Thursday, August 5, 2010

Friday The 13th Part 3 (1982) / Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)

FRIDAYTHE13THPART3-1.jpg picture by sikomike
            WHAT? You want to go back to Camp Blood so soon? You kids and your horrormones.   Looks like our Crystal Lake slasher Jason Voorhees has aimed his machete towards Higgins Haven.   You better be careful since Jason is coming at you this time in three dimensions. Somebody may lose an eye. And no, it won't be from a slap shot by a hockey puck!
   After Ginny Fields is taken off to the hospital following her vicious confrontation with the legendary Jason Voorhees, the Crystal Lake slasher pulls the machete out of his shoulder and gets up.  Jason arrives at a grocery store ran by some annoying married couple after magically getting a haircut and a good shave (?).  Since this is a slasher film, Jason naturally kills the chubby man and his nagging bitch of a wife.  The next day, Chris Higgins and her friends (Andy, Debbie, Chili (?), Chuck, Shelly, Rick, and Vera) arrive at Higgins Haven where they plan to spend the weekend care free and totally stereotypical Friday The 13th victims.   While at a store, Shelly manages to piss off a motorcycle gang consisting of Ali, Fox, and Loco by running over their bikes after they have harassed Vera.  The gang follow Shelly and Vera back to Higgins Haven, where they plan to steal gas out of Chris's van, but end up being killed by Jason in the barn behind Chris's cabin , who has also come to join the party.  That night while Chris and her boyfriend Rick are out spending some alone time together to talk, the others are killed off one by one.  Chris finally confronts a hockey masked Jason Voorhees, who she had escaped from two years prior.
   In 1980, an independent horror film titled Friday The 13th was all the buzz amongst horror fans. There were very awesome and creative murders, a somewhat creepy atmosphere of seclusion, and a great jump scare in the final act.  Then, studios began to cash in on this new wave of slice 'em up dead teen flicks.  We got a slew of slasher flicks in 1980. Then in 1981,  just one year after the original Friday The 13th, Paramount Pictures cashed in on its success by releasing Friday The 13th Part 2, which brought Jason into the franchise as the killer to follow in his demented mother's footsteps.  The sequel did very well at the box office, which meant one thing. To make another one.  At the time, 3D was becoming a big thing with various franchises and  other films. Many studios agreed that horror would be the perfect genre to test out flying objects coming right at a screaming audience.   Unfortunately, most of these films were pretty bad (Amityville 3D is a prime example).   Paramount Pictures decided to make Friday The 13th Part 3 in 3D to add a little bit of spice to their already successful teen horror slasher franchise.    My biggest issue with 3D aside from most of the time looking silly is that more often  studios will use the gimmick to sell a movie that has no substance (The Final Destination).  From what I have heard, Friday The 13th Part 3 looks awesome in 3D in a movie theater. Unfortunately for me, I have never seen this movie in its true 3D format, unless you count that crappy 3D transfer on the special edition DVD that came out a year or two back.  So, I will be reviewing this movie according to its 2D format.
        The story to Friday The 13th Part 3 is basically the same story as the previous two installments, but instead of being at a summer camp, we're at a cabin that this group of friends are staying at for the weekend.   Basically, the only thing that usually changes in these films are the victims, the look of Jason, and the kills.  Martin Kitrosser and Carol Watson wrote a pretty average Friday The 13th screenplay here.    I personally thought that the victims from Part 2 were better for the most part.  All of these characters are one dimensional as usual except for Shelly and Chris.    Andy and Debbie are obviously the couple that is sexually active. Chuck and Chili are the two stoners who are somewhat a couple I guess. Rick is the typical boyfriend character to the heroine.  Shelly, while a practical joker, is the one character that I could actually relate too oddly enough. The guy is a loner who just wants people to like him and just wants to feel like a part of the group.  Everyone basically kinda ignores the guy, so he feels that the only way that he can feel a part of the gang is to play jokes. I feel bad for the guy. Maybe it's because I've felt exactly how he does before.   I know what it's like to feel left out and have joked around to try to get people to like having me around. Poor guy.  Too bad Jason killed him to steal his fucking awesome hockey mask. Vera was hot I thought, but the character was pretty one dimensional like most Friday characters.  She did have a nice ass though. Damn!  Chris was pretty likeable as the heroine of the movie. She wasn't as bland as Alice, but at the same time not as strong as Ginny. She was a hottie though and I bought it when she lost her mind at the end. Kinda reminded me of Marilyn Burns as Sally Hardesty in the original The Texas Chainsaw Massacre where she started laughing hysterically at the end of the movie.  She did give Jason a nasty gash in the head with that axe.
      And then there was the trio motorcycle gang.  These guys didn't really do much, but were douche bags and then got killed in the barn by Jason.  Speaking of Jason, I loved him in this movie.  My only issue is what happened to his half deformed mountain man look from Part 2 with the long hair and beard?  I loved the addition of the hockey mask and he definitely makes a hockey mask look fucking cool.
       Now for the best part of any Friday The 13th film: the KILLS!   I pretty much was digging most of the kills in this film.   They were definitely a step up from Part 2.  We get a pitch fork through this woman's throat, holding her off the ground. There's also a nice scene where one of the bikers gets stabbed all the way through with a rake.  Jason pays a homage to his mother by hiding underneath a hammock and stabbing a girl up through her chest with his machete while she is reading an issue of FANGORIA!   The most gruesome kill is where Jason whacks this guy right between the legs with his machete while the dude is doing a hand stand.   A guy gets electrocuted and a girl gets stabbed with a hot fire poker.   Harpoon gun to the eyeball was really cool too. My favorite was when Jason crushed this guy's head so hard that his eyeball popped right out of the socket. While the eyeball did look fake by today's standards, I'm sure that kill had people screaming who saw this movie in 3D back in 1982.  All in all, more than decent kills I thought.
        I have to mention the music in this installment of the franchise. What was up with the whole techno opening credits music? It's pretty amusing and very easy to dance too. Just ask my buddy Fred (The Wolf).  Harry Manfredini is fucking awesome.
       There are some problems that I have with the film though. The biggest is all of the 3D shots in 2D. I know that these shots probably look really cool in 3D, but in 2D they were extremely distracting.    Again, what happened to Jason's full set of hair and beard from Part 2?  This is supposed to be the NEXT day. Did he just cut it all off with his bloody machete?  Speaking of the next day, this is Saturday The 14th. But, I can forgive them for that since in Crystal Lake, everyday is a FRIDAY THE 13TH!   And then there was the scene where Chili discovers that Shelly is really dead and here's her reaction:
" Andy! Debbie! Shelly is dead! He's REALLY dead! Oh my God! Oh my God!!!"
      The boo scare at the end was a rip off of the original's ending except instead of a young Jason, we get a rotted corpse of Mrs. Pamela Voorhees. AND SHE HAS HER FUCKING HEAD ATTACHED TO HER BODY!  
  The direction by Steve Miner who also directed Part 2 was better in my opinion this time around. No more cutting too early before actually seeing the kills.  
The acting is decent in this film for the most part. Dana Kimmell is decent as Chris Higgins, the heroine of the film. She's no Amy Steele, but she was a step up from Alice.  I liked it at the end when she was in shock from what had happened to her and her friends. Plus, I liked the fact that she had escaped Jason before when she was younger. That flashback did kinda give me the creeps the first time I saw this film when I was a kid.  Paul Kratka was alright as the token boyfriend character Rick and his death really was an eye popper. Traci Savage was sexy as Debbie and had nice boobs. Jeffrey Rogers was okay as Andy. Catherine Parks was pretty hot as Vera and had a fine ass. Larry Zerner was very relatable as Shelly. I liked him a lot and felt sorry for the guy.  David Katims and Rachel Howard got stoned as Chuck and Chili. Nick Savage, Gloria Charles, and Kevin O'Brien were decent at playing the bikers Ali, Fox, and Loco.  And Richard Brooker was pretty good as Jason. I still prefer Ted White, C.J. Graham, and Kane Hodder though. All in all, not a bad cast at all.
Overall, Friday The 13th Part 3 is an alright sequel.  It's entertaining and fun, but looks silly in some areas since the 3D gimmick is now in 2D.   If only they had this Real D technology back in the early '80s huh?  Aside from the 3D gimmick, this film is mainly known for Jason receiving his iconic trade mark hockey mask for the first time.  Watch out Michael, Jason has his own mask now!
         Oh Chris, sweetie, why bother just whacking Jason in the forehead with an axe? You know that he is just going to get up and kill again. Haven't you final girls ever seen John Carpenter's Halloween? Since this is pre- SCREAM, I take that as a no.   Nothing to worry about ladies, old Jason loves to chase you around especially when you just lost your virginity.  So, sit tight kiddies because we got another Friday The 13th to regrue.  Just scroll down below the lake to see what occurs in Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter. Oh, and don't be a ... DEAD FUCK!  HEHEHEHEHEHAHAHAHAHA!!!
2.5/4 STABS
              Looks like another group of care free slasher bait has arrived in Crystal Lake. You would think that by now someone would put a sign in the road saying "DEAD TEENS".  Murders must be a common among the Crystal Lake residents.  After all, everyday is a Friday The 13th in Jason's neck of the woods. Final Chapter huh? Is there really such a thing in horror franslices?  Ugh...  No.
     Jason's "body" is taken to the local Crystal Lake hospital after the events of Friday The 13th Part 3.  As to be expected, our hockey masked slashing friend wakes up and kills a doctor and nurse before going back to the woods.   Meanwhile, a group of care free Friday The 13th victims consisting of Paul and his girlfriend Samantha, Doug, Sara, Ted, and Jim are partying it up in a house they have rented for the week.  They also invite twin sisters Tina and Terri to join their fun.  The Jarvis family lives next door consisting of Mrs. Jarvis, her teenage daughter Trish, and 12 year old son Tommy who loves monster make-up and masks (like me!).  Trish and Tommy meet up with a guy named Rob, who is camping out nearby and helps Trish get her car started.  It turns out that Rob is actually searching for his missing sister Sandra (from Part 2).  Jason hates parties, so being the nice guy that he is decides to kill these partying friends one by one before turning his attention to the Jarvis family.   What Jason doesn't know is that Tommy just may be able to stop him for GOOD!
   After the major success of Friday The 13th Part 3 in 1982, Paramount Pictures decided after much consideration that their next Friday The 13th would be the last film of the franchise.  They just got tired of making Jason movies and thought that they would have the next film be just like the others EXCEPT that Jason would be killed off at the end, which would put the franchise and the horror icon to rest.   The story to Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter is your basic Friday slasher flick, but it does have some things added to it that make it special.  Instead of just having a group of pot smoking, beer drinking, and sexually active teenage friends or camp counselors, we now have a family and a kid thrown into the mix.   Tommy Jarvis is what really makes this film as special and as remembered as it has become along with obviously the kills.  With having a 12 year old kid in this movie, it makes the final act more intense.   Halloween did the same thing by having kids in jeopardy too instead of just care free teenagers.   The screenplay written by Barney Cohen is actually pretty good. 
       I also like the characters for the most part too.  Paul and Sam are the typical sexual couple of the film.  Doug is the pretty boy who has the hots for Sara. Sara is the shy virginal girl who is kind of a goodie goodie and likes Doug.  Ted is the stoner who  likes to type things into his imaginary computer and teases Jim. Jim is the horny virgin who just wants to have sex for the first time. He also has the best dance routine EVER!  Tina and Terri are the twin sisters who join up with these future Jason victims.  Trish is basically the older sister of Tommy and really comes off annoying once Jason shows up. Tommy is my favorite character of the movie as the kid of the film. He makes his own masks and is a master at monster make up. I wish I knew kids like this growing up!  Plus, he fucking KILLS Jason at the end! Look at Ginny and Chris who are young adults and yet all they did was temporarily wound the maniac. This kid fucking rocks and is obviously a fan favorite, otherwise he wouldn't have returned for the next two sequels. And then there's Rob who is searching for his sister Sandra, who was killed off by Jason in Part 2 while having sex.  He's pretty likeable even though he doesn't last long.  There's also the doctor Axel and nurse at the beginning of the film, but they were just cannon fodder for the opening deaths. All in all, okay characters.
    And now for the best part of any Friday The 13th film (usually): the KILLS!  I was really digging the kills in The Final Chapter.   A guy gets his throat cut with a hacksaw and then Jason twists his head all the way around Exorcist style.  There's a cool scene where Jason stabs this chubby woman through the throat while she's eating.    We get some obvious stabbings.  I love where Jason jumps through the window and throws one of the twin girls out of it. That death scene made me jump like crazy the first time I saw this film.  A girl gets stabbed while laying on an inflatable boat in the middle of the lake.   We get a great shower moment, where a guy gets his head crushed against the wall until his eyes begin to pop out a bit.  My absolute favorite is Jim's death where Jason shoves a corkscrew through his hand and follows it up with a meat cleaver to the forehead.  Not bad kills though, not bad kills at all.
         Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter was actually the first Friday The 13th movie I watched and so it holds a special place in my heart and made me a fan of the franchise.  I love the opening of the film, where they show a clip from Part 2 where Paul is telling the legend of Jason around the campfire and then it shows clips from the first three Friday The 13th films along with what he is saying before the opening credits roll. I loved that a lot!  After all, this was SUPPOSED to be the last Jason movie, so it makes a lot of sense why they would show clips of Jason's previous kills from Parts 1-3. 
     The final act of this movie is just fucking awesome!   The fact that a little kid outsmarted and killed Jason was huge.  Tommy shaves his head to make Jason  see himself in this kid.  And that sequence where Trish whacked Jason's hockey mask off, revealing his true face was pretty creepy. Jason looked nightmarish in my opinion. He looked like a boogeyman and a monster.  We do see Jason's face a few times throughout the franchise at the end of some of these films. We saw a glimpse in Part 1-3, we see it here, for a few seconds in 6, an awesome badass look in 7,  a shitty puppet look in 8, and briefly in the 2009 remake.  It doesn't take away from the character, but reminds us why he wears the mask in the first place.  That scene where Tommy whacks Jason in the side of the head with the machete and then he falls and rolls down the blade was priceless.  I also loved when Tommy saw that Jason's fingers were twitching and then he pushes his sister away and began slicing Jason the fuck up, while crying out, "DIE! DIE! DIE!". Just great stuff.
     Tom Savini, who did the special FX on the original Friday The 13th, returns to kill the slasher that he helped create.  Savini is a legend and will always be in my book.  The guy has worked on horror films such as Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead, The Prowler, Maniac, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2,  The Burning, and Midnight.
      Harry Manfredini returns with his famous Friday The 13th music score consisting of the infamous "KI KI KI MA MA MA" echo.  Great stuff.
     I do have a few issues with the movie though.  Why didn't the inflatable boat that Sam was laying in deflate after Jason stabbed through it to kill her?   Did Mrs. Jarvis get killed by Jason? I believe she did, but it never answered on whether she was killed or not. She just saw something that scared her and then we never saw her again.  While Rob was being killed, he actually says, "He's killing me! He's killing me!". I just found that kinda funny.  Trish became REALLY annoying once Jason was on their trail. I know people do stupid shit when they are scared, but she became a little much.   I do wish that there were more over the top kills. I liked the kills, but wish they were a little more spicy. That's okay though, Jason's kills get more gruesome once he becomes a zombie in the sixth installment Jason Lives, which is actually my favorite film of the franchise. And last and surely not least, Sara turns the doorknob, realizes that the door is definitely locked, yet CONTINUES to turn the doorknob anyway until an axe comes flying through the door into her chest.
    The direction by Joseph Zito is pretty decent. Zito  should know how to direct a slasher flick since he directed The Prowler about a year before this film, which Tom Savini also did the special FX on. Nothing too impressive, but not bad at all.
  The acting is pretty good here mostly.  My favorite actor was Corey Feldman as Tommy Jarvis. I've always been a fan of Feldman's work in The Lost Boys and License To Drive, which he worked alongside the late Corey Haim.   He definitely played a heroic character in Tommy who took Jason down and was a total badass.  Kimberly Beck was okay as Trish until her character went nuts towards the end. Peter Barton got his head crushed in the shower as Doug. Clyde Hayes got a Harpoon Gun to a male sex object. Barbara Howard played the good girl actually well as Sara and got a nice axe to the chest.  Erich Anderson was alright as Rob. Judie Aronson got stabbed in a undeflatable boat as Samantha. Camilla and Carey More were cute as twins Tina and Terri . Is it just me or did they kinda look like Tiffani Amber Thiessen who played Kelly from Saved By the Bell? Lawrence Monoson was high as a fucking kite as Ted. I actually saw in the His Name Is Jason documentary that the actor was really high during filming to get more into character. And Crispin Glover (Hey McFly, you're an asshole!) is fucking awesome in this movie as Jim.  His dance is priceless and should definitely become a dance style.  I love everything this guy does for the most part.  Ted White is probably my favorite actor to play Jason. He is definitely creepy and had Jason down perfectly.  His face was nightmarish with all that make-up when the mask came off at the end.  This is the last time we see Jason "alive" until the remake.
   Overall, Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter is a really awesome slasher flick and is my second favorite Jason movie. It is the movie that made me a fan of the character and his mythology.  The thing about horror franchises though is there is never a "last" installment. The franchise is either rebooted or is continued with another sequel.  This is not the last Friday film as to be expected.  I truthfully doubt that Saw 3D will be the last Saw film either. As long as a franchise is making cash then it will always come back for good or for bad.  Too bad, the next installment Friday The 13th: A New Beginning is in my personal opinion the worst of this entire franchise (even Jason Takes Manhattan and the remake).   I guess that you'll have to wait a week to see my thoughts on Friday The 13th: A New Beginning (1985)  and Friday The 13th: Jason Lives (1986) because I'm going on a small vacation.
Final Chapter? HA! Never in the horror genre!   EVIL NEVER DIES!  So, you better enjoy Camp Crystal Lake while you can kiddies because Jason won't be down for long. As mother always said,  early to dead and early to slice.  
3.5/4 STABS


Fred [The Wolf] said...

I haven't heard the disco theme in part 3 for a while now. But everytime I do, that jungle dance just gets inside of me and it comes out. And no, I will never film it.

As for the film itself, I actually like it better than 2. While 2 had the better final girl, I thought 3 felt more like a FRIDAY film than the last one did. The kills are better, the characters are more stereotypical, and we get the cool hockey mask as well. I do agree about Mrs. Voorhees though...why DID she have that head? Weird. And yeah, that 3D transfer is shit. Yeesh. I'll stick with 2D.

As for THE FINAL CHAPTER, definitely in my top 3 FRIDAY films. Feldman rocks here and I totally dig Tommy Jarvis. Plus the direction is good, the characters are entertaining, and the kills are pretty nasty. That bit where Jason slides down the machete always makes me smile for some reason. Savini did an awesome job with the effects.

Great reviews. I can NOT wait for A NEW BEGINNING and Robot Girl. And of course, JASON LIVES [the best FRIDAY film].

JennyB said...

After "A Nightmare On Elm Street" series Friday the 13th series are my favorite. I love everything it's about. A group of kids going to a cabin to have fun and party then they all die. You can't get any better then that. Great reviews.