Friday the 13th Part III

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
Jason Inc.
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.

Originally, the film was supposed to focus on Ginny Field, who checked herself into a mental institution after her traumatic battle with Jason Voorhees in the previous film. The film would have been similar to Halloween II, with Jason Voorhees tracking down Ginny in the mental hospital similar to how Michael Myers stalked Laurie Strode in the sequel. This concept was abandoned when Amy Steel declined to reprise her role.[2]

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, a seriously injured Jason Voorhees goes to a lakefront store to find clothes. While there, he kills the owner and his wife. At the same time, Chris Higgins and some more people return to her old house at Crystal Lake, the 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 get into a confrontation with bikers Ali, Loco, and Fox at a convenience store. Afterwards, Shelley runs over their motorcycles, impressing Vera. Meanwhile, Jason has hidden in a nearby barn to recover from his injuries, and when the bikers show up to burn down the barn to get even, he kills Loco, Fox, and seemingly Ali. As night falls, Jason slashes Shelley's throat and dons the hockey mask to conceal his face. He then kills Vera, Andy, and Debbie. When the power goes out in the house, Chili sends Chuck down to the basement to check on it. Jason throws Chuck into the fuse box and kills him, severing power to the house. Jason then goes to the main floor and kills Chili.

While they are out, 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 and fatally crushes his skull with his bare hands. 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.

Chris narrowly escapes the house and tries to escape in her van, which breaks down due to its gas being siphoned by the bikers earlier. She makes her way to the barn to hide, but is attacked again by Jason. During the fight, 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, but is killed. The distraction allows Chris to find an ax and strike Jason in the head with it, killing him.

Exhausted, Chris pushes a canoe out into the lake and falls asleep, waking the next morning. She sees Jason alive in the barn and tries to escape as he comes after her, but it all turns out to be a dream. 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 dream. Later, police escort a disturbed and hysterical Chris from Higgins Haven, saying she was deeply shaken by all the deaths. As she is driven away, Jason's dead body is shown lying in the barn as the film ends.


(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.[3] Screenwriter Popescu said casting was based on looks rather than talent.[4]

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.[5][6] 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.[7] 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.[7] 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.[7]

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.[8] It was also the first film in the series to be presented in Dolby Stereo upon its theatrical release.

Original storyline: Ginny's return

In the original storyline, Steve Miner and Martin Kitrosser wanted the film to focus on Ginny Field, the survivor from Friday the 13th Part 2. In this storyline, Ginny would have checked herself into mental institution due to being traumatized from her deadly encounter with Jason Voorhees. Although she nearly killed him, he survived, and he planned to find and kill her. Ginny would have realized that Jason tracked her down and he would have killed anyone that got in is way as he searched for Ginny in the mental institution. The film would have been similar in style to Halloween II, with Jason Voorhees searching for Ginny Field alluding to Michael Myers searching for Laurie Strode in a hospital. According to Kelly Konda:

"Director Steve Miner and Martin Kitrosser, the script supervisor for Parts 1 and 2 and co-writer of Part 3, wanted Ginny to go to a mental institution as a result of her trauma after Part 2.  Jason would eventually arrive to settle his vendetta against her, killing any guards, doctors, or patients that got in his way."[9]

This concept was eventually scrapped when the producers became hesitant of changing the setting of the films and officially decided to abandon the idea when Amy Steel declined to reprise her role.


The film's music was composed by Harry Manfredini, who previously composed the scores of the series' first two installments.[10] 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.[7] 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.[11]


Box office

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.[12][13] 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.[14]

Critical response

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.[15]

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."[16] 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."[17] In a retrospective, Scott Meslow of The Week called it "an under-sung camp classic — cornier and goofier than either of its predecessors".[4]

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.[18] Meslow cites the film's 3-D effects as paving the way for later horror films which also used the technique.[4]

Awards and honors

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

Home media

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.[20]


  1. "Friday the 13th Part 3 (1982)". The Numbers. Retrieved 2015-07-10.
  2. "The Girl That Got Away from Jason: An Interview with Amy Steel from Friday the 13th Part 2".
  3. "13 Things You May Not Know About Friday the 13th Part 3". Retrieved 11 November 2015.
  4. 1 2 3 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.
  5. "Friday the 13th Part 3 Script". Retrieved 5 April 2014.
  6. "11 Looks of Terror!!! Jason's Mask Throughout The Years!!!". Bloody Disgusting. 26 July 2013. Retrieved 5 April 2014.
  7. 1 2 3 4 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.
  8. 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.
  9. "13 Things You May Not Know About Friday the 13th Part 3". We Minored In Film. Retrieved October 15, 2016.
  10. "Harry Manfredini Filmography". Retrieved 5 April 2014.
  11. "La-La Land Records: Friday the 13th". La-La Land Records. Retrieved 2012-01-15.
  12. "Friday the 13th Part III (1982)". IMDB. Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
  13. "Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
  14. "Friday the 13th Movies at the Box Office". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
  15. "Friday the 13th Part 3 (1982)". Flixster. Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
  16. Maslin, Janet (13 August 1982). "Movie Review – Friday the 13th Part 3". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 December 2012.
  17. "Variety Review – Friday the 13th Part III". Variety. 1982. Retrieved 9 December 2012.
  18. "400 nominated screen characters AFI's Top 50 heroes and top 50 villains". American Film Institute. 2005. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
  19. "AFI's 100 Years...100 Heroes & Villains Nominees" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-08-05.
  20. Liebman, Martin (12 June 2009). "Friday the 13th Part 3 Blu-ray Review". Retrieved 8 December 2012.
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