Friday the 13th Part III is shockingly inept. Director Miner has a number of bad habits, some related to the film being done in 3-D, some just with how he composes the widescreen frame. Miner favors either action in the center of the frame or on the left. The right is unused. Miner’s shooting for pan and scan. But he also has enough interest to do a quick Psycho homage and a more elaborate one to the first Friday the 13th. So there was some ambition. At least twice.
But even if Miner were a better director, there’s still cinematographer Gerald Feil. Feil does an atrocious job. Sometimes, during the terribly lighted night scenes, it’s impossible to tell whether a shot is interior or exterior. The light doesn’t create anything. It barely even illuminates relevant action.
All of the acting is bad. Some of it is worse. Lead Dana Kimmell is real bad. Not as bad as Paul Kratka as her boyfriend, but still real bad. The rest of the cast isn’t much better. Catherine Parks and Tracie Savage probably give the best performances.
It takes the movie over a half hour to really get going and Miner never matches the care he gives the first suspense sequence (the first after the previous installment’s recap). Maybe most surprising is the lousy score from Harry Manfredini. He opens with a disco thing, then abandons it for a tired rehash score.
Beside that one opening suspense sequence, Part III’s total turkey.
Directed by Steve Miner; screenplay by Martin Kitrosser and Carol Watson, based on characters created by Victor Miller and Ron Kurz; director of photography, Gerald Feil; edited by George Hively; music by Harry Manfredini; produced by Frank Mancuso Jr.; released by Paramount Pictures.
Starring Dana Kimmell (Chris), Nick Savage (Ali), Paul Kratka (Rick), Rachel Howard (Chili), Larry Zerner (Shelly), David Katims (Chuck), Tracie Savage (Debbie), Jeffrey Rogers (Andy), Catherine Parks (Vera), Kevin O’Brien (Loco), Gloria Charles (Fox), Cheri Maugans (Edna) and Steve Susskind (Harold).