The Continuity Issues Of Jason Voorhees' Appearance Between Part 2 And Part 3

Detractors of the Friday The 13th franchise point to the lack of continuity between films as one of many flaws that warrant negative consideration for the films. Some of the continuity errors are minimal and present no glaring problems for the films themselves. With that being said, one topic that always shines a bad light on the continuity of the films is Jason's appearance between Friday The 13th Part 2 and Friday The 13th Part 3.

The majority of continuity errors exist in the franchise because of the trial by fire approach that the filmmakers were immersed in while trying to make sense of the juggernaut franchise they had created, but not yet understood. That led to a wholesale change in Jason's appearance for Part 3 from a backwoods hermit to a more polished looking and imposing killer for the mainstream audience. Changing Jason's look included dispatching of the flannel shirt and coveralls while attaining a more recognizable mask that the audience would associate the character with for years to come. In implementing this change, many fans were left confused and debate Jason's appearance within Part 3 and the timeline of the first few films.

At the end of Friday The 13th Part 2, Jason is shown to have a beard along with lots of long flowing hair as he attacks Ginny through the window with a machete embedded in this shoulder. Many fans perceive this act as reality, but were confused by the following scene in the film as Ginny is taken away in the ambulance. How did she survive? Friday The 13th Part 3 clears up this confusion in the opening of the film by showing Jason removing the machete from his shoulder while still laying in his shack and then sliding away. This shows that Jason never attacked Ginny and was on his way to evading the authorities.

After the opening credits of Part 3, the film descends on the the business of Harold and Edna Hockett where laundry is being hung out to dry. Fans have debated for years why Jason was actually at the Hockett's store in the first place. Well, he was there for a fresh pair of clothes of course! (This served two purposes; one, for story to show Jason needed to change his clothing for appearance to avoid authorities and two, to get Jason looking more like a mainstream character for audiences). Jason is actually shown walking by the hanging clothes still wearing his flannel shirt and coveralls from Part 2 in one shot and in the next shot a pair of Harold's pants and shirt are missing from the line.

Perhaps this clears up some of the perceived continuity errors some of our readers may have had over the years, but one error is not so easily explained, and that is Jason's appearance in Chris Higgins' flashback scene of her attack by the hulking character. In Part 3, Chris and her friends are returning to her family's lake residence Higgins Haven where Jason is inadvertently hiding out form the aftermath of Part 2. The back-story of Chris is explained that she was attacked by Jason some time ago while resting in the woods after an argument with her parents. The flashback shows Jason attack Chris with a knife, but he is wearing his newly acquired clothing from the Hockett's store. Why would he be wearing these clothes from months ago when he just took them to wear the day before?

The simple answer is the filmmakers plain messed up. What's even more frustrating about this fact is that they had Richard Brooker wearing the clothing from Part 2 in the opening scenes of Part 3 multiple times and could have easily had him in the backwoods hermit costume again for Chris' flashback attack scene.

As mentioned before, Friday The 13th films were a burgeoning franchise in the early 1980's and things were happening at a fever pace. Sometimes things were missed and time and budget didn't allow for some continuity errors to be fixed. What are your thoughts on these continuity issues and does my explanation on certain subjects make sense to explain away some of the misconceptions of these earlier films?