FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE, so beware yon spoilers!

Oct 15, 2005

Part VI- Jason Lives
Just so you know, this 1986 effort is not to be confused with Jason's 1976 double live album, Jason Comes Alive!.

Tommy Jarvis and Arnold Horshack escape from a lunatic asylum so Tommy can...uh...dig up Jason's corpse and cremate it, just to make sure he's really dead this time. Once they open the coffin, Tommy flips out and stabs Jason through the chest with metal bar from the cemetery gate. Lightning strikes the bar- twice- and, just like Ben Franklin predicted, Jason is resurrected. Now he's nigh indestructible! He's all grey colored and worm covered and he just can't be stopped anymore. Way to go, Tommy.

I liked the Tommy of Part V better, actually. He was a quiet, a bit of a psychopath himself, given to fits of rage. Here, he's just a cute guy who's misunderstood by the mean old local sheriff. That's OK- during Jason's rampage at Camp Crystal Lake (oh, excuse me- Camp Forest Green, now) the sheriff will get his! Jason racks up a big body count of 18 this time.

These movies are getting boring...the characters are strictly Jason fodder now. Alot of people have no reason to even be in the area (like the couple in the woods, at night, celebrating their engagement over champagne...?) besides to add to the body count. There's no style, no atmosphere. And the jokes are getting ludicrous, as well- there's so much overt humor this could almost be classified "horror/comedy". Even Jason hams it up quite a bit here. Thank Jeebus he doesn't speak, or I fear we'd have another Freddy Krueger on our hands. This entry marks the first appearance of actual campers- yes, gasp, children. While it could've lent an interesting new element to the series, the kids just scream on occasion and call each other "dude".

At the end, Tommy has padlocked a huge chain around Jason's neck, the other end of the chain to a big rock, and both Jason and rock are at the bottom of Crystal Lake. "It's over," says Tommy, "It's finally over.". Dammit, he lied! Why did you lie to me, Tommy? There's 5 more movies to go! 5! Mommy, make it stop!

Oh, and no exploding credits, much to my dismay. This movie had the "Jason as Agent 007" opening credits. Funny, yes, but it sets the tone for the movie as less-than-scary. Jason had firmly passed into icon territory at this point. Sigh. Tip #1 for making a horror movie: if you want it to have any atmosphere, or be the least bit scary, treat your subject matter seriously.

How can there still be 5 movies left? HOW?! I feel tears coming on.


Matt Farkas said...

Along with the self-conscious humor, the other major clue that the series had become too big for it's britches at this point as a mainstream major-studio cash-cow is that it's the first F13 that is completely boob-free.

In fairness, I do think director Tom McLoughlin keeps the the film well-paced, and it's certainly an improvement over Part V, but really - who even wants a slicker, cleaner, more socially-acceptable Friday the 13th film? Oh, that's right - the heads at Paramount do!

Christopher said...

One thing you didn't mention: "He's Back (The Man Behind The Mask)" by Alice Cooper for this movie might be the single greatest rock song ever done specifically for a slasher film. That song ROCKS, and it has a pretty kicky video, too. (Yes, I said, "kicky") Shoulda put Alice in the movie, too.

Mrs. Holly Hall said...

Godspeed Stacie, Godspeed!


Antaeus Feldspar said...

You know, I agree with everything you write here, but part 6 still has a line that's pretty perfect - it's meant to be funny, and it is funny, until you really start thinking about it. It's when Jason is stalking around the outside of the cabin, and one of the kid campers, hiding under the bed, says to the kid next to him, "Oh man. What were you going to be when you grew up?"

Dead In Hell said...

I actually quite enjoy this one. I understand how people don't care for the humor, but I think it works. Part III tried for humor at points and it just fell flat. Plus it's a much more solid film than Part V, and certainly better than any other zombie Jason sequel. Except Part VII. I have a real soft spot for Part VII. I wish other late-sequels had brought in something as awesome as a telekinetic nemesis for Jason to square off with.

I have to give Jason Lives points for actually bringing kids to camp for the first and only time in the franchise. And even though Tommy's characterization is wholly inconsistent with Part V, that's mostly due to fans absolutely HATING the ending of Part V and causing them to completely change course with the series (Tommy was meant to be the new series antagonist, as far as I know).

And for what it's worth, those unrelated murder vignettes that have nothing to do with anything were demanded by the studio after they decided that McLoughlin's film needed a higher body count. So they were added in.