Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter

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Following yet another night of mass murder, Jason wakes up in a hospital after being severely injured and makes his way back to Crystal Lake, killing everyone in his path.

 

You just can’t keep a good psychopath with some major mommy issues down can you? You know I think him and Norman Bates would have gotten along great…until one killed the other, but back to Jason. In the course of just a couple nights he’s been stabbed, beaten, hung, and had an axe imbedded in his head. Let that be a lesson to you folks out there, never chop off the head of a crazy guy’s mother. I’m just saying, bad things will happen. If you’re going to kill her, you stab her, or drown her, maybe shoot her, just don’t decapitate her. Also, hide her sweater, psychopaths seem to have a thing about sweaters.

Our film begins almost exactly where the last one ended, the police are clearing the area and hauling Jason’s body off to the morgue, we can only guess to which insane asylum the last film’s one survivor has been taken to. Unfortunately, Jason’s not quite as dead as everyone thinks and awakens in the hospital, beginning his killing streak anew on his way back to Crystal Lake. As the killer treks back he comes across two cabins in the woods, one the home of a family (including a young Corey Feldman as Tommy Jarvis) and the other a party retreat for our group of teenage victims (necessary to any slasher film). This time around though Jason isn’t the only one out hunting as the brother of one his past victims has come looking for some revenge and he won’t stop until he gets it. With Jason in need of a higher body count, a group of partying teens just asking to be murdered, and a man looking to end Jason’s reign of terror once and for all, the only guarantee is that the night will end in plenty of blood.

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{Jason is looking a bit worse for the wear though}

This addition is actually one my favorites, and the best of the series in my opinion. Jason is in prime form finding new and even better ways to end his victim’s existence, the characters are great, and the story takes a new turn with the beginning of the so called “Tommy Jarvis Saga” as both 5 and 6 will continue Tommy’s quest to destroy the seemingly never ending menace. Even the addition of the hunter trying to avenge his sister was a good choice as it brought more into the series, especially since I always wondered why the only vengeance in the series so far had all been from Jason himself and not a surviving family member of someone he killed. There was only supposed to be a short amount of time between 2, 3, and 4 in the movies, but there would have to have been some family notified that would be out for blood.

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{You should also know that if you’re in a morgue with the body of a guy with whom everyone else has been having trouble keeping dead, you probably shouldn’t turn your back nor leave your bone saw lying next to him}

In fact, I’d even go so far as to say this is probably the pinnacle of the series and also the beginning of the end. Not all Jason films that followed would be terrible, but none would ever be as good. Personally, I think it’s the introduction of the humor and cheesiness that began the downward spiral that takes full effect by the next film. There isn’t a whole lot of humor in Part 4, but they did add some more comedic elements as well as making it over the top in how Jason kills. Don’t get me wrong, I love that they made his kills insane, and I’ve already mentioned that this is my pick for best film in the series, I just think that later filmmakers looked at the cheese that was added in and focused far too much on that aspect. There are some good Jason films after this no doubt, but most of them are more about either how funny they can make the movie or how crazy they can make the kills instead of trying to just make a good Friday the 13th film. I enjoy most of them after this for being what they are, but Part 4 is definitely the high point.

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{They pretty much throw all ideas of being serious out the window past Part 4}

The effects are top notch and definitely some of the best so far with Jason finding even better ways to dispatch his victims, and Tom Savini does some of his best work as he makes these deaths gory and very nasty. Part 4 marks the return of Savini for special effects on a Friday the 13th movie but it’s also the last time he gets involved as he only came on board to murder the character he had helped create in the first Friday the 13th. Jason’s death at the end is the icing on the cake; the monster gets all he deserves and more.

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{I love that they paid enough attention to make sure his mask still had the slash from the axe}

The story doesn’t deviate too much from the normal formula of promiscuous kids being slaughtered out in the woods by a murderous psychopath, but it is changed up with the addition of so many interesting characters. Even the teenage fodder is interesting and intriguing and each seems fully fleshed out before Jason fleshes them out even further. I’ve already discussed the hiker trying to hunt down Jason Voorhees being a really good addition but another good choice was Corey Feldman. I have to say he does a very good job, of course this is pre Goonies Feldman, but he’s in fine form as a kid with a hobby for making horror masks. It’s been rumored that Tommy Jarvis was actually based on Tom Savini, but as far as I know it’s never been confirmed. Feldman’s best performance is at the end when he wigs out and just goes nuts, chopping up Jason into itty, bitty pieces. Feldman has said in interviews that he was able to look so furious while chopping away because he imagined the sandbags he was actually chopping at to be director Joseph Zito whom Feldman despised due to Zito’s poor treatment of the actors (Zito was also hated by the man playing Jason, Ted White, for the exact same reasons).

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{Tormenting Tommy Jarvis leads from simple fear…}

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{To Jarvis having a bit of a freak out…}

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{To your head being fucked up by a machete}

As I said this is my favorite movie in the series, and one I constantly watch whenever I need a fun campy romp through the 80’s with a little more bite than its contemporary cousins. I highly recommend this as one to watch even if you aren’t a huge fan of the Friday series.

 

The Undead Review

 

Jason’s Kill Rate:

Bone Saw: 1

Knife: 4     (5 series total)

Harpoon Gun: 1     (2 series total)

Spear: 1

Combo Meat Cleaver and Corkscrew: 1

Out the Window: 1

Crushed Head: 1     (2 series total)

Axe: 1

Garden Rake: 1

Unknown: 1

Jason Total Kills This Film: 13

Jason Total Kills: 42

Series Total Kills: 50

 

Directed By: Joseph Zito (The Prowler, Missing in Action)

Starring: Corey Feldman (Lost Boys, Goonies), Kimberly Beck (Death Street USA, Adventures in Dinosaur City), Peter Barton (Hell Night, The Powers of Mathew Star {TV}), and Ted White (The Hidden, Deadly Stranger) as the killer in this round

Released By: Paramount Pictures and Georgetown Productions Inc.

Release Year: 1984

Release Type: Theatrical Release

MPAA Rating: Rated R

About The Undead Review

When I was alive I was an asshole and after I died remained pretty much the same, if not a little worse. You’d think becoming a member of the walking dead would mellow a person out, no more worrying about awkward small talk with people, no more having to be politically correct, and the entire world is your upright, bipedal buffet. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun as hell to be a zombie, just somewhat irritating at times, especially those times you have to watch a lame movie or read a lame book. Thankfully, when I am forced to watch these films or read those books, I’ve got places like The Undead Review to bitch and moan to my heart’s content. {When he’s not devouring the living or sinking his teeth into a good film The Undead Review (Andy Taylor) spends his time writing his own stories or hunting down the paranormal. Oh, and did we mention his blind dog once saved the world?)
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