Saturday, November 27, 2010

"Friday the 13th Part VI:Jason Lives"(1986)d/Tom McLoughlin

Ah,we've finally arrived at one of my favorite Friday flicks!People either love this one or hate it,mostly due to the tongue-in-cheek humour within,but honestly,how could the series' producers take this material seriously after seven years worth of cookie cutter stalk and slash fare centered around everybody's favorite indestructible homicidal retard?Besides resurrecting Jason from the grave,this entry is also notable for bringing Alice Cooper's musical career back from several years of bargain bin Hell,with the shock rock pioneer providing three tracks(Teenage Frankenstein,Hard Rock Summer,and the title track,He's Back(The Man Behind the Mask))for the soundtrack,but by this time the corny,synth-heavy,cop out-metal image reinvention,though it returned him to pop stardom,delegated him to shlocky parody status,just like the goalie masked villain he shared the spotlight with here.Before you start to get the wrong idea,I was right there in the theater seat for the opening weekend of tonight's review,like so many other kids my age,eager to see Jason throttling fuck-starved teens in his supernatural mitts.Anything was an improvement over Part V,and Jason Lives plays to the strengths of the series and the genre with a self-mocking wit,a knowing wink to its core audience.You either got it,or you didn't.
Tommy(Thom Matthews)and Horshak(Ron Palillo) vainly try to dig up the remains of Epstein's muddah...Ooooh!Ooooh!
Tommy Jarvis(Matthews),who you might remember as a nearsighted twelve year old just two years earlier,is pushing thirty as he breaks out of a squirrel farm with Horshak from "Welcome Back,Kotter" just to travel to the grave of mass-murdering mongoloid Jason Voorhees,to ummm...well,jam a section of iron fence through his rotting corpse in a furious rage,I guess.Too bad a bolt of lightning travelling through the maggot-ridden flesh was just the ticket to bring the misshapen fiend right back to life.Tommy even conveniently brought the old boy a new hockey mask and some gloves.Jason,ever the thankful motherfucker,repays the would-be assassins by punching Horshak's heart out(something those of us who watched Kotter wanted to do for twenty years) and climbing from his earthen plot to once again pile up the mutilated bodies of any nearby young folks foolish enough to try to have a good time.Tommy hurries to nearby Forest Green,the town formerly known as Crystal Lake, to warn the town of the impending danger,pissing off the local sheriff,who speaks almost entirely in tough guy movie cliches,and attracting his daughter,Megan(Jennifer Cooke,who'd easily be this movie's J.V.I.L.F.,if she ate it),in the process,buying him a law enforcement-escorted ride outta town,which he shortcuts in a chase to the cemetery to prove that Jason wasn't in his coffin any longer.Too bad the caretaker filled in the grave,ignorant to the fact the hockey goalie from Hell had bailed,leaving a sweathog in his place.Meanwhile,Jason's back at it.Two counselors on the way to the new camp eat cemetery gate spike skewer-death.Then he hits the jackpot when he stumbles upon a company's weekend paintball war in the woods.Arms get torn off,a face gets smashed into a spray painted smiley face on a tree,and there's a triple decapitation,from which Big J also scores himself a new machete,hunting and throwing knives.Merry Christmas,rascal.
Voorhees.Jason Voorhees in..."The Mong Who Eviscerated Me",coming soon to a theater near you.
After erasing the wisecracking drunken caretaker,he sets his good eye on counselor Cort,who's fucking Nikki in a Winnebago while listening to Alice Cooper.He slams the girls head into the toilet wall so hard that an outline of her airhead comes out the other side,Cort obliviously jamming in the driver's seat until the aforementioned hunting knife gets rammed into his temple,the camper screeching to a halt on its side and setting ablaze as Jason emerges out the top,unfazed by the wanton awesomeness he's just brought to the big screen.The sheriff,meanwhile,is convinced that Tommy is responsible for the growing local body count,and locks up the rubber room refugee in his jail cell.Megan,knowing that Tommy's inno and grooving off the way the coupling pisses off her father,breaks Jarvis out of the hoosegow.As Jason kills off the last two counselors,Paula and Sissy(no J.V.I.L.F.,that's a first),Tommy and Megan are researching the black arts for a method of removing the methodical monster from the equation for keeps.After an officer takes throwing knife-based forehead trauma and Megan's dad gets broken backwards,Tommy lures Voorhees to the very lake he drowned in when he was...not a very good swimmer back in 1958,just as the spellbook must have called for,and manages to slip a huge chain around his neck,the other end attached to a Wile E. Coyote-sized boulder,sinking him to the bottom of the drink in a gasoline circle of flame.Th-th-th-th-that's not all,folks.He grabs Megan,who's swum out to save Tommy's waterlogged ass,by the ankle,but a well-placed outboard motorblade to the grill breaks Jason's neck and he lets go.The next morning,Jason,still chained at the bottom of the lake,opens his eye.Part VII,anybody?
Spencer's Gifts "Impressions-Sheet Metal Art" kits were a lot more difficult to work with,and thus less popular than their Pin Art kits back in the eighties.
The director,previously resonsible for interesting genre chunk,One Dark Night(1983),went on to direct an assload of television,including segments for the Friday the 13th series and Freddy's Nightmares,ironically.Matthews,so memorable in his performance in Return of the Living Dead the year before,went on to act in television and a slew of direct-to-video forgettable Wednesday nighters,as well as the Ling Dead sequel.Oh,and countless conventions.Cooke married the guy who founded Celestial Seasonings(!!) and was never seen again.The one actor who's had the most varied career of the entire cast is arguably Palillo,who's done loads of television,movie appearances,and voice work.He even played Horshak again.Great.There was a subplot involving never-seen before Mr. Voorhees,Jason's father,that never came to be,but looked pretty clever on storyboards anyway.I have no problem throwing this one on anytime,it's a pretty good time.On the scale,two wops,and heads and tails over many of the other sequels in the series.
Too obvious for a witty caption?I think so.


Soiled Sinema said...

This is my favorite as well. A pure masturbatory slasher.


beedubelhue said...

Tough not to dig this one,innit?Good to hear from you again,ya double sig rascal.How goes it?


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