Director – Steve Miner
Cast – Dana Kimmell, Paul Kratka, Larry Zerner, Tracie Savage, Jeffrey Rogers, Katherine Parks, David Katims, Rachel Howard, Nick Savage, Richard Brooker
Release Year – 1982
Reviewed by John of the Dead
This film brings back many memories of my childhood, and is one of the more well known films regarding trivia and the history of Jason Vorhees. “Why” you say? Because this film is the very first film in the series where Jason dons the infamous hockey mask. In “Friday the 13th Part 2” he wore a cornsack, and in the original “Friday the 13th” he was simply just a child involving in a drowning accident, and not the focus of the film. This was also the very first horror film to be shown theatrically in 3-D!
Anywho, the film starts off one day after the events of “Friday the 13th Part 2” and even begins with the last few minutes of part 2 to keep the continuity going. The film follows Chris, a young adult female who is visiting the area after surviving an attack from Jason two years prior. She decides she is over the ordeal, and invites a group of her friends to head to her old home along Crystal Lake for a weekend of what every 80’s horror film requires…booze, weed, and of course sex! Unfortunately for our young protagonists, Jason survived the events that happened recently and claimed the lives of 11 people, and is now out for vengeance against a new set of victims…Chris and her friends.
I really enjoyed this film and found it to not only be one of the better sequels in the F13 trilogy, but I found it to be an effective, and quite gory slasher flick. Before director Steve Miner solidified himself as a name in the horror genre with his direction of “Halloween H20: 20 Years Later” and “Lake Placid”, he directed both this film, and “Friday the 13th Part 2”. I can honestly say that although he had much bigger budgets with his later films, it is his early F13 films that he really performed well on.
The story for this film is simple, and a lot like nearly every other F13 film, so if you are looking for an original story then this film is not for you. Each F13 film pretty has the same story, just with a slightly different sub plot to keep each film from being exactly the same as it’s predecessor. Aside from seeing Jason don the infamous hockey mask that he looks so amazing in, we are given some excellent gory kills. Steve Miner actually had to cut out parts of a few gory scenes just so this film would not be labeled with an “X” rating. It’s pretty sad, but that’s how things were back then. Nowadays films are able to get away with a whole lot more, which I enjoy, but I wish these older films were given that same type of treatment. Two of the kills in this flick are some of the most popular kills in horror history, one being the “arrow through the eye” kill and the other being the “handstand kill”. Just watch and you will know what I’m talking about! Hehe. This film also incorporated a bigger, “beefier” Jason compared to the Jason in F13 Part 2. I completely agree with the “bigger” Jason idea given that he looks much more menacing and brutal, not quite as menacing as Kane Hodder was when he portrayed Jason in F13 Part 6-Jason X, but Richard Brooker was still effective in this film as Jason Vorhees. I also felt that this film paced pretty well, and didn’t drag all that much other than between the first 20% and 50% percent of the film. The beginning takes off pretty quick, and the last half of the film is filled with gory kills, great chase scenes, and excellent scares and non-scares thanks to Steve Miner’s use of foreground camerawork.
I do not have much complaints for this film other than some questionable acting, and the fact that it drags just a little bit at times. If there would have been more Jason action during the dragging times then this film would have received another point in it’s rating.
Overall, a good sequel to a franchise that has had it’s fair share of not so great sequels. Fans of the slasher horror sub-genre will enjoy this film. Also if you are just getting into the F13 series, then I suggest you check this one out due to it’s historical references involving Jason Vorhees.