Saturday, October 11, 2014

In short: Friday the 13th Part III (1982)

Okay, it’s plot time: Everyone’s third favourite slasher Jason Voorhees (this time around played by Richard Brooker whose performance makes the big guy look rather cuddly and a bit lazy, to be honest) acquires his trademark hockey mask. Oh right, and kills off the friends of Final Girl Chris (Dana Kimmell) in increasingly silly ways that try and fail to set up impressive 3D effects, instead ending up with mostly very silly ones.

I know, I know, this one is supposed to be one of the lesser enjoyable outings in a slasher franchise not generally known for its class but either its the wine, my taste has deteriorated quite horribly, or this one’s actually a pretty enjoyable movie. For some reason, I prefer to go with the last explanation. And really, if you ignore the humungous number of continuity errors, writing that includes desperate signs of laziness or stupidity like giving Chris a backstory with an earlier encounter with Jason and then using this for exactly nothing whatsoever, or the random mini biker gang that’s only in there to provide a few more bodies to slaughter, and so on and so forth, the film’s a goofy and bloody bit of shoddy fun that might not have two brain cells to rub together but that’s basic fun if you like basic slashers.

Turns out I sometimes do. Therefore I found myself in the surprising position of discovering things to enjoy about Friday the 13th Part III beyond the gore and the all-around dumbness of the affair. For example, while the characterisation is genre-traditionally one-note (if that), the characters are at least not as vile and hateful as your usual slasher victims, so while I didn’t exactly cry when they got cut in half, stabbed, maimed, eye-mutilated, etc., I did find myself enjoying even the scenes not concerned with them being killed off, the 80s teen comedy idiocy of their movie lives, and all the chances of following through with anything it brings up about them the film utterly wastes.

Plus, there’s a ridiculous disco version of the classic (cough) Friday theme in the opening credits, the crazy warning hobo of the day brandishes an eyeball and speaks faux-Elizabethan (can’t imagine why nobody listens to him), a guy is bisected while walking on his hands (it’s as inexplicable as it sounds), and there are so many set ups for gory kills that just don’t make any sense at all, not just rubbing up against the laws of physics but also against the characters possessing eyes. It’s all, as you Americans say, pretty awesome.

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