Sunday, February 8, 2009

Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives

The sixth installment of the series marks an important change in the Jason mythology. Starting with this one, no longer would there be any pretense that Jason Voorhees was just a masked psycho. From here on, he is clearly a supernatural creature, a resurrected, unkillable zombie. This may be the reason that some of my favorites in the series come from here on out.

Seeing gruesome murders in Part IV sent Tommy Jarvis to a series of mental institutions, but apparently, seeing another set of killings in Part V canceled that out, and he’s released and cured at the start of VI. Based on the timeline of the movies, Jason has been dead and buried for about ten years, so the smart money would say to let him lie. But Tommy decides the best thing to do would be to dig him up and burn the body. There’s no logical reason for this, but maybe Tommy had been smoking peyote. That shit will fuck you up. Any way, he gets Horshack from Welcome Back, Kotter to go with him to the cemetery to do the deed. However, lightning strikes the metal post Tommy has used to impale Jason, and this wakes him. He kills Horshack, and departs to pick up where he left off.

Tommy has well and truly fucked up.

Tommy makes his way to Crystal Lake (which has been re-named Forest Green, so the fifty or so murders have finally started to catch up with real estate prices) to warn them of the danger. No one will believe him, of course.

Meanwhile, back at Crystal Lake Forest Green, it’s time for summer camp (surprise!). We see a truly amazing thing: Kids arriving for camp. Although summer camping is the recurrent theme in these movies, this is the first time we actually see kids attending camp. A lot of deaths occur, which are all Tommy’s fault when you think about it, before Tommy lures Jason out to the lake, and drowns him, leaving him chained to the bottom of the lake, where he was when the series started. Tommy has now survived his third Friday the 13th movie, and will retire.

Of special note to me is one of those things I find funny (there is an increase in humor in this installment, which will remain from this point on) but no one else does. Among the victims are a group of executives in the woods for a bonding paint ball game. Jason slaughters them, but when he faces the last of the group, the paint-baller shoots him – with his paint ball gun. Jason does his classic reel back motion when he gets shot, then slowly lowers his head and looks at the paint splatter on his chest. This cracks me up, for some reason.

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