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Subj: Psycho Slasher Cinema 4:Friday The 13th Part III(1982)
Posted: Fri Oct 02, 2015 at 02:19:34 am EDT (Viewed 10 times)
Friday The 13th Part III was released in 1982, the third movie in the series in three years. It was filmed in 3-D, and you can tell by many of the scenes even when not shown in 3-D. 1982 was a prime year for horror with such films as Poltergeist, Creepshow, The Thing, Halloween III, Visiting Hours and Cat People, and Friday The 13th Part III held it's own. It was the 2nd highest grossing horror movie of the year, according to wikipedia. The film series was becoming a franchise, and Part III had a huge part in building its reputation.
The story picks up on the day after the events of Part II. The ending of the previous film isn't explained. Instead, Jason is prowling the streets of an area near Camp Crystal Lake, presumably because the police have invaded his home. He kills two store owners before hiding out at a farm which becomes the location of the rest of the movie. A group of teens are staying at the farm, including a girl who had a weird experience around Camp Crystal Lake two years earlier. They, plus some bikers whom they run afoul of, start to get hacked up, culminating in the final girl realizing the killer is the man who attacked her two years earlier. She is able to fend him off and presumably kill him, leading to another jump scare ending and another sequel.
I remember seeing the commercials for this movie on TV. My brother and a group of guys went to see it in the theater, but somehow I missed it. I would've loved to have seen it in 3-D. I first saw it on cable, and what really stood out was the exaggerated 3-D scenes. They were very much like the Three Stooges shorts of the 50's that were filmed in 3-D and had scenes specifically shot to showcase the effect. I think they were more concerned with the 3-D effects instead of the graphic effects. The scenes aren't bad, but I can see people questioning them if they didn't realize this was originally a 3-D movie.
This is the last Friday The 13th movie that really scared me. I was 12 at the time and had Jason nightmares, mainly due to his unstoppable nature. In this film, he really starts to develop into a killing juggernaut who just keeps coming no matter what happens to him. I think that was what scared me most. To be honest, since watching these films again, I've had Jason dreams, although they really aren't nightmares anymore. I'm trying to get away from the killer, but there's no real panic in the dream.
Watching this movie 30+ years later, there's an obvious shift in production. It seems less like an independent film, with characters that are less subtle. The gore is good, but the horror seems tuned down a bit. In some ways it's a copy of the previous two films, but it also introduces the Jason that has become a horror icon. This is the first film in which Jason wears the hockey mask and becomes an unstoppable killer. The character's are much less likable and the acting is predictable for the genre. It's more cheesy and a bit tongue in cheek, but still a great entry in the series. The jump scare at the end makes no sense and isn't nearly as effective as the ones in the previous movies. Still, this is one of the movies that I have the most nostalgia for.
I love the opening scene with Harold and Edna. It's over-the-top corny, especially Harold, but still lots of fun. Harold gets a cleaver in the chest and Edna a knitting needle in the head.
Jason hacking Andy walking on his hands. This murder is particularly brutal as Jason cut's Andy in two while he's walking on his hands. To be honest, I never knew he did this when watching as a kid, but, nevertheless, the scene is disturbing,
Vera getting shot in the eye with the spear gun. I think this is the best scene in the movie. Jason, his first time in the hockey mask, takes his time as he walks out on the pier, lines up his shot as Vera talks to him, and shoots her in the eye. Then he just drops the spear gun and walks away. This scene establishes the Jason character that would appear in all subsequent movies.
At the time, Jason squeezing the man's head until his eye popped out was probably one of the best scenes, but on this viewing, it didn't hold up. It was still a good scene, but not as shocking as I'd remembered.
Once again, the Friday The 13th franchise had another hit, with a movie with a $2.25 budget making $36 million at the box office. The movie established what would become the trademarks of the series and also makes more sense than I originally gave it credit for. Jason leaving Crystal Lake and hiding out in this barn is reasonable as the slaughter of Part II happened just a day before.
The new messenger of doom isn't nearly as effective as Crazy Ralph, but I'll bet that eyeball scene looked nuts in 3-D in 1982.
I appreciate how the actor who played Shelley embraced his character, but I still find him one of the most annoying in the series.
This movie was still very enjoyable to me, but I think I'll knock it down a peg or two in my rankings.
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