Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood

“There’s a legend around here. A killer buried, but NOT dead.”

The Scoop: 1988 R, and directed by John Carl Buechler and starring Kane Hodder, Lar Park-Lincoln, and Susan Jennifer Sullivan

Tagline: On Friday the 13th, Jason will meet his match.

Summary Capsule: Zombie Jason kills and kills, but finds a telekinetic girl hard to stab

Kyle’s Rating: If zombie murderers are possible, so are telekinetic blondes. And so is choco cherry peanut butter peach caramel pizza ice cream!

Kyle’s Review: After six films, I guess the big question was: how do we keep creating worthy opponents for Jason to swipe a machete at? One heroine survived a film only to die in the next, and another was ultimately driven mad by what she faced. Part 2’s Ginny and Part 6’s Tommy and Megan are the only ones we can safely went on to bigger and better things, presumably far from Crystal Lake. So who else is there to stand against Jason? And when will someone think of draining this damn lake and dropping a nuke in there?

For these three most recent F13 films (Parts 7, 8, 9) the heroines are all “special.” This installment’s leading gal, Tina (the luscious Lar Park Lincoln), is the most special of the bunch because she possesses the power of telekinesis. She can move furniture and televisions and stuff with her head, and occasionally starts fires with her mind. Whoa! Because Tina is so “good” she would rather not have this power, whereas I would be in Las Vegas right now enjoying a mysterious string of “luck.” But I digress. It’s 1999 and Tina and her mom (the kind Susan Blu) and her therapist Dr. Crews (the nefarious Terry Kiser) believe that Tina’s heavy emotional baggage stems from seeing her father take a water nap in Crystal Lake back in 1989 when she was very young (not Jason’s fault, but Tina’s!), so the three of them venture up to Tina’s old house on Crystal Lake where her dad was killed to see if an emotional breakthrough is possible. Hopefully Crews will be able to cure Tina of her guilt and power manifestations, but when you’re dealing with the guy who was the corpse in Weekend at Bernie’s, you have to wonder if he really has Tina’s best intentions in mind. Oh, and don’t worry about the charnel potential because the cabin next door is full of teenagers throwing a birthday party. Oh, and there’s some guy out in middle of the lake with a hockey mask… what’s he holding? Is that a spear gun or somethi-URK!

The New Blood follows the F13 formula to a fault with all the usual ingredients thrown in. However, the inclusion of Tina’s mental powers is a nifty plot device and Tina is such a sweetheart we can buy that she is a reluctant telekinetic powerhouse. “Mimbo” Nick (Kevin Spirtas) is the nice and understanding hunk who can tell Tina is a nice girl and pursues her even when she tries to push him away (figuratively, not literally though she could with her awesome mind powers. Cool!). Tina’s mom is very nice, her therapist is very evil, and the rest of the teenagers at the lake are very dumb and have very short life expectancies. The “acting” is good (remember what kind of movie this is) and the plot is thin, but you’ll be entertained if you like this sort of thing.

Part 7 is Kane Hodder’s debut as Jason, and he makes all the difference. If you’re unfamiliar with the F13 series, let me use this simple high school analogy to fill you in: Kane Hodder is to the F13 series as Bruce Campbell is to cult films. Yep, everyone loves Kane Hodder as Jason. Why? Because he makes Jason more of an angry ass-kicker than just another zombie mass murderer (there are more than you’d think). For one thing, after being stuck in the lake after the end of Part 6 it seems fish and whatever else lives in Crystal Lake have been snacking on Jason’s body, because his spine and assorted other bones are totally exposed and his face looks nice and gray and chewed on. Hodder’s best contributions are the physical quirks he brings to Jason. Despite being dead and undoubtedly waterlogged, Hodder’s Jason breathes very hard and rapidly. His shoulders move up and down as he breathes, he takes his time killing people, and you truly get the sense that he’s not just killing people because he can: he’s killing people because he is a pissed off dude. Jason slams people against trees, he crushes skulls instead of just smacking them, and when he wants someone’s stomach torn open he’ll use a weed whacker instead of just a butcher knife or sharp rock to get the job done right.

Part 7 is mostly good. All the main stuff I’ve covered is fine. The peripheral characters are acceptable gristle for the blade, but it looks like the “woods” they filmed in are the fake trees at Santa’s Workshop and Amusement Park. A New Blood isn’t one of the best scary movies in the world, but it is one of the better F13 sequels. The leads are good, Hodder’s Jason is fantastic exposed bones and all, and the psychic power aspect isn’t too hard to swallow. Oh, just be sure to pad your palm at the end so you won’t hurt yourself slapping your forehead at the warped and weak ending. You might think 7 is one of the weaker Fridays but don’t worry (it’s like a Bond film): Jason will return…

Justin’s Rating: Hodder is fodder

Justin’s Review: I’ve since lost all track of my whereabouts in the space-time continuum since having started plowing through the entire Friday the 13th series. Days melt quickly into seasons, which thaw into years and then refreeze into eons. The movies themselves become no more than the titles of Friends episodes – “The One Where Jason Gets His Mask”, “The One Without The Real Jason”. And my mind becomes so addled that I actually start to buy into the long-running horror fan’s analysis of “which actor plays the better Jason.”

I mean, guh? What physical human being is the best “actor” who played an iconic figure that (1) wears a mask, which requires no emoting, (2) doesn’t ever talk, which requires no skill at dialogue, and (3) whose only personality traits come from whatever weird weapons he’s using at the present time? How stupid. Seriously. I know saying that will get me banned from many frightening conventions, but I speak from my heart. And my heart says that it doesn’t matter one whit who the person is behind the mute, unseeable face. A hearty and hale dummy, if properly wired with enough mechanical servos, could suffice just as well.

As Kyle said, this movie gets a lot of fanboy adoration because a hulk of a guy named Kane Hodder became the 523rd person to fill the muddy swamp boots of Jason Vorhees. Supposedly, he’s the best to ever have done so. I’m sure that’s great consolation to his mother. After having seen the previous five movies, I can’t really attest for any great leaps in thespian ability with this new actor. It’s just our favorite grouchy homicidal maniac killing and killing and killing for virtually no reason.

This installment is “The One With The Telekenetic Girl”, whose name is Tina. Tina’s all traumatized, because she killed her drunk dad with her Mind Powers™ when she was just a wee lass. This also had the effect of letting Jason loose from his watery grave, but Jason apparently takes a long vacation in Tahiti, because soon Tina’s all grow’d up and there’s nary a Jason sighting to be seen. That is… until Tina returns to Crystal Lake with her mother and eeeeeeeevil psychiatrist to do a bit of death therapy.

Not looking just a bit like Patricia Arquette, Tina cries and freaks out a lot, causing televisions to move and matchbooks to flare up and our annoyance level against her to rise. She’s not a happy camper, and we all know what Jason likes to do to any campers, right? But Jason needs some warm up material, so Tina conveniently vacations right across from a cabin of nubile (mostly clothed) teenagers (in their early 30’s). Stomp, grr, “who’s there?”, death, reveal, “ahhh!”, hiding bodies, “I must discover how to use my powers!”, window-throwing, door-smashing, brutal everything.

The novelty of invincible Jason vs. annoying psychic girl wears off quickly, far sooner than the entire final battle would like it too. After that, we’re left with a movie so devoid of interesting people that the fans have to fawn over possibly the least interesting figure of all just to justify their time.

Sand your walls? Buff your floors? Slaughter your pets?

Intermission!

  • Hello Mr. Flashback Narrator! Hope you’re well rested, to have to recap 6 movies!
  • I like how this guy does therapy – full fledged screaming at the patient
  • This is a largely unappealing group of teenagers
  • Ack. Minus ten points for cheesy Terminator reference.
  • The one girl has ginormous glasses
  • STAR MUMMY!
  • This film opened Friday 13, May 1988. This was the first time in four years that an installment opened on a calender Friday the 13th.
  • This sequel was filmed in Point Clear, Alabama.
  • SEX AND DEATH AND BLOOD AND MONEY – 16 people die in Part 7, and the gore factor was greatly reduced by the studio to get a good rating. So we miss out on scenes that would have made this over-the-top and possibly reaching SICKENING status, which is either good or bad depending on how you feel. We should have gotten spraying viscera, telepathic visions of decapitated heads, and faces being split by an axe. But the biggest loss was the sleeping bag murder. In the film a character in a sleeping bag is picked up and slammed against a tree to her death. Pretty scary to begin with, but what got cut was that on the moment of impact the character’s viscera and blood was supposed to explode outwards from the bag in every direction! That would have been something to see. Eh. 16 people die, and this installment made $19.1 million.

Groovy Quotes

Girl: The bulge in your pants is calling out my name!

Narrator: There’s a legend around here. A killer buried, but NOT dead. A curse on Crystal Lake, a death curse. Jason Voorhees’ curse. They say he died as a boy, but he keeps coming back. Few have seen him and lived. Some have even tried to stop him. NO ONE can.

Russell: When did you first know you loved me?
Sandra: I think it was the first time I saw the enormous size of your great big… wallet.

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3 Comments

  1. Pingback: Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan [retro review] « Mutant Reviewers From Hell

  2. Pingback: Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday [retro review] « Mutant Reviewers From Hell

  3. Pingback: Al does Friday the 13th (2009) « Mutant Reviewers From Hell

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