Friday the 13th Part 3
A new dimension in terror...
Year of Release: 1982
Running Time: 91 minutes (1:31)
Director: Steve Miner
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
Richard Brooker ... Jason Voorhees
Friday the 13th Part 3 is the ninth in a series of reviews I've chosen to write as a tribute to Joe Bob Briggs for his lifetime of dedication to B, Drive-In and Exploitation movies. It was his Joe Bob Goes to the Drive-In column and host segments on Joe Bob's Drive-In Theater and Monstervision that inspired me to write with what limited ability I have. Thanks for everything Joe Bob, we all 'preciate what you do.
Regarding the ordering of these 12 tribute reviews, I'll be counting down the first 12 horror movies that Joe Bob reviewed back in '82 and '83. Less the titles I've already done up to this point. By the time I decided to do this, I'd already done some of those first 12 titles, so call that a blunder on my part. Friday the 13th Part 3, technically speaking, was the 7th horror movie Joe Bob reviewed in his Joe Bob Goes to the Drive-In column, and the 16th overall.
For anyone that might be curious, the non horror titles (or titles that I may have done previously) between Friday the 13th Part 3 and my next review were: The Beastmaster (#15), Forced Vengeance (#14), Going All the Way (#13), Visiting Hours (#12) and Senior Snatch (#11).
An idyllic summer turns into a nightmare of unspeakable horror for yet another group of naive counselors. Ignoring Camp Crystal Lake's bloody legacy, one by one they fall victim to the maniacal Jason who stalks them at every turn.
Friday the 13th Part 3, reminding us that sex in a hammock is best left to the professionals. You realize that if they made this movie today there'd prolly be a voice-over disclaimer by Ron Jeremy at the beginning of the movie about not tryin' this at home? This whole "protect the stupid" crusade we've been on for the last few decades is really startin' to show in the SAT averages. But it's best not to dwell on that kinda information, you'll prolly end up french kissin' the exhaust pipe on your car if you think about it too long; besides, this is Friday the 13th Part 3. Fans can finally rejoice now that Jason's ditched the Ku Klux Kap he was wearin' in Part 2 an taken up the trademark hockey mask so he can rack up several hours in the penalty box for slashing. But as we the fans celebrate this moment in cinema history, there are those who seethe at the mere mention of it. I'm sure you've already guessed that I'm referrin' to the linen syndicate. After Part 2 they were poised to make a killin' on Jason Voorhees pillowcase Halloween masks an tighten their stranglehold on the industry. They'd already cornered the toga an ghost costume markets, but those were small potatoes compared to what the Voorhees account was gonna bring in. Everything was comin' together perfectly, when halfway through this movie, Jason reaches down an picks up the hockey mask... they were sunk before he even grabbed the matchin' spear gun accessory. This was supposed to be their moment, their big break, an that accursed puck shield shattered their dreams like so many Canadian teeth before its introduction. Now they've been forced to return to sellin' cheap fabric to Motel 6. The work's steady, what with all the hooker secretions causin' permanent discoloration, but not a day passes where the executives don't look back an recall the blow they suffered in that fateful moment. So they skulk bitterly around their board room table, cursin' an plottin'. Awaitin' the day when Hollywood gets desperate enough to remake The Town that Dreaded Sundown and THEN, they will claim what's rightfully theirs. Kinda pathetic ain't it? Greed, I mean. Guys like that can't even enjoy the simple pleasures of watchin' a "mongoloid" mama's boy shish-kabob teenagers with a fire poker. It's times like these that we should all be thankful for what we've got an be glad that we were all blessed with an appreciation for the finer things in life. Now you're prolly thinkin' this one's just like the first two an that there's nothin' here you don't already know. Frankly, I'm embarrassed for you if you believe that. The first two movies were about counselors in the woods gettin' chopped into turkey pot-pies, but this one's completely different. They aren't counselors. Feel pretty stupid now, don't ya?
The first thing Friday the third teaches us, an this is one you aughta learn as early in life as possible, is that when a rough an tumble biker chick takes your wallet, opens it up, an asks if the rubber inside is yours, there is only one response that'll get you out alive. Oh but you thought these wouldn't be important, startin' to sweat now ain't ya? I guess I'll tell ya, even though you don't deserve to know. The correct response is; "yes ma'am, that is my rubber, may I please have it back, your toughness?" An whatever you do, look at the floor when you say it, cause if she sees the tiniest bit of spirit she'll break you an your condom, an not necessarily in that order. Second, while on the subject of bikers, you may think it's hard to join a gang, but really all you need is a leather jacket, a sleeveless t-shirt with a skull on it, an a cigarette. The fact that you're a sissy little pudding snack with coffee straws for arms won't affect your application. An third, when the outhouse's rockin', don't come a knockin'. But Friday the 13th Part 3 brings up a question I get asked all the time an I think it's about time to set the record straight. This is prolly one of the biggest debates in the history of mankind, right up there with whether or not there's a god an whether there's any possible way to discern the difference between butter an I Can't Believe It's Not Butter. The question is; does a fetus count towards a movie's body count? This issue isn't as black an white as most people would have you think. The answer is *sometimes*, an here's why; the first rule of body counts, is that the body must be shown. The Friday the 13th series in particular is especially guilty of off screen deaths, but they've always at least got enough integrity to drop that particular corpse onto some airhead later in the movie so we know they were actually squished into meat paste. Now, I really don't wanna go into all the political stuff about what constitutes a life, cause that "moment of conception" versus "third trimester" debate is disgustin' an has no place in civilized discussion. That's the kinda stuff that's off the chart even on Joe Bob Briggs' vomit meter. Besides, I'm told with some frequency that I ain't got a life so it's pretty clear to me that that entire topic is completely subjective. So lets stick to the concrete facts, an chief among those is that if we didn't see it, it don't count. It's the same basic rule judges use anytime one of the names on Bill Clinton's enemies lists goes missin', they gotta have a body an so do we. So the short of it is that SOME fetuses count towards the murder tally, an some don't. Remember that great scene in Anthropophagus when George Eastman mashes the baby outta that pregnant lady an takes a big bite of the veal? That counts. But just bein' pregnant an gettin' sliced up into lunch meat? No way. So I hope that settles it cause I do not wanna have to explain this again.
The movie begins with about six minutes of flashbacks from Part 2 before we move on to a general store out in the sticks that's owned by this weird little bald guy that looks like he pays women to dress up like Dyanne Thorne from Ilse: She Wolf of the SS an whip 'im with leather straps. Once his harpy of a wife starts shriekin' at 'im every few seconds for the smallest of infractions you can see why that first scenario would be preferable. So after she strips away the last few shreds of the guy's dignity she goes back to watchin' a news report about the events of the last movie while he goes to spend some quality time with his pettin' zoo. Only his goldfish is on a hunger strike, so he eats about half the container to prove it ain't poison an then has to go grab his rabbit outta the vegetable display an move all the veggies the rabbit piddled on into the discount bin. Unfortunately about that time the ogress shows up an catches 'im samplin' all the stock an explains to 'im that if he dies from cholesterol an denies her the opportunity to kill 'im from sheer misery she's gonna bury 'im in a Keith Partridge ensemble. She also wants 'im to put the rabbit away like five minutes ago cause she can't stand the idea of 'im enjoyin' the touch of another livin' creature. So he goes to put the rabbit away, only he finds all the others dead an when he moves closer a rattlesnake strikes at 'im an he runs like he should have on his weddin' day til he finds one of his no doubt numerous booze bottle caches. But after takin' a couple pulls offa the bottle he hears a noise from outside an when he opens the door he gets assaulted by the most aggressive Ginsu salesman in history an ends up bleedin' out on the floor like he's in the waitin' room of an L.A. hospital. The crone senses a disturbance in her freshly mopped floor an goes to gripe the guy out, only to be thoroughly ventilated by the equal opportunity destroyer. The next day, some teenagers in a van're headed out towards their holiday spot in the country where they apparently don't get real good TV reception or somebody mighta noticed the butchery that took place not too far away on the two nights prior. Unfortunately, they've got Tommy an Tammy Chong with 'em an they've got the van so fulla smoke that people're confusin' it for a Tesla an as if that weren't bad enough a police siren kicks on behind 'em an they all have to start eatin' the dope before they get pulled over. Then the cops blow right by 'em an everybody gets this look on their face like they're all thinkin' how much better this stuff tastes with brownie mix. A little ways down the road they have to stop to haul one of The Oakridge Boys outta the center line an as a show of gratitude he whips out the eyeball he's been keepin' in his pocket an starts readin' from the book of Ralph.
Eventually they arrive at the cabin an everyone runs down to the lake to shed their modesty an see whose bits shrivel up the fastest. Everyone except Chris of course, she's the responsible good girl that thinks she's too good to pop 'er top cause she thinks she's got a real shot at an actin' career. So Chris takes the luggage inside where she's immediately grabbed an kiss raped by 'er old boyfriend Rick an she has to tell 'im to put his boner away an help 'er unload the van. He says that's fair, so long as she helps him unload the hot rod later. So they start unloadin' the van when Shelly emerges an scares the bejezus outta her. Seems he can't go swimmin' cause he's too fat an the glare offa his chest'd blind everybody for a 15 mile radius. Then Chris shows everybody their rooms an just barely catches sight of something goin' in the barn, but figures it's prolly just some Amish guy scoutin' potential razin' targets an goes back to what she was doin'. About that time somebody starts screamin' like there's a whites sale at JC Penny an Chris an Rick find Shelly propped against a wall with hatchet stuck in his forehead, but when the rest of the party shows up Andy goes full tickle monster on Shelly's supposed corpse an wrecks his fun. Which is just as well, cause now everybody's P.O.'d that he ain't actually dead. Then Vera borrows Rick's car to go to the store an Shelly makes noises like a puppy in the rain til she lets 'im come with, which turns out to be pretty fortunate cause the general store only accepts Visa, cash, or tanned beaver pelts as payment an since Vera's part Mexican she's only got food stamps. Unfortunately a group of bikers shows up an this nasty lookin' broad that looks like an extra from The Concrete Jungle (Fox) takes Shelly's wallet an makes Vera admit she's got a smaller clit than her before she'll let 'em go. Then Shelly accidentally backs into all their bikes an the head badass (Ali) wraps a chain around his fist an starts floatin' like a butterfly as he proceeds to bust all the windows outta the car. But then Shelly goes all Cowardly Lion an after discoverin' his courage comes back for another pass an completely fucks Ali's ride before runnin' like a scalded dog. Rick's a little bummed about the new air conditioning system on his VW bug, an he tells Chris that no poon is worth this an starts sweepin' the glass of his seat so he can take off an Chris realizes she's about to be left alone with 'er friends an climbs in. Then the bikers show up an siphon the gas outta the kids' van so they can burn Green Acres to the ground, only Fox wanders into the barn an gets turned into a pin up girl after Jason pitchforks 'er to one of the cross beams.
After Fox's been missin' for awhile, Ali sends Loco to make sure she didn't run away cause he still owes the head of the chapter two payments on 'er, but when he finally finds 'er he gets impaled too. Yeesh, I haven't seen this many forks stuck into guts since that time I had to break a five in that Scottish restaurant. Then Ali comes lookin' for 'em an Loco rolls outta the hay loft onto 'im an gets colon juice all over the Harley Davidson logo on his jacket an by now Ali's seriously P.O.'d. So he grabs a nearby machete an follows the shape dartin' around in the shadows til he thinks he's got a clean shot, unfortunately, Ali swings a machete about as well as Bob Uecker swings a bat an after he whiffs like a blind lumberjack Jason waffles 'im five or six times with a lead pipe. Back at the house, Andy an Shelly're tryin' to prove their superiority over each other by jugglin' apples. Mercifully, Debbie breaks it up by tellin' Andy to come upstairs an handle her produce for awhile an unwittingly leaves Vera alone with Shelly. Apparently women don't have a code that keeps this kinda stuff from happening like men do. So Shelly tells Vera he really likes 'er an Vera gets this look on 'er face like she needs a barf bag an tells Shelly she'll be right back once she can throw together one of those "I just wanna be friends" speeches that Shelly's prolly already heard from just about everybody, includin' both of his hands an the toilet paper roll. While that's goin' on, Debbie an Andy work the hammock til it's whippin' around like Taz an by the time they're done they've both got third degree rope burns over 85% of their bodies. Elsewhere, Chris decides it's finally time to tell Rick why she's been colder'n a Yeti's ballsac the last few months an explains that after their last date 'er parents went ape shit on 'er for bein' home late an givin' 'em the false hope that she might be dead an that they could reclaim their lives. So she ran out into the woods to make 'em feel guilty an shoot the breeze with Treebeard for awhile, only he talks really really slow an eventually caused 'er to fall asleep an when she woke up she was bein' stalked by this mongoloid that looked like somebody'd taken a cheese grater to his face an blacked out like a Kennedy at last call once he got ahold of 'er. Poor Jason, he always comes on just a little too strong. Next thing she knew she was at home in bed an 'er parents were just actin' like the whole thing didn't happen, kinda like gamers do anytime somebody brings up the Zelda series on the Philips CD-i. Then the headlights go out on Rick's VW bug an they have to walk back to the cabin cause apparently the fire, the full moon, an the halogens the film crew had set up just weren't gettin' it done.
Back at the house the Tommy Chong look alike heads for the outhouse an... sweet merciful crap. Forget that, that was the exact opposite of sweet an merciful crap. A couple hits offa that outhouse air's a surefire cure for the munchies. But while the guy's holdin' his breath an tryin' to fire off the pooster rockets the thing starts shakin' like a snitch in the prison shower. Once the shakin' stops he gets outta there an Tammy Chong comes up an scares the crap that got trapped when he clenched out of 'im an they spot somebody headin' into the barn an figure it's Shelly. So they head inside to avenge Tommy's shattered nerves an can't find a damn thing, fuggin' barn is emptier than Sigourney Weaver's bra. Meanwhile, Vera's hangin' out down by the dock like usual when somethin' grabs 'er leg from under the water til she shits 'erself, which sounds real funny but if you'd ever shit yourself wearin' a thong you'd prolly change your tune. Shelly was certain he'd win 'er heart with that little trick, but it's just not meant to be, an once he storms off he sets his props down (a hockey mask and a spear gun) an goes to see why the light's on in the barn. Meanwhile, Vera's goin' through Shelly's wallet lookin' at all the cute pictures an startin' to feel guilty enough to give Shelly some pity sex when she accidentally drops it in the water. So she wades in to get it when all the sudden a gigantic hockey goalie wanders down from Nova Scotia an fires a spear gun right through 'er left eye socket an simultaneously kills both her an Shelly's only hope of not dyin' a virgin. Then Andy an Debbie finish up in the hammock an Deb goes for the shower. On the plus side, there's no wet spot left afterwards when your bed's a hammock, although all the fluid on the hardwood floor really starts warpin' it after awhile. Then Andy walks around on his hands (I think it's obvious who was doin' all the work earlier if he's got the energy for this) an heads downstairs for a some libations, only when he rounds the corner into the hallway Jason draws back with his machete an splits 'im from nuts to guts. I don't think Jason quite understands the concept of hackey sack. After awhile, Debbie gets outta the shower an opens up the latest issue of Fangoria to the Godzilla anniversary article til blood starts leakin' down on 'er an when she looks up she spots the nutless wonder danglin' from an overhead beam just as Jason brings his machete up through 'er tit. Incidentally, if a woman has looped nipple rings, would those be knocker knockers? Meanwhile, downstairs, the lights go out while Tommy an Tammy're tryin' to make Jiffy Pop an she tells 'im to go find the fuse box an do man things with it. "In the dark?!", he asks. Cripes Tommy, your brain really is nothin' but bong resin at this point ain't it? No, of course not, wait for 'em to come back on first, THEN try flippin' the breaker.
So Tommy heads downstairs like he's got the slightest idea what to do with a fuse box an pretty quick Jason shows up behind 'im an slams 'im into the box til he gets electrocuted like a Nebraskan tryin' to hook 'emselves up to the neighbor's cable connection. Then Shelly walks in with his throat slashed worse than the country's education budget an of course, Tammy don't believe 'im even though he's makin' sounds like that old hag from the anti tobacco ad that smokes through the tracheotomy hole in 'er neck. Course, by this point, Tommy's more toasted than he's ever been in his life, which results in the lights flickerin' (Tommy did get the switch flipped before he blazed up) an when she can't get Shelly on his feet she starts to get the picture an runs around the house whinin' like a fat girl that didn't get asked to the prom til Jason shoves a hot fire poker through 'er gut bucket. Winners don't use drugs, kids. Finally, Rick an Chris make it back to the cabin, an it wouldn't have taken nearly this long if he'da just stopped an asked that guy with the possum pelt polearm an the bear traps for directions. After a brief search that reveals nothin' but Orville Redenbacher's Burnt Offerings an a lot of "water" damage under Andy an Deb's hammock, Rick heads outside to see where everybody's gone. Unfortunately, Jason's waitin' right around the corner an puts the Kona Crusher on 'im til his eyeball shoots outta the socket like a patriot missile. Then Chris goes upstairs an finds the tub overflowin' an full of bloody clothes, so we know that Mrs. Voorhees at least instructed Jason on the importance of gettin' clothing with blood on it into the wash immediately. Then she heads for the barn to find Rick, only Loco's body bungee jumps down from the tree in front of 'er an she has to run back in the house an make pathetic noises like Hillary Clinton when she found out she wasn't gonna get to be vice president. But, Jason's a pretty accomodatin' kinda guy, so when she starts whinin' for Rick, he pitches what's left of 'im through the window, hops inside, an challenges 'er to a face off. By the time this one's over the J-man's gonna be guilty of slashing, thigh sticking an possibly meat hooking.
Alrighty, well, Jason's finally got his iconic mask so the casuals'll know who he is. But I don't think this one's quite as good as Part 2. You're prolly wondering how that's even possible since it's almost the exact same movie to begin with. While it is true that there's very little difference between any of these sequels, at least until Part IV where we actually get a recurring character, Part 2 had marginally better characters and thus, is marginally better. This one tends to focus more on one specific character than Part 2 did, to the point that there's even less character development than before for the supporting cast (something that Part IV corrected). I realize it's not all that important to have character development in a movie like this, but it does help the overall score when you've got a least a little bit. Other than that, it's essentially the same movie as it was the first two times. With the exception of the 3-D gimmick that a lot of horror series were using at the time once they hit the third movie in their respective series'. It even uses a few of the same scenes as the first movie, including the blood dripping scene where Tracie Savage looks up towards the ceiling an gets shanked from below, and another it'd be best not to mention to avoid spoilers. But hey, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. It's probably one of the weakest entries in the series, but they're all so similar that it's not weaker by much. It is pretty interesting that it picks up within a day of Part 2, which is something I always like from a sequel. Part IV does the same thing, picking up right where Part 3 left off. I suppose in the end, this one's really just kinda "meh", in the sense that it's never one that really comes to mind for me when thinking about the series in general. That doesn't make it bad, it just doesn't stand out to me personally, despite having two particularly great kills. The hand stand scrotum splitter was masterful, and the skull squisher with the rocket propelled eyeball was pretty amusing as well. Though the effects on the eyeball rocket are pretty cheesy, you can't help but grin at it. It's also one of the few Friday the 13th movies where Jason understands he can get around quicker if he runs. In fact it may be the last one, I can't remember if he runs in Part IV or not, but he does in this, and in Part 2. Once VI rolls around and he's more or less a zombie, it kinda makes sense that he doesn't run, at least in the sense that I like my zombies slow and awkward. It also doesn't really have as much atmosphere as Parts 2 or IV do, despite having another fantastically manic soundtrack from Harry Manfredini. Maybe it's just me, but I like almost all the other sequels better.
Okay then, lets slice this thing lengthwise an see what a testicle looks like without its protective coating. The plot is every bit as bare as Part 2 was, it's really your standard people go to an accursed place an get chopped into beans an ham hocks storyline, only this one singles out one character to a larger degree than Part 2 to the point that she's the only one we care about, or are entertained by. Amy Steel didn't get quite so much focus in Part 2 as Dana Kimmell does here, and yet her character was the better of the two, the rest of Part 2's cast seemed to be better defined as well, so Part 3 comes off looking a little weak, in that regard. The one thing I will give them, is that Kimmell isn't a completely weak-kneed airhead. Steel was given a smart character and Kimmell was given a knife swingin' scary bitch type character, so they're both good at least, I just preferred Steel. Steel, incidentally, was offered the chance to reprise her role the way Adrienne King did in Part 2, though whether it was just to get killed off in the opening as King did, is unclear. The acting is alright for the most part, though Rachel Howard and Paul Kratka are pretty wooden at times. Kratka actually auditioned for the part of Andy and thankfully, was given the role of Rick instead. He's still not that great, but it would have been a lot worse the other way. Larry Zerner is fairly entertaining as the obnoxious jokester, Shelly, and Kimmell is pretty good once they let 'er go nuts towards the end. The acting is pretty forgettable, but here's who matters and why: Dana Kimmell (Midnight Offerings), Paul Kratka (Blood Was Everywhere), Rachel Howard (Deep Space), Richard Brooker (Death Stalker), Nick Savage (Fright Night), Kevin O'Brien (Warlock), Terry Ballard (Friday the 13th Part IV), Anne Gaybis (Beyond Evil, Necromancy), Charlie Messenger (The Sword and the Sorcerer), Steve Susskind (Star Trek V), Perla Walter (Chiller), David Wiley (Society, Warp Speed), Steve Miner (Lake Placid, Halloween H20, The Last House on the Left 1972). On one last night, Kevin O'Brien who played the white biker, Loco, also played Lori Singer's gay room mate in Warlock. And did so pretty effectively, so I think it warrants mention that anybody who can go from a biker to a borderline flaming gay guy and not reek at one of them has a pretty decent range.
Most of the special effects are pretty good, you've got a cleaver in the chest, a machete up through the back an out the chest, the pelvic divider, an electrocution, a really nice slashed throat and skull squishin' with eyeball blast off. That last one is pretty cheesy and intended entirely to work as a 3-D effect, and I must admit that I watched the 2-D version for this review. So truth be told, I'm not sure how the 3-D comes across on the DVD, though you can be certain it doesn't look as good as it did in the drive-ins and the hard tops back in its hay day. Unfortunately, the MPAA really got scissor happy on this one, as they always do with the big name titles. It's amazing to see what they wouldn't let pass in a movie like this from 30 years ago compared to what skates right by in a Saw entry these days, but suffice to say, we've got a lot of quick cuts when things get interesting, as is usually the case with Friday the 13th movies. Can't fault the movie for it, but it does warrant mention. The shooting location is pretty good, which makes sense considering they actually built most of the structures used in the movie. I guess they figured since they had a 4 million dollar budget that was a good way to spend it. The house, the barn and the lake were all built specifically for the movie, though the lake wasn't sealed properly and drained out within a week. So if it seems like there aren't many scenes on or around the lake, that'd be why. I tend to prefer the use of long standing summer camps for these movies, as they tend a bit more authentic. That said, this movie didn't take place at the camp, and despite what the plot summary says, involves no counselors. Somebody really phoned it in on that one, that's just pathetic. Good woodsy scenery, but not as good as the locations used in Part 2. The soundtrack is another Harry Manfredini home run. It's really amusing that all the sequels have their own scores, but due to their stylistic similarity, it's damn near impossible to match them to their respective entry if you were to listen to them on their own. Up through Part V anyway, VI and particularly VII have their own individuality, as do all the sequels that follow. Really good tracks though, even the cheesy opening score that plays over the 3-D credits flyin' towards the screen. All the others are standard fare, but that is one of the rare tracks that stands out in the Friday the 13th series. Overall, it's better than the original but not as good as Part 2. Still pretty good, but a small step backwards. Required viewing material for fans of the slasher sub-genre.