Friday the 13th Part III, also known as Friday the 13th Part 3 and Friday the 13th Part 3: 3D, is a 1982 American 3D slasher film directed by Steve Miner and the third installment in the Friday the 13th film series. Originally released in 3-D, it is the first film to feature antagonist Jason Voorhees wearing his signature hockey mask, which has become a trademark of both the character and franchise, as well an icon in American cinema and horror films in general. As a direct sequel to Friday the 13th (1980) and Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981), the film follows a group of co-eds on vacation at a house on Crystal Lake, where Jason Voorhees has taken refuge.
Originally, the film was supposed to focus on Ginny Field, who checked herself into a mental institution after her traumatic battle with Jason Voorhees in the previous film. The film would have been similar to Halloween II, with Jason Voorhees tracking down Ginny in the mental hospital, but the concept was abandoned when Amy Steel declined to reprise her role.
When first released, the film was intended to end the series as a trilogy. However unlike its sequel Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984) and the later film, Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993), Friday the 13th Part III did not include a moniker in its title to indicate it as such.
Despite negative reviews from critics, Friday the 13th Part III grossed over $36.6 million at the US box office on a budget of $2.3 million. The film was the first to remove E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial from the number-one box office spot and became the second highest-grossing horror film of 1982, behind Poltergeist. The film has the third most attendance of any film in the Friday the 13th series, with approximately 11,762,400 tickets sold during its initial run. Jason's look in this film, which varies greatly from its predecessor, has since become the look to which the character is modeled in later incarnations.
Following the events of the previous film, a seriously injured and unmasked Jason Voorhees goes to a lakefront store for a change of clothes. While there, he kills the store owner Harold with a meat cleaver slammed into his chest, and his wife Edna is impaled in the back of the head with a knitting needle. Meanwhile, Chris Higgins and her friends travel to Higgins Haven, her old home on Crystal Lake, to spend the weekend. The gang includes pregnant Debbie, her boyfriend Andy, prankster Shelley, his blind date Vera (who does not reciprocate his feelings) and stoners Chuck and Chili. After running into an elderly gentleman named Abel, who warns them to turn back, the gang meets Chris' boyfriend Rick at their destination.
At a convenience store, Shelley and Vera get into a confrontation with bikers Ali, Fox and Loco. Shelley gets in the car and knocks down their motorcycles, impressing Vera. Later, the bikers show up at Higgins Haven and attempt to burn the barn down to get even. Jason, who has been hiding in the barn, murders Fox and Loco with a pitchfork before beating Ali unconscious with a pipe wrench. That night, Chris and Rick head out. Chris tells Rick the main reason she returned is to confront her fears, and she explains about how she was attacked by a deformed man two years earlier, causing her to leave Crystal Lake in order to escape the trauma.
Back at Higgins Haven, a scorned Shelley scares Vera with a hockey mask and then wanders into the barn. Jason slashes his throat and then steals his mask. Now with his disfigured face concealed, Jason emerges from the barn. Vera retrieves Shelley's wallet from under the dock and is shot in the eye with a speargun. Jason then enters the house and slices a head-standing Andy in half with a machete. Debbie has a knife shoved through her chest while resting on a hammock. When the power goes out in the house, Chuck goes down to the basement where Jason hurls him into the fuse box, electrocuting him. Chili is then impaled with a hot fire poker. When Rick's car dies, Chris and Rick are forced to walk back to the house to find it in disarray. Rick steps outside to search the grounds, but Jason grabs him and crushes his skull with his bare hands.
Jason then confronts Chris, who narrowly escapes the house and tries to flee in her van. The van breaks down and Chris makes her way to the barn to hide but is attacked again by Jason, whom she hangs. Jason unmasks himself temporarily, and Chris recognizes him as the man who attacked her two years ago. A revived Ali tries to attack Jason, but he is quickly dispatched. The distraction allows Chris to take an axe and strike Jason in the head with it, who staggers momentarily towards her before collapsing. Exhausted, Chris pushes a canoe out into the lake and falls asleep.
Chris then has a nightmare of Jason running towards her from exiting the house, and of the decomposing body of Pamela Voorhees - her head reattached - emerging from the lake and pulling her in. The following morning, the police arrive and escort the disturbed Chris from Higgins Haven. Jason's body is shown to still be lying in the barn as the lake is shown at peace once again.
- Dana Kimmell as Chris Higgins
- Paul Kratka as Rick
- Tracie Savage as Debbie
- Jeffrey Rogers as Andy
- Catherine Parks as Vera Sanchez
- Larry Zerner as Shelly
- Richard Brooker as Jason Voorhees
- David Katims as Chuck
- Rachel Howard as Chili
- Marilyn Poucher as Pamela Voorhees
- Nick Savage as Ali
- Gloria Charles as Fox
- Kevin O'Brien as Loco
- Cheri Maugans as Edna
- Steve Susskind as Harold
- Perla Walter as Mrs. Sanchez
- David Wiley as Abel
- Amy Steel as Ginny Field (cameo, flashback from Part 2)
- John Furey as Paul Holt (flashback from Part 2)
- Kirsten Baker as Terry (flashback from Part 2)
Steve Daskawisz (also known as Steve Dash) appears as Jason during flashback from Part 2. Betsy Palmer appears as Mrs. Voorhees during flashback from Part 2.
Some film scholars, such as Jim Harper, have noted Friday the 13th Part III for its final girl character, Chris, suffering from childhood trauma resulting sexual assault, which leaves her unable to engage in intimate relationships.Script error In the film, Chris's trauma stems from an attack she survived from Jason Voorhees, which leaves her "mentally scarred."Script error In comparison to the final girl characters in other contemporaneous slasher films such as Halloween (1978) or A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), Chris's failure to engage in sexual relations is a function of trauma as opposed to "repress[ion] or dysfunct[ion]."Script error
Initially, one of the earlier drafts for Part III was Ginny (Amy Steel) from the previous film being sent to a psychiatric hospital and confined there. Suffering from the events of Part 2, she eventually finds out that Jason Voorhees survived from his wound and tracks her down to the hospital, murdering the staff and other patients at the hospital. At the time, Steel turned down the role due to her involvement in other projects, resulting in significant script changes. Screenwriter Ron Kurz, who had written Part II, was offered to write the screenplay, but also turned the project down. Husband-and-wife screenwriting duo Martin Kitrosser and Carol Watson instead were hired to write the screenplay for Part III, completing the first draft. Paramount subsequently brought in Petru Popescu to alter the screenplay and make it "more sinister and menacing." Though the final filmed version of the script contained significant contributions from Popescu, he remained uncredited.
The script for Part III called for Jason to wear a mask to cover his face, having worn a bag over his head in Part 2; this mask would become a trademark for the character, and one instantly recognizable in popular culture in the years to come.
Screenwriter Popescu said casting was based on looks rather than talent, and recalled that his vision of the characters was at significant odds with the cast chosen by director Steve Miner. Dana Kimmel was cast in the lead role of Chris Higgins after Miner had become aware of her involvement in Sweet Sixteen, another slasher film. Tracie Savage, who had previously worked as a child actor, was offered the role through her agent. Larry Zerner was discovered by casting directors while walking along a street, and was offered the role of Shelly. For the role of Jason Voorhees, Miner cast British stuntman Richard Brooker.
Georgetown Productions, who had produced the previous two installments in the Friday the 13th series, was initially involved in the pre-production of Part III, agreeing with distributor Paramount Pictures to shoot the film with 3-D cameras, making it the first Paramount film produced in 3-D since Ulysses in 1954. Paramount was leased two 3-Depix cameras from the photography company Marks Polarized Corporation to shoot the film. Simultaneously, Paramount executive Al Lo Presti was researching current 3-D camera technology with the intention of developing a 3-D lens to be owned and used exclusively by Paramount.
According to a September 1982 issue of Forbes magazine, Sirius II Corp. owner Gale Weaver visited the set of Friday the 13th Part III, reportedly over producer Frank Mancuso, Jr.'s worries that faulty projection lenses at cinemas would prevent the film from having a wide theatrical release. Over a two-week period, Weaver developed a prototype lens that would be adaptable to "almost all theater projectors"; Paramount subsequently awarded Sirius II Corp. $1 million to manufacture the lenses, which would be used in place of the 3-Depix cameras. Marks Polarized Corporation subsequently filed a $25 million lawsuit against Paramount, alleging that the studio was "monopolizing the marketing of 3-D exhibition materials, as well as providing deductions to theaters choosing to lease projection lenses directly from Paramount." Paramount ultimately agreed to credit Marks Polarized Corporation onscreen with the statement: "Filmed utilizing the Marks 3-Depix® Converter," but the company was denied an injunction that would have required Paramount to change its equipment.
Friday the 13th Part III was shot on location at the Valuzet Movie Ranch in Saugus, California. The house, barn, and lake featured in the film were all custom-built. The house remained on the ranch lot until it burnt down in 2012. Additional photography for the film's grocery store scenes took place at a small market in Green Valley, California. Because of the newness of the 3-D camera lenses, the shooting process was extensive, with the crew sometimes taking hours to set up a shot, and the cast performing multiple takes of scenes in order for the cinematographer to properly capture the 3-D effects.
The decision dress Jason Voorhees in his now-signature hockey mask occurred during a lighting check on set; the film's 3-D effects supervisor Martin Sadoff was a hockey fan, and supplied a Detroit Red Wings goaltender mask to Miner.Script error Miner loved the mask, but during test shots found it was too small. Using a technique called VacuForm, makeup effects director Doug White enlarged the mask and created a new mold to work with. After White finished the molds, art director Terry Ballard placed new red triangles on the mask to give it a unique appearance. Holes were also punched into the mask, and the markings were altered, making it different from Madoff's original template.Script error There were two prosthetic face masks created for Richard Brooker to wear underneath the hockey mask. One mask was composed of approximately 11 different appliances, and took about six hours to apply to Brooker's face; this mask was used for scenes where the hockey mask was removed. In the scenes where the hockey mask is over the face, a simple head mask was created. This one piece mask would simply slip on over Brooker's head, exposing his face but not the rest of his head.Script error
The film's music was composed by Harry Manfredini, who previously composed the scores of the series' first two installments.Script error A disco theme was also included in the film, co-written by Manfredini and Michael Zager, who shared a credit with a fictional band called Hot Ice. The theme was included on releases of the film's soundtrack, and according to Manfredini, became popular at disco and gay clubs at the time.
Upon the release of the third film in 1982, Gramavision Records released a LP album of selected pieces of Manfredini's scores from the first three Friday the 13th films.Script error On January 13, 2012, La-La Land Records released a limited edition 6-CD boxset containing Manfredini's scores from the first six films. It sold out in less than 24 hours.
Friday the 13th Part III was released theatrically in the United States on Friday, August 13, 1982. It was the first-ever 3-D film to receive a wide domestic release, opening on 1,079 screens. Of these screens, 813 were 3-D capable, while the remainder consisted of drive-in theaters which were unable to accommodate the format. In order to allow non-3-D-capable theaters to screen the film, Paramount completed a seven-week-long conversion process that cost $2 million, "an amount equal to the picture’s entire negative cost." It was also the first film in the series to be presented in Dolby Stereo upon its theatrical release.
The film grossed $9,406,522 its opening weekend and broke the horror opening record held by the original Friday the 13th (1980). Domestically, the film made a grand total of $36,690,067. It placed number 21 on the list of the top-grossing films of 1982, facing strong competition from other high-profile horror releases such as Poltergeist, Creepshow, The Thing, Halloween III: Season of the Witch, Visiting Hours, Amityville II: The Possession, Silent Rage, The Beast Within, Cat People and Venom. As of 2014, it still stands as the fourth highest-grossing film in the Friday the 13th series and the third best selling in ticket sales; with approximately 11,762,400 tickets sold, it is surpassed only by the 1980 original with 14,778,700 tickets and Freddy vs. Jason with 13,701,900 tickets). The film also stands as the tenth highest-grossing R-rated film of 1982, the second-highest grossing horror film of 1982, the sixth largest box office opening of 1982, and adjusted for inflation it is the ninth highest-grossing slasher film of all time.
Friday the 13th Part III received generally negative reviews from critics upon its theatrical release. The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 12% of 25 film critics have given the film a positive review; the average rating is 3.6 out of 10.
Writing for the Los Angeles Times, Linda Gross noted: "Ironically, Friday the 13th Part III is so terrible that Friday the 13th Part 1 and Friday the 13th Part 2 don't seem so bad." Janet Maslin of The New York Times stated that it "would be a little better than Part I or Part II even without 3-D". In continuing to compare the film to its predecessors, Maslin commented that "it's a little more adept at teasing the audience." Richard Schickel of Time magazine wrote: "Maybe all sequels should be made in 3-D... It is all so gruesome that horror turns to humor and fun comes from the appreciation of being cleverly conned by Steve Miner. The way the eyeball of one of Jason's victims pops out of his skull and seems to sail over the audience's head is alone worth buying a ticket and putting on funny glasses."
The entertainment-trade magazine Variety provided a general consensus stating, "Friday the 13th was dreadful and took in more than $17 million. Friday the 13th Part 2 was just as bad and took in more than $10 million. Friday the 13th Part III is terrible, too." The magazine added, "There are some dandy 3-D sequences, however, of a yo-yo going up and down and popcorn popping." Similarly, TV Guide awarded the film one out of five stars, noting that it "exploits precisely the same formula plot as its predecessors, though the gore is a bit deemphasized, with the special-effects crew concentrating on the nicely done 3-D depth work for a change. It's still trash, however, and also made a ridiculous amount of money."
The film has been noted by critics as one of the most violent of the series, with a total of fourteen deaths.Template:Sfn Jason's mask in this film became the molded appearance of Jason in Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter and in later installments. For his appearance in the film, Jason Voorhees was nominated for AFI's 100 Years...100 Heroes and Villains as one of the Top 50 Villains. Meslow cites the film's 3-D effects as paving the way for later horror films which also used the technique.
Friday the 13th Part III was first made available on home video on VHS, Betamax, Capacitance Electronic Disc, and LaserDisc and later on DVD, with the film presented only in 2D form. There was also a VHD release for Japan (Part IV and Part V would follow). The 3-D version of the film was eventually released as a part of the film's DVD "Deluxe Edition" on February 3, 2009. The "Deluxe Edition" and eventual Blu-ray release include both the 2D and 3-D versions of the film, as well as two pairs of blue and red 3-D glasses designed to look like Jason's mask.
The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:
Template:Main Friday the 13th Part III was followed by Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984). Additionally, a novelization of the film, written by Michael Avallone, was published in 1982 by Nordon Publications.