Yesterday was Friday the 13th, and there was a terrible incident at Crystal Lake where a masked madman named Jason Vorhees (Richard Brooker) killed some people in the woods. There was one survivor, but she had been reduced to a babbling nervous wreck and the police were not able to get much sense out of her. Watching all this on a television news report that night is neighbourhood store owner Edna (Cheri Maugans) who is continually trying to get her feckless husband Harold (Steve Susskind) to buck his ideas up - but neither of them will have much to worry about soon...
That is because their sole purpose in this film is to die at the hands of Jason and pad this film out to feature length, in much the same way that it opens with about five minutes of footage from the end of the previous film, just as Part 2 did with the first movie. Mark that well, for there is much that is recognisable about this one in that basically they took elements of the previous exercises in moneymaking and mixed them all up to offer us this already extremely hackneyed-looking version. Talk about money for old rope.
Ah, but there was a gimmick you see, much in the way that other horror movies adopted a selling point to revitalise their done to death thrills (and not only in horror movies), and that was our old friend three dimensions. This was originally released in some theatres as Friday the 13th Part 3-D, which, as you can imagine, was a strong indicator that this would be the cinematic equivalent of being virtually poked in the eye (usually with the handles of sharp utensils used as weapons as they stick out of victims) for a good hour and a half. Or a bad hour and a half, depending on your point of view.
If there is little distinguished about this Friday, which doesn't even take place on the date in the title, other than its special effects, then at least it was the film that gave us the popular image of Jason as wearing a hockey mask to go about his evil business in, for this is the first film in which he dons it. He picks it up from one of the stock young persons that populate these films, a chap called Shelly (Larry Zerner) heading out to Crystal Lake for a good time with his friends - somehow no one in that party has so much as heard a dickie bird about any recent murders there.
Shelly is a prankster of the kind we saw in Part 2, except he's the only one in the film, seemingly unable to help himself despite how unpopular it makes him to his pals. Still, he's the epitome of good manners compared with Jason, who cuts a swathe through the cast without so much as worrying that the police might be on his tail, probably because the cops don't show up until the last five minutes after the mayhem is over. No wonder the crime levels are so high in that area, even if it is down to two individuals. Our final girl this time around is Chris (Dana Kimmell), who is a degree smarter than her companions (always a telltale sign for this type of role), but there's little to mark her out otherwise. Really the best way to see this is in 3-D, as shown flat it is simply that: flat, uninspired and very much "seen it all before". As we would again. Music by Harry Manfredi.