Archive for Jason Voorhees

Friday the 13th Part 3 (1982) Review

Posted in Friday the 13th Part 3 with tags , , , , on September 13, 2013 by Last Road Reviews

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FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 3

**** Out of 5

Tagline- A New Dimension in Terror

Release Date- August 13th, 1982

Running Time- 95-Minutes

Rating- R

Screenplay- Martin Kitrosser & Carol Watson

Director- Steve Miner

Starring- Dana Kimmell, Traci Savage, Paul Kratka, Larry Zerner, Jeffrey Rogers, Catherine Parks, Nick Savage and Richard Brooker as Jason Voorhees

Released in 1982 for me Friday the 13th is in a sense the perfect slasher film; it’s has some decent suspense and scares with a creepy villain and just as important the movie is a lot of fun. The film has the right balance of dialogue, stalk scenes and death scenes to keep it moving at a fun pace and that’s why I said in a sense its the perfect slasher film even if not one of the best out there. Of all the Friday the 13th movies besides the original this one along with Jason Lives are my favorites. You know those movies you like a lot more than you should? Well Friday the 13th Part 3 is that movie for me. Sure this is your typical slasher flick with the typical slasher movie characters, but there is just something about this movie I love.

The Friday the 13th series often gets mixed reviews, but I really think these movies have a little more to offer than given credit for; the first 4 movies were legit attempts at creating suspense and scares and granted the original exploited what made Halloween so popular and so great, but I still think Friday the 13th is a classic and while the sequels may not be classic status worthy, I do again think the first 4 have more to offer than given credit for. I first saw this back in the 80s as a child and I’ve seen it again through the years as a teenager and adult so maybe since I know the movie so well I see more than what’s there, but I really do think this is an excellent slasher flick and is truly a blast to watch; what makes this movie sort of legendary is this is the first part that Jason wears the hockey mask, which has become such an Iconic image in not just the horror genre, but in film in general.

Screenwriters Martin Kitrosser and Carol Watson actually try and elevate the screenplay to be more than the typical stalk and slash movie as there is some attempts at creating some drama, which also might add a little more depth for the characters. They seemed to have a few ideas, but it just wasn’t quite there yet. In some ways I think this might be the best written in regards to trying to do a little more with the characters, but this one also in other ways has the least amount of plot. But Kitrosser & Watson seem to wanna do a little more with the characters, but in the end none of these ideas factor into the final product. The characters are your standard slasher characters they may not have the most depth and might be disposable, but they do have their own identities and quite honestly I found the characters here one of the most likable set of characters of the series. You have the basic characters the best friend, the jock and the stoners and even in 1982 this was starting to get clichéd and sometimes that can really sink a movie, but I think it sort of helps Friday the 13th Part 3. Kitrosser and Watson have some good ideas with the characters and Shelly (Zerner) is one of my favorite characters and I think a lot of people can relate to the character; he doesn’t quite fit in with the rest of the characters and I think a lot of people felt the way Shelly did in the movie and for that he’s one of my favorite characters in the series.

As I brought up before there were some interesting ideas presented but weren’t explored enough. There was a back-story with the character Chris (Kimmell) and how she encountered Jason (Brooker) a couple of years back. The concept seems like it’s going to lead to something, but it never comes about. I did hear that an original idea was a sexual assault and if you pay close attention to the dialogue early it does seem like that was a direction the movie was heading. But come a certain point the idea is dropped, which isn’t a bad thing and it just says how Chris was once attacked by Jason. Despite not really going anywhere it actually works in the favor of the movie and helped give Chris more depth. There was also a back-story with Rick (Kratka) and Chris, which normally in these movies feels very out of place, but it works rather well and adds some more depth for Chris and even a little bit for Rick; that subplot could have been a disaster, but works well. That is why I go back to the script having some decent ideas. Martin Kitrosser and Carol Watson had some good ideas with the Chris character and overall they had a good idea with the movie, but never fully developed any of it. A lot of reviews cite this as one of the weaker ones in terms of characters, but like I said I liked the characters, which helps my enjoyment of the film. The script though is simple and while it may to be great it is fun.

Director Steve Miner crafts a fun film with some solid suspense, eerie atmosphere and looming danger; he also gets great use of his locations and does a great job at making it feel very isolated and cut off. In many ways the ranch sort of becomes a character of its own. In Friday the 13th Part 2, which was Miner’s directorial debut he very much followed what Sean Cunningham did with the original and its sort of a remake in sequel form. But here with Friday the 13th Part 3 he’s able to add a little more of his own style, but he also owes a lot to John Carpenter as the shots of Jason waiting and watching remind me a lot of Halloween. But rather than be a carbon copy again Miner is able to inject his own style. Through his career Steve Miner has pretty much been a director for hire as be more often than not makes films that are in style and follows the format other directors did. That isn’t a knock since I do like some if his films, but I wish he would have done more work like this where he doesn’t simply rehash other filmmakers. The pace of the film is quite strong as there really isn’t a slow moment; Jason’s always out there watching, which helps create some tension and than he strikes.

When it comes to horror movies the final act is so very important. A great horror movie could be ruined by it and an average horror movie could suddenly become much better cause of it. In my opinion the final act of Friday the 13th Part 3 just might be the most solid of the whole series. The overall atmosphere for the final chase between Chris and Jason can be quite creepy. We all know horror flicks work at their best when the characters are isolated in a certain area and when you only have the killer and the intended victim in the isolated area it’s even better. You get the sense that Chris is trapped here and the only thing she can do is try to survive. It also helps that while strong Chris was also vulnerable and Jason in my opinion was at his scariest in part 3 in my opinion. For my money Friday the 13th Part 3 had the best final act of the series.

The acting wasn’t bad either; what people seem to forget is this is a slasher movie not an Oscar worthy film. The actors all do a fine job with their characters and come across as real people and that for me made me like the movie even more since when they died I felt bad for them. Dana Kimmell who played Chris was by far my favorite character of the series and quite honestly one of my all time favorite final girls. Richard Brooker made an excellent Jason; he was big and strong, but still had some human qualities to him he was also in my opinion the most imposing and also gave Jason some personality. Richard Brooker is by far my favorite Jason. In my personal opinion Richard Brooker was by far the scariest Jason. I loved his movements and even at times his fun in killing and his frustration. Like when he’s looking around the barn for Chris and when he can’t find her he starts throwing things out of his way. Jason had the most personality in this part and while other actors did well, Richard Brooker for me was the scariest and most imposing of all the actors to play Jason.

Friday the 13th Part 3 is far from perfect; make no mistake it does have its flaws. But it’s also a well-made slasher flick with a creepy villain and likable characters. Something some of the later installments didn’t have.

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Friday the 13th Part II (1981) Review

Posted in Friday the 13th Part 2 with tags , , , , on August 12, 2013 by Last Road Reviews

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FRIDAY THE 13TH PART II

**** Out of 5

Tagline- The Body Count Continues

Release Date- May 1st, 1981

Running Time- 87-Minutes

Rating- R

Screenplay- Ron Kurz

Director- Steve Miner

Starring- Amy Steel, John Furey, Adrienne King, Kirsten Baker, Stu Charno, Bill Randolph, Lauren-Marie Taylor, Marta Kober, Tom McBride, Walt Gorney and Betsy Palmer as Mrs. Voorhees

Released in 1981 Friday the 13th Part II is cited by many fans of the franchise as being overall better than the original and while I do enjoy part II I don’t think it’s on the same level as the original movie. I think the fact the audience is so used to Jason and the fact he isn’t the killer in the original is why some people rate this higher than the first part. With that said though Friday the 13th Part II is a very solid sequel and even if I don’t feel it’s as good as the original it does stand proud with it. 1981 was the Golden year for the slasher flick with such releases as Halloween II, My Bloody Valentine, The Prowler and The Burning are among the few of a year that seemed to be dominated by slasher flicks and while I wouldn’t rate Friday the 13th Part II as the best slasher of the year it is every bit as good as the films I mentioned and would most likely be in my top 3 slasher flicks of 1981.

The one thing forgotten by a lot of people is the early Friday the 13th movies weren’t just about gore and violence despite the reputation the franchise has. The reputation started more with Part VI. The early Friday the 13th movies did try and up the ante on make-up F/X, but the first 4 were still very much made to be scary and suspenseful movies as well and even though I did enjoy the series as it went on the first 4 I think are highly underrated as horror flicks. Friday the 13th Part II isn’t exactly this classic chiller of the horror genre, but it is a solid horror movie.

After the unexpected success of Friday the 13th the sequel was pretty much rushed into production and opened just under a year after the original. This time around Jason Voorhees makes his debut as the killer, which really doesn’t make any sense. If he did drown as a child how did he come back? And if Jason didn’t drown as a child than where as he been all this time? I suppose it really doesn’t matter and since this movie turned a profit and it didn’t matter to fans either. In many ways Friday the 13th Part II is almost a remake of the first film. The basic structure is the same, the characters are a lot like those in the original film; Ted is sort of a take on Ned, and Jeff and Sandra remind me a bit of Jack and Marcie; even the final chase scene is shot for shot the same only with new characters.

The screenplay by Ron Kurz is fairly good when compared to other slasher flicks, but the screenplay feels like nothing more than a rehash of the original; there are a few more characters this time around, but most are pretty much clones of the characters from the first. The characters are sort of the faceless victims we usually seen in the Friday the 13th flicks, they lack their own identity for the most part unlike like those in the first film, but with that said the characters are entertaining and likable and Ginny (Steel) is one of the best heroines of the series and one of the best developed as well and Paul (Furey) is one of the best characters of the series. Ron Kurz never really adds anything new to the series and seems fine on rehashing the original, but like I stated the screenplay is still stronger than most of these kinda flicks even if it doesn’t add much.

Steve Miner made his directorial debut with Friday the 13th Part 2 and he got his start working with Sean Cunningham on quite a few films as he worked his way up the ladder. Some people have called Steve Miner a master of the horror genre and while he’s made some good films and terrible films the problem I have is he seems to follow the formula of other filmmakers. Even later in his career with movies like H20, which came out when the slasher flick was marketable again all Miner did was follow what Craven did with Scream and what Carpenter did with the original Halloween. With Friday the 13th Part 2 he pretty much follows what Sean Cunningham did with the original at every turn.

In many ways Friday the 13th Part 2 is a bigger budget version of the original and seeing as this was Steve Miner’s first film I guess it can be forgiven, but he never really injects any of his own style into the movie. Despite the lack of originality, Miner is able to build some decent suspense and tension, but seeing as many of the scenes are copies of the original it can slightly hinder the suspense at times, but Miner is able to craft some solid scenes of suspense and even if its a total clone of the original, Steve Miner does deliver a fun and well paced movie with some nice moments of suspense.

Jason Voorhees was played by Steve Dash despite the credit for Warrington Gillette; Gillette played Jason for one scene and that was the unmasking scene. In many ways Jason was a lot like Michael Myers as he’s always somewhere lurking around and he’s a bit more methodical, but it still works here and in my opinion Jason was quite creepy here something that would later be lost as the series went on. As I mentioned Ginny being one of the best final girls and many fans of the series give her the title of the best final girl of the series and its quite hard to make an argument against that.

Overall Friday the 13th Part II is a fairly solid sequel and while it’s nothing more than a rehash of the original with new characters it actually works well and is at times fairly creepy. A lot of fans cite this one as better than the original and I can’t help but feel that is due to Jason since with all the sequels it does seem weird without Jason in the original. But regardless, Friday the 13th Part II is a fairly strong slasher flick and comes highly recommended to fans of these kinda movies.

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Chiller 13: Great American Slashers

Posted in Chiller 13: Great American Slashers with tags , , , , , on July 15, 2013 by Last Road Reviews

Chiller 13: Great American Slashers

This list is from a special that aired on Chiller and I do have several issues with it. Chiller a network for horror fans, but with this list were thinking of the mass audience. There will always be somebody left off a list. I often see lists where people just seem to add an endless amount of films/actors/characters. The fun part at least for me is deciding what makes the cut. Adding everything is no fun and too easy. On my top 15 Scream Queens the fun part was narrowing it down to 15.

https://lastroadreviews.wordpress.com/2013/03/19/top-15-scream-queens/ (sorry if it isn’t clickable). There were many actresses left off and there were some that many will debate on being on there. Also people will debate the order and even I even still debate my choices and order. But what I like to do is get the best list possible and not make it a popularity contest, but I also don’t wanna add more underground actresses just for the sake of it. I know my readers or a good portion of them are legit horror fans that know the genre and will know the lesser know a or the very least heard of them. But I always with any list try and not only find the right balance, but order as well. I don’t wanna again make it a popularity contest, but I do wanna just focus on underground to be different.

But Chiller with the 13 Greatest American Slashers put together the safe list that not only will the die hards know, but your average person who may like the horror genre, but aren’t massive fans. Now I fully understand piling your list with lesser knows may not be good for ratings, but if you’re gonna make a list like this don’t take the easy way out; deliver a legit list not based on popularity.

With the rant over let’s take a look at Chiller’s 13 Greatest American Slashers.

13. Chucky
I enjoy the Child’s Play movies, but I’m not a huge fan. However I take no issue with Chucky on the list as he is deserving as one of the most iconic horror movie characters.

12. Sweeny Todd
Now this pick I do have an issue with. I’ll admit I haven’t seen the movie since it really didn’t interest me. Perhaps if I do see it I’ll love it who knows, but if you’re making a list of slasher characters I’m not sure Sweeny Todd should be one of the 13.

11. Candyman
Candyman is one of those borderline slasher films. It has some of the formula, but also mixes it up. However Candyman is a worthy and deserving pick.

10. Patrick Bateman
This was an interesting pick, but I do wonder if Bale didn’t go on to massive success in Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy if Bateman makes it. American Psycho is a slasher film that doesn’t really follow the slasher formula not that it’s a bad thing. The film is excellent for sure and Patrick Bateman was a great character and an excellent pick however when I think of slasher films and characters American Psycho and Patrick Bateman don’t exactly come to mind. With that said sure you can replace Bateman with other characters, but he is deserving.

9. Dexter Morgan
The TV series Dexter is a show I always wanted to see, but never got around to it. Either way this pick strikes me more for popularity than anything else and Dexter is also the only TV character (I suppose more on account not many TV characters can fit in with slashers). But it’s just an odd selection when the other 12 are all film characters.

8. Pinhead
HellRaiser is an iconic series for sure, but like some others border the slasher film. I guess it doesn’t really fit into anything else so its lumped in with slashers, but its a fair pick since Pinhead is a horror icon.

7. Ghostface
The Scream franchise changed modern horror as we know it and Ghostface instantly became a horror icon. My only issue is I think Ghostface should be higher up. What Jason, Michael and Freddy were for the 80s, Ghostface was for the 90s and early parts of the 2000s

6. Leatherface
Another excellent pick, but I personally don’t see the TCM films as slasher films. They have the same basic plot and many upon many slasher films have borrowed from TCM, but it does stray a bit from the slasher conventions. However due to the impact its had Leatherface is more than deserving.

5. Hannibal Lecter
Silence of the Lambs is horror simple as that. It seems when a horror film is a massive critical success and in the case of this film Oscar nominated suddenly its not horror. However as great of a character as Hannibal Lecter is when I think of slashers I don’t really think of him and this pick seems out of place and is here because of popularity than anything else. Silence of the Lambs is a classic and Hannibal Lecter a great character, but when I think of slashers this really doesn’t come to mind.

4. Norman Bates
What would a list like this be without Norman Bates? If not for Norman Bates and Psycho who knows where the slasher film would be. Odds are it would have happened, but who knows how it would have been. Norman is the original slasher and in some ways I feel should have been number 1. Many people debate if Psycho is a slasher and while yes it is different than the films it inspired this is very much a slasher flick.

3. Jason Voorhees
Well no surprise on the top 3. When putting a list like this together you sort of have to go with the picks from Chiller and the only real debate is the order. When I think of slasher films and characters Jason of course comes to mind and again that’s where my issue comes in with some of the picks. Does Hannibal Lecter, Dexter and Sweeny Todd really fit in with the top 3?

2. Michael Myers
Like Norman, you can make a case for Michael being the top pick. Without Michael Myers and Halloween where would the slasher film have been in the 80s? Besides Jason and Friday the 13th, Michael Myers and Halloween were often knocked off and as long as there are horror filmmakers I don’t see that ever changing. Personally I think Michael or Norman should be number 1, but a case can be made for any of the top 4.

1. Freddy Krueger
Elm Street is interesting in the fact they’re slasher films, but they also stray from slasher movie conventions (at least the sequels). However Freddy like the classic monsters of the 30s is a character you know even if you’ve never seen any of the films. While Freddy wouldn’t be my top pick I really can’t argue it.

Overall Chiller does provide a strong list of characters, but its simply a popularity contest. I think if you’re gonna make a list of slashers than make sure you fill it up with slasher characters. Again American Psycho is sort of a slasher, but its not a film that first comes to mind when thinking of these films. It’s a great film and Patrick Bateman a great character, but I still say add to the list with legit slasher characters. If I were to make a list like this I can’t say how it would look, but characters like Mrs. Voorhees, Frank Zito, the Prowler would all be included. It’s characters like that is what comes to mind when I think of slashers.

Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993) Review

Posted in Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday with tags , , , , , , , , on January 25, 2013 by Last Road Reviews

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JASON GOES TO HELL: THE FINAL FRIDAY

*** Out of 5

Tagline- The Creator of the First Returns to Bring You the Last

Release Date- August 13th, 1993

Running Time- 93-Minutes

Rating- R

Screenplay- Dean Lorey & Jay Huguely

Director- Adam Marcus

Starring- John D. LeMay, Kari Keegan, Steven Culp, with Erin Gray, Steven Williams and Kane Hodder as Jason Voorhees

Released in 1993 Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday was the 9th installment of the Friday the 13th franchise and first under New Line Cinema as the previous 8 were put out by Paramount pictures. This was billed as the final movie in the series and this wasn’t the first time since part 4 was called The Final Chapter and it was only for 1-year, but after Jason Goes to Hell it wouldn’t be until 2002 until we would see Jason again. The big selling point for Jason Goes to Hell besides being the last was the return of Sean Cunningham who directed the original film, produced this one.

Jason Goes to Hell often gets some mixed reviews from fans of the series. The problem with franchises is there comes a time when the formula runs thin and that’s when we start getting back stories to try and keep the series fresh. We’ve seen it A Nightmare on Elm Street and Halloween as well. When you break down the series the first 4 all follow the same formula than part 5 added a more exploitation feel. 6-8 changes the formula but doesn’t stray from it either. But while 6-8 are different than the first 4 it’s still Friday the 13th and Jason Goes to Hell has elements of past sequels but it also totally strays from the past films and actually a change or two Jason Goes to Hell could be its own movie and not even be part of the series. Even though this doesn’t use the Friday the 13th name it’s still part of the series and I respect something different was attempted, but this strays way too much.

The film opens with a woman (Julie Michaels) arriving at Camp Crystal Lake and has a classic Friday the 13th setup; Jason (Hodder) shows up and the woman runs off with Jason in pursuit. Suddenly Jason is surrounded by a SWAT team and they open fire then blow him up thus ending Jason’s reign of terror or so they thought. Jason’s remains are brought to a morgue and now we learn Jason has the ability to enter other people’s body and soon Jason’s rampage continues and we also learn the shocking secrets of the Voorhees family.

The screenplay by Dean Lorey & Jay Huguely is quite interesting as it only takes a couple of elements of the series, but mostly goes into a totally different direction and creates a backstory never even hinted at before and if anything this movie has far more of a supernatural feel. In terms of plot the Friday the 13th movies never really had one and if anything part 3 while the least amount of plot also has the most ideas it’s just never fleshed out. But Jason Goes to Hell is really the only film in the series with an actual plot, but its kinda sunk by straying too much from the concept. Like I mentioned earlier this could have been an unrelated film and I think the film while no classic would be better served. From a character standpoint this is one of the better parts if not the best. Characters have some depth and for the ones that don’t really add to the film are the very least entertaining.

Steven (LeMay) and Duke (Williams) are two of my favorite characters in the series and for some reason I’ve always loved Vicki (Allison Smith) and as I stated overall the characters are solid with some depth and even the lesser ones are entertaining in my opinion. The script really wasn’t bad at all, its not exactly one of the greatly written horror flicks but its fairly good and again Jason Goes to Hell would have been better served as its own film unrelated to the Friday the 13th films. As I mentioned as a series goes on we often get back stories or adding on to the mythology, but this one has a concept never once even hinted at. Overall the script was solid only brought down by straying too much.

Director Adam Marcus who also wrote the story delivers a fun well paced film that is pretty much action packed. This isn’t exactly horror filmmaking at its very best, but Marcus does craft a fun film that always moves at a fun pace. The suspense is light, but the fun factor makes up for that and Marcus also crafts some really great death scenes. For me the biggest problem with the direction is Jason isn’t Jason. Sure he might be in other people’s bodies, but its still Jason inside them and at times it’s a totally different character.

Adam Marcus also stages some really bizarre scenes such as a cop strapped down naked and Jason shaves him before entering his body. I guess like the script being brought down by straying too much the same can be said about the direction. I respect something different was attempted, but you still need to keep in tune with the series. Tom McLoughlin with Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives was able to craft a film that stuck true to the formula, but yet bring something new and fresh to the series, without straying.

Like I said the film often draws mixed reviews with some loving it and others hating it. Honestly I would probably rate this as my least favorite because it strays too much but even if I ignored that it would still rate in my bottom 3 of the series. But I enjoy the whole series to some degree as even a poor Friday the 13th still has some fun to offer up. I do think the film itself is more of a 3.5, but I still even now writing this review 20-years after its original release still can’t fully embrace this due too straying too much even if I can watch it and enjoy it.

Back in 1987 there was an idea for a Freddy Vs. Jason movie, but New Line had Elm St. and Paramount Friday the 13th when the two studios couldn’t get an agreement the two franchises forged ahead with more sequels and when Paramount gave up on the series after the 8th installment, New Line got hold of the series and the ending of Jason Goes to Hell featured Freddy with his gloved hand snatching Jason’s mask and pulling it down to hell. That I remember got a lot of fans excited at the possibility of a Freddy and Jason movie. Who knew it would take 10-years to happen.

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Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986) Review

Posted in Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives with tags , , , , , , , , on October 5, 2012 by Last Road Reviews

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FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VI: JASON LIVES

**** Out of 5

Tagline- Kill or Be Killed

Release Date- August 1st, 1986

Running Time- 86-Minutes

Rating- R

Written & Directed By- Tom McLoughlin

Starring- Thom Mathews, Jennifer Cooke, David Kagen, Kerry Noonan, Renee Jones, Tom Fridley, Vincent Guastaferro, C.J. Graham

Released in 1986 Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives does something very rare for sequels; it takes the basic formula and sticks true to it, but also mixes it up enough that it makes for an original sequel that doesn’t stray from the concept behind the series. Jason Lives, while a legit horror flick also makes for a clever satire and in many ways can be seen as the Scream before Scream. Writer/director Tom McLoughlin not only has fun with the slasher movie conventions, but he also creates a more gothic look, like something out of the Universal horror flicks of the 30s and 40s and this part really stands out as again it keeps true to the series, but isn’t a complete rehash of the movies that came before it.

While the slasher film was still turning a profit in 1986 I think most will agree that even though there were still some entertaining slasher flicks these films clearly were running their course as there really is only so many times you can rehash Halloween or Friday the 13th before things start getting really stale and that’s what also helps this film standout as like I said it makes for a clever satire and doesn’t rehash Halloween or the previous Friday the 13th movies and this one also started the more over the top kills that would become a staple in not just the Friday the 13th movies, but slasher movies as a whole and Jason Lives also introduced us to the new Jason (Graham) who really is almost like a different character than the one in 2-4 even if Kane Hodder gets all the credit for the change in Jason.

The screenplay by Tom McLoughlin is possibly the best written of the series and one of the better written slasher films in general. McLoughlin stays true to the roots of the series, but adds a lot more comedy and as I said Jason Lives plays out as a clever satire and in many ways can be seen as the Scream before Scream and I have to assume this movie had some influence on Kevin Williamson; dialogue like “I’ve seen enough horror movies to know any weirdo wearing a mask is never friendly” makes Jason Lives a lot smarter and more creative than any other slasher flick at the time. The characters are a lot of fun and entertaining and Jason Lives features some of the stronger characters in a slasher film; at the end of the day, while most are simply to add to the body count, McLoughlin however gives them their own identity and in their own way all the characters add to the plot. The most interesting part for me is Megan (Cooke) the final girl has more of the qualities of the best friend who dies in the final act and Paula (Noonan) has all the final girl qualities. This in part helps elevate Jason Lives and Megan is a nice change from the typical final girl that dominates the slasher movie.

As director Tom McLoughlin keeps the movie moving along at a strong pace and Jason Lives from start to finish is highly entertaining; the satirical nature of the movie also works well with the suspense and while Jason Lives may not be the scariest or most suspenseful installment McLoughlin does deliver some strong moments of suspense throughout the movie. Tom McLoughlin delivers an excellent and fun movie that again works very well as a clever satire and I love the fact McLoughlin took a formula that was growing old by this point in both the franchise and slasher movies in general and delivered a movie that while keeping true to the formula also mixes it up rather than delivering yet another rehash; not many movies with the part VI in the title are very original, but Jason Lives ends up being fresh and original without straying from slasher conventions. There are also some nice homage’s and most fans will surly pick up on them and a lot of people complain about Jason’s resurrection, but its paying homage to Frankenstein.

Not only is Jason Lives on the better written and directed slasher flicks of the 80s it’s also one of the stronger acted as well. Pretty much all the actors deliver fun performances and Thom Matthews now takes over the role of Tommy Jarvis previously played by Corey Feldman and John Sheppard; Matthews is excellent as Tommy and is sort of a Dr. Loomis like character; Jennifer Cooke as Megan is a total blast and David Kagen as Sheriff Garris is also a lot of fun. Also look for Tony Goldwyn is a brief role early in the movie.

Overall Jason Lives is a total blast from the very start; it’s a clever satire and features some decent suspense with strong filmmaking and acting and a very kick ass soundtrack that features Alice Cooper. When it comes to the Friday the 13th movies (Paramount) all of them are fun, but only downside is they all rehash each other after the brilliant original so Jason Lives is very much welcomed and who doesn’t love the James Bond Spoof opening credits.

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Friday the 13th Franchise Posters

Posted in Friday the 13th Posters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 13, 2012 by Last Road Reviews

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Friday the 13th franchise Lobby Cards

Posted in Friday the 13th Lobby Cards Vol. 1 with tags , , on July 13, 2012 by Last Road Reviews

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Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988) Review by Dave Kaye

Posted in Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood with tags , , , , on April 10, 2012 by Last Road Reviews

Review by Dave Kaye

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FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VII: THE NEW BLOOD

*** Out of 5

Tagline- On Friday the 13th Jason is back. But this time someone’s waiting

Release Date- May 13th, 1988

Running Time- 90-Minutes

Rating- R

Screenplay- Daryl Haney & Manuel Fidello

Director- John Carl Buechler

Starring- Lar Park-Lincoln, Kevin Blair, Susan Jennifer Sullivan, Susan Blu, Terry Kiser and Kane Hodder as Jason Voorhees

Released in 1988 Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood is a fan favorite among fans of the series with some hailing it as the best of the series and quite honestly I never got the full appeal of the movie; The New Blood is an interesting installment in the series and I suppose I sort of get why so many liked it, but I don’t understand how anyone can rate this as the best of the series. In my opinion the original is by far the best of the series and all the sequels at least the Paramount parts are entertaining. The New Blood adds a little bit of drama mixed with a high body count and crazy death scenes and also is the debut of Kane Hodder as Jason who is quite imposing in the role. But overall I don’t think The New Blood is nearly as good as some cite it even if enjoyable.

By 1988 the slasher film was close to being dead and the Friday the 13th movies were also getting a bit stale and after Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives offered up a nice twist on not only the series, but slasher films as well as it makes for a clever satire the New Blood goes back to the basics and delivers the standard late 80s slasher flick, but it also has a little more going for it than most slasher flicks. This one has a little bit more depth to the plot and even has a layer of drama and while it may not always fully work it was a nice attempt at mixing things up to a certain extent even if at the end it remains clichéd.

The screenplay was written by Daryl Haney & Manuel Fidello, but from what I can gather Manuel Fidello isn’t even a real person. It was a name used by another writer during rewrites. The first half of the movie almost plays out like a drama at times with Tina (Lincoln) dealing with the aftermath of her father’s death 10-years prior. Tina also happens to be telekinetic and Dr. Crews (Kiser) rather than trying to help her is out to exploit her. It was an interesting idea and also it was interesting have a backstory for the character much like how Friday the 13th Part 3 also had a backstory for the final girl and here the backstory does add a little depth to Tina and also makes her sympathetic and while the dramatic aspect feels slightly out of place it does also add some depth and I’d rate Tina as one of the stronger heroines of the series.

The characters are interesting in regards that they do have their own identities rather than being interchangeable, but they are also rather annoying and obnoxious and the quicker Jason (Hodder) dispatches of them the better. Despite having their own identities the characters are still the typical faceless victims with very little depth that dominates the slasher film. However not all is lost since besides Tina, her mother Amanda (Blu) and Nick (Blair) are likeable and characters you can root for, but the rest are better off dead and the longer the focus is on them it does bring the movie down. The 2nd half of the movie it becomes the standard slasher flick and the dramatic element is put on the side in favor of the more traditional slasher mayhem.

Director John Carl Buechler delivers a rather uneven movie that suffers from some pacing problems despite the 88-minute running time and the movie also lacks any legit suspense and tension, but by this time in the slasher film all that could be explored was and seeing as this was not only yet another slasher film, but the 6th sequel I suppose it may not have been possible to deliver much suspense by this point in the game everything is fairly predictable. However, Buechler does deliver some exciting scenes with a couple of scenes having decent suspense and the movie does have a very fun atmosphere and Buechler also knows what his audience wants and delivers on that. The New Blood has some of the best death scenes of the series and all of them have a fun level going for them, but sadly the death scenes also lack due to the MPAA. The New Blood was cut to shreds and it clearly shows. Regardless, John Carl Buechler makes the best out of the material he’s given to work with and despite the flaws The New Blood is generally well-made, but is also bogged down by a very silly ending.

As I stated in the opening I sort of get the appeal of the film, but I would personally rate this as the weakest of the Paramount installments, but even with that said The New Blood despite the lack of suspense and the death scenes being cut to shreds does however have a fun atmosphere and even with the flaws it does serve its purpose as an entertaining stalk and slash flick.

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Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989) Review by Dave Kaye

Posted in Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan with tags , , , on April 9, 2012 by Last Road Reviews

Review by Dave Kaye
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FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VIII: JASON TAKES MANHATTAN

*** ½ Out of 5

Tagline- New York has a new problem

Release Date- July 28th, 1989

Running Time- 100-Minutes

Rating- R

Writer/Director- Rob Hedden

Starring- Jensen Daggett, Scott Reeves, V.C. Dupree, Sharlene Martin, Barbara Bingham with Kane Hodder and Peter Mark Richman as Charles McCulloch

Released in 1989 Jason Takes Manhattan was the 8th installment of the Friday the 13th franchise and even though I hold the original in very high regard and enjoy the sequels for what they are let’s face it these movies never really had much of a plot with the exception being the original, which had a light plot at that. Jason Takes Manhattan follows suit with the sequels and has a very weak plot if you can even call what the movie has a plot. This movie was a sitting duck for critics and audiences since the title alone offers enough jokes and by this time the slasher flick was mostly dead and Jason Takes Manhattan was the lowest grossing installment of the series and also in 1989 Halloween 5 and A Nightmare on Elm Street 5 also suffered their lowest box office totals. The slasher film in my opinion peaked in 1981 with some of the very best of the sub-genre and while the rest of the 80s produced some excellent slasher flicks as a whole no year was as strong as 1981, so here in 1989 the slasher flick was on its last legs.

While Jason Takes Manhattan will never be confused with Psycho and if not for being part of the Friday the 13th franchise, Jason Takes Manhattan would be long forgotten, but under the surface there is actually a fairly decent movie to be found. None of the Friday the 13th movies were favorites with the critics, but believe it or not this movie actually got some decent reviews (not many). There is a lot to dislike about Jason Takes Manhattan; despite the high body count there is very little gore and while the Friday the 13th movies always had some continuity issues this one really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense in connection with the previous parts.

This time around Jason gets on board a cruise ship heading to New York for the graduating class of Crystal Lake and begins to murder the students and the few who survive and make it to New York, Jason continues to hunt them down and kill them; and that folks is about all the plot we really get besides a backstory, which I’ll touch upon later. I think it was an interesting idea to get Jason out of the Crystal Lake setting. The previous 7 movies were either set there or around the lake. The title is misleading since Jason never really takes Manhattan. The more proper title would be Jason Takes a Cruise Ship. Only a few scenes in the final act are in New York and most of the New York scenes were actually shot in Vancouver, Canada. It’s more like Jason Takes a Cruise Ship than Vancouver and finally New York, but only very briefly.

Written and directed by Rob Hedden this marked his directorial feature film debut as prior to this he directed 2-episodes of Friday the 13th: The Series with the episode 13 O’clock being a fan favorite of the series. Some people have complained about the writing and directing in this movie, but in fairness it’s the 8th part and by this time you cannot really stray too much and let’s face it the odds of landing a known horror filmmaker or up and coming is very slim. This isn’t meant to insult Rob Hedden, but he’s really the best you can do at this point of the series. When all is said and done Rob Hedden doesn’t do such a bad job.

The script by Hedden attempts to inject some new life into the series, but it’s pretty much the same thing as past movies only with a different setting. The first half of the movie focuses more on the characters with a little bit of action thrown in and Hedden attempts to give the characters more depth than we are used to seeing in these kind of movies, but the only problem was the characters were too clichéd and were also very similar to the characters in the previous installment, however I felt they turned out better here than in The New Blood. We have the nice girl, her love interest, the jock, the nerd, the snobby bitch and the jerk. I like the fact Hedden wanted to make more than faceless victims and in some aspects he is able to do just that, but the characters while decently developed with some depth also are a bit too clichéd to fully work. However of the entire Friday the 13th series this does feature some of the stronger characters. The lead character Rennie (Daggett) does have a backstory involving Jason and while this may not fully make sense it was a nice touch and gives a stronger dynamic to her relationships with other characters.

As director Rob Hedden delivers a fairly well-paced movie, but it lacks any legit suspense or tension and at times the movie takes itself too seriously. Suddenly Jason has the ability to teleport and I have to assume this was meant to play up to how the killer in these movies always happens to right behind you no matter how slow they’re moving, but if that was the intention it wasn’t handled well-enough to get that point across. The first half of the movie as I stated is more about developing the characters and I found these scenes to be stronger than the 2nd half when the action kicks in. Once the 2nd half starts like I said there was more action, but since it lacks suspense and tension it doesn’t fully work and the biggest problem is the movie takes itself too serious for the most part, when Rob Hedden might have been better off playing things out a little more light in tone.

When Jason actually gets to Manhattan its fairly entertaining stuff and made funnier how nobody in New York seems to notice Jason walking around or when he’s aboard the train chasing after the characters and while I assume Hedden was having fun with the reputation of NY, but the problem is it doesn’t come out clearly and it seems like it’s meant to be serious and not a big deal this rotted guy in a hockey mask is just walking around. Overall Rob Hedden delivers an overall better made movie than people give it credit for and while the movie lacks any suspense and tension, which also has to do with it being the 8th part and all surprises are long gone, but Hedden handles the production well and delivers an entertaining movie that takes itself a little too serious at times and is a little overly long at 100-minutes, but quite honestly I think Jason Takes Manhattan is a decent film and makes for a fun viewing. Going into the movie I assume most people would expect hack filmmaking 101 and Rob Hedden delivers anything, but that.

The performances weren’t bad at all and while the Friday the 13th movies may not be known for their acting I also think at times they get more heat than deserved. Jensen Daggett as Rennie makes for a likeable heroine if not a little on the bland side; this was Daggett’s feature debut and she would go onto other and bigger roles and like I said she gives a strong performance, but a little on the boring side at times. Scott Reeves as the love interest Sean is also pretty good and I love Sharlene Martin as the sexy bad girl Tamara, she may have been a total bitch, but it was kind of hot and too bad she didn’t have a bigger role and look for Kelly Hu in a brief role as Tamara’s friend. That’s what I love about these older horror flicks is seeing who got their starts in these kinds of movies.

Veteran actor Peter Mark Richman does excellent as the un-likeable Charles McCulloch; his character is a lot of fun and I remember seeing this in theaters and his death was cheered by the audience so he did his job well. Tamara the sexy bad girl was my favorite character. Sure she was a little clichéd, but all her scenes were quite fun, too bad there weren’t many of them. Kane Hodder is still giving it his all and brings a lot of life to the Jason Voorhees character.

Overall Jason Takes Manhattan turns out a lot better than it should have. This is by no means a classic of the genre and as I stated if not part of the Friday the 13th movies would probably be long forgotten, but personally I have to admit I really enjoyed this one. Writer/director Rob Hedden delivers better than average characters with some depth despite the clichés and the performances were mostly strong and this movie is just simply a fun ride if you don’t take things too seriously.

Who says the Friday the 13th movies cannot be educational? I learned 2 valuable lessons from this movie. First up never take swimming lessons from Charles McCulloch and never try and fight Jason in a boxing match!

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