Two versions of Friday the 13th Part 3 appear here. We get the original 3D presentation as well as a 2D representation. Both appear in the 2.35:1 ratio and both come with 16X9 enhancement on the single-sided, dual-layered disc.
The degraded presentation that comes with those blasted 3D glasses makes it more difficult than usual to rate the picture quality of the 3D Part 3 - so I didn’t. It just didn’t make sense for me to try to objectively rate a visual presentation that came with so many inherent flaws. The red/blue 3D glasses meant those hues dominated; anything not red or blue in the film showed up as a neutral tone. The technology used for this kind of 3D work simply made natural colors impossible.
The glasses also tended to negatively affect sharpness. Some parts of the 3D presentation showed decent delineation, but the nature of the material meant the shots occasionally provided double images and were somewhat blurry. It’s a flawed technology, so I didn’t want to saddle it with a grade.
Given the potential for the red/blue 3D format, I thought it looked fine within the restrictions of the transfer that will become more apparent when I discuss the 2D version. The 3D effects themselves worked fairly well. Though the gimmicky 3D shots seemed decent, the imagery fared best when it came to a general sense of depth. I thought the flick demonstrated a nice feeling of dimensionality when it came to the interaction of background and foreground elements. Sometimes the blurriness meant the 3D effects faltered, but that side of things was pretty good.
If you can suffer through potential side effects, that is. I must admit I didn’t watch all of the 3D Part 3 simply because the presentation gave me a pretty nasty headache before too long. All that blurriness and all the ugly colors just didn’t work for me, so I had to bail on the 3D edition.
That left me with the erratic 2D version. Sharpness came across as spotty but mostly positive. Some shots looked a bit soft and ill-defined, but these stayed in the minority. I believe that the 3-D process was responsible for some of these issues. But it didn’t matter much, as the film usually seemed nicely delineated and concise. I noticed no jagged edges or shimmering, and edge enhancement remained minimal.
Print flaws created inconsistent concerns. Grain looked heavier than usual, and a mix of spots, specks and marks popped up during the film. It also appeared that the cameras occasionally got dirty, as I sometimes saw small blemishes that seemed native to the original negative. The source defects didn’t become massive, but they were more prominent than during the first two movies.
Colors varied. The tones occasionally appeared moderately drab and dull, but the majority of the movie presented reasonably vivid hues. The outdoors shots looked best, as these presented nicely distinctive colors. Blacks were generally solid, though they could be somewhat inky, while shadows tended to come across as a bit dense. They weren’t terrible opaque, but they lacked great clarity. The image of Part 3 almost fell to “C+” levels, but I felt it presented enough strengths to land a “B-“. In any case, it offered the weakest visuals of the first three movies.
At least the Dolby Digital 5.1 remix of Part 3 proved to be more satisfying. Expect a track similar to what came with the first two Friday DVDs. The soundfield tended toward environmental elements. Unique surround information remained rare. I noticed a car that zipped to the right rear at one point, and a spear flew to the back channels as well. Otherwise, I felt the mix stayed with general atmosphere, and that aspect of track was pleasing. The effects seemed fairly believable, and the nice stereo music add pizzazz to the package.
Audio quality worked fine; Part 3 offered the best sound of the first three films. Speech was generally natural and clear, without edginess or other issues. Effects didn’t show great vivacity, but they seemed acceptably concise and accurate. Music fared nicely, as the score was bright and dynamic. The track wasn’t enough of an improvement over its predecessors to warrant a different grade, but it worked well.
How do the picture and sound of this 2009 disc compare to the 2004 release? Unfortunately, I was unable to directly compare the two; the version I reviewed in 2004 was available only as part of a boxed set called “From Crystal Lake to Manhattan”, and I gave it away years ago.
Based on my comments about the 2004 release, I get the impression that the two transfers look a lot alike. I hesitate to say that with certainty since I’ve not seen the 2004 version in a few years and I also took in the 2009 disc on a larger, more revealing TV. Nonetheless, I’d guess that both discs boast rather similar visuals.
I did rent the original Part 3 DVD from 1999 and thought that the new disc presented somewhat superior visuals. While the new one had problems, the old one was worse; it looked darker and was even dirtier. In terms of picture quality, the 2009 release offered a minor step up when compared to the original 1999 disc.
Of course, the 2009 disc came with one major presentation difference: it added the 3D version of the film. It’s exclusive to this release.
Another obvious change came from the audio of the 2009 DVD. It offered a new 5.1 remix, while the two prior discs went solely with the original monaural soundtrack. I had no problems with the 1982 mono mix, but I did rather like the new 5.1 edition. Since the 2009 disc provides both the mono and 5.1 tracks, it acts as an auditory “best of both worlds”.
In terms of extras, we only find one: the movie’s theatrical trailer. Actually, I counted the inclusion of both 2D and 3D versions of the flick as an “extra” too, but I’ve already discussed that side of things. Oddly, this disc drops the interesting audio commentary found on the 2004 Part 3 release; I have no idea why that track failed to reappear here.
Possibly the most witless and inane movie in the series, Friday the 13th Part 3 suffers from many problems. The film uses 3D effects to entertain rather than any form of storytelling or characters, so the flick never turns into anything positive. The DVD offers pretty average picture plus good audio. Except for the fact it presents both the 2D and 3D versions of the film, it comes with almost no extras. Watch Part 3 only to laugh at its incompetence; the movie doesn’t work in any other capacity.
To rate this film visit original review of FRIDAY THE 13TH, PART 3