Friday the 13th Part III

Friday the 13th Part III ★★★

BatQuinn's Cinema Review #36

"I'm not an a**hole, I'm an actor." Shelly Finkelstein

Greetings fellow cinephiles and welcome back to BatQuinn's Cinema, where I review the good, bad, and obscure sides of motion pictures. 

One of the most famous gimmicks in movies has to be 3-D. Nowadays, most movies that are released in 3-D can be used to immerse the viewer into the world. But back then, it was mainly used as a cheap way to have things pop out of the screen. Popularized in the fifties, it would later be resurrected by a film called Comin' at Ya!, released in 1981. With the rebirth of the technology, it was decided to shoot the newest Friday the 13th film with 3-D cameras. It would be released in theaters as Friday the 13th Part 3 3-D.

Plot Summary: Picking up from the previous film's events with a flashback sequence, Jason (Richard Brooker) has survived his attack and migrates to a store where he changes clothes and then murders the store owners before moving on to a nearby lakefront property named Higgins Haven. Meanwhile, 18-year-old Chris Higgins (Dana Kimmell), travels to the property with her friends Debbie Klein (Tracie Savage), her boyfriend Andy Beltrami (Jeffrey Rogers), the dim-witted prankster Shelly Finkelstein (Larry Zerner), Vera Sanchez (Catherine Parks), and stoners Chuck Garth (David Katims) and Chili Jachson (Rachel Howard), where they later meet Chris's boyfriend Rick (Paul Kratka). Chris has come back to the property after a traumatic incident from her past, but they're all unaware that Jason is hiding out in the barn, waiting for anyone foolish enough to invade his land.

In my review of Part 2, I mentioned that one of the things I liked was the likable characters. In this film, it's the complete opposite. Most of the characters are unlikeable, except for Chris, who's a pretty good final girl, and I liked how she's one of the only few characters to have encountered Jason before this film. Speaking of Jason, he steals the show, as always. Compared to his look in Part 2, he is much bulkier and has broader shoulders. On the topic of Jason, can someone explain to me how the heck he went from looking like a hillbilly to this mountain of a man in one day since this film takes place a day after Part 2? (Maybe these movies were made by the We Don't Give a F*ck Brigade). Anyways, Richard Brooker was a really good Jason, and it's such a shame he passed away. This incarnation is noteworthy because he's the first one to wear the iconic hockey mask, which has become synonymous with the franchise and pop culture.

The 3-D effects are another issue I have with the film. If you've watched Part 3 before, chances are you saw either the 2-D version or the really bad anaglyphic 3-D version that Paramount constantly re-released on DVD. Until the recently released Scream Factory Blu-Ray, there was no real way to see it the way it was intended, so you have a bunch of stuff flying at the screen, which is gratuitous and distracting. The biggest problem I have with this film is just how lazy it is. Besides the mask, it doesn't add anything new to the series, since it feels like a clone of the previous two movies. Not only is the ending copied from the original, but certain musical pieces were also re-used, although the theme is very catchy. From what I read, it was played at a lot of gay clubs, which is pretty amusing.

Despite all those negatives, there are a few good things about this film. The kills, for the most part, are pretty good, especially Andy and Vera's death scenes. Rick's death has to win the award for the worst fake head in motion picture history. It's also quite amusing to see Jason getting a ton of books dropped onto his head.

Overall, this one was ok. Even though the negatives outweigh the positives, I still had fun because it's a Friday the 13th movie. I'm not expecting it to be Academy Awarding material, because it was never meant to be. It's a dumb but fun slasher franchise. However, this is one of the weaker entries in the series.

Final Rating: 3/5 C

RIP Richard Brooker (1954-2013)

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