3D can be traced back to the 1890s when the first patent for the process was filed. It hit its heyday as a gimmick to lure people away from TVs and back into theaters in the 1950s with films like Bwana Devil and House of Wax. But 3D's changing. Gone are those funky glasses with red and blue lenses. Gone are titles like Comin' at Ya and almost gone are folks on screen pointing at the viewer. Instead, films such as Coraline and Up employ 3D simply as a means of enhancing their stories. But here's a list of films that exploited 3D for its fullest gimmicky potential by making their part 3's in 3D.
Teased as a "New dimension in terror," the film began with a recap of Part II presented in 2D (the studio even included a title card disclaimer informing viewers that the 3D didn't start immediately). This was the first film in the franchise to use 3D and to show Jason in the hockey mask. The film serves up perfect material for 3D with things like pitchforks, hot pokers, knives and gouged eyeballs – always a 3D favorite.
Completing the early 80s trifecta of part three 3D horror sequels is Amityville 3-D. It follows The Amityville Horror and Amityville II: The Possession but apparently isn't inspired by "real" events. To take advantage of the 3D there are pointless scenes involving a Frisbee thrown at the viewer and a pipe going through a car window.
The gimmick here was not only a part three in 3-D but also the novelty of putting the characters into a game world. Robert Rodriguez employed the HD/3-D process that still made use of traditional anaglyph projection and required the old school blue and red lenses. A bonus feature on the DVD includes a brief history of 3-D films.
The posters for this are even in 3-D with Scrat in the jaws of danger. The film marks the dawn of a new age in 3-D in that 20th Century Fox announced that beginning with Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs in 3-D, theaters will have to pay for the polarized glasses needed to watch the film. That has theater owners seeing red if not 3-D.
Okay, the part three in 3-D starts to get stretched a little. This is actually the third version of Night of the Living Dead as opposed to the third part in a franchise. It was promoted as "An all new dimension of the horror classic." That sounds familiar. Familiar too are the objects - pitchforks, guns, bullets, body parts - aimed at the viewer.
7. 'Killer Bikini Vampire Girls 3-D: A New Hope' (2007, Australia)This is an actual part three in 3-D but it's a short film that follows Return of the Killer Bikini Vampire Girls (2005) and Killer Bikini Vampire Girls Strike Back (2006). If you notice a Star Wars thing going, it's intended. And the 3-D might be in the title only on this micro-budgeted film.
You could call this a part three times two. If Jason went 3-D it was only a matter of time before Freddy would do the same, it just took him twice as long to get there. But Freddy could only muster his 3-D for the final twenty-odd minutes of the film. It's cued when the main character puts on a pair of special glasses – get it?
Part three of this series was supposed to be shot in 3-D and it even had a working title of Final Destination 3-D at one point, but the process was deemed too costly. Now it seems part 4 is willing to make the financial plunge…or else the cost of 3-D got cheaper. So prepare for yet another whole new dimension in horror or terror or things crashing through windows.