Thom Mathews - Tommy Jarvis
Jennifer Cooke - Megan Garris
David Kagen - Sheriff Mike Garris
C.J. Graham - Jason Voorhees
Kerry Noogan - Paula
Renee Jones - Sissy
Tom Fridley - Cort
Year - 1986
Score - 3.5 Howls Outta 4
After watching Friday The 13th Part V: A New Beginning, I can't believe that the franchise continued to go on after that debacle. I'm sure many fans were upset at the fact that Jason in that movie was fake [I never really cared about that, I just thought the movie sucked], so Paramount rapidly did something to rethink their direction on the series. They were originally gonna have main character Tommy Jarvis continue his road as Jason's successor, but the backlash changed that and they decided to do the next best [or worst, depending on your opinion] thing: bring Jason back. Yes, he was dead. But in horror, no one stays dead, especially if you're a horror icon. That's where Jason Lives comes in. It puts Jason back to what he knows and does best, while doing something different at the same time: instead of trying to be scary, why not make fun of yourself and add humor? Something like this could backfire in a slasher film. Fortunately for Jason Lives, it works and it works really well.
I also thought the direction by McLoughlin was really excellent here. The picture quality was beautiful and it was actually very atmospheric and kinda creepy. I loved every establishing shot used, especially the ones of the woods with the fog just roaming through. That's not a place where I would want to go camping. Plus we get overhead shots of Tommy and Megan at separate times, showing them how vulnerable and isolated they are. Contrast that to the underhead shot of Jason standing over an overturned trailer surrounded by fire [making him look powerful and in charge] and you have a good filmmaker who's serious about his craft. While never scary, McLoughlin films the movie in a quick, yet tension-filled pace. You know bad things will happen to these people, but you never know when. It just builds up like a jack-in-the-box until POP! Goodbye character. Good job there.
The music was good here too for a change. Along with the usual "Ch Ch Ch Ha Ha Ha", we got some Alice Cooper tunes! And pretty good ones at that! It gave the film a fresher and hipper feel that lacked in the previous installments, and I dug it. This was the MTV Friday The 13th film, and this was when MTV was actually good. It reminded me alot of Nightmare On Elm Street films with the hip rock music, and here, it worked fine.
And is the body count high in this one or what? 18 people get killed I believe [which is probably a F13 record]. We get beheadings, a triple whammy of Jason slicing the trio of paintballers in half, crushing of a skull with bare hands, knife through the skull, and the Sheriff bending over backwards [literally]. Just pretty creative kills here, as Jason seems to enjoy his new zombie strength in this one. Good times.
1) How did Jason supposedly get so nimble after his death? He never falls like a klutz anymore, has superhuman strength, knows when to dodge, and can throw knives as if he's been practicing on a dartboard down in Hell? Will I become a great marksman after I'm resurrected too? Someone let me know, please!
2) We know Jason drowned in the water because he couldn't swim. So how come he went inside of that water and knew how to swim like a champ during the final scene? Someone gave him swimming lessons? I thought Jason was AFRAID of water? Who knew zombies made the best swimmers?
3) Whatever happened to Tommy's sister, Trish? She's never mentioned again. That one has always bothered me. She did survive the fourth part, didn't she? I guess the producers just forgot about her.
4) Jason, what's up with those yellow gloves? Do we absorb powers and memories like X-Men's Rogue? Yeah, it makes you look more like a scarecrow than an actual being of terror, sorry. Maybe next time see a fashion consultant, pal.
THE FINAL HOWL