Top 5 Bronze Medals (otherwise known as the best Part 3’s)

Friday the 13th Part 3D

Now here’s a challenge, good part 3’s of a movie franchise. Firstly lets clear up what exactly ‘good’ means here. Good means not as good as 1, but maybe better than 2, well at least it had something that makes it stand out; like extra chillies in your curry, you’ll remember it even if it turns out not to be the best idea you ever had.

5. Mimic 3: Sentinel (2003): Granted this is an odd choice, but I wanted to get a modern one in here. I enjoyed it, in fact I have a soft spot for the three Mimic films in general, they each have a good visual quality to them and importantly a great monster in the form of the shape shifting ‘Judas Breed’. What I liked about Mimic 3 was its attempt to do something different. In this case we get giant bugs and a (believe it or not) Rear Window (1954) impersonation, all be it a weak one. Like RW most of the film is viewed from an apartment window looking out into the neighbourhood and, in this case, murderous bugs rather than murderous Raymond Burr. I thought it was a novel if rather pastiche approach for our lead (Marvin) to be looking out onto the horror world rather than being out there in it. I’m sure many will hate the Rear Window parody, take it or leave it. The reason given for Marvin’s confinement to the apartment is a nice little link to part 1.

4. Alien3 (1992): The third Alien film is messed up for sure, it changed writers and directors several times and began shooting without a completed script. The final script has so many conflicting creative inputs from the previous directors, writers, and producers who all took a stab at it, that it just came out as (like a chest burster) a bloody mess. Did you know originally it was meant to be set on a man-made wooden moon inhabited by space monks? Monks!? Hence the bald heads. Any who, the film is still decent, very dark in places, with some memorable moments – remember what a big media event it was when Sigourney appeared with her shaven head?

3. Psycho 3 (1986): No one knows Norman Bates better than Anthony Perkins. His scenes in the parlour in Psycho (1960) make up some of my favourite film moments of all time. In this third outing for cinemas favourite matricidal maniac Perkins takes up both starring role and the director reigns, usually a recipe for disaster. But here Perkins manages to nail Norman’s inner turmoil and battle against the ‘mother side’ with aplomb. So much so we almost feel sorry for him all over again.., almost. Perkins also adds some, dare I say it, Hitchcockian touches of delightfully morbid humour.

2. A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 3, Dream Warriors (1987): One of the best things you can say about Part 2 is that it isn’t Part 3, and that’s a credit to director Chuck Russell as improving franchises isn’t easy. Nightmare 2 was a bit of a homoerotic indulgence which didn’t really satisfy as part of the franchise or a standalone horror film (although I do really like the opening school bus dream sequence). So Nightmare 3 takes a massive stride in the right direction by reuniting Freddy and Nancy as well as brining back John Saxon’s Lt Thompson. The teens (headed by a debuting Patricia Arquette) are far more loveable than most 80s McVictims which stops non-Freddy time from being down time. There’s some good deaths, some surprising deaths, and Laurence Fishburne.

1. Friday 13th Part 3-D (1982): Stick with me on this one. Yes this is crap movie with an extra helping of poop, but it has one redeeming feature.., hilarious 1980s 3D. If you can get hold of the recent rereleases of the Friday series you can now see this in its original theatrical red and blue 3D format (Region 1 only I believe). All the stops are pulled out here for 3D gags; a baseball bat swinging out at you, a popping eyeball, rats and snakes pouncing out towards you, a clothesline pole (yes clothesline pole!) sticking out, and of course the old yo-yo trick. Not to mention when Jason gets all 3D stabby. The 3D gags are done with a real sense of tongue-firmly-in-cheek, which makes this a rather endearing experience (although you will get a severe headache if you don’t give your eyes a half time break). Friday 3 is also a seminal moment for all horror fans; you not only get to see the first time Jason appears in his iconic hockey mask, but you also get the last time (thank god) he appears in a rather fetching pair of beige chinos. And that’s why Friday 3 is my Number 1 Bronze Medal.

Remember this rhyme from school; First’s the worst, second’s the best, third’s the one with the hairy chest? Well if you like hairy chests then check out these other hairy beasts: The Creature Walks Among Us (1956), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3 (1990), The Exorcist 3 (1990), Critters 3 (1991), and Jurassic Park 3 (2001).

Oh man soon I’ll have to do a Top 5 best Part 4’s, is that even possible?

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