Friday the 13th Part III

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"No! You CAN'T be alive! "

Oct 13th, 2011

I have a kind of OCD when it comes to writing reviews. If I decide to watch a film and write about it I never feel I'm fully done with it if it has a sequel. Many of the reviews I've done thus far have felt incomplete especially those within the horror genre. I managed to complete all the reviews for the Nightmare on Elm Street series and while it was a weight off my shoulders I still felt the need to finish the Friday reviews (which I began 2 years ago). The reason why I've found it so hard is that most of the reviews could be summed up in one sentence and this one really is no different. This is the same film but this time in 3D.

While 3D has become quite the norm with movies (a statement I never thought I would ever make) for those of us who grew up in the 80's 3D was a naff device horror movies used to get people in the theatre. The red and green glasses of yesteryear did little to stimulate a third dimension and just gave viewers ridiculous headaches.

My experiences with this type of 3D came not from cinema going (3D had died down by the time I could get into the cinema) but from the glasses they shoved in VHS copies of rental stores, Charity gimmicks for Comic relief/Children in Need and pull outs in the Beano. I wasn't a fan.

When it came to the televised versions of Friday the 13th it wasn't viable to expect viewers to be carrying 3D glasses so all versions were shown in 2D. Now you'd think that the 3D aspects would be lost on me but this film really goes for the basic technique of waving objects towards the camera. Eventually I managed to see the 3D version which wasn't that different from the 2D print only in a green and red hue. (This will all be important later I promise).

The opening shows that Jason survived his axe wound from Part 2's conclusion and shows him wandering away from the camp site . This also helps to add to the confusion of the last movies ending (what actually happened?) but all we really need to know is that Jason is alive and kicking. Down the road from the camp is a residential property (which houses a couple of teenagers, what are the odds?) where Jason decides to recuperate within a nearby barn.

Our first upside is that there is a bit of variety when it comes to the location. I know a lot of fans prefer when Jason is stalking a campsite but if he spent all 12 movies there I would have given up on these films a long time ago.

I don't know what it is about this bunch of teens but they lack the likability that the previous (I want to say "generation") kids had. Dana Kimmell is fine as Chris Higgins (the survivor girl) but I can't put my finger on why the rest just don't work. Maybe it's less to do with the way the characters are written and down to the fact that they aren't as good on the acting front as the previous cast were. Line delivery is poor.

Fortunatly this dosen't actually hurt the film and seems to apply to most B-movie franchises. When it came to Nightmare on Elm Street bad acting diminished my enjoyment of the movies as I expected more. For the Friday films if a character annoyed me it wouldn't be long until they meet their maker so it wasn't an issue (and also made me enjoy their death sequences more).

On the plus side we also get a bunch of villainous arseholes that antagonise our leads (Horror movie assholes I just love them). It's the first instance where I remember seeing Jason more as a hero (at least in certain reguards) as he lays waste to the dirge of society. Although many an arsehole would grace the Friday series none brought me the same joy as the 3 bikers of 3D.

As always we come for the death sequences and while I derived great joy from seeing this cast dropping like flies the 3D took away some of the impact. The scenes were violent/gory but as the victims continued to wave objects at the camera it took on a more cartoon like edge.

This movie tends to be remembered not because of the 3D but for giving Jason his trademark Hockey mask. Not only does Jason finally have a unique presence but it allowed the character to have a more onscreen presence with showdowns that were not obscured in shadows.

While everyone rips on The Final chapter and Jason goes to Hell for giving false hope that the franchise was ending. What most people forget is that this is the movie that was intended to be the last which is why the conclusion really gives a finite conclusion (at least if Jason was human).

Friday the 13th really hit its stride here it's just a shame it's hampered by the poor 3D implementation. I'm beginning to notice quite a few flaws that I'd jump on in better franchises but the cheap nature of this series seems to let it off with a pass. Friday is not a series for everyone.

Other reviews in the series

Friday the 13th (1980)
Friday the 13th Part 2
Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter
Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning
Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives
Friday The 13th Part VII The New Blood
Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan
Jason Goes To Hell
Jason X
Freddy vs. Jason
Friday the 13th (2009)

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Movie Details

Movie Poster Here
Director:Steve Miner
Screenplay: Martin Kitrosser
Carol Watson
Released: 1982
Rating: 18
Starring:Dana Kimmell
Paul Kratka
Tracie Savage