Friday The 13th Part 3 3-D [Blu-ray]
Blu-ray ALL - America - Paramount Home Entertainment
Review written by and copyright: Jeremiah Chin & Noor Razzak (15th June 2009).
The Film

By the time the third installment in a series rolls around is usually when the complaining begins. First there’s talk of it not being as good as the original, or worries about everything going on for far too long, unless it’s a trilogy, but it’s fairly rare to see the third in a series or trilogy one up both the first and second films. Though “Star Trek: The Search for Spock” (1984) gave Leonard Nemoy his first chance behind the director’s chair, it definitely wasn’t the strongest follow up to the far more epic “Star Trek: The Wrath of Kahn” (1982), or even back in the horror vein, “Saw II” (2005) is the strongest in the “Saw” franchise, even though “Saw III” (2006) and “Saw IV” (2007) make a sort of ‘Darren Lynn Bousman Trilogy’ inside of the "Saw" series itself and work better together, though on it’s own “Saw III” is a weaker installation of the series and finds it’s stride when watched back to back with “Saw IV.” Yet when you get to “Friday the 13th Part 3” you realize that, in terms of what you’ve come to know and love about the “Friday the 13th” saga (1980-2001), Part 3 is the truest yet, giving Jason (Richard Brooker) his signature mask and creating his more violent and destructive presence in the series.

This third installment makes a few quick changes to the formula, still picking up directly where the second film left off, using a slightly edited version of the last few minutes to start the film, but this time establishing that Jason did in fact survive and escape this encounter. Around the same time Chris (Dana Kimmell) and a group of friends head up to a family cabin up at Crystal Lake for a weekend of fun, even though Chris was apparently assaulted by what the audience recognizes to be as Jason a few years earlier. After plans of fun and games up at the cabin, including a Tommy Chong look alike that similarly loves the weed, Shelly (Larry Zerner) gets into a bit of trouble with a biker gang after he knocks down their motorcycles outside the general store. Soon they come up to the cabin to wreak some havoc on the campers, with some classic biker moves like siphoning gas and playing in a barn, they wind up in Jason’s way as he comes to attack the campers as he quickly works his way through their tough attitudes and leather jackets, only to move on to those promiscuous youths living nearby.

First and foremost, the film itself improves on the previous two by simply acknowledging that this movie is intended to create 2 things: gore and a final girl scenario, both of which it executes fairly well. Jason’s kills demonstrate the creativity lacking from the second film, including a harpoon gun, plenty of machete action and some great use of farming equipment to impale people and pin them to walls. The ridiculousness of the kills is only amplified by the 3-D aspect of the film as all of the 3-D gag kills bring an extra level of hilarity to the film as you can easily spot the monofilament line taking the harpoon gun directly at the screen or a character decides to yo-yo for no particular reason other than to make the audience go “wooooaaaaaaa.” Add in the fact that the characters aren’t attempted to give too much depth, other than Chris’ mysterious assault by Jason years ago, which is fine since all you really need is a tiny bit of depth on the main character and some good Jason action to make for an enjoyable experience. The rest of the characters in the film are fairly forgettable, except for Shelly who is almost a Seth Rogen doppelganger from the past, except less of a stoner and more of a horror nerd as he acts as the main fake-out gag character as he continually pops out of corners and surprises people.

Gags aside though, the 3-D aspect of the film is a blessing and a curse, in 2-D the gags are just as funny or even more comical as they don’t pop out of the screen but just stand as some blatant inserts to try and prove that 3-D was really necessary. At the same time though the video quality of the 3-D is really a headache to watch as the included 2 sets of 3-D glasses allow you to see some of the 3-D moments, but at the same time give you a headache for most of the film as everyone has a strange reddish halo surrounding them for most of the movie and sort of damage your vision after the film (if you close each eye you notice that everything is seemingly tinted red or blue for the next hour or so).

Overall, the third part of “Friday the 13th” starts to show off that the producers have started to recognize what would make the series fun: a big imposing Jason that just loves to kill the youth that come near his territory, but doing so in some creative and weird ways. The characters in the film are enjoyable to the point of not being terribly annoying, except for Rick (Paul Kratka) who keeps bugging Chris for sex and is generally just acts like a dick. The 3-D on this deluxe edition is worth a watch, but you may need some Tylenol or other headache medicine afterwards to counter for the poor 3-D transfer.

Video

The film is presented in both 2-D and 3-D versions in the film's original theatrical ratio of 2.35:1 in high-definition 1080p 24/fps and mastered in AVC MPEG-4 compression. As expected there was a bit of grain amid this transfer, especially in darker scenes... but overall I was pleased with the pleasant image presented here. The film certainly does show its ages, but sharpness is consistent with a few shots that suffer from softness, the depth, detail and texture hold up well. Colors are nice and balanced, skin tones are natural and shadow detail also remains consistent. The image is mostly clean of dirt, although a few bits of dirt and specks pop up at times. The 3-D version holds up pretty well, although the 3-D technology is pretty basic here and only just does the trick.

Audio

Four audio tracks are featured on this disc in English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mixed at 48kHz/16-bit as well as English Dolby Digital 1.0 mono, French Dolby Digital 1.0 mono and Spanish Dolby Digital 1.0 mono. For the purposes of this review I chose to view the film with its TrueHD audio track. Like the previous releases this film's HD audio was created by up-mixing the original mono audio, the result is OK at best, the major problem with this process is that the track ends up sounding hollow and without impact. Dialogue is clear and front heavy, music cues make good use of the surrounds as do minor ambient and directional effect sounds. Otherwise purists will be happy that the original mono audio is also included on this disc, so there's that option if you prefer.
Optional subtitles are included in English, English for the hearing impaired, French, Portuguese and Spanish.

Extras

Paramount has released this film with a series of three featurette, a short film and a theatrical trailer. Below is a closer look at these supplements.

First up is the "Fresh Cuts: 3D Terror" featurette which runs for 12 minutes 52 seconds, Peter Bracke, author of the book "Crystal Lake Memories" headlines this clip as he comments on the film and its history, he seems a knowledgeable person on the genre and on this film series, the clip also takes a look at the 3-D element of the film, the release and reaction to it. It's a decent enough clip that's more than just your average EPK and worth checking out for fans of the series.

Following that is the "Legacy of the Mask" featurette which runs for 9 minutes 33 seconds, This clip takes a look at the iconic mask that Jason wears throughout the series that was originally introduced in this film, its importance and impact among other things. You'll learn about his the mask came to be among other things. The clip features some interviews with key participants and footage from the film.

"Slasher Films: Going for the Jugular" featurette follows and runs for 7 minutes 9 seconds, this feature takes a closer look at the slasher genre, specifically what makes a good slasher film and why it's so appealing to audiences. It also takes a look at Jason as a villain and the effectiveness of his overall scare factor.

"Lost Tales From Camp Blood, Part 3" is the final extra on this disc, it's another fan made short film which runs for 4 minute 49 seconds, it's pretty lame and not really worth exploring, in principle these films are a cool idea and definitely display a fan devotion for these films and the iconic horror character.

Finally we've got the film's original theatrical trailer which runs for 2 minutes 10 seconds.

Packaging

The disc is packaged with 2 3-D glasses so you can enjoy the 3-D version of the film.

Overall

The Film: C- Video: B+ Audio: B- Extras: B- Overall: B-

 


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