Friday the 13th Part III

Friday the 13th Part III ★★★★

Not the best FRIDAY THE 13TH but far from the worst.

Right now, I'm in the middle of reading the very, very awesome book CRYSTAL LAKE MEMORIES by Peter M. Bracke, which exhaustively chronicles the making of each film in the series, complete with great production photos and interviews with cast, crew and Paramount brass. This is the first film in the series I've watched after reading all about its making, and it was very interesting this time knowing how difficult this shoot was (especially the cast and crew's difficulty working around all the 3D technology).

The early '80s were the last time 3D was a big deal before its recent resurgence, and back then it was more of a goofy audience participation stunt than anything else, so in this film you've got characters constantly throwing/dangling/poking things at the camera for no reason other than to give theatrical audiences in the day their money's worth. Some might find that annoying on a TV screen without the 3D glasses, but I find it amusingly corny and (I hate this word, but it's appropriate) retro.

The characters in this FRIDAY aren't the most interesting bunch as a whole, but I still like them. I especially like the intriguing dynamic between nerdy Shelly (Larry Zerner) and beautiful Vera (Catherine Parks), who have been awkwardly paired for a blind date. They have interesting chemistry, and I actually wish their relationship was allowed to develop a little more before they're, you know, horribly murdered.

There are some slow, silly patches, but it's fun, and the last 20 minutes (involving an extended chase/showdown between Jason and capable final girl Dana Kimmell) is a great deal of fun. The very end is stupid but amusingly so.

Oh, and a guy gets chopped in half while doing a handstand. Where else can you see that?

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