Director: Steve Miner
Writers: Martin Kitrosser and Carol Watson
Starring: Dana Kimmell, Paul Kratka, Tracie Savage, Jeffrey Rogers, Catherine Parks, Larry Zerner, Richard Brooker
Friday the 13th Part III is notable for a few different reasons. Straight away it’s a 3D film and does a decent job with it. Making the slasher film a lot more fun. More importantly this is the first time that Jason wears the iconic hockey mask. While it’s not a brilliant film, it’s a massive step up from the second film, which was bland, generic, and lifeless.
The opening to the film recaps the end of the second one, but unlike the recap in Part II it doesn’t take close to ten minutes. It then shows Jason menacing and killing an elderly couple, just because he can. It’s a pretty good opening, that makes good use of the 3D gimmick which is still evident in the 2D version. The man Jason terrorises is the most disgusting person imaginable, and your kind of glad that he’s killed. It really starts out as a fun slasher film that isn’t trying to be scary, but instead just be a good time.
After the opening we’re introduced to the main characters, a group who are heading to a house near Crystal Lake, because despite the murders and massacres people still go there. It follows a similar set up to the first two films, not really going too far away from the formula. Originally Part III was supposed to be different and more of a continuation of the second part with Ginny (Amy Steel) in a hospital and seeking revenge on Jason. When Amy Steel declined the offer to come back the script was reworked in favour of something more familiar that the fans would expect.
What makes this film a lot better than Part II is mainly because there is a better bunch of characters that are a lot more developed and easier to get involved with. There is a lot of characters, and some are just fodder to give Jason a higher kill count, there are a few that feel a lot more real and developed. The main character Chris (Dana Kimmell) has a backstory that gives her more of a reason to go to Crystal Lake. Shelly (Larry Zerner) is a socially awkward teenager who seeks attention, but really just annoys the rest of the group. Instead of just getting to the killings, there’s also a good sequence where Shelly gets into conflict with a local biker gang that goes back and forth until Jason gets involved. It gives another dynamic to the story rather than it just being repetitive deaths.
While the film does become more of the same as the pervious two as it goes on, and does start to venture into feeling dull, the kills are entertaining to watch There’s some decent effects and gore. Jason isn’t basically a joke this time around and is sinister, thanks to Richard Brooker’s performance. The final fight with Jason is really awesome and goes an extra mile, really solidifying his supernatural abilities. It’s also cool to see the origin of Jason’s classic outfit.
Part III is a lot better than the second film. It doesn’t reach the same heights as the last half hour of the first film, but it’s the most solid film of the series up to that point. Hopefully the series just get better and more entertaining from this point out.
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