12 Feb

Friday the 13th Extravaganza Day 3: Friday the 13th Part 3 in 3-D

Posted by Bryan White | Thursday February 12, 2009 | Reviews

friday the 13th 3dFriday the 13th Part 3, you greedy bastard! You are the prime example of laziness. You are the portrait of complacency. You thought that kids would buy a ticket to anything and in a lot of ways, you were right because you performed pretty well at the box office. You figured, “Hey! We’re fuckin’ Friday the 13th! What else are kids going to see? The Burning?? HA!” But you realized that your script was weak sauce because you had to spice the formula up with something to distract the masses from the fact that you had nothing new to offer them.  Why not present this grotesque mess of a film in 3 glorious dimensions?

I realize that I’m being pretty hard on Friday part 3 but can you blame me? Were it not for the hockey mask, this movie would be practically worthless. An aimless piece of crap that takes your money and leaves you with nothing in return. A flick that never seems to figure out where it wants to go. Like my other Friday reviews, a functional movie review of Friday the 13th Part 3 is going to be an exercise in futility since everyone has seen it a million times. Just understand that it’s a real piece of crap with serious pacing issues. However, of them all, this one seems to be the genuine orphan. The one nobody goes back to. I could watch parts 2 and 4 endlessly but I’m content in knowing that I’ve only seen Part 3 a couple of times and remember it well enough to tell everyone that they should probably stay away. But for the sake of review, I took this bitch for another spin and wore the 3-D glasses to better judge the only attraction you could possibly find for this awful movie.

If you want to get technical about the third Friday the 13th, this movie actually takes place on Saturday the 14th since it’s supposed to be going down the day following the events of the second movie. Continuity never being Friday the 13th’s strong point, Jason at some point stops to remove his long, luxurious hair before moving on to terrorize Chris and her friends at the nearby Higgins Haven. Yes, it’s your typical Friday the 13th exercise in dispatching worthless teenagers and you’d better believe that the gang’s all here. The final girl, the stoners, the fat kid, the horny couple and they all pretty much go in spectacularly nasty fashion but the movie takes forever to get going. There’s an agonizingly long introduction where a pair of redneck assholes get killed but it’ll be another hour before Jason shows up again in any kind of worthwhile fashion to thrill the audience. To establish a little dramatic foil in the third act and to sate the audience’s bloodlust, we get some pitchfork mayhem to punish a biker “gang” for siphoning the gas out of a van but everyone should get comfortable because it’s going to be a while before anything of any worth goes down.

The Fridays were never known for their storytelling. We came out to see Jason kill teenagers and god damn it, they shouldn’t make us wait for it. 3-D glasses or no 3-D glasses, I don’t need to see that yo-yo trick and having people in the movie point shit at me to take full advantage of the stereographic optical illusion doesn’t make up for you making me wait over an hour to see a guy get cleaved in half, crotch first.

The last disc in the Friday the 13th Deluxe Edition releases follows suit with the others, though, and if you’re a completist like me, you just have to have it. It’s disappointing that they rounded the release set out at three discs, though, because the series hits a notable crescendo in the fourth part featuring the best kills and make up. It’s like they realized that they had to make up for this mess in a big way and intended to end the series in Wagnerian fashion. But back to part 3.

They’re obviously shooting for the moon to make these discs look as good as they can, but even if Friday 3 is a total waste of your time, certainly they must have vault materials in better condition than this. The 2-D regular version of the movie looks a bit on the grainy side with colors as vivid as they can be and the movie suffering again during the night time scenes where the blues and blacks have a tendency to crush everything around them. If you’re looking for the 3-D version, man, you’re going to notice some damage in the source print. It’s all over the place. And speaking of the 3-D version, just spare yourself the eystrain and headache and skip it. Sure, it’s a nice thing to have and the whole point of these deluxe editions is to give you the last word on Friday the 13th, but most of the time, the 3-D doesn’t work. In many parts it comes together and the scene seems to have that flat depth of field that 3-D should have but when the actors are waving shit at you in the foreground, the image often appears as two distinct images, fooling no one.

Again, the sound is great. The soundtrack is the same old mix but the score gets sent to 5.1 land with a great mix. Unfortunately, the sound doesn’t help you enjoy this muddled piece of crap.

So how about those extras? Parts 1 and 2 come packed with some interesting looks at the making of the movies and the furious fan culture that cropped up around these films. So do we get the oft-spoken of alternate ending where Chris is decapitated? Do we get the extra violence that wound up cut to avoid an X rating? Do we at least get another one of those god awful Lost Tales From Camp Blood fan flicks? No way, dude. You get a trailer.

Yes.

A trailer. They even left out the commentary track from the boxed set.

A movie so drunk on its own reputation even managed to corrupt the so-called deluxe edition. There is really nothing deluxe about this release. The sound is good but the picture is bad and the 3-D angle which is the main selling point dies in the water because 3-D on TV just doesn’t work like it does at a theater rolling two simultaneous cameras for the real anagylph effect. It just leaves you with a headache and $15 lighter in the wallet.

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