Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Friday the 13th Part III

For a series so pointedly disinterested in either plot or continuity, the Friday the 13th films sure do love to gobble up screentime replaying events from the previous chapter. Friday the 13th Part III doesn't even bother to accelerate its recap of Part 2, forcing us to sit through minutes on minutes of the last instalment's conclusion. Perhaps the footage holds some clue as to the direction of this new film? Ginny Field (Amy Steel)'s quick thinking, not to mention a willingness to pull on mouldering, dead lady clothing, allowed her to trick Jason into believing she was his mother, resurrected through some scattershot ritual.

Unfortunately, Field's psychological subordination of Jason doesn't even enter into this film. The hirsute monster man that later dragged her kicking and screaming through a broken window is absent too, disappearing down the same narrative sinkhole as the muddy mutant child that thrashed around at the end of the first film. Part III's Jason is an alopecic muscle man, a thick-necker able to pick teens up with his bare hands then squeeze their heads until their eyeballs are blasted out of their skull and directly into camera. III largely dispenses with the idea of Jason as a prowling menace too - there's not much watching and waiting here - he's straight in, mangling the umpteen teens inexplicably drawn to mosquito country. Why do they come to these holiday camps? Don't they care there's a madman constantly on the loose? Part III's best moments then come during a finale where, thanks to actress Dana Kimmell's harassed interpretation of the uncanny, the film works up an agreeable sense of delirium.

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