Friday the 13th Part III (1982)

Friday the 13th Part III (1982)
  • Time: 96 min
  • Genre: Horror | Thriller
  • Director: Steve Miner
  • Cast: Dana Kimmell, Paul Kratka, Richard Brooker


Jason Voorhees, having barely survived a wound to his shoulder from his own machete, is back to revenge on all that visit “his” woods. A new group of friends come over to party at an area close to the campsite. This time, Jason will be stronger than ever, and getting a hockey mask from one of those friends.

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  • Like many franchise starters back in the 1980s, most of them always seemed to find a home in the horror genre. The 1980s were a big time for theaters to capitalize on the slasher craze that was going on at the time. The best known being Freddy Krueger, Leatherface, Michael Myers and of course Jason Vorhees. All of which these particularly iconic characters had significant entrances respectively. Yet it seems as if so far they all managed to decrease in quality as their subsequent sequels were put into production. Of course not every entry was the same, but at some point the facts in the story began to either contradict itself or totally deny its previous installment. Why haven’t these famous production studios paid attention to their competitions’ mistakes? Of course, the reason is to make money but really?

    Like many other third movies to a series, most people end up seeing the flaws and begin to know that the series has run its course. Then again, Part III to this series serves an even more mixed bag than Part II but without being extremely frustrating to watch. The story for this new opening takes place two days after the last movie by showing the aftermath of Part II (interesting how it already contradicts itself by taking place on Sunday the 15th). Here, the audience is introduced to another new set of stock camp characters. Leading the group is Chris (Dana Kimmel) a girl who’s trying to confront her fear of returning to the camp (not Crystal Lake) where she had a frightening encounter with Jason. Aside from this particular reason, there isn’t much a plot besides this. The writing provided by Martin Kitrosser and Carol Watson obviously did not think that much of a story was needed. Sadly, more is required though. A good question is what was Jason doing when he ran into Chris? Not explained.

    Kitrosser and Watson also included two other characters in the group who sounded like they were going to be developed but weren’t. These two characters belong to Larry Zerner as Shelly and Catherine Parks as Vera. At the beginning they were supposed to be hitched and do try to get to know each other, but their arc is so short the audience cannot establish an attachment to them. The rest of the characters are the typical bunch seen before. You have the two that are just joining so they can run off and have sex, then there are the drug addicts and even a punk biker gang. It doesn’t get more 80s than that. Another gaping issue in the story is the transformation of Jason Vorhees and his newly unexplained powers. In a matter of days, we went to what was a young teen looking for revenge to what is a massive hulking monster (played by Richard Brooker)? How’d he get so large? Also the fact that he is now depicted as a superhuman brings into question how he attained these abilities. Where is that “writing” you guys are credited for?

    Even more embarrassing is that director Steve Miner, who directed Part II didn’t see a need to do anything differently either. The other two factors that do not work are its cinematography and the point of being a horror film. The cinematography provided by Gerald Feil is just another repetition of prior DPs’ work to the last two films. There are lots of POV shots, perhaps too many. The way Feil tried to get 3D shots was somewhat okay but also looked forced too. Lastly, the film just isn’t scary anymore. There were so many false jump scares and the amount of times somebody asked “who’s there?” became more obnoxious than creepy. There are only a few areas that work to this film’s credit. The biggest note is the same for every viewer – we all learn where Jason got his mask. Since that is the thing everyone associates him with, that is important.

    Of all the “protagonists”, Dana Kimmel as the main lead is again the only character to really stand out. This reason stands alone because she has a connection (although weak) with Jason. Another good aspect are the kills which run between already used but also new. Like previous films, the kills are gruesome and would surely hurt if it happened to you. However, just the fact that it’s Jason as a massive force the impact of each murder feels that much stronger. This doesn’t let him get away with the mistakes in continuity. The final aspect to the movie that continues to work in its favor as best as it can be is composer Harry Manfredini’s score. For the most of the composition, Manfredini keeps the tone and atmosphere the same with minor alterations. The biggest difference is in the main title which substitute strings for synth keyboard. This is the only subtle change though.

    It’s not adding any layers of thoughtful writing to its ongoing series of entries and this is where it begins to not make any sense. The writers completely ignored Jason’s backstory and hardly develop its main cast. Instead, a flimsy coincidence is thrown in just to have a reason for Jason to appear. The only components that try to help this mess of an installment are the revealing of Jason’s final form, the music and somewhat creative kills. It’s slightly worse than Part II.

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