Paramount // 1982 // 95 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge Clark Douglas // June 16th, 2009
A new dimension in terror.
Ladies and Gentlemen: The first few minutes of this picture are not in 3-D. However, you will need the special 3-D glasses.
A bunch of attractive young people decide to spend some time together on a farm. They foolishly scare the crap out of each other for a while. Then most of them get killed by a quiet dude in a hockey mask. Oh, and it's in 3-D.
The young man sits on his couch. Tshoo, thsoo, thsoo, kill-kill-kill-kill go the synthesizers, enveloping him in a realm of artificial fear. Fear generated by the medium of film, a medium that has now evolved into a strange new realm beyond the normal or accepted dimensions of art or entertainment. It's all done Jason. You've done your job well, Mommy is pleased. Mommy has a reward for you. She is going to bring your feature film franchise into the strange new world of the third dimension. That's my good boy. Good, Jason. The young man sits on his couch and watches you. He has been transported into this new realm, where he shall submit to your exploits in helpless rapture. He sits transfixed in his Kubrickian state, red and blue and red and blue and he and you and we are all together. You will be in 3-D, Jason. The young man is watching you.
You begin in a moment of plain 2-dimensional terror. You will bring him to you in the manner that you brought him to you before, in the same old ordinary cotton candy manner that they all bring everyone in. Comfort him with familiar symbols of blood and chaos. You are ready to evolve now, Jason. Into the third dimension! Forthward thou shalt march. Reach for him, Jason. Reach out beyond your simple celluloid limitations and embrace the never ending universe that waits for you to destroy it. See the woman hanging clothes on the line? Walk towards her. She may be in the third dimension, but now you are as well. Now anything is in your reach. In a moment of pre-Cronenberg ecstasy, you shall extend the cold steel of your blade not only to your simple victims, but to your unsuspecting viewer as well. Steel reaches beyond the screen and reaches reality which reaches the viewer, connecting you both in a most glorious combination of flesh and metal. The man in the market is not safe, either. Eat your fish eggs, mustache-man. The horror from D3 is coming.
In your first transition to the new dimension, you shall employ a gimmick...nay, not a gimmick, but rather a fascinating artistic device that will be sure to freeze the bone marrow of those who dare witness your latest saga of bloodshed. Over the course of your 95-minute sojourn into the Phantom Zone of Cinema, the audience shall be jabbed in their red-and-blue eyeballs with baseball bats, sticks, planks, mice, snakes, cleavers, bongs, blades of grass, dope joints, sunflower seeds, dead rabbits, eyeballs, bales of hay, wallets, chains, yo-yos, cigarettes, knives, pitchforks, machetes, and many other items of earth-grade sub-dimensional interest. Oh yes. There will be optical illusions. Optical illusions and blood!
I'm afraid the transfer here is rather unimpressive, retaining the grimy and dirty look that so many slasher films of this era suffer from. Lots of grain, grime, dirt, scratches and flecks are all over the place. The images here are rather soft, and the level of detail is not particularly impressive. The disc gives you the opportunity to watch the film in both 2-D and 3-D, and I'm honestly not sure which to recommend. Frankly, this entire film is built very heavily around the whole 3-D gimmick, and without that element it might seem even more ridiculous than it all ready is. On the other hand, watching a 3-D film at home with these crappy red-and-blue glasses really sucks. It screws up your color co-ordination and will likely give you a headache. Not to mention the fact that this dingy-looking film looks even more dingy when viewed through the dark glasses. Audio is just fine, with the ultra-cheesy synth score and dialogue blending reasonably well with the low-key sound design. Things are a little distorted from time to time, but overall I have no complaints with the audio.
The primary selling point for this Blu-ray release is the new batch of special features. The so-called "Deluxe Edition" DVD had next to nothing in terms of supplements, but this release offers several informative featurettes. "Fresh Cuts: 3D Terror" (12 minutes) offers a discussion of the decision to create the third film in the gimmicky format. "Legacy of the Mask" (9 minutes) offers a brief history of Jason Vorhees, speaking about how they chose Jason's look both with and without the mask. "Slasher Films: Going for the Jugular" (7 minutes) features a variety of horror movie icons (Tony Todd, Tony Moran, Tom Savani, etc.) speaking about the joy of watching teenagers getting killed. "Lost Tales From Camp Blood: Part III" (5 minutes) is a stupid short film that serves as a companion piece to the main feature. You also get a theatrical trailer and two pairs of 3-D glasses.
This is an incredibly lame entry into a horror franchise I've always found particularly tedious. You might think that the 3-D gimmick would at least bring some entertaining camp value to the proceedings, but the film itself is just too boring to be any fun at all. Friday the 13th: Part 3 is a limp stockpile of horror clichés that could very easily be used as a primer on how not to make a horror movie. This is the sort of film in which every bit of dialogue two particular characters say to each other basically translates as, "Sex, sex, sex, we love to have sex, we're going to be killed eventually, let's have sex." These characters are so dull, and Jason such a banal serial killer, that it's hard to care about who gets cut into pieces.
I honestly have no interest whatsoever in the film, but fans of the franchise will be pleased with the array of new supplements included here. Worth an upgrade for those who dig this thing more than I do.
The film is sentenced to wear a pair of cheap red and blue glasses for the rest of eternity.
Review content copyright © 2009 Clark Douglas; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2015 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
* 2.35:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)
* TrueHD 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono (English)
* Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono (French)
* Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono (Spanish)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 95 Minutes
Release Year: 1982
MPAA Rating: Rated R
* 3D glasses