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Friday the 13th Part III (1982) – What the hell happened to this horror movie?

It is late summer 1982 and you have seen the preview for Friday the 13th Part IIIwhich told you a lot. The first information the preview gave you was that this was very much Jason's film. While Child's play would fully welcome the name change and simply use Chucky in the title, Friday the 13th would hold on to this special superstitious day a little longer. Jason is mentioned almost as often as the fact that this sequel is set in the Friday the 13th franchise would be in 3D, which is to say, A LOT. The preview also reveals another detail that was innocuous at the time, but looking back, was the catalyst for what many people see as the key to the series. This is the first film where Jason gets his iconic hockey mask. Put on your trusty red and blue glasses as we push this film right into your lap and find out what happened to Friday the 13th Part IIIin 3D!

Friday the 13th Parts 1 and 2 were incredibly popular, raking in 59 and 21 million in 1980 and 1981 respectively, despite their rather low budgets. Although critics weren't so keen, that didn't stop audiences from flocking in, meaning we were guaranteed to see more of this franchise. Paramount owned the rights at the time and decided to give the production a special touch with the addition of 3D. This was part of a boom in 3D productions in the early 80s, which also included Amityville 3D, Jaws 3D, Silent Madness, Parasite and a whole host of others. The reason Paramount and the Friday the 13th The reason the team decided to do this was because a film called Comin At Ya was making way more money than it should have, probably due to the fact that it was released in 3D. With Paramount's reputation and financing capabilities, they went all out.

Friday the 13th Part III (Watch HERE) would be the first 3D film released by Paramount since the '50s and would be the first wide release of a 3D film by a major studio. It would be shown in over 1000 theaters across the country and would be the first production ever to use the Marks 3D system. Although the budget is just over 2 million, Paramount paid between 8 and 10 million to install the proper equipment in theaters to allow the film to run smoothly, including training for the projectionists and a sort of “war room” number they could call for troubleshooting. With so much effort and money put into producing the flick, they were going to get their money's worth.

The poster has a 3D effect and several scenes were shot just to bring in even more 3D, including one scene that was only shown in the theater. Some of the actors even recalled years later that they had been told to focus more on small things they could do that would look good in 3D, even better than their own acting. Things like yo-yos and any number of objects being hurled at the screen, juggling and of course the infamous eyeball pop-up were all designed to captivate the audience. Some of the scenes ended up being very complicated and had to be shot multiple times, such as smashing the car window, a process that proved to be very expensive and time consuming. On top of that, they had to shoot the film much brighter than they normally would and even take into account what colors would be used on the screen.

To helm a much more ambitious project, Steve Miner was brought back as director after his success with Part 2. Miner, also an Emmy-nominated television director, has a pretty scary resume with credits after Friday Part 3 including Housefurther cooperation with Friday Creator Sean S. Cunningham, Warlock, Halloween H20And Lake Placid. The original idea of ​​the film was that the last girl from Part 2, Ginny, played by Amy Steel, would come back and be placed in a psychiatric hospital after the events of Part 2. Jason would track her down and kill all the hospital staff and patients while preparing a final showdown between the two. This sounds a bit like the slasher contemporary Michael Myers in Halloween2It was all in vain as Steel was unable or unwilling to return to the fold.

This changed the approach and Ron Kurz, who had written the previous film, was given the chance to write a screenplay for the third film, but he too declined to participate. The first draft of the final screenplay was written by husband and wife team Martin Kitrosser and Carol Watson. Watson didn't have much on her resume after that, but Kitrosser later wrote Friday the 13th 5 and was the script supervisor for nearly all of Quentin Tarantino's films. Although much of the script was used in the finished film, Paramount also brought in Petru Popescu to help out as they felt the film wasn't mean enough. With the 80s slasher boom peaking in the first third of the decade, the slasher film really needed to stand out and this was already an established series on top of that. Although Popescu is said to have made a significant contribution to the finished film, he was not credited by name in the end.

The actors were chosen almost entirely based on their looks rather than their acting ability or notoriety. Dana Kimmell, Tracie Savage, Paul Kratka, Catherine Parks, Jeffrey Rogers, Rachel Howard and David Katims were all among the main cast terrorized by Jason, and Larry Zerner, who plays Shelly, was found after handing out leaflets. As for the role of Jason, we would get a third film in a row with a third different actor in the role. British stuntman Richard Brooker was called in for several films before the role of Kane Hodder became cemented in the minds of many. At 6'3″, he was certainly a tall enough Jason, but he was very slim and ended up having to wear a lot of padding to appear as bulky as the character needed. He did all of his own stunts for the film and was lucky enough to be forever associated with the now famous hockey mask that the killer wears throughout the series.

The mask was a complete coincidence that may not have happened had the film not been shot in 3D. 3D effects supervisor Martin Sadoff was a huge hockey fan, particularly the Detroit Red Wings, and he always had various pieces of hockey equipment with him. During a light break, he happened to pull out a goalie mask that director Miner really liked. When they shot scenes with it, however, it looked too small on Brooker's face, so they resized it to fit his face better. In addition to resizing, the red triangles and additional holes were added to make it stand out. The mask itself was accompanied by a few different prosthetic masks that went underneath, which took several hours to install each day.

While the actors, including the actor playing Jason, were new, one thing remained the same: the series' composer, Harry Manfredini. His now-iconic scores for the series have been played and parodied everywhere over the years, while they've also been released individually or in collections on vinyl. One thing that has changed is the opening credits theme. While it was upbeat and jazzy in the past, it was a full-on disco theme for the third film. Manfredini collaborated with Michael Zager for the tune, and he went on to say that it was quite popular in both discos and gay bars back in the day. The opening song became the stuff of legends, but the rest of the film has the trademark Friday the 13th scored with all the queues that fans had come to expect from the series after the first two films. In that sense, part three was the first of several occasions when the film was shot under an alternate title, specifically under the name of a song by pop and rock legend David Bowie, something that would happen again in the series.

The film's shooting had to move across the country from Connecticut to California, where almost all of the buildings were constructed on the Valuzet film ranch. One of the reasons we got Richard Brooker as the new Jason is because Jason from Part 2, Steve Daskawicz, was offered the role but was told he would have to finance his own travel from his home on the East Coast to the new filming location in Saugus, California. He declined, and that's why Brooker was able to step in and be the first man in the mask. The main reason for the move to California was to be closer to the burgeoning 3D technology they wanted to use in the film, something Paramount was sued for by Marks Polarized Corporation for around $25 million.

Like many slasher films, the film also had to be cut in many areas to avoid the dreaded X-rating. While the script was changed to create a darker and more menacing atmosphere, the bloodshed, deaths, and some scenes had to be changed from the script. One of the more famous examples of this is an alternate ending where survivor Chris walks back to the house, only to see the door burst open and Jason grab her by the hair and decapitate her. Although this was later revealed to be a dream, it was deemed too dark and brutal to include. The scene is also notable for using an alternate mask created by none other than Stan Winston. The mask remains in this scene and is not visible in other parts of the film, as the entire design of the character was reworked.

The deaths of Andy, Vera, Edna, Chili, and Debbie all had to be cut to varying degrees to keep the MPAA of the time from giving them an unusable age rating. In addition to the filmed cuts, another element of the script was cut entirely. It was originally going to be implied that Jason had sexually abused some of his victims, but several executives thought this either went too far or would make Jason less marketable, perhaps a foresight that this series still had a lot of potential.

Friday the 13th Part III was released in theaters on Friday, August 13, 1982, and grossed nearly $10 million in its opening weekend. That number is significant because even though it only ranked 21st in terms of box office receipts for the year, it surpassed the first film in terms of opening weekend numbers. Furthermore, as of 2020, it is still the fourth highest-grossing film in the franchise, and with inflation, one of the highest-grossing slasher films of all time. Its nearly $37 million box office receipts are impressive, but reviews reacted coolly. While critics didn't think much of it at the time, it usually ranks near the top of fan rankings for the series, and it remains a crowd favorite over 40 years later. Now you can say you don't need 3D glasses to see exactly what happened to… Friday the 13th Part III.

Some of the previous episodes of What the hell happened to this horror movie? can be seen below. To see more, visit our YouTube channel JoBlo Horror Originals – and subscribe while you're there!