Directed by: Steve Miner
Cast: Dana Kimmell, Tracie Savage, Richard Brooker
Here’s where I piss everyone off enough to raise their pitchforks and light their torches. I’m not a fan of Friday the 13th Part III, at all. The script never takes a single risk, which, after two unexpectedly overachieving franchise films, feels terribly lazy and uninspired. We don’t get any protagonists that we genuinely care about and the performances in the film are more often embarrassing than even serviceable, let alone impressive.
But, with those issues out of the way, I will openly admit that it’s awesome to see Jason “discover” the iconic hockey mask, and I will also freely admit that Richard Brooker made for one absolutely piss-your-pants scary Jason Voorhees. That man was jacked to the fullest, looked so muscular that his clothing were likely as intimidated as the cast. That shirt looked like it might explode at every seam if the man moved too quickly. Maybe that explains the shambling slow-motion version of the beastly bastard.
There’s really very little point in getting into the details of the story, as this one is pretty much the same as every film after the inaugural pic and before Jason Goes to Hell. A bunch of oddball, never-in-a-million-years-would-we-hang-together youngsters get together for some time out of town. That’s right – that’s the major plot twist: these aren’t just typical camp counselors. However, their cabin happens to be right in the vicinity of Jason’s turf, so, well… bye Felicia!
Jason Voorhees systematically disposes of this group. A few of the deaths look and feel innovative (who didn’t love the spear to the eye, seriously?), while most are bland… some even taking place off-screen. If you’re in this one for the gore, you’ll get a few cool shots, but it’s no Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, we can safely say that.
Then we have that issue that’s plagued a number of home releases of this particular flick: the whole 3D nonsense. For the younger crowds who may not realize it, this one was, for a good number of years, available in limited, really, really hideous transfer. The “3D” effect was effectively disastrous on VHS, and, in all honesty, we’ve only seen the film cleaned up in respectable fashion in the last handful of years. And to continue the honesty, it still doesn’t look as sharp as most of the other franchise installments.
It was cool to see Jason don the hockey mask, and it was great seeing a harpoon to the eye. It was miserable watching an assortment of extremely amateur performances and the lack of inventiveness in the film didn’t do the film any favors. The only Friday film inferior to this heaping pile of mush (that I confess I still watch when running the marathon) is Jason Takes Manhattan, and you’ve damn near got to bring your best imitation of Ed Wood to trump that flick on the stinker scale.