Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)

Director - Joseph Zito

Corey Feldman - Tommy Jarvis
Kimberley Beck - Trish
E. Erich Anderson - Rob
Crispin Glover - Jimmy
Ted White - Jason Voorhees

Year - 1984

Score - 3 Howls Outta 4

Final (adjective) -
a) Coming at the end
b) Being the last in a series, process, or progress
c) Anything this film is not

We pick up right after Jason was axed to the head and killed by Friday The 13th Part 3's heroine, Chris. Jason dead...ha, that's funny. Anyway, Jason (an uncredited Ted White) is taken to the morgue, where only two people, Nurse Morgan and Axel the coroner, are on duty. Yep, add Crystal Lake Hospital on my list of hospitals NEVER to be admitted to, thank you. Anyway, Axel receives the Jason's corpse and preps him for the icebox. While he waits, Axel and Nurse Morgan make out over the fact that Jason's killing spree is supposedly over. While they do this, Jason's hand falls off the gurney and skims Nurse Morgan's leg. She freaks out and leaves. Axel, pissed, puts Jason in the icebox, though not making sure it's closed all the way. Axel watches TV, but Jason revives and kills him with a saw [ooh, the Jigsaw is pissed]. Jason then proceeds to kill Nurse Morgan with a scalpel for good measure as well.

The next morning, we meet the Jarvis family: Mrs. Jarvis (Joan Freeman) and her two kids Trish (Kimberly Beck) and Tommy (pre-Goonies Corey Feldman). Tommy loves horror films and is a talented make-up artist, making frightening masks. They find out that six teens [Doug (Peter Barton), Paul (Alan Hayes), Ted (Lawrence Monoson), Sara (Barbara Howard), Samantha (Judie Aronson), and Jim (pre-Back To The Future Crispin Glover)] rented the house next door. Paul and Sam are in a sexual relationship. Sara is insecure about men, but Doug is very attracted to her. Ted is the guy who thinks he cool and could get any woman, but he's not. And Jim is the insecure one who doesn't think any girl would want him because of his inexperience with the female gender. They meet the Jarvis family and grow to be friends with them very quickly. Jason, however, doesn't like friends and wants to make sure friendship never happens by stalking them for a while. The six teens soon meet two very sexy twin sisters Tina and Terri (Camilla and Carey More), who pretty much change the status quo among the six of them.
That night, Tommy and Trish meet a guy named Rob (Erich Anderson), who was related to Sandra from Part 2. He tells them he's hunting bears, but he's really after Jason to get revenge for his sister's death. Things start falling into place as relationships grow and end as Jason starts taking his usual body count. Soon, it's just down to Trish and Tommy to defeat Jason. Jason has blood on his mind, but Tommy has other plans.
Final Chapter, my ass! I'm sure it was intended to be the last F13 movie at the time, but the ending pretty much left it open with the expression on Tommy's traumatized face [at least to me anyway]. But it doesn't take away the fact that I really liked this movie over the other two sequels. The direction was okay [Joseph Zito doesn't bring anything new to the table in the field], but there is a sense of a fresh and different atmosphere as you watch, especially towards the end [the ending to these movies are always entertaining].
I think having a young Crispin Glover and especially Corey Feldman helps the movie move along at a watchable pace. While they weren't looking for an Oscar nomination for their performances, they both made their characters very credible and sympathetic. Glover's Jim was that guy who got made fun of by his best friend because he wasn't "cool" and that messed with his self-esteem until the bad girl came along and made him a man. I could definitely relate to him [I used to be that guy, except the dancing...I don't have epileptic fits lol]. Too bad he got corkscrewed for it [remember...sex = death].
Feldman's Tommy was the kind of child character that knew his place. He wasn't in the film too much to be annoying and he actually had a personality other than being a smartass and looking great scared. I thought when he made himself to look like a young Jason and actually "became" him as he slaughtered the killer to death was funny in a twisted sort of way. I would have loved to see that angle continue, where Tommy would have continued the legacy of Jason. Too bad Part V ruined that scenario. But both actors did great and really elevated this sequel.
The other actors were okay. Kimberly Beck's Trish was pretty cute and had a great scream. She was alright. Erich Anderson's Rob was the perfect horror hero who sacrificed himself to save Trish and Tommy. His death was probably the most normal of the murders as well, as he was just machete'd to death over and over again. Ted White's Jason was probably the blandest of the Jasons. He didn't scare me or even try to. It seemed like an actor playing Jason instead of looking at Jason as almost a real force in the film [see: Hodder, Kane]. No wonder he got killed by Tommy. The other teen actors were okay too, but they were pretty much cliches of other people before them in these type of films. I have to say though...those More twins were pretty hot. Double my pleasure, please!
The kills were pretty sweet in this one. You had the usual stabs and slashes with various weapons. But there were standouts. The corkscrew one was cool, as well as one of the twins [the sluttier one] being pulled out of the window by Jason and throwing her on top of a car roof. And Paul's death via groin stab...man, that one hurt personally. Plus Jason's death...man was that gruesome. Your face sliding down your own machete like that...bummer. Tom Savini [who did the make-up for the original film] did a great job with that scene. Savini's the man!
There were some questions that bugged me though:
1) Why didn't that raft deflate with Jason stabbed through it to kill Sam? I mean, she was still floating out there in the lake after that happened? Goof anyone?
2) Why does no one scream loud enough for others to hear? I guess you couldn't have a horror movie if that happened, huh?
3) Why are women in these movies afraid to step over dead corpses to run from the killer? Are they afraid their shoes will get blood on them? I mean, c'mon! Buy a new pair at Payless if you love your shoes that much!
4) Mrs. Jarvis...she was a horrible mother. Why would you take your daughter jogging a day after a serial killer murdered dozens of people around where you live? Why would you just scold your son after he leaves the door open after some maniac slaughtered multiple people? I guess she was used to that sort of thing all the time, apparently. Is there any wonder how Jason killed her? I don't think so.

In conclusion, I think this film is on par with the original. While not even remotely scary like the first Friday The 13th, some of the acting in The Final Chapter are notches better and the kills are more innovative than the original. Plus it's always entertaining to hear Corey Feldman slice Jason to death as he yells "DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE!" Funny shit there. Also you get a mass amount of nudity [BOOBIES!!]. Decent improvement over the other two sequels at this point and definitely a must-see if you're a Jason or horror film fan. Definitely the height of the 80s slasher era here.

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