Saturday, September 8, 2012
Friday The 13th Part V: A New Beginning (1985)
On a stormy night, young Tommy Jarvis walks in the rain to the local grave yard. He watches from a close distance as two dumbasses decide that it is actually a great idea to dig up Jason Voorhees. Being that it is Jason Voorhees, he kills the two yokels and begins coming towards Tommy, raising his machete as Tommy screams. GOTCHA! It was just a nightmare and we see that a now teenage Tommy is being taken to a mental halfway house for disturbed youths. This mental halfway house consists of annoying as hell kids named Joey, Violet, Robin, Jake, Tina, Eddie, and Vick. That same day, the annoying fat kid Joey annoys Vick so much that Vick snaps and chops up Joey with an axe over a candy bar like five minutes into the movie. The ambulance comes and takes the body. Soon, a killer begins to murder anyone in the area leading to the halfway house where Tommy is. This causes Tommy to relapse and begin slipping further and further into insanity. Too bad the killer ain't Jason and all of the characters for the most part are annoying. New Beginnings in this case are Apocalyptic.
In 1984, Paramount Pictures released Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter, which was the fourth and at the time going to be the last film in this loving horror/slasher franchise. Unfortunately for us, but very fortunate for Paramount Pictures, Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter was a huge hit at the box office opening weekend and beat out the grossing of the first three movies. This meant what? To make a sequel. Who gives a fuck if they killed off Jason in The Final Chapter? So what if The Final Chapter was going to be our last Jason film? The hockey masked slasher makes money from these kids who want more, then baby, let's give em' more! So, Paramount Pictures released the fifth installment in the popular horror saga titled Friday The 13th: A New Beginning just a year later in 1985. And you want to know something? It sucked. It sucked real hard.
Friday The 13th: A New Beginning is one of those horror sequels that actually has an interesting idea going on, but fails to execute it properly. Now, I know what most of you are probably thinking. That I hate this movie so much because it turns out that Jason is not the killer. Am I right? Well truthfully, that is not exactly why I hate A New Beginning. Sure, I wish that they had brought Jason back because I fucking love the character just as much as any fan of this franchise does. My issue is that the identity of the imposter Jason is so predictable. I mean seriously, you can literally guess who it is like twenty minutes into the movie. They actually spell it out for us, which leaves the rest of the movie with no suspense at all. I'm sure many Friday fans left that theater pissed off and cheated on opening night back in 1985. I know that I would have if I was a teenager back then. Getting back to what I was saying about the film actually having a good idea going for it, I liked the whole angle with Tommy Jarvis. What happened to him in the last movie has left him very on the edge of sanity. This guy looks like he could snap any minute. Then, someone begins killing everyone around him disguised as the same maniac that he is trying to forget, causing him to slip even further into madness. I also liked the whole idea at the end that he might actually take up the mantle for Jason because of the murders. Those memories are uncontrollably coming back to haunt him. He begins to see Jason standing at the foot of his bed, in the mirror, outside the window, and so on. Too bad that the suspense was killed when the filmmakers spelled out exactly who the imposter Jason was and why they were killing in the first place.
The biggest issue I have with this film aside from the weak suspense are the very annoying characters. Basically every character in this movie to some degree annoyed me and was just unlikeable. We got the usual sexually active couple Eddie and Tina. The fat annoying kid with a chocolate bar fetish named Joey, who thankfully gets chopped to pieces in the first like ten minutes. Vick, who is the badass who kills Joey and ends up going off to jail. Robin, the... What the fuck did she do again? The annoying robot dance challenged wannabe Punk/Goth chick Violet. If I wanted to see a chick that acts like a robot in a Friday The 13th film, then I would watch Jason X thank you very much. At least that robot chick had removable nipples and was a badass! There's a dude who stutters named Jake, who obviously has the hots for Robin and weirdly tells her that he wants to make love to her. That would be like walking up to some random girl at the mall and asking if I could lick her pussy. Dumbass! We also get some other characters too like Matt and Pam who run this halfway house for mentally disturbed teens and some annoying kid named Reggie who's grandpa works at this place.
Speaking of mentally disturbed teens, the teens in this house don't have ANY symptoms of being disturbed, well aside from obviously Tommy. Stuttering is a sign of being disturbed? So, if I dance like a robot horribly, then I'm a sick and dangerous person? Actually, probably yes, but that's beside the point. I didn't know having sex qualifies for being sent off to the looney bin. If that's the case, then I better register at Smith's Grove, Westin Hills, or Arkham Asylum. If I wanted to see all of the victims in a mental institute then I would simply watch the awesome A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors. Anyways, there's also a crazy redneck woman named Ethel and her retarded son Junior. This lady is fucking hilarious and is somebody I really needed to make me laugh instead of wanting to strangle most of the characters in this movie. I loved it when she calls her son a big dildo. All in all, the characters are pretty annoying for the most part and definitely forgettable.
The screenplay written by Martin Kitrosser, David Cohen, and Danny Steinmann is pretty bad. I truthfully wish that this film centered solely on Tommy and what he is dealing with. That would have been a far more interesting story and film. This film just didn't work for me as a fan of the franchise. I will admit to liking the idea of Tommy slipping into madness because of someone starting the murders back up in Crystal Lake, but it just didn't come together well. I've seen many horror sequels that brought good ideas to the table, but just didn't know how to execute them well to make a good movie. Rob Zombie's Halloween II is the best example of this. There was some really interesting ideas going on with the Michael Myers/Laurie Strode story that had Laurie slightly falling into the evil that she was trying so hard to repress, but it just didn't come together right. In this film, I like where they were trying to go, but like Halloween II (2009), it just didn't get there.
In case you don't notice, the killer turns out to be Roy the ambulance driver, who also just so happens to be Joey's father. I'm just not going to worry about spoiling it since the film itself is basically a spoiler alert. Speaking of Roy aka imposter Jason, I love how his hockey mask has blue marks instead of red like the REAL Jason's hockey mask. Looks like he got it for a buck or two at K-Mart. I also love how his wardrobe looks EXACTLY like Michael Myers' outfit from Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers. Nice, not only is this guy a Jason imposter, but he's also a Michael Myers imposter too!
And now for what is USUALLY the highlight of this franchise: the Kills! The kills in Friday The 13th: A New Beginning are pretty tame by Friday The 13th standards. A guy gets a flare shoved in his mouth, which is actually the best kill in this movie. Another guy gets some kinda belt wrapped around his head and is tightened so much that it cuts into his eyes. There's a girl who gets her eyeballs plucked out with garden shears. Okay, this is supposed to be Jason, not Cropsy. The rest just consists of meat cleavers, decapitations, stabbings, slit throats, and more removal of eyeballs. Okay, so this fake Jason is a mix of Jacob Goodnight from See No Evil and Agnes from that bad Black Christmas remake. All in all, pretty lame kills.
I see that they tried to pay homage to Parts 2 & 3 by having Pam come at fake Jason with a chainsaw and that the final act takes place in a barn. That just makes me want to go back and watch Parts 2 & 3 again to get this film out of my head.
The music by Harry Manfredini is okay here. It's my least favorite of his musical themes in this franchise, but it ain't bad.
Danny Steinmann is pretty tame with the directing. It's nothing special, but it ain't the worst I've seen either from a director.
The acting is pretty meh and awful for the most part. It's probably because of the lame screenplay I'm guessing. John Shepherd is okay as teenage Tommy Jarvis. He actually convinced me that he was on the edge about to snap. He is not my favorite portrayal of Tommy though. That goes to the next sequel, Jason Lives. Melanie Kinnaman was pretty uninteresting as Pam as well as Richard Young as Matt. Juliet Cummins was pretty forgettable as Robin. John Robert Dixon was annoying as Eddie and got his ass kicked by Tommy. Tiffany Helm was horrible as Violet aka Robot Girl. I saw in the His Name Is Jason documentary where she was supposed to get stabbed between the legs, but the scene was cut and reshot because it would have been rated X. Damn MPAA, fuck you! Another fun fact is that the actress' mother played Kristen's mom in A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors. Jerry Pavlon was annoying as the stuttering dude Jake. Mark Venturini was awesome as Vick for the simple fact that he hacked up annoying Joey. Dominick Brascia was annoying as Joey. Debi Sue Voorhees was pretty hot and had NICE boobs as Tina. Carol Locatell was fucking awesome as Ethel. Definitely the best character of the movie as the comic relief. I did enjoy the small cameo by Corey Feldman as 12 year old Tommy in the beginning of the movie. This film did the Rob Zombie's Halloween II deal where the best part of the film was at the beginning and it all turned out to be a nightmare. Shavar Ross was pretty annoying as Reggie. And Dick Wieand looked guilty as hell as Roy the ambulance drive aka fake Jason. All in all, the cast was pretty forgettable.
Before I conclude this review, I have to mention three things that I noticed. There's a scene where the Sheriff is talking to the Mayor about the possibility that Jason Voorhees is doing the killing. The Mayor tells the Sheriff that Jason Voorhees is dead, that he was cremated and nothing but a handful of ash. Well, then why the hell is he in a coffin and has a tomb stone in the next movie? I'm guessing that they just wanted to forget this film ever happened when they did Jason Lives. The other is at the end when the Sheriff is talking to Pam , explaining Roy's back story and is showing newspaper clippings dealing with Jason. There's a crystal clear picture of Jason taken by a photographer. It shows how much the Crystal Lake press really care about their photographers. I wonder what poor and sorry soul lost their life just for the clearest picture of our favorite hockey masked slasher. And lastly, what the fuck is up with the box cover for this movie? That's not even the same mask that the real or fake Jason would wear. That's Trevor Moorehouse from that lame Bloody Murder movie that bluntly ripped off Friday The 13th!
Overall, Friday The 13th: A New Beginning was a huge let down for me as a fan of this franchise. In my opinion, it is the worst of the series. Sure, the eighth installment Jason Takes Manhattan was pretty bad, but at least they had Kane Hodder being a badass as Jason and a few cool kills. Jason Goes To Hell had Jason body switching, yes, but was at least interesting and had some over the top and very sweet kills. Jason X is just a guilty pleasure of mine. Sure, it is ridiculous, but was a lot of fun. And even the 2009 remake as standard Friday The 13th fashion as that was at least had Jason in it and added new elements to him as a character. This film just didn't feel totally like a part of the franchise. In fact, it is the black sheep of this saga and the sequels following it ignore it's very existence. Yep, that definitely sounds like a new beginning to me. I just look at this film as a nightmare given to us by Freddy Krueger because he's just pissed that Jason is killing more teens than him. I always knew that dude was an evil bastard.