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Monday, January 24, 2011

Friday the 13th Part 3

     Starting a brief trend in the early 80's, FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 3 in 3-D was released in 1982. This third installment of the franchise is famous for the fact that this is the movie where Jason dons his trademark hockey mast for the first time, although I still prefer the sack cloth from Part 2. There's more horny kids staying at nearby Higgins Haven- we assume it's somewhere near Crystal Lake- it never really says, to be honest. And Jason doesn't like it one bit.

     Even though I couldn't dislike this entry if I tried, I do have mixed feelings about it.  My main gripe is that there is a bit of a problem with continuity in this one- it supposedly pulls a HALLOWEEN and picks up right where the previous left off, yet Jason has inexplicably found time to beef up tremendously, grab a change of clothes and shave his head? I remember being slightly confused upon seeing Part 3 for the first time for that very reason. We strangely never see his lair or the altar to his beloved dead mother again in the entire series either. And another thing. In Part 2 he is still stalking Alice, the survivor from the original.  However in this one he just seems to forget about Ginny and goes away after these folks- but how did he know about them? I've always wondered about all that. However, I'm not dogging on this one.  Of course I love it.

     This is the movie where Jason becomes that unstoppable force of nature, not just a frightened yet deranged wild man living in the woods. Richard Brooker delivers a very menacing performance here, probably in my opinion the best Jason performance with the hockey mask. This was Jason Voorhees before he became a joke, before he went to Manhattan or outer space or sparred with the equally cheesy Freddy Krueger. This is iconic Jason Voorhees here, folks.

     Still puzzled at that ending- it really makes no sense whatsoever.  Does anybody know why Pamela Voorhees is floating around the lake, with her head on? And sweater? I realize it's just a dream Chris had, but it just seems tacked on and cheap compared to the original shocker of an ending. They also try to throw in a rather bizarre sub-plot about Jason supposedly attacking Chris in the woods prior, but she gets away, only to meet up with him later for unfinished business. They even hint at a possible rape scenario- which although is disturbing, it just doesn't work very well. It's completely unnecessary, and although it doesn't detract from the film, there was just no valid point for doing it. This was also the first FRIDAY THE 13TH film to be filmed on the west coast instead of the east, and it's pretty obvious. And why they chose to go with a disco version of the iconic theme is beyond me.  Sure it's fun, but kinda takes away from the terror, if you ask me.  It's more of a fun movie, with the 3-D effects to boot, which is probably what they were going for in the first place. And it's certainly fun to watch, but the sheer terror and dread of the first two had somewhat disappeared by this one, only to return in full glory in the next installment. I still love and defend this sequel though.  It's impossible to dislike, even with it's many flaws. It also boasts one hell of a final act, with Jason chasing Chris throughout the cabin and barn. 

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