[Join your host, John Holliday, in the review column "A Movie A Week" as he shares his spoiler-free thoughts on our collection of DVD / Blu-ray titles.]
For the majority of the 18-34 year old demographic that is the most sought after in any type of ratings, the 'Friday the 13th' franchise is synonymous with Halloween. The holiday that is, not the movie. Though the two do have some similarities, I prefer the 1980's slashers where the killer wears a mask… Oh, wait… The one with the promiscuous camp counselors at Camp Crystal Lake. I chose to review the movie that was, for many reasons (all of which I'll explain), the true beginning to this ongoing series. I chose Friday the 13th: Part III ("…3D" upon it's 1982 release).
Obviously the plotlines to the first two movies are fair game here so let's recap real fast. In the original, Mrs. Voorhees was the killer and, upon her beheading at the end, Jason goes even more nuts than his retarded self already is and begins his own onslaught in 'Part 2'. His disfigured face is finally exposed at the end, though it doesn't match the face in this movie which begins the day after the events of it's predecessor. That's supposedly because the few seconds we first get to see his face are in a dream sequence but that doesn't explain why Part III, again, mostly taking place two days after Part 2, is set on Sunday the 15th. Or why the titles change between Arabic and Roman numerals.
But whoever said Jason Voorhees was the star of a sophisticated, plot-driven series? These movies are all about having fun, laughing, and cringing at them with a group of friends. This second sequel really starts the trend of molding it's story around the kills that were obviously written before anything else. They're more absurd than the previous two and most of the characters are more forgettable. Except "Shelly" Sheldon as the nerd of the bunch, signified by his perm and bad jokes. He's actually the reason Jason gets the iconic hockey mask for the very first time and he hasn't let it go since. Through death, hell, and space, Jason still manages to hold on to Shelly's mask almost twenty years later.
Intended to be the end of the series, there's a reason Friday the 13th: Part III wasn't the last. The kills are good and the body count is perfect with the total coming in at XII. You like that one? Clever, huh? So, with all the kookiness I've mentioned you may be thinking this horror movie isn't so scary. Well, it's not but the addition of the mask and the revelation of Jason's face provides the opportunity for a few good creepy scenes as pictured above. Granted it is mostly "wacky". I think the outdated term is fitting for a movie that heavily dates itself from the fashion, to the jokes, to the clichés (to be fair, some probably originated with this franchise).
Overall, Halloween movie-marathons wouldn't be the same without your loved ones jumping by your side and screaming at the characters to "Run!" before they end up dying. Which they always do. This movie is all about that experience and has inspired not only it's own multitude of sequels, but every other slasher film since. That's why I give Friday the 13th: Part III:
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