Saturday, May 14, 2016

Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter

Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)excuse me while I laugh uncontrollably...

I'm back. Sorry about that. Because as we all know, this was indeed the very last Friday the 13th movie, and they never made another ever again from then until the end of time.

I'll stop. I think you get the point. Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter was intended, or at least advertised, as the last movie to feature Jason Voorhees. They even brought back Tom Savini to do the makeup effects, hyping him as the man who created Jason and who would now be the one to kill him off for good. Obviously, Jason returned, many times.

Regarded by many fans as one of the better entries, The Final Chapter marks the beginning of the Tommy Jarvis saga. If the first three movies centered on Jason's relationship with his mother, the next three concentrated on Jason's impact on the life of young Tommy Jarvis, here a young boy played by Corey Feldman.

After recapping the first three movies (because I guess we'd have forgotten otherwise), the movie begins with Jason escaping the morgue and resuming his killing ways. I know big shock. Tommy Jarvis, a horror movie fan, lives near Crystal Lake with his divorced Mom (Joan Freeman) and older sister Trish (Kimberly Beck), and soon, another group of teens (including Crispin Glover) shows up to have sex, drink beer, party, smoke dope, and be killed by Jason.

The formula has become hard as a rock by this point, but director Joseph Zito, veteran of a few Chuck Norris movies, keeps things moving at a quick pace and packs in all the elements we've come to expect from a Friday the 13th movie. There's a lot of skinny dipping and/or shower scenes, there's even some laughs (wait until you see Crispin Glover dancing), and the acting is better than usual for this type of movie, especially by Feldman who, his well documented personal problems aside, was a fine child actor, playing kooky, slightly spaced out kids.

Tom Savini's gore effects are more plentiful and better than the job he did in the original. They're nasty and bloody. A pervy morgue attendant takes a bone saw to the throat early on, and when Jason goes down for the count, Feldman delivers the coup de grace with a machete, which becomes imbedded in Jason's face, and he slides down the blade when he falls to the floor. Sick!

Of course, Jason is still moving even after that, so Tommy takes the machete again and goes to town. We're supposed to think Corey Feldman is deranged now because he takes a machete to Jason's head repeatedly and doesn't stop until his skull is pulp. Considering Jason has come back from being hung, stabbed, impaled, and an ax and machete imbedded in his throat and skull at various points, Corey Feldman likely does the smartest and sanest thing ever done in a Friday the 13th movie. 

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