Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Voorhees a Jolly Good Fellow - Part 2

Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985)

As we all know, horror francises are as notoriously hard to kill as Jason himself, and Friday the 13th: A New Beginning was Paramount's attempt to wring some more money from the fans. Okay spoiler coming up, so go and watch the film if you haven't already. Back? Okay, so the killer isn't really Jason but some guy who appeared in the film for about ten seconds making a stupid face. Outfit-wise, he goes for a simple blue jumpsuit with twin breast pockets. The mask also bears different markings than that of the true Jason, and lacks the battle damage sustained during his previous rampages. Under the mask he wears another rubber mask to give him the appearance of the baldy mutant we all know and love. The real Jason does appear in a dream sequence at the beginning of the film, with a cameo by Corey Feldman as Tommy Jarvis. His mask and outfit are more in line with the previous incarnations. In the film's final moments Tommy Jarvis is set up to be the killer in the sequel, as alluded to in The Final Chapter.

Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986)

Fans weren't happy with the twist ending in A New Beginning, so in Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives, Paramount wisely decided to pretend it never happened. A fully grown Tommy Jarvis accidentally resurrects Jason's corpse and zombie Jason goes around murdering camp counsellors in the newly reopened Camp Crystal Lake (renamed Forest Green). A nice touch is that throughout the film he steals gear from the people he kills. By the end he has some yellow work gloves, a hunting knife with holster and also a few pouches around his waist. It's like Rob Liefeld's Jason Voorhees. They do a good job with the mask (Tommy had it with him when he dug up Jason, for sentimental purposes I guess), it's pretty much identical to The Final Friday, it even has the crack from the axe blow. He is only briefly seen without his mask at the beginning, and his face is all magotty and rotten, he looks like a zombie from a Lucio Fulci film. Tommy Jarvis ends up sinking him to the bottom of Crystal Lake by chaining a boulder around his neck.

Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988)

Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood tries to mix things up by including a girl named Tina with Carrie-esque telepathic abilities. Said abilities accidentally raise Jason from the depths of the lake and, after his obligatory rampage of death, send him back again. It looks like they tried hard to maintain continuity in this film. His mask has not only the axe wound but also the chunk out of it from Part VI. He still has the chains around his neck from the previous film and his outfit is ragged and torn after being underwater for who knows how long. There's even bones visible where the flesh has rotted away. This looks kind of silly since Jason (played by Kane Hodder) is a hulking behemoth, but good on them for trying to document his decomposition. You get a good look at him without his mask too, and he's probably one of the most elaborate Jasons yet. Yet somehow I don't think this works as well as the previous films. It's just too clean, too sculpted. He looks like a movie monster.

Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)

With Jason Takes Manhattan the series reaches all new heights of silliness. Jason is resurrected when a underwater electrical cable at the bottom of Crystal Lake is damaged by a couple of teens in a passing yacht. He kills the occupants and appropriates the hockey mask that the guy had used earlier to scare his girlfriend. In a striking attention to detail, the mask even has the axe-wound from Part III. Apparently Crystal Lake is connected to the Eastern seaboard, because the next day Jason hitches a ride on a cruise ship headed for Vancouver... uh, I mean New York. Jason wears an all black outfit, similar to Part VI, except now his gloves are also black and his clothes are miraculously mended. His exposed skin is black and rotten. It's at the end, when the sewers undergo their nightly flushing with toxic waste (whuh?) that we see Jason without his mask. His face is all melty and gross thanks to the toxic waste, but by the end of it he has morphed into a fat little kid in a bathing costume. Lame!

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