This week's Movie Monday/Halloween Month post will center on just one film, as I take part in The Class of ’84 Blogathon
My contribution is:
Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter
This film was released on April 13, 1984 - 25 years ago!
After being 'killed' at the end of Part 3, Jason is taken to the Wessex County Morgue. But he escapes, after killing an attendant and a nurse, and makes his way back to Crystal Lake.
Six teenagers have rented a cabin next door to the Jarvis family home, also at the lake. Soon Jason begins to eliminate all who trespasses his way. But he may have met his match in the Jarvis siblings.
Want a more detailed recap? Go here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friday_the_13th:_The_Final_Chapter
This, I think, is a pretty decent entry in the "Friday the 13th" series. I don't think any fans actually BELIEVED it would be the Final Chapter, but it made for a fun flick.
Let's start at the beginning, with the notes I took as I watched:
I like the opening recap, using the campfire scene voice over recapping the story of Jason from part 2 interspersed scenes from the first three films. Very good way to sum up what has come before. And the opening theme music is quite good, as well. Fast-paced, yet there is an air of uneasiness and impeding danger.
I have to say I was surprised the first time I saw the beginning scene, where Jason was still laying there on the bottom of the barn floor. With him just being 'inexplicably gone' from the end of part 2 into part 3, I expected the same here. But nope, he was still laying there, supposedly dead. Surprised me.
At the hospital, Axel, the morgue attendant who signs for Jason's body, always reminded me of Bud, the paramedic from Halloween II. But where Bud was just a jerk, Axel here is even more crude and just a pig. And yet Nurse Morgan, through all her protestations that Axel IS a jerk, ends up all over him. What the hell?
The fact that the typical teenage bunch of victims is right next door to a normal family - a mom, a teen daughter, a young son and a dog - is quite a change for a Jason flick. Adds some normalcy, a deeper level of terror. Even an innocent family can be prey to Jason.
The scene in the back of the car with the Jimmy and Teddy and his 'computer' is just crazy dialogue. And Crispin Glover is one weird dude. Just saying.
The teens drive by Pamela Voorhees' tombstone. Do you think Mrs. Voorhees pre-paid her own tombstone? Cause really, who the hell in town would have paid for a stone that big for someone who killed so many kids?
The hitchhiking girl and squished banana scene is a "Friday the 13th" classic now.
The scene where Tommy watches the couple from his bedroom window is funny and realistic. Pretty much how a kid that age would act, seeing that play out before him.
Another new one for a Jason flick: Twins! And not just any twins, but British bombshell twins!
The addition of Rob Dyer, who is revealed to be the brother to Sandra from Part II, out searching for some sign of his missing sister or her killer, is a cool twist. I wish he had fared better in his battle with Jason.
But through Rob, we get to see the strange world Tommy lives in, with his weird masks and puppets. I wonder if Tom Savini (the special effects genius who worked on this flick) was as talented as a kid?
Crispin Glover dancing. Didn't think the dude could get weirder. But he does.
Teen Paul takes 'dumb teen' up to a new level, blatantly flirting and all over one of the British twins while his GIRLFRIEND is right next to them. Idiot.
One gripe I have with this film is that it has a few too many false shocks. The rising music, the eerie scenes, the scared teen and then BOOM - its a branch or a different kid, not Jason. Not good to rely on that for suspense or tension in a film.
As an example, the scene with Samantha in the raft was a scary one. We knew something was gonna happen and we aren't disappointed.
After the crazy scene of them all skinny dipping, the party the teens have that night has to be one of the DULLEST teen parties ever. Slow music, slow dancing, was this the 1984 or 1944?
One of the hot British twins finally chooses Crispin Glover? Really? ... Really???
Teddy and the film reel of silent era porn. Nuff said.
The scene where the one British twin is killed by Jason, but we only see both their silhouettes due to the lighting, is quite good. Unexpected in a Jason film. Less is sometimes so much more.
You know, the two films prior to this happen just a day each before this one. So, wouldn't you think, with all the deaths around the lake, Mrs. Jarvis would be a little more concerned about Trish and Tommy? Just saying.
Another grip: We don't get many 'Jason stalking teen' scenes in this film. When Jason kills someone, he is just suddenly there. No lurking, no glimpses of him, nothing. I prefer the staking, lurking, in the shadows Jason to this one.
In fact, Jason is ALL over the place in this one. He kills Doug in the shower, but instead of then going to Sara in he next room, he goes outside and kills her when she runs to escape the house. What?
The scene of Gordon the dog going through the glass window is still unclear to me. I know the animal stunt coordinator had to get the dog to jump on its own. But in the film, it is left unclear as to whether the dog jumped voluntarily or Jason threw him through the window. I still don't know.
Rob rushes back down to confront Jason in the basement. Wow, that is one horrific scene - Rob yelling "Run, Trish, Run! He's killing me!" Scary stuff there.
And you have to give Trish credit for going back down to try and save him. Not a bright move in a horror film, but brave in character.
One of the scariest, intense scenes in the film is when Trish and Tommy are trying to survive being chased by Jason in their own house. It feels all too real and claustrophobic, hockey-masked killer notwithstanding.
And all the people who had issues with Jason running in the remake can just look to this film. Jason runs after Trish, chasing her from house to house and up the stairs. It was not a new idea.
The climax here, with Tommy changing his appearance to confuse Jason and then killing him, is one of the best in the series. The stress on both Tommy and Trish is shown, played as real as it can be. And the look of Jason's maskless face and then the way Tommy kills him is just gruesome, yet a fitting death for someone like Jason, who had been an unstoppable killing machine.
The final scene, with the manic look in little Tommy's eyes, could have been a great relaunch for the series. Jason is dead, long live Tommy. But, as we have seen in these movies, everyone wants the one and only Jason back, no substitutes.
When all is said and done, this is a fun slasher flick. Not my favorite portrayal of Jason, as least not until the end. But the addition of the Jarvis family was a great idea, as was bringing Rob in to search for a previous victim.
Definitely a film that takes you back to that time, that special year of 1984.
The trailer for the film:
One of the classic quotes from this movie:
Nurse Morgan, to the jerk morgue attendant:
"Axel, You are the Super Bowl of self abuse!"
A deleted scene, from close to the end of the film:
For more movies from 1984, visit The Class of ’84 Blogathon