Sunday, March 7, 2010

Five Favorites: The Friday the 13th Sequels

This week's list is about the Friday the 13th movies. There are ten of them (eleven if you count Freddy Vs Jason, which for this list I did not) so there were a few to choose from. My list will probably differ from others so let the fighting begin.


5. Friday the 13th Part 3 (1982) This the movie where Jason first gets his famous hockey mask, but the formula is still in place. Here, however, the movie is bogged down by the way it was shot and a ludicrous ending. The movie was shot in 3-D and it is very obvious that it was, with things constantly being thrown at the camera. Once you get used to it the bothersome of it doesn't really affect you anymore. The ending, on the other hand, is a real headscratcher. After going out onto the lake, our lone survivor is attacked by Jason's dead mother. How the girl knew about Jason's mother is baffling. Other than those two gripes, the movie is very well made, with some good scares and the, now iconic, discovering of the hockey mask.

4. Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988) This installment of our beloved series has our hero, Jason, taking on Carrie. No, not really, but close. Having been drowned, again, at the end of part six, Jason is brought back through telekinesis and must fight against the girl who brought him back. This is the first Jason movie that Kane Hodder donned the hockey mask for and he really made it his own. Jason had always been a lumbering menace, but Hodder gave him some personality. The way Jason is remembered for moving and stalking all came from Kane Hodder's performance. He may be a dick in real life (met him at a convention a few years ago and he was not nice), but he IS Jason.

3. Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981) This being the first sequel to the hit Friday the 13th the producers didn't want to take any chances. That is why this movie is structured exactly like the original. We get the opening kill, we are introduced to the camp counselors, they are picked off one by one, the lone survivor takes on the killer face to face, we (and the survivor) think that the killer is dead and then he pops out of somewhere for a final scare. But it ain't broke so don't fix it. We are introduced to Jason for the first time and we are given some inventive kills. Very satisfying.

2. Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986) After running afoul with fans because of the bait and switch tactics used in part five, the filmmakers of this entry decided that they needed to inject something into the series to give it new life: comedy. After being brought back to life Frankenstein-style, Jason returns to his old stomping grounds to reek more havoc. Not only did the filmmakers inject comedy into the series, but Jason comes across children for the first time in the series. This adds a quick glimmer into the mind set of Jason. He will kill teenagers, but not children.

1. Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984) The only Friday the 13th movies from Paramount without a number, The Final Chapter brings to a close what the filmmakers had been building up to: the actual death of Jason Voorhees. To me the first four movies tell an actual story arc. Starting with the supposed drowning of Jason all the way up to his actual death at the end of this movie, the four movies tell a complete story. Tom Savini, who did the effects for the first movie, returns to kill his creation. From the opening sequence, which is pretty freaky, to the final showdown, The Final Chapter is the best of the Friday the 13th sequels.

There it is folks. I am a big fan of the Friday the 13th sequels and I hope that they can get back to making a worthwhile Friday the 13th movie.

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