Friday the 13th Part 7: The New Blood


Tommy Jarvis may have managed to placate Jason Voorhees for a while but when a young Tina Shepard uses her telekinetic abilities to drown her father, an evil the world thought destroyed is released once again.

Telekinesis, why is it you humans can’t be satisfied with just being able to have a heartbeat. There’s always gotta be these simple, ridiculous ideas of what human kind can do, superheroes, super villains, the religious right, all these stupid ideas that humans can do ridiculous things because mankind can’t accept the fact that they are what they are. You don’t hear wolves talking about turning into men; that might be because wolves don’t normally talk but it’s still a valid point. Men are men; women are women, and homicidal, undead serial killers are homicidal, undead serial killers. It’s just the way life is, movie magic aside.

Our seventh installment of the Friday the 13th franchise begins some years after Tommy Jarvis (the hero of the last three films) finally found a way to stop the madman’s destructive rampage by chaining him to the bottom of Crystal Lake (otherwise known as Lake Forest Green in the last film). Here a little girl with the power to destroy objects with her mind sends her abusive father to the bottom of the lake, inadvertently triggering Jason Voorhees slow return in the process. Fast forward several years and most people have forgotten about the undead mass murderer, but poor Tina Shepard (the little girl from the beginning) has been unable to move forward, a problem that her psychiatrist feels could be rectified if she returned to the place her father drowned years prior. As Tina tries to reconcile her past, a group of party goer’s intent on celebrating the birthday of one of their own arrives to aggravate Tina even further. As tensions further and the wayward Tina grows more powerful, a supposedly dead Jason hears the Siren’s call of a telepathic song and rises from his place deep in the lake to once again begin his murderous rampage.


{Telepathic powers are murder on homes}

Is it bad to say a film series based on a nearly immortal serial killer is ridiculous when it enters into the realm of psychokinesis? I really don’t think so. I had my issues with the last film because of its “magical” ideas. I loved that Jason Voorhees is brought back to life to live his unlife as a zombie (or as has been argued between me and a few others, Frankenjason) but I didn’t much care for the occult aspect added to the film. It just made him less a maniacal killer and more a demonic entity that needed magic to put him down. I felt that it really brought the character down, almost destroying what he’d previously been. Part 7 adds to it, furthering Jason’s decline into downright silliness.


{He also begins to become much more monstrous}

I won’t say that this is the worst in the serious but it sure as hell ain’t the best, coming across as both a little boring and a lot generic. What I mean by generic is that with the exception of the whole telekinesis thing, there isn’t anything new here; I’ve seen this movie done a few times before with previous films so it just felt old and repetitive. In fact, that’s a perfect description of this film, old and repetitive. Nowhere is this more evident than in the monotonous, lackluster characters.


{Anything that squeaks is an enemy of Jason}

The only character in this film that I cared whether or not they lived or died was the main character Tina and even then I think it had more to do with feeling sympathy for her awful childhood than because the character was likeable.   Every other one just came across as cardboard cutouts of real people (shades of Part 5). It was painfully obvious that they wrote the characters simply as victims, not caring one way or the other if people were going to like them. It’s not that a character whose only purpose for the film is to die needs to be fully fleshed out, but they should have at least the barest hint of a personality and not many here did. Bland would be a good way to describe this film’s cast. The actors themselves aren’t too bad but unfortunately for them, even a good actor can’t fix a broken character.


{Don’t look so surprised}

Then there’s Jason himself. There have been some improvements, but there was one thing wrong. It was Jason’s stupid Darth Vader breathing. He does this heavy breathing thing the whole movie that sounds a lot like someone wanted him to be The Dark Lord of the Sith. Isn’t he dead? Why is he breathing? It was annoying and pointless. I’m thinking they were trying to make him seem more intimidating but it didn’t work. I do have to admit that Jason looked cooler here than he’s looked in any film previously (even if he does seem to have gotten bigger than he’s ever been). Not only does he look better but actor Kane Hodder (who will take over the role of Jason from here on out) does a great job playing the undead murderer.


{Not the man to mess with}

Now for the few things that kept this movie from being an insult to cinema.

I’ve already touched on Jason looking cooler so I’ll move past that one. The effects are the major saving grace for this film and are easily some of the best so far in the series. The deaths aren’t highly imaginative (though the one victim beat against a tree in their sleeping bag was pretty funny and looked as brutal as it did because Hodder had become frustrated after going through several takes) but they do look good. The only other thing I can really say positive about this film is that even though the psychic thing is pretty lame, there is a scene near the end where Jason suffers a psychic beat down as Tina telekinetically uses everything but the kitchen sink to kick Jason’s ass. While I love the big guy, it was nice to see him finally get the whooping he deserves.


{Little known fact: Jason hates sleeping bags that don’t have cartoon characters on them}

This is one movie you can watch or leave alone; it doesn’t matter much either way. It’s not the worst onetime watch but you won’t be missing much if you choose to skip Part 7 and go for the more hilarious Part 8.


The Undead Review


Jason’s Kill Rate:

Tent Spike: 2

Heart Ripped Out: 1 (2 series total)

Sleeping Bag Beat Down: 1

Machete: 2 (15 series total)

Drowning: 1

Sickle: 1

Head Crushed: 1 (4 series total)

Bike Horn: 1

Knife: 1 (7 series total)

Out the Window: 1

Spear: 1 (2 series total)

Weed Wacker: 1

Axe: 1 (2 series total)

Jason Total Kills This Film: 14

Jason Total Kills: 72

Series Total Kills: 97


Directed By: John Carl Buechler (Troll, Watchers Reborn)

Starring: Lar Park-Lincoln (The Princess Academy, House 2: The Second Story), Terry Kiser (Mask Maker, Pet Shop), Kevin Spirtas (The Hills Have Eyes Part 2, Subspecies 2 and 3) and Kane Hodder (Hatchet, Behind the Mask) as Jason Voorhees

Released By: Paramount Pictures and Friday Four Films Inc.

Release Year: 1988

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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