Friday, May 13, 2016

Friday the 13th Part 3-D

All right! Jason finally gets his hockey mask! It's a shame the iconic image occurs in an otherwise lame, by-the-numbers entry in the series, but hey, it's in 3-D!.

Friday the 13 Part 3-D (1982) picks up immediately after Part 2, with the authorities responding to Jason's rampage at Camp Crystal Lake, but Jason somehow gives them the slip and resumes his killing ways. Meanwhile, another group of teens shows up, going to a cabin in the woods nearby, including Chris (Dana Kimmell) who two years prior had an encounter with Jason and was traumatized by it. Of course, Jason shows up and starts cutting through them until it's down to him and Chris for a rematch.

Steve Miner returns to the director's chair, but his handling here is not as assured as it was in Part 2. The 3-D is a totally tacked-on gimmick, and while there's an occasional fun gag (a spear gun fired at the screen, an eyeball that shoots straight at the viewer), the effect is mostly wasted on stupid shit: a yo-yo, juggled fruit, and a snake being manipulated by a wire we're not supposed to see. The shock moments, when Jason strikes, are rather predictable and pedestrian with only a few memorable images (like when the biker discovers his friend impaled against the wall by a pitchfork or when the guy walking on his hands gets it).

The characters are one-dimensional and obvious types: the stoners who are always smoking pot, the bikers who exist only to cause trouble, the nagging housewife with hair curls, etc. Even Chris, the final girl, is weak. The moment where she explains to her boyfriend about her past history with Jason is nothing short of narm. Even by the standards of the series, the acting is mostly poor.

There is a prankster, Shelley (Larry Zerner), who is a jerk, but surprisingly, he gets a some depth and is the most memorable character as a result. "Better to be a jerk than nothing," he moans to the girl he likes, admitting his pranks are for attention. It's Shelley who provides Jason with his hockey mask. When he's really killed by Jason, of course no one believe him.

Still, when Jason gets his hockey mask, the pace picks up, the killings occur faster, and Jason looks like the beast we all know and love. There's still a lot of gore: victims are impaled with hot pokers, cut in half with machetes, and have their skulls crushed by Jason's bare hands. But by this point, we've seen the same movie three times in a row, and the only variation has been the type of killings.

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