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Written by / 4/21/2014 / 1 Comment / , , ,

FRIDAY THE 13TH 3D FEATURES LARRY ZERNER

year: 1982
In the world of franchise sequels, the number three can be magical… or not...

"I can't go skinny dipping. I'm not skinny enough."
So let’s forget SUPERMAN or BACK TO THE FUTURE 3, which, despite their maligned reputations, weren't that awful, actually, but center on, before venturing to the subject at hand, a few third entries that really worked, like NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 3: DREAM WARRIORS, a sequel with an extremely corny title. In fact, years ago, as a stoned teenager, while half-enjoying the MONSTERS OF ROCK stadium concert that included Metallica, The Scorpions and Van Halen, the lead singer of Dokken, before breaking into the newest track, shouted: “You’re all Dream Warriors!”

Awesome F13D Artwork
A cringe-worthy moment for anyone listening, but the movie itself is pretty awesome as Freddy Krueger takes down a bevy of troubled, sleepless kids in a mental hospital… And another decent third is DEATH WISH 3, in which Charles Bronson goes from rogue vigilante to neighborhood watchdog with more ammunition than a third world army, and we can also mention ROCKY 3, IRON MAN 3 and… well let’s just get to the point already…

Steve Miner, who co-produced the first two groundbreaking flicks piloted by Sean S. Cunningham, stepped up to direct the third FRIDAY THE 13TH, and it’s a whole lot of fun. Lighter in tone yet still sticking with the body count camp counselor template, there’s an eclectic assortment of likable characters – not all fantastic actors but each has a distinguishable personality so their individual demise becomes that much more memorable, and meaningful…

Dana Kimmell surviving
Not everyone dies, though, and this is hardly a spoiler – we all realize at least one or two survive in each FRIDAY flick, and here it’s the lovely Dana Kimmel as Chris Higgens, a quiet girl contrasting with more confident and sexual gal pals. Although Chris herself is no prude. Her boyfriend Rick, played with stone-faced precision by Paul Kratka, makes the most of a literal role in the hay… The location being a farmhouse near the infamous Camp Blood where everything began...

Also included are an annoying pot-smoking married couple, a romantic duo, and a bullying biker gang, the latter who really deserve their painful deaths, but the real scene-stealer is a tubby red-haired young man named Shelly…

Larry Zerner, who is interviewed below, plays a practical joker that lives to scare the ladies… especially because he can’t get any of them in bed. In one scene he’s asked to join in on a skinny-dipping break, wherein Shelly replies: “I’m not skinny enough.” But what he lacks in confidence, he makes up for in cheap thrills...

Smokin' with Zerner
One ingredient in Shelly’s bag of tricks is… drum roll please... a hockey mask! In part 2, the first film where Jason Voorhees is the actual killer, the mud-trudging wraith wears sackcloth over his sinewy face…

So Zerner’s Shelly gave Jason his persona, which lasted many other films, reboots, and still remains an iconic fixture of the horror genre…

The 3-Dimensional gimmick aside, which, in those days, meant that objects were pointed or shoved at the screen so that audiences, wearing cheap colorful paper glasses, could move their heads back and moan, “Woah,” this is a sequel that didn’t have the blood-gushing exploitation factor of the first two entries, but played tongue-in-cheek so to not take itself too seriously and yet is still quite intense and formidable so the audience feels danger lurking… around… every… corner!

An Interview with Larry Zerner
THE FOLLOWING INTERVIEW WITH SUBLIMINAL HORROR FILM ICON LARRY ZERNER WAS TAKEN FROM A POST TRANSCRIBED LONG, LONG AGO, WHEN THE BLOG FIRST BEGAN, AND WAS MOVED HERE... SO FORGIVE ANY ANNOYING USE OF QUOTE-MARKS OR FADED PHOTOS, OR WHATEVER ELSE YOU WOULDN'T SEE IN OTHER MORE RECENT ENTRIES...

One night, in a place known as Hollywood, a young man named Larry Zerner was hired to pass out flyers for a new action film THE ROAD WARRIOR, the sequel to MAD MAX... Spotted by a casting agent for the upcoming third film in FRIDAY THE 13th franchise, Larry was asked to audition, and as destiny would have it he landed the role as "Shelly", the comic relief who wears disguises, including a HOCKEY MASK...

How did you feel getting the part in a movie and what did your friends think?

I thought it was great. It was my first film so it was a real surprise. My friends thought it was cool.

Did you have to learn to juggle for the film or did you already know how? About how long did you two have to juggle for that scene?

Night of the Jugglers
I was a pretty good juggler before I was cast in the movie. The script originally called for us to hit paddleballs, but that wasn’t working so they changed it to juggling because they knew I could do it. Jeffrey wasn’t as proficient as me, but we practiced and he did pretty well… The scene in the movie probably took half an hour of juggling, on and off.

When you first appear in the hockey mask, popping out of the lake to scare the girl – how many takes did you do for this? Was it cold in the water?

It was very cold in the water. We filmed that in March in the middle of the night so it was freezing. I think we did about three or four takes.

Where was Friday the 13th part 3 filmed? And how long did it take to film the whole movie?

The whole film took about 12 weeks. Most of the film (the house and cabin) was filmed at the Valzuet Movie Ranch in Sylmar. The liquor store is about 45 miles north of L.A. in Green Valley. Vera’s house is somewhere in Sylmar.

With Kevin O'Brien
Shelly has some classic lines – “I’m not going skinny dipping… I’m not skinny enough”, “Being a jerk is better than being a nothing”… Do any stand out as a personal favorite?

I’ll have to go with “I’m not an asshole, I’m an actor.” Now that I gave up show business for law I like to say “I’m not an actor, now I’m an asshole.”

Of all the actors/actresses, who did you hang out with most on the set?

Probably Tracie Savage, Jeffrey Rogers and David Katims hung out the most.

The Zerner knifed?
Did you have a crush on any of the actresses?

I had a big crush on Tracie and every day I would ask her to marry me (she never accepted).

Who did the special effects makeup and how was it working with this person?

Doug White did the makeup and did a great job. My death scene was the only SE makeup for me but it was a lot of fun putting the latex on and looking like my throat was cut. Then they ran balloons from my throat, out my back to some tubes full of blood so they could make the wound look like it was gurgling blood. Good times!

Nick Savage as Ali
When the biker, “Ali”, breaks the glass to the VW bug, did you get cut at all? How many takes for this scene?

No. If you watch the scene, you can see that they do it in pieces. First, Ali’s breaks the glass (and the camera is where we would be sitting). Then they filmed us from the side and just threw (candy) glass on top of us. So it’s not really dangerous at all.

An important purpose of your character Shelly was to provide a legendary hockey mask for a legendary villain – did you have any idea how important this would become?

Of course not. Who could know that the hockey mask would become an iconic symbol? I did know enough to ask them if I could keep the hockey mask. But they said they needed it. I should have stolen it; it would have been worth a fortune.

There is a long take when you are first introduced, getting out of the van and then walking up slowly, and then scaring your friends – was this difficult to do?

It was tough because it was one of the first things we shot and I was still getting used to the camera. That scene is probably my least favorite and I wish I could go back and do it again.

Zerner demise?
How was it working with the awesome cult director Steve Miner?

Steve was great. Of course at the time he wasn’t a cult director as he had only directed Part II. I ran into Steve a few months ago at the golf course and we spent a nice afternoon reminiscing. He had a lot of fond memories of the movie.

Was there a big opening night screening with you and the other actors? What did you think seeing yourself in 3D when you first saw the movie in theaters?

There was a cast and crew screening a week before the official opening (but I had seen a preview screening even before that). Seeing myself in 3-D was strange. You understand that it’s you on the screen, but it seems like someone else who just looks like you… As for opening night (Friday, August 13, 1982), I went with my friends to Westwood and saw the 8:00 show with a sold-out crowd. That was a lot of fun because the people were screaming at all the right moments.

With Nick Savage
You played dead twice… Is this harder than it looks?

I only had to pretend to be dead for about 10 seconds, so that’s not too hard. But I think I could have done a better job.

Prior to being cast in Friday the 13th, were you a fan of horror films (or of the Friday the 13th films)?

I was a big horror film fan before the film (but more a DAWN OF THE DEAD fan).

What part did you play in HADLEY'S REBELLION and what was the film about?

HADLEY'S REBELLION is a terrible movie starring Griffin O’Neal (Ryan’s son) who plays a high school wrestler. I played one of the other high school students and had about four lines in it. It’s not worth watching.

Has anyone ever confused you with a similar looking actor named Gary Springer who appeared in DOG DAY AFTERNOON and JAWS 2?

Not Larry Zerner
I certainly see a resemblance between me and him and once or twice people have asked me if I was in JAWS 2. I wonder what he looks like now.

Was acting something you wanted to continue doing?

I certainly would have continued if I could have. But some things are not meant to be.

You have since become a copyright lawyer – how did you get into this profession and what are some of your favorite aspects of the job?

Larry today
When acting wasn’t working out, I decided to go to law school and really enjoyed it. My practice is entirely entertainment law and my favorite part is representing writers whose scripts have been stolen. I represent a number of people in the horror movie industry such as Dan Farrands (writer of HALLOWEEN 6) and I was the production attorney for the new F13 documentary His Name was Jason which comes out February 3, 2009. If you’re interested in more information about my firm, visit http://www.ZernerLaw.com...

Would Shelly, if he lived, have been able to successfully sue Jason for the rights to the Hockey Mask which Jason stole from him?

Actually, Shelly couldn’t have sued Jason because even though he owned the hockey mask, he did not own the rights to the design of the mask.
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1 comment:

  1. I've never been a fan of 80's slasher porn such as the Friday the 13th and Halloween franchises, or the Nightmare on Elm Street movies...but Friday the 13th Part 3 came on cable tv just as I first got cable in my house in 1983, and since I had my own television in my room I had cable in my room as well. I watched the movie every single time it was on. I loved it! And I loved the Carrie-esque ending with the quiet calm in the boat on the lake. Great stuff.

    Great post.

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