From x-entertainment, "Many remember the great 3D movie revival of the early 80s, but you might be surprised to find out which film was the box office champ. Friday the 13th Part 3 debuted in August of 1982, using 3D technology to inspire far more ticket sales than anyone would've predicted had the film been done "normal" style. Though much of the franchise's core was developed in the first two flicks, it's here that Jason Voorhees became everything he's still famous for nearly 25 years later.
The film followed the typical formula. A group of teens played by anything but teens head off for a weekend trip at an old house by Crystal Lake, only to be systematically destroyed by our hockey-masked hero. Friday the 13th flicks are rightly thought of as dumb, but at this stage, it wasn't intentionally spoofing itself or its genre, and whenever the acting, characters or dialogue was bad, it wasn't because it was supposed to be. Even in retrospect, that makes the movie so much more enjoyable than the many like-styled exploits that followed. Even if one of the teens was an asshole, there was a genuine attempt, however unsuccessful, to make him or her more than that. The characters were given nuances, ranging from pregnancy to awkwardness, that managed to inspire some sense of sympathy from the audience as they were chopped to bitty bits. I'm not saying that people didn't cheer Jason on, just that they cheered him on for being him, and not because he took another annoying face off the screen.
But uh, forget everything I just said. The bread of Part 3 was its 3D effects, and everything else was secondary. As it's usually hilarious to watch 3D movies in 2D, the fact that Part 3 was never given an official 3D VHS or DVD release hasn't kept scores of new fans from falling in love. After all, it's one thing to see a 3D movie in 3D, but it's truly special to see a 3D movie in 2D and get to shout, "That was originally in 3D!" over and over again to any poor souls sitting on the other end of the couch.
Movies like this were made for 3D. Yes, there were plenty of obvious effects -- effects that only happened because certain objects were easy to "pop." But you're crazy if you think they'd make a Friday the 13th movie this way and not seize the opportunity to have Jason Voorhees pop a guy's eyeball out right at your head. They did that, and so much more.
I'll review the movie in its entirety someday, but here's what you're probably most interested in: My personal picks for the five best 3D effects in Friday the 13th Part 3.
OPENING CREDITS: Part 3 had one of the best opening credits sequences ever. After an insanely long montage of clips from the first two films -- a solid fifteen minutes of this -- we're introduced to the brave new world of three-dimensional wonder by having each and every cast member's and most crew members' names pop off a smoky blue background in the form of trailing red text graphics.
I guess you could argue that the sequence helped audiences' eyes grow accustomed to processing the 3D imagery, but this shit went on forever. I'm okay with getting the director, producer and lead actors' names in slow-moving 3D, but by the time they got to the grips and the best boy, I was ready to make good on my threat to blow up the universe. Salvaging the sequence was Harry Manfredi's amazing score, which took the classic ch-ch-ka-ka F13 noises and put 'em to a discotheque ripoff of Michael Jackson's Thriller. So awesome.
YO-YO MANIA: There were plenty of cheap 3D scares even during the movie's first act, but the real at-you horrors wouldn't come until later. To tide us over, a lot of everyday activities were given the holy treatment, including everything from guys juggling 3D fruit to stoner hippies making 3D popcorn. I suppose anything that happens during a film would be exciting in 3D, but these early scenes really put that theory to the test.
Most classic of the offending sequences had one of the teens teasing his girlfriend by dropping a yo-yo right in her face...over, and over, and over again. We see the yo-yo coming at us from the girlfriend's perspective like eighty-seven times in a row, with the teen making the same "I am concentrating on this VERY HARD" face the whole way through. It's like they shot it once and looped it.
I appreciate the scene for managing to exist even though there is no way it should exist, but make no mistake...you will hate Yo-Yo Guy because of it. Maybe this was intentional, because Jason wouldn't have spent the one "slice somebody completely in half" kill he's allotted per movie on someone that wasn't going to inspire "Jason is GOD" chants from movie audiences.
HARPOON HOTNESS: Useless trivia that even the most casual fans already know: Jason didn't get the hockey mask until Part 3. Absolutely true. He was just a little boy ghost dude in the original film, and in Part 2, Jason suffered from wearing overalls, having long hair and using a pillow case instead of a hockey mask.
Wondering where the mask came from? K, one of the teens, "Shelly," was the overweight ugly loser of the bunch, who couldn't score and couldn't join the skinny dipping party because, in his own words, he "wasn't skinny enough." For reasons that were only acceptable because this was an F13 movie, attention-starved Shelly dealt with his problems by pulling all of these stupid pranks involving tricking everyone else into believing he'd been murdered. We felt bad for Shelly, honestly. He was a kind and likeable guy who just cried wolf one too many times. When Jason killed Shelly, our collective "awwww" was prefaced only with our collective "FUCK YES JASON GOT HIM IN THE THROAT!"
Jason moves on, setting his sights on Vera, a girl was actually beginning to warm up to Shelly's awkward advances. Tragic tale, those two. By donning the very mask Shelly had just got in trouble for scaring Vera with, Jason could now hide his disfigurement and venture back into the world. Because she was apparently blind, Vera sees a guy in a hockey mask of a completely different build than Shelly, but still assumes its him. That's classified as a mistake, and F13 movies aren't nice to people who make those.
As she's wading through the lake, Jason saunters over with that really awesome walk of his, balances against a pole and fires a harpoon's payload straight into the bitch's eye.
Of course, in theaters, the flying spear came right at audiences in full 3D. What's awesome is that your brain barely had a chance to process the sight of the incoming harpoon before they did a hard cut to Vera, now flailing around the water with a spear in her eye socket. Some people think I'm nuts for liking the F13 series so much, but when I show them this scene and still can't get a "hell yeah," I call Steve Austin and ask him what the fuck I'm doing wrong.
THE EYEBALL SCENE: This was the big one. The effect that will keep this film relevant for all of time. Rick is the main heroine's love interest, meaning that he enjoyed a bit of actual character development and a reason for us to believe that he wasn't as expendable as, say, the random group of evil bikers who ransacked the movie halfway through. We knew he was going to die, but Rick's death scene was a total shock because he went out like a total punk. No serious build. No high drama. Jason just catches him outside, holds his head with his hands and squeezes until Rick's eyeball flies right off the screen.
The eyeball gag wasn't just the best 3D effect in Part 3 -- it's the most memorable scene in the whole movie. Not to say that it made the scene have any less of an impact, but the dummy head is so obviously a dummy head that, after cutting from Rick's real face to the fake one, you can literally see tears in the "flesh" that likely caused the director to stop filming, flip a coin and keep filming. So, so bad. With the power of the pause button, Rick's head looks more like a wedding cake based on Rick's head.
We saw an eye fly out because we knew that that's what we were supposed to see, but it took some serious suspensions of disbelief to imagine an eye that can pop out of someone's head and just hang static in midair for five seconds.
TROUBLE WITH HANDS: In the grand finale, Jason gets his. An ax to the head from the screechy heroine. It kills him, but not right away. Before crumbling into a deceased pile of Voorhees, Jason takes a few last lunges at the heroine, arms outstretched in full 3D. It's nothing compared to flying eyes or yo-yos, but this marks one of the film's rare instances of Jason himself being in 3D. I wasn't old enough to see this in theaters when it came out. If I had been, I would've reached out, shook Jason's hand and thanked him for throwing eyes and spears at my face.
Course, I've only written about five of the dozens of 3D effects in Friday the 13 Part 3. As far as favorites go, your mileage may vary. With snakes, pitchforks, hot pokers and more all coming to life in 3D, the film's garnered a cult following large enough to warrant theater showings in various spots across the country in complete 3D, however sporadically. But, like I mentioned, even if watching Jason pop a guy's eye out at home lacks the 3D punch it was made to have, it's still great just to know that it happened."