Mama said knock you out
- L.L. Cool J
And so my Friday the 13th marathon review continues. Moving right along to the first sequel in the F13 series, Friday the 13th Part 2.
Many people think the franchise started with the first Friday the 13th, but really, I think it started with this one. After all, this is the first movie where we have the one and only Jason as the killer. Also some of the "kill setup clichés" are now neatly put into place for inclusion in the future movies. Do you have sex or are you even thinking about having sex? You die. Jason HATES when you do that, even more than as his Mom did. Skinny dipping? Automatic death. Are you a completely forgettable character who doesn't really do anything at all? Dead, dead, deadski. Are you a good likeable girl with smarts and a lot of dialogue? Congrats, you just might live. However, if you're the boyfriend/love interest of the likable girl, it's a toss-up.
In F13 - Part 2, we get a new set of kids that differ only slightly from the old set of kids. The main character is Ginny (Amy Steel) who is dating the head counselor Paul and plays the role of the Final Girl. We've got the obligatory standard-issue horny couple. We also get a guy in a wheelchair, a girl crazy about the guy in a wheelchair, a girl who doesn't seem to own a bra and the guy crazy for the girl who doesn't seem to own a bra. So, yeah, it's a good group. What what about the plot, you ask? Really I can't say much about the plot because there really isn't one. They come to set up the camp, they die. That's really all there is too it. But let's talk Jason!
This Jason looks a little different from the one we all know and fear now. No mask, instead he wears a pillow case with one eye cut out (the hockey mask doesn't come into play until the next installment.) But he's still Jason and he's killing kids in the woods who do things that kids in the woods do. All while wearing overalls, a flannel shirt and a big burlap bag covering his face. This is the Mountain Man version of Jason and he's fun to watch. He's an interesting character on his own.
The movie works pretty well on it's own too and contains some clever foreshadowing . Like Ginny pulling up in her car which we can see isn't work well ("My car's sick!" she exclaims), so when it inevitably doesn't start during the chase sequence, it's not much of a contrivance. Also we know that Ginny is studying child psychology, so her trying to trick/disorient Jason is kind of a cool little scene. I mean, Jason never really grew up did he? He's got the heart and mind of a child. And he probably keeps them buried somewhere on the campgrounds.
But for all the clever moments, there were a few things that didn't really sit well with me. For example, one of the kids, Ted, is set up at the beginning as a prankster and a main character. First of all, the character isn't really that far from "Ned" who in the first one was the prankster. But second of all, the last we see him is at a bar. We don't know what happened to him, he's never shown leaving the bar, and probably never gets killed. In essence, why have the character if you're not going to let him die? Or does he survive the night? We never find out.
Also, the ending. Like the first one, it involves Jason attacking the hapless heroine through a neat jump scare (this time by bursting through a window.) But the next time we see her, she's survived and is on a stretcher(?). She's also asking "Where's Paul?" which is a pretty good question since we don't know what the hell happened to her boyfriend. Or Ted. Or those other nameless counselors who went to the bar earlier. Was it a dream? Did she somehow survive the jump attack? And what about Muffins the dog? Oh for Gods sake, what happened to Muffins the dog!
I asked in the IMDB horror section what horror fans thought was the worst and the best F13, and this came up quite a bit as people's favorite. I have to admit, I enjoyed it for what it was, which is exactly what the first one was, which is a nifty little slasher. Nothing more, nothing less.
SIDENOTE: There seems to be a lot of confusion as to who actually played Jason in this movie. In the credits, it's stated that the role is played by Warrington Gillette. However, about a week and half into shooting Gillette was replaced by stuntman Steve Daskawicz because Gillette was refusing to do the stunts. Many F13 fans were unaware of this as Gillette was attending horror conventions as THE Jason in the movie, even though he only did one scene. However, a few diehards figured it out and contacted Steve who was upset that Warrington was taking credit for the rest of the picture. Gillette explained it away to Steve saying that he had been in a skiing accident and had lost some of his memory, but Steve, a retired New York cop, isn't buying it. Neither am I.
Favorite Moments (may contain spoilers):
- The murder of Crazy Ralph. Hey, there really WAS a death curse!
- Mousy Vickie practically dry humping the useless legs of the wheelchair-bound Mark. Then putting on a normal pair of panties and an over-sized high neck velor sweater to seduce him. Down girl, DOWN!
- Ginny putting on Mom's old sweater and trying to trick Jason into thinking Mommy is talking to him.
- The final reveal of Mountain Man Jason bursting through the window
- Tape was placed under Steve Daskawicz's eye to hold the pillow case in place so he could see better, however, it had the unfortunate effect of tearing the skin around his eyelids.
- Adrienne King (Alice) returned for the sequel but didn't want to appear onscreen too long due to threats she was receiving from a stalker.
- Most of the "double impalement kill" scene had to be cut to avoid an "X" rating.
- In F13 Part 3, Steve Daskawicz (also known as Steve Dash) is credited in the flashback footage.