Thursday, December 6, 2007

Friday the 13th Part 6: Jason Lives

While most people though the previous film in the series was where the series jumped the shark, what with its Jason copycat (evidently forgetting that the first film also didn’t have Jason as the killer), I would maintain that this is where the series really flew off the rails. Further, I would argue that this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as the added goofiness the series gained here certainly gave it an off-kilter boost deep into the series.

The finale of the Tommy Trilogy (who is now played by Thom Mathews, after John Shepherd apparently became a born again), this is the movie that introduces the supernatural to the Friday the 13th universe by having Tommy accidentally resurrect Jason in the opening scene, giving us our first ever Zombie Jason. Apparently it’s not much fun being a decaying corpse, as he just goes on a full-blown rampage here, killing no less than 18 people here and basically wiping out half the damn town. It’s wonderful. He’s all “Rarrrh, you want some of this? Take this broken bottle to the chest, Groundskeeper! Yeah! Oh, you think you’re gonna make it out on your motorcycle? I think not! Take this pole through the chest for your efforts, bitch! Oh, trying to escape in your clumsy RV, eh? Well, why don’t I just shove one of your dumb asses through a goddamned wall and then cut the throat of the other? Yeah, that sounds right! Hey, Mr. Big and Bad Sheriff, you want some a dis? Oh, I don’t think you do! How’s about I just fold you up like an origami crane, how you like that? I’m on a rampage!

Need a HAND, anyone? Yeah!

While Mathews isn’t as entertaining as Tommy as Shepherd or Feldman were, he still gets the job done, and we’re also treated to a perfectly over the top disbelieving police force headed by a Donald Sutherland lookalike, and – perhaps best of all – we finally get a camp full of children, unlike his previous rampages. They take the presence of an unstoppable killer in better stride than the counselors do, which I guess is understandable since the counselors are the ones that he’s mainly targeting. One of the boys even gets the best line in the movie, while they’re all hiding under their beds listening to their great protective counselor screaming for her daddy to come and save them: “So, what were you going to be when you grew up?”

This one gets my vote for being the single best one in the entire series (discounting, of course, Freddy vs. Jason), both for all of the above, and for the brilliantly stupid plan Tommy develops to stop Jason once and for all. Not the digging up his corpse and burning it part where he accidentally resurrects him, oh no. I won’t reveal how he tries to take Jason down completely, but I will say that the fact that it somehow works is pretty incidental to just how atrocious an idea it was. It’s a wonderfully over-the-top stupid idea that provides a great capper to the film, and to Tommy’s overall legacy in general. If you have any interest in slasher movies, you need to check this one out.

Rating: *** ½

No comments: