Monday, April 30, 2007

Friday the 13th part III (1982)

Director: Steve Miner

Set immediately after the events of part two, "Friday the 13th part 3" barely keeps this series alive. It may regain itself at the end, but by then you probably won’t care. It’s hard to take a step down from part 2, but well, here we are. Already resorting to 3D technology, this franchise is already struggling. They seem to have traded the “hot teens” from the second film for a more realistic “butt ugly” crew. Jason finally is coming together, though. Jason finally gets his infamous hockey mask. His killing technique is improving, and the deaths have become more elaborate. He still likes to go for the neck a lot of the time, but he’s a lot stealthier. I think that mask gives him confidence.

We begin with yet another elaborate flashback to show us the entire last scene of part 2. Only this time we find out that Jason…GOT UP after he was sliced with his machete. I’m not a stickler for details or anything, but we knew he got up. He jumped through the window at the end. I guess that was a dream… or was it? Seriously, I have no idea. His rampage begins this time by killing a married couple with a knife and sewing needle. He now dons his workman’s jumpsuit, and ditches the overalls. He’s a man on a mission. Next, we get to know the newest victims. No longer camp counselers, the protagonists are merely run-of-the-mill teens looking for a relaxing, sex-filled weekend at their cabin. They arrive in a Scooby Doo inspired van (complete with a wannabe Shaggy), and we find out one of them is pregnant. This never figures into the plot, but I figured I’d mention it, since the main character seemed to make such a point of it, repeatedly. Part three also features the most annoying character in Friday the 13th history to date. Ladies and gentlemen... meet Shelly (played by Larry Zerner). Shelly’s a chubby, afro-ed nerd who is keen on practical jokes and strikes out with the ladies.

After Jason disposes of a biker gang (consisting of three members who look like they came from three different gangs, or from three different movies entirely), he proceeds to the teens. Chris (played by Dana Kimmell) will be our heroine for the rest of the film. She apparently seems to have had an encounter with Jason two years previous, although we’re not quite informed on the details of this meeting. He attacked her in the woods, and she woke up in her bed the next day, according to her. It doesn’t really matter anyway. It’s just an excuse to make some sort of connection between movies. Maybe Jason just forgot to kill her, and decided to tuck her in and read her a bedtime story. Chris and her “Ken doll” boyfriend miss the action while they’re off on a drive, while back at the cabin, things have gotten a little worse. Jason has killed some dumbass (who was walking on his hands for some reason), and then kills his girlfriend in a hammock much the way his mom disposed of Kevin Bacon. Their hippy friend, who looks old enough to be their dad, gets fried on a fusebox. Another girl gets a harpoon to the eye, and Shelly finally gets what’s coming to him. It’s Shelly whom Jason gets his infamous hockey mask from, and history was made. It turns out Shelly was an integral piece to the franchise -- who would have guessed?

Now it’s down to just Chris and Jason. They go a few rounds in the barn, and Chris ends up hanging Jason, and then giving him the ole axe-to-the-head. She then heads out on the lake in a rowboat and falls asleep. She wakes up to Jason scrambling towards her, but he quickly vanishes, and it’s Mrs. Voorhees (sporting her newly re-attached head) who gets to pop up out of the lake and tackle the girl this time. Chris wakes up... again, and is carted off in an ambulance. I guess the whole Mrs. Voorhees thing was a dream. Killing Jason wasn’t a dream though, and it turns out Jason really did die… or did he? Yes, he did. We see him lying in the barn with the axe firmly planted in his skull as the credits roll. The incessant use of camera angles to show us the 3D effects grows real old, real quick. I think it may have worked in their favor a little, though. It actually caused them to think about what kinds of camera angles they should use, and it ends up LOOKING like the best of the series. It forced them to put a little more thought than usual into their shots. Unfortunately, it’s the worst so far. It's pretty forgettable. Appearances can be deceiving. The acting and dialogue is atrocious, and the plot… oh, who are we kidding? The plot never existed… or did it? No, it didn’t.

Best Death: Jason squeezes a guy's head like a grapefruit, causing his eye to pop out... in 3D!!!!

No comments: