There isn’t a horror fan who doesn’t know of Jason, the Friday the 13th franchise, and each one has their favorite part, and while this might not be might be my favorites it is in the top three of the series, the others Friday the 13th: Part Vi: Jason Lives and Part VII: The New Blood; however now is the wonderful time to return to this movie, now 35-years later. The first one of the series told a whodunit mystery mixed with a slasher, and that morphed into Part 2, with number 3 delivering both disco like music and a legendary hockey mask, that a crew person had in the bag from their hockey league.  Therefore, this creation comes from director Joseph Zito (Bloodrage [1980]) and (The Prowler [1981]), hence he knew how to combine the carnage, while infusing some suspense in the latter half of the flick, using Barney Cohen’s script, who some suggest was actually a ghostwriter hired by Joseph, while Paramount hired Zito to pen the screenplay. In addition, this movie as many know, brought back special effects guru Tom Savini, generating another incredible dose of results for the fans. Lastly, fans also know that there never became the final Friday, and rather served as a lesson that evil never dies.

Throughout the franchise, “Friday the 13th” movies started to ignore basic timeline sequences especially between Parts 1 and 2, however Paramount Pictures, honestly didn’t mind, and neither did the film creators, this beast already made a killing at the box office, and readying for a further massacre, before this film‘s release $108-million earned. A similar theme began telling of the story, using previous movies most legendary killing sequence, and face it as fans, no one truly finds it offensive. Zito’s approach shows respect to the previous mythology set forth by the established films. It kicks off with a montage of scenes from the previous films especially all the killings, and carnage, as well  as the doomed campers, followed by searchlights helicopters, numerous police officers and paramedics. All on the scene to help Chris (Dana Kimmell), and seize the body of Jason, it is from here the story truly begins for the next round of teens, and others crossing the path with our fiendish mass-murdering boy.

Jason (Ted White, who was 58-years old at the time), awakens in the morgue, likely not very happy with his new surroundings, and proceeds to eliminate very minor characters from the set, before supposedly strolling out to the hospital and heading back home, likely a calling attracts him there, no one knows nor ideally cares how he does it. After all, most came for the T&A and splatter rather than a solid storyline. Meanwhile a group of teens head to the lake and rental home for thrills, spills, sex and unbeknownst to them plenty of death. Meanwhile, the Jarvis family of three live nearby, which consists of Mrs. Jarvis (Joan Freeman), Trish (Kimberly Beck) and Tommy (Corey Feldman (Corbin Nash [2018]), who starred in this his first horror film). The Tommy character had a room that many of us fans likely have nowadays, filled with masks and other curious mementos of horror, but his behavior is quite strange later in the film when meeting an adult stranger (more on him later).

Ted (Lawrence Monoson) and Jimmy (Crispin Glover)

One thing which made this group of teens more likable than many others, is throwback to the first film, that all get along and friendly especially between Ted (Lawrence Monoson) and Jimmy (Crispin Glover (Willard [2003])), who speak at length over the two things that boys obsess over girls and sex. A few firsts in the franchise occur in the movie such the pairing of twins, Tina (Camilla More) and Terri (Carey More, who had a minuscule role in Once Bitten [1985]), however in the film they appear with much different attitudes for flesh pleasure. Oh, and that stranger, that Tommy pulls into bedroom, past a mother who just acts startled never offering resistances, ah the 80s, that’s Erich Anderson, portraying the first Voorhees’ hunter Rob Dyer, whose sister Sandra died by Jason’s hands relating back to Friday the 13th, Part 2 (1981). Let’s continue onward, Jason delivers a slew of killing by land, sea (lake), and air (someone goes for flight), besides using numerous types of weapons, from a corkscrew to playing a game of ‘got your nose’ and returning to a speargun in Paul’s genitals pushing him up and out of the water. It’s always fairly clear in the slasher genre, which character(s) will likely until remain to the end, no different in this one, but similar to reference to Part 2, Tommy’s character makes the connection to Jason. However, an interesting aspect occurs, the character Jason, makes a self-realization, the scene when he looks at his hand, with the machete wound, almost a deeper understanding of what he is, rather just who he is, an unstoppable killing machine.

The film contains the original themes and brings back the composer once more, a staple to these films, none other than Harry Manfredini (who in the same year of this release did the score for the Zombie Island Massacre [1984]). However, due a low production budget the cast needed to perform its own stunts in some cases all met with White’s disapproval, who had done many stunts before this movie, he voiced complaints to both Zito and the stunt coordinator John Sherrod (who, served in that position for Part 3 and 5). Two cast members experienced two very different situations, first Judie Aronson, developed hypothermia, and Corey Feldman, actually become terrified during the window stunt, when he was grabbed, causing him to flub the following scene as well as instilling fear within him, according different sources. Much of the cast and crew didn’t treat Feldman with ‘kid-gloves’ it was after all a grown-up set, harsh conditions limited time, no time for troublesome attitudes. Ultimately the aspects of the movie all come from Savini’s masterful techniques and design, from slicing into Jason’s hand, to smashing him with a television set, but the best that fans can all agree on the disfigurement of Jason’s unmasked face and then blade sliding through his eye and skull, complete with muscles twitching. It all makes for an exquisite scene for any horror fan, but especially the gore-hounds and splatter-punks.

Are you scared?

The so-called final chapter, served for plenty of enjoyment of the horror fans, it delivers on some suspense (an expected treat) and plenty of slasher moments, difficult when everyone knows the formula and using in the so many flicks from to Madman (1981) to countless others released in 1984, such as The Mutilator, Silent Night, Deadly Night and Nightmare on Elm Street. The franchise truly had better Voorhees’ hunters later in the series, but this avenue replaced the doomsayers, (miss you Crazy Ralph), nevertheless, the killing spree kept classic styles and added new ways to obliterate a person’s body. It’s interesting that the original script called for Tommy’s character to behead Jason, however the producers decided that in case they ever wanted to resurrect the character which they official did with class in Part 6, in 1986. Therefore, even the cliffhanger at the end, gave a false lead and an hint to more terrorizing mayhem on the horizon, as I always state with any franchise, look at the box office numbers and fan support it tells everything, not going to shut down this moneymaker because the USA gross box office for the parts 1 through 4 tallied over $140-million, all of it before the merchandise connections to the film today. Just remember never sure who’s watching you in the woods at campfire by a lake…


Jason Meets His Match (Deluxe Edition DVD)

Three Times Before You Have Felt The Terror, Known The Madness, Lived The Horror. But This Is The One You’ve Been Screaming For.

Jason’s Back, and this is the one you’ve been screaming for.

This is the one you’ll be dying for…

Friday April 13th is Jason’s Unlucky Day

IMDb Rating 6.0/10

Baron’s Rating: 6.0/10