Written by Tío Esqueleto
Released earlier in the year as a Deluxe Edition DVD, Paramount’s Friday the 13th Part 3 now makes its debut on Blu-ray, tying in with New Line’s home-video release of Friday the 13th (2009).
This installment centers around Chris and her friends as they make there way to her family’s cabin at where else, but Crystal Lake. Throw in some sex, some drugs, some really bad decisions combine with Jason Voorhees, his first use of the now-iconic hockey mask, (literally) eye-popping 3-D, and you’ve got Friday the 13th Part 3. While it isn’t necessarily the best in the series, it does have its merits.
The review of the Deluxe Edition DVD can be found here.
The third installment in the franchise literally comes at us this time, not only in 1080p high definition, but also in its original 3-D presentation. The 2-D version that most of us are familiar with is also on hand but it’s this special feature that, to me, trumps all others in the franchise. But before we visit this third dimension in terror, let’s discuss its more familiar incarnation.
The standard 2-D version, while still inherent with grain, is a drastic improvement on the previous Deluxe Edition DVD released earlier in the year. Again, the grain is part of the film and to ‘scrub’ this grain away would also result in losing detail. Add to that the trappings of a low-budget production taking place entirely at night, and you’ve got a film that isn’t ever going to look like the more polished studio releases of the day. Making matters worse, it was released in the early ‘80s when nobody gave a shit about film preservation, focusing more on the future of video. But I digress since who in the hell is going to watch this version when they can watch the real thing in 3-D?!!
The 3-D on the Deluxe Edition DVD was a failed attempt for anyone without a large, preferably HD-viewing area. I watched it on a standard TV and it looked awful, giving me mostly a headache if not actual nausea. It has to do more with the size of the viewing area than anything else. With that said, watching the Blu-ray experience on a true HD television is a dream come true (yes, I’ve actually dreamed about seeing this in 3-D someday).
It’s one thing to watch popcorn and juggled apples coming at you, but it’s definitely something to write home about when you’ve got eyeballs, legs, and even a doobie in your lap. Every trick works, even the ones you didn’t notice the first time around (the antenna on the TV, the knitting needle through the mouth, blood dripping from the rafters). And when things aren’t being directly projected at the screen, you can sit back and marvel at the fact that every scene has been carefully constructed for maximum effect. Technical supervisor Martin Jay Sadoff makes sure there is always a foreground and a background present, resulting in the deep focus necessary to pull of the effect. Being an extreme enthusiast of the 3-D format, I find this title to be one of the very best examples in that every shot exploits the process perfectly.
As for the Audio portion of this release, we are given an upgrade of 5.1 Dolby TrueHD lossless audio that unfortunately, like the recent Blu-ray of Part 2, suffers in the sound FX department. Don’t worry, the dialogue and now-classic score sound great, especially when compared with the original English mono, but I can’t help but think more should have been done with the rear channels. This of course is the same soundtrack it had in the theaters and I usually wouldn’t want it any other way but in this instance, it would have been nice to have the sound be just as alive as the picture. It’s 3-D so throw some shit at my ears too! Whatever. I could seriously watch this thing without sound and still be in total awe. For purists, there is also its original English mono soundtrack, along with Spanish and French mono.
Now those that scooped up the previous Deluxe Edition DVD probably did so just to see the film in 3-D. And I’m pretty sure, unless you already had an HD monitor, this was more than a disappointment seeing that ‘Presented in 3-D’ was its only special feature. The Blu-ray makes up for it this time out by adding a nice little round of extras that, while being somewhat brief, only sweeten the pot. Along with its original trailer there is also: “Fresh Cuts:3-D Terror” (12:42) discussing the making of the film and the 3-D process, “Legacy of the Mask” (9:33) which details the origins of the iconic hockey mask, “Slasher Films: Going for the Jugular” (7:09) which has some of the most embarrassingly pretentious remarks about the genre ever made, and “Lost Tales from Camp Blood – Part 3” which in keeping precedence with the other parts, I scanned through (fan-made and I’m pretty sure my dead cat could do a better job).
Looks like a no-brainer folks. Trust me, if I could find a way to make my text jump out and throttle you into making this purchase, I would. We’ve waited 25 years to see this film the way it was intended and now we finally can thanks to the advances in technology. Hopefully the success of this 3-D release will usher in the rest of the early ‘80s titles that sit in the shadows, handicapped by weak 2-D transfers. In fact, the only thing that might possibly trump 3-D Jason is 3-D Bruce (Jaws III).
Holding breath now...