And so the weekend blogging bonanza begins! Yesterday’s image was from the teaser trailer for Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI, and my subject for the next three days is the blood-soaked oeuvre of Jason Voorhees … even though today’s date is the somewhat less ominous Friday the 8th. My original, lazy plan was simply to make a no-frills ranking of the 11 movies. But things mutated, as is only fitting for a horror blog, and thus the bonanza was born.
Today, the four really good ones …
Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI (1986) – Writer-director Tom McLoughlin pokes good-natured fun at the slasher genre while staying true to the series’ spirit. Superb in the technical departments and nicely acted by an enthusiastic cast, Jason Lives offers foggy ambience, some laughs and a generous body count. This is the one where Jason thrusts his fist straight through a guy’s chest, and later bends the local sheriff so far backwards that his spine snaps. Youch!
Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984) – Makeup maestro Tom Savini returns from the original to supply the blood and guts, and the eerie woods are shrouded in mist throughout. Director Joseph Zito lends an almost Hitchcockian flair to a couple of scenes, but a young Corey Feldman is the only actor who rises above mediocrity. This is the one where a backpacker feels the bizarre urge to scream, “Oh, God! He’s killing me! He’s killing me!” as Jason, you know, kills him.
Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981) – Has a cool pre-credits sequence and cameo from Adrienne King (the heroine of the first entry). This was director Steve Miner’s feature debut, but there are few signs of freshman jitters. Viewers unfamiliar with the movies may be disappointed to discover that Jason only wears a sack over his head, though. This is the one where he shows himself to be an equal opportunities maniac, by driving a machete into the face of a guy in a wheelchair.
Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989) – Many Friday fans sniff at this entry, but it’s not bad at all, sporting a decent cast and unfamiliar settings—most of the running time takes place on a boat, and how could it not be fun to see Jason stomping through subway cars and roaming the mean streets of New York? The symbolic ending is a misfire, though. This is the one where Jason punches a dude’s head clean off and sends it rolling into a dumpster.
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