Favorite Title Theatre: Friday The 13th Part 3 In 3-D (1982)

To honor the most superstitious day of the year, here’s the wicked opening to my favorite FRIDAY THE 13TH film of the apparently never-ending series. I saw this on Friday the 13th, 1982 (an amazing genre year) — and it was one of the great theatrical experiences of my life. I was there with my horror pal, Shawn Amato, and he was hilarious as his body would stiffen up like a board in a seat during any big scare. The audience screamed through the whole enjoyable and ridiculous feature. This was also the first film where Jason Voorhees would don the famous hockey mask.

Thankfully, the 3-D version was finally released on DVD — though not the Blu-Ray (I’m getting leery of this format) — so you could get the full effect of a popped eyeball flying from the screen, the single most audacious “kill” in the entire FRIDAY THE 13TH history. I’m still waiting for footage from the original ending of FRIDAY THE 13th PART 2 (1981), which had Mrs. Voorhees’ eyes open and her disembodied head smile. Even this third entry was severely edited by the MPAA due to Ebert & Siskel’s misguided crusade against slasher films of the era. But I was immediately sold on the film by its Dr. Tongue jutting credits and the anachronistic disco-groove theme song by Harry Manfredini.

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20 Responses to “Favorite Title Theatre: Friday The 13th Part 3 In 3-D (1982)”

  1. 1982, the year almost every (now) classic genre film was completely misunderstood & neglected by critics & audiences alike. Amazing. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this unless I did & I was stoned immaculate.

  2. I saw THE ROAD WARRIOR; STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN; THE THING; E.T.; POLTERGEIST; BLADE RUNNER; TRON; THE DARK CRYSTAL; 48 HOURS; FIRST BLOOD; CREEPSHOW; ANDROID; PINK FLOYD THE WALL; THE SWORD AND THE SORCERER; THE THING and VICE SQUAD!

    And most were wrongly trashed by critics who shoulda known better. Imagine a year with the mainstream critics giving thumb’s down to THE THING: “The barf-bag movie of the summer,” started Ebert’s insightful critique.

  3. ..and the scariest monster of that bunch may have been “Ramrod” (Wings Hauser) in “Vice Squad”. I caught that on VHS, probably in ’83 & without any preconceived notions of what I was about to sit down & watch.

  4. I was living in Atlanta at the time & I remember the lead film critic of the AJC being completely baffled by “Tron”. He had no idea what was going on.

  5. THE FUTURIST! Says:

    What about CONAN THE BARBARIAN and DEAD MEN DON’T WEAR PLAID? Did you like them, Christian?

  6. All-time classic movie, especially in 3D!

  7. Bob: I saw VICE SQUAD in the theater — what a great slice of outrageous 80’s sleaze. Wings Hauser is one of the scariest villains of all time, especially after he seduces one of his prostitutes to open the door — “I cannot believe how stupid you are.” I totally forgot that Gary RAW MEAT Sherman directed VICE SQUAD. What palpable LA night grime! Even Time Magazine was impressed, tho I don’t like to see poor Season Hubley beat with a wire hanger. But boy, Ramrod gets what’s coming to him.

    Mr. Peel: I like CONAN in theory not action. Some of the battles are nice and bloody, but I was a big fan of Robert Howard’s stories and the film over-mythologizes and loses a lot of the purple pulp action. Arnie was born to play Conan, I just wish the film weren’t so self-serious — like most of Milius’s films. He’s a great Hollywood character tho. And his scripts are great reads.

    DEAD MEN DON’T WEAR PLAID I find clever but not entirely engaging. I should check it out again. I always thought Rachel Ward was hot stuff.

  8. Bob: I was baffled by TRON as to how the movie turned out so dull and silly, minus the cycle chase and Wendy Carlos soundtrack.

  9. THE FUTURIST! Says:

    Christian, you mistook THE FUTURIST! for Mr. Peel in re: to CONAN and DEAD MEN DON’T WEAR PLAID query … though, your error was an honor! (bows)

  10. Ah, 1982… a great year for genre films… hell, the 1980s in general was a great decade for horror/sci-fi/fantasy with Cronenberg and Carpenter cranking out one great film after another.

    Love DEAD MEN DON’T WEAR PLAID, which I just wrote about on my blog. It has aged pretty well and eerily anticipates films like SIN CITY in a weird way.

    Also love TRON if only for the nostalgia it generates re: arcades in the ’80s. *sigh*

  11. Christian was confused when it was Raditator Heaven just did a write-up on DEAD MEN DON’T WEAR PLAID! Many appy-polly-loggies…great minds think alike.

  12. THE ROBOFUTURIST! Says:

    HUMANS MAKE ERRORS. ROBOTS DO NOT.

  13. Perhaps I should introduce you to my friend HAL 9000?

  14. the music in that opening credits sequence (by harry somebody) is pretty hilarious

  15. Harry MANFREDINI. He did all the 80’s F13th films and the famous “kill-kill-kill-cha-cha-cha” chorus. I have to say, as fun as the movie was, when I came home it was late and the streets were quiet, empty, ominous, filled with scattering leaves under streetlamps and I was fucking scared all night.

  16. aw, how adorable

    sort of related: when i was 13 i went to see carpenter’s ‘halloween’ one night with my best girlfriend. her dad dropped us off at the the little mall where it was showing (exactly WHY two 13yr old girls were dropped off to see fucking ‘halloween’ on our own is a mystery for the ages, i can only think our parents didn’t realise how scary the movie was, but wasn’t it R-rated?) anyway, with instructions that he would pick us up the very moment it was over at this exact spot, blah blah blah.

    so the movie ends, my girl and i are a bit shellshocked, sorta shitting ourselves at having just seen one of the scariest movies ever, and out we go to meet pops as instructed…but he’s not there. it was the last show, the mall was closed, and slowly everyone left. the carpark emptied until it was deserted and there we were, sitting on the curb, huddled together under one of the few streetlights, imagining michael myers appearing at any moment out of the darkness on the other side of that dim sea of pavement just to stand there, biding his time before he came to get us…

    of course it was the olden days before mobile phones and what not, so finally my friend said she’d go to the pay phone down the mall a ways to call home and find out what was going on. i had to wait there on my own in case her dad turned up, so he wouldn’t think we’d left and tried to walk home or something stupid or sinister.

    waiting in that empty carkpark by myself on the curb in the dark after seeing ‘halloween’ at age 13 was perhaps the longest 5 minutes of my life.

    of course my friend came back from the phone, her dad’s van had broken down and her mum came to pick us up, but damn if that one night didn’t give me a permanent fear of dark, empty carparks to this day

  17. That is fucking scary, leah! I’d be freaked out in the empty mall lot at night — and your whole scenario is straight out of an 80’s horror film. Your friend goes off, leaves you alone in the dark…what protected you actually is that you had just seen HALLOWEEN, so the spirit of Michael Myers was protecting you…but what is up with dropping you young things at a terrifying r-rated slasher film? Clearly toughening you up.

  18. ha, yeah, “harden up, girlies, get scared shitless by a relentless, masked knife-wielding killer and then stew in your fear in a the dark of a deserted carpark for an hour or so, that’ll learn ya!!!”

    (no, my friends parents were actually lovely, they were mortified, it was a bit of a debacle. i can say from experience there is no worse feeling in all the world than knowing your child is waiting alone for you somewhere)

  19. I’m sure it was a debacle. Although my folks and relatives never stopped me watching JAWS, DELIVERANCE or THE TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN when I was eight…thank gawd!

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