Friday, October 14, 2005

Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter


(1984) ****

Best one yet! We’ve got a new director, new writer, and a nastier new flavor. The killings in this one are different: they take slightly longer, so the death-throes are more than just staggering a bit with a spear in your eye. You can feel the characters’ pain; I thought that naked girl in the raft would never stop gagging. This is also the first one where Jason displays the hideous physical strength to match his hideous will. There’s that one guy’s head he just slowly crushes against the shower wall with his big grubby hand.

This is a much better gaggle of characters, too. Crispin Glover! Come on, his name just screams quality. The interplay between the characters is a lot more interesting, so you’re almost sorry to see them go (except for “Teddy Bear,” but there always needs to be at least one death you’re craving). I was even surprised to find Corey Feldman entertaining. This was pre-Goonies, so he’s just playing a little kid, not some little teen-beat icon you want to slap.

This takes place the day after Part 3, which took place the day after Part 2. It’s cool to think of them all as one big murderous rampage, although the “what the hell are all you people thinking?” clause applies here. If I lived in the woods and heard those radio broadcasts, I’d be off to a downtown hotel in 45 seconds. Anyway, another carload of teens rents the place next to Corey Feldman’s house for partying and bloody death. While Part 3’s ample drug references are nowhere to be seen, we’re back in genuine naked territory. The skinny-dipping scene is actually on-screen this time, hoorah.

This one has been a favorite of mine since I first saw it. I’ve always liked the murderous grace of the second twin getting thrown out the upstairs window and smashing all the car’s windows when she lands on it. There were two shots in this movie that particularly struck me, as they bespoke a cinematographer who was actually concerned about placing an artistic image. The first was the dock looming in front of raft-girl’s boyfriend as he tries to swim to safety; the other one was shower boy’s dead head framed by bloody glass. Each shot was set up like an evocative comic book panel; the mood was as important as the information. Stuff like that made Final Chapter seem like (and I hope you’ll forgive the expression) a real movie.

10 comments:

Octopunk said...

This one starts with a montage from all 3 previous flicks, framed by the campfire story from Part 2. What's weird about that is, while the dude's spinning the tale, we see footage of the women sitting on either side of him being menaced by Jason.

"And today Jason is still out there...later he's gonna get you, Lindsey, and it'll go something like this:"

Summerisle said...

Enjoy the "meat" of the series now! Before long you'll be pulling your hair out to Jason X...

No time for reviews today.

I've been enjoying your F13 reviews, makes me want to watch them again my damn self!

JPX said...

Let's not forget the great finale with Jason's head being sliced in half by Corey's machete, "Die, die, die!!!" Part V actually has the biggest body count by the way - I counted one year =)

Octopunk said...

You know, if I was Corey's sister I would've grabbed the nearest cleaver and joined in myself. It's the only thing that makes sense.

I've been keeping a body count for the slashers, actually. So far, Final Chapter's on top with 14 (counting Jason and the mom, who screams at something she sees and exits the movie without a clear kill).

Jordan said...

Okay I only saw the first one and it was way back in the 'Seventies, and, with all due respect to you guys and your generally warm reviews, I probably won't ever see any more of them.

So can someone explain to me how we get from an avenging mother at a summer camp to this "Jason" person?

I've never quite understood it. Like with the TV series, it seemed like they just changed over to a completely different premise with the same title. But, like I said, I haven't seen the movies.

Thanks, Horrorthonites.

Jordan said...

Okay, I read a synopsis. Jason's the original dead kid "come back to life."

Is that REALLY the premise? I had no idea it was a blatantly supernatural story. I just figured there was this guy staggering around for ten movies.

JPX said...

Jordan, you need to lock yourself in a room and watch all the Friday the 13ths immediately, don't you want to be part of the cool people?

Octopunk said...

Yeah, I gotta say, "Who is this 'Jason' person?" sounds like something an unhip parent would say, right before getting an umbrella pole in the neck. (Sorry, for some reason I keep imagining any fictional tableaux ending with a bloody murder.)

Jordan said...

I respectfully point out that I never said "Who is this 'Jason' person" and that my actual question, while perhaps earning me a well-deserved shish-kebob through the throat, is still a legitimate question. Anyway as "master of the 180" I may just watch all the movies and come up for air at the end screaming "JASON LIVES!"

JPX said...

Of course, Jordan, if you do watch any of the Friday the 13th flicks we expect thoughtful reviews from you!