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Friday the 13th, Part 3 (1982)
Friday the 13th Part III is the third film in the Friday the 13th series. Released in 1982, it was the first film in the series to feature Jason Voorhees wearing the hockey mask that has become his prominent trademark. Friday the 13th Part III was released theatrically in 3-D, and is notable as the first Paramount Pictures film produced in 3-D since 1954. Much like its sequel Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, this film was intended to end the series. Unlike its sequel and the later film, Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday, this film did not include a moniker in its title to indicate as such. Picking up one day after the events of Friday the 13th Part 2, the horribly deformed mass murderer Jason Voorhees has survived his attack at the hands of Paul Holt and Ginny Field and has migrated to a store where he steals new clothes. He then murders the store owners, Harold Hockett with a meat cleaver slammed into his chest, and his wife, Edna Hockett with one of her own knitting needles through the back of her head, before moving on to a nearby lake front property named Higgins Haven.
Two years, two monster hits. Paramount had taken a little known terror title called Friday the 13th and molded it into a solid cinematic juggernaut. Introducing the now infamous character of undead maniac Jason Voorhees to a generation of movie macabre obsessives, the studio saw nothing but dollar signs ahead. But the MPAA was coming down hard on horror films and an always excitable society was drinking the pro-censorship Kool-Aid. Sensing it might be time to get out, they conceived the third Friday the 13th film as the final one. And just to spice things up a bit, they decided to make it in 3D.
It's the day after the events of the second film. Jason Voorhees is still on the loose, killing the innocent citizens of Crystal Lake at random. It's at this very moment that psychologically unstable Chris (Dana Kimmell) decides to return to the locale to revisit some demons from her past. She brings along a group of her pals, including horndog lovers Andy (Jeffrey Rogers) and Debbie (Tracy Savage), a pair of perpetually stoned sidekicks, and faltering fifth wheel Shelley (Larry Zerner). Already waiting for her at the family cabin is local boy Rick (Paul Kratka)... and of course, Jason. Seems the masked killer has a score to settle with the young lady. Sadly it looks like everyone involved in this glorified getaway weekend will be paying the price.
There are actually elements outside the film that make Part 3 significant. This is the movie where Jason gets his hockey mask. Shelley, while more or less repelling every female within 15 blocks with his desperately needy self-deprecation, at least had the good sense to bring some athletic equipment with him. The mask definitely made one facially mutilated murderer more than happy. Similarly, Part 3 has some of the series' best kills. One character gets cut in half from groin to torso, while another takes a long distance spear gun shot to the eyeball. Director Steve Miner, returning from Part 2 for another go-round in the director's chair, seems to have polished up his act a little. Aside from the obvious attempts at audience "gotcha" (including gratuitous weapon handles headed toward the lens), he builds a nice level of tension between slice-ups.
Even the cast appears uniformly good, their typical '80s artifice falling directly into each character's disposability. While the addition of a supposed bad-ass biker gang is more laughable than terrifying, the rest of the film feels solid. Jason even learns to lean on his proposed immortality to generate a decent last act shock. And since the stunt gave the threequel unparalleled box office success (almost besting the original), Paramount put the kibosh on anything remotely "final."