The only thing scarier than watching 1982’s Friday the 13th Part III is watching it with 3D glasses. Alas, I am a coward who doesn’t own any 3D glasses. What kind of movie fan am I? Thankfully, Steve Miner shot Part III in such a way that the 3D gags are so overt that you barely need the glasses to imagine a broomstick in your face, or a yo-yo dippin’ down within inches of your noggin.
Beyond being a 3D movie that put a brand new camera to use at the time—one Miner didn’t want to stop moving for even a moment throughout the shoot to great effect—Part III is notable for supplying Jason with his iconic mask. There’s something amazing about the source of his mask being the goofy-looking, perpetually single Shelly Finkelstein (Larry Zerner), who just wanted to spend his time at the cabin pranking everyone around him because he’s too awkward to socialize in any other way.
Part III is a step down from Part II for the most part, from characters to kills, but that doesn’t mean it’s completely without its highlights. Jason seems a little wobbly—like he’s still reeling with embarrassment from the time he fell off that chair in Part II—but it’s cool to finally see him with his mask on, no matter how ill-fitting it may be at this point.
Even when this one leans on its 3D innovations, it’s still a stupid and fun Friday the 13th movie with another frantic score from Henry Manfredini. Honestly, 3D movies haven’t changed a whole lot in the past 37 years. You can still tell when they’re going for the in-your-face wow factor, even in 2D; Friday the 13th Part III is just way more honest about it.
If you plan on popping this into your Halloween 2019 rotation, take this beleaguered blogger’s advice: Score a pair of 3D glasses first. You might want to keep a weapon handy, though, because Jason’s comin’ at ya in this one!