The third film in the Friday the 13th series was released in 1982 in 3D and was the first movie in the series to feature Jason wearing a hockey mask, which subsequently became his trademark and one of the most recognisable images in popular culture.
Ignoring the warning about Camp Crystal Lake’s bloody history, Chris Higgins (Dana Kimmel) spends a holiday weekend with her boyfriend Rick (Paul Kratka) and some friends. Their idyllic weekend getaway turns into a nightmare, as Jason (Richard Brooker) once again lurks in the woods and one by one, teens fall victim to an unstoppable maniac.
Being impaled on a pitchfork is one of the more watchable misfortunes in the film. A young man showing off by walking on his hands gets a machete sliced through his upside-down body. A young girl gets a sizzling poker plunged through her chest. Another person gets his skull crushed by powerful hands until one eye literally pops out of his head – and thanks to the wonders of 3D, said orb flies out into the audience . . .
Not all the 3D gimmicks are gruesome. Many are fun. Popcorn really pops, for example. One of the most effective shots – that of a yoyo being aimed at the camera – was inspired by the bat and ball scene from the 3D classic, House of Wax (1953).
Friday the 13th Part III left a lasting legacy on the horror genre by opting to not provide any back-stories for the characters who die, focusing instead on Jason’s motives and going back to explain his past as a boy who had drowned in the lake due to the carelessness of others. Jason comes back to avenge his death and slaughters innocent teens who visit his lake.
Friday the 13th Part III reinvents the franchise and totally solidifies Jason Voorhees as a horror movie icon.
This is the only Friday The 13th film in which none of the characters actually say the name “Jason”. Maybe this is because Part III takes place just one day after Part II, and Jason’s legendary slasher exploits are effectively still developing over a long weekend at that point.