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Yes, this HD upgrade is worth your time and money.

Blu-ray Review: Friday The 13th, Part 3: 3-D

Still peeved over the death of his mother, a fully-grown (but with the mind of a child) Jason Voorhees returned to Camp Crystal Lake to kill off more dumb, horny teens in Friday The 13th, Part 2. However, his choice of fashion would be his undoing for that outing. Sadly, Jason’s choice for fashion — a pair of overalls combined with a flour sack — just didn’t quite do the trick as far as scaring people (apart from people who saw The Town That Dreaded Sundown, that is). As a result, Jason received a machete to the torso. However, as Professor Frank C. Baxter probably once covered in a show, a machete embedded halfway into your body won’t kill you. In fact, it will only cause you to rise up and kill again. Just ask Jason.

With Friday The 13th, Part 3: 3-D, Jason at long last found that special niche he had been looking for. A surefire way to strike terror into the hearts of dumb, horny teens everywhere. A symbol of evil the world over. A hockey mask. And thus, Jason was able to secure himself a spot in the annals of horror cinema.

The movie itself? In a nutshell: after Jason says “Phooey! I’m not dead!” to his machete-to-the-torso wound, he gets up and attends to his wounds — changing his clothes and physique in the process. Deciding to set up his camp of death away from Crystal Lake, Jason settles on an isolated cabin in the woods. A wise choice, too: the place is soon packed with dumb horny teens, all of whom are ripe for picking (off). A group of punks on bikes only brings further joy for the homicidal maniac. And, as the terror draws to a close, Jason succeeds in wiping out all but the naïve heroine of the story, who promptly wallops Mr. Voorhees in the temple with an axe.

Although the recipe for Friday The 13th, Part 3: 3-D consisted of the same ingredients used in the prior entries, this one stood out in several ways. First, the aforementioned hockey mask. Secondly, a trio of not-overly-menacing (and rather gay) bikers brought about the “secondary villain” characters — people who were also a threat to the “good” kids of the story, but whom viewers encourage Jason to kill even faster. Lastly, the filmmakers went with a current trend of the time and filmed this entry in 3-D, ensuring that it would be a hit by doing so (and it was).

It wasn’t until almost 26 years after the movie hit theaters that home video audiences were finally able to see Friday The 13th, Part 3 in its original 3-D form on DVD in a “Deluxe Edition” re-issue which came complete with two pairs of 3-D glasses and the option to watch the film in a flat 2-D version as well. And now, Paramount is kind enough to bring us Friday The 13th, Part 3: 3-D on Blu-ray. Like the previous DVD, the presentation of the film itself here isn’t grand (especially with the standard 2-D version), and some of the 3-D effects really aren’t that effective. This might make a few diehard fans unhappy, but when you take into consideration that this is an '80s exploitation horror movie on Blu-ray, it’s pretty easy to ignore the low points.

Like the newer DVD, this Blu-ray carries the same four soundtrack (English 5.1, and English, French, and Spanish Mono Stereo) and subtitle options (English, English SDH, French, Portuguese, Spanish). The 5.1 Dolby Digital sound from the DVD has been upgraded to a 5.1 Dolby TrueHD mix here (the other tracks remain the same) and comes through rather nicely, but most purists will probably want to recreate that tinny 1983 theater sound with the faithful ol’ Mono Stereo mix.

But what really sets this Blu-ray apart from its Standard Definition counterpart is the inclusion of some special features. Yes, we were all left a little puzzled when we found out that the “Deluxe Edition” DVD lacked so much as even a trailer on it, while the re-releases of parts one and two featured substantially more (read: something… period). My only guess is that putting both the 2-D and 3-D versions on the disc prevented any other materials from being tacked on… still, they could have probably included the other materials on a separate disc. But, no matter, kids, because the Blu-ray is here!

Four featurettes are the highlight(s) here. “Fresh Cuts: 3D Terror” takes us into the joys of filming a moving picture in three dimensions; “Legacy Of The Mask” talks about Jason’s newfound persona (and subsequent icon status); “Slasher Films: Going For The Jugular” discusses (briefly) every parent’s least-favorite horror genre; and the appallingly bad “Lost Tales From Camp Blood – Part 3” carries on the unwanted short film series seen on the other Friday The 13th “Deluxe Edition” DVDs. Rounding up the special features is the original theatrical trailer in all of its cheesy '80s exploitative glory. All of the special features are presented in High Definition (nice) and the case includes the much-needed two pairs of 3-D glasses.

Although I’m a bit disappointed that this title (as well as Part 2) didn’t hit Blu-ray along with Part 1, I can safely say that this HD upgrade is worth your time since a) it’s High Def 3-D (duh!) and b) this release actually has some special features.

About Luigi Bastardo

Luigi Bastardo is the alter-ego of a feller who loves an eclectic variety of classic (and sometimes not-so-classic) film and television. He currently lives in Northern California with four cats named Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Margaret. Seriously.

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