Friday the 13th part 5: A New Beginning

Even in the 80s the audience was cynical enough to doubt that Friday the 13th part 4 was really the final chapter.  At this point in the saga these films became less about terror and suspense and became more of a social event for teens to see other teens get naked, get high and get hacked in that order.  A New Beginning picks up a few years after Tommy hacked Jason Vorhees to “itty bitty little pieces” and is now committed to some sort of halfway home for disturbed teens who really don’t seemed that disturbed at all.  His hallucinations of Jason seem to be real as random murders begin happening all around him.  Is Jason really back from the dead?  Will Tommy confront his past?  Why is Dudley from Different Strokes driving a tractor?

THE GOOD

A New Beginning has gotten a bad rap over the years.  Yes it could be general fatigue from a series that was supposed to end the year prior.  Yes it could be the fact the Jason is NOT the killer this time around and the killer is,instead, a deadbeat dad.  However, the basic elements of a FRIDAY movie are present.  Random naked chicks running around for no reason. Check.  Some solid decent scares. Check. A blonde survivor. Check. A coke-whore. Check. What this film lacks in rationale, originality, or decent acting is made up with decent scares.  Director Danny Steinmann is spot on with establishing mood throughout this flick, especially in my favorite scene: Violet’s robotic-dance move.  John Shepard as the grown-up Tommy Jarvis was likeable and kicked-ass.  I dug a wounded, scared man as the main protagonist in an 80s horror film.  The two greasers were hilarious as was the trailer trash mother.  The kills were brutal.  Nothing standard here.  Jason enjoyed gouging out eye balls.

THE BAD

Jason’s not the killer.  It’s the ambulance driver from the beginning who was upset that his son, whom he never acknowledged, was hacked in half because he offered some dude a candy bar.  Are you pissed that I spoiled that?  I was pissed that a whodonit was set up that was as suspenseful as an episode of Scooby-Doo.  Clearly the ambulance driver, Roy was the killer.  I also didn’t understand why this was a mental institution for a bunch of teens who seemed perfectly normal.  One guy stuttered while two others enjoyed sex.  Having said that, aside from Tommy Jarvis, we get zilch in the character development department.  I know the average joe doesn’t watch these films for character development but that shouldn’t be an excuse to completely abandon it.  Perhaps people shit on this film so much is because this film represents that downside of horror films from the 80s: a bunch of pretty, nameless kids being butchered for no reason.  Also, this time around our killer is a normal flesh and blood everyman kind of guy.  He took a lot of beatings and was still ticking more than the average human would.

THE UGLY

A New Beginning is not as bad as it reputation lends.  It’s a decent, average, FRIDAY flick.  You can’t blame the movie for trying something new.  This installment boasts some of the more memorable aspects of the series including Violet’s robotic-dance move, the two greasers and the psyche of Tommy Jarvis who is one of the few horror protagonists to survive 3 films.  All in all, not a perfect film but not the worst of the bunch like everything after part 7.   On a final note, even though I’m gay I still want a girlfriend like Nina to sing to me while I’m in the port-o-potty.

**1/2

FOOD PAIRING

KFC’s hot wings.  Like the movie, they’re not as good as the real thing, but they’ll do.

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