Saturday, September 8, 2012

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

       Young Tina Shepard runs outside as her parents fight.  Her father chases after her as she takes off in the boat. She tells him that she hates him for hurting her mother. Her anger causes the pier that her father is standing on to collapse since she has the ability of telekinesis and accidentally kills him.  We jump several years later where a teenage Tina and her mother are returning to their old lake house so Tina's doctor, Dr. Crews, can help her get over her guilt of what happened to her father.  What Tina and her mother don't know is that Dr. Crews doesn't plan to help Tina, but to exploit her abilities for money.  Meanwhile next door, Nick is hosting a surprise party for his cousin Michael with some stereotypical Friday The 13th victims just itching to come face to face with Jason's machete.   Tina begins a friendship with Nick even though the skanky blonde bitch Melissa does everything she can do to give her crabs to Nick.  One night, an upset Tina cries near Crystal Lake for her father to come back to her. Unknowingly, she unchains Jason at the bottom of the lake with her powers. Jason emerges from the lake, causing Tina to faint. Soon, Tina begins to see visions of people being killed by some big dude wearing a hockey mask. Jason makes his way to crash Michael's surprise birthday bash and comes face to face with Tina. Will Tina's powers help her defeat Jason for good or will there be yet ANOTHER Friday The 13th?

           In 1986, Paramount Pictures released the very successful sixth installment in their popular Friday The 13th franchise titled Friday The 13th: Jason Lives.  Jason Lives breathed new life into the saga after the stupid fifth installment Friday The 13th: A New Beginning almost killed and buried the franchise for good.  Since Jason Lives was so successful at the box office, what happened? You got it! They made another sequel. Now, you're catching on to Hollywood's thinking.  In 1988, Paramount Pictures released the seventh installment, Friday The 13th: The New Blood.   It basically did the average Friday The 13th thing except this time, it gave the heroine of the film telekinetic powers.   They basically wrapped up the Tommy Jarvis story in the last movie, so they decided to start with a fresh new heroine named Tina Shepard.

             The story is pretty average except for the whole telekinesis deal.  Daryl Haney and Manuel Fidello wrote an okay screenplay, I guess.   Telekinesis is the ONLY new thing added to this film.  The thing that made the last film so appealing was the over the top kills, zombie Jason, interesting characters, and the addition of humor to the victims before they die. Here, the characters are just forgettable for the most part.  They are set up to die, which is how these Friday characters mostly are, but these characters just didn't have much of a personality and were cattle just waiting to be slaughtered.  The only characters that really held my interest was Tina (the heroine) because of all the shit she was going through. She has a doctor that just wants to use her to make cash off her powers and then throw her in the mental hospital. Plus, she feels majorly guilty for accidentally killing her father. Tina treats her gift more of a curse than a gift.  This girl doesn't need therapy, she needs to join Professor Xavier at the Mutant Academy so she can be trained to use her ability safely.

      Nick is the typical love interest for the heroine, but definitely has a personality and I cared to see him live.  Melissa is a cold hearted bitch that should get fucked with a dick made out of maggots. I hated this girl for all the right reasons. What a fucking bitch!  Dr. Crews was a money hungry douche bag that deserved over a million gruesome ways to die.  I felt bad for Michael. Poor guy. He has to get killed by Jason on his birthday.  Jason could have at least let him enjoy his party.  Oh right, Jason hates parties and friend get togethers.  If he wants to hack up annoying people that much then I will just bring him as a guest to my high school reunion.   All of the other characters are so one dimensional that their names have totally escaped me. We have some sci fi geek, a stoner couple, a sex couple, a black sex couple, some random couple staying in a tent in the woods,  and Michael's girlfriend.  My favorite character of this movie is Jason for sure. He's a fucking pissed off badass in this movie.  I don't blame him though. If I was chained to the bottom of Crystal Lake for over a decade then I would have a taste for horny teenage blood myself. 

         And now for what is usually the best part of a Friday The 13th film: the kills. The kills in Friday The 13th: The New Blood are REALLY tame and toned down for the most part.  This movie was originally going to be balls to the fucking wall gory. Unfortunately, horror movies can't be released to movie theaters rated X/NC-17, so the good stuff had to be toned down to get an R rating according to the Motion Picture Association of America. Yep, the MPAA gang raped Friday The 13th: The New Blood so hard that it's ass is oozing all the blood. Way to go ratings board, fuck you and your little rules too!   It truly breaks my heart to see what could have been a really awesome horror flick get butchered  like that.  This shit even happens today, probably not as much due to the fact that movies can get away with more shit nowadays.  Anyways, the kills were really hurt thanks to the MPAA. The one kill that everyone loves including myself is Jason grabbing a girl who is wrapped up inside a sleeping bag and slamming it ONCE into a tree.  My second favorite is when Jason stabs a girl in the eye with a birthday party blow horn.  There's one involving a spinning blade, but the scene was obviously cut too soon, so we don't get to see the good stuff. Considering that character was an asshole, we should have been able to see it just for the smile.  I liked Melissa's death where Jason hits her in between the eyes with an axe and then tosses her body across the living room.  All in all, disappointing kills for a Friday The 13th movie.

        The music score by Harry Manfredini was awesome as always and personally my favorite of his Friday The 13th musical scores.

          The direction by special FX artist John Carl Buechler was pretty off and on. I don't blame Buechler for this personally since the MPAA forced him to cut and take out a lot of good stuff. This is a movie that we could use an UNCUT version on DVD. I'm highly surprised that it hasn't been released uncut.  I'm really curious what this movie was supposed to be like.  I personally don't mind Buechler as a director, but he is a far better special FX artist in my opinion.

           The acting was okay for the most part. Lar-Park Lincoln was alright as Tina. She was definitely better than Alice and maybe Chris, but she still ain't no Ginny Fields or even Tommy Jarvis. Susan Blu was okay as Tina's mother Amanda. I really liked Kevin Spirtas as Nick. Susan Jennifer Sullivan was great at playing the rich and snobby bitch of the movie as Melissa. I hated this girl's guts for all the right reasons. And she WOULD be the last one to bite it too. Terry Kiser played a great greedy douche bag as Dr. Crews. I wanted this guy to bite it SO badly. William Butler was decent as Michael. It's funny because Butler would play another victim in Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III in 1990 and also got killed off by Freddy Krueger in the TV show Freddy's Nightmares.  He should be a victim in a Halloween film too!  Everyone else was okay. Nobody else really stuck out as the Crystal Lake victims. And last and surely not least, Kane Hodder's first portrayal as Jason Voorhees. Hodder is the most popular actor to play Jason and a fan favorite since he has returned to play Jason in the next three Friday The 13th movies, which established him as being Jason.  While Hodder is not my personal favorite portrayal of Jason, I still loved his performance. Kane gave Jason something that nobody had really seen until this movie, which was a personality. He played him differently from those who came before him and really made the character his own.   Kane Hodder as Jason is definitely the best part of this movie for me as a fan. The Jason make-up looked fucking awesome in the final act when Tina uses her power to break the hockey mask, revealing Jason's gruesome face. He looked like a mean killing machine and a total badass.  Jason kicked a lot of ass in this movie!

       I do have a HUGE issue with the film though aside from a lot of the victims being really forgettable and the MPAA raping the kill scenes.  What the fuck is up with the conclusion to this movie? Tina somehow summons her dead father to grab Jason and pull him back into the water. Uh, whah? How? What?  I'm sorry, but that is just fucking confusing as hell. That would make as much sense as to having Michael Myers' mother come back from the dead after blowing her own brains out. Oh wait, THAT DID HAPPEN!  Anyways, yeah, that ending was bogus. It would have been one thing if it was a dream and they had explained that, but no. They leave it without explaining it at all.  Although, I do admit that I would much rather have this confusing ending than the one we get in the next installment.

           Overall, Friday The 13th: The New Blood is a pretty average slasher flick.  It's basically Carrie Vs. Jason.  The best part is Kane Hodder as Jason, the sleeping bag kill, the blow horn in the eye kill, the look of Jason, and that is pretty much it. It's still watchable, but this is the start of where the franchise began to go downhill until 2003 with Freddy VS. Jason.


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