Plot: What’s it about?
As if he hasn’t killed enough people already, Jason Voorhees (Richard Brooker) is back again and this time, he plans on raising his body count higher than ever. His new stalking grounds involve a cabin filled with young folks looking to have a good time, which of course causes Jason to want to kill them in various painful ways. One of the girls in the cabin is haunted by an attack by a disfigured man near Crystal Lake, but little does she know how close that attacker is as she speaks. But now his face is hidden by a soon to be trademark hockey mask and this time, he seeks to finish what he started with her. So Jason starts with some nearby country bumpkins to sharpen his skills and then sets his sights on the cabin’s content. We all know Jason will make sure a few of them never take another breath, but will he be able to work his magic on them all?
As I am sure this is what fans have wanted for years, I am pleased to report that yes, this release includes both the standard and 3-D versions of the film. But enough about 3-D, let’s talk about the film itself. I know horror sequels are an acquired taste, but I happen to like them a lot and this one is no exception. I don’t think this one is close to the best in the series, but it does offer some fun times and another chance to see Jason in action, which is always nice. In case you’re wondering, yes I know this movie has poor acting and a bad script, but that doesn’t mean it is all bad. I guess I am just a sucker for these ’80s slasher flicks, but I think each installment in this series is worth a look. This one has some terrific murder sequences and lots of blood, which is more than enough to carry this film to fun levels. Is this classic good filmmaking in action? Of course not, but is fun and fans of the series will want to (re)visit this installment now that is in 3-D on home video.
At the helm of Friday The 13th: Part 3 is Steve Miner, who manages to keep this movie from tanking too badly. Miner didn’t have a lot of acting talent involved or a great script, but he still makes sure this one at least stands well within the series and that is worth a nod in my book. This was second film (after Friday The 13th: Part 2) and even here he shows some nice potential, which is impressive. I am not saying Miner works magic with this film by any means, but given what he had to work with, I am surprised how well it all turned out. Miner has evolved into a gifted filmmaker over his career and to think, we have this series to thank for putting him into the public’s eye. Miner has also directed such films as House, Warlock, Soul Man, Lake Placid, Big Bully, Forever Young, and Halloween: H20. The cast of this film is pretty weak and includes Paul Kratka, Rachel Howard (Deep Space), Gloria Charles (Brewster’s Millions), Dana Kimmell (Rivals), and Richard Brooker (Deathstalker).
Video: How does it look?
Friday the 13th: Part 3 is presented in 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen. I’ve covered the 3-D version in the supplements section, so this critique covers the standard flat presentation. The visuals here live up to that “flat” moniker too, as this is average at best and won’t dazzle the eyes. While a competent effort and an improvement over previous editions, this transfer lacks the presence and depth we’ve come to expect from high definition. Even so, this doesn’t look bad and like I said, allows you to retire the DVD. Not great, but then again, most folks will be watching the 3-D version.
Audio: How does it sound?
Not much to be excited about with this Dolby TrueHD 5.1 option either, as the audio is basic and nondescript. The front channels handle almost all of the presence, which leads to a rather limited experience. A little more surround presence could have added to the tension and mood, but that doesn’t happen here. The soundtrack is adequate though, dialogue is fine and the music sounds passable. I just wanted to a little more eerie presence in this new presentation. This disc also includes the original mono soundtrack, French and Spanish language tracks, and subtitles in English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese.
Supplements: What are the extras?
As far as the 3-D version is concerned, the visuals work well, under the circumstances. This is no replacement for a proper 3-D screening at a theater, but it is more than decent. I wouldn’t watch it like this often, but it makes for a fun night to put on the glasses and experience the film in that fashion. As far as normal supplements, we have four brief featurettes that are worth a once over, as well as the film’s theatrical trailer.