Ah, the things that could’ve been.
Friday the 13 part III, the 1982 follow up to Friday the 13th part II, maintained the classic camp slasher vibe of the popular horror franchise by confining the murderous Jason Voorhees and his numerous teenage victims to Camp Crystal Lake. Keeping up with the tradition established by the two previous films, Part III introduced an entirely new cast of victims and a new Final Girl in Chris Higgins (Dana Kimmell), who once encountered Jason as a child. Ginny Field (Amy Steel), the only survivor from the previous film, is relegated to a mere cameo of being lifted in an ambulance as she’s taken to the hospital, traumatized after her bloody encounter with Jason. However, Friday the 13th Part III was originally a very different film that saw Jason stalking Ginny in an psychiatric hospital.
In interviews featured in the documentary Camp Crystal Lake Memories which explores the in-depth history of making the Friday the 13th franchise, Steel reveals that Part III originally had her as the leading Final Girl who encounters Jason a second time and must once again fight for her life. “Part III was going to have me as a trauma patient at a mental hospital and that Jason was going to come and find me and now his focus of revenge was all on me,” Steel said.
In his bloody quest for vengenace against the young woman who nearly killed him and pretended to be his mother, Jason would have killed every patient and nurse who got in his way. Steel joked that it was going to be Friday the 13th meets Cuckoo’s Nest. As cool as it would have been to see Jason going head to head with a Nurse Ratched type character while Ginny uses her background in psychiatry to her advantage, it would have felt too much like 1981’s Halloween II, which featured the hulking Michael Myers stalking Lori Strode and murdering the patients and staff at a hospital in Haddonfield.
Still, having Ginny return in a starring role would have been a treat, as she is one of the bravest and most resourceful of all the Friday the 13th heroines. Steel admits that she considered the role but turned it down to her busy schedule and commitment to other projects at the time and at the advice of her agents. “They really wanted me for Part III. They didn’t have a script, but they were just going to show me some sort of outline. Then my agents got involved, and I don’t know if it was a money issue or a script issue, but I didn’t do it.”
“But in hindsight,” she said, “I should’ve just done it and had a great time.”
Camp Crystal Lake Memories is currently streaming on Shudder. Check out my website for all things horror and pop culture and stay nerdy!