And You Thought It Was Safe(?)


Jason X (2002)
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Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993)

You all know the story, right? Friday the 13th Part VIII was both the most expensive and least profitable film of the franchise. Gee, I wonder if those two facts are connected somehow? Even if they aren’t, Paramount spent the late-80s and early-90s “restructuring” itself after a string of flops (like Friday the 13th Part VIII) drove newly hired managers to do what managers love to anyway and sell everything that wasn’t nailed down. Including Jason Voorhees.

So New Line Cinema bought Jason up for cheap and promptly sat on him until Freddy died his “last” death in 1991. While Final Nightmare had the highest opening of its series, there was no getting around the sad fact that it sucked. So New Line spent 1992 proving they hadn’t learned a damn thing, making a Final Friday film that sucks even more…in a completely different way. Continue reading



Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)
"Round 1: FIGHT!"

"Round 1: FIGHT!" Portrait of a film critic and this godforsaken franchise.

Or, The One Everyone Hates. And I mean really, really, really hates. That’d be Part V for me, but I understand why everyone pretends that false start of A New Beginning never happened. And I understand the hatred of this…thing.

Seriously, this is Friday the 13th Lite, a cringing, half-hearted attempt to shift the series toward (of all things) respectability. It ended up disappointing everyone from casual movie watchers to the stuffed suits at the top of Paramount’s food chain by exceeding even the most cynical critic’s lowest expectations. Bucking a trend for the series, turned out to be derivative and dull. How did this happen? How did one of the most iconic horror franchises in history sink so low? Continue reading



Friday the 13th Part 7: The New Blood (1988)
January 8, 2007, 8:42 am
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , , , ,

By the time I’d made it all the way to tonight’s piece I was going on 14 and even then Younger Me could sense the hurk and jerk of a movie series tottering on its last legs, begging for a fresh idea to blow through its sagging sails. At the time, Young Me found it odd that this series of films, centered as they are around a homicidal pseudo-zombie, could be so lacking in life.

Older and (I like to think) Wiser Me is nonplussed at this. He (I) no longer finds anything odd in the progressive degeneration of the American horror film – or film in general, for that matter. Older Me (I) possesses enough insight to see these films clearly, both as perpetrators and victims of their own perpetuation. Their downfall and degrading “quality” were as inevitable as a teenage death inside the Crystal Lake Woods, the result of a mass market system geared, not to telling stories, but to making the good people at Gulf Western (who at the time owned Paramount Pictures, and thus Jason Voorhees) richer than they already were. And they’ve no one to blame but themselves. {More}



Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988)

As a symbol, the hockey mask is interesting. Being a homicidal pseudo-zombie, Jason has no need for a mask. It exists because concealing his face allows his creators to purposefully blur the lines his existence straddles: between living and dead, human and inhuman, villain and victim, corpse-maker and corpse...By the time I’d made it all the way to tonight’s piece I was going on 14 and even then Younger Me could sense the hurk and jerk of a movie series tottering on its last legs, begging for a fresh idea to blow through its sagging sails. At the time, Young Me found it odd that this series of films, centered as they are around a homicidal pseudo-zombie, could be so lacking in life.

Older and (I like to think) Wiser Me is nonplussed at this. He (I) no longer finds anything odd in the progressive degeneration of the American horror film – or film in general, for that matter. Older Me (I) possesses enough insight to see these films clearly, both as perpetrators and victims of their own perpetuation. Their downfall and degrading “quality” were as inevitable as a teenage death inside the Crystal Lake Woods, the result of a mass market system geared, not to telling stories, but to making the good people at Gulf Western (who at the time owned Paramount Pictures, and thus Jason Voorhees) richer than they already were. And they’ve no one to blame but themselves. {More}