Friday, October 13, 2023

QUICK SHOTS: Friday the 13th Part 3: 3-D by Micheal Avallone

For those who are going to read this in the future just have it known that I timed something out right in life and got this review of a FRIDAY THE 13TH film done and out on...dun, Dun, DUN...Friday the 13th. Hold your applause. This is ground zero for Jason Vorhees in the written word, which is a little surprising to me since the novelized just about everything back in the day. I've covered a few of the YA novels here but this is the first grown-up Jason novel I've read.

This one's got a bit of bad reputation within the Friday fans, most of them don't seem to think my man Avallone got the tone right of a Friday film. And, yeah, they are probably right. This is exactly the reason why I LOVED this book. I'd imagine that most fans of the movies had never read one of Avallone's works before (they're missing out) and they don't quite understand what Avallone puts down when he writes a book. 

You have to look at this way, over coffee or a beer Michael Avallone tells you the story of FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 3 3-D and he tells it to you in HIS voice, with little asides, mind wanderings and also probably sticking his finger out almost directly in your eye during the 3-D parts. He doesn't resort to just a bland retelling of a screenplay in a different form, he spins a Michael Avallone yarn with the screenplay as a jumping off point. 

Case in point: the novel starts off with a quote from THE SATAN SLUETH! Avallone's sadly too short series about Phillip St. George III who battles the occult and other monstrosities, a little like SCOOBY-DOO for adults who like whiskey and cigarettes. So, The Satan Sleuth is cannon for Jason to fight now? Where's that book? This sort of thing is fairly common in Avallone's work, his best-known character that loveable private eye Ed Noon shows up in The Butcher when Avallone was writing them too. It's part of why I love his work, but I'd bet it flew over the heads of the kids and teenagers who only wanted to read about dismemberment then and now. 

Now, I also LOVE the FRIDAY THE 13TH movies. For my money they are the sturdiest, meat and potatoes slasher pictures of the 80s. They sort of blend together in my mind sometimes, but I don't think they ever sink to the lows of some of the entries in the other slasher franchises of the time. Having just participated in a podcast where we watched every HALLOWEEN movie from the original to the 2nd Rob Zombie film, I can tell you the highs might be higher with HALLOWEEN, but the lows are much, much lower.

The novelization follows the movie pretty closely, though there are difference since Avallone was working off of an earlier script. Some kids come to Crystal Lake to stay for the weekend, but uh-oh Jason is there. Part 3 is the one where Jason finally gets his hockey mask and were everything is right in the world. Buts it's a "faceless white mask" in the book, still better than a burlap sack. It's slice and dice, and crush and stab past that. Avallone breezes through the book and seemingly had a good time with it. Even though I doubt slashers where his thing. Having read some of his other works in the horror genre like THE COFFIN THINGS and his work in the gothics, he was more traditional in his horror taste I mean he did ghost write for Boris Karloff after all. 

Michael Avallone is one of my favorite writers, I can't seem to dislike a book of his so I'm biased but if you go in with the right mindset, I think it'll be a good time for the reader. Problem is this, like every 80's slasher franchise novel is ridiculously hard to come by and very expensive when you do. Being an Avallone fan this was a my "white whale" for quite a while before I bite the bullet and scooped it up for around $50 which wasn't the worst deal sadly. I'm glad I did though. Sometimes in collecting you have to open your wallet to make the itch go away.

Oh, and no, no parts of this book required 3-D glasses. 


  1. I can tell you that he kind of dreaded doing this one, and we both read the script and were... not crazy about it. But he was a pro, and within a few hours of starting out he was excited by it and enjoying himself, as he always did. Thanks for the kind words. (David Avallone)

    1. Thanks for the background info, it definitely reads like he had a good time writing it. I'll always try to spread the good word about his work!