Friday the 13th Part III

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Friday the 13th Part III
Friday the 13th Part III (1982) theatrical poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed bySteve Miner
Produced byFrank Mancuso Jr.
Written by
Based onCharacters
by Victor Miller
Music by
CinematographyGerald Feil
Edited byGeorge Hively
Jason Inc.[1]
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • August 13, 1982 (1982-08-13)
Running time
95 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$2.2 million[2]
Box office$36.7 million (US)[3]

Friday the 13th Part III (also known as Friday the 13th Part III: 3D) is a 1982 American slasher film directed by Steve Miner, produced by Frank Mancuso Jr., and starring Dana Kimmell, Paul Kratka, and Richard Brooker as Jason Voorhees. It is the third installment in the Friday the 13th film series. Set immediately after the events of Friday the 13th Part 2, the plot follows a teenage girl and her friends at a house on Crystal Lake, where a wounded Jason Voorhees has taken refuge. The film marks the debut of Voorhees wearing his signature hockey mask, which has become a trademark of both the character and the franchise, as well as an icon in American cinema and the horror genre in general.

The original storyline was supposed to focus on a post-traumatic Ginny Field who began learning self defense and returned to college after surviving her ordeal in the previous film. After finding Paul's corpse inside her dormitory, she prepares to track down Voorhees and face him in a final confrontation. However, this concept was abandoned when Amy Steel declined to reprise her role.[4][5]

Part III was theatrically released in 3D, and is the only film in the series to be released in that format. The film was intended to end the series as a trilogy, however the film did not include a moniker in its title to indicate it as such. The film was theatrically released on August 13, 1982, grossing $36.7 million at the US box office on a budget of $2.2 million and received negative reviews from critics. It was the first film to remove E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial from the number-one spot and became the second highest-grossing horror film of 1982, behind Poltergeist. It has the third most attendance of the Friday the 13th franchise, with approximately 11,762,400 tickets sold.[6] It was followed by Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter.


Following the events of the night before, a badly injured and unmasked Jason Voorhees goes to a lakefront store for a change of clothes. While there, he murders the store owners. Harold is killed with a meat cleaver slammed into his chest, and his wife Edna is impaled through the back of the head with a knitting needle. Meanwhile, Chris Higgins and her friends travel to Higgins Haven, her old home on Crystal Lake, to spend the weekend. The gang includes pregnant Debbie, her boyfriend Andy, prankster Shelly, his blind date Vera (who does not reciprocate his feelings) and stoners Chuck and Chili. After running into a man named Abel, who warns them to turn back, the gang meets Chris' boyfriend Rick at their destination.

At a convenience store, Shelly and Vera get into a confrontation with bikers Ali, Fox, and Loco. Shelly gets in the car and knocks down their motorcycles, impressing Vera. Later, the bikers show up at Higgins Haven, where they take the gas out of the van and attempt to burn the barn down to get even. Jason, who has been hiding in the barn, murders Fox and Loco with a pitchfork before beating Ali unconscious. That night, Chris and Rick head out into the woods. Chris tells Rick the main reason she returned is to confront her fears, and she explains about how she was attacked by a deformed man two years earlier, causing her to leave Crystal Lake in order to escape the trauma.

Back at Higgins Haven, Shelly scares Vera with a hockey mask and then wanders into the barn, where Jason slashes his throat. Taking his mask to conceal his face, Jason proceeds to murder the rest of the group. Vera retrieves Shelly's wallet from under the dock and is shot in the eye with a speargun. Jason enters the house and bisects a hand-standing Andy with a machete. Debbie finishes her shower and rests on a hammock, where Jason thrusts a knife through her chest from beneath, killing her. When the power goes out in the house, Chuck goes downstairs to the basement only for Jason to hurl him into the fuse box, electrocuting him. Chili finds that everyone else is dead and is then impaled with a hot fire poker.

When Rick's car dies, Chris and Rick are forced to walk back to the house to find it in disarray. Rick steps outside to search the grounds, but Jason grabs him and crushes his skull with his bare hands, making one of his eyes pop out of its socket. Jason then attacks Chris, who narrowly escapes the house and tries to flee in her van. The van runs out of gas and Chris makes her way to the barn to hide, but Jason attacks her again. Inside the barn, Chris strikes Jason over the head with a shovel, and hangs him. He regains consciousness and unmasks himself temporarily to show Chris he is the man who attacked her two years ago. A revived Ali tries to attack Jason, but he is quickly dispatched. The distraction allows Chris to strike Jason in the head with an axe. Jason staggers momentarily towards her before finally collapsing. Exhausted, Chris pushes a canoe out into the lake and falls asleep.

Chris has a nightmare of an unmasked Jason running towards her from the house before disappearing, which then turns into the decomposing body of Pamela Voorhees, with her head attached, emerging from the lake to pull her in. The following morning, the police arrive and escort a traumatized Chris from Higgins Haven. Jason's body is shown to still be lying in the barn as the lake is shown at peace.



The film scholar Jim Harper has noted Friday the 13th Part III for its final girl character, Chris, suffering from childhood trauma resulting from sexual assault, which leaves her unable to engage in intimate relationships[7], although there is no undisputed evidence of what has really happened to her. In the film, Chris' trauma stems from an attack she survived from Jason Voorhees, which leaves her "mentally scarred."[7] According to Jim Harper's interpretation, in comparison to the final girl characters in other contemporaneous slasher films such as Halloween (1978) or A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), Chris' failure to engage in sexual relations is a function of trauma as opposed to "repress[ion] or dysfunct[ion]."[8]



Initially, one of the earlier drafts for Part III was Ginny (Amy Steel) from the previous film being sent to a psychiatric hospital and confined there. Suffering from the events of Part 2, she eventually finds out that Jason Voorhees survived from his wound and tracks her down to the hospital, murdering the staff and other patients at the hospital.[9] At the time, Steel turned down the role due to her involvement in other projects, resulting in significant script changes.[10] Screenwriter Ron Kurz, who had written Part II, was offered to write the screenplay, but also turned the project down.[9] Husband-and-wife screenwriting duo Martin Kitrosser and Carol Watson instead were hired to write the screenplay for Part III, completing the first draft.[9] Paramount subsequently brought in Petru Popescu to alter the screenplay and make it "more sinister and menacing."[9] Though the final filmed version of the script contained significant contributions from Popescu, he remained uncredited.[9]

The script for Part III called for Jason to wear a mask to cover his face, having worn a bag over his head in Part 2; this mask would become a trademark for the character, and one instantly recognizable in popular culture in the years to come.[11][12][13]


Screenwriter Popescu said casting was based on looks rather than talent,[14] and recalled that his vision of the characters was at significant odds with the cast chosen by director Steve Miner.[9] Dana Kimmel was cast in the lead role of Chris Higgins after Miner had become aware of her involvement in Sweet Sixteen, another slasher film.[9] Tracie Savage, who had previously worked as a child actor, was offered the role through her agent.[9] Larry Zerner was discovered by casting directors while walking along a street, and was offered the role of Shelly.[9] For the role of Jason Voorhees, Miner cast British stuntman Richard Brooker.[9]


Georgetown Productions, who had produced the previous two installments in the Friday the 13th series, was initially involved in the pre-production of Part III, agreeing with distributor Paramount Pictures to shoot the film with 3-D cameras,[15] making it the first Paramount film produced in 3-D since Jivaro in 1954. Paramount leased two 3-Depix cameras from the photography company Marks Polarized Corporation to shoot the film.[15] Simultaneously, Paramount executive Al Lo Presti was researching current 3-D camera technology with the intention of developing a 3-D lens to be owned and used exclusively by Paramount.[15]

According to a September 1982 issue of Forbes magazine, Sirius II Corp. owner Gale Weaver visited the set of Friday the 13th Part III, reportedly over producer Frank Mancuso, Jr.'s worries that faulty projection lenses at cinemas would prevent the film from having a wide theatrical release.[15] Over a two-week period, Weaver developed a prototype lens that would be adaptable to "almost all theater projectors"; Paramount subsequently awarded Sirius II Corp. $1 million to manufacture the lenses, which would be used in projection-- to the exclusion of Marks projection lenses.[15] Marks Polarized Corporation subsequently filed a $25 million lawsuit against Paramount, alleging that the studio was "monopolizing the marketing of 3-D exhibition materials, as well as providing deductions to theaters choosing to lease projection lenses directly from Paramount."[15] Paramount ultimately agreed to credit Marks Polarized Corporation onscreen with the statement: "Filmed utilizing the Marks 3-Depix® Converter," but the company was denied an injunction that would have required Paramount to change its equipment.[15]

Jason's original hockey mask was molded from a 1950s Detroit Red Wings hockey mask, and would become a staple for the character for the rest of the series

Friday the 13th Part III was shot on location at the Valuzet Movie Ranch in Saugus, California.[15] The house, barn, and lake featured in the film were all custom-built.[9] The house remained on the ranch lot until it burnt down in 2012.[9] Additional photography for the film's grocery store scenes took place at a small market in Green Valley, California.[9] Because of the newness of the 3-D camera lenses, the shooting process was extensive, with the crew sometimes taking hours to set up a shot, and the cast performing multiple takes of scenes in order for the cinematographer to properly capture the 3-D effects.[9]

The decision to dress Jason Voorhees in his now-signature hockey mask occurred during a lighting check on set; the film's 3-D effects supervisor Martin Sadoff was a hockey fan, and supplied a Detroit Red Wings goaltender mask to Miner.[16] Miner loved the mask, but during test shots found it was too small. Using a technique called VacuForm, makeup effects director Doug White enlarged the mask and created a new mold to work with. After White finished the molds, art director Terry Ballard placed new red triangles on the mask to give it a unique appearance. Holes were also punched into the mask, and the markings were altered, making it different from Sadoff's original template.[16] There were two prosthetic face masks created for Richard Brooker to wear underneath the hockey mask. One mask was composed of approximately 11 different appliances, and took about six hours to apply to Brooker's face; this mask was used for scenes where the hockey mask was removed. In the scenes where the hockey mask is over the face, a simple head mask was created. This one piece mask would simply slip on over Brooker's head, exposing his face but not the rest of his head.[16]


Friday the 13th Part III
Soundtrack album by
ReleasedJanuary 13, 2012 (La-La Land)
2016 (Waxworks)
GenreFilm score
LabelGramavision, La-La Land, Waxworks

The film's music was composed by Harry Manfredini, who previously composed the scores of the series' first two installments.[17] A disco theme was also included in the film, co-written by Manfredini and Michael Zager, who shared a credit with a fictional band called Hot Ice.[9] The theme was included on releases of the film's soundtrack, and according to Manfredini, became popular at disco and gay clubs at the time.[9]

Upon the release of the third film in 1982, Gramavision Records released a LP album of selected pieces of Manfredini's scores from the first three Friday the 13th films.[16] On January 13, 2012, La-La Land Records released a limited edition 6-CD boxset containing Manfredini's scores from the first six films. It sold out in less than 24 hours.[18]


Friday the 13th Part III was released theatrically in the United States on Friday, August 13, 1982.[11] It was the first-ever 3-D film to receive a wide domestic release, opening on 1,079 screens.[15] Of these screens, 813 were 3-D capable, while the remainder consisted of drive-in theaters which were unable to accommodate the format.[15] In order to allow non-3-D-capable theaters to screen the film, Paramount completed a seven-week-long conversion process that cost $2 million, "an amount equal to the picture’s entire negative cost."[15] It was also the first film in the series to be presented in Dolby Stereo upon its theatrical release.

Box office[edit]

The film grossed $9,406,522 in its opening weekend and broke the opening horror film record held by Friday the 13th (1980). Domestically, the film made a total of $36.7 million. It placed number 21 on the list of the top-grossing films of 1982, facing strong competition from other high-profile horror releases such as Poltergeist, Creepshow, The Thing, Halloween III: Season of the Witch, The Slumber Party Massacre, X-ray, Visiting Hours, Amityville II: The Possession, Silent Rage, The Beast Within, Cat People and Venom.[19][20] As of 2018, it still stands as the fourth highest-grossing film in the Friday the 13th series and the third best selling in ticket sales; with approximately 11,762,400 tickets sold, it is surpassed only by the 1980 original with 14,778,700 tickets and Freddy vs. Jason with 13,701,900 tickets. The film also stands as the tenth highest-grossing R-rated film of 1982, the second-highest grossing horror film of 1982, the sixth largest box office opening of 1982, and adjusted for inflation it is the ninth highest-grossing slasher film of all time.[6]

Critical response[edit]

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, Friday the 13th Part III holds a 12% approval rating based on 26 reviews, with an average rating of 3.56/10. The consensus reads: “Jason may solidify his iconic wardrobe in this entry, but Friday the 13th Part 3 lacks any other distinguishing features, relying on a tired formula of stab and repeat.”[21]

While criticizing the plot for being derivative, in a mixed review for The New York Times, film critic Janet Maslin[22] praised the acting of Kimmell, Savage, Rogers, and Parks, in which she called a major improvement to the acting in the predecessors, and wrote that Miner's use of 3-D filmmaking was innovative and the most professional effort when compared to other films released at the time, stating: "As in each of the other recent 3-D movies, of which this is easily the most professional, there is a lot of time devoted to trying out the gimmick. Titles loom toward you. Yo-yos spin. Popcorn bounces. Snakes dart toward the camera and strike. Eventually, the novelty wears off, and what remains is the now-familiar spectacle of nice, dumb kids being lopped, chopped and perforated."

Writing for the Los Angeles Times, Linda Gross wrote: "Ironically, Friday the 13th Part 3 is so terrible that Friday the 13th Part 1 and Friday the 13th Part 2 don't seem so bad."[23] Janet Maslin of The New York Times stated that it "would be a little better than Part I or Part II even without 3-D". In continuing to compare the film to its predecessors, Maslin commented that "it's a little more adept at teasing the audience."[24] Richard Schickel of Time magazine wrote: "Maybe all sequels should be made in 3-D... It is all so gruesome that horror turns to humor and fun comes from the appreciation of being cleverly conned by Steve Miner. The way the eyeball of one of Jason's victims pops out of his skull and seems to sail over the audience's head is alone worth buying a ticket and putting on funny glasses."[25] Gene Siskel praised the film's "impressive" 3-D effects, particularly in the opening credits, also noting its slowburn approach, as the "heavy-duty slaughter doesn't come until one hour into the film," but criticized it for "lingering over the impending deaths of the young women, who are stalked by the camera so we find ourselves in the revolting position of stalking them too."[26]

The entertainment-trade magazine Variety provided a general consensus, stating, "Friday the 13th was dreadful and took in more than $17 million. Friday the 13th Part 2 was just as bad and took in more than $10 million. Friday the 13th Part 3 is terrible, too." The magazine added, "There are some dandy 3-D sequences, however, of a yo-yo going up and down and popcorn popping."[27] Similarly, TV Guide awarded the film one out of five stars, writing that it "exploits precisely the same formula plot as its predecessors, though the gore is a bit deemphasized, with the special-effects crew concentrating on the nicely done 3-D depth work for a change. It's still trash, however, and also made a ridiculous amount of money."[28]

In a retrospective, Scott Meslow of The Week called it "an under-sung camp classic — cornier and goofier than either of its predecessors".[14]

The film has been described by critics as one of the most violent of the series, with a total of fourteen deaths.[29] Jason's mask in this film became the molded appearance of Jason in Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter and in later installments. For his appearance in the film, Jason Voorhees was nominated for AFI's 100 Years...100 Heroes & Villains as one of the Top 50 Villains.[30] Meslow cites the film's 3-D effects as paving the way for later horror films which also used the technique.[14]

Home media[edit]

Friday the 13th Part III was first made available on home video on VHS, Betamax, CED, LaserDisc and later on DVD, with the film presented only in 2D form. There was also a VHD release for Japan (The Final Chapter and A New Beginning followed). The 3-D version of the film was eventually released on DVD and later Blu-ray in a "Deluxe Edition" that also included the 2-D version, as well as two pairs of cyan and red 3-D glasses designed to look like Jason's mask.[31]


The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:

Related works[edit]

Friday the 13th Part III was followed by Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984). Uniquely, the film was novelized twice. The first book was written by Michael Avallone and published in 1982 to coincide with the release of the film,[33] while the second adaptation was published in 1988 by Signet[34]. The latter novelization was written by Simon Hawke, who had previously written novelizations for the first, second, and sixth installments in the series.


  1. ^ Muir 2011, p. 239.
  2. ^ "Friday the 13th Part 3 (1982)". The Numbers. Retrieved 2015-07-10.
  3. ^ "Friday the 13th Part 3 (1982)". The Numbers. Retrieved 2015-07-10.
  4. ^ Erickson, Steve. "Crypticon 2018 St Joseph MO Adrienne King Amy Steel panel Friday the 13th 1 & 2 sole survivors". YouTube. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  5. ^ Ferri, Jessica (January 13, 2017). "The Girl That Got Away from Jason: An Interview with Amy Steel from Friday the 13th Part 2". The Lineup. Retrieved February 25, 2018.
  6. ^ a b "Friday the 13th Movies at the Box Office". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 17, 2017.
  7. ^ a b Harper 2004, p. 37.
  8. ^ Harper 2004, p. 38.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Farrands, Daniel (dir.) (2013). Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th (Blu-ray)|format= requires |url= (help) (Documentary). RLJ Entertainment.
  10. ^ Konda, Kelly (February 14, 2014). "13 Things You May Not Know About Friday the 13th Part 3". We Minored in Film. Retrieved November 11, 2015.
  11. ^ a b Dirks, Tim. "Friday the 13th, Part III". AMC. Greatest Movie Series Franchises of All Time: Friday the 13th. Archived from the original on February 26, 2018. Retrieved February 25, 2018.
  12. ^ "Friday the 13th Part 3: Script". Archived from the original on April 26, 2013. Retrieved February 25, 2018 – via Fridaythe13thFilms.ocm.
  13. ^ Dickson, Evan (June 13, 2014). "11 Looks of Terror!!! Jason's Mask Throughout The Years!!!". Bloody-Disgusting. Retrieved December 22, 2017.
  14. ^ a b c Meslow, Scott (March 13, 2015). "Friday the 13th Part III: How an '80s horror franchise bet it all on 3-D — and won". The Week. Retrieved June 5, 2016.
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Friday the 13th Part III". American Film Institute Catalog. Retrieved February 25, 2018.
  16. ^ a b c d Bracke 2006, pp. 84–94.
  17. ^ Lentz 2001, pp. 1118–19.
  18. ^ "La-La Land Records: Friday the 13th". La-La Land Records. Archived from the original on January 15, 2012. Retrieved January 15, 2012.
  19. ^ "Friday the 13th Part III (1982)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved February 25, 2018.
  20. ^ "Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved February 25, 2018.
  21. ^ "Friday the 13th Part 3 (1982)". Flixster. Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 28, 2019.
  22. ^ Maslin, Janet (August 13, 1982). "'FRIDAY THE 13TH PART III-IN 3-D' OPENS". The New York Times. Retrieved 16 December 2018.
  23. ^ Gross, Linda (August 16, 1982). "'Friday the 13th Part 3' Even Worse". Los Angeles Times. Section VI. p. G6.
  24. ^ Maslin, Janet (August 13, 1982). "Movie Review – Friday the 13th Part 3". The New York Times. Retrieved December 9, 2012.
  25. ^ Schickel, Richard (August 30, 1982). "Friday the 13th Part III". Time. p. 89. ISSN 0040-781X.
  26. ^ Siskel, Gene. "'Friday—Part III': Usual gore spoils cheery 3-D star". Chicago Sun-Times. p. 7 – via open access
  27. ^ Variety Staff (1982). "Review – Friday the 13th Part III". Variety. Retrieved December 9, 2012.
  28. ^ TV Guide Staff. "Friday the 13th Part III". TV Guide. Retrieved December 23, 2017. 1/5 stars
  29. ^ Clover 2015, p. 82.
  30. ^ "400 nominated screen characters AFI's Top 50 heroes and top 50 villains". American Film Institute. 2005. Retrieved February 25, 2018.
  31. ^ Liebman, Martin (12 June 2009). "Friday the 13th Part 3 Blu-ray Review". Retrieved 8 December 2012.
  32. ^ "AFI's 100 Years...100 Heroes & Villains Nominees" (PDF). Retrieved August 5, 2016.
  33. ^ Avallone, Michael (1982). Friday the 13th Part 3 (3-D): A Novel. Nordon Publications. ISBN 978-0-725-51281-1.
  34. ^ Hawke, Simon (1988). Friday the 13th: Part 3. Signet. ISBN 0451153111.

Works cited[edit]

External links[edit]