A New Dimension In Terror...Friday the 13th part III
PLOT - Jason escapes his machete wound from Ginny Fields and crawls away finding new clothes and stalking the woods of Crystal Lake yet again. While the police investigate the murders at the counselor training site, a group of carefree teens decide to spend the weekend at one of the girl's cabin which is a few miles away on the lake. Here Jason begins to pick them off one by one, finding a girl who he once attacked years ago before he came out of hiding, and a brand new hockey mask from one of his misfortune victims.
LOWDOWN - I can't exactly say when I first remembered watching the third installment in the Friday the 13th series. I do vaguely remember back when I first began renting/collecting these films my mother commented that one of the movies in the series was 3D. This puzzled me and I'm almost sure this was even after I watched the third movie. Looking back it's more than a little obvious that this movie was in 3D seeing that people are pointing their fingers along with weapons and rakes at the camera. In fact there's even a scene when a guy randomly bounces a yo-yo back and forth in front of his girlfriend's face.
Part 3 is part of the brief series which marked Jason's first return. Part 2, 3, and 4 all take place within the space of a few days leaving Jason's bloody legacy in horror history. I have mentioned many times that 1-5 are my favorites and part III is a very underrated installment. Directed by Steve Miner who was responsible behind the previous movie part two. Miner went on to direct some pretty awesome movies such as House, Warlock, and H20. His humble beginnings came from working closely with Sean Cunningham and Wes Craven. You can see a lot of the similarities between part two and three, in fact there's even some scenes and lines that are nearly alike. The biggest one being the arm wrestling/jugging scene in both films.
This was a fun movie even though many called it the gimmick movie. In the mid 1980's a sudden wave hit the movies. A clever tool that really hadn't been used since the 50's. This was the epic return of 3D. Yep, it was a fad long before the craze hit us the last couple of years. Jaws 3D had been released and it seemed as though if Bruce the shark was fair game, so wasn't Jason. This movie marks a few big epic moments in the entire franchise. First Jason ditches the sack and due to poor prankster Shelly, ends up with the iconic hockey mask he has been wearing for the last thirty years. Thank God Shelly hadn't walked into that barn holding a clown mask!
Another huge thing is the axe mark Chris gives him at the top of his head at the end of the movie. This gash in the mask has stayed on Jason's mask ever since and goes to show that this movie had a small little indent for the rest of the film series history. = Bad ass!
One big thing that I NEVER noticed before about this movie was something my friend Nate pointed out to me while back at school. If you turn up the volume when the couple who owns the small roadside market, right in the scene when the wife is sitting on the couch knitting and watching the news report covering the murders from part two...right when she hears what she thinks is her husband and she turns to look out the window you can clearly hear the reporter say that signs of cannibalism or sexual assault hasn't been ruled out. When Nate first pointed this out to me I almost shit. NEVER and I mean NEVER had I noticed that before and I've seen this movie at least sixty or seventy times. I couldn't believe it. Yet it sorta made sense. I mean Jason has been living out in these woods all these years. Of course he's gotta get laid and eat something every one in a while...right?
Another big thing that made this movie a wee bit taboo was first the character of Debbie, the pretty best friend who's pregnant. Yep that's right she's pregnant. She only mentions it twice early on in the movie and for those who have read the screenplay a couple of other times. Seeing that this was a slasher movie it's a little odd for such a plot line to be thrown in there. I understand why they didn't go further into this subject, but still props to Miner for showing that Jason doesn't give a shit if your knocked up. That if you wanna look at it this way...he even killed an unborn child in this movie. Creepy, very creepy. I guess Jason is pro-choice?
The second was Chris, our new lead girl and the traumatic event that happened to her a year or so before the film takes place. It seems that one night after a fight with her parents she ran off into the woods and was attacked by a huge disfigured man...otherwise known as Jason. After he dragged her down, she blacked out and woke up in her own bed, never remembering what happened and her parents refusing to ever speak about it. Odd huh? Well if those who look at it this way, Jason never had drowned. He simply had been living in the woods all those years too scared to leave. I mean he did see his mother beheaded right? Well it would make sense that every once in a while there would be a person unlucky enough to run into him around that lake. Many people have different theories about what exactly happened to Chris...the biggest one being that she was raped by Jason. But that leaves the huge question in why didn't Jason kill her?
This movie is filled with very memorable moments. One of the funniest being the whole police car following the fan and the teens eating all the pot they have out of pure panic just to watch the cruiser. I die every time I watch this scene and somebody was clever enough to add a laugh track to it making it like some old school comedy show.
This movie also had pretty likeable characters and a pretty good set up. There's the pregnant good looking couple Andy and Debbie, the two potheads Chuck and Chili who I'm sorry smoked so much I have no idea how they can even walk straight in this movie. Guess it was pretty weak stuff...
Chris our new lead girl and her handsome boyfriend Rick. A lot of people didn't like Chris in this movie. In fact I would say she's the weakest of the first four final girl characters. I think had a little of the material been written a little better it would have been delivered in a much different way, but come on now this is the third installment of a slasher movie. What can you do? Rick on the other hand always reminds me of an older John Stockwell. Loved his character and of course his death.
Then there's the blind set up date between prankster Shelly and Vera. I always sorta felt bad for Shelly, the poor guy had so many strikes against him and didn't seem to have a filter. I love the shot of him running to the yellow bug. I die every time. I always find it a touching moment when Vera is sitting on the dock and sees the photograph of Shelly and his mother.
Speaking of Shelly, if it wasn't for him we wouldn't have had the iconic hockey mask. I love how he stumbles in with his throat slit and Chili thinks it's just another prank. Guess it's a true story of boy who cried wolf. Gotta hand it to Shelly tho, took him a while to drop dead.
Speaking of deaths this movie had some of the most memorable ones. Some that were just downright brutal. The first kill Jason makes wearing his new hockey mask is Vera who's in the lake trying to retrieve Shelly's wallet. I love how classic this scene is, her noticing it isn't Shelly and asking "Who are you?" The spear to the eye is fucking amazing and marks a very large moment in Friday the 13th history.
My favorite kill in the whole movie is Andy's. This poor guy gets it the worst and in my eyes one of the most brutal deaths in the entire film history. Andy is the cute jock boyfriend who just got lucky in a hammock and is walking on his hands down the hallway while Debbie is in the shower. Jason appears and BANG slams his machete right down the middle of him.
Debbie's death is a lot like Kevin Bacon's from the original. In fact there's a lot in common with this movie and the first. My favorite being Chris being dragged into the lake by a very rotten Mrs. Voorhees. Such a kick ass moment in the film that I love to watch every time.
Rick's death of course is one of the biggest epic moments in horror 3D history. Love the eyeball flying towards the screen.
The ending fight between Chris and Jason is pretty wonderful and realistic. I love the moment when Chris is hiding in the closet only to have her best friend's body fall out in front of her. While Jason is breaking the door open she's forced to pull the knife out of Debbie's back and fight back with it. I love the expression on Chris' face as she swings the knife like a mad woman at him.
The barn showdown is of course awesome. I love that Ali (played by Nick Savage...yep the bouncer from Fright Night) jumps out only to be slaughtered. Like I said this fight is realistic and the axe to the head and Jason stumbling towards Chris like he's some kind of monster is classic.
I loved the dream ending which gets me every time. A running Jason always terrifies me. Love to see how Chris has now lost it which explains why we don't see her in the forth movie.
So my ending thoughts of Friday the 13th part III is that it's one hell of a slasher movie made during a time that so many titles were being released. This is a great movie back when the Friday the 13ths were still just starting out. This was a very important movie in the series and left open a great beginning for the final chapter. If your looking for an awesome horror movie to watch with a bunch of films and drink beer, this is the one. Long live Friday the 13th part III. I can't believe it's thirty years old!