Thursday, October 13, 2011

31 Flavors of Horror #13: Friday the 13th, Part 5: A New Beginning

I had no choice but to feature a Friday the 13th title for the 13th entry of 31 Flavors of Horror... unfortunately I shoulda timed things out better so it wouldn't be one of the really bad ones. This is as opposed to the others, who're just "the bad ones." This was not the best of my "dates" with Jason. It's like he wasn't even there... 

I found it best to pass the time with this one by coming up with nicknames for characters... 

...and napping.

31 Flavors of Horror #13
Friday the 13th, Part V: A New Beginning  

Another Friday, another night in with Jason. In this, part five, things start to get a little unusual, as it's the "whodunnit" of the Friday movies. This one opens up with a bang. We're immediately stomping around in the stormy woods, in impossibly heavy rain. Corey Feldman is back, in a raincoat visiting the annoyingly well-tended grave of serial killer Jason. He arrives just ahead of a few profoundly stupid men, egging each other to dig faster into the grave in what sure seems like their sublimation of their attraction to one another.

Anyhow, int he well-lit woods, during this typhoon rain, the two dumb-asses open the casket and get killed by the worm-riddled Jason. It was probably irresponsible of whoever buried him to throw the machete in there. I mean, clearly they didn't read the script. Jason then stalks after terrified little Tommy and brings the machete smack down on him... but it was all a dream. Stupid cop-out.

Tommy wakes up as a different actor who looks nothing like him, who could be anywhere from 6 to 15 years older. Evidently he also wakes up a whack-a-doo, as he's a van labeled for the loony bin.

(Lots of spoilers ahead)

Now, the first main question is who in their right mind would send this boy to be rehabilitated in a woodland setting? When you're the survivor of a major massacre committed by a crazy, monstrous mongoloid hillbilly who lives in the woods, being sent to nice urban facility would probably remove a lot of stress.

Camp counselors are here replaced with warm and fuzzy shrinks Pam and Matthew. They deliver plot exposition. Tommy's been in the bin ever since the last movie, on plenty of psychoactives and therapy. He carries a knife, but with that sort of background, who wouldn't? We also discover he's scared of little black children who hide in closets with rubber spiders on strings. His roommate Reggie seems to be about ten, so it's a pretty safe bet at least he'll survive this go-round of "Ten Little Indians Down on the Farm." Shavar Ross will always be Dudley from Diff'rent Strokes to me, and he's a very welcome presence.

The cops show up with some stray teens, and the badly wigged Ethel of the Improv class and her dirty trashy caricature of a son show up to throw some threats and comic relief. There's a token horny couple, Eddie and a girl I called "Tits" because I couldn't remember her damned name. They're evidently there to resolve their issues with nymphomania and bad fashion. There's fat Joey, smeared with his chocolate bar, high-strung Robin, and punkette Violet. I love actors who completely define their roles by their look and one defining quirk. The overly butch Vic seems defined by his chopping of wood while wearing an S&M armband. When he almost immediately kills poor, orphan Joey for being annoying, you really can't blame him. There's also a boy who stutters, but he barely makes any impression at all.

Here the movie telegraphs the next hour. Ambulance driver Roy mugs for the camera and has a few musical stingers, making it clear he's the long-lost father of diced up tubbo Joey. I know that's majorly spoilerific, but this movie is not only crap, it's 25 year old crap, so let's just run through it. I also don't wanna dwell on the fact that he must be a really awful father, or Joey was a terrible kid, because the poor brat used chocolate to fill the void left behind by never knowing his father. Seriously, dad's a douche to let him think he's an orphan.

We then cut to Pete and Vinny, a bantering gay couple late of a dinner-theater production of "Grease." They sure bitch at one another like a long-term couple. When someone comes along and makes Vinny deep-throat a road flare, we're supposed to assume Jason is back. The killer then does the gratingly hyper Pete in with a slashed throat. Evidently his "going to take a crap" is a euphemism for doing a couple bumps. He's that chipper.

The next day, we find out Reggie's grandfather is the cook and that Tommy overreacts when jackasses swipe his masks. Evidently the kids are so starved for entertainment they find someone jumping out in a mask to be the height of hilarity. Then we head over to the Crystal Lake Hillbillies, where Ethel and her son, a knock-off of Randy Quaid from the National Lampoon's Vacation films and possibly named "Dildo," mug like they're playing Lulu Hogg's relatives on "The Dukes of Hazzard." There's also a sidetrack to Lorna and Billy, a body-count padding couple in the grand tradition of slasher movies. Lorna's main personality trait is having lopsided breasts, while Billy liked cocaine and seems to be spoofing some bad, 80s rock radio DJ. They really can't die soon enough. He gets an axe to the baldspot while she gets attacked by the world's most obvious "spring-loaded cat" and an axe to the gizzards.

By now you're wondering "must this film jump cut to emphasize every loud noise? Every chop and slam?" The answer is obviously "yes." That answer also applies to the question "is Tommy gonna imagine Jason everywhere he looks and every few minutes?" Eddie and Tits go bone in the woods. They must be good at it as they get so absorbed they don't even notice a drifter get stabbed in the gut about ten feet away from them. They both have really great chests, and Tits gets it in the eyes with a pair of garden shears while Eddie gets his skull crushed with a belt. Again, they really can't die soon enough.

Pam, Tommy, and Reggie go off to see Reggie's Jheri-curled brother, Demon, who evidently lives in a carpeted Shag Wagon with Good Times-era Janet Jackson. Here Tommy reveals he's averse to either sputtering neon signs or trailer parks. He runs into "Cousin Eddie" and gets into a bad(ly choreographed) fist-fight. They take off, leaving us with Reggie's brother. He gets killed after his awful burrito-inspired "feets don't fail me now" bolt for the outhouse and harmonizing with the girlfriend. In retrospect, she's more Rebbie than Janet. Two more down.

Dildo and Ma Ethel buy it next. She's, making some sort of stew in a dirty enamel-pot and can bellow loud enough to be heard outside by someone on a roaring motorcycle. "Cousin Eddie" gets beheaded while she takes a hatchet to the face and winds up floating amongst the radishes in her stew. It'd be a relief but they're so hokey they never should have been in the movie to begin with.

Anyhow, back to the home for troubled youth. Sweater-girl laughs at Stutterbuns when he makes a pass at her, so he goes crying to Punkette, but she's too busy dancing to smooth '80's jazz. He gets a cleaver to the mug, We get to see Robin's sweater puppies before she gets the patented Friday knifing through the bed. Violet at least gets to work her killer robot dance before she's done it. Clearly, her murder is the act of a music critic. Reggie finds their bodies in Tommy's room right before Pam finds him. Realizing she'll never accuse him of crying wolf they make a break for it, but wind up confronted by Jason. Except by "Jason" I mean "A scrawny dude in a mask who's clearly going to turn out to be the overly-melodramatic Ambulance driver." This is pretty much confirmed when they run through the woods and find the other ambulance driver dead. Our "Jason" has conveniently gone around the other side for extra stalkery-ness. Here Reggie does the smart thing and runs, leaving Pam to fend for herself and find the spiked bod of her co-counselor Matt. Poor fucker didn't even get the honor of an onscreen death scene. Neither did Reggie's grandpa, who evidently also got shears to the eyes, just like Tits did. (Evidently her name was Tina, but is it really that important at this point?)

Jason II chases Pam out towards the barn, where he stands there dumbly while Reggie drives a large non-sequitur of a backhoe out of the barn and slowly over to hit him. Great reflexes, dumbass. I think this is specifically so he can then stand framed by the shattered entrance when entering the barn (which seems to the same one as in part III). Pam rather admirably comes at him with a chainsaw. Being that this poor sob isn't as supernatural as the real J-bird she gets a good notch out of him, but the damn saw conveniently runs out of gas before she can finish the job. Tommy then shows up, confirming our Jason has to be the only character left. However, as Tommy is a moron, our poser gets a good slash in on him while he just dumbly stands there. Tommy responds by stabbing him in the leg, where in real life it sure looks like he'd hit him in the artery.

Pam and Reggie fake out the fake and push him out the hayloft and, eventually, after a save that wouldn't work, onto a thresher. Here we get our reveal that it's just the Roy in a rubber mask, then there's the adjournment to the hospital for the seemingly never ending wrap up. There's the Psycho style explanation of Roy being a Jason fan and deranged absentee father, and see that Tommy has gotten a hospital room with a picture window where he can pose dramatically and show off the same crazy look Corey Feldman gave us in the last one. As dumbly as sending him out in to the woods to recover from trauma he received in the woods, this hospital room seemingly comes complete with large carving knives and goalie masks. Perhaps it's located between a hockey rink and cooking school? That's the only explanation... otherwise it's just because the movie is crap.

In the end, this movie is crap. It doesn't work as a whodunnit. It doesn't work as a Friday the 13th movie. It's like some kind of dumbass fan fiction. I've written all this with one specific purpose, so that YOU can skip this awful, unsatisfying waste of 91 minutes.

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