Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Friday the 13th: Part 3

****(out of 4 stars)

Steve Miner returns to direct Friday the 13: Part 3. This film was made in 1982 (the year of my birth) and was originally shot in 3-D. As a child, I had very fond memories of all of these films, but with Friday 3-D we finally see Jason (Richard Brooker) in his infamous hockey mask. Originally, the script called for Jason to wear an umpire's mask. Thankfully, the hockey mask idea stayed. For Jason would become a famous, pop culture figure of the 1980's.

Whether you wear those blue and red 3-D glasses or not, this film hardly seems 3-D at all. It never worked for me anyway. Instead, and still adequately portrayed, you get a bunch of in-your-face shots. Shit is just flying into the camera at all times.

This film takes place just days (possibly hours) after part 2. Chronologically, if you're doing your math, the teens don't show up until Sunday the 15th, but who cares. After the murder of two store owners, Jason is ramped up and ready to kill any unsuspecting teen that dare venture in his woods. Now, Rick (Paul Kratka) and his girlfriend, Chris (Dana Kimmell) are headed back to Crystal Lake. I guess it some kind of therapy for Chris, because years earlier she was attacked by Jason while in the woods sleeping. So she comes back to face her fears.

Along with them are some other friends including a pregnant chick, a hippie-stoner couple and the annoying prankster, Shelly, (Larry Zerner) who actually might play one of the most important roles to date. If not for Shelly and his constant, and somewhat morbid attempts to get some attention, we'd never get the hockey mask to begin with. Shelly brings along the mask to the camp, but it's later stolen by Jason. And don't let me forget the unforgettable biker gang with some outlandish names like, Ali, Loco and Fox. What a hoot these three are.

The kills are just fine in this installment, although most seem to be borrowed from the original film. For example, there's a character killed the same way as Kevin Bacon's character in the original. This time it's a machete throw the chest, rather than an arrow through the throat. And much like the original ending to the first film, Chris, our survival girl is in a canoe, but this time it's Mrs. Voorhees jumping out of the lake to grab and pull her under. Martin Becker is credited with the special effects. Like I said, although they seem borrowed (or playing tribute) from the first film, they're still good for any gore hound or Jason loving fanatic. One of the most memorable kills is when an arrow is shot through the eye of Vera. This is a very effective scene and yes, my favorite kill for this film. Another worthy mention is when Rick gets his head crushed and his eye pops out at the screen. Loved that shot too!

Richard Brooker is great as Jason. He's got the right build and is quite menacing. He's not quite as clumsy as the potato sack Jason, and he's much more effective. He shows power and dominance; a hulking figure. Due to him being a little to skinny for Steve Miner's liking, Brooker was wearing extra padding under his costume. All in all a very effective actor to play such a role.

This film is better (in my opinion) than the first two. This film embarks that pivotal transition where Jason becomes a mammoth, unrelenting beast. One that we'll continue to see for the majority of the rest of the series. Another fun film to watch at anytime, day or night. If you're a Jason fan you get the gist of my meaning.

Starring: Paul Kratka, Dana Kimmell, Larry Zerner

Directed by: Steve Miner

Written by: Martin Kitrosser and Carol Watson

95 mins


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