Night #15: Friday The 13th Part 3 (1982)


Is that all you’re gonna do this weekend? Smoke dope?”

Directed By: Steve Miner

Well, it wouldn’t be a 31 Nights of Frights without a little detour into Jason Vorhees territory. So here we are with one of the more ok(?) entries into the series. I had originally intended to look at another William Castle flick after last night’s Homicidal but well…I changed my mind. Is that ok?

Providing a handy recap to the end of the last movie, Part 3 wastes no time in getting right down to business, except this time with an added dimension. THE THIRD DIMENSION. Though this was only the third movie, the worry was that audiences were going to tire of the formula (Clearly this wasn’t that much of a concern since they made another seven of them) and so with the surprise success of a Spanish 3D movie called Coming At Ya! the decision was made to, if not scare audiences, then make them duck out of the way of things like yo-yos  and whatever else the filmmakers saw fit to point at the camera (Here’s the list: A stick, a TV antenna, a snake, a mouse, a baseball bat, a joint, an eyeball, rickty floorboards, a bale of hay, more sticks, a wallet, a yo-yo, juggling balls, a harpoon, another eye, a knife, a woman falling from rafters and a man’s falling body)

Truth is I’ve never enjoyed this one all that much. It comes off the back of the much better Part II and even though both movies have the same director, so much of the concern seems to be over the 3D aspect that it renders most of the scares sort of flat. It probably also doesn’t help that the lead is probably the worst actress in the whole series. Actually, that’s not fair to Dana Kimmel. She’s mostly fine, though her acting scared is easily mistaken with her smiling instead and it’s a shame because if you’re going to have someone take up most of your screen time, you might as well make sure that they can act scared.

Anyway, we get to meet our group of disposable teens, even while no one here looks under 23. Aside from our lead Chris (Still with the gender neutral names at this point), we have practical joker Shelley, out-of-his-league Vera, two other couples who I didn’t get the names of but one of them looks and acts like Tommy Chong, and Rick who spends most of the movie trying to convince Chris to fuck him. He also literally appears to be 40 years old.

Of course, we need some other victims so we get probably the worst biker gang ever showing up looking like extras from Michael Jackson’s Bad video. These guys are not exactly the Hell’s Angels but they do such villainous things as kick over innocent bales of hay, so you know they mean business. They get dispatched with almost immediately so we never get to see what they might escalate to next.

There’s kind of not much to say really. You know the drill here. The cast get whittled down slowly and in various gruesome-ish ways. I say gruesome because you don’t actually see all that much, which is half the reason for seeing these movies (I realise how bad that really sounds when you say it out loud). Amusingly enough, this is when continuity really starts to go nuts. This follows directly after Part II which means that we start on Saturday the 14th, but we meet our characters the next day making it Sunday the 15th. It doesn’t really have the same ring to it does it? I don’t know why they felt the need to do it that way (It really comes apart in Part IV, where one character says he’s been ‘tracking’ Jason because he killed his sister. Except in terms of the timeline laid out by the movies he’s been tracking him for all of like three days at best, and not the months that the movie tries to suggest).

Anyway, my memories of this one are about the same they’ve always been. It’s simply not very good. The only really notable thing about it, aside from the 3D gimmick, is that this is the first movie where Jason gets his famous hockey mask. For Part II and part of this he wears a burlap sack over his head, which is all very The Town That Dreaded Sundown. Thankfully though things take a turn for the awesome with Part IV, but this is kind of just there and not doing a lot. The best thing about it is the totally disco-tastic opening theme, which has to be heard to truly be appreciated:







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