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:
16
(one patricide via TK-assisted drowning, two tent spikings, one
impaling on a zombie arm followed by a neck snap, one smacked to death
against a tree, two axes to the face, one drowning, one reaping what
Jason hath sowed with a scythe, one head smooshing, one festive party
horn in the eye, one knifing followed by a head loss, one throat
slicing, one defenestration, one death by hooking and by crooking, one
weed wacker to the belly.)

Best Kill: Jason attacks a tree with a sleeping bag full of girl.

Sex, Drugs and Rock n’ Roll:
Doping and drinking among the doomed. No shoes, no shirt, no survival.
Getting slutted up for a boy is frowned upon in a big way.

The Comeuppance: Survivor Girl’s zombie dad jumps out of Crystal Lake and pulls Jason down. It’s stupider than it sounds.

http://chud.com/nextraimages/friday_the_thirteenth_a_new_beginning.jpgThe Movie: It’s tempting to be forgiving of Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood because
the movie suffered so badly at the hands of the MPAA. The rating board
forced director/make-up artist John Carl Buechler to cut almost every
drop of blood out of a film with that word in the title; almost every
kill is truncated to the point of senselessness. The DVD box set of the
Paramount F13
films gives you a peek at the uncut kills, and they are impressive,
especially the latest take on the old Jason standby, the head smoosh.
With the kills included as Buechler intended, A New Blood would have been the goriest Friday yet.

But
it still would have sucked. The movie is just stupid, not even a
throwback to the older films in the series but to other shitty slasher
movies that ripped off the Friday and Halloween films. The movie is
filled with the most generic and ridiculous bunch of teens yet, all
portrayed by actors who make porn stars look like Lawrence Olivier. And
then there’s the main plot of the movie, an overwrought, ridiculous
story about a psychic girl that makes you realize why so many films in
this genre just dispense with plots altogether. All of this comes on
the heels of the best entry in the Friday series, making it all look that much shoddier (also making it look shoddy: shitty production values).

Part VII is another one of the Friday films that take place in the future. As we’ve seen, Part II, released in 1981, took place in 1984. By the time The Final Chapter was released, the movies had caught up to the timeline, but they made another big leap of four or five years for Part V, and then another for who knows how long for Part VI. By my math it’s possible that the opening scenes of Part VII,
with Survivor Psychic Tina as a young girl, actually take place in
1988, the year the movie opened – but the film soon flashes forward
maybe nine years, setting the rest of the movie not only in the Clinton
administration but also post-grunge. All of a sudden the pink sweater
around the shoulders look that one of the victims sports seems a little
more suspect.

The
movie opens with Tina as a young girl who accidentally kills her dad…
with her burgeoning psychic abilities. She sends him to the bottom of
Crystal Lake, where he drowns (and where nobody bothers to look for his
fucking corpse, but I-ll bitch about that later). I can accept this –
hell, I-m accepting that there-s the zombie of a retarded serial killer
floating in that same lake at that same moment. But then we fast
forward to a teenaged Tina, who is returning to the house on Crystal
Lake with her mother and her therapist. Seems Tina has been having a
hard time dealing with the fact that she sent her father to his watery
grave (his UNFINDABLE watery grave) and has been in major therapy for
years. Returning to the house is part of the treatment, and the doctor
wants her to face the place where her dad died. It-s worth noting that
when you have an actual plot in your movie (ie, beyond “teens go to the
woods and get killed”) and that plot could, with almost no retooling at
all, be the plot of a porno movie, you probably have a shitty plot.

Tina’s
first night back is pretty stressful, and when she gets upset her
psychic powers manifest. She runs out to the lake and tries to will her
daddy back to the surface from his cleverly hidden liquid tomb but
makes a mistake – ooops, she’s raised Jason! This scene is so bad and
so cheesy that it’s rollicking. The water boils and boom! – Jason jumps
out. Tina passes out and Jason, obviously suffering from an annoying
case of water in the ear, leaves her alone and wanders into the woods.

Now
we have three different storylines, all of which suck. The house next
to Tina’s is, of course, rented out by rowdy, horny teens. One of them,
a bohunk so bland that your eyes will begin sliding off the TV screen,
takes a liking to Tina, which causes some tension with what passes for
one of the other characters. Meanwhile, Tina’s doctor seems to be less
and less on the level, and Tina’s mom discovers that he’s actually
trying to keep Tina freaked out so her TK will manifest. And while all
this is going on, Jason is off on a walkabout. Two ‘characters’ have a
car breakdown near a sign that quite plainly states they are five miles
from Crystal Lake (hey, by the way, wasn’t this place called Forest
Green just one movie ago? Then again, that’s a minor continuity issue
compared to Jason’s new hockey mask; A New Blood
opens with the usual recap of the last film, including footage of the
climactic Jason/Jarvis battle and we see the mask take some hits from a
propeller, as well as acquiring a bullet hole. None of this is visible
on the mask in this movie), yet they soon run into Jason Voorhees. What
the fuck is he doing five miles from where he started? Where’s he
going? This makes even less sense as, once he dispatches these kids, he
turns around and starts back to the lake and the two houses. Would he
have just kept walking if he hadn’t run into those kids? Maybe Jason
could have taken Manhattan a movie earlier.

A New Blood
is shameless in how dopey it is. The first two kids killed were coming
to the party cabin for the boy half of the couple’s birthday. They
never show up and the party goes on. The next day they still haven’t
shown up and no one cares. There’s another night and the kids just
start partying all by themselves. Finally Bland Bohunk makes a phone
call to someone to see where the birthday boy could be and decides to
go look for him in the woods. It’s worth noting that filing a missing
persons report at this point would make sense, or at the very least
calling the local constabulary. How useful is one guy wandering in the
woods going to be? Quite useful, it turns out; the psychiatrist goes
for a stroll in the woods and finds the corpse and then doesn’t mention
it to anybody.

Meanwhile
the psychiatrist is trying to grow a mustache so he can twirl it. He’s
doing everything to freak Tina out short of poking his finger almost in
her eye and saying, “I’m not touching you! I’m not touching you!”, and
it works – Tina levitates a TV at him. You can almost hear the grip
grunting as he pulls the wire to make it float “eerily” across the
screen. Flipping out, Tina drives off in the car but then… well, I
forgot to mention this because it’s so stupid, but Tina doesn’t just
have telekinesis, she also has some kind of precog abilities. She sees
an image of Jason killing her mom right in the middle of the road,
swerves and gets into an accident. Stumbling home she runs into Bland
Bohunk, and they become the second and third people to find that one
corpse in this vast forest.

By
this point in the movie the viewer is in excruciating pain. Buechler
may be a talented FX man, but he has no understanding of things like
pacing or editing or simply setting up a shot. Some of the interiors
look to have been filmed on a high school stage, and the flat and dull
lighting of the exteriors at night give every moment the sheen of a
particular kind of direct to video movie, the kind that even Casper Van
Dien wouldn’t star in. Low budgets are a curse of the genre, but that
doesn’t mean that everything has to look cheap. Even Crystal Lake looks
cheap this time, like someone left a hose running in the back yard over
night. And it doesn’t cost that much more to write decent dialogue for
your characters, not to mention that it would be nice to actually hire
one person who can act… or at least one person who isn’t playing the
fucking zombified slasher. This is Kane Hodder’s first time in the
Jason suit; the guy would play Jason four times in total and so
self-identified with the role that he tattooed “KILL” inside his lip.
So his teeth could read it. Anyway, he actually brings some range to
Jason, but that’s even wasted what with him being a fucking zombie. I
don’t know why Hodder insists on making Jason breathe heavily all the
time; his shoulders are always going as if an unstoppable maniac who
had been brought back from the dead as a rotting corpse and then been
left at the bottom of a lake for a couple of years would get winded.

The
bloodless kills rob the movie of any level of enjoyment it should have
(if Paramount had released this film in an uncut version that would be
the one I would be reviewing; I’ll be reviewing the uncut Jason Goes to Hell
once I’ve worked up the fortitude to sit through it) and so the
stalking scenes become a succession of teases without climaxes, much
like many of my dates in high school. Finally all of the teens, who
look like parodies of teens from teen movies from six years before this
movie was made, are killed and the showdown between Tina (aka Carrie)
and Jason happens.

It’s
obvious that this was the whole point of the movie. Tina bats Jason
around a little bit with items thrown at him from offscreen, and then
she makes him fall through the floor like a Looney Tunes character.
Finally she lights him on fire, but that isn’t enough to stop Jason.
The final solution, and lord do I wish I was kidding, is to have Tina’s
dead father rise out of Crystal Lake and drag Jason back down.

I’m
going to be charitable and ignore the fact that Tina’s dad looks
exactly the same as a waterlogged zombie as he did the day she put him
down, albeit damper, because Buechler was forced into that by the
studio. But I will not be able to ignore the fact that a man drowned in
Crystal Lake years before and no one tried to find his body. And it
isn’t even like he went down in the middle of the lake – he was on the
pier in front of the house, so he was maybe ten, fifteen feet from
shore. Also, (and I could be wrong about the geography here because
Buechler’s a shitty director who never really even bothers to establish
simple things like where these two houses are in relation to each
other), I think that daddy jumps out of the water THROUGH a new pier
constructed at the site where the old one was, and thus right over
where his corpse has been laying. And none of this should take our
attention away from the fact that this is the stupidest comeuppance of
all time, simply because in a zombie vs zombie underwater grudge match
I KNOW Voorhees takes down Tina’s soggy dad. The reanimation of daddy
also indicates that Tina’s initial bringing back of Jason was no fluke – she not only has TK and the ability to see the future but SHE CAN
RAISE THE DEAD. Somebody bring this bitch a leper, some loaves and a
fish and see what happens.

Tina’s probably the worst Survivor Girl of the series (by the way, both her status as worst Survivor Girl and A New Blood‘s honor or worst comeuppance will be destroyed by the sheer asshattery of Jason Takes Manhattan).
She’s played by the nearly talent-free Lar Park Lincoln, who is so
white and lifeless that she resembles nothing so much as a piece of
pork in a white sweater. I would swear you could get trichinosis from
eating her pussy. Anyway, she’s playing a character who never has more
than two scenes where she’s anything but “flipped out psychic girl,”
and that shit gets old fast. I was not only rooting for Jason to cleave
her, I was rooting for the evil psychiatrist to institutionalize her.
Anything to get her crisped bangs off my TV screen.

The
previous Friday films had been mostly fun, if stupid. The older ones
have aged nicely – they’re sort of campier than intended, and the
fashions and hairstyles are worth a laugh in and of themselves. By Part VII
the films no longer reflected reality but some kind of John Hughes on
the brown acid view of teens, and so the fashions and hairdos just feel
phony. Also, there’s nothing funny about the late 80s, and this is a
medical fact.

But as tough as Part VII was, it was nothing compared to Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, one of the best examples of why we should all join the Taliban and renounce motion pictures.


Friday the 13th Part VII: A New Blood scores:


One and a half Retard Jasons out of four.



Next: One
of the worst movies I have ever seen. Lots of shots of Vancouver. A
final fate for Jason so ridiculous that they actually just ignored it
in the next film.