Thursday, October 9, 2014

Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)

Friday the 13th Part IV: The Final Chapter (USA, 1984) - Color, Director(s): Joseph Zito
MPAA Rating: R
[UK: 18]
Approx. 91 min.

Z-rating: 4 stars out of 5

Cheese Factor: 2 stars out of 5

Part IV seems to be the one that people liked the most. There's more nudity, the film keeps an steadier pace, and the death scenes are more brutal than ever. Joseph Zito, who also directed The Prowler, is at the helm of what was supposed to be the last film of this series. "The Sultan of Splatter" Tom Savini is also back doing the special effects. After a flashback to all three movies, we see the paramedics taking Jason's body to the morgue. When he comes to at the hospital, he kills two of the people working there and heads back to Crystal Lake. At the same time, a group of teens are also headed there for the weekend. Crystal Lake must quite the vacation spot because all these murders don't seem to deter any visitors.

Corey Feldman plays young Tommy Jarvis, a monster movie obsessed kid who creates his own masks and props. He lives with his mother and older sister across from the house that the teens are renting. The group picks up a pair of twins and they all end up back to the house for a party. Crispin Glover plays a scrawny, annoying little nerd that hooks up with one of the twins. In one of the funniest scenes of the entire franchise, he dances like he's having a seizure while fighting invisible ninjas at a rock concert. During filming, Glover was supposedly dancing to a different song but it's the most ridiculous thing you'll ever see, regardless of the song that was originally playing.

Corey Feldman and his sister are having car trouble when a random backpacker comes out of the woods to helps them out. The guy says he's out hunting bears but he's really looking for his sister and tracking Jason. After Jason slashes his way through the teens, he goes after the Jarvis family. In the end, it's little Tommy Jarvis that's able to stop him but I've never really understood why. Tommy finds a bunch of newspaper clippings in the backpacker's bag and see a picture of Jason Voorhees when he was a kid. While Jason's chasing his sister around, Tommy shaves his head and puts on a little make-up to look like Jason when he was a kid. Then Tommy asks if Jason remembers him? In Part II, it made more sense that Jason would be confused because Ginny pretends to be Jason's mother. Tommy shaving his head to look like a young Jason shouldn't have confused him for so long. Regardless, it worked long enough for Tommy to get ahold of the machete bury it deep into Jason's face. When he notices Jason's fingers twitching, Tommy repeatedly hacks away at Jason's body with the machete. The movie ends on a bit of a cliffhanger with Tommy Jarvis looking into the camera as ominous music plays. This was supposed to be the final film but audiences were left wondering what happened to young Tommy Jarvis.

Nudity: There was a lot more nudity this time around. The teens go skinny dipping at the lake and they're all hooking up back at the house. The girls are hotter and there are even TWINS! 

Gore: Tom Savini is back. Is there any doubt about the quality or even quantity of gore? The special effects are top notch and the kills are absolutely brutal. Jason saws through a guy's throat with a hacksaw and twists his head completely around. Also, Jason is a dick to fat chicks. This heavy hitchhiker was just sitting there minding her own business, not engaging in premarital sex or doing drugs, just eating a banana when Jason shows up and kills her for no reason.

Awesome: Very. The story was evenly paced unlike Part III where the the first half was really boring and everything happens in the second half. The acting is bad and Crispin Glover's character is annoying as hell but they quickly set up the characters and move on to killing them. This movie had the right amount of nudity and, with Tom Savini back, the kills were awesome. I can see why this is a favorite among fans of the franchise. Jason seemed more "alive" in the last one, he's more decayed and zombie-like in this one. Also, he's more deliberate and slow stalks his victims in this one. At least he is until the end. In previous films, he seemed a lot more clumsy and oafish. If the series really ended here, it would've gone out on a high note. This is definitely the one we've been screaming for!