Friday the 13th: A New Beginning

F51

Poor Tommy Jarvis has been traumatized since he turned Jason Voorhees into mincemeat years back and now finds himself the latest addition to a rehabilitation center for troubled teens, but when those kids start dropping off Tommy begins to worry his old buddy may have come back to finish what he started.

Why is it so hard for Hollywood to say stop? Seriously? I know they’re a bunch of money grubbing assholes for the most part but after seeing so many attempts to continue a franchise fail miserably, you’d think someone would go “Hey, maybe we shouldn’t do this.” Instead we end up with flops like Friday the 13th Part 5, Halloween H2O, Halloween…what the hell was the last one before they did a remake, never mind, I don’t think anyone really cares what that piece of shit was called. Point is, wait, what was my point? Oh yeah, Hollywood’s inability to stop making sequels to a dead franchise. I know it’s hard for many Hollywood execs to see past the blinding money signs covering their eyes, but they have to at least see out of the corners that these movies are awful ideas. Though considering there were a couple more successes after this one, I guess I’m glad they didn’t entirely stop. Still, a semi-valid rant though, right?

Our fifth installment of the franchise finds an older Tommy Jarvis (Corey Feldman’s character from Part 4) checking into a psychiatric treatment facility made to look more like a comfortable home for wayward teens. On arrival we are introduced to every stereotype possible for an 80’s flick, the psychotic badass, the dopey fat kid, the oversexed rebel couple, the weird chick, and the lovable younger kid who just wants to be treated like a grown-up, all living in harmony. Okay, maybe not so much in harmony, more like living in controlled chaos. Within fifteen minutes of getting his gear unpacked, the oversexed rebels are brought back by the sheriff, followed closely by a backwoods hillbilly and her…how do I put this delicately…her slow witted asshole of a son, both of whom swear they will kill every kid there to keep them off her property. This is hardly where it ends as the dopey fat kid ends up on the wrong end of the psychopath’s axe after a little verbal quarrel moments later (never offer a candy bar to a badass). The paramedics show up to claim the mess that used to be a body and wait…is that one of the paramedics suddenly looking shocked and shaken at the identity of the victim (this is known as filmmakers not understanding subtlety). Not long after, killings nearly identical to those that befell Crystal Lake begin yet again and it seems the dead Jason may not be so dead after all, at least his legacy anyhow, and he’s come to claim the boy who killed him.

F53

{He looks so peaceful too, the guy about to chop off the dumb looking dudes head I mean}

The bit with the paramedic has to be the worst part of this piece of garbage. Not only does he have the recognition right on his face when he sees the dopey fat kid all cut to pieces, but they even focus on it for far too long. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out he’s our killer trying to avenge the death of someone he loved; they couldn’t have made it more obvious if they had him put the mask on right there. This is typical for most of the movie, bad writing and absolutely no thought put into the story or how the film was going to play out. I think they wrote it as they filmed the movie and hoped everything would work itself out. It was an obvious attempt to keep the franchise going without putting any real effort into it, just playing off the success of the previous films with the dream that everyone would be happy that Jason Voorhees was back. Didn’t work. There was literally no care put into this damn thing, the characters are poorly written, card board cutouts, Jason appears to have magical powers of invisibility for ninety percent of the movie, and the effects are lackluster at best. Let’s go down the list.

F58

F56

{No way you were going to figure out Jason was the paramedic, he might have gotten away with it too if it hadn’t have been for those pesky kids}

The characters are easily the worst thing about this film. Their dialogue is predictable; you’ll know what they’re going to say before they even say it. The actors picked to play these predictable characters are some of the worst the franchise will ever see with the absolute worst being Tommy Jarvis’ replacement, actor John Shepard. Corey Feldman was asked to reprise his role from the previous film but had to turn it down due to scheduling conflicts while filming The Goonies. I found myself actually wishing Jason would get to kill Tommy off in this round as he gets annoying about ten minutes into the movie. In fact the only decent actor here is Feldman who plays a young Tommy during a dream sequence in the beginning of the film. I do have to admit there is one decent player here (not necessarily a good actor, I just liked his character); the town sheriff wasn’t too bad and comes across as one of the few characters you can actually enjoy having around. He was also the only one I rooted for the entire movie, hoping Jason would slaughter everyone but him. That being said, having one likable character who doesn’t even get much of a part is not going to save a film.

F55

{That was my look during most of the film too Tommy, I feel your pain}

Also, I think the paramedic turned mass murderer must have got his hands on the invisibility clock from the Harry Potter films before he decided to become the legendary serial killer. I’m saying this because the damn guy disappears from view with far too much ease. Who knows, maybe Hogwarts (am I spelling that right) was somewhere in the vicinity of the home for wayward teens (they do show a lake at one point in the film so it’s possible the school is just on the other side). He seems able to actually squeeze into cracks before lashing out. He can hide behind phone poles, small trees, and even a one foot space in one of the kid’s room. This is the perfect example of what I’m talking about with bad writing. Let’s face it, this is a movie and so believability isn’t always the most important part, but it should still be somewhat grounded. Jason could always hide better than he should have been able to but this is just ridiculous.

F52

{This is before he disappeared behind the small rock behind him}

Lastly, let’s touch on those awesome effects. Oh wait, did I say awesome? What I meant to say was only slightly better than a Sci-Fi Channel movie and then only because it’s not bad CGI. There was almost no effort put into making the deaths look good, and they didn’t even bother to continue being as imaginative as they had in previous films. I’m sure someone, somewhere is laughing his or her ass off at the amount of money they made on this cheap piece of garbage.

F54

F57

{Both of these would have been better options than watching this movie}

This was actually supposed to be the beginning of a brand new series of Friday the 13th films where Tommy Jarvis became the new Jason, but thankfully fans wanted more of the real Jason Voorhees so the idea was scrapped. Paramount was going to turn Jarvis from a troubled kid damaged from his experience with Jason into a troubled man who had a psychotic break after his experience with Jason and who genuinely believed himself to be the mass murderer. We can all thank Cthulhu that Paramount dropped the idea or the same people that brought us this steaming turd would have made the next film as well which surely would have driven the final nail into the series’ coffin.

F59

{Thank you Feldman for letting us avoid this}

This is one you can completely skip. Just go straight to Part 6 which isn’t nearly this bad, you’ll thank me later.

 

The Undead Review

 

Jason’s Kill Rate:

Road Flare: 1

Machete: 4 (6 series total)

Axe: 2 (3 series total)

Garden Shears: 1

Leather Strap: 1

Pole: 1

Meat Cleaver: 3 (4 series total)

Railroad Spike: 1

Unknown: 3

Jason Total Kills This Film: 0 (Imposter Jason doesn’t count)

Jason Total Kills: 42

Series Total Kills: 67

 

 

Directed By: Danny Steinmann (Savage Streets, The Unseen)

Starring: Melanie Kinnaman (Thunder Ally, Best of the Best), John Shepard steps into the role of Tommy Jarvis for Corey Feldman here (though The Feldster does make a minor appearance), Shavar Ross (little Dudley from Different Strokes…seriously) and Dick Wieand taking over Jason’s role

Released By: Paramount Pictures and Georgetown Productions Inc.

Release Year: 1985

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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