With "Friday the 13th - Part 3," we find not only the filmmakers repeating themselves but to a certain extent the composers as well. When you look at La La Land Records' track listing on the third soundtrack of the long-running franchise, you will find that most of the music is lifted partially or fully from parts "1" and "2." This was because original composer Harry Manfredini was unavailable -- he was extremely busy with a Broadway musical he was working on at the time. However, he was able to put together a few pieces of music that keep this particular soundtrack from simply being more of the same.
Actually, of all the "Friday the 13th" soundtracks, this was the one I looked forward to the most. Much of my excitement was due to it containing one of my guiltiest pleasures in film music: the "oddball disco-esque" main title. It's so deliberately cheesy while attempting to sound cool and emphasize that this sequel was being shown in 3D, back when it was all the rage. To me, the tune sounds like something you would have heard in an '80s aerobics class; I can just picture women in tight leotards working out to it in unison. Some may have found the title track alienating, but I get a kick out of listening to it constantly.
In his liner notes, Brian Satterwhite discusses how "Part 3's" director, Steve Miner, did manage to get Manfredini to commission a few cues for the film, such as the opening scene, some music in the middle, and the conclusion, which sees Jason killed for the first (but not the last) time. As for the main title, it is one of the few things in the "Friday the 13th" franchise that Manfredini didn't compose himself. That honor goes to Michael Zager, who was encouraged to do a "quasi-dance piece" for the opening credits. The thought was that since this sequel was in 3D, it was expected to be "fun in a horror sense."
The third installment's soundtrack certainly does benefit from the advanced musical technology of the time: Manfredini utilized the new synthesizers that were coming out in the '80s, and they played a large part in the music for this sequel. Certain cues sound much scarier here, even if they were derived from previous music from the other films. It indeed makes the music as unpredictable as the scares -- you never quite know when Manfredini's score is going to leap out at you.
So even though the "Part 3" soundtrack is largely assembled from used parts, they still work to create an unnerving film score which will make your hair stand on end. It's almost worth buying just for Zager's goofy main/end credits music, which puts a smile on my face even if it's for the wrong reasons. As with the other soundtracks for the first two films, La La Land Records has succeeded in making it sound better than ever!
Brian Satterwhite, "A Case of Triskaidekaphilia: The Movies, Music and Mayhem of Friday The 13th," "Friday The 13th" Limited Edition Box Set, La La Land Records, 2012.
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- Arts & Entertainment
- Harry Manfredini
- La La Land Records