Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part 6


When Tommy Jarvis digs up the body of Crystal Lake favorite Jason Voorhees in order to completely destroy the body, a freak lighting strike brings the deceased killer roaring back to life. The end of the Tommy Jarvis Saga.

This is the first film where Jason finally joins our ranks and becomes a member of the living dead himself (albeit more of a Frankenstein’s monster type), you know we even had a party for him afterwards. They cut it out of the movie of course, but it happens after he exits his grave and before he begins his murderous rampage once again. It was the first and last party we ever had for the big guy, even birthday parties are ignored when it comes to the lumbering, dead giant. He’s just not very good at a party. He sulks in a corner holding on to his blasted machete, he refuses to drink, and don’t even get me started on the limb chopping. You walk up to him and offer a handshake, next thing you know the hand is gone, sometimes the whole arm. No, he doesn’t get invited to parties anymore. Still, we welcome him into our membership and wish him a long unlife killing camp counselors and anyone else who gets in his way.

The sixth installment finds Tommy Jarvis (now played by Return of the Living Dead’s Thom Mathews) still struggling with his demons after a childhood encounter with Jason, but now he’s a man on a mission. Being the one who finally ended Jason’s reign of terror those many years ago, he’s determined to destroy Jason completely by burning all traces of his body. Escaping with a friend from whatever institution he’s now been placed in, he drives to where they buried the monster and digs up his carcass. Once the rotting corpse has been exposed, rage overtakes Tommy and he repeatedly stabs Jason with a metal fence post, leaving it jutting out of Jason’s chest while he chucks the infamous hockey mask into the grave and covers the body in gasoline. Unfortunately a freak lightening strike slams right into the metal pole before Tommy can start his fire and a very pissed off Jason is brought back from the dead; ready to have his particular brand of fun, starting with Tommy’s unfortunate friend. The troubled Jarvis runs off to the police while Jason retrieves his mask (putting it on in a very cool manner might I add). The cops of course don’t believe Tommy’s story and find the man’s appearance in their new town upsetting. They’ve done everything they can to forget about the masked killer, even changed their name from Crystal Lake to Forest Green. While Tommy is escorted out of town, Jason heads toward his old stomping ground (taking out a few victims along the way) where the newly opened Camp Forest Green is just getting ready to open. With Jason closing in on a group of nearly fifty kids and the cops watching his every move, Tommy Jarvis is going to have to think fast in order to save the town from again facing the horror it once witnessed.


{Jason was getting a machete back one way or another}

After the debacle that was Friday the 13th: A New Beginning, Part 6 was like a refreshing glass of ice water in the middle of a desert. This one actually shares a lot in common with part 4 and I’ve always wondered if the director didn’t want to take it back to where it was before Part 5. I’d have to say that while 4 is definitely at the top, this one comes in a close second. I had only a few minor complaints, but I’ll get to those in a little bit.


{He was always the apple in my eye too}

The first thing done to help us forget about the last film was giving us good characters this time around, especially improved upon was Tommy Jarvis himself. I wanted the little fucker in the last film to die in a horrible way, but this time actor Thom Mathews (who only got the part because John Shepard wouldn’t reprise his role as Jarvis after becoming a Christian, I’m entirely serious about that by the way) does a great job with the character and I found myself rooting for his success, even if said success meant the end of my big, dead buddy. It’s not just the lovable but crazy Tommy that draws you in but nearly every character in the film; they all have something extremely lacking in the last film…personality, and the acting talent was improved upon as well. Some of them are definitely over the top stereotypes, but they still fit into their roles and maintained a persona that kept them from being stale additions. The funniest part for me with the characters was that two of my favorites were only minor characters and not even major players. The first was the deputy sheriff, the sheriff (also the unhappy father of Tommy’s love interest) was good too, don’t get me wrong, but his deputy was great with his red dot sight and his favorite line “Where ever the red dot goes, you bang.” He was a likable guy who took his job seriously while being a sardonic caricature of a small town deputy. My other favorite was a man I hold in high regard, the drunken caretaker of the cemetery where Jason was buried who keeps mostly to himself but seems to love the company. His quote is even better. As he walks down the road singing to himself while finishing the last of his whiskey he looks at the bottle and says, “Darling, you’re going to be the death of me, but what a way to go.” This is sadly his last bit in the movie because soon after disposing of the now empty bottle Jason uses that same bottle to take his face off.


{If only Tommy Jarvis would have known previously that cemetery light made him look so much more heroic}

I’m going to take a guess and say special effects supervisor Martin Becker must have gotten reamed after the cheap effects he rendered in the last film because there is a marked improvement in how good the deaths looked between Part 5 and Part 6, though he does seem to favor the machete more so than in any other film. Machete aside, he does get to be a little more brutal with some of his kills such as ripping a person’s heart out or just twisting their head clean off of their body. I’m not going to say that the effects are stellar because it’s the effects that keep this one from being better than Part 4 which had some of the best effects in the franchise so far thanks to the very talented Tom Savini. They’re not bad by a long shot but there was too much reliance on the audience’s imagination for me to give them a big high five, meaning you don’t get to see everything Jason does. I’m all for letting an imagination run wild but I go to a Jason film to watch the maniac murder as many people as possible, not watch him go in for the kill only to have the camera pan away.


{That machete is getting a lot of use in this film and even shotguns won’t stop it}

Now for the complaints. I didn’t much care for the mystical aspect of this film; I understand he’s an undead Jason but having to use an occult book to figure out the “only” way to kill him was weak. I preferred him as simply an unstoppable killing machine, not some magical creature. Then there was Jason himself, two complaints here. One, why does he still have the axe mark in his mask from Part 3? I guess we can assume that Tommy put it there to remind him of the original but my grandpa used to have a saying “Assuming anything makes an ass out of you and me.” It should have been removed. Two, when we first get a look at his corpse he is nothing but skin and bones but after removing himself from his grave he’s a hulking monstrosity. I guess we can go off of Jason X’s explanation that he can regenerate lost tissue, but since I think that film was supposed to be a joke instead of a real movie I’m not going there.


{Yeah, I don’t see this being resurrected into…}



Still, my minor complaints aside, this is a good film. The story was written perfectly to wrap up the Tommy Jarvis Saga, and I’m glad they ended it the way they did. No Friday the 13th film afterward will ever be as good (though the cheesiness in 8 is incredibly enjoyable) so enjoy before they start to get pretty damn ridiculous.


The Undead Review


Jason’s Kill Rate:

Heart Ripped Out: 1

Steel Pole: 2 (3 series total)

Tree Impalement: 1

Machete: 7 (13 series total)

Broken Bottle: 1

Head Crush: 2 (3 series total)

Knife: 1 (6 series total)

Head Twist: 1

Jason Total Kills This Film: 16

Jason Total Kills: 58

Series Total Kills: 83


Directed By: Tom McLoughlin (Date with an Angel, The Unsaid)

Starring: Thom Mathews (The Return of the Living Dead, Bloodmatch) as Tommy Jarvis, Jennifer Cooke (Covenant, V {TV}), David Kagen, and C.J. Grahm (Highway to Hell) as Jason for this go around

Released By: Paramount Pictures and Terror Films Inc.

Release Year: 1986

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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