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!

Sep 13, 2010

Friday the 13th Victim of the Week: Ethel Hubbard

Does Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning get a bad rap when it's called a terrible movie?

Of course not. It's a terrible movie, with a terribleosity that's deeper than a simple...well, terribleness. See, fans didn't like it when, at the film's end, the face beneath the infamous hockey mask reveals that the killer is Roy the paramedic and not Jason the Voorhees. It doesn't feel like a neat twist on the series, although Jason purportedly dies in The Final Chapter and this is purportedly A New Beginning so the imposter angle sort of makes sense. That's beside the point. Dagummit, Jason is Jason and that is that!

However, I'm not here to argue the plot or the Roy or the anything except the Friday the 13th Victim of the Week (and yes I use the word "week"...umm...loosely), and that victim is...

Ethel Hubbard (F13 V: A New Beginning)

Dudes, I don't know what happened to me. I fully intended to have the amazing Violet (who I've mentioned before) as the VotW...but then Farmer Ethel (Carol Locatell) came on the screen and I lost all control. ALL CONTROL I SAY. I've always pretty much hated Ethel and her loudmouthed son Junior. In fact, I've always pretty much hated this movie, with the exception of Violet and her hair and her dance moves...but today, something changed. Something changed within me, friends, and I don't know if I'll ever go back. Suddenly- oh so suddenly- my hate turned to love! Suddenly I found Ethel to be hilarious and amazing, and a fondness for all of Friday the 13th Part V bloomed within my heart like...I don't know, a flower or some shit. Junior still sucks, but Ethel is where it's at, baby!

She comes blasting into our lives on the back of a dirt bike; it seems a couple of "perverts" from the "loony bin" were humping in her yard, so she gives the sheriff and the whole loony bin a piece of her mind. She threatens to blow their heads off with a shotgun, and she claims to have a bomb on her.



While I don't condone the violence, Ethel kind of has a point. If troubled teens repeatedly humped in your yard, wouldn't you do something about it? I would. And, like Ethel's, my something would probably include this:

Ethel goes on with her miserable existence, holed up in her filthy farmhouse with her awful son. Their one bright spot seems to be her fabulous stew, although she occasionally spits in it. Hey, maybe they're into that. Who am I to judge?

I think she really won my heart when she called her son a "big dildo". I swear, she's like a little Adrienne Barbeau-as-dirt farmer! No wonder I'm under Ethel's spell. I could make a list of cinematic women who use inappropriate language with authority and it would be a list of characters who tickle me to no end. I don't know why it took me so long to add Farmer Ethel to that list, but she's there now and that's all that matters.

In one of the loudest and most obnoxious scenes in the film, Ja--err...Roy puts an end to Junior's big mouth and Ethel meets her end while cooking another batch of her famous stew- oh, if only we could all die while doing something that we love!






Mind you, if this was Part One, that cleaver would have been buried in Ethel's forehead- not simply implied to be such as she plops face-down amongst the vegetables. Still, it's nice to see that the time-honored Friday the 13th tradition of people squeezing produce as they die is being upheld here (see also: Banana Girl).

Oh Ethel. I'm sorry I've neglected your greatness these long years. I've finally rectified that, though, by naming you Victim of the Week!

Yes, it's truly a subtle performance.

14 comments:

Sad man said...

I'm with you Stacie. I used to HATE everything about A New Beginning, except for the coolest of the cool, Violet. But something changed one day, and Part V is now one of my favorites. Maybe it's the knowing the level of annoyance you have to endure beforehand that makes for a more pleasurable experience. It also helped that I always imagined the final chase scene playing with the Benny Hill music, and someone on youtube even made a video with that. We are not alone.

B-Sol said...

Truly a study in the Stanislavsky method. Lee Strasberg would be proud of Carol Locatell's performance.

B-Sol said...

And btw, my word verification was AXING.

Yessssss.

The Creep said...

Ethel was a classy, classy lady.

thomwade said...

I liked that V set the series up to continue with Tommy as the new Jason...and then in the 6th? Tossed it aside, recast Tommy, made him the hero and brought Jason back from the dead.

Bryce Wilson said...

Oh man, with you a hundred percent on this one Stace. Everyone in this movie is an awful person (aside from cute new wave girl). But Ethel, Jr, and Coke addicted paramedic asshole are all in a class of their own.

I love that they seem to have walked out of an X rated version of Pete's Dragon. Who says Rob Zombie invented White Trash behaving badly in horror.

Chicken Wire, the Harbinger of Heavenly Annotation said...

Oh man, with you a hundred percent on this one Stace. Everyone in this movie is an awful person (aside from cute new wave girl).

Even Reggie?

Stacie Ponder said...

ESPECIALLY Reggie! He's just so...reckless.

Hud said...

Awww I love A New Beginning. It's like the special needs kid in a running race, hobbling along behind all the competent sprinters - you have to cheer it on and go "awwww" so you don't feel evil.

Daniel said...

Part V was the first F13 movie i saw as a kid, so it will always have a special place in my heart!

Judson Scott said...

Squeezing the tomato is priceless, still not sold on 5 though. I don't know why people defend this one, its as if they haven't seen 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 or 6 :)

shaun said...

Perfect timing for this post. 3 and 5 used to lurk toward the bottom of my F13 list. I recently rewatched 3 and LOVED it so very much. I thought I would give 5 the same chance to change my tune...ACK, that was painful. What's most troubling is that it could have been an OK movie if the more, ummmm, cartoonish elements had been removed. For example, aside from having him around to call "dildo" (which was awesome), did we really need Junior (see also Reggie's brother)? I still love Violet and Ethel, though, and the offing of Stuttering Stanley (too non-PC?) right after his rejection still leaves me sad.

J. Harris Speed said...

I just watched this again over the weekend. Every once in a while I sit down for a weekend of nothing but my favorite horror movies. While this movie was not my favorite Ethel definitely is one of my more or less favorite characters. Movies at that time rarely saw such foul mouth verbally abusive women and I guess that makes her a really classy broad.

Thomas Duke said...

After seeing this movie many times, I still hate Ethel and her dumbass son. I don't care how backwoods Ethel is, she has no business carrying around that much dirt on her face at all times. How does she even see where she's going?