In honor of 2012 have 3- count ’em 3- friday the 13th dates this year I thought I’d do a “quick-bite” breakdown of the entire franchise that gave cinema one of its greatest anti-heroes of all time. This list is my compiles my least to favorite Friday film in order. While the basic premise has stayed the same through each film (pretty teens bang, get high, then die) each film brought a slight twist to the franchise. Some of these twists were more disturbing than big J himself whether it’s a geriatric villain rocking a turtle-neck sweater in the middle of summer, a less-annoying Corey Feldman or Horshack.
Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993)
I literally struggled deciding who has the title as the worst Friday movie between JGTH, Jason X and Friday the 13th part 8. The title goes to Jason Goes to Hell because it ultimately spat on what made these movies great in the first place: it was over-wrought and the lack of Jason himself. Yes the final shot saves this movie from being a complete disaster, but what about the preceding 86 minutes and 47 seconds of the movie? Having explained Jason as being a physical manifestation of an evil spirit that can bounce from host to host at anytime took away what made these films entertaining in the first place- they’re simplicity.
The first time I saw this film I hated it. Jason in space? Why? Nothing about this film is the least bit frightening or even witty. At least FRIDAY 8 has some sense of nostalgia working for it. The second time I saw this film, which has been in the last 6 months, my opinion of it mellowed. I was able to appreciate the film’s humor, which had sorely been lacking since part 6, and I really dug the virtual reality sequence. Still, this film lacked suspense and any sense of terror from Jason.
Friday the 13th part 8: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)
The bastard child of the series! This film sucked so badly that Paramount gave up on the series and sold it to New Line. Do you know how bad you have to suck for Paramount to drop you
to do Tales from the Darkside: The Movie? There’s hardly any gore or nudity- the main ingredients in this franchise. The kills are also by-the-numbers so you really don’t care who lives or dies.
If you consider this film a remake- no good thoughts come to mind. If you regard it as another sequel- good things come to mind. An enjoyable prologue is murdered by the rest of the film from ineffective kills to Jason keeping a prisoner. The cast seems game. Unfortunately they’re highly interchangeable.
Friday the 13th part 5: A New Beginning (1985)
Jason is not the killer! There I said it. . While more fun than the craptacular part 8, this installment lacks a certain zing some of its’ previous installments had. Part 5 actually dates the best in the series as now we can look back on it and say this “copycat killer” experiement is abandoned with the next installment.
Friday the 13th part 7: The New Blood (1988)
The beginning of the Kane Hodder era! Most of the kills, including the infamous sleeping bag death, were spot on. It’s hard to keep the pt 7 of anything fresh so telekinetic spin in this installment added a bit of jolted energy. While I didn’t dig the Jason without the mask, Hodder began an era of a Jason with personality with this flick.
Friday the 13th, part 3 (1982)
This film makes me want to join a racially diverse biker gang. With the awesome disco opening to the inaugural hockey mask introduction, this installment is easily one of the best except… the lead girl Kris’ monologue of getting attacked by Jason felt like a scene from a TV movie starring Valerie Bertinelli from the late 70s. Also, how old was that dude Rick? He looked like he could’ve been her pervy uncle.
Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)
Since everyone involved with this film thought this would be final FRIDAY film, they went balls to the wall with gore, violence, nudity and kills. Jason’s pissed and he wants every slut, virgin, jock, douche, hitchhiker, single mom, camper, nurse, orderly, security guard and exposed neck to know it. Easily the most violent of the series is also a fan favorite. It’s also introduced Corey Feldman before he became Corey Feldman.
Friday the 13th, part 2 (1981)
Jason’s first kill. This sequel was the first time we see Jason as a murderous adult. This film is also essentially a remake of the first film with a killer that makes more sense this time around. I never bought a woman who’s clearly past the menopausal age running around and hacking a bunch of fit teenagers. Like is mother, Jason show’s no mercy in his first outing even if you’re in a wheelchair.
Friday the 13th, part 6: Jason Lives (1986)
Hands down, the best FRIDAY sequel period. The kills were imaginative, the characters were fleshed out, and a confident script also injected some much-needed humor after the letdown of part 5. I remember being 5 years old and seeing this film with my cousins at the Mercury theater in Detroit. I can still remember the whole audience gasping at the scene where Sissy’s head is twisted off.
Of course the granddaddy I mean grandmamma of them all is still the best in the series. It set up the rules and the structure that the others followed. Outside of part 6, this installment had characters rather than characterizations. You didn’t just see a bunch of innocent people get hacked to bits. You also heard them joke around with one another first. My main complaint is the killer. I never bought Ms. Garrett’s skinny sister as being the mass murderer. How one “older” woman can outwit and kill Kevin Bacon in such fashion is beyond me, but hey it’s still a classic.
you at least have to give #8 credit for having the most humorous kill in the rooftop boxing, head flies across the backdrop of manhattan into a dumpster death. that made me chuckle.
That was probably the only bright spot in the movie.