Friday the 13th Part III

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Friday the 13th Part III
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Steve Miner
Produced by Frank Mancuso, Jr.
Written by
Based on Characters 
by Victor Miller
Ron Kurz
Music by
Cinematography Gerald Feil
Edited by George Hively
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release dates
  • August 13, 1982 (1982-08-13)
Running time
95 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $2.3 million[1]
Box office $36.7 million (US)

Friday the 13th Part III is a 1982 American 3D slasher film directed by Steve Miner and the third installment in the Friday the 13th film series. Originally released in 3-D, it is the first film to feature antagonist Jason Voorhees wearing his signature hockey mask, which has become a trademark of both the character and franchise, as well an icon in American cinema and horror films in general. As a direct sequel to Friday the 13th (1980) and Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981), the film follows a group of co-eds on vacation at a house on Crystal Lake, where Jason Voorhees has taken refuge.

When first released, the film was intended to end the series as a trilogy. However unlike its sequel Friday the 13th Part IV: The Final Chapter (1984) and the later film, Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993), Friday the 13th Part III did not include a moniker in its title to indicate it as such.

Despite negative reviews from critics, Friday the 13th Part III grossed over $36.6 million at the US box office on a budget of $2.3 million. The film was the first to remove E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial (1982) from the number-one box office spot and became the second highest-grossing horror film of 1982, behind Poltergeist. Jason's look in this film, which varies greatly from its predecessor, became the look to which the character was modeled after in later incarnations.


Following the events of the previous film, Jason, seriously injured after his encounter, goes to a lakefront store to find clothes. While there he kills owner Harold by slamming a meat cleaver into his chest, and stabs Harold's wife Edna in the back of the head with a knitting needle. At the same time, Chris Higgins and her friends return to Higgins' Haven to spend the weekend. The gang includes pregnant Debbie, her boyfriend Andy, prankster Shelley, his blind date Vera (who does not reciprocate his feelings), stoners Chuck and Chili, and Chris' boyfriend Rick.

Shelley and Vera inadvertently run afoul of bikers Ali, Loco and Fox at a convenience store. After being wronged, Shelley stands up for himself by running over their motorcycles, impressing Vera. Rick loses his temper after seeing the window of his Volkswagen Beetle smashed in and leaves with Chris. Meanwhile, Jason has hidden in the barn to recover from his injuries, and when the bikers show up to siphon their gas with the intention of burning down the barn to get even, he kills Loco and Fox with pitchforks and seemingly kills Ali with a pipe wrench. As night falls, Jason slashes Shelley's throat and dons the hockey mask to conceal his face. After shooting Vera through the eye with a speargun, he moves into the house where he kills Andy by slicing him in half as he walks on his hands. He shoves a knife through Debbie's neck while she is resting on a hammock. When the power goes out in the house, Chili sends Chuck down to the basement to check on the power. Jason throws Chuck into the fuse box and kills him, severing power to the house. Jason kills Chili by impaling her with a red hot fireplace poker.

Chris tells Rick about a time she was attacked by a horrible, disfigured man two years earlier, which was the reason she moved away. Rick's car dies and they have to walk back to the Haven, which they find in disarray. Rick steps outside to search the grounds, but Jason grabs him just beside the cabin. As Chris calls out to him from the front door, Jason holds him back just out of sight and keeps one hand held over his mouth. While Chris goes back inside, Jason kills Rick by crushing his skull with his bare hands until one of his eyeballs pops out. Chris discovers bloody clothes in the overflowing tub upstairs. She runs outside and is surprised by Loco's corpse dropping down from a rope on a tree limb. Chris runs back inside, and Jason throws Rick's corpse through the window.

Terrorized and panicked, she dumps a bookcase on Jason and hides upstairs in a hall closet. She discovers Debbie's body, and narrowly escapes the house and tries to escape in her van, which breaks down after having been siphoned by Ali and the others. She makes her way to the barn where she tries to hide and is attacked again by Jason. She lures Jason up to the loft and sends him through the window, hanging him, but he breaks free, much to Chris' horror. Jason removes his mask, revealing his disfigured face and Chris recognizes him as the man who attacked her two years ago. Before Jason can kill Chris, Ali returns and attacks Jason, which finally results in his death, however, the distraction allows Chris to find an axe and strike Jason in the head with it, who collapses. Exhausted, Chris pushes a canoe out into the lake and falls asleep, waking in fright the next morning. She sees Jason in the barn and tries to escape as he comes after her, but it all turns out to be a hallucination. As she calms down, the decomposing body of Pamela Voorhees emerges from the lake and grabs her, dragging her into the water, which turns out to be another hallucination (a scene replicated from the end of the first film, but with Pamela instead of Jason).

Later, police escort a clearly disturbed and hysterical Chris from Higgins Haven, stating that she was deeply shaken by the deaths of her friends. As she is driven away, Jason's body is shown lying in the barn and the lake seems to be once again at peace.


(Steve Daskawisz (also known as Steve Dash) appears as Jason during flashback from Part 2) (Betsy Palmer appears as Mrs. Voorhees during flashback from Part 2)


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

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. At the time, Steel turned down the role due to her involvement in other projects, and the draft was presumably changed due to Halloween II's similar approach.[2] Screenwriter Popescu said casting was based on looks rather than talent.[3]

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; what no one knew at the time was that the mask chosen would become a trademark for the character, and one instantly recognizable in popular culture in the years to come.[4][5] During production, Steve Miner called for a lighting check, but none of the effects crew wanted to apply any make-up for the light check, so they decided to just throw a mask on Brooker. Martin Jay Sadoff, the film's 3-D effects supervisor, kept a bag with him full of hockey gear, as he was a hockey fan, and he pulled out a Detroit Red Wings goaltender mask for the test.[6] Miner loved the mask, but during test shots it was too small. Using a technique called VacuForm, Doug White enlarged the mask and created a new mold to work with. After White finished the molds, Terry Ballard placed the new red triangles on the mask to give it a unique appearance. Holes would be punched into the mask, and the markings were altered, making it different from Sadoff's mask.[6] 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.[6]

This was the first Paramount Pictures film produced in 3-D since Ulysses in 1954. The film was shot with the Arrivision "over and under" 3-D camera, the same that was used with Jaws 3-D.[7] It was also the first film in the series to be presented in Dolby Stereo upon its theatrical release.


The film's music was composed by Harry Manfredini, who previously composed the scores of the series' first two installments.[8] 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.[6] 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.[9]


Box office[edit]

The film opened in 1,079 theaters in 3-D taking in $9,406,522 its opening weekend and breaking the horror opening record held by the original Friday the 13th (1980). Domestically, the film made a grand total of $36,690,067. 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, Visiting Hours, Amityville II: The Possession, Silent Rage, The Beast Within, Cat People and Venom.[10][11] As of 2014, it still stands as the fourth highest-grossing film in the Friday the 13th series. 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.[12]

Critical response[edit]

Friday the 13th Part III received generally negative reviews from critics upon its theatrical release. The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 12% of 25 film critics have given the film a positive review; the average rating is 3.6 out of 10.[13]

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."[14] 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 III 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."[15] In a retrospective, Scott Meslow of The Week called it "an under-sung camp classic — cornier and goofier than either of its predecessors".[3]

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 and Villains as one of the Top 50 Villains.[16] Meslow cites the film's 3-D effects as paving the way for later horror films which also used the technique.[3]

Awards and honors[edit]

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

Home media[edit]

Friday the 13th Part III was first made available on home video on VHS, Betamax, Capacitance Electronic Disc, and LaserDisc and later on DVD, with the film presented only in 2D form. There was also a VHD release for Japan (Part IV and Part V would follow). The 3-D version of the film was eventually released as a part of the film's DVD "Deluxe Edition" on February 3, 2009. The "Deluxe Edition" and eventual Blu-ray release include both the 2D and 3-D versions of the film, as well as two pairs of blue and red 3-D glasses designed to look like Jason's mask.[18]


  1. ^ "Friday the 13th Part 3 (1982)". The Numbers. Retrieved 2015-07-10. 
  2. ^ "13 Things You May Not Know About Friday the 13th Part 3". Retrieved 11 November 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c Meslow, Scott (2015-03-13). "Friday the 13th Part III: How an '80s horror franchise bet it all on 3-D — and won". The Week. Retrieved 2016-06-05. 
  4. ^ "Friday the 13th Part 3 Script". Retrieved 5 April 2014. 
  5. ^ "11 Looks of Terror!!! Jason's Mask Throughout The Years!!!". Bloody Disgusting. 26 July 2013. Retrieved 5 April 2014. 
  6. ^ a b c d Bracke, Peter (October 1, 2006). Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday The 13th (First ed.). Los Angeles, California: Titan Books. pp. 84–94. ISBN 978-1845763435. 
  7. ^ Hayes, R. M. (October 1998). 3-D Movies: A History and Filmography of Stereoscopic Cinema (Second ed.). Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company. pp. 96–97. ISBN 978-0786405787. 
  8. ^ "Harry Manfredini Filmography". Retrieved 5 April 2014. 
  9. ^ "La-La Land Records: Friday the 13th". La-La Land Records. Retrieved 2012-01-15. 
  10. ^ "Friday the 13th Part III (1982)". IMDB. Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 7 December 2012. 
  11. ^ "Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 7 December 2012. 
  12. ^ "Friday the 13th Movies at the Box Office". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 7 December 2012. 
  13. ^ "Friday the 13th Part 3 (1982)". Flixster. Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 7 December 2012. 
  14. ^ Maslin, Janet (13 August 1982). "Movie Review – Friday the 13th Part 3". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 December 2012. 
  15. ^ "Variety Review – Friday the 13th Part III". Variety. 1982. Retrieved 9 December 2012. 
  16. ^ "400 nominated screen characters AFI's Top 50 heroes and top 50 villains". American Film Institute. 2005. Retrieved 7 December 2012. 
  17. ^ "AFI's 100 Years...100 Heroes & Villains Nominees" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-08-05. 
  18. ^ Liebman, Martin (12 June 2009). "Friday the 13th Part 3 Blu-ray Review". Retrieved 8 December 2012. 

External links[edit]