No life was in his eyes
He had a look so hard
I'd never seen him smile
- Pseudo Echo
So after a brief reprieve due to real world obligations and a much needed vacation, I have stumbled on to the fifth installment of the Friday the 13th series, the oft-maligned Part 5: A New Beginning.
Now it's maligned for a reason and I'm going to give this reason away in the review because frankly, it's a really good reason to hate the movie BUT..apart from that, I didn't hate this movie. In fact, I kind of liked it.
The movie starts off with the a dream sequence featuring Tommy Jarvis (Corey Feldman) which leads to the adult Tommy on his way to a halfway house. Apparently the events from the last movie put Tommy in a mental hospital (and have made his eyes turn blue from Corey's dark brown for some reason) but he's now well enough to go into a group home. There he meets the other "kids" which include the sort of characters we've all come to know in these movies, and of course, Jason. Which really isn't Jason. Which is why fans really seem to hate this movie too much.
I liked the idea of the halfway house. You get a good assortment of damaged teens and it's a good way to isolate them from the outside world. Also they're likeable so you don't particularly will them to die, except for maybe Tommy whose acting is so bland, you forget about him in favor of the more colorful characters. The issue is all the other characters that infiltrate this movie that have absolutely nothing to do with anything. There's a little kid who is the grandson of the cook at the house, his brother who lives in a van with his girlfriend, the sheriff and a guy who I guess is the mayor who yells at the sheriff, a repulsive Mom and her equally repulsive redneck son. A couple of greasers whose car breaks down...
Gah, just top with the characters! Stop! If they had kept it to the main characters, the movie would have worked a lot better. And then there's the whole "not really Jason" thing. I'm giving away spoilers because, seriously, it's disappointing.
So, we are led to believe the killer is Jason who rarely appears onscreen, but there are all sorts of red herrings to try and convince us otherwise. There's Tommy, who's damaged goods and has "visions" of Jason from time to time, there's a mysterious drifter who appears out of nowhere (yet ANOTHER unnecessary character), there's one of the "kids" in the halfway house who kills a fat teen so pathetic that Shelly from F13 Part 3 would have snubbed him, there's the rednecks who have threatened to kill the teens for getting on their property. None of these lead anywhere.
So who was the killer? Well if it was Jason this could have been one of the better F13 movies. But...
It was Roy. Yes I'm giving away the ending. It was Roy. So, who was Roy? Roy was the ambulance driver in the beginning of the movie who picked up the dead fat teen who was killed at the house. Apparently, he was the father of the teen, never let on to that fact, and killed the kids in the halfway house as revenge. And he killed a whole slew of other characters for no reason. It's Roy, the character we knew nothing about who did absolutely nothing and was onscreen for a minute and a half at most.
Yes, that's why fans hate this movie and yes, that was the STUPIDEST ending of all the movies. But despite Roy, the rest of the movie isn't completely terrible. The deaths are somewhat creative and the effects are well done. The kids are actually pretty good actors, the halfway house setting works well. It all could have come together except it didn't. Ah well, on to the next one.
Favorite Moments (may contain spoilers):
- Demon (Miguel A. Nunez Jr.) and his girlfriend's strangely touching outhouse duet.
- Poor stuttering Jake attempting to hit on pretty girl Robin and failing. Miserably.
- Punk-girl Violet's new wave dance to the song "His Eyes" by Pseudo Echo, a song which has found it's way onto my iPod and is now one of my favorite songs in the world.
- Teeny woman Pam wielding a gigantic chainsaw at Jason and holding her own against him, until it unfortunately goes out at a critical moment.
- The producers auditioned Debi Sue Voorhees (Tina) after they saw her last name in their photo pile.
- Violet's death was supposed to much more graphic, as she was split in two from her nether regions. Sadly the MPAA would not allow it and in the film she just gets stabbed normally.
- Stuntman Ted White was asked to reprise his role as Jason from Part 4 but turned it down saying "Once was enough."
- Imposter Jason is differentiated from real Jason by the colors on his mask. Roy's mask has blue stripes, while the real Jason's are red.
Agree? Disagree? Or just have a random string of curse words you'd like to share? Comment!