Month of Horror Prevues: FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 3
“You can’t be alive!”
We’ll kick our Month of Horror Prevues off with one of my favorite films in the 80s slasher genre. Of course there are now tons of Friday The 13ths but back in 1982, it was really the sweet spot for the series and these kinds of movies in general. The first film had Mrs. Voorhees (played brilliantly by Betsy Palmer) taking bloody revenge on Crystal Lake camp counselors for letting her boy Jason drown decades earlier. We later find out in Part 2 that Jason, a deranged freakazoid actually didn’t die but survived and began living in the woods like a hermit. After seeing his mother beheaded by The Final Girl of Part 1, Alice (Adrienne King) Jason returned a couple years later on his own vendetta. He ends up killing Alice then stalks the newest group of counselors in training staying at a cottage near the original camp. His fashion of choice was the hillbilly style overalls featuring a sporty sack over his head with one eyehole cut out. Two of the last surviving counselors of his rampage (think back, there WAS one more that made it) Ginny and Paul team up to kill him or so they think…
This all leads to Part 3, which has Jason turning into an even larger, scarier looking monstrous goon (played by Richard Brooker) with a thirst for killing. Gone were the typical camp counselors, this time Chris (Dana Kimmell) a pretty young teen brings some friends to her families cabin in the woods near Crystal Lake. We learn that Kris actually had a run in with ol Jason a few years earlier, only she didn’t think it was real but a nightmare she had. Part 3 was special for a few reasons, 1) It was originally released in 3-D and had all kinds of cool sight gags like Baseball bats coming at you, a Snake attack, Yo-Yos, popping EYEBALLS, spears etc. 2) it featured a pretty wacky cast of colorful characters like the weird old bum who took the place of Crazy Ralph, The Biker Gang from the city and a Cheech & Chong-esque couple that liked to smoke weed. The most famous detail about Pt 3) this is where Jason got his iconic hockey mask! It was sort of an indirect present from none other than everyone’s favorite chunky nerd SHELLY (JERRRK!) played by the great Larry Zerner. Although poor Shelly didn’t realize what he did, we have to thank him for being a horror geek. That’s another cool detail, Shelly is an aspiring actor who’s into horror movies, so he’s got all kinds of wacky gags in his prop case. This aspect seemed to be taken from real life since Zerner was trying to make it in Hollywood. He got the role when producers saw him handing out fliers for another horror movie and offered him a part. For the real horror nuts, there’s even a FANGORIA magazine featured in the movie! It all makes for a really entertaining horror film and for me, one of the best installments in the long running franchise.
– The only Friday The 13th film in which none of the characters actually say the name Jason.
– The film made $36,985,198 with a budget of $4,000,000.
– The house, barn, and lake were all built on location. The man-made lake wasn’t properly sealed, and, subsequently, the water drained into the soil during the first week of filming.
– Although it appears sunny and warm, the film was shot during a January/February winter. Several night scenes were trimmed in order to conceal the actors’ visible breath appearing on screen.
– There was two alternate endings to this movie that were actually shot. One had Chris doing the same thing to kill Jason, except Ali barely survives (he dies in the used ending), both of them escape, and Jason walks away–or the viewer assumes so–because when the police arrive, Jason’s body isn’t there. The other ending had Chris kill Jason, then go out in the canoe and fall asleep. In her dream, Jason decapitates her with a machete.