F13 PART 3D: DELUXE EDITION
Reviewed by: Jamey Hughton
What's it about
More mayhem goes down at Camp Crystal Lake as yet another group of idiots - this time including a motorcycle gang and some hippies - venture onto Jason's turf.
Is it good movie?
Steve Miner returns from his directing duties on FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 2, and had apparently learned a trick or two about making an efficient slasher flick. Not only does PART 3 have the creative mutilations that we missed in PART 2, but it's a more competently shot and edited film all around. While the old routine is starting to feel a little stale, thereís enough highlights in this installment to entertain slasher fans - including a new 3D version of the film (more on that later).
The first two FRIDAY movies adhered to a strict formula, and PART 3 was not about to change that. Itís hard for the series to avoid becoming totally generic when by nature it is a single-minded entertainment enterprise, designed to make us giggle when people get killed in horrible ways. PART 3 has all the amateurish acting and barely-defined characters that you have come to expect. But thereís one character, Shelly (Larry Zerner), who is a tortured, lonely geek and is actually portrayed in a sympathetic light. However, you just know Shelleyís penchant for practical jokes with masks and makeup isnít going to go well for him. Itís also nice to see a heroine (played by Dana Kimmell) whoís got a little spunk and proves to be a formidable foe for Jason in the end, giving him a damn good beating. And although crazy old Ralph ('You're all doooomed') was killed in PART 2, his soothsayer role (wow, a "Julius Caesar" reference in a FRIDAY THE 13th review) is carried on by another freaky old man who mumbles incoherently and offers the young cast an eyeball (literally) on the road to the lake.
Some people forget, but PART 3 introduces Jasonís hockey mask, which turns out to be a quiet stroke of genius. Thereís something perfect about the way it looks, especially in a great, iconic shot like one where a character turns on an overhead light to reveal Jason standing directly behind him. As far as Jasonís continuing rampage goes, things seem to be at their goriest. The kills come fast and furious in the final stretch, including a nice little under-the-hammock impalement thatís obviously a nod to Kevin Baconís demise in the original, and a seriously sick handstand incident which is very nice indeed.
As mentioned, the film is available in two formats - 2D and 3D. The DVD comes with two pairs of 3D glasses. How is the 3D in the film? It's about what you've come to expect from a 3D experience on your home television: there are some objects (like a machete, a protruding eyeball, a yoyo, etc) that jump off the screen and produce the desired effect. When there are characters in the foreground moving against a background, the 3D is fairly effective. Most often the effect is more blurry than clean, and I have to admit I switched over to the 2D version after a while because I got a bit of a headache.
Minerís instincts as director have improved since PART 2. There are many shots reminiscent of HALLOWEEN, as we see Jason step into frame from the shoulders down, watching characters in the distance. All thatís missing is some heavy breathing on the soundtrack. Here, Miner has created a fun slasher flick with zero ambitions and zero pretensions.
Video / Audio
Video Widescreen Presentation
Audio Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
The main selling point of the DVD is, of course, the 3D version included with the film. As I mentioned, two pairs of glasses are included.
The lonely other extra is the Theatrical Trailer.
While it gets tiresome at times, FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 3 actually ranks close to the top in the series for me. It's a gory, nostalgic romp for horror fans that shows Jason Voorhees at his finest.