With the release of a
new Friday the 13th this Friday February 13th mixed with the (third,
maybe) rerelease of the first three films in new DVDs, I figured now is
as good a time as any to reprint this classic series from a couple of
years back, where I sat down and watched all 10 Friday the 13th films
as well as Freddy vs Jason. To make this something more than a simple
reprint series, I’m also reviewing the new DVDs on each of the relevant
entries. Which I guess makes just the last 8 nothing more than a
reprint series, but since this was a pretty fun series I don’t see the
harm in that. This new edition of CHUD Goes to Camp Crystal Lake will
culminate with my review of the new Friday the 13th, but it’s unlikely
that it will be in the same format as the rest of the series. I’ll save
that for my review of the DVD in four months.


Special thanks to Litmus Configuration for the amazing image above!

Kills:
18 reality, 3 in dreams (three axings, one roadflare in the mouth, one
knife to the stomach, one shears into the eyeballs, one head smooshing
against a tree via the tightening of a belt, one throat slashing
offscreen, one spearing through the shithouse wall, one clothesline
decapitation via cleaver, one cleaver to the face, two machete kills,
one offscreen slice and dice, one nailed to a tree with a railroad
spike through the forehead, one eyes plucked out and tossed through a
window, two dream machete stabs, one dream knitting needle stab)

Best Kill: A big boobed beauty is lounging naked under the trees when she gets garden shears in the peepers.

Sex, Drugs and Rock n’ Roll:
Gluttony leads to a chopping frenzy. Coke snorting is frowned upon by
Fake Jason, as is flashing yourself in the mirror. Peeping on two kids
getting it on in the woods will get you killed, and so will getting it
on in the woods (and possibly premature ejaculation). Smoking dope in a
van in front of Dudley leads to the hereafter. Picking a fight with
Tommy Jarvis leads first to humiliation and then decapitation. Awful
robot dancing will not be tolerated by Fake Jason.

The Comeuppance: After
absorbing a really impressive amount of punishment, Fake Jason plunges
from the second story of a barn on to a bunch of conveniently placed
spikes.

http://chud.com/nextraimages/friday_the_thirteenth_a_new_beginning.jpgThe Movie: “And I would have gotten away with it, too, if it wasn’t for those meddling kids!”

Everybody knows that Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning,
notorious for featuring Fake Jason, is among the worst in the series,
right? Everybody except me, that is, because upon revisiting the film I
found that it wasn’t that bad after all. In fact, I think that if it
wasn’t for the idiotic identity of Fake Jason (his unmasking brings
cries of “Huh? Who the fuck is that?” from the audience) I think this
installment would be much more popular.

Or
maybe it would never have been accepted without Jason, no matter who it
was under that mask at the end. Horror fans get into a groove and they
don’t like to be taken out of it, and changing up the identity of your
killer (even in a series that began with a different killer) rankles
them. Still, Friday V ends up being an interesting diversion, a quirky second act in the story of Tommy Jarvis.

Some time after the events of The Final Chapter
(long enough that he has begun shaving, gotten sort of ripped and
learned karate), Tommy is released from a mental institution into a
halfway house for troubled and doomed teens. The movie opens with a
nightmare where he sees two kids digging up Jason’s grave and awakening
the zombie killer (very much foreshadowing the next film, and featuring
a cameo by Corey Feldman, still about 12). Tommy is still haunted by
Jason, and hallucinates him all the time. He’s edgy and drugged to the
gills, with a hair trigger temper. No sooner does he come to the
halfway house than brutal killings start in the immediate area. Could
Tommy be living up to his spooky look at the end of The Final Chapter and be taking up Jason’s mantle?

The
movie actually does a pretty good job of setting this up. When Tommy
gets angry and violent he gets very still, quite Jason-like, and many
of the kill scenes are immediately followed by Tommy waking up, sweaty.
Suspicious! Sadly he’s far too short to be the Fake Jason running
around in the film, but what are you gonna do? They gave it a shot.

While
brutal killings start happening in the area surrounding the halfway
house, the first non-dream kill of the movie takes place right on the
grounds, as an annoying fatty pisses off a troubled teen with an axe
and loses his candy bar-munching arm, and about 7 pints of his blood as
well. This seems like one of the many random elements that makes this
movie more fun than it should be, but it’s actually the most important
plot point. The fat kid, who thinks he’s an orphan, is actually the
secret son of ambulance driver (and first responder to the scene) Roy
Burns. The sight of his son butchered makes Roy snap and he does what
we would all do in the same situation – dress up as a dead serial
killer and start cutting a swath of slaughter through town.

Roy’s
first victims are an example of the randomness that this movie does so
well – they’re two kids with a broken down car, but for some reason
they’re dressed exactly like they walked out of The Wild Ones.
One of them even has a queer little leather cap on. I don’t know what
they’re doing in this movie or why Roy comes upon them or why he kills
them. He shoves a lit road flare in one of their mouths, though, so who
cares to nitpick?

Friday V
has the most kills to date, but to amass that kind of body count the
filmmakers need to insert a lot of characters, most of whom never get a
chance to make any sort of impact – like the Wild Ones, they just walk
on for their death. One character like this is Dirty Drifter; he shows
up at the home next to the halfway house, which is owned by a nasty,
foulmouthed mother and her fat retarded son. He’s creepy and looking
for work, and at first you’re thinking, “Here’s the next Red Herring
character.” Which would be cool; fill the movie with suspects, right?
Except that he’s the very next guy killed, in his very next scene.

Roy
actually amasses more victims than Jason had in any one single movie
previously – in fact he puts half as many bodies on the scoreboard in
one film as Jason has in three. Roy may not be an unstoppable retard,
but he’s got ambition, dammit. The guy’s a go-getter, and he’s going to
work towards his goals. What they are is never clear – is he trying to
make Tommy go nuts (I can’t imagine why he would bother)? The sheriff
thinks Roy is dressed as Jason to cover his own tracks but it isn’t
like he’s leaving witnesses anyway (side note: besides leaving behind
survivors, Jason apparently got caught on camera at some point in 3 or
4; a photo of a hockey masked Jason appears on the front page of a
newspaper in this film), and that never really explaions why Roy is
killing people who had nothing to do with his son’s death. And Jason
also had nothing to do with the death of his son, and there’s no
indication that this film takes place in or near the community of
Crystal Lake, so what’s the Voorhees connection? I mean, beside the
inexorable need to have a hockey masked killer in a Friday the 13th movie.

Even
though the film is so jam-packed with nondescript characters (I
actually had to look online to figure out who the hell the coke-cutting
guy that gets axed in the diner parking lot even was. Turns out he’s
the driver who brought Tommy to the halfway house at the very
beginning), A New Beginning
takes some time for nudity. This is always appreciated, especially when
the nudity on display is as nice as it is on the girl who gets shears
in her eyes. Her last name in real life is Voorhees, by the way, and
she once won a “Best Body” contest. Once you start researching the
minor victims in a Friday film it’s hard to stop.

Even with the bizarre randomness (another example: the star of Juwanna Man plays an jheri curled guy named Demon who sings to his girlfriend while shitting), I wouldn’t have enjoyed A New Beginning as much as I did without one important actor: the kid who played Dudley on Diff’rent Strokes.
While he’s not actually living at the halfway house (his grandfather
works there. If he has the shining he wasn’t telling anybody), it’s
easy to imagine that after getting diddled by Gordon Jump while playing
Neptune, King of the Sea behind the bike shop, Duds would need a rest
break. Dudley screams like a girl throughout the climactic Fake Jason
chase, which is delicious enough, but then he gets on a fucking
bulldozer and nails Fake Jason with it. Even real Jason never took a
hit from construction equipment!

Roy’s actually a better Jason than Pillowcase Jason from Part 2.
For one thing, Pillowcase Jason made too many noises. Roy is silent,
even after he gets a massive chainsaw gash in his arm (this chainsaw
gash comes during a chainsaw versus machete fight. Honestly, how can
anybody not like a movie that has people dueling with a chainsaw and a
machete? Stop hatin’) and a knife in his leg. What I really liked was
that he was obviously being hurt – after taking the bulldozer to the
chest he stops and is kind of freaked out by the fact that he’s
bleeding really heavily from the entire lower front half of his body.
It’s hard for him to get up after getting knifed, and when Survivor
Girl Pam throws the chainsaw – which is stalled – at him, he dodges out
of the way and falls down! Roy’s really trying, and I respect that.

So
there you are, possibly thinking that Fake Jason is Tommy, who has been
MIA from the motion picture for quite some time now, and without good
reason, except maybe that he had received a shipment of herrings and
they needed to be painted red ASAP. Anyway, Tommy kind of wanders into
the final battle between Survivor Girl Pam, Dudley and Fake Jason and
proceeds to take a serious slash to the chest. He’s instrumental in
killing Fake Jason at the end, but he passes out and has to be taken to
the hospital, where he first dreams about killing Pam and then – get
this – gets out of his hospital bed, opens a drawer and pulls out a
fucking hockey mask and knife. How did that get in there? The last shot
of the movie is Tommy coming up behind Pam, hockey mask on his face and
knife raised to kill her.

To some extent this is part of the problem a lot of people have with A New Beginning – all of the events are a bloody episode of Scooby Doo leading to an ending that just returns Tommy to exactly where he was at the end of The Final Chapter.
The whole movie is, essentially, a diversion from what seems like the
main story, and if they wanted to make Tommy the killer they certainly
could have had that happened way back at the beginning of this movie.
It would have saved us from Roy’s goofy motivation at the very least;
hell, Tommy seeing the fat kid get chopped up and snapping makes more
sense than the ambulance driver being the secret dad.

I
don’t mind it because it’s a fun diversion. Fake Jason racks up some
good kills, the hallucinating Tommy subplot is actually pretty
interesting, and I appreciate what the filmmakers were trying to do
with the mystery, even if they screwed the pooch completely on it.
Again, I think it all comes down to the lameness of the Fake Jason
reveal – no one would mind that Tommy ended up where he did if Fake
Jason had been someone trying to make him go nuts, or trying to frame
him for some reason. It’s the randomness of Roy that sours the rest of
what came before. And we had really been enjoying the randomness.

A New Beginning
gets a bum rap. It’s certainly not the worst of the series overall, and
it isn’t even the worst up to date (that honor still goes to Part 2,
a complete bore of a movie). Sure, it’s badly made – everything is lit
so flatly that it looks like a particularly gruesome TV movie – and
every actor is uniformly terrible, but A New Beginning
has a decent concept underneath it all. If only someone had paid the
slightest bit of attention to the mystery element, A New Beginning
would have actually been a pretty great entry in the series.

Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter scores:


Two and a half Retard Jasons out of four.



Next: The best Friday
of them all. Horschach acts his heart out. The Tommy Jarvis reaches its
conclusion with the third actor playing Tommy. And Jason gets his James
Bond moment.