Jump to content
DVDVR Message Board
Sign in to follow this  
Burgundy LaRue

October HorrorDays 2014

Recommended Posts

Every year, I watch at least a few of the Friday the 13th movies.  This year, I got that blu-ray boxset (funny thing:  The included discs have the unrated cut of the original film, and the r-rated theatrical of JGTH, while the digital copies are the other way around.)

 

Every time that I end up putting in Part 2, though, I'm always faintly surprised at just how well made it is.  I mean, it's a stupid script, and the acting is mostly terrible, but it's shot and lit quite well.  I mean, it's nothing to celebrate in the broad world of film, or even horror films...  But for this franchise, it's absurdly good.  I don't think there is another movie with Jason that approaches this level of quality film-making until Jason vs. Freddy.

 

I can only assume Steve Miner was very happy to get the chance to be the director on the Part 2, and rather disappointed that his career hadn't moved past cheap and tawdry slasher films in part 3.  Not that part 3 is particularly poorly made (indeed, a lot of the downgrade in composition of shots can probably be chalked up to the need to waggle and thrust things at the camera for the 3D effects) but it's all much more workmanlike, with none of the personality or care.

 

After Miner left, of course, it was a parade of people that ranged from "barely competent" to "Jesus fuck, has this guy ever even seen a movie?" except for Part VI (which on a whole I am decidedly NOT a fan of, but I can't deny is a relatively well crafted piece of shit.)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

10. Gremlins: This is a lot gorier and scarier than I remembered.  Also, that story Phoebe Cates tells about her father is all kinds of disturbing.  I think my favourite part of these movies is that the Gremlins are just little assholes who cause trouble.  They don't have any particular agenda or plan, they're not trying to wipe out humanity or create millions of themsleves, hence why they do things like play poker, watch movies, sing carols.  They're just little assholes.  I respect that.

 

11. South Park - Spooky Fish: When all is said and done, this is probably a top 10 of all-time SP episode for me.  Stan's Aunt Flo visits and gives him an evil fish from the Indian Burial Ground Pet Store.  The fish starts killing people, Stan's mom keeps covering it up which leads to her chaining Officer Barbrady in the basement which leads to pretty much my favourite Randy-Sharon exchange of all-time:

R: There's a policeman being held captive in our basement.

S: Yes, hon. I had to restrain him so he wouldn't find the bodies in the back yard and take our baby away.

R: Why'd you take his pants off?...Sh-sharon, why'd you take his- pants off?

 

This episode also has the greatness of the alternate dimension Evil Cartman who's nicer than real Cartman and Spooky-Vision with photos of Barbra Streisand.

 

12. Freaks and Geeks - Tricks and Treats: This has to be pretty much the SADDEST TV Halloween special ever.  Sam marshals his friends to go out trick or treating one last time rather than start reading 'Crime and Punishment' while Lindsay wants to hang out with her new friends on Halloween rather than with her Mom who's already rented her a costume, and the Mom just wants to have a good old-fashioned Halloween handing out treats.  SPOILER ALERT: Everyone has the worst time possible: Sam gets heckled and beat up; Lindsay ends up egging her brother; and the Mom's cookies get dumped on the lawn and ditched by her daughter.  It's also really funny with Bill as the Bionic Woman.  The ending is probably the saddest thing ever with Sam sitting in bed, after having washed all the egg off him and gotten his candy stolen, reading 'Crime and Punishment' now knowing that you can't artificially extend childhood and that another fun chapter of his life is over.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just got back from ABCs of Death 2.  Much better than the first.  I can only recall two shorts that I felt were actively bad.

 

My favorites were:

J... it just makes you say "holy fuck". I cannot believe they took that concept that far.

P, because it goes for "so stupid it's funny" and succeeds spectacularly

Z, because Chris Nash is the next David Cronenberg

 

I'm in the U short at the very end as an extra.  Watch for the guy on the left side of the screen, wearing a gray shirt when everyone else is wearing black, who actually collides with someone else.  I'm the worst extra ever and they will never let me in a movie again.

 

The credits promise an ABCs of Death 3 in 2016.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just got back from ABCs of Death 2. Much better than the first. I can only recall two shorts that I felt were actively bad.

My favorites were:

J... it just makes you say "holy fuck". I cannot believe they took that concept that far.

P, because it goes for "so stupid it's funny" and succeeds spectacularly

Z, because Chris Nash is the next David Cronenberg

I'm in the U short at the very end as an extra. Watch for the guy on the left side of the screen, wearing a gray shirt when everyone else is wearing black, who actually collides with someone else. I'm the worst extra ever and they will never let me in a movie again.

The credits promise an ABCs of Death 3 in 2016.

Watched it on demand last night.

Felt it was on average better than the first, but didn't have the high highs or the low lows of the first one. The peaks of D for Dogfight or Q for Quack just weren't there.

Not that there weren't great ones here.

A, K, M, O, and Z were great. Most of the others fall under mildly amusing, interesting idea without much follow up on the premise (mostly talking about U and W here). S was well done but I don't need to experience a baby getting bludgeoned with a hammer, and X was just horrible.

Looking forward to the next one in 2016. Was hoping it could be a yearly tradition, but I'll take what I can get.

 

Edited to add:

 

 

Really hated L and P.  L felt very amateur and P was an interesting concept but very annoyingly executed.  And P-P-P Scary is a cheat.  I thought N was well made (but like S, featured kid death which I hate), and T was interesting and compelling conceptually, but really went nowhere with it, which is the same critique I had for the Soska's American Mary. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some ABC comments back at you:

 

In S, maybe I totally missed it but I didn't think the baby actually got killed.

 

The two that I disliked were I and L.

 

For P, I was okay with the P-P-P-Scary because it's funny, and they could just have made it P for Prisoners.  I have more of a problem with something like M (although there's no denying it was a great short on its own merits) where the guy just makes the short he wants to make regardless of the letter, and then finds a very iffy connection to the letter M.  I love the tease of "A for Assassin" and then it ends up being something different.

 

Apparently the Soskas had a cameo in W.  Probably heavily costumed.

 

In case you missed it, there's also a quick post-credits scene.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just now learned that the woman who played Heather Langenkamp's mom in A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET was married to Wim Wenders.  For two years.  Only his second shortest marriage.  Out of five.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to think I'm probably the only one who turns off Creepshow 2 after the first act. Love the first act, do not like the rest of the movie.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A post in which I shamelessly rip-off something piranesi has been doing in this thread.

 

Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter has one of my absolute favorite side-characters in any slasher film ever, Sara, played by the basically completely unknown Barbara Howard.  Pretty much the entire rest of her career is one-off characters on tv shows or appearing in dtv movies.  But here, she plays Sara, the Final Girl that isn't. 

 

Sara_talking_to_samantha.jpg

 

Before we meet Sara, we've already met Trish Jarvis, who is clearly and obviously our Final Girl.  Which makes Sara's introduction all the stranger.  Because she's cute but not dressed provocatively.  She doesn't strip down and go skinny dippy with her friends.  They clearly establish she's a virgin.  She shows actual human emotion.  All the traits that, at least in this series, generally only ever go to the Final Girl.

 

Fairly early on, her best friend Samantha gives her what is, basically, a sex pep-talk.  She has a date for this little party in the woods in a rented house set-up, Doug (who basically has no notable traits whatsoever) and as the movie progresses, she makes the bold (and in this franchise, fatal) decision to have sex with him, leading to my single favorite scene in the movie.

 

They were in the shower together, Sara got out, is wrapping on a towel:

 

Doug:  Sara, I think I'm in heaven

 

Sara: (barely a whisper) I think I'm in love.

 

Doug: What?

 

Sara: I said I'll see you in the bottom bunk.

 

(Then she glances back at the shower with this incredible shy little smile.)

 

Then, of course, Jason mauls Doug to death, and Sara finds the dead body of the boy that JUST took her virginity.

 

And then...

 

Friday-The-13th-The-Final-Chapter-Sara.j

 

I just absolutely adore the character, and the idea behind having someone who starts the movie fitting the Final Girl mode, and taking her out of it.  The whole "I think I'm in love" moment adds so much more of a feel of real tragedy than pretty much every other murder in the entire franchise combined. 

 

 

Moving off of Sara, man, Final Chapter really amps up the "exploitation" part of this franchise.  Gore that rivals the first movie, and more naked flesh than the first three combined.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Man, Ethel and Junior are obnoxious as fuck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But hilarious!

 

If you haven't seen The Sacrament yet, WATCH IT. Maybe the best found-footage film I've ever seen and plain shocking when it comes down to the nitty-gritty, without being tasteless. The dude playing Jim Jones/Father is the best.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since Fowler has snuck and squatted in my territory, I'm going to sidestep a bit into:

Douchiest FRIDAY THE 13TH dilwads:  My favorite doomed deadfucks, dimwits, and duds:

FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 4: THE FINAL CHAPTER:  Rob

Rob_Dier.jpg

The first time I saw bits of F13th: Part 4 was in the morning before school, and somehow it was on HBO.  I freaked the living fuck out because I was still terrified of these movies and wouldn't see my first full one until Oct. 27, 1985...yes brothers, the night the Cardinals lost the World Series in Game 7.   I'm pretty sure I told that story in last year's thread.

So I was like, full on meth tweaked when I realized what I was seeing in the minutes before I heard the bus rumbling up.  I was grinding my teeth and rubbing my knees and just trying to emblazon it all into the sillyputty that was my brain.  And it was the perfect moment to stoke my hysterical fear: the moment that little Tommy Jarvis finds the newspaper clipping Rob is carrying around with him.

Screenshot_2014_02_11_03_21_23_1.png

Holy shit.  All I knew from the commercials was hockey mask and ch ch ch and the blind terror that the blue Paramount logo induced in me because it seemed like these were the only movies they made from 1981 to 1985.  But this was...mythology, deep backstory...that artist rendering of the deformed manimal was perfect to make me think "Sweet, Jesus jumping jelybeans, if that's...then the real thing must be...a thousand time more....AHHHHHHH!!!!!!"

So, Rob is the big hunky lumberjack-looking guy that is camping in the woods looking for Jason to get revenge for the death of his sister, who turns out to have been:

Sandra.jpg
 Sandra, from part 2 who holds simultaneous records among Jason victims as both
 
 1) shortest
 2) biggest boobs
 
 and is tied for
 
 3) worst taste in douches which she holds in tadem with Chris from Part 3.  
 
Now, it seems a bit unlikely that Rob would already be out there, given that Sandra was clearly not a townie, but among the "city kids" who show up to work a camp.  So he must be coming from somewhere decently far away.  yet, based on the timeline, Sandra's body would have been found only 24 hours ago, at the beginning of Part 3.  It would have taken awhile to ID her and then notify family.  So in, at most 12 hours, he has

1) found out about his kid sister's death
2) Abandoned his family in their time of loss and
3) geared up to go camping and is already there hunting Jason...but somehow also has a newspaper clipping that would have appeared in the paper on the morning of Part 4, so, like maybe four hours before we meet him and when he already should have been out in the woods.  
 
 What the fuck, movie?  I'd like to retcon, that he originally set out for Crystal Lake before she was killed because he found out she was going to be fucking
 
 
Marta.png
 this...fucking...drooling dilwad
 
and that once he got there and read the paper, he switched from "save my sister's honor from being taken by a guy who looks like a fucking pervy 1920s cartoon dog" to "find and kill the giant, mentally stunted monster who insured my kid sister's body would be found with that...fucking...drooling dilwad attached to her in coito permanento":
 
639581_1309989864160_400_259.jpg
 
 But the best part about Rob is that we haven't seen anyone like him before.  There's always a hunky boyfriend of the final girl and the hunky boyfriend always dies really, really hilariously easily, leaving her to fend for herself.  But Rob is armed.  He's an outdoorsman.  He's roughing it.  And he's looking for Jason.  He's obsessed with him...already somehow after finding out within the last 6 hours or so who he is.  He's the closest thing we have in FRIDAY movies so far to an Ahab...and that's a big step, right?
 
 He spends the movie hunking around and "doing things" to help out the ladies.  He's just so flannel and fixin' stuff:
 
600px_Friday13th_Part4_Winchester_M70.jp
"Here kid, let me have a look at that, with my, like, tools and shit.  Say hi to your sister for me."
 
 Also, whenever we watch this movie, my wife remembers that he's hot and studly points it out...really, really cruelly, I might add.  
   
"Ooooh, he's the tallest one yet, huh, babe?"  
"Yeah, whatever."  
"Big shoulders too, and really seems competent and prepared!  Not that big muscles and huge arms and shoulders that envelope a girl like the protective embrace of Thor are that important."  
"Yeah, yeah, did I mention I fixed that leaky pipe?"

"Really?"  
"Well, I put some gorilla glue on it...that'll probably work."
"Hmmmm."
   
     Goddammit, Rob...
     
So, how happy am I when big strapping Rob turns out not only to be the softest kill in history of the series, but the most hilariously, screamy and whiny and girly.   Big Rob gets his one-on-one moment of studliness, and not only does Jason kill him to fucking dust, but he does it by just grabbing him and ripping him apart like he's a doll.
       
Screenshot_2014_03_22_12_06_40_1.png
       
And how does Rob fight back?  He doesn't!  He seems to get off on it.  He stands there screaming "Oh, GOD! OH, GOD, HE'S KILLING ME!!! OH, GOD, HE'S KILLING ME!!!"  Like, yeah, dude, but you don't say that unless you've got some sick fetish for it.  Rob turns out to be a class-A weirdo with a Jason-death wish who seems to be experiencing his first and only orgasm at the sensation of being torn open by his idol, leaving his new girl to get killed because he's too busy enjoying his own deathgasm to worry about her needs.  What a sick selfish fuck, huh?  My wife, of course, always forgets that part, which means I get to rub it in.
       
"So...Rob, huh?"  
 "Yeah...Rob..."  
 "Big Rob!  Hey, he really seemed to be getting off on being killed, huh?"  
 "Yeah, that was a little, troubling..."
 "Maybe a little book/cover judging, there.  Like, you get home to Big Rob's place and find a closet full of lady's underwear and no ladies."
 "Hmmmmm."  
 "Now his sister...Sandra...big boobs.  Have I mentioned how big his sister's boobs were?  Let's watch Part 2 next.  Not that big boobs are that important, but let's watch part 2 next"  
  "Fuck you, dude."
       
       Anyway, the "hunky boyfriend proves to be utterly useless" is a nice running theme in the series and Rob is it's purest manifestation.
       
       He's such a fake!  In fact he went on to play a bunch of phony authority and patriarchal figures.  He played this guy
Kieran_Mac_Duff.jpg
        who turned out to be a fake starship captain and this guy
        
dr_edward_porter.jpg
         who was Felicity's dad who was kind of a fakey needy asshole too.
         
         Fuck you, Rob!  YEAH GORILLA GLUE!!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh man, a ranked list of biggest douchebags in the series could be epic in length.  Like, War & Peace or Les Misérables long. 

 

Chris's boyfriend from Part 3 gets my vote as the worst though.  I can't even remember his name and I just watched the movie two or three days ago, but...  Fuck him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm glad there is consensus on that.  Rick is the worst.  Chris would have been better off staying in town, but hooking up with Harold.

 

image.jpg

 

 

Sure, he was older.  But, he was perfect for a PTSD case like her.  He was un-appreciated by Edna.  He owned his own business.  He was nurturing (he cared for rabbits and fish!)  And he went on to become Milos, the doomed janitor on NEWSRADIO!

And he cleans up pretty nice!  Like when he played the William Katt's manager in HOUSE:

 

Steve_Susskind_House.jpg

And he had the jolliest head shot you'll ever see:

9c4ee14450071e211ce2b2ca21b8c3ac.jpgWho wouldn't want to hang out with this???

 

But coolest of all, back in the 60s he was in the "white doo wop" group "The Roommates" and had some minor hits, even appearing on American Bandstand.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AhhHKVGFlF4

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0AuXInQoxPw

 

WHITE PEOPLE, PROCREATE TO THIS!!!  EISENHOWER COMMANDS IT TO BE SO!!

Here they are getting back together in the early 2000s. 

 

Roomates_Reunion.jpg This is the table at Chili's that you want to be at.

 

Sadly Steve "Harold" Susskind died in a car accident in 2005.  Goddammit.

I think he and Chris would have been good for each other and could have had a very happy, and very short and violently-ended, life together in Crystal Lake.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hell Junior would have been better than Rick.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Junior is complicated.  There's an uncomfortable amount of overlap on the diagrams of Ethel/Junior and Pamela/Jason that need to be unpacked.  It's more a topic for an international scholarly symposium than a message board.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to think I'm probably the only one who turns off Creepshow 2 after the first act. Love the first act, do not like the rest of the movie.

 

I don't mind 'The Raft', and don't really care for 'The Hitchhiker', but the problem for me lies in the fact that I love 'Old Chief Wood'nhead' so much that there's no way the other two can be anything other than a letdown when they follow it.  I can't exactly explain why I love it so much, but I always have. 

 

And I've always liked the weird animation of the Venus Flytrap story. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I forgot just got ridiculously awful Rennie's uncle is in VIII.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, how happy am I when big strapping Rob turns out not only to be the softest kill in history of the series, but the most hilariously, screamy and whiny and girly.   Big Rob gets his one-on-one moment of studliness, and not only does Jason kill him to fucking dust, but he does it by just grabbing him and ripping him apart like he's a doll.

       

And how does Rob fight back?  He doesn't!  He seems to get off on it.  He stands there screaming "Oh, GOD! OH, GOD, HE'S KILLING ME!!! OH, GOD, HE'S KILLING ME!!!"  Like, yeah, dude, but you don't say that unless you've got some sick fetish for it.  Rob turns out to be a class-A weirdo with a Jason-death wish who seems to be experiencing his first and only orgasm at the sensation of being torn open by his idol, leaving his new girl to get killed because he's too busy enjoying his own deathgasm to worry about her needs.  What a sick selfish fuck, huh?  

IIRC, Jason didn't kill him bare-handed, he grabbed a gardening tool right beforehand that looked like a miniature pitchfork.  

 

And while I'll admit the execution is botched by the guy's whiny acting, lots of people were genuinely bothered by that kill because of the notion that Rob realized he was basically getting the Quint death.  Adam Green and Joe Lynch talked about that during their fan-commentary track on the recent DVDs for part 4.  He's having his worst, most pessimistic nightmare come true when he fails in his quest for revenge and ends up getting slaughtered by the monster he's trying to righteously destroy.  And it happens slowly enough that he has time to narrate his own death like a Shakespeare character.  He's horrifically self-conscious about the fact that his existence is is being selfishly ended for no good reason by this big dumb deformed asshole, that his sister will forever go un-avenged, and that now the new cute girl he just met and her whole family will all probably wind up massacred by Jason too.  Everything in his life has been stolen from him by Jason and he's getting the most existentially nihilistic demise that anyone could possibly imagine and he knows it.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Trent from the remake might rival Rick for biggest douchebag, actually.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This guy 

 

Coffin_joe_joe_coffin.jpg

 

is my Halloween character/costume/whatever this year so (sadly putting off my Havoc pick... I might get to that in a minute) I watched At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul. Shaky VHS from Something Weird before Tom Vraney passed last year but man, it was worth it. The film was made in 1963. Think about that, considering the content. Aside from Blood Feast there really isn't anything close to the gore and violence this film presented to the world, and beyond that it was so much more philosophical and alternately pulling your coat-tales -- the main character is a Nietzschean mortician (okay by me) who is alternately a rapist murderer searching for the perfect bride to sustain his bloodline (completely reprehensible). It has all the goofy elements of horror films from years before but is so shockingly vulgar and violent, and done in B&W, just because Mojica couldn't afford to shoot in color. So cheap that if it wasn't so totally foreign and bizarre you would think it's garbage. If you don't know the history of Coffin Joe, check it out, there's a good documentary on Youtube with subtitles. The man was Freddy Krueger well before Wes Craven thought him up, and his notoriety endures well into Mojica's eighties.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I have to think I'm probably the only one who turns off Creepshow 2 after the first act. Love the first act, do not like the rest of the movie.

 

I don't mind 'The Raft', and don't really care for 'The Hitchhiker', but the problem for me lies in the fact that I love 'Old Chief Wood'nhead' so much that there's no way the other two can be anything other than a letdown when they follow it.  I can't exactly explain why I love it so much, but I always have. 

 

And I've always liked the weird animation of the Venus Flytrap story. 

 

Old Chief Wood'nhead is the least impressive of the three stories but still retains some ghoulish charm.

 

I hated The Raft.  The blob looks like a floating disc made of rotten cheese and the piece totally misses all of the psychology of the short story and the ending blows goats and is nowhere near as awesome as King's ending. 

 

King's endings are usually so shitty that I have no idea why you wouldn't use his original ending for The Raft verbatim since it is one of the few that actually rules.

 

I actually like The Hitchhiker.  It is a grim fable that is more black comedy than anything.  Did you guys figure out that:

 

Annie dies of carbon monoxide poisoning at the end of the story?   The zombie hitchhiker ties her up and leaves the engine running!

 

cs2_shot4l.jpg

 

I found the Venus Flytrap interludes to be king-sized and disturbing at the same time.  I am sure the bully and his cronies got what was coming to them in a dark poetic justice kinda way but when you remember that the bully and his buddies can't be any older than middle school age, the fact that you are somewhat elated that three children just got torn apart and eaten by mutant plants suddenly causes a wave of guilt to wash over you.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Am I the only one who hates the Coffin Joe movies?  Especially the first one.  I never understood why one of the townspeople didn't just murder the cocksucker and be done with it.  He's got no superpowers, no Rambo-like special skills, no nothing.  He's just a sociopath and nothing else.  And he's cutting off people's fingers in a crowded bar, constantly bragging about murdering folks, kidnapping the women, etc.  Why doesn't someone just shoot him?  And too many of the scenes made me feel like the writer/director was getting off on the stuff he created, like when he's slapping girls around (with REAL slaps) or having giant spiders crawl all over naked actresses who are clearly legit freaked out by having to enact this bullshit.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Those are some legitimate complaints. There probably is a bit of a sadist in Mojica -- his auditions included all the live spiders and shit, just like in the movies. I can see the films being uncomfortable to watch, but I like them anyway, because they're blasphemous and crude more than anything. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, I basically watched the entire F13 franchise in less than a week.  This was not a smart thing to do, but, I now present my definitive F13 rankings and capsule reviews:

 

12. Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday

 

Fuck this movie.  When I said "basically watched" I meant I turned this off less than a half hour in and fuck this movie.  The opening sequence is brilliant.  Skip from Jason exploding straight to Freddy pulling the mask down to hell, and it's a great short film.  Fuck everything else in the middle.  Fuck this movie.

 

11. Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan

 

A tiny bit of nudity.  Even less gore.  An incredibly stupid finish, even by the standards of the franchise.  Lasts an ungodly 100 minutes (the longest until the 2009 remake.)  Has one scene worth keeping (the fight on the rooftop.)  Also, whatever tiny bit of continuity was left in these films dies with Rennie's flashback to Jason pulling her under, even though he would have clearly been an adult and out killing already when she was that age...  Mostly, though, it's just dull and safe.

 

10. Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning

 

A large part of me wants to bump this one up one more spot, maybe two.  But I can't intellectually justify that.  Ethel and Junior might be the worst element in any of the movies.  But I've never been attached enough to Jason to care that it's an imposter.  The Tommy Jarvis plot mostly works here (until it goes VIOLENTLY off the rails in Part VI) and I certainly can't complain that it is safe and sanitary.  Indeed, it's probably the trashiest and most exploitative of any of the films, for better or worse.  But it's also just so. God. Damn. Stupid. 

 

09. Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives

 

I've written a lot about this movie on Facebook lately.  I hate it.  The "jokes" aren't funny, it's even more safe and sanitary than part VIII.  It's the most lifeless of the first six movies, the first one that is actively boring.  The whole "Forest Green" thing is just stupid as fuck, and everything that the end of Final Chapter and all of A New Beginning set-up with Tommy Jarvis is just...  forgotten?  Ignored?  This movie isn't the worst, but it's the one that turned the series from being mostly trashy stupid fun to just being mostly stupid.  An exploitation film with no gore, no nudity, no real sense of danger, and that can't even bother to pretend Jason might kill the small children, and then you can top if all off with the absolute worst acting overall of the entire franchise.

 

Also, hands fucking down, the "some people have strange ideas about entertainment" is the worst moment of the entire franchise.  Fuck that scene.

 

08. Friday the 13th Part 3 in 3D

 

Oh boy, is this one stupid.  Aggressively stupid.  Stupid enough that the first two start looking semi-intelligent.  It's also incredibly racist.  And there's Shelly.  Plus, we've mentioned Rick here and there in this thread, but he's the worst "Final Girl's boyfriend" ever.  Just a colossal douchebag.  

 

07. Friday the 13th (1980)

 

The movie that turned the small trickle of post Halloween slashers into a flood!  The classic that kick-started the most enduring franchise of the last 35 years!  Maybe the defining populist film of the 80's!

 

You know what?  It kinda sucks.  Sean Cunningham is a terrible director who really doesn't know how to frame or light a shot.  Although at least it doesn't suffer from being over lit the way a lot of the bad later films (VI and VIII, I'm looking in your direction) do.  It's the worst kind of "whodunit" mystery, because it's not solvable until the scene where it's revealed.  But it does have great gore effects by Tom Savini, and it's not as stupid as most of the ones below it, so...  yay.

 

06. Jason X

 

I think this is the only one that actually hits that "so bad it's good" sweet spot.  It's still really dumb, but it knows it's dumb.  The virtual 80's sequence is so stupid it's amazing.  It's like "One Part Friday the 13th, One Part Alien, One Part Aliens, just a dash of The Matrix, let simmer over a low budget..."  It has a top five kill (the liquid nitrogen) and it runs with the utter stupidity of sending Jason to space.  I know it's not any good, but I still enjoy it.

 

05. Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood

 

Okay, so it clearly and completely steals elements from better movies.  But it finally does something truly different with Jason.  The first two acts are pretty much boilerplate F13 action, except Kane Hodder brings something to Jason that hadn't been seen since Part 2:  Actual acting!  Not much, but he actively does things that conveys that Jason has some form of a mind.  Plus, the absolute best kill of the entire franchise (sleeping bag, 'natch.)

 

Then the third act starts, and HOLY SHIT it's good.  It takes elements from the Final Girl sequences of the past, but it gives her the ability to fight back, and it's just a god damn brawl, and it's fun and it's different.  Look, there aren't a lot of good movies in this franchise, but at least this is one of the least bad ones.

 

04. Friday the 13th (2009)

 

I think this could have been better, with a bit more focus.  Either develop this new Jason more, or drop the bits of character development completely.  And it's slick in ways that don't agree with the franchise much.  But...  I complained about some of the films not being exploitative enough, or being too safe and sanitary...  This movie damn sure isn't.  Tons of naked flesh, tons of gore, deeply violent kills, a real sense of danger...  Everything that a trashy slasher needs.  Plus, it has legitimate talent behind the camera with both the director and the cinematographer, and it has probably the best acting of any movie in the franchise.  If part VII was the "best of the bad films" this one is the worst of the good films.  It does still run way too long, falling just shy of VIII's record length, and breaking the record with the unrated cut.  But it borrows some great elements from Parts 2-4, and does so with aplomb.  The remixing of the "Rob" character from Final Chapter in the form of Clay here, in particular, works extremely well and gives the movie a consistent set of stakes beyond just "how will Jason kill this one."

 

Plus, Trent rivals Rick for biggest douchebag in the series, but here it feels intentional.

 

03. Freddy vs. Jason

 

As a F13 movie, this is great.  As a Nightmare on Elm Street, it's...  okay?  But I forgive it a lot because, deep down inside, I'm still that slasher fanboy who wanted to see this fight for years.  It's got everything you want from F13, plus some of the things you want from Nightmare.  I'm not real fond of some of the choices made in the final act (Jason is afraid of water?  Jason as a sympathetic character?  Seriously?) but the movie powers past all that by being really fun.

 

02. Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter

 

I wrote a bunch about Sara the other day, but this film is the perfect version of everything this franchise generally is.  Trashy and exploitative to the nth degree (so much nudity, and the return of Savini's gore effects) while being, without question, the most nihilistic film in the franchise (hell, maybe the most nihilistic slasher ever, period) and a god damn definitive finish.  This one is what the franchise was, at it's peak.

 

01. Friday the 13th Part 2

 

But...  This movie is what the franchise COULD have been.  It's the only one where the lack of gore is not MPAA enforced, nor an attempt to make the franchise safer, but rather a stylistic choice to build the movie more in the mold of Halloween, with suspense instead of blood driving the film.  Christ I love this movie even before Ginny gets back to camp and the Final Girl sequence kicks in.

 

Then it does, and it is the best Final Girl sequence ever.  Not "the best F13 Final Girl sequence."  The best Final Girl sequence ever, period*.  It's brilliantly edited in a way that ramps the tension while never relying on Jason magically teleporting.  It's brilliantly laid out, with Ginny making rational choices of where to run to and where to hide, and only leaving those hiding spots when Jason forces her to.  Then we actually see the movie use the character traits set-up earlier in the film, both about Jason's mommy issues and Ginny studying Child Psychology. 

 

Granted, the "final scare" is stupid as hell, but, well, this ain't high art.

 

 

*Okay, probably not better than Michael vs. Laurie.  But it's not far behind.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...