Last year, between the two of us, we watched an average of 317 movies.
This year our goal is to top that by watching at least one a day.
And as an extra special torture, we've decided to write about all of them.

14 March 2008

Friday the 13th Part 3 in 3D, dir. Steve Miner (1982)

NIKKI says:
So into 3-D right now! But damn it makes your eyes hurt after a while. Or perhaps that was just this movie, that made my brain want to implode on itself after about the first two minutes.

Damn, it was shit. But it's always been shit. I think anyone when asked, Which is the worst Friday film? tends to think of the gang members in this straight away. I know I do.

What's with the gang members? What's with Jason killing the bunnies? Why does he torture the hillbillies? They didn't have sex at camp and let him drown! Isn't there a legend we're working with here?

So, this is when random killing replaced real storytelling for this franchise. And even in 3-D, it's still a pile of junk. I didn't root for the Final Girl, I didn't find Jason particularly menacing, and I didn't think much of the kills. The scariest thing about this movie was the severed head on the table -- and that was a flashback to Part 2.

Although -- the 3-D was freaking me out! The opening is genius, with sheets waving from a clothesline and you can see underneath them and off into the distance. And then a guy walks in from the distance and the sheets wave around him. Man, 3-D is amazing. It's the only reason to ever watch this movie.


STEVE says:
What the hell happened here? It's not like the Friday franchise has ever been known for its great storytelling, but this mess looks like the guys at Paramount just stopped caring.

The first indication is that the opening five minutes are just a recap of the climax from Part 2. And not just the good-parts version, either, but the entire scene from the point where Ginny finds Jason's shrine to his mom. What's more excruciating is that it's just assumed that we know everything that happened to lead us up to this point - which is likely the case, but come on. Watching a payoff with no set up is like somebody only telling you the punchline because they figure you can put the set up about the guy who walks into the bar with a duck under his arm together on your own. This flashback doesn't help at all - doesn't advance the story, doesn't supply any information that might come in useful later on - and only serves to pad the movie out for an extra five minutes.

So Ginny and Jason tussle in his little shack, she sinks a machete into his neck and, presumably, goes on to live better days. Push-in on Mrs. Voorhees head and, after the obnoxious 3-D credit sequence, we're treated to the A Night in the Life of Edna and Harold - think George and Martha without the Albee wit. For ten solid minutes we watch as these two hillbillies exchange barbs until Jason dispatches them. Why? Who cares? Cut to the next scene and we can finally begin our story proper, a full 16 minutes and 15 seconds in.

There had been, up to this point, a certain logic in these movies: Teens Have Sex = Teens Must Die. That no longer seems to apply here. Jason is now killing willy-nillilly anyone who crosses his path, and it's all rather boring. From the stereotypical bikers to Shelly the loser, the stoner couple who are inexplicably friends with our teen cast to the reprehensible boyfriend who becomes more of an asshole every time he opens his mouth - they all have to die simply because they're in this movie. And of course they do, just like clockwork, until our Final Girl sinks an ax into Jason's now-hockey-masked face (the cool Town That Dreaded Sundown get-up from the previous film having been cast aside at some stage). As in the first movie, the Final Girl jumps into a canoe and floats along until morning when - and I defy anyone to make any sense of this whatsoever - Mrs. Voorhees springs from the water and drags her down! Wait, no, hang on - it's only a dream... which explains the sudden and incomprehensible reintroduction of Mrs. Voorhees head to her body, but does nothing to explain why this girl would imagine such a thing, knowing nothing of Jason or the specifics of the last two movies.

Shame on Steve Miner. He directed what I still believe is the best of the series, and a damn good movie to boot, Friday the 13th Part 2. There, Jason was a confused man-child who didn't die in the alleged drowning accident, but has been hiding out in the woods ever since, and is now hellbent on avenging the death of his Mother - and, one assumes, his own near-death-by-drowning years before. He was unstoppable, but not inhuman. In Part 3, which takes place only the next day, Jason has ditched the Sundown look, picked up a hockey mask (maybe from the hillbillies?) and is now not only unstoppable but unkillable. How'd he become immortal? When is that shit ever explained?

This hardly feels like a Friday the 13th movie at all, really. It's like a Die Hard 3 type deal, where there's an existing script and somebody says, "Hey, this could be tweaked for John McClane." I'd put any amount of money on it: Someone had written a movie about a girl who had a bad experience in the woods; two years later, she's back at her parents' summer home, trying to put the incident behind her, only to have the escaped lunatic show up again. Some bright spark at Paramount read this and thought, "Hey..."


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