Thursday, October 20, 2005

Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood

(1988) **1/2

In 1988 there was: Halloween 4, Friday the 13th 7, Nightmare on Elm Street 4, Hellraiser 2, Phantasm 2 and Child's Play. Good year for horror? Or horrible?

For the three big Slashers, it was the start of the decline. Jason himself is in his element in this one, he's basically ramped up to killing zombie. He doesn't eat anyone, but his clothes are in tatters, his bones are showing, and he still has a big chain hanging around his neck. He looks great, in other words, and they're still smart enough to make sure the killings have some personality. This is by far my favorite of his maskless faces, and they show a lot more of it than usual, managing these great "ooh, you!" expressions.

BUT, this is Jason vs. Carrie, so most of this movie will be spent watching a poofy blonde troubled teen (second movie in a row for me tonight), this time struggling with her frightening powers and her loathsome shrink. Seems Tina got mad at daddy as a little girl and used her freaky powers to shake the dock apart, sending him plummeting into Crystal Lake. Never mind that he could have easily survived if he just jumped into the lake, out from under the covered dock's roof. Returning as a teen at the behest of her reptilian doctor, she stands on the dock and tries to make Daddy come alive, but instead wakes up...well, you know. We're reminded of Jason's current whereabouts through a generous helping of old footage. We're also reminded of Tina's dad's fate in a flashback fifteen minutes after we saw it the first time.

Of all this hackery, worst of all is Dr. Jerkface, who has a secret agenda, surprise surprise. I know I'm not meant to like him, but his ideas and jargon were such counterintuitive hooey I just couldn't stand the idea of anyone taking him seriously. And why the hell isn't Crystal Lake a toxic landfill by now? How many murderous rampages does it take to affect the property values?

It isn't even until the last fifteen minutes that we finally get to see mind vs. machete. It's okay I guess, until the very end, when Tina uses her powers to pull her father, just slightly muddy after all these years, up through the dock to take the big guy down. Why couldn't she do that the first time?

So, how many audience members thought that was cool? That's right, none. Because the only people who would've liked that were home at the time, playing with their toy unicorns.


JPX said...

The funny thing is, Jason's not even that deep in the water nor was he very far off shore. Are the police so bumbling that they wouldn't have drained the lake after the mass murders from the previous film? Jason't exposed spine is pretty damn cool though. Also, the shrink in the film played a bully on Three's Company once. You remember? It's the one where Jack has to pretend he's dead to try to evade the bully and even ends up hiding in a casket? I've wasted my life haven't I?

Octopunk said...

Well, maybe you and your loser friends can arrange some sort of contest to make your useless obsessions seem vital and alive.

I was going to say that Jason takes out his first skinnydipper in the actual act of skinnydipping, but then I remembered the girl in the raft in Final Chapter. She's naked, so she counts.

Summerisle said...

My review from '04:

Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988) **1/2 As a young child, Tina accidentally killed her father in Crystal Lake using her telekinetic powers. This tragedy haunts her for years. Her mother, determined to cure her mental scars, enlists the help of a therapist and the 3 set off to Crystal Lake so that Tina can conquer her fears head on. Conveniently, Jason breaks free from the bottom of the lake while the naughty teenagers next door are throwing a party. Jason then goes to a diner and orders a coffee with extra cream but no sugar. Whoops, what I meant to say was Jason then goes on another bender-killing spree until he faces off in a final showdown with Tina, who is starting to master her powers. As far as his final showdowns go, this one ranks somewhere towards the crappy side. But let's face it, out of the "good" Friday the 13ths (ie. parts II through VII, and I use the term "good" very loosely), not one of them is really better than the other. You can make a half-assed argument for any one of them as we all have. Jason is a big fan of the machete in the New Blood, it's almost as if he gave up trying to impress us with creative murder weapons. I didn't bother to track the numbers but there is a big ol' body count. I begrudgingly admit that the ending surprised me.

Octopunk said...

"You can make a half-assed argument for any one of them as we all have."

And will continue to do! Four is best! No, six!

Summerisle said...

"In 1988 there was: Halloween 4, Friday the 13th 7, Nightmare on Elm Street 4, Hellraiser 2, Phantasm 2 and Child's Play. Good year for horror? Or horrible?"

I'd say '88 was a horrible year for horror. Everything was imitating everything else but they weren't even pretending to try to scare anymore. I think horror died somewhere around 83-84... and then it completely bottomed out with Shocker in 1989.

JPX said...

I think Hellraiser II holds up, and that was completely creepy and dreary!