Melanie Kinnaman - Pam
John Shepherd - Tommy Jarvis
John Shepherd - Tommy Jarvis
Shavhi Ross - Reggie
Richard Young - Dr. Matthew Peters
Dominic Brascia - Joey
Anthony Barrile - Vinnie
Miguel A. Nunez Jr - Denon
Year - 1985
Score - 0.5 Howls Outta 4
A new beginning - sounds like the promise of something great...something fresh and exciting. I'm sure back in 1985 when Friday The 13th Part V: A New Beginning was released, many Jason fans were feeling that same excitement. A New Beginning...Jason's coming back from the dead to kill more one-dimension characters for our enjoyment! Boy, were they fooled. And so was I, watching this dreck. I want A New Beginning too...of the 90 minutes I lost watching this crap.
We begin with a young Tommy Jarvis (cameo by Corey Feldman) watching two idiots digging up the grave of the dead Jason Voorhees to see what he looked like. Jason makes short work of them and approaches the boy who killed them. Tommy shakes with fear as Jason begins to raise a machete over him...
But wait! It was all a dream. Yes, Tommy is now a young adult (John Shepherd), who's been in-and-out of mental institutions as he's unable to cope with what killing Jason has done to him. But since he's almost an adult, his doctors feel he needs to learn how to be a "normal" human being again. So they place Tommy in some kind of interactive group therapy retreat, where you have the ability to make your own rules, coexist in ways you want to coexist with the rest of the loonies in the facility, and wander around wherever you want without security on your ass 24/7. You know, like a celebrity?
Anyway, one of the members, a slow kid named Joey (Dominick Brascia) annoys two chicks [whose names I can't or really don't care to remember...that's how much I really cared] and then annoys another guy whose axing a tree stump. Joey annoys the guy so much that he gets killed with an axe to the back. The paramedics come to the scene and sees the mutilated body, which the ambulance driver more horrified by the discovery than his partner. Soon after this, the body count continues to rise one-by-one, as these mentally, or is it acting, challenged kids die. Is Jason back from the grave? Is Tommy behind this? Can I hunt down the producers of this film and hurt them for wasting 90 minutes of my life?
Let me just begin by saying that I don't dislike this film because Jason's not actually in it [besides flashbacks]. I actually respect the fact that the producers wanted to give a new spin to the whole Crystal Lake mythology. I also appreciate that there was some continuity with Tommy Jarvis, seeing how the whole Jason incident really fucked him up in the head. As much as a great idea this film is, it's executed very poorly. It's boring [the only interesting kill is really the flare in that dude's mouth], the characters are one-note and unsympathetic, the direction is eh, no visual flair whatsoever, and no suspense is built whatsoever. Hell, I figured out the killer in the first 20 minutes! Wow, I'm frightened. This movie is so bad that it's not even funny bad. That's a no-no in my book.
Acting...what I can say about the acting? Nothing much, I'm afraid. I'll admit...John Shepherd as Tommy was pretty interesting to watch as he actually looked like he was about to crack any moment. Not sure if he was acting though, since I'd probably go nuts if I realized what a crappy film I'm acting in. Plus when your supposed main character has only 10 lines in the ENTIRE film and he's not deaf-mute, we have a problem. Shavar Ross as Reggie almost became that annoying child actor I despise, but then again, I remember his name and not really anyone else's. So he kept my interest at least, since I recognized him as Dudley, Arnold's friend from Diff'rent Strokes. I guess Gary Coleman or even Todd Bridges were unavailable for the part. And props for not killing off the black kid in this film. Nice to see that affirmative action was very effective in the 80s. Everyone else could have died for all I care. I didn't like any one of them. Especially that robot-dancing chick obsessed with music. If there were any justice, that robot chick from Small Wonder would have stepped in and showed her up. Now Vicky from Small Wonder...she was a cool robot.
How sad is it when the only entertaining person in this film was Carol Locatell's Ethel. She played the trashy neighbor who cursed up a storm. I couldn't help but laugh when she called her dumb son a "big dildo" and "unperty". She also spat in the stew she made for dinner before she was killed by faux-Jason. Man, she was a riot. She's really the only reason why this crap isn't getting a 0 outta 4. Damn you Paramount for killing such a funny character.
This film gave me more questions than answers. Like why were those kids in this "mental institution" anyway? None of them had psychological problems, except for Tommy. One of the kids stuttered. Is that a mental disease? What about that dumb wannabe punk bitch who did the robot/pop and lock dancing? I didn't realize bad dancing would send you to the nuthouse? And those two kids who had sex outside...they were sure sane enough to screw for a span of, I dunno, 20 seconds!? I'm serious, just watch that scene and count. And the girl was satisfied too. Maybe she was crazy after all. Speaking of Tommy, his medication sure didn't seem to work. He kept seeing Jason everywhere he went. Time for a lobotomy, maybe? Oh, and then there's the identity of the fake Jason and his reasoning for the murders. It was that damn ambulance driver who was Jason! And he murdered people when he saw his son, Joey, dead. That's right, Joey was that dude's son and he snapped when he saw his corpse. And the driver was obsessed with Jason and figured that he could be him. Wow, fascinating! God...I think I need a trip to the looney bin after trying to figure out the crap I just witnessed.
THE FINAL HOWL
Oh man, this movie blows. Worst F13 movie ever [Jason Takes Manhattan is a close second]. I've seen student films made with more conviction and more sense. I think I suffered some psychological pain watching this film. This should have really killed Friday The 13th as we knew it. Lucky for Paramount, they came back with the best film of the series, Jason Lives, right after. This film is a drag and it's nothing short but an imitation of what made Friday The 13th so fun. I loved the beginning and the ending [where Tommy seems to start taking over for Jason, which never fell through], but everything in the middle felt like having an upset stomach due to diarrhea. I give the producers some credit for trying to make the film work, but it's simply not worth it as it fails on every level possible. No great kills, no great acting, no decent suspense...I'd avoid this film like the plague if I were you. Simply...ugh.