Friday the 13th Part 3

1982's Friday the 13th Part 3 holds a special place in the hearts of fans: It's schlocky and stupid, yet somehow scary, it's goofy, yet often gory, and it explains the origin of Jason's signature facewear.

Video 101

Friday the 13th Part 3(1982)

D: Steve Miner; with Dana Kimmell, Richard Brooker, Paul Kratka, Tracie Savage, Catherine Parks, Jeffrey Rogers, Larry Zerner, Rachel Howard, David Katims.

As the improbably futuristic, CGI-laden Jason X lands at the multiplex almost 10 years after the previous sequel (1993's Jason Goes to Hell), revisiting the origins of the Friday franchise -- ridiculous, but evidently as indefatigable as its hulking bogeyman -- feels as natural as lemonade on a summer day. Wasn't it only yesterday that a young, impetuous Kevin Bacon checked out of "Camp Blood" with an arrow through the neck? Who could forget celluloid weirdie Crispin Glover, meat-cleavered in what promised but failed to be The Final Chapter? Or the reasonably triumphant return to Camp Crystal Lake (and the Alice Cooper tunes) in Part VI: Jason Lives? Yet 1982's Friday the 13th Part 3 holds a special place in the hearts of fans. It's schlocky and stupid, yet somehow scary; it's goofy, yet often gory, and it explains the origin of Jason's signature facewear (filched from victim Zerner, a corpulent, unlikable prankster who learns a valuable lesson about crying wolf). It's got a trio of "menacing" bikers from Central Casting, disco wizard Michael Zager ("Let's All Chant") has his way with composer Harry Manfredini's distinctive crickets-and-Casiotone theme music, and the chuckleheaded teenage characters attempt to break the land-speed record for use of slasher-film interrogatives like "Who's there?" and "Where's that coming from?" Moreover, Jason has a barn full of agricultural implements at his disposal. But the crowning touch is the 3D film effects, which appear spectacularly risible when flattened to two-dimensions for the video release. Kratka (the cableknit Yuppie) and Parks (the caliente chica) meet particularly unpleasant fates enhanced by 3D technology, but the filmmakers waste time with the typical hijinks: a doobie is passed; a snaggletoothed hayseed derelict dangles a disembodied eyeball; two characters juggle fruit; and a package of Jiffy-Pop explodes. Fanboy types will delight as Savage's character ostentatiously peruses Fangoria, featuring an article on goremeister Tom Savini, made famous by his effects work in the first Friday film. Nonetheless, the final showdown is genuinely scary stuff, as scrappy, sensible heroine Kimmell battles the Big Guy on land and sea (okay, lake) before stumbling into one of those fake-out endings for which the franchise is infamous.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Friday the 13th Part 3, Steve Miner, Dana Kimmell, Richard Brooker, Paul Kratka, Tracie Savage, Catherine Parks, Jeffrey Rogers, Larry Zerner, Rachel Howard, David Katims, Jason, Tom Savini, Fangoria, Crispin Glover, Kevin Bacon

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