25 January 2011

Clarky's Review: Friday The 13th Part III

Carrying on where the second film left off, Friday the 13th Part III sees Jason becoming the iconic figure we now love. The rancid sack with a hole for his left eye has gone. Not only has this improved his depth perception, and hence his efficiency in killing (with the exception of Ali who must be one of the hardest men alive to take a 30 second clubbing from Jason only to pitch up at the end of the movie with a trickle of blood on his forehead!), but it allows him to later don the iconic hockey mask after seeing off Shelly. This is a series that is iconic for Jason Voorhees. Yet he appears briefly in the first film, and doesn’t get his hockey mask until this film. Knowing what Jason looks like. it is with giddy pleasure that you see Shelly donning the mask (after playing yet another practical joke to impress the girls!) and knowing that he is next on the chopping board!

Eye-popping 80s 3D

Shelly – surely one of the most annoying characters in the series (until the next one). Friday the 13th loves to give us characters that we cannot wait to be dispatched off as fodder for Jason, and Shelly is no exception. A prankster, and a total prick, you loathe him from the moment he steps on screen. Sure the screenwriters try to make you feel sorry for him, but you can’t. He’s a twat. And here is my biggest criticism of Part III – you never see Shelly being killed, only him showing up after Jason has slit his throat. That should have been a moment that we cheered after seeing in “eye popping” 3D, but of which we are unfortunately deprived.

There is lots to enjoy here though, the knitwear (with the exception of Mrs Voorhees tattie old sweater at the start), some incredibly funny death scenes (with tongue firmly in 3D cheek), a stoner couple smoking so much that the car appears to be on fire (they must have been high as balls – not what you want with a serial killer on the loose), and a couple genuine scares and tense moments. Most memorable is the scene where Jason is hanging outside the barn. This would be a stunning addition to any horror film.

First apperance of the famous mask

There are also some nice nods to the first film in the canon, with the hammock scene (including a reference to the make up artist Tom Savini from the first film) closely resembling Kevin Bacons iconic death in Friday the 13th, and the final scene in the boat. Although quite what Debbie was thinking getting in a boat into, what can only be described as a knee deep pond, to escape Jason is beyond me. The dream within the dream is a bit too much, but I dare anyone to watch this film and not have a smile on their face afterwards. Sure it could be seen as another cut and paste effort of the first films, but to focus on that is to miss the joy of Jason. This weakness may also be the greatest strength of these films, they do exactly what the say on the tin. And I can’t wait for the next 7 tins of Jason!

(First image via here, second image via here)

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