- "A new dimension in terror..."
Friday the 13th Part III, also known as Friday the 13th Part 3 and marketed as Friday the 13th Part 3: 3D, is a 1982 slasher film. It was directed by Steve Miner, who had also held the previous installment in the series. This film is presented in stereoscopic 3-D and Dolby Stereo sound system. The screenplay was written by Martin Kitrosser, Carol Watson, and an unaccredited Petru Popescu. Kitrosser would later help to co-write the fifth installment, Friday the 13th: A New Beginning and it is the first time Jason Voorhees would don his iconic hockey mask.
According to actress Catherine Parks, this entry was intended to be the final feature in the series. Due to its phenomenal box office success (it grossed almost $37 million against a $2.5 million budget) it was decided by Paramount Pictures to finance yet another film, 1984's Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter.
Part 3 was initially released to theaters in the 3D format, which was experiencing a resurgence in popularity at the time. For many years the 3D version was only available to home video audiences in Japan on the Video High Density system. On February 3, 2009, the 3D version was released to North American home video for the first time on a deluxe edition DVD that also features the 2D version of the film.
Like many of the other entries in the long-running series, Part 3 was edited in order to receive an R-rating by the MPAA. The deluxe edition release of the film features the theatrical cut.
The film contains an infamous alternate ending in which the lead character Chris, played by Dana Kimmell, is decapitated by Jason at the conclusion. Though this sequence has never been commercially released stills of it can be seen in Peter Bracke's book Crystal Lake Memories, and it was included in Michael Avallone's 1982 novelization. Simon Hawke's 1987 novelization retains the ending utilized in the released film. This film sees Jason continue to avenge his mother by killing a new set of young adults who come into the lakefront property called Higgins Haven just one day after Jason's first killing spree in Part 2. Another alternate ending had Ali surviving; Chris opens the door to find Jason, but is scared by Ali. They both get away. Soon after, the paramedics arrive, only to never find Jason's body. 
The film takes place the day after the events of Friday the 13th Part 2, in which the horribly deformed mass murderer named Jason Voorhees survives having a machete slammed into his shoulder by the sole survivors of his brutal killing spree, Ginny Field and Paul Holt, who worked at a nearby summer camp. Jason comes upon a small, country store owned by middle-aged couple Edna (Cheri Maugans) and Harold Hockett (Steve Susskind). He murders them both (stabbing Harold in the chest with a meat cleaver and then stabbing Edna in the back of the neck with one of her own sewing needles), steals some new clothes, and makes his way to a lakefront property called Higgins Haven where he would take further bloody revenge on the new group.
Meanwhile, we are introduced to a fresh new group of teenagers on their way to Higgins Haven, consisting of Chris Higgins (Dana Kimmell), the heroine, who was attacked by a mysterious, deformed man in the woods near Higgins Haven two years prior and is returning to Higgins Haven in a desperate attempt to surpass her memories from the attack. Along with Chris are some of her friends including the pregnant woman named Deborah "Debbie" Klein (Tracie Savage), her boyfriend Andy Beltrami (Jeffrey Rogers), Shelly Finkelstein (Larry Zerner), the prankster of the group, and a stoner couple named Charles "Chuck" Garth (David Katims) and Chili (Rachel Howard). Also along the way was a "blind date" that the group has set up for Shelly with the spunky and vivacious Vera Sanchez (Catherine Parks).
The group of teenagers come upon a strange man named Abel lying in the middle of the road, who speaks incoherently and warns the teenagers about the area and tells them of a hidden stash of body parts, showing them a severed human eyeball. Appalled, the teenagers pile back into their van and speed off, leaving the man urging them to turn back and leave in the dust. Ignoring the man's warnings, they arrive at Higgins Haven, and find it is a serene lakefront resident with a sparkling lake, a large, two-story cabin, and a barn. While the rest of the group go skinny-dipping, Chris heads inside the cabin to check it out, only to find her boyfriend named Rick (Paul Kratka) inside, who has already arrived. All of the teenagers are oblivious to Jason, who is hiding out in the barn.
Later, Shelly pulls a practical joke that crosses the line (where he pretends he was killed with a meat cleaver shoved onto his head), infuriating Chris and the rest of the group. Vera decides to go the store in Rick's car and Shelly pleads for her to allow him to tag along and Vera reluctantly agrees. At the store, Vera and Shelly run into a troublesome biker gang consisting of leader named Ali (Nick Savage), sidekick named Loco (Kevin O' Brien) and biker chick named Fox (Gloria Charles). After a brief scuffle inside the store, as Shelly and Vera are about to leave, Ali exits the store and vandalizes Rick's car, punching in the windows. Exacting revenge, Shelly runs over the biker's motorcycles for their harassment and speeds away, as he and Vera cheer in victory.
The duo arrives back at the cabin and Rick is shocked, upset, and angry to see his car beaten up. Chris and Rick decide to go for a drive to allow Rick to cool down. Meanwhile, the biker gang arrives at the property plotting to siphon gas from the teenager's van. But unbeknownst to them, Jason has other plans in mind. He quickly dispatches Fox when she explores the barn (off-screen, Jason has pinned her corpse against one of the barn rafters with a sharp pitchfork driven through her throat), and Loco is next to be killed by Jason when he goes into the barn to look for her - Jason perforates his midsection with another sharp pitchfork the same way he did to Fox. Ali goes into the barn after his gang to discover their corpses, and Jason appears. Ali attempts to fight him, but is easily overtaken and presumably killed as the maniac bludgeons him with a large metal wrench.
Night falls and Jason springs into action. Shelly desperately wants Vera to like him, and resorts to pulling another elaborate joke on her, donning a wet suit, hockey mask and speargun. As Vera sits on the edge of the dock, Shelly grabs her foot from underneath the water, scaring her effectively. Vera then tells Shelley off, and, hurt, Shelly sulks away into the barn where Jason, off-screen, attacks him and steals his hockey mask and speargun. Vera realizes she still has Shelly's wallet, and accidentally drops it into the lake. She enters the lake to retrieve it. Now donning Shelly's mask and speargun, Jason approaches Vera (who thought it was another of Shelly's unfunny scary pranks) and fires a spear into her eye, killing her as well.
Debbie and Andy go upstairs and have sex and Jason enters the cabin, now using Shelly's hockey mask to cover his hideously deformed face. Afterwards, Debbie takes a shower and Andy fetches a beer while performing a handstand (walking on his hands, feet sticking straight up in the air). But before he can even reach the stairs, he encounters Jason, who vertically swings a machete into Andy's crotch and slices him in half. Debbie gets out and rests in the hammock to read a magazine, only for blood to drip down onto the magazine. Looking up, she discovers Andy's mutilated corpse hanging from the rafters and before she can even scream, Jason drives a kitchen knife through her chest from underneath the hammock, killing her.
Meanwhile, unaware of the carnage, Chris and Rick stop the car and get out to talk, where Chris finally tells Rick of her incident two years prior, when she had a very bad argument with her parents and ran away from home in order to "teach them a lesson", then a strange, hideously deformed man attacked her in the woods with a knife, and somehow she managed to escape him alive. Rick tries to start the car again, but the engine fails, and they are forced to walk back. Back at the cabin, Chuck and Chili are having a romance (complete with lots of marijuana smoking) when suddenly the lights go out. Chuck heads to the basement to check the fuse box, and Jason is there waiting for him. Jason pushes Chuck towards the fuse box, killing him by electrocution but also restoring the power to the cabin. Chili then finds Shelly agonizing with his throat badly slashed. At first, she believes it to be another prank, but soon finds it to be all too real and flees in horror, only to encounter Jason, who kills her by impaling her by the stomach with an incandescent fireplace poker.
Chris and Rick arrive at the cabin and go inside, finding the cabin quiet and empty, with their food burning and smoking on the stove - which is odd for a house populated by happy festive teenagers. Puzzled, Rick looks around outside while Chris goes upstairs, and finds a bathtub filled with blood and Chili's blood-stained clothing. The terror still hasn't hit Chris yet and she runs downstairs to look for Rick, unaware that Jason is killing him - the maniac kills Rick by crushing his head with his bare hands until one of Rick's eyeballs bursts out of its socket. Chris goes outside to look for her boyfriend, and finds Loco's mutilated corpse hanging from a tree. Horrified, Chris runs back inside and tries to barricade the door and lock the windows. All of a sudden, Rick's corpse is heaved through the window and Jason gains entry to the cabin. Running from Jason, Chris goes upstairs, drops an entire bookshelf on the killer to stall him, and hides inside a linen closet where she finds Debbie's corpse. Jason begins to hack his way into the closet but Chris uses the kitchen knife from Debbie's corpse to wound Jason's left hand and right knee. Jason throws the kitchen knife back at Chris, nearly hitting her, who then manages to smash a second-story window with a chair to escape. Jason grabs her through the window, ripping her jacket off. As Jason goes outside in search for her, Chris hits the back of his head with a wood log and flees in her van. Halfway in the dirt road, Chris sees Jason and tries to run over the maniac, but he jumps sideways to evade the incoming van. Arriving at the bridge, the vehicle stalls due to the bikers siphoning the gas earlier in the movie. Chris activates the reserve fuel tank and starts up the engine again, but the wood of the bridge starts breaking down, sinking the van. Jason grabs her neck through the van window but she fends him off (by closing the window glass and trap his arms, forcing him to shatter the window with a headbutt), escapes, and runs into the woods. She reaches the barn where she runs inside, and the cat-and-mouse game continues as Chris hides in the rafters. Jason barricades the door to make sure she won't escape, then starts to search for her fruitlessly everywhere inside, unknowing that she is hanging herself in the thin rafters above. When Jason looks upwards and sees Chris, the girl drops down on him, knocking him down for a moment. Jason grabs his machete and nearly hits Chris. She runs upwards to the loft, with Jason in pursuit, and manages to knock the killer unconscious with a shovel. She then wraps a noose around his neck and hangs him from the barn's hayloft.Believing that Jason is finally dead, Chris tries to leave the barn, breaking the barricade Jason had made, and opens the barn doors to reveal the killer hanging motionlessly... but he is not dead yet. To her horror, Jason shows himself to be still alive and slides up his mask to make room for him to escape the noose, showing his deformed face in the process. Chris is terrified to recognize Jason as the horrible madman who attacked her two years before. Jason advances towards Chris and raises his machete to kill her at last. Before he can finish her off, Ali (badly injured but still alive) suddenly appears and struggles with Jason. Predictably, the maniac overpowers him again, chopping off his right arm and hacking him to death multiple times with his machete. While Jason is busy with Ali, Chris picks up a nearby lumberjack axe and sneaks up behind the ruthless killer. Just as Jason begins to turn his attention back towards Chris, she buries the axe into his forehead. Even with this wound, he still lopes forward trying to grab Chris, but suddenly he collapses, supposedly dead (she even slightly tilts his head to make sure he is down for real).
Chris stumbles down to the lake shore and rows away in a canoe, and the next morning comes, where Chris takes some small scares (due to ducks and other ambient sounds near her). The girl is horrified to see an unmasked and bloodied Jason glare at her through the cabin windows and then barge out of the door, running towards her. After frantically trying to escape and screaming, Chris looks up to see that the cabin door is intact and Jason is nowhere to be seen - it was just a hallucination. But her relief soon ends when the rotted corpse of Pamela Voorhees leaps out of the lake, dragging Chris underneath the surface of the water. Chris later wakes up, realizing that it was all a nightmare.
The last scene shows a policeman escorting a traumatized Chris out of the cabin and into a police car, as she screams and laughs hysterically and the audience wonders if the events cost Chris her sanity. Meanwhile, the camera cuts to Jason's motionless body lying among the loft ground, the axe still plunged into his head. The camera makes one final cut to the sinister waters of Crystal Lake.
- Dana Kimmell as Chris Higgins
- Paul Kratka as Rick
- Tracie Savage as Deborah Klein (Debbie)
- Jeffrey Rogers as Andy Beltrami
- Catherine Parks as Vera Sanchez
- Larry Zerner as Shelly Finkelstein
- David Katims as Charles "Chuck" Garth
- Rachel Howard as Chili
- Nick Savage as Ali
- Gloria Charles as Fox
- Kevin O'Brien as Loco
- Cheri Maugans as Edna Hockett
- Steve Susskind as Harold Hockett
- Perla Walter as Mrs. Sanchez
- David Wiley as Abel
- Richard Brooker as Jason Voorhees
- Betsy Palmer as Pamela Voorhees
- Amy Steel as Ginny Field (flashback from Part 2)
- John Furey as Paul Holt (flashback from Part 2)
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