Review: Friday the 13th: Parts IV-VI

And more of these stupid films. But finally, finally, they start to get good, at least relatively. This is when A) The formula is finally nailed down perfectly, and B) The films begin to go really, really over the top. This is where it becomes awesome, you guys.

Many call this the best Friday the 13th. And yeah, I guess technically it is. It follows the formula, but it does something the previous films have failed to do thus far: give us some good characters. FINALLY! Likable protagonists!

We have the only 2 other successful actors to come off of Friday the 13th: Stand By Me/Goonies crossover actor Corey Feldman, and bizarre character actor Crispin Glover of Back to the Future and McG’s Charlie’s Angels fame. And they’re awesome. Everyone else is alright, but these two, Feldman and Glover, are the best 2 actors in the entire franchise.

Glover is a total dork, like always. But he’s a likable dork, he seems like a cool dude, and, as a fellow dork, I feel his pain. It’s sad when he dies, even though it’s clear to see when his death is coming. He does the sex. No one, no one, lives through a slasher if after doing the sex.

Feldman plays a little kid, obviously. He loves special effects, and gore. Basically, he’s any one of the legions of 10-year-old fans who saw these films probably before he should have. But, being Corey Freaking Feldman, he’s not an irritating kid, but an awesome kid. Ultimately, he’s the one who defeats Jason, being the last until Freddy Krueger to utilize Jason’s past trauma against him. Also, he does this:

Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter ultimately works far, far better than its predecessors because of one thing: characters. A solid, yet not all that scary slasher film, and one of the few good films in its franchise, Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter earns a B.

b grade

Underrated, yet terrible. That is a summation of this film. Not as bad as its described as, but not as good as it needs to be. A whodunnit with a “Wait, what?” solution, Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning is stuffed to the brim with irritating characters, illogical plot points, and facepalmingly stupid moments.

Chocolate bar rage. Robot dancing. Rebuffed advances. Crazy hillbillies. An ill-defined halfway house for everything from sex addicts to the mentally traumatized. Motorcycles. Crazy man kung fu skills. A Michael Jackson impersonator. A paramedic killing more people in one movie than Jason Voorhees could in 3. These things are in the movie.

Friday fans hate this film because it doesn’t have Jason. I hate it because its poorly structured. Tommy Jarvis should be the protagonist. He’s not. Some interchangeable Final Girl is instead. She’s set up much later than Tommy. We should have an emotional connection to Tommy. If Tommy’s not the protagonist, he should be the copycat killer. He’s not. Tommy should not disappear halfway through the film and come back. He does. If Tommy’s going to have crazy man kung fu skills, he should use them against fake Jason. He doesn’t. There’s setup without payoff. There’s payoff without setup. Little tension, few scares, and too many unintentional laughs make Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning a bizarrely comedic and aggressively unpleasant slasher film that earns an F.

f grade

This is the best film in the franchise. It does not get any better than this. The film opens with the greatest pre-credits sequence this side of Bond. Tommy Jarvis is all grown up. He needs closure, he needs to be sure that Jason’s dead, so he’s grabbed one of his mentally unbalanced friends and dragged him off to a cemetery to exhume and cremate Jason’s remains. But on seeing Jason, the traumatic memories cause Tommy to snap, stabbing Jason’s corpse with a metal fencepost, which is subsequently struck by lightning, bringing back Jason as a zombie. Yes, you read that right. He’s brought back by lightning. Then we have a James Bond gunbarrel riff. YES!!!

Some people may complain this film messes with the Friday formula in weird ways while remaining generic in others, i.e. no creative kills or female nudity, but it’s just generic Jason kills the whole way through. But it’s the best example of generic Jason kills, the most enjoyable version available, because it goes so, so over the top.

horror jason lives

80s horror friday the 13th jason voorhees jason lives

Basically this movie is insanity, beginning to end, and I love it for it. This film can do no wrong in my eyes, and I cannot honestly think of any flaws. A funny, silly, irreverent slasher film that doesn’t take itself too seriously, Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives is a wonderful throwback to classic monster films that earns an A+.

a plus grade

Yeah, I just gave a Friday the 13th film an A+. But I’ll be back to talk about the rest of these films, they only get worse from here. But until later, thanks for reading. Laters!

4 Comments Add yours

  1. emmakwall says:

    I LOVE an A + for Friday the 13th!! Go you! We’re all entitled to enjoy what we enjoy and my film tastes are far from refined lol. Best sequel? Oh yeah, erm, that great flick……Wrong Turn 2!

    Great write up as ever Jake, you’re a fantastic and funny writer.

    Very interesting post and I mean that sincerely. I must admit I have never really watched much of the Friday the 13th franchise, at all. Though one of my favourite facts is that EIGHT movies were made after “The Final Chapter”… 🙂

    I know you know that already!

    So really I should watch The Final Chapter and Jason Lives? I feel I should watch them from the very beginning though. You actually made New Beginning sound kinda good with your description of –

    “Chocolate bar rage. Robot dancing. Rebuffed advances. Crazy hillbillies. An ill-defined halfway house for everything from sex addicts to the mentally traumatized. Motorcycles. Crazy man kung fu skills. A Michael Jackson impersonator. A paramedic killing more people in one movie than Jason Voorhees could in 3. These things are in the movie.”

    And what’s chocolate bar rage? 🙂

    P.S Is that McG (Charlie’s Angels) of ‘a certain crazy rant’ fame?!!!!! And ALSO meant to say the love for both Glover and Feldman was nice! And I’m a dork too 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you don’t mind a bit of schlock, watching the series from the beginning is alright, but the early ones can be a bit of a drag.
      The first kill in Friday the 13th: A New Beginning is a psycho killing a (possibly) autistic person. Here it is:

      The whole film is like that: ridiculous, grating, yet sometimes hilarious.
      Yep, that’s the same McG. Strange name, but when your given name is Joseph McGinty Nichols I guess you could do worse.
      Glover is one of my favorite strange actors of all time, and Feldman is one of the greatest child actors of the 80’s, from Friday the 13th to The Goonies to Stand By Me.


  2. Wendell says:

    I won’t say I’m the total inverse of you, but I do like part V a lot better than you and part VI a lot less. Yeah, part VI is the better movie, though. Part IV is the best of the bunch. It was a great way to “end” the franchise, as it was sorta intended to.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It might’ve been better for the franchise to end on Part IV, but I’m glad it didn’t, if only because I really, really love Part VI.
      Part V is batshit insanity, and it doesn’t really work for me, but it does have some merits. The hillbillies are not one of them.


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