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Monday, June 3, 2019

Friday the 13 Part III (1982)




Summer has arrived again, and you know what that means? Time for another Slasher marathon. This time I thought I’d go ahead and start off with the franchise that for many folks defines the Slasher genre. I covered part I and II last summer, so I figure what the heck might as well kick things into gear with Friday the 13th Part III.

After a recap of the previous entry we see that Jason wasn’t as dead as they had thought. He gets up and wanders away without his Tater Sack mask. This means we only catch glimpses of him as he runs into and dispatches some local shopkeepers and a gang of bikers that wandered into the wrong barn. It isn’t until he meets up with Shelly, an annoying character that likes to play stupid pranks, that he gets his hands on something to cover up his ugly mug. Finally, Jason gets his hockey mask! The cast gets murdered in new and interesting ways until we are left with a final girl. She has a history with Jason, and it scarred her emotionally. Though not as much as when she finds all her friends butchered!

I’ve always liked this entry into the Friday franchise. After the recap we get a couple new kills and then meet the rest of the characters. The filmmakers fill out the cast with plenty of victims and take very little time killing them. This makes for a nicely paced and entertaining Slasher flick. The filmmakers aren’t trying to break any new ground or make art. This movie is meant to be entertaining and that is exactly what it is. The cast is solid in their roles and we get just enough character development to feel bad for them when they meet their gruesome ends. While I’ll admit that the stoner characters and Shelly were over the top and annoying at times, but it doesn’t bother me that much. This is a Slasher movie, the third in the franchise, and was shot in 3D. They weren’t making a serious horror movie but were just looking to be fun.

One might say this kill was... twisted. Hehe
I also know that many fans don’t like this one because it was shot to take advantage of 3D which effects the makeup and kills, but I personally love it. Things are constantly popping out at the audience and they incorporate the gags into the kills and the jump scares. Is it cheesy? Sure, but isn’t that part of the fun? The movie has a respectable twelve kills and includes some highlights like the eye flying at the audience and a neat bit with a spear gun. Heck we even get a hand lopped off for good measure. Probably the most memorable kill is more implied than seen and involves a guy that likes to walk on his hands. Ouch! This reminds me that some of the kills are off screen but there is enough front and center for the audience to enjoy. While not the bloodbath that the original was with Savini’s special effects work I thought this one was just fine.

Blood, boobs, 3D gags, and Jason’s first outing in the hockey mask. What isn’t to love about that? The first two entries into the franchise were far more serious, but how long could they sustain that? When we finally see Shelly die in a way that mirrors his stupid pranks you know you smiled just a little bit. I recommend checking it out.



© Copyright 2019 John Shatzer


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