Miner
Starring: Dana Kimmell, Tracie Savage, and Richard Brooker
One of my favorite things about the Friday series is that each sequel competently recaps the previous movies in a nice way. I don’t see many horror movies doing this, and it’s a nice touch.
The movie starts proper, and we are in 3D hell. I’m going to review all of the 3D upfront here, so we can focus on the movie later. Remember, this happened way before the current 3D technology existed, so you have to watch the movie with those stupid-looking red and blue glasses on. What this means is that all the color of the movie is skewed greatly. Depending on how your eyes are focused, the blue van would look red or green, but very rarely actually blue. They utilized the 3D nicely in some of the kill scenes, but more often than not, it was an annoying gimmick used for cheap thrills, like when one of the characters plays with a yo-yo that repeatedly ‘jumped’ at you. About halfway through the movie, I had to switch to 2D because the gimmick was annoying and the color distortion was distracting.
This movie takes place the day after the last movie and starts with an injured Jason, (remember, he was hit with a machete in the shoulder/chest) finding a change of clothes at a local store near the lake. The store is owned by a couple and is attached to their home. The woman is watching news about what happened in the previous movie, while her husband is stalked by Jason in the bathroom. He’s killed with a meat cleaver after not wiping following his shit. (something that repeats in this franchise)
The man’s wife briefly investigates what happened to him, but after not finding anything she goes back to watching the news. She can’t find one of her knitting needles, which obviously means she soon dies by having said needle stabbed into her skull. This whole sequence exists just to show how Jason got a new shirt. I wish today’s movies put that much effort into their plots as this movie did for one throw away scene.
Next we’re introduced to the main group of characters, Chris who is returning to her family’s old house on Crystal Lake, her boyfriend, a pregnant couple, a stoner couple, and two characters that are being set up on a blind date weekend. They drive by the convenience store that Jason attacked earlier in the morning and see the bodies being carted off. Shelly, the guy being set up on the blind date, is quickly revealed to be a horror prankster; pretending to be a killer or a victim and things like that.
Soon after arriving at the house, Shelly and his uninterested date, Vera, go to a different convenience store, and run afoul of three bikers who attack them and their car. In retaliation, Shelly drives over their bikes, and speeds away. Back at the house though, the bikers catch up to them and plan to burn down the barn, but two of them are quickly killed off by Jason with a pitchfork. The third tries to surprise Jason, but is beaten with a lead pipe.
Chris and her boyfriend, Rick, head off on their own, and she explains the reason she left the house is because she was attacked by a deformed man in the woods, and she’s only returned to confront her fears. Unfortunately, the bikers managed to siphon the gas to their van, you know, before they were viciously murdered, so now they have to walk back to the house.
In a hockey mask and harpoon gun, Shelly tries to scare Vera by the lake to get her to like him. It’s like that kindergarten mentality of pulling the hair of the girl you like, but as adults and resulting in her fearing for her life. Anyway, Jason kills Shelly by slitting his throat open, and steals his mask, and this is how Jason gets his iconic look. Later, Jason shoots Vera with the harpoon gun practically from across the lake, showcasing one of the few good uses of 3D in the movie.
Moving into the house, Jason moves onto his next targets. First is Andy, who is walking away from his showering pregnant girlfriend on his hands for some reason. In reality, the reason is so Jason can chop him between the legs with easy access, and it is brutal. The best death scene in the movie so far, despite Vera’s death utilizing the 3D tech better.
Debbie, the preggers, gets a knife in the chest (can’t hurt the belly) while laying in a hammock.
Next up, the stoner couple. First Chuck goes to the basement to investigate the black out, and after surprisingly getting things to work, Jason throws him into the fuse box, electrocuting him, and killing the power to the house again. Back upstairs Jason impales Chili (yes her name is Chili) with a hot poker from the fireplace.
Finally getting back to the house, Chris and Rick find the place messed up, but no blood or bodies. It’s at this point I’ve formed two theories about Jason. 1. He can teleport. It’s the only explanation of how he travels so fast while only walking. 2. He must have been so abused as a kid for making messes that even now, as a hulking monster, he remembers those punishments which is why he’s so good at hiding evidence from people who never seem to find blood until they’re about to die. Exiting the house to investigate the grounds, Rick is caught by Jason and has his head crushed in, with his eye popping out. Kudos to the eye in 3D, but the special effects for the head, look less convincing than those from the first movie.
Being chased by Jason, Chris makes her way to the barn, but Jason catches her. Leading him to the second floor, she pushes Jason out the window hanging him by the neck. With only one way to leave, she opens the barn door to find Jason hanging there, but still alive. He lifts himself to get his head out of the noose, but in doing so his mask rides up, and she realizes he’s the one who attacked her in the woods years ago.
As he’s about to kill her, Chris is saved by the third biker that we thought died earlier. He distracts Jason long enough for Chris to grab an ax, but he is quickly killed off (for good) and Chris chops the ax into Jason’s head, “killing” him.
Much like the first movie, Chris gets into a boat and floats out into the lake to sleep where she has a nightmare of Jason chasing her out of the house, and Pamela Voorhees (with her head reattached) pulls Chris into the water. She wakes up and this never happened.
The cops escort her away, and they drive by Jason’s dead body.
On to the rating…
It’s starting to get repetitive. I know it’ll get worse later on in the franchise, but even now at 3, it feels like they’ve done this before. The movie was by no means bad, but it suffered from repetitiveness. I mean, for god’s sake they even ended with the same drifting to sleep while on a boat bit from the first movie.
None of the characters felt three dimensional, and this is in a movie where 3D was the whole gimmick. Bad puns aside, the characters weren’t fleshed out enough, and the one that was, Chris, had a backstory that made no sense. After getting into a fight with her parents, she runs into the woods. While there, Jason stumbles upon her, and he attacks her. She survives ‘somehow’ but when she woke up, she was back home. Everyone said she imagined it, until now when she’s confronted by Jason again. Not once do they go into what Jason was doing in the woods that night, or when in the movie timeline this would have happened, nor do they explain how she survived and got back to her house while unconscious.
The bikers that appear throughout the movie are meant to be throw aways just to pad the runtime, but they added nothing to the story overall.
By this point they should just set the entire lake and all of its surroundings on fire to prevent any more Jason attacks.
But wait, there’s more! Come back next week for The Final Chapter! No, really! It’s the final one!
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