Jason Voorhees attacks another group of
teenagers at a cabin near Camp Crystal Lake.
Friday the 13th Part III (1982)
Directed by Steve Miner
Written by Martin Kitrosser and Carol Watson
Starring Dana Kimmell, Paul Kratka, Richard Brooker,
Larry Zerner, Tracie Savage, Catherine Parks
Sequel to 1981's Friday the 13th Part II
So, we’ve come to the third installment in this burgeoning juggernaut franchise and it’s only going to get stranger from here. Much of what happens in this flick sticks to the mold of “horny teens go out to lake and get killed by Jason” that will become a tired frame eventually, but if it ain’t broke don’t fix it! Not only was this the film where Jason finally establishes his iconic visage it is also the first of these fright flicks to be shown in 3D! Though most of the gags are telegraphed and you can see the strings (literally) in some cases, there is a certain charm to this movie.
We’re on the road for a vacation with Chris (Kimmell) and her friends, including horror nerd Shelly (Larry Zerner who is now an entertainment lawyer and unofficial translator for the ongoing Sean Cunningham v. Victor Miller saga) who unknowingly is the architect of Jason’s final image. He is us, the horror fan, in a horror movie and it is something very special and a character that has endured over the years. This movie is winking at the audience in a lot of ways as you also see a copy of Fangoria before a couple is murdered (where the woman says she’s pregnant so Jason got a bit of a bonus when he murdered that couple but also, what the fuck Voorhees?). Would we have Jamie Kennedy’s Randy if not for Shelly? Who’s to say but the lineage was laid down here and I would fight anyone on that. Chris is from the area where the infamous Camp Blood is and she is going back not only for a vacation but to also face her inner demons about this place. She had a previous encounter with Jason when she was younger and wants to conquer her lingering fear. Why do people think this approach would be therapeutic for this place? They’d fair better if they talked it out with a psychiatrist. Despite this, Chris is quite capable. She’s resourceful and not afraid to fight back which does go against the grain of women in horror movies who just fall over when they’re running. We also have a biker group who terrorized Shelly at the gas station make an appearance only to get chopped and stabbed by Jason.
Even though the 3D shows the seams a little, this movie is still chock full of great kills. There’s plenty of neck slicing, eye gouging, head smashing (not for the last time in this franchise), a guy gets chopped in half from the gonads on down, and my personal favorite: gratuitous ominous wind. Seriously, the wind is really whipping here for some damn reason and it never fails to be accompanied by music. Is that not enough for you? Ok, well, there’s electrocution, some nice cleaver action, eyeball popping, hand chopping, and even some nice hot poker stabbing. What this all culminates in is we learn that Jason is extremely durable as even an axe to the face isn’t slowing him down! We do have a continuation of the final scare but with the worm-infested corpse of Pamela Voorhees taking the role of her dear boy this time around. This is not the end though, campers. There’s still more terrifying tales from the shores of Camp Crystal Lake to be had and our next installment sees Jason meet his mortal enemy and the first of the Tommy Jarvis trilogy, I’m talking about Friday the 13th Part 4: The Final Chapter.
This film is the first appearance of Jason Voorhees's iconic hockey mask, finally completing his transformation into a legendary cultural icon. The film itself is on par with the second, featuring much more grisly and inventive deaths. I did not like the unnecessary fifteen minute recap at the beginning, which I felt took away from the film.
Jason becomes more of a crazy badass in this one, killing any stupid teen he can get his hands on in the most brutal way possible, from splitting a guy in half groin first to squeezing a man's head so hard his eyeball shoots into the screen (After all, this was meant to be seen in 3-D). I can see how some fans would view this as the beginning of the true Jason era, as I certainly do.
The film that not only cemented Jason Voorhees as an icon in the horror genre, but also gave him his signature head wear, the hockey mask. The film does a slight improvement over the second installment by giving us the Jason we know as an icon to this day and some of the most inventive kills in the entire history of the franchise. Some of these include a man's head being squeezed until his eye pops out, a man getting chopped in half groin first, and a harpoon shot to the eye; just to name a few. This was also the only entry to include the 3-D gimmick.
For the most part it actually works pretty well, with tons of stuff popping out at the audience including some of the kills that happen onscreen. As long as you don't mind the red and blue glasses, then the 3-D experience can be a fun way to view the film. The only setback is that some scenes look a little fake when watched in regular 2-D. Still, this is one of my favorite entries with its highly inventive kills and giving us the iconic look of Jason Voorhees.