BUY IT AT AMAZON: CLICK HERE
RATED: Not rated
RUNNING TIME: 87 minutes
- Commentary by director Tom McLoughlin, editor Bruce Greene and actor Vincent Guastaferro
- Lost Tales From Camp Blood – Part 6
- The Crystal Lake Massacres Revisited – Part 3
- Jason Lives: The Making of Friday the 13th: Part VI
- Meeting Mr. Voorhees
- Slashed scenes
Jason’s back and making up for lost time.
- Thom Mathews as Tommy Jarvis
- Jennifer Cooke as Megan Garris
- David Kagen as Sheriff Michael Garris
- Kerry Noonan as Paula
- Renée Jones as Sissy Baker
- Tom Fridley as Cort
- Darcy DeMoss as Nikki
- C.J. Graham as Jason Voorhees
- Vincent Guastaferro as Deputy Rick Cologne
- Tony Goldwyn as Darren
- Ron Palillo as Allen Hawes
Tommy Jarvis, who was the one to finally kill Jason as a kid back in Part IV, is now an adult and just can’t leave well enough alone. Haunted by his childhood trauma, he breaks out of his mental institute with friend Allen Hawes and travels back to Crystal Lake to destroy Jason’s body, which has been buried for years in a cemetery. But his boneheaded actions actually lead to Jason’s resurrection and a brand new killing spree. It’s then up to Tommy to try to convince the Sheriff to help him stop the unstoppable killing machine once and for all.
“I gotta tell you, Thom, I feel like getting this part is really going to be just the post-Kotter career boost I needed.”
First off, check out Devin’s exhaustive analysis of the flick as part of his famous 10 Days of 13 series of articles if you haven’t already. It’s required CHUD reading. Now, as for my humble two cents, permit me to quickly engage in a personal take on the movie. Back in the day, I only managed to see two of the Friday the 13th movies in the theatres. But one of them was this one, with two childhood buddies of mine, Tim and Tony. I don’t remember exactly how we three 14-year-olds managed to worm our way into the theatre to catch this, but I do remember that we had an absolute blast with Part VI. Less than a year later, Tony was killed in a biking accident, and that was really hard to get through for many reasons, but one of them being that, as much as we loved to watch movies, we didn’t get to do it together very often. So when I remember watching this movie, I remember that it was somewhat of a special occasion.
In regards to the merits of the film itself, truth be told, Jason Lives shouldn’t exist as it does. Considering that there are very few franchises that make it to six installments, certainly almost none if any of them are going to have that film be the best entry in the series. That can be attributed solely to writer / director Tom McCoughlin, who not only literally shocked Jason back to life, but the franchise itself, if only for a brief moment. McCoughlin didn’t just show up to cash a paycheck, he gave the film some emotional and narrative heft and did what up until then had only been trifled with in the series: injected some much-welcomed humor into all aspects of the story. He also produced some of the more entertaining kills in the series and crafted a protagonist in Tommy that had some background and history with Jason that made for a much more satisfying confrontation.
McCoughlin’s take on Jason essentially steered him to where he was up until the recent remake: Jason is a rotting, unstoppable, supernatural force of death. In his first three appearances, Jason could have been some inbred backwoodsman who had a real hard time dying or feeling pain, who finally needed a machete halfway through his cranium to be brought down. But when someone crawls out of a grave as a Club Med for maggots and worms, after being revived Franken-style, there’s pretty much no doubt that there’s something otherwordly going on. So from VI onward, Jason is a George Romero extra who’s just a little more mobile…and quite a bit stronger.
McCoughlin mentioned in one of the extras of the disc that he wanted to make Jason more like the old-style, classic monsters. And in that regard, VI seems more of a complete movie than any of its predecessors featuring Jason. The monster is revived, goes on his killing spree, and is returned whence he came by the hero. Of course along the way, he makes with the dispatching in quite entertaining fashion. Notable kills include brokebacking the sheriff (literally), a triple decap, and another squeeze play on some poor schlub’s noggin. Finally, Jason’s defeat suitably brings him full circle from his origin: Crystal Lake. Friday The 13th, Part VI holds up much better than just about any of the films in the franchise. Shame that the rest of the latter movies in the series (except for Jason X, which I kind of dug), turned out to be steaming piles and couldn’t build on the rejuvenation of the franchise that this film brought.
The transfer of the video is quite good in 1.85:1 anamorphic and the sound is fine in English 5.1 Surround or 2.0 with optional French and Spanish travcks and subtitles, along with Portuguese subtitles as well. The cover art is the flashy lenticular type. The special features start off with a commentary by McCoughlin, editor Bruce Greene and Vincent Guastaferro (Deputy Rick Cologne).
“Yeah, knife to a gun fight, bitch. Now what?”
There’s a forgettable microseries entry, Tales of Camp Blood: Part 6; an equally forgettable fake newscast: The Crystal Lake Massacres Revisited: Part III; and a decent 12-minute featurette, Jason Lives: The Making of Friday the 13th Part VI. Slashed Scenes is a reel of the kills in the movie that seems to feature some extra footage here and there. Why they chose to use 15th-generation VHS footage though is beyond me. The original theatrical trailer and others round things out. If you get this, it’ll be for the movie, not the special features, except for the commentary.
Almost forgot to include a picture of Jennifer Cooke.