Friday the 13th – Review: Friday the 13th Part III

@TigersMS78 stumbles into the 3rd dimension and discovers an icon…


Friday the 13th Part III (1982) was the second sequel in as many years for the then burgeoning franchise and is the moment an iconic character truly came of age, this was despite the fact that this was meant to be the true end of Jason Voorhees. A brief recap/redo of Part 2 at the start of the film, tells you that Jason, is still alive despite the best efforts of all involved.
The story for Part III is…well a lot like a lot Part 2. Kids go into a secluded lake house for fun (read: Beer, Pot & Sex) only to be interrupted by some crazy psycho that wants to kill you (I hate when that happens), however this plot is given a bit of a tweak with Chris (Dana Kimmell) holding onto a secret. She was attacked two years ago near her parents’ lake house (yes the very same house) by a crazy, disfigured man in the woods…I wonder who that could be?
Taking place the day after Part 2, with Mr Voorhees having offed a number of people at Crystal Lake, obviously the kids going to the lake house, don’t listen to the news or maybe it is far away enough. Anyway, after riding in a van with an imitation Chong (sadly sans the Cheech), with plenty of weed of course, the gang encounters the obligatory warning from a crazy dude, of course he is duly ignored because…well he is carrying round an eye ball. Seriously. However as the film put logic to the way side as will I and concentrate on the film at hand.
Jason spends a fair bit of the film hiding. In fact I don’t think he starts the bloodbath until well over an hour into the film however when it starts it very quickly escalates! Somewhere along the line (and remember I am eschewing logic) Jason gained super human strength and a robust disposition when it comes to pain and uses both to deadly effect. A lot of the kills are pretty brutal, certainly Part III upped the ante from the previous two films with electrocution, stabbing, harpooning and possibly best (or worst) of all – a skull crushing. A majority of the kills where purely designed for the 3D element – the film being shown in 3D theatrically – which whilst it’s a total gimmick and works with the 3D, when watching it as a regular film, it gives it a weird point of view with a lot of objects pointing straight at the camera in such a way that you can’t help but notice it was made to be seen in 3D.
This film is the true birth of the Jason Voorhees as we know him today. After slicing an unfortunate soul’s neck he then takes his hockey mask and duly puts it on. Jason’s reveal popping up in the background after a light is turned is fantastic well and truly is far and away the best moment of this film (the outstanding synth score is a close second). It’s like seeing Darth Vader created except of course without the NNNNOOOOOOOOOOO!…and the ensuing laughter. From that point on in the film he actually is menacing and director Steve Miner doesn’t have to play ‘block the face’ whenever Jason is on screen.
Despite Part III being an illogical, timeline and continuity screwing mess, it is still very entertaining for what it is – a mindless slasher.

Images: 7capitalfilms, welcometocrystallake, wikipedia

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