Friday the 13th: Part III
friday the 13th | friday the 13th: part iii | steve miner | martin kitrosser | carol watson | dana kimmell | tracie savage | richard brooker | slasher | sequel | jason voorhees | thriller | united states | larry zerner | paul kratka | jeffrey rogers | catherine parks
Film: Friday the 13th: Part III
Director: Steve Miner
Writer: Martin Kitrosser and Carol Watson
Starring: Dana Kimmell, Tracie Savage and Richard Booker
This is an installment that I was late to. I know I saw this one on the movie channels growing up, but it didn’t appear as regularly as other ones. I’ve now seen this one a few times in more recent memory to watch them all with a critical eye. I also did to watch the Blu-ray from my boxset.
Synopsis: Jason Voorhees (Richard Brooker) stalks a group of friends who’s just arrived to spend the weekend at a cabin near Crystal Lake.
There are a couple of things that really need to be pointed out to start this review off. The first is that this one was filmed in 3D. Now I’m not the biggest fan of this format and I do feel that this film tries to do a lot of cheesy things with it. This doesn’t ruin the film, but this is something that stuck out to me. The other thing and the more importantly is that this is the film where Jason gets his iconic hockey mask. I know there are a lot of rumors as to who came up with this and why. Regardless, it is great that he finally gets his iconic look.
As I kind of alluded to above, this film picks up what feels like the next day or recently after what happened in part 2. It shows us the scenes to fill us in from the last movie before Jason attacks a couple that run a little roadside store. I do have to give credit that they hide his face until he gets his mask. This was cool as they get creative. It is also solid that he is hiding out at this cabin until the people show up and then he primarily uses their barn to avoid detection. One problem I had with continuity is that he was ‘killed’ in the previous film with taking a blow to the shoulder. We get nothing of that wound outside of the opening shot and I wasn’t a fan of that.
Something I will give this film credit for is the teens that show up. They all aren’t fleshed out, but they do well in introducing us to the lead in Chris (Dana Kimmell). Her back-story was interesting to me in that this fills in a little bit of Jason’s as well. She had a run-in with him a couple of years ago. She has had trouble returning to this cabin since then. I do have a slight issue with what they’re saying Jason tried to do, as it doesn’t really fit his back-story. I could also be reading more into than as well.
Also joining her is Debbie (Tracie Savage) who is pregnant. I don’t really see why that was introduced as it goes no where. Her boyfriend is Andy (Jeffrey Rogers) and they’re also joined by his roommate, Shelly (Larry Zerner). He is a jokester that no one finds funny and his blind date is Vera (Catherine Parks). The last two are stoners by the names of Chili (Rachel Howard) and Chuck (David Katims). They also meet Rick (Paul Kratka) who is dating Chris. We get to know a bit about everyone, but the most fleshed out is Shelly. I’m not a fan of this character overall, as a lot of what happens is his fault.
Since I’ve brought up the characters, I’ll go to the acting which is fine. I think that Brooker was a good Jason. His look was fitting, but I do have an issue that the wound from the previous film isn’t in this one. I thought Kimmell was fleshed out and made a good final girl. Zerner’s character is annoying, but that’s what they were going for. I must commend him how it was played. The rest of the cast makes for likeable characters. I thought all the women were easy on the eyes and makes for an enjoyable experience. I do have to call out Kratka’s character. He is quite pushy with Kimmell and it comes off a little creepy. I do think part of that was the time the film was made, but I didn’t care for him.
Then to the filmmaking. I do feel that the film is paced and edited well. The film has a running time around an hour and half. To me it really gets into quickly. There’s only a lull to introduce these characters before we get what we came here for, to see Jason start picking them off. I don’t mind how the film ends. It brings a similar jump-scare to end it.
I’ll then go to the effects. I do have a little bit of issue here. I think the deaths that we see are good. The blood was also solid. My problem isn’t with the effects themselves, but with the censors. This doesn’t seem to be as heavily cut like the previous one, but enough for I wanted to see more with the kills. That is really my only complaint in this department.
Last is soundtrack which was good. Harry Manfredini came back to do this score. I thought it was interesting that he went a little bit more disco with this one, but I dug it. We do get more a classical score during the film’s more tense moments and it helps to build the tension. This isn’t the strongest one in the series, but I like the bit of a change that we get.
In conclusion, even though this isn’t my favorite in the series, but I think it is good. This one is iconic in that Jason gets his mask. It also picks up where the last one left off. My only issue goes back to the wound received in the previous film. I thought this does well in introducing the characters enough where I care what happens to them. I think that Kimmell is a good final girl. Brooker played a solid Jason. I do have a slight issue with the back-story, as I don’t know if that necessarily fits the lore though. The editing and the pacing were both solid. Effects were cut a bit, so I can’t hold that against it too much. I do think the ones we see are good though. The score was fine in my opinion and helped what the film needed. As I said, this does good things and if you like the series, this is a must see.
My Rating: 8 out of 10