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Overall Rating

Awesome: 16.13%
Worth A Look30.65%
Just Average: 24.19%
Pretty Crappy: 9.68%
Sucks: 19.35%

5 reviews, 94 user ratings

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Friday the 13th Part III
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by Jack Sommersby

"A Perfectly Respectable Three-Star 3-D Offering"
3 stars

Even a bunny rabbit isn't safe from the diabolical Jason here!

After the disappointing mediocrity of its predecessor, it's my pleasure to report Friday the 13th 3-D is, while not great and lacking the primal terror of the satisfying original, perfectly satisfying entertainment. It's not just that a decent amount of the 3-D effects are good, but that it's reasonably well shot, deftly edited, and adorned with a fine amount of imaginative murder sequences. Which is quite the surprise being that the director is Steve Miner, who made his debut with the previous entry and whose work there was negligible and downright inept -- he knew how to turn the camera on and off, but that's about it; he displayed zero knowledge of expressively using film language to convey mood and conjure up genuine suspense, thus accentuating the pitiful screenplay's numerous flaws. Here, working in widescreen for the first time, his compositions are fairly handsome and multi-leveled: the foregrounds and backgrounds play off each other enjoyably, keeping us off-guard at times as to which one the foci of the action will play out in -- at times, it's like watching the movie through a prism but not in an overly artsy way. Miner hasn't visually designed the proceedings solely for 3-D effects that lean in and pop out at you: he enjoys using the 2.35:1 aspect ratio to pan and track with a lot of props in the interior and exterior settings giving the images both depth and verity -- everything's so vivid you feel like you could literally hop over the fences and dive into the bushes; it's a very active production that treats the viewer like they're a participant in the goings-on. That's not to say that the cinematography itself is stellar, though: while wearing 3-D glasses, the pigments and hues are wildly inconsistent, and sometimes it takes your eyes a few seconds to adjust until a blurry or "ghosting" figure becomes clear. It's a drawback, sure, but with a movie designed for 3-D, going in we know we're in for a "stunt" picture, so we're willing to forgive these kinds of imperfections -- it's eye candy that emphasizes placement and movement over color and acuity. The movie has to be appreciated mostly for how we're seeing things as opposed to what we're seeing being that the storyline and characters are, as was the case in the first two entries, no great shakes.

We're not at camp anymore, but at the woodsy retreat of Higgins Haven, a two-story house with acreage and a barn. Apparently, though, it's in the general vicinity of Camp Crystal Lake, where the murders of the first entry took place and was just a hop, skip and a jump from the ones in the second entry, because, as the story opens, at a rustic convenience store right up the road from the retreat, the wife of the owner is watching the local TV news, reporting on the horrific slayings of the second entry the day after they've happened. We're supposed to assume, I guess, that the teenage characters who've traveled to the retreat have missed this tidbit of information on the radio in their van -- though they do see police cars rushing to the store where, Jason, being his innately inimical self, has slaughtered the married couple. The leader of the pack and owner of the house is Chris (Dana Kimmel), who inherited the place from her deceased folks and who hasn't been back in two years since she was attacked by an unknown assailant, whom she barely managed to escape from and who, as we see in a flashback, was in fact Jason. (In a really neat effect that Edgar Allen Poe would have approved of, as Chris relates that fateful night, her head is superimposed in the center of the frame as the attack plays out in the background.) Joining her on this outing is horny boyfriend/girlfriend Debbie (Tracie Savage) and Andy (Jeffrey Rogers), the latter of whom is pregnant and the former an agile practitioner of walking on his hands, nerdy practical joker Shelly (Larry Zerner) who's into grossing people out with his bloody make-up effects, Vera (Catherine Parks) who's been fixed up with the virginal Shelly, and middle-aged hippie couple Chuck (David Katims) and Chili (Rachel Howard), who, for all their pot-smoking, might as well be named Mr. Cheech and Mrs. Chong. Meeting them at the retreat is Rick (Paul Kratka), a former flame of Chris's who hopes to rekindle their romance after that traumatic event caused serious psychological damage to her. While these characters are fairly two-dimensional and lack the vivid everydayness of the ones from the original, they're pleasant enough to be around, especially Zerner, who manages to make his line reading, "Being a jerk is better than being a nothing" kinda sweet. As heroines go, Kimmel is far from exemplary, and her weak, high-pitched voice doesn't record particularly well, but the camera likes her well enough and, so, for the most part, do we.

Does a good deal of bloodletting ensue? You betcha. And it's done with a fair amount of inventiveness as far as these things go. There's a finely staged sequence in a barn where some bikers, who've sneaked onto the property to enact some revenge for Shelly having accidentally backed into their bikes while in town earlier, are methodically dispatched by an ever-patient Jason, who enjoys letting a soon-to-be victim see a dead friend of theirs before taking him out; one has a pitchfork rammed through his torso, and in an evilly delicious touch on the part of Miner, the man reaches around and feels the tines protruding out his back. Later on down the line, one has his head crushed so intensely by Jason's powerful hands that his eyeballs pop out, though this doesn't quite utilize 3-D as ghoulishly and garishly as one would like; also noteworthy is the doing-in of Andy while hand-walking -- Jason's machete splits his post-coital body like a wishbone. Shelly's crying-wolf pranks do indeed come back to haunt him (he keeps pretending to be dead, so nobody takes him seriously when he really does wind up so; besides, Jason, up until then wearing a ratty sack over his head, dons Shelly's white hockey mask), and darned if Jason making apt use of a spear gun to someone's eye socket doesn't produce the jump-back 3-D effect as intended (and there are some other praiseworthy non-violent 3-D effects involving a yo-yo, popcorn and juggled balls). Oh, there are some quibbles. Before reaching the retreat, the teens stop their van to tend to an old drunken man lying in the road, and when they bring him to his feet he produces something that looks like an eyeball, which sends them running; we expect this to somehow tie in later on down the line with Shelly's stock of gross-out makeup, and it doesn't. Chris is made the only one left alive with twenty minutes still to go in the running time, and so this section is more than a wee bit protracted. Still, Miner's timing is spot-on when Chris tries leaving in the van only for it to come to a halt on a rickety bridge because the bikers have siphoned the gas, the van partially collapses through, she switches on the reserve tank, it starts back up but won't go forward, Jason reaches through the open window and grabs her neck, she rolls the window up trapping his arms, she escapes out the other side, and Jason frees himself by smashing the window with his head. The movie itself isn't strong enough throughout to be smashing, but as an entertaining entry in the slasher subgenre it pulls its weight and deviously delivers.

You could do far worse for a Halloween Night cinematic viewing.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=1140&reviewer=327
originally posted: 10/29/11 11:01:01
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User Comments

7/16/18 morris campbell good 3d effects otherwise same old same old 2 stars
5/21/13 Marwan Barazi I love this series. For me it is a landmark in the horror cinema of the eighties 5 stars
12/10/12 Jamie Best of the series, by far!! 3 stars
8/06/12 keith miron Repetitive, but never boring 3 stars
10/24/10 art I TAKE IT BACK,THIS {FRIDAY THE 13th 3D} IS MY FAVORITE! 5 stars
1/17/10 art MY FAVORITE FRIDAYS WERE PART"S one AND two,3 was a DISSAPOINTMENT! 1 stars
11/29/09 Edward Great Beginning middle is mediocre end is awesome 4 stars
7/22/09 art FRIDAY THE 13TH ONE AND TWO are THE BEST,this {3Dsequal} is when it went downhill! ] 1 stars
7/10/09 hunt a pretty good friday the 13th 3 stars
11/21/08 Shaun Wallner Scary Film! 4 stars
10/17/08 AshleyRockO Great film. A lil dated, but still very well made for what it is. 5 stars
5/03/07 john I think they're all cheesy but part 3 is my favorite. I love the opening credits, so 80's. 4 stars
2/16/07 David Pollastrini one of the best in the series 5 stars
11/04/06 MP Bartley 3-D and the disco credits have dated horribly, but the cheapness gives a grim, nasty edge. 3 stars
9/25/06 RogerEbert Love those Friday the 13th films 5 stars
1/16/06 Anthony Feor How about no 2 stars
11/23/05 cr scary and jason get his trademark hockey mask, but the acting sucks, heroine sucks! 2 stars
10/21/05 cypress Jason needs to go to hell, oh wait, he did and that didn't even work 2 stars
10/13/05 Darren O Another solid entry, though somewhat cheesy. Dana Kimmell is the best FRIDAY heroine. 4 stars
10/13/05 ram1brn some people just dont know when to quit should have stopped at 1 1 stars
8/23/05 Sugarfoot Lame sequel lacks even the gritty edge of 1 and 2... 1 stars
7/13/05 Brandy Harrington Soooo scary! The knife is coming out of the T.V. I'm gonna have Nightmares!!! 1 stars
6/27/05 R 3-D!! HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! 1 stars
5/26/05 tony pretty darn slow! But is good in 3-D 3 stars
10/12/04 kevin watts BEST OF THE EARLY FILMS 4 stars
7/30/04 delmar dartt like to have sent in mail of all of the movies 3 stars
7/16/04 Joe If this movie were a science expariment, it would be Chyrnobyl 1 stars
7/01/04 American Slasher Goddess Creepy and scary, another good entry in the series 4 stars
6/07/04 Ryan Clark It's just a rehash of the first two, but it's still a lot of fun. 4 stars
4/16/04 A Reader Dreadful and unoriginal movie, but great 80's nostalgia, and Dana Kimmell is a MAJOR babe. 3 stars
4/07/04 phoenix Awesome. Scary and atmosperic. They needed to cut down on the 3d effects. 5 stars
3/17/04 PAYNE_KillerZ DON'T BOTHER...!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 2 stars
2/17/04 Ramey Unbelievably 80's- Pretty good installment- TERRIBLE music. 4 stars
2/05/04 c.r Jason in 3d cool, but a lot bad acting and weed smoking was fine! 3 stars
1/14/04 Hüseyin Demiray I saw this film 1983 at cinema and I was very good ,Now,I get vcd. I love this film 5 stars
12/13/03 G.K. good 3 stars
12/13/03 American Slasher Goddess Scary and creepy third installment in the series. 4 stars
12/13/03 J Finally, Jason gets his hockey mask, and one the movie best chases. 5 stars
12/13/03 Vinylspinr I saw in 3D. If you can find it playing for a buck or two...it might be worth your time. 2 stars
12/12/03 Samuel a good movie, basically the same as part 2 tho 3 stars
12/12/03 Jason X This movie kicks ass!! 4 stars
12/12/03 Karie pretty scary!!! 4 stars
12/11/03 The Killer each of these films are worse than the last... 3 stars
12/11/03 Doofus good movie! 4 stars
12/11/03 Captain Spaulding The same as part 2 basically, but i liked part 2 so i like this one!! 5 stars
12/09/03 Samuel horror_blood you mutherfucking faggit, you bad mouth me on every review i do, burn in hell! 3 stars
11/01/03 American Slasher Goddess Scary and creepy third installment in the series. 4 stars
11/01/03 J Finally, Jason gets his hockey mask, and one the movie best chases. 5 stars
10/29/03 Vinylspinr I saw in 3D. If you can find it playing for a buck or two...it might be worth your time. 2 stars
10/15/03 Erik Van Sant The hockey mask is born! Better than the second film and a killer opening song. 5 stars
10/07/03 Double G JAson Finally got his hockey mask! 5 stars
9/30/03 horror_blood Without 3-D, this is still worth a look. And shut up Samuel Justus you Scream loving fag. 4 stars
9/16/03 Samuel Justus why do ppl like these movies? they are the same over and over!! 1 stars
7/21/03 Double G This movie is the best Friday the 13th ever, starting after P3 they get more gay every time 4 stars
4/07/03 s truss not bad 4 stars
3/21/03 Jack Sommersby Gets the job done well enough -- but needed more damn nudity! 3 stars
11/27/02 Kyle Yeah. 2 stars
10/14/02 Charles Tatum The best of the series, but that's like picking your favorite cancer 4 stars
8/15/02 Shaun fun 4 stars
7/29/02 Titi I dont think the movie was THAT bad! 3 stars
7/15/02 Peschi420 "in my opinion, this is one of the greatest horror films ever made' 5 stars
6/11/02 jeff fucking loved it 5 stars
6/02/02 I'm in (L) with a Jedi oh mommy, oh daddy....i am a big ol baddie :'( 1 stars
4/24/02 maximal01 Wow..adolescense in the woods messes up good looks, 'cuz JASON'S FACE IS UGLY AS FUCK! 2 stars
4/12/02 Chutemaster Anyone that has seen this in 3D will find it very entertaining. 5 stars
4/03/02 cat Not since Jaws 3D have I wanted to shoot myself so much. At least include glasses with it. 2 stars
1/15/02 David A. Predictable but entertaining. Great fun on a Saturday night with pizza. 4 stars
11/29/01 Rutt13 Probably my favorite one, the motorcycle gang is funny 4 stars
11/05/01 Jake Dana is sassy! Can't be alive!! Jason chases well in this, not like 4 when he's anywhere. 3 stars
10/25/01 Sthenno Piece of cheap Shlock Shock, but Dana Kimmell makes the shit fun! 2 stars
9/30/01 Phoenix A study in stupid, stupid acting, stupid special effects, and stupid direction. 1 stars
9/15/01 Mr. Hat Better than later sequels. 3 stars
8/05/01 E-Funk Jason kills stoned hippies...one of my favorites of the series. 5 stars
8/02/01 Chris K. This film ripped-off Mario Bava's TWITCH OF THE DEATH NERVE (1971), which IS BETTER! 1 stars
4/14/01 LiL I mean, come on, eyeballs popping out of head?! 1 stars
2/25/01 cheers bar bob verry good 5 stars
1/14/01 Sklorsh Worst movie in this series....and that's really saying something. 1 stars
12/04/00 Justin Who ever said that Dana Kimmell "Sucked all ass" can go fuck there fagotty ass selves. 5 stars
8/18/00 Rich Corle Great film. Could have been gorier and scarier 5 stars
8/12/00 Bender Not the most entertaining in the series, but it has the most scares along with Part 2. 4 stars
8/11/00 Justin Entertaining and suprisingly scary, the 3d is cheesy, but here Jason gets the mask! SWEET!! 4 stars
4/30/00 Bender In my opinion this and Part 2 are the scariest and best in the series 4 stars
4/13/00 SwatchDog Average acting, but has its chilling moments. Dana Kimmell was great, that Shelly guy funny 4 stars
3/01/00 Kyle Broflovski THAT'S how he got the mask?? Okay...whatever...thank you...fuck you... 1 stars
1/17/00 Jedi15 Well, Jason finally gets his hockey mask. Whoopiee. Horse shit! 1 stars
10/04/99 rob This is the one that ruined it. That stupid hockey mask killed it. 1 stars
3/07/99 KK Dusenbury No tits!? Oh well.. no wait the girls in this one were good looking... for 80's chicks.. 3 stars
2/14/99 Raheem Destiny Yo man! I be liking this shit yo! Slice that white bitch up some more yo! 5 stars
10/29/98 Negative Creep He gets His Hockey Mask from the funny kid in this one! 3 stars
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  02-Jul-1982 (R)
  DVD: 05-Oct-2004


  02-Feb-1983 (R)

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