Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Friday the 13th part 6: Jason Lives

Starring: Thom Mathews, Jennifer Cooke, David Kagen
Written by: Tom McLoughlin
Director: Tom McLoughlin
Year: 1986

Rating: * *  Stars           +         (Fan Bonus *)    Total: * * *

Jason returns from the dead and is out for revenge.

This film features the return of Jason Vorhees in his most iconic incarnation, that of an undead, unstoppable force of destruction. It also rounds off the Tommy trilogy, in which an adult Tommy must confront Jason one last time.

Jason Lives is the film in which this series jumps the shark. In this, the sixth episode, Jason appears first as he is now, 25+ years later, iconically remembered. Not as the little boy in the lake, or the wild man with the potato sack over his head, but as the rotting corpse of a killer with Mother issues. Jason is more brutal and relentless than ever before.

The casual audience will find this dull and predictable, as Jason slashes his way from one obnoxious, soulless, empty-headed victim to the next. There is little tension or suspense as we are not ever emotionally vested in any of them. Fans however will delight in Jason's killing spree as he never seems to kill anyone in the same way twice. The motor home scene is pretty cool, culminating with Jason standing over it like a big game hunter who just killed a charging elephant.

The quality of acting and directing is on par with the rest of the series, but despite Jason's return and pushing the envelope in his methods of killing, the remainder of this series drops off sharply. So dull did this series become that even putting him in outer space did little to resurrect this series.

In many ways, this is the best of the series, if sadly, plants the seeds of its eventual demise.

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