As much as I love checking out the new releases, one of my personal favourite highlights of any film festival is catching a nostalgic classic movie print on the big screen. Films in the cinema always look, sound and feel a thousand times more special, and it doesn’t matter how many times you have sat at home and watched them on your 50 inch plasma, nothing compares to the feeling of watching a flick you know and love so well the way it was intended to be seen and enjoyed. Classic movies were made to be viewed by big audiences on even bigger screens, and Horror films in particular with their jump scares, stabbing soundtracks and brutal death scenes provided movie theatre outings like no other!
If it was Mayhems challenge to deliver a unique, interactive and fun experience that captured the magic of a classic, old school horror movie cinema trip, then they passed with flying colours, even if those colours were reduced exclusively to just good old retro 3D style red and blue!
Its Friday night at the Broadway in Nottingham, Friday the 13th to be exact, and its pretty clear by the swarm of movie goers wearing classic horror movie poster print t-shirts that everyone is as ready to watch the big man Jason voorhees carve up teenagers on the cinema screen as I am, all but one person, Claudia Taylor.
Now, Claudia doesn’t like horror movies, Infact Claudia doesn’t like anything remotely scary, jumpy or suspenseful, so what better way to make my time at Mayhem even more eventful than bringing lovely Claudia Taylor along with me to watch Friday the 13th Part III in glorious 3D?!
Maybe its the fact Claudia had never watched this film before that I wanted to bring her, maybe its because I like to show people my favourite films so they understand my brain a little better, it could be that I like to watch the reactions of people seeing horror movies for the first time and seeing if they still scare as good now as they did back then… Maybe its because I am a little bit of a cunt?? who knows?! It’s probably all of these reasons to be honest, but all I know is that I take great enjoyment from bringing Claudia to watch horror films with me at the cinema, even if the jump scares have her hitting me in the face and knocking my drink all over me once in a while, small price to pay for the laughs I get out of watching her crawl as far back as she can into those broadway cinema seats.
Now if I am honest, I really didn’t think Friday the 13th part three was going to bother her that much and when I told her it was not scary, it really did come from the most sincere part of my heart, I told her it would be in 3D, in retro red and blue 3D, using technology that really would not hold up today as well as it did back then, so she had nothing to fear and I assured her that if anything it would just be a fun and entertaining throwback night and the perfect way to spend our Friday the 13th together. Needles to say I was very, very wrong…
Regardless of Claudia’s resentment of the macabre and horrific, it was great to see everyone else getting into the Friday the 13th spirit, its always gives me great pleasure to see other people who obviously enjoy these sick and twisted movies as much as I do, Friday the 13th is a calendar date pretty much celebrated exclusively by horror fans, and with those hardcore horror fans being so few and far between, it was awesome to see Mayhem bring so many of us together to enjoy it, and no better way to celebrate than watching the very chapter of the Friday the 13th franchise where Jason first attains his all so very iconic, and now symbolic hockey mask.
As always a quick intro was given by festival organises Steven Sheil and Chris Cooke only this time they were briefly joined by a crazed machete wielding bootleg version of Jason himself, like i said, everyone was fully into the Friday the 13th spirit. What followed was 90 minuets of retro 3D goodness. If you have seen Friday the 13th part three, you will have always noticed a large amount out of place scenes where objects, weapons and even animals jump and poke out towards the screen for what appears no reason at all, even as a kid I remember watching this movie and asking myself why this was happening. It was not until years later that I discovered that what I was looking at was actually the height of cutting edge 1980s 3D technology, or at least thats what they marketed it as at the time. There was a brief trend back then of making the 3rd instalments of franchises in 3D, and movies Jaws 3D and Amityville 3D where created to try and keep movie sequels fresh and draw in more numbers at the box office.
Now I am not going to lie, this is a technology that as promised to Claudia, does not hold up well today, something that honestly pains me to admit as I love keeping alive old school methods like this, however that took nothing away from the overall viewing experience, and I couldn’t think of many better ways to spend my Friday the 13th than at Mayhem, watching Friday the 13th part three in 3D surrounded by an audience, who due to the laughs and cheers must obviously have just as much love for this franchise as i do.
I am not going to review the movie play for play, that would be pointless, there are so many much better writers with pieces on the film already online that will have picked apart this movie in way more detail than I ever could, and if you are reading this you have probably seen part three and all the others in the Friday the 13th franchise at least a couple of hundred times. You will also probably already be well aware of the scenes with the snake lunging out of the rabbit hutch, the old man asleep on the road with the bulls eye, the spear gun firing towards camera and the eyeball popping head squeeze scene, that are all very memorable and only made slightly more realistic with this retro 3d Technology in place.
We were also warned before hand by Steven and Chris that it’s not uncommon to feel a bit of a headache when watching films using this outdated method, and that we would not be judged for taking breaks from wearing our 3D glasses at any point during the show. However even with all this in mind, the chance to view the film in this way was something I personally embraced completely from start to finish, coming from a guy that wishes he forever lived in the 1980s, being able to experience this movie in the way it was intended was an absolute treat, and watching my favourite of the horror slashers Jason Voorhees hack his way through an ensemble of teenage victims in a sort of muddy, blurry, feverish double vision just made the whole evening even better.
Like I mentioned earlier, regardless of all of these factors, Claudia still thought the whole thing was nothing short of terrifying, but again this just made the entire night all the more amusing, its great seeing a horror movie this old still frighten somebody so much 30+ years later, even if this meant having to watch the last half of the movie piss wet through by own drink from Claudia’s consistent jumps, screams and flailing.
Thank you Mayhem, best Friday the 13th ever!
Words by Theo Cane
Insta – @theo_cane_slimehouse_tv
Twitter – @theo_cane