series created by Marvin Mercer and Nick Stephenson

“FRIDAY THE 13TH” Parts V & VI

written by Dominick Cappello

4f4d7cabfee8a97fe3bb2fb855ad74a7“Friday the 13th, Part V: A New Beginning” (1985)
But, I thought the last film was the final chapter? Nevertheless, this film directed by Danny Steinmann opens with Corey Feldman reprising his role as Tommy Jarvis from Part 4 in a dream sequence. He watches two grave robbers inadvertently resurrect Jason Voorhees. Tommy wakes up and John Shepherd now plays him as a teenager being sent to a halfway house for juvenile delinquents.

The house is run by a compassionate man named Matthew (Richard Young). Because of his facial scars, I immediately recognized him from “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” (1989) as the adventurer who bestows young Indiana Jones with his famous fedora. The hick locals don’t appreciate having the halfway house nearby. You can’t really blame them since one of the teens brutally murders another with an axe just because he hates candy bars. A paramedic named Roy (Dick Wieand) is upset when he sees the body for reasons not yet disclosed.

That night, the killings begin. First, a pair of greasers, then a waitress and her date outside of a diner. Meanwhile, Tommy isn’t fitting in with the others and is prone to violent outbursts. The police suspect that the recent murders are the work of the late Jason Voorhees, but the mayor assures them that Jason was cremated. Tina (Debisue Voorhees) is stabbed in the eyes with hedge clippers after making love in the woods. Miguel A. Nunez, Jr., who played Spider in “Return of the Living Dead” (1985), has a small role as Demon, the older brother of one of the delinquents. He gets killed in an outhouse. During his death scene, the score reminded me of Stephen King’s “Silver Bullet” (1985). Someone wearing a hockey mask kills three more delinquents at the halfway house and piles them in one of the bedrooms.

Tommy disappears and story shifts focus to Pam (Melanie Kinnaman), the assistant director of the halfway house and Demon’s younger brother, Reggie (Shavar Ross). Matthew is found dead with a spike in his forehead. The supposed Jason Voorhees chases Pam and Reggie into a barn. Tommy reappears and tries to reason with Jason, but gets slashed across the torso for his troubles. Pam and Reggie fight back until Tommy cuts off Jason’s hand with a machete. Jason falls onto a bed of spikes. His hockey mask comes off, revealing Roy, the paramedic from earlier. Zoinks. Roy even wore a bald cap under the hockey mask to help convince everyone that he was Jason. At the hospital, the police explain that Roy was the father of the teen killed over a candy bar. Wait a minute. If Roy blamed the people at the halfway house for the death of his son, why did he kill the greasers and the waitress? The real Jason visits Tommy in a dream and inspires him to wear the hockey mask. The film then ends with the implication that Tommy will murder Pam, but the copycat killer storyline died a death and the real Jason Voorhees returned in the next sequel.

f13-part6-poster“Friday the 13th, Part VI: Jason Lives” (1986)
As a kid, this was my favorite “Friday the 13th” film, mainly because of the pre-title sequence. The film was written and directed by Tom McLoughlin. Tommy Jarvis was played by Thom Mathews, another “Return of the Living Dead” (1985) alumnus. He plans to exume the corpse of Jason Voorhees and set it ablaze. Apparently, this will be theraputic for him. Wait, I thought the mayor in Part 5 said that Jason was cremated? Nevertheless, Tommy brings a reluctant Ron “Horshack” Palillo to assist him. Tommy should have known this was risky because the nightmare scene in Part 5 warned what would happen. Sure enough, a stray bolt of lightning brings Jason back to life and he is now as indestructible as the Frankenstein Monster. Jason kills Horshack and turns to the camera like 007.

The local cops are jerks. They don’t believe Tommy about Jason being back and lock him up. The name of Camp Crystal Lake has been changed to Camp Forrest Green. This was the first time since the original film that the camp where Jason drowned was the setting. Tony Goldwyn, best know for “Ghost” (1990), plays one of the new head camp counselors, but Jason kills him before he arrives. That’s what you get for betraying Patrick Swayze. His girlfriend gets speared by Jason, leaving her American Express card floating in a puddle. Insert “Don’t leave home without it” joke here. With them being dead, the less experienced counselors are now in charge of the camp. One of the counselors is the sheriff’s daughter, Megan (Jennifer Cooke), who has the hots for Tommy.

Meanwhile, Jason kills people playing paintball and gets himself a shiny new machete. Tommy is banished from town by the police. A couple of counselors leave to have sex in an RV. You can guess what happens next. Jason kills them and the RV crashes. The police suspect that Tommy is responsible for the murders. Megan believes Tommy is innocent after literally spending less than a minute getting to know him and she tries to sneak him past a police roadblock. Jason kills the rest of the counselors, but never hurts any of the children. Was it because he didn’t get the chance or because he is protecting the children from the unreliable counselors, so they don’t meet the same tragic fate as him? I’d like to think it’s the latter, which makes his character more interesting.

Megan helps Tommy escape from police custody. Her father and his deputies arrive at the camp. Jason kills the deputies first, then breaks the sheriff in half. Tommy challenges Jason to a final showdown in the lake. Tommy surrounds his motorboat with a ring of fire. He wraps a heavy chain around Jason’s neck, which is attached to a boulder. Jason sinks to the bottom of the lake and takes Tommy with him. Megan slices Jason with the motorboat’s propellers and saves Tommy with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. A solid entry in the series. It was the end of the Tommy Jarvis trilogy, but it was a hollow victory. Jason remains at the bottom of the lake and will soon make his return.

– Dr. Rochester

Author: Dominick

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