Monday, February 9, 2009

Friday The 13th, Part VII: The New Blood

For many, many years, fans of the laconic Jason Voorhees yearned for the day when he would square off against another horror icon, Freddie Krueger. What a lot of people forget is that he had already fought a big name in horror years before, when he came up against Carrie. Well, okay, she wasn’t called Carrie, but that’s basically who Tina from Part VII really is.

When Tina was a young girl, she and her parents went on a vacation to Crystal Lake, probably taking advantage of the cheap rates (as the franchise will move away from Crystal Lake in the next installment, this may be the last time I can use that joke, so I’m milking it for all it is worth). Tina’s bad-tempered dad gets into an argument with Mom, and Tina flees into a boat in the middle of the lake. Dad comes out to the pier to get Tina to come back to shore, when she kills him by pulling the pier down around him. With her freakin’ mind.

You know she’s gonna have issues.

Years later, Tina is nineteen and under psychiatric care. Her doctor brings Tina and her mother to Crystal Lake to relive the incident. They think he’s doing this to help her, but the doc just wants to prove Tina is telekinetic so he can write a book. Bad doctor! I hope he gets what’s coming to him.

At the cabin next door, some kids Tina’s age are throwing a birthday party for a friend, so there are some extra victims people for Tina to pal around with. Meanwhile, Jason is still at the bottom of the lake where we left him last time, enjoying the peace and quiet. Until…

Tina senses a presence in the lake, thinks it’s her dad, and uses her power to raise him. It turns out to be Jason, and Tina is officially the Tommy “my stupidity got everyone killed” Jarvis of this movie. Jason predictably goes amok, and soon the party next door is getting less crowded. The evil psychiatrist does get his.

Eventually, we have the showdown, as Carrie Tina and Jason face off. It’s a pretty decent fight, until Tina cheats and raises ol’ Dad out of the lake. Dad grabs Jason and pulls him back to the bottom of the lake. I couldn’t understand why they never retrieved dad’s body after he drowned, but maybe they were Protestants.

Two key things about Part VII:

Although this installment is generally disappointing, it is the first to feature stuntman Kane Hodder as Jason. He will remain in the role for the next three movies, and to most Friday the 13th fans, remains the definitive Jason.

Every Friday the 13th movie made in the 80s had trouble with the MPAA over violence and gore, and they were all forced to make cuts. Part VII suffered more than any of the others, and was cut to the point of being bloodless. If your Sunday-School teacher granny ever wants to watch one with you, this is the one to choose.

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