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Paramount Studios presents
Friday the 13th: Part 3 (1982)

"That'll teach you a valuable lesson. A beautiful girl like you should never go out in the dark alone."
- Shelley (Larry Zerner)

Review By: Jesse Shanks   
Published: October 16, 2000

Stars: Dana Kimmell, Paul Kratka, Richard Brooker
Other Stars: Tracie Savage, Jeffrey Rogers, Catherine Parks, Larry Zerner, David Katims, Rachel Howard
Director: Steve Miner

MPAA Rating: R for Violence, brief nudity
Run Time: 01h:35m:00s
Release Date: October 17, 2000
UPC: 097360153941
Genre: horror

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
C C-BB+ D+

DVD Review

The Friday the 13th series and the whole slasher genre are among the inheritors of the Hitchcock legacy. However most of these "inheritors" lack many of the stylistic elements that make the films of Sir Alfred so memorable. This is a much repeated formula in Hollywood—to take a portion of a great film and make endless poor explorations. How many low-rent gangster films did The Godfather give birth to and how many endless Star Wars knock-offs have we seen and will we see forever? In films like Psycho, The Birds and Frenzy, Hitchcock took "horror" out of the fantasy realm and put it into real life. The emergence of the serious serial killer film as a genre parallels our own fascination as a society with the random, invisible killer among us: the real-life stories of Richard Speck, Ted Bundy and John Wayne Gacy seem far and away more horrible than any fantasy portrayed on the screen.

Friday the 13th is removed from those films in that it has no basis in reality and far from Hitchcock in that it utilizes very little style beyond horror clichés. However, it does its job as a product fulfilling the limited goal of making a scary movie that a guy can take a date to and hold her hand when the violins begin to crescendo. Knowing exactly what we are in for, we enter a pastoral world beside a lake with a group of teenagers and sit back for the shock effects while they are stalked by the mindless killer, Jason Voorhees.

Part 3 in the series was originally released in 3D and the effect is sorely missed in watching it on DVD. The obvious stunts, without the effect—like ax handles, yo-yos, body parts, and knives pointed out toward the audience—are distracting and, let's admit it, the story in this entry is particularly lacking. I miss the 3D because I love 3D movies. I have seen as many of them in the theater as I could. I saw Hitchcock's Dial "M" for Murder in 3D and also the epic Jaws 3. I still have two pairs of 3D glasses—how I would have loved to break them out for this DVD!

Oh well. The movie begins with our heroine, Chris (Dana Kimmell), who is taking some friends with her on a weekend jaunt to her family's old home by Crystal Lake. Two years before she had the terrifying experience of meeting up with Jason and has been disturbed ever since. This is her attempt to reconcile her demons by returning to the scene. Her friends include a couple on a blind date, another couple destined to have sex before dying and a hippie couple. The "hippies" seem to be along for one joke where a joint is passed toward the camera and seemed to come out of the theater screen in 3D.

The events of this movie follow right on the end of Part 2 and Jason has picked up right where he left off. Our intrepid group is actually passed on the road by police, headed to the scene of two murders. But, blissfully ignorant of the multiple horrific deaths that have occurred over the last few days in the area, they continue on to the house for the fun weekend. Not much of a story, but there are some pretty good shock effects interspersed among poor acting and poorly written dialogue. Jason's manner of killing is very dependent on 3D for effect and suffers for the lack of it.

At one point, the geeky college student scares his date by emerging from the lake wearing a hockey mask and carrying a spear gun. She is upset at being frightened so he stalks off and quicker than you can say "Don't go in the barn," he goes in the barn. Jason obtains the hockey mask that was to become his signature and laters puts the spear gun to a use that was scarier in 3D but still pretty shocking without it.

The final result is an odd entry in the series. A 3D stunt when it was released, it is even less than that when forced to stand on its own. Robbed of its uniqueness, the movie has nothing special to make it worth owning except as a curiosity or if you are collecting the series.

Rating for Style: C
Rating for Substance: C-


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: The anamorphic transfer is very good. The stunt shots included for the original theater release in 3D add a certain amusement in their crystal clarity. I noticed very few distracting artifacts and the widescreen aspect restored the theatricality that is always missing when viewing a Friday the 13th on TV.

Image Transfer Grade: B


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoEnglish, Frenchyes

Audio Transfer Review: The Dolby Digital Mono is very crisp. The music and the sound effects are a crucial part of the suspense in the Friday the 13th series and here are excellently rendered. Every snap, crunch, squelch, crack and "chhhh chhh chhh" are totally hi-fi. The mix is very nice and adds greatly to the viewing experience.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 14 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: No extras beyond the trailer found on this disc. I suppose the thought that no extras are really needed is okay; but actually, I can think of some aspects of this series that might be explored, such as it's remarkable success, the artistic choices made, and where are they now—that sort of thing. I suppose that anything about the 3D process that was used in the original would have emphasized the fact that this version lacks it.

Extras Grade: D+


Final Comments

Looking for a slasherfest for your fright night? Well, there are three other Friday the 13th DVDs and five more to come that might fit the bill better than this one. Originally released in 3D, Part 3 suffers for the lack of the stunt effect. Recommended for Jason completists only.


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