Friday the 13th Part III – USA, 1982 – reviews

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‘A new dimension in terror’

Friday the 13th Part III is a 1982 American slasher horror film released in 3-D. Like Part 2, the movie was directed by Steve Miner (House). It stars Dana Kimmell, Paul Kratka, Tracie Savage and Richard Brooker as Jason Voorhees.

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Jason Voorhees, having barely survived a wound to his shoulder from his own machete, is back to wreak revenge on all that visit “his” woods. A new group of friends come over to party at an area close to the Camp Crystal Lake. Jason awaits…

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Much like its sequel, the film was intended to end the series. However, unlike its sequel and the later film, Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday, this film did not include a moniker in its title to indicate it as such.

This was the first Paramount Pictures film produced in 3-D since 1954. The film was shot with the Arrivision “over and under” 3-D camera, the same that was used with Jaws 3-D. It was also the first film in the series to be presented in Dolby Stereo upon its theatrical release.

This is the first Friday the 13th film to feature Jason wearing the trademark hockey mask. The script for Part III called for Jason to wear a mask to cover his face, having worn a bag over his head in Part 2; what no one knew at the time was that the mask chosen would become a trademark for the character, and one instantly recognisable in popular culture in the years to come.

During production, Steve Miner called for a lighting check, but none of the effects crew wanted to apply any make-up for the light check, so they decided to just throw a mask on Brooker. Martin Jay Sadoff, the film’s 3-D effects supervisor, kept a bag with him full of hockey gear, as he was a hockey fan, and he pulled out a Detroit Red Wings goaltender mask for the test. Miner loved the mask, but during test shots it was too small. Using a technique called VacuForm, Doug White enlarged the mask and created a new mold to work with. After White finished the molds, Terry Ballard placed the new red triangles on the mask to give it a unique appearance. Holes would be punched into the mask, and the markings were altered, making it different from Sadoff’s mask.


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Some of the deaths in the film were edited in order to avoid an ‘X’ rating, including: Andy’s death, which showed his right leg being cut off and his stomach being torn open; Vera’s death was cut of bloodshed and her subsequent reaction (this was cut for supposedly looking ‘too good’);Edna’s death was cut for excessive blood flow; Chili’s impalement with the red-hot poker was cut of steaming blood hitting the floor; Debbie’s original death showed blood spraying across her chest and face.

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Reviews [click links to read more]:

‘Okay, so they didn’t think much about the story surrounding Jason. It’s a pretty fault-worthy flaw. That said, though, the filmmakers here really put a lot of effort into most other things in the film, from characterization to cinematography, framing to fatalities. I’ll never be able to appreciate the film as anything but a side-quest in the overall arc of Jason Voorhees, but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t one fun frolic in the forest.’ Rhett Miller, Horror Digital

Friday the 13th Part III original ending Jason beheading

“It has no real story to tell, but it has fun angles, a camera that more or less always moves and awesome deaths. That’s what Part III is about. It was also the reason why the actors are among the worst in the series. All attention was put into the technical aspects of the film and the actors was more or less left alone doing their job” Fred Anderson, Ninja Dixon

“Miner makes evocative use of the widescreen frame (it’s the only Friday in the scope format), but the film is weighed down by some of the dumbest, oldest-looking characters in the series: laughable biker stereotypes and a pair of embarrassing aged hippies are a low point. In 2-D and on repeat viewings you really notice how grating final girl Dana Kimmell really is…” Steven West, Horrorscreams Videovault


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Cast and characters:

  • Richard Brooker … Jason Voorhees
  • Dana Kimmell … Chris Higgins
  • Paul Kratka … Rick
  • Tracie Savage … Debbie
  • Jeffrey Rogers … Andy
  • Catherine Parks … Vera Sanchez
  • Larry Zerner … Shelly
  • David Katims … Chuck
  • Rachel Howard … Chili
  • Marilyn Poucher … Pamela Voorhees
  • Amy Steel … Ginny Field (flashback from Part 2)
  • John Furey … Paul Holt (flashback from Part 2)
  • Nick Savage … Ali
  • Gloria Charles … Fox
  • Kevin O’Brien … Loco
  • Cheri Maugans … Edna
  • Steve Susskind … Harold
  • Perla Walter … Mrs. Sanchez
  • David Wiley … Abel

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One Comment on “Friday the 13th Part III – USA, 1982 – reviews”

  1. Toho was impressed by the movie that gave Steve Miner a shot at making the first American Godzilla movie

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