The more you live
The faster you will die
- After the Fire
And so I trod on through the deep, dark, woods with my Friday the 13th Marathon review canon-style. This time around we meet Jason yet again in the ever-increasingly ill-named Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter. And, surprise. It ain't half bad.
We begin with pretty Final Girl Trish Jarvis who lives a quiet, idyllic life in an isolated wooded area with her pretty blonde Mom and little kid brother Tommy. Quiet, that is, until the house next door fills up with meat for the beast, I mean -"kids" who just wanna party and have a good time (one of whom, a young Crispin Glover who's hilarious). Along the way, we get a few more characters thrown at us including some Brit twins (one of whom is a "slut") and a hunky hunter named Rob who ain't scouting for bears. And of course, Jason.
This one is a fan favorite and with good reason. It's apparent that, unlike many of theses movies, the writers, director and even the 'dead teen' actors actually gave a damn and tried to make a good movie. Also this is one slasher flick where all the characters are interesting with actual traits and personalities. Of special note is Corey Feldman who is cute and believable as young Tommy. I know, I know, it's Corey Feldman. But he was still a kid and I can't begrudge him here. He's actually quite good.
It's also pretty cool how they handled Jason who for the most part, is kind of kept in the shadows until the very end. Oh he kills people. He kills a TON of people. But generally what you see is the victim being slaughtered by someone unseen. You may see a hand, you see the victim, you see the implement of destruction but you don't see much of Jason and that adds a level of 'scary' that's usually lacking in F13 films. Oh, and as y'all know, Jason keeps his the hockey mask from the third movie. Thanks for that Shelly from Part 3! We hardly knew ye.
True, the movie has some issues. It's hardly suspenseful since we can tell the kids exist just to be slaughtered. Also Jason's unmasked face at the end is more than a little goofy. In fact his "death" scene looks far too animatronic to be taken seriously, complete with rolling eyeball and unnatural rubbery face movements which kind of take away from any real terror. Also the movie had a great idea in Tommy Jarvis and his complete melt-down in the end which could have indicated the birth of a new killer, but in the remaining movies in the franchise that idea goes bye-bye.
But you can't blame this movie for what happened in future Friday the 13th films and and Part 4 was a step in the right direction for the franchise. Sadly I think that things will take a turn for the worse as I make my way throught the rest of them.
NOTE: This movie may mark the first time that Jason actually saved a life, well, indirectly. Judie Aronson, who played the skinny dipping Samantha had to film her death scene on a raft and was left floating for several hours in 20 degree temperatures. After a while the poor girl begged to come in to warm up as she was quite literally turning blue. Director Joseph Zito refused until actor Ted White (Jason) said he would not film another scene until Judie was brought in. Zito gave in and Judie ended up in the hospital with hypothermia. Go Jason!
Favorite Moments (may contain spoilers):
- Crispin Glover and the most dweebish spazz dance ever.
- Ted stoned and watching Victorian porn. Silly.
- The dog crashing through the window for absolutely no reason. Was he thrown by Jason? Was he just scared? Did he want to end it all because he had been forced to live with Corey Feldman? We never find out but it just looks so. damn. cool.
- Tommy Jarvis going all medieval on Jason's body after Jason is (presumably) dead. Whoa.
- Ted White found Corey Feldman to be so obnoxious he admitted that during the scenes where he was to attack him, he wished he really could.
- During the scene where Ted gets stoned, actor Lawrence Monoson decided to actually smoke pot before filming to get into character. He later admitted it was a big mistake as pot made him really "paranoid" and he had trouble acting in the scene.
- The movie takes place on Sunday the 15th, the day after the Part 3 and two days after Part 2.
- Corey Feldman's parents did not want him to shave his head for the movie as television pilot season was coming up, so the director used a stand-in for Corey, a child actor who actually DID shave his head specifically for filming.
Agree? Disagree? Or just have a random string of curse words you'd like to share? Comment!