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Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Nightmare On Elm Street(remake)

Sick of remakes yet? I sure am, especially in the horror genre. Most of the time, they remake films that were great to begin with, which boggles my mind. I mean, how about taking a film that had flaws, and doing a better version of the story instead? Anyway, this week's slasherfest is the recent remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street, replacing Robert Englund with Jackie Earle Haley as the iconic Freddy Krueger. How is it? Well, strap in, get ready for a buttload of SPOILERS, and let's see what we've got.

The film opens with several shots of children playing in a schoolyard. Most of the cast is the usual CW "teen soap"-type crowd, but there's also Connie Britton and Clancy Brown, so this thing might actually be good. Oh, and Thomas Dekker, from the show "The Sarah Connor Chronicles" is in this as well. Wow, is that optimism in my voice?

Anyway, the film starts off in a diner, which seems like something that was used in every other movie in the series, not to mention Craven's show "Nightmare Cafe". This guy Dean is drinking coffee, and the only waitress working looks like she could care less. When he asks for more coffee, she walks right on by. Dean gets up to ask again, and she's seemingly vanished.

Well, if that were the end of that, there'd be no movie, right? Dean decides to look for the waitress, and when he moves behind the counter and goes exploring in the kitchen, we get or first brief glimpse of Freddy sneaking up behind the kid. Freddy makes a noise, the kid turns, and when Freddy starts to slash at the kid, he wakes up to find the waitress, Nancy, staring at him. When he looks down at his hand, there's a nasty gash across his palm. Dean grabs some napkins and starts dabbing at the blood.

This leads into an introduction to Dean's girlfriend, Kris. She asks Nancy about Dean, then quickly sits with him to try to figure out why he's so agitated. Nancy, meanwhile, is busy settling the check with some other teens, Quentin, Jesse and a third kid whose name I didn't catch. Jesse seems pretty interested in the conversation between Dean and Kris, and Quentin tells Nancy that it's because Jesse used to go out with Kris. Damn, we're less than 7 minutes in, and I already feel like I need a cheat-sheet to follow all these characters! Was the original this complicated? Because I remember it being fairly straight-forward.

Anyway, where the heck was I? Oh yeah, the soap opera love-lives of teens in horror remakes. Yeesh. Well, Dean opens up to Kris, telling her that he's been seeing a shrink. That's where his nightmares originated, because the shrink insisted that he should delve into his past to figure out why he seems so troubled. While Dean is explaining all of this, he spills his coffee on Kris, so she gets up to use the restroom.

Bored, Dean begins playing with the silverware on the table. He zones out for a second, then rubs his eyes when he realizes how tired he is. Without warnig, Freddy grabs him from behind, which actually made me jump. Dean tells Freddy that he isn't real, and Freddy enigmatically responds, "I am now."

By this time, Kris has returned from the bathroom. From her perspective, Dean is holding the knife at his own throat, she can't see Freddy at all. She watches as Dean cuts his own throat open, then we get the title screen. Nice.

At Dean's funeral, they get a crowd of hundreds. Kris watches as a young girl throws a rose into the open grave, but it becomes a nightmare, and she realizes that she dozed off at the funeral. Jesse approaches Kris at a collage of Dean's childhood photos, and they start talking. She asks him about what Dean was saying when he died,what sort of trouble he was in and so on, but he refuses to fill in any of the blanks. When Nancy interrupts to say that she knew some of the stuff that had been bothering Dean, Jesse lashes out at both of the girls and walks away with Kris.

Later that same evening, Nancy is listening to some music with earpieces in, and closes her eyes. The wall behind her bed ripples, and Freddy pushes through, right above her. As he flexes his knife-gloved hand, she snaps out of it with a start. She looks around uneasily, but there's no sign of Fredy anywhere.

Kris is also awake, looking through old photo albums. A picture of her and Dean as children was part of the graveside collage, but she can't remember knowing him at such a young age. Even stranger still, no photos in the album show her as a very young child. There are places in the albums where pictures were removed, but Kris is told by her mother that they were probably just stored in the attic.

When Kris goes to bed that night, she waits for everyone else to settle in so that she can start looking for the missing pictures. She heads to the garage and climbs up to the attic. The attic is spotless, probably cleaner than the house itself, which seems kind of kooky. It doesn't take long for Kris to find a series of boxes, each one clearly marked with a name, year, and school grade she was in that year.

In one box, she finds some stuff from before she was in school, which would be around the time period of the photo at the funeral. Inside the box she finds a disheveled doll, a slashed blue dress, and a few other items. Then the lights go out. When Kris stands up, Freddy leaps on top of her. He asks if she remembers him, and she screams and wakes up in her bedroom.

The next day at school, Quentin sees Nancy put a grotesque sketch into her locker. He asks her about it, and even offers her a shoulder to lean on if she should ever ned to talk, but his father, a teacher, interrupts the conversation. They both go to class without any further discussion.

In some type of ancient history class, Kris dozes off while reading her textbook. A rather nifty transition occurs, where the clasroom is covered in ashes. Freddy admonishes Kris about sleeping through her classes, and she rushes out the door, only to re-emerge back into the room she had just left. Frightened now, she asks Freddy who he is. He responds by creeping toward her and telling her that she is as beautiful as ever. Ewwwwww...He leaps at her, and Kris wakes up screaming. In her open textbook is a lock of hair that Freddy lopped off before she woke herself up. Jesse tries to catch up with Kris after class, but she rushes down the hall.

She drives home as quickly as her car will take her, and finds Rufus, her dog, waiting outside for her. Kris wanders back into the garage, but her mother reaches her before she can get back into the attic. Mom, a flight attendant, is working a late flight, and won't be home until the following day. Gosh, what's the worst that could happen?

Being the lunkheaded ditz that she is, Kris nearly goes narcoleptic AGAIN while reading the newspaper. Geez, this chick obviously has a deathwish, Freddy, what are you waiting for??? A sudden movement at her bedroom window startles her awake again, but it's only Jesse. He tells her that he's been petty and jealous, but wants to know what happened to Dean as much as she does.

Kris tells him about her recent nightmares, and her belief that Dean was having them too. She starts to describe Freddy, and Jesse finishes the details, confirming that he's been having the exact same nightmares. They make a pact to keep each other awake all night.

Kris wakes up in the middle of the night. D'oh! She gets up to look for Rufus, and eventually wanders outside. She finds the dog mutilated, and Freddy laughs and tells her that he was just petting it. She jogs back into the house, and the interior changes into a school. A little girl grabs her by the hand, urging her to find a hiding place. They run past some open classrooms where ghost-children are doing the infamous "One, two, Freddy's coming for you..." chant, and stop in front of a class where Freddy himself has been waiting. He threatens Kris, and she wakes up in her own bed again. As she tries to calm down, Freddy pins her down in the bed and strikes.

Jesse sees her body convulsing, and assumes that Kris is having some type of seizure at first. When her body starts to levitate, then flies around from wall to wall like a pinball, he quickly realizes that her nightmares are killing her. Helpless and unable to wake Kris up, Jesse watches her slam into the ceiling, sees her shirt and abdomen rip open, and she bleeds to death right before his eyes. Traumatized, he grabs his clothes and escapes the house, tripping the burglar alarm in the process. A neighbor sees Jesse with blood on his clothes, and threatens to call the cops.

Nancy is still awake, working on one of her pictures, when her mom comes in and orders her to go to bed. She continues her drawing, but is grabbed from behind by Jesse. When she sees the blood on him and hears him rambling about how Kris just died in her sleep, she naturally assumes that he's confessing to murder.

When Jesse recites the poem from the dream though, Nancy knows that he's telling the truth. He begs her not to fall asleep, and escapes back out of her bedroom window. Back on the lawn, Jesse is cornered by cops and arrested. As Nancy and her mother watch him being taken away, he screams that she knows the true murderer's name.

While Jesse's getting acquainted with the term "prison bitch", Nancy is calling Quentin. They arrange to meet the next day. Jesse, in the meantime, is pissing off his cellmate with his noisy attempts to stay awake. I think he's on the verge of getting his Shaw Shanked.

The following day, Quentin uses the local bookstore's computer to read up on sleep deprivation. As he discovers that it can cause hallucinations and psychosis, the nimrod falls asleep right then and there. When he opens his eyes again, he's alone. Quentin wanders from bookshelf to bookshelf, and when Freddy tries to snatch him, he finds Nancy shaking him awake. Phew! Good thing Freddy is so bad at killing his intended victims the first time, huh?

Jesse is told that his parents posted his bail, and he leaves his cell. It's a dream, of course(duh), and Jesse soon discovers that the jail has transformed into Freddy's boiler room lair. Freddy chases him around for a short while, before cornering the frightened teen and hounding him with questions about life and death, and poking him a bit with an outstretched finger-knife. When Jesse backs down, Freddy seems to leave him alone, until he stands up again. Then Freddy drives his glove through the boy's abdomen, and his cellmate watches him die in the jail at the same moment. The original's death was better, with him dying by being hung.

Interestingly, this isn't the end of Jesse's death scene. Back in the nightmare, Freddy tells the dying kid that even after his heart stops, his brain continues to function for up to 7 more minutes. Yikes! Unfortunately, we don't get to see those extra minutes.

Back in the real world, Quentin shows Nancy a bottle of pills. The pill is called Zoneral, and he was put on it for ADD years earlier. She also observes that he's wearing religious medallions, and he comments that a person should believe in something. Deep, man. Now shut yer trap and die!

Nope. He shows her the book The Pied Piper of Hamelin, and purely for the sake of exposition, Nancy's never heard of the story. Yeah, right. Pull the other leg, movie. Quentin compares the story to what's been happening to their friends, which I already knew about 3 decades before I ever rented this movie. He then tells Nancy that a person's brain can start malfunctioning after being deprived of sleep for nearly 3 days, at which time the person could slip into a coma and not even realize it. He even dumbs down the definition of a coma. Do today's audiences really need this much spoon-fed exposition, or are the screenwriters a group of dudes who've been secluded in a bomb shelter since the 60's??? Seriously: if audiences are this stupid, what are the odds that they can dress themselves, never mind watching a movie without assistance?

That evening, Nancy's mom comes home to find Nancy sketching scary pictures. When her mother tries to scold her about how late she stayed at the bookstore, Nancy confronts her directly about the recent deaths of her peers.She asks her mother if she and the other children ever knew each other as children, and if the name Freddy has any special connection to the past. When she sees her mother lie to her face, Nancy decides to look into it a little deeper.

Her mother, on the other hand, has a panic attack. She calls another parent to report that Nancy is starting to have repressed memories return. Before we get to explore this any further, the scene grinds to a halt.

There's good news and bad news now. The good news first: the next scene is the infamous bathtub sequence. The bad news? This new version still doesn't show us anything good. Daaaaamn. It pretty much plays out the way the original did: the gloved hand emerges from the soapy water, Nancy wakes up, then she gets dressed again. Ho-hum.

When the leaves the bathroom, Nancy discovers that her nightmare isn't over's snowing in the hallway. Also in er bedroom. She discovers that, as the house disappears, she's been brought back to a childhood memory, a preschool called Badham. She walks toward the front entrance, before noticing that Freddy is following close behind.

Freddy and Nancy have a brief, strange conversation. He tells her that he wants her toremember him before he kills her, because she was "special" to him. Then he gets up close and personal, and tells her that she smells different, and Nancy lets him know that she set an alarm. He replies that the alarm clock was another dream, but she does appear to wake up. Depending upon how literal this scene is, I'm going to asume that either: A) Nancy DID set an alarm, and that she is now awake, or B) until explicitly shown otherwise, the movie from here on in is all a dream. Any theories?

It turns out that her "alarm" was actually her cell phone. Quentin's calling her to tell Nancy that Jesse died, and they agree to meet up. Before heading to Nancy's house, Quentin leaves a note for his dad, to let him know where he's gone. Quentin decides to take some more Zoneral before leaving, and realizes that it's the last pill in the bottle. Aw, shit.

In Nancy's room, they look up "Badham" on the Internet, and discover that it used to be a preschool on the other side of town. Nancy shows Quentin a picture of the school that she drew after her bathtub dream. Neither one of them can figure out how the murdered kids are related to Freddy or the school, and they decide to confront Nancy's mother.

Before talking to Mom, they find a class picture, hidden away beneath a desk drawer. It shows them, the murdered teens, and others were all at Badham together. Nancy's mother comes into the oom, and when she tries to take back the picture, Nancy demands an explanation. Boy, howdy!

According to her mother, Freddy was the gardener at the preschool. So basically, that episode of "The Simpsons" where Groundskeeper Willie became Freddy Krueger was exactly right. Anyway, he loved playing with the children, but when parents started seeing wounds and behavioral problems with the children, Freddy was blamed. Supposedly, the story ends with him leaving town before he could be questioned, but I think we all know this is an obvious lie, right?

Quentin's dad shows up to take him home. The next day at school, Nancy does more online research into the photo and the preschool itself, while Quentin prepares for a swim meet by doing laps with the rest of the team. First Nancy: her online search of the names on the back of the picture reveals that several are already dead. All, like her friends, seemed to die in their sleep.

Quentin, meanwhile dives into the pool, and is pulled under. When he swims back to the surface, Quentin finds himself in a swampy, smaller pool in the town's factory district. As he watches, Freddy runs by, still alive and being pursued by several carloads of angry parents out for vengeance. Quentin calls out to Freddy, who seems to have possibly heard him.

As the past continues to play out in front of Quentin, he sees Freddy duck into one of the factories. Bracing the door with his body, Freddy begs the townspeople for mercy. He claims that he is innocent of harming the kids, and appears genuinely frightened and confused, which is weird. Robert Englund always potrayed the human Freddy as pretty much the same monster he was when he died, with the exception of Part 6, where he was shown as ashamed when his daughter saw his darker side.

Anyway, Nancy's mother tries to be the voice of reason. While the others are carrying gasoline and making torches and molotov cocktails, she urges them to stop and let the police handle Krueger instead. They refuse to listen, claiming that the courtroom experience would just traumatize the kids even further. Yeah, unlike finding out your mom or dad burnt someone to death.

Clancy Brown's character, the teacher(and Quentin's dad), lights the molotov cocktail and flings it through the closest window. Inside, the blaze gets out of control in seconds, and Freddy gets lit up like a birthday candle. The fire sputters out fairly fast, and the angry mob just stands there, shocked by how quickly it all went down. That's when Freddy bursts through the door, engulfed in flames and thrashing around in agony. As Quentin stares at him, Freddy stops right in front of the boy and snarls with rage as his face is consumed by the fire.

Quentin wakes up, and finds the swim team standing over him. He apparently went unconscious in the pool and nearly drowned. The coach asks him if he's okay, and Quentin spazzes out.

Nancy is still typing the names of students into the library computer, trying to find survivors on the photo list. She types one of the names into the search engine, and finds a video blog written by the teen, Martin. In it, Martin describes dreaming of Freddy many times. She watches each video in order, and sees Martin's sanity deteriorate right before her eyes. In the final video, he begs for help, and seems to be thrust headfirst toward the camera. Nancy never sees it, because she falls asleep for a brief moment.

Luckily for her, Quentin comes along and wakes her up. Together, they confront Alan, Quentin's father, in his office. The conversation swiftly devolves into a shouting match, with Quentin on the side of Freddy! He points out that the kids might have made up the story to cover for something else that happened, and that the one detail each story had in common, a cave that Freddy took them to, has never been found. Again, the idea that Freddy might be innocent of molesting and murdering kids could be a pretty inventive twist.

Quentin stomps out of Alan's office, ashamed and angry that he and the other kids might have caused an innocent man to die. Nancy catches up to him in the hall, and proposes a plan: that they should visit the abandoned preschool and search for evidence that either proves or disproves Freddy's innocence.

Before they can work out the details for this task, Nancy hears Kris down another corridor. As she look on, Nancy sees Kris in a plastic sheet being dragged along the floor. Kris shows up again, still bloody and wrapped in the plastic sheet, and laughs with Freddy's voice.

Quentin finds Nancy in a trance and snaps her out of it. He tells her that they need to find the school in a hurry, before her fatigue overcomes her. But before they get there, he stops at a pharmacy first, to refill his prescription. Nancy stays in the car, which is the most recent dumb idea in a recent series of dumb ideas that she's had.

As expected, Freddy attacks her as she keeps taking "micro-naps" in the car. Each attack increases his intensity. Looking for any way to remain awake, Nancy grabs the car's lighter and burns herself with it. Ouch!

In the pharmacy, Quentin gets into an argument with the pharmacist. There are apparently no refills left, and the pharmacist wants to call the doctor, which could take waaaay too long. Quentin even begs him for just a few pills until the rest of the prescription comes through, but the guy refuses. Nancy finally gets tired(heh) of waiting in the car, and goes into the pharmacy to find him.

The muzak in the pharmacy plays a song about dreams...gosh, I wonder if that means that Nancy is still in the car, dreaming this? This movie is so dumbed-down, it's starting to get insulting. Before too long, the interior of the store transforms into Freddy's boiler room, and he immediately appears to begin taunting her.

She backs up, and when Freddy seems ready to lunge at her, Nancy grabs his arm and tears off a piece of his sweater. The scenery keeps flickering from pharmacy to boiler room and back again, and Freddy stabs her in the arm with his glove. In the film's most inexplicable line of dialogue(so far, at least...), Freddy tells her that she needs to wake up because she's bleeding. Huh? Isn't making these kids bleed and suffer your whole point?

Nancy does wake up, and her scream brings Quentin running to help her. He gets her on her feet so they can get her arm looked at in an ER, and Nancy reveals that the fragment she tore off of Freddy's sweater survived the journey back into the waking world. Surprise, surprise.

At the hospital, Quentin steals some medication to keep him awake until his prescription is ready. Nancy's mother rushes in to see her, and asks her what happened to her arm. When Nancy shows her the wound, she STILL doesn't believe it's Freddy that attacked Nancy! To make matters even worse, the attending physician wants to sedate Nancy before they begin to treat her wound.

The physician's hand wear's Freddy's glove briefly, and Nancy pitches a fit. Outside the cubicle, Nancy's mother hesitates to sign the consent form needed to administer pain meds. When she finally does sign it, they discover that Nancy has escaped from the gurney and is now missing.

It turns out that she's with Quentin again. He reveals to Nancy that he stole adrenaline from the hospital, and a couple of syringes. Nancy hesitates to take an injection without knowing the full effect, but Quentin plunges one of the shots into his own leg.

Nancy starts feeling drowsy on the way to the old school, and asks Quentin to talk to her. They have a little heart-to-heart where he basically asks her why she never said yes when he would ask her out. She confesses that she never felt like she fit in with his friends, and he asks her again. Before Nancy can say no, Quentin asks her to sleep on it. Cute.

The tender moment is ruined when Freddy appears on the road and Quentin swerves, crashing the vehicle. Quentin freaks out over seeing Freddy, as it implies that the adrenaline isn't potent enough, and they walk the rest of the way. Considering that it appears that they only walked several feet, it doesn't seem so bad.

Inside the abandoned school, the place is wrecked. They start walking past old dusty classrooms, and Quentin sees Freddy decapitate Nancy without warning. AAAAH!!

Oops, just a dream. Given that he took his last pill that very afternoon, and has adrenaline rocketing through his system, doesn't it seem kinda odd that HE'S the one seeing Freddy everywhere, instead of Nancy? Quentin doesn't trust his perception of reality anymore, so Nancy leads the way.

They end up in a maintenance room, and Nancy finds a torch to light up the room. The couple find another, smaller room, which turns out to be where Freddy basically lived. He had a heater, a workbench, several tools and knives...oh, and a wall featuring some of Nancy's drawings. Hmmm...

The drawing that they're staring at flutters, and the teens realize that it's covering some sort of hiding place. Behind the picture is a small door. Behind the door is ANOTHER room, also featuring Nancy's artwork. As she examines the weird distorted facesin the drawings, Quentin finds a small box and opens it. He makes a sound of revulsion, and Nancy turns to look at him.

When she sees Quentin holding Polaroids, she asks to see them, and he refuses. She grabs them anyway, and discovers that all of them are pictures of her. Although we only get fleeting glimpses of them, the implication is that some of the photos are pornographic in nature. Nancy and Quentin were completely wrong about Freddy, as it turns out.

They realize that Freddy is killing the teens he molested, and is saving Nancy for last. She proposes a plan to Quentin, wherein she falls asleep and tries to brikng Freddy out of the nightmare, just like she did with the sweater. Quentin tells her that he should do it, but she refuses. She only asks him to revive her if he sees things going badly, and to be ready to kill Freddy if she succeeds in bringing him into reality again.

Nancy lies down, and Quentin begins searching for a weapon. He finds a paper slicer, and decides that it will be sharp enough for the task ahead. Nancy falls asleep quickly, and as luck would have it, so does Quentin. Dumbass.

Quentin finds himself trapped in the boiler room, and Freddy shows up while he looks for an exit. Freddy roughs him up a bit by slamming him against the pipes a few times, before taking a sharp swipe at the boy's stomach. Before Freddy can finish Quentin off, he hears Nancy arrive, and leaves to claim her first.

Nancy wanders around aimlessly, until Freddy pops up. He taunts her a little bit, and seems amused by her defiance. She tells Freddy that he's not real, and he replies that he is still very real, and dangerous. Nancy defies him, but when she runs away, the setting becomes her house again. She sees his shadow at the stairs, and hides in a nearby closet. When Freddy tears through the closet door, Nancy sprints upstairs and tries running to her bedroom. That fails, because the floor turns into liquid when she takes more than a few steps. She starts sinking into the floor, which is now blood, and goes under completely before Freddy reaches her.

Falling through the blood, Nancy lands on her bed, dressed only in a small gown. Freddy looms over her, debating whether to rape her or kill her. She pushes him off of her, but he still keeps cornering her in the small bedroom. Finally, Nancy wraps her fingers around a large pair of scissors and stabs Freddy through the eye, but he just laughs it off, removes the scissors, and grows a new eye.

In the real world, Quentin wakes up, but is badly injured. He tries to shake Nancy out of sleep, but she's too exhausted to wake up. Freddy tells her that it was always his plan to let her try to stay awake, so that when she did fall asleep, he could keep her from waking up ever again.

Too bad Freddy didn't know about Quentin's stolen adrenaline supply. Right before Freddy plunges his glove into Nancy's midsection, Quentin does the same thing to her with a hypodermic. Before she leaves the dream, Nancy grabs onto Freddy.

The plan works. With Freddy now real again, Quentin attacks him with his makeshift machete. Freddy counters the move by stabbing quentin through the throat and throwing him to the opposite side of the room, while Nancy tries to find any object to either block his attacks or to hurt him in some way. Freddy slashes apart every object she finds, and he raises his arm to deliver the final strike, but Quentin stabs him in the leg first.

Freddy gets angry, and forgets about Nancy for the moment. He goes to attack Quentin, and watches in horror as his glove flies off, hand still in it. He realizes that Nancy used his distraction to get Quentin's weapon, and that she chopped his hand off. She uses some of his own taunts against him, before cutting his neck wide open. As she and Quentin watch, Freddy collapses on the floor.

They start to stagger away, but Nancy decides she isn't done yet. She picks up the lamp that she lit earlier, and lings it at the far corner of the room. As everything gets engulfed in the fire, they manage to reach the exit safely.

Paramedics and firefighters arrive, but none of them can verify that Freddy's body was in the burning building. Nancy gets into the ambulance after Quentin is loaded in, and she reassures him that the nightmare is over. The final scene shows Nancy and her mother arriving home from the hospital. As her mother puts down her purse, Freddy reaches through a mirror, impales Mom's face with his glove, and hauls her into the mirror with him as Nancy screams like a banshee on Crystal Meth. THE END(?)

Eh. It wasn't the complete train wreck I had been expecting, but every iconic moment was done better the first time.around. I did, however like the weird scene transitions and some of the effects, like the hallway floor becoming blood. I even like this interpretation of Freddy, though I thought the mystery of his possible innocence should have been developed further. If they do the inevitable sequels, I hope the scripts are written a lot smarter, and I REALLY hope they avoid all the "dream warrior/magic powers" crap that made so many of the sequels seem so generic. And keep Freddy quiet....the original was great because of how quiet and menacing he was. Oh well, enough nit-picking. I'll give this one 3 and a half killer trees out of 5.

What did A Nightmare On Elm Street teach me?
-Pretty much every boiler room, abandoned school, and factory looks alike.
-Great CGI will never be able to overcome terrible dialogue.
-An entire group of people can completely forget how they met, when, and where...

Next week: Another "Don't...." movie, Don't Go in the Woods Alone, which is an alarmingly specific title. After that, the start of the downfall of Jason, The New Blood. Every movie after around parts 4-5 relied on a silly gimmick, and this is one of the worst....pray for my sanity!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Friday the 13th Part 6: Jason Lives!

This week's slasher flick is one of my was only the second or third R-rated film I had seen in theatres(the first two were Fright Night and Revenge of the Nerds, both of which would probably get a PG-13 these days), and I had just read the novelization of the film, so I was psyched to see it onscreen. Sadly, my favorite segments of the book were nowhere to be seen(a prologue and an epilogue introducing a new Voorhees psychopath, Jason's father, Elias), but the film itself was a pretty fun adventure-y slasher. There was lots of humor, some familiar faces, and another cute Final Girl. Anyway, let's start watching, and remember, SPOILERS are all over the watch where you step!

The movie opens with a now-adult Tommy Jarvis travelling with his buddy Hawes. Hawes is played by Ron Palillo(Horshack from "Welcome Back, Kotter") and Tommy this time around is played by Thom Mathews(an actor from a few '80's horror flicks, including the first 2 Return of the Living Dead movies....a fun, likable guy). They both basically grew up in a mental hospital together, where Tommy has been since leaving the halfway house in Part 5. This movie largely ignores the last sequel, so Jason hasn't been cremated, and Tommy hasn't been possessed. Still with me?

Okay, so they arrive at the cemetery and quickly locate Jason's grave. They dig him up, which Hawes hesitates to do, and discover that Jason's body is covered in maggots, cobwebs and mold. Tommy has a brief flashback to when he used to look and sound like Corey Feldman, and tosses a hockey mask down into the grave. Then, in a fit of rage, he pries a spike off of the fence surrounding the grave and stabs the corpse with it several times. Tommy drives the stake through the corpse one last time, and walks away to grab a can of gasoline, so that he can reduce the body to ashes.

In a scene out of Frankenstein, a few bolts of lightning hit the spear, and the electricity re-awakens Jason. Tommy doesn't realize what has happened, so he dons a pair of insulated gloves and removes the metal pole from Jason's midsection. Before he can douse the body with gasoline and get a match lit, Jason tries to pull Tommy into the grave with him.

Luckily, Tommy manages to kick until his leg is free from the killer's grasp, and he makes a dash for the gasoline, while Hawes is screaming off to the side. When Tommy tries to light Jason on fire, the match sputters out due to the storm that just brought Jason to life, so Hawes tries to help out. He swings the shovel at the back of Jason's head, and Jason slams his hand through the man's torso, and throws his disemboweled body into the empty coffin, which slams shut. Bye, Horshack.

Tommy runs to the truck and drives away as fast as he can, while Jason retrieves the mask and puts it on. Then, as we get an extreme closeup of his eye, the film-makers do a James Bond spoof, and have Jason step into the center of the screen, turn to face the camera, and throw a machete. Pretty funny. Then the blood that covers the screen shows the titles and the credits start up. Besides Thom Matthews and Horshack, the opening credits don't display any real "famous" co-stars, but there are a few recognizable faces as the movie goes on. Besides Ron Palillo, there's a minor character played by Tony Goldwyn, a guy best-remembered(in his acting, at least) as the villain in Ghost.

Anyway, Tommy doesn't stop until he gets to the Forest Green Sheriff's Department. Okay, see, the location is still Crystal Lake, but the townsfolk voted to change the town's name because of all of the negative attention Jason has brought to their community. So Tommy goes running in to report that Jason's alive again, and Sheriff Garris arrests him, assuming that Tommy is a kook.

At this point, the action shifts to a married couple, Darren and Lisbeth. The husband(played by Tony Goldwyn) is arguing with the wife about how lost they are. She's driving, and he's got a map spread out on his lap. Oh, and they mention that they're the new head counselors of the summer camp in Crystal La--uh, I mean, FOREST GREEN.

Lisbeth suddenly slams on the brakes, and points out to her husband that Jason is blocking their car, still holding his "spear". She starts driving in reverse, but gets the car stuck in some mud. This leads Darren to suggest speeding forward, in the hopes that Jason will dodge out of the way, and they can continue to the camp.

Nope. Jason stays rooted to his spot, so Darren honks the horn at him out of frustration. To silence the horn, Jason plunges his weapon through the car's front end. Instead of listening to his wife and getting away in reverse, Darren grabs a teeny-weeny pistol out of the glove compartment and gets out of the car. The gun looks like it MIGHT swat flies, but not much else. As Darren tries to line up a shot, Jason smashes one of the car's headlights, then sticks Darren with the spear, before flinging his corpse through the air.

Lisbeth screams, and Jason tries to finish her off by shoving the spear through her side of the windshield. Lucky for her, Lisbeth manages to duck, and crawls out of the car on the passenger side. She sees Jason towering over her, and tearfully(and hilariously) asks him to give her a minute, which he inexplicably does. She grabs some money out of her purse, but he's gone when she looks up again. Lisbeth looks around in amazement, and that's when Jason leaps behind her and plants the spear in her head. The scene ends with a closeup of an American Express card, which seems kind of like counter-intuitive marketing, if you think about it.

Back at the jail, Tommy wakes up just in time to meet the sheriff's daughter, Megan, and her friends. Megan finds him cute, and that just pisses of Sheriff Garris even more. After the kids leave, Garris tells Tommy that he and the deputy will escort him to the edge of town, on the condition that he not try to come back.

In the next scene, we meet the cemetery caretaker Martin, a grizzled old man who looks like he was born to star in Westerns and cackle about gold mines and use phrases like "Darn, tootin'!" way too much. He finds Jason's grave dug up, and mistakenly thinks that Hawes' leg is Jason's. As he's grumbling about being a high school graduate(???), Martin looks right at the camera and complains that some people have a strange idea about what's entertainment. Very meta, movie. Touche.

Jason power-walks his way through the forest, making his way to Camp Forest Green. At the same time, the counselors are unpacking supplies and acting not-very-worried that their bosses haven't properly trained them yet for the kids who are going to be there soon. Anyway, after they tease Megan a bit over her crush on Tommy, she retaliates by spooking them with the legend of Jason. As Megan wraps up the tale, the busloads of campers start arriving.

And, in yet another jarring scene transition, we meet a trio of idiots dressed in fatigues and armed with paintball guns. Hell, give them British accents, and you have the cast of Severance, which was another surprisingly good slasher flick. These guys are Roy, Larry and Stan. Apparently they all work in the same insurance office, and do war games to "relax". Oh, and did I mention that Jason was standing close enough to Stan and Larry to easily pick them off?

Before he gets the chance, a female executive shows up and "kills" them both. She also "killed" Roy, who is now trudging around whacking at tree branches with a machete. While he's whacking off(branches), Jason gets behind Roy and slams his face into a tree. Oddly enough, the tree has a happy face where he hit it, so I guess Roy must've died happy. Good for you, Roy! After killing Roy, Jason lifts up the dead man's machete, and stares dumbly at the arm still attached to it. Maybe Jason should be the new Carrot Top?

We get a brief scene of the sheriff and his deputy following Tommy's pick-up truck to the town line, then we go back to the doofusy insurance-survivalist guys. One is tripping around the trees destroying everything in his path, and doing enough damage to make an Indian shed a single tear in a commercial in the 1970's. Specific enough?

Anyway, Jason VERY quickly kills the three survivalists wandering the woods together, and then turns to the nerdy guy. Nerd Boy takes off through the forest like the Road Runner(Meep! Meep!), and Jason follows at the pace of half a snail. *yawn*

Tommy, meanwhile, takes a detour before leaving Forest Green, and heads for the graveyard. He dodges around from grave to grave, until Sheriff Garris tackles him to the ground. Tommy insists that he can prove Jason's alive by showing them the open grave, which the sheriff points out is, in fact, completely covered in. Rather than verify that Tommy dug up the grave, Martin takes a huge swig of alcohol and asks the audience if they believe him to be "a farthead"?

Resoundingly, a group of children at summer camp scream, "YESSSSSSSSS!" I feel as though the movie is somehow reading my mind. Spooky. Cort, a male counselor who looks a little bit like Patrick Dempsey, is teaching the boy campers some bullshit about using rocks as landmark points. The girls are merely screaming and shouting, so this may be the worst summer camp in history. Playing with large rocks and screaming. Next time you pay through the nose to send your kid to camp, remember this scene.

Jason is still power-walking through the woods. If he's not at the camp yet, he might want to consider Driver's Ed. Oh, and something else I just noticed about this scene: While his head is all rotting and decomposed, the hand holding the machete is completely and utterly healthy and normal-looking. So apparently, only certain parts of Jason ever decompose. Uh-huh.

Tommy is dropped off at the edge of town, and he scowls as the sheriff drives away. We then see Martin staggering home through the woods, singing and drinking. Before he gets to do anything of any importance, the movie switches AGAIN, this time to a couple nearby, Steven and Whatsherface.. He's just proposed, and she said yes. Hey, Jason, think you could kill an old gravedigger for the happy couple? Yeah? 'kay, thanks man!

After Jason shoves Martin's broken bottle of booze into his throat, he goes after Steven and Whatsherface. They quickly run and hop onto Steven's motorcycle, but Jason catches up before they get away. He impales them both like a shishkebob, bringing the sad love story of Steven and Whatsherface to an abrupt end. Damn, this hurts even more than when "Joanie Loves Chachi" was cancelled.

Meanwhile all the little rugrats at Camp Forest Green are fast asleep. Paula and Sissy, two cute-ish female counselors are playing card games when they hear screaming from a nearby cabin. The discover that one of the little girls, Nancy, has seen a monster, and that he is EVERYWHERE. Wait a minute, did they switch franchises on me? Is Freddy the villain now? Or am I supposed to believe that a killer in the dream of a girl named Nancy is just one huge coincidence?

They finally calm the kids down, and we see that Cort is having sex in a camper with Nikki, a chick who dresses like she's auditioning for Flashdance 2: Electric Boogaloo. She tells him not to orgasm until her favorite song ends...which isn't for another 10 minutes! The expression on Cort's face when she tells him that is priceless. Jason actually comes to the rescue, though: he pulls apart the power cord, making everything in the camper go dark.

Nikki forces Cort to get dressed and go outside to check the cord. She claims it's too cold out for her to go. So Cort circles round the camper, finds the torn cord, then is frightened when Nikki sneaks up behind much for the cold, huh?

They decide to leave, so that Nikki can return the camper to her stepfather. Cort steps on the gas, and sends her flying, and it's revealed that, during their brief time outside, Jason climbed into the camper and hid in the bathroom. While Cort is putting the pedal to the metal and cranking the volume on the radio, Nikki gets yanked into the bathroom and Jason pushes her head into the wall with such force that it makes an imprint in the wall.

Cort is much easier to kill. Jason merely walks up to him, stands directly behind him, then plunges a knife into Cort's ear. Short 'n' sweet. His death causes the camper to careen wildly, eventually crashing onto its' side. Jason pops a dor open, and stands on top of the wreckage as it starts to burn.

Back at the sheriff's office, Garris and his daughter are having a pretty heated discussion about how her feelings for Tommy Jarvis are interfering with police work. A phone call comes in, and Megan and her father both discover that the local camp counselors were murdered. Sheriff Garris is more adamant than ever that it's the work of Tommy, while Megan is beginning to question whether or not Jason truly died.

Tommy leaves a local bookstore, armed to the teeth with tomes on zombies, the occult, and how to put down restless spirits. Hey Tommy, I know this cute chick in California named Willow Rosenberg, she might be able to help you with those subjects....We see Jason roaming aimlessly, and Megan just being her cute self in the sheriff's office. She amuses herself by seeing how far back she can recline her father's office chair without tipping over, and a sudden phone call sends her crashing to the floor.

It's Tommy. He's out getting supplies to try to take down Jason, and wants to make one last attempt at getting the sheriff to help him. Megan takes a leap of faith, and tells Tommy that she'll pick him up and help him with his plan. Hilariously, she agrees to pick him up at Karloff's General Store. For anyone keeping score, so far we've had a sheriff named after frequent Stephen King-adapter Mick Garris; a general store named or the most famous Frankenstein portrayer; and earlier, there was a mention of a place called Carpenter, which was probably an allusion to horror director John Carpenter.

Jason finally arrives at Camp Forest Green, at roughly the same time that Sheriff Garris gets to the crime scene. He orders his deputy to call for a roadblock, in the hopes of catching Tommy as quickly as possible. Another deputy calls him over to a clearing, and shows him body parts belonging to one of the insurance guys.

Jason hacks a phone line with his machete, and starts to approach the house where the counselors are staying. Sissy hears a noise, and goes over to a window to see if anyone's nearby. Paula wakes up and assures her that it's just Cort pulling a prank. Sissy grabs an open can of soda, crouches under an open window, then pours the soda onto what she assumes is Cort's head. It's not. Jason pulls her outside so fast that her slippers fly off when she leaves the ground. He then twists her head completely around.

Megan pulls up to Karloff's, and Tommy tries to persuade her to leave her car with him. She refuses, and tells him that she can get him the supplies he needs. After weighing his options, Tommy agrees. She waits behind the wheel while he leaves to go conceal his truck.

Jason passes by the girls' cabin, and Nancy sees him carrying Sissy's headless corpse. She starts having a freak-out, but he passes the window without any reaction. Phew!

Megan and Tommy, meanwhile, nearly drive into one of the police barricades. She shoves Tommy under the dashboard, where he comes face-to-vagina with her crotch. Say what you will about Tommy, but one thing's for sure: He's not only clever with his vocabulary, he's also an adequately cunning linguist. (I almost went with a reference to SNL's "Colonel Angus" skit instead, but this was easier to form a sentence around)

She starts speeding up--in reverse! The 2 police cars call in to the sheriff, and he recognizes the description of the car they're pursuing. He tells them to be cautious, still unsure as to whether or not Tommy is with her. Tommy, who is suddenly on his best date ever, tells her to be careful as well.

She tells him that she'll lose them on Cunningham Road, another thinly-veiled reference to the movie franchise's history. When Tommy starts to sit up, she shoves his face back down between her legs, and tells him to stay there. Wow, why can't I meet a lady like this? She heads toward the campground, tells Tommy that the turn will be "hairy" (this gets better-sounding by the second!), and nearly runs into her father. Sheriff Garris calmly lifts up a rifle, and tells her to step out.

Jason, bloody machete in hand, approaches the front door of the counselor's cabin. Inside, Paula is sleeping pretty soundly. As the dripping blade looms over her body, Paula wakes up. It's Nancy, not Jason! She got out of her bed after seeing Jason, and found the weapon on the ground outside her window. Paula convinces Nancy that the blood is fake, and that Cissy and Cort are just playing pranks on the campers. She gets Nancy to leave with her, on the pretense that they can out-prank the other counselors. Jason watches from a short distance as they tiptoe outside.

Back at the police barracks, Tommy is being interrogated by Garris and Rick, one of his deputies. Megan is still trying to convince her father of Tommy's innocence, when a call comes in: two more bodies were just discovered, Cort and Nikki. When Megan asks what the estimated time of death was, she points out that the estimate goes against Tommy being the murderer, because she was picking him up at that time. Garris doesn't quite believe her yet, and orders Rick to lock Tommy back up in a cell.

At the camp, Nancy and Paula enter a room full of sleeping children. Paula tells Nancy that if she gets cared again, all she needs to do is close her eyes, say a little prayer, and the scary moment will pass when her eyes open again. Yeah, I'm sure a prayer will EASILY defeat a machete. She kisses the girl, stands up, and fails to notice Jason at the window, directly in front of her. Geez. In one of the more suspenseful moments of the film, Paula slowly walks the length of the cabin, and Jason keeps pace with her from outside, peering in through each window as they pass them.

Outside, Paula starts to get the willies. An owl makes some noise, and Paula starts to call Cort's name. She runs back to her own bed, and sees several drops of blood on the floor, as well as the front door still hanging open. Paula approaches the door to shut it, smiles with relief, then dies as Jason pushes it open again and kills her. Damn. I liked her. Jason doesn't just kill her, either: he kills her, then throws her through a window, THEN drags her body back inside for more abuse! Geez, what the heck did she do to piss him off?

Back at the jail, Megan is pretending to sketch. She holds up the sketchpad for Tommy to read a message on it, but doesn't feel like letting the audience know what it said. I think one of the words might've been "COVER". Anyway, she goes back to pretending to sketch, and Tommy asks what she's drawing. She holds it up, and he tells her the picture stinks. When Megan throws the pad at him, Tommy snatches it, prompting her to pretend to be outraged, so she can demand that Deputy Rick get it back.

When Rick ignores the conversation, Megan gets up and marches toward the cell herself. Tommy grabs her and kisses her through the bars. Man, I never wanted to be Tommy Jarvis so bad before this! She kisses him back, and Deputy Rick finally notices the sheriff's daughter making out with a murder suspect. While he pries the lovebirds apart, Megan grabs his gun, which has a laser sight on it big enough to fit over a cannon. At gunpoint, she forces the deputy to let Tommy out of the cage. Then she locks Rick in the cell, before the couple make a mad dash for her car.

Outside, Tommy tries to convince Megan to let him fight Jason alone, but she refuses. As they drive toward the camp, Tommy explains his plan to her: Jason keeps returning to Crystal Lake because it was where he drowned(which is stupid, because up until Part 4, he was still alive). Anyway, Tommy believes that if he can lure Jason into the lake, he can either destroy him, or at least immobilize him in the lake so that he can't do any more harm.

Back at the camp, Jason enters the girls' cabin. He marches down the middle of the room, watching each girl sleep, until he gets to Nancy's cot. She stares at him with her blanket pulled up to her nose, and Jason takes a step toward the frightened girl. Remembering the advice she was given, Nancy closes her eyes and prays. Jason hears 2 police vehicles pull up, and quickly leaves, giving Nancy the impression that her prayer made Jason vanish. Boy, wait until she becomes a teenager and meets Freddy!

Garris orders his 2 deputies to secure the camp, while he goes to the main house to gather any surviving counselors. He gets an eyeful of the bloody mess beyond the front door, and changes his mind. Gee, I hope the deputies are still alive...

One deputy takes a stroll by the lake, and begins flashing his light into each rowboat, looking for possible hiding places. Jason watches from the trees. He waits until the deputy's flashlight finds him, then tosses his machete right into the poor guy's forehead. The deputy lands in one of the rowboats he was just looking at.

Sheriff Garris finds a cabin full of sleeping boys, and moves on to the next one. He spots Nancy's empty bed, and freaks out. The second deputy, Burt Reynolds, hears some noises in the woods, and draws his gun. He demands that Jason come out of hiding, but it turns out to be Nancy. He urges the little girl to return to her bed and sleep, and Nancy runs away after spotting Jason.

Burt fires several rounds at the killer, to no avail. Jason keeps on coming. When he gets within arms' reach, Jason puts his hands on either side of the deputy's head, and squeezes until he makes the poor guy bleed. After crushing the skull, Jason admres his own craftmanship.

Sheriff Garris runs back to his car to grab a shotgun and some shells. He runs into Nancy, and sees that all the commotion has woken up several other children as well. He gathers all of the kids into one cabin, then instructs them all to hide under the bunks until he gives the all-clear. Garris then pumps the shotgun a few times, and tries to draw Jason out into the open.

Sheriff Garris trips over the body of one of his deputies, then nearly collides with Jason. He lines up a shot, and the force of the shotgun blast knocks Jason off his feet. Garris approaches the body and shoots Jason again when he gets up. He then shoots him a third time, before running out of shotgun shells.

Sheriff Garris unholsters his pistol, and fires several rounds into Jason. A bullet to the face is the only one that stops him for a moment, and Garris takes off running into the woods. Tommy and Megan arrive by this time, and when Megan sees all of the bloodshed in the counselor's house, she screams for her father. He's still being chased through the woods, of course.

Megan gathers all of the children together, while Tommy heads to the lake, hoping to draw Jason to his location. While Megan encourages the kids to resume hiding, Tommy gathers some heavy rocks to try to weigh Jason down.(Why he thinks he can get close enough to the killer to weigh him down with several rocks baffles me.) While the children are all hiding under their beds, we get one of the greatest lines of dialogue in the entire franchise, when one kid asks another, "So...what were you going to be when you grew up?" Awesome.

Both Garris and Jason hear Megan calling for her father, and when Jason decides to chase the girl, Sheriff Garris goes ballistic. He lunges at the killer, knocking him off of his feet, before kicking him and beating him with a large hunk of wood. Jason lets him get several whacks in, before they resume running through the woods.

Tommy grabs a motorboat and drifts out to the middle of the lake, while Megan finds the police cars and tries to radio for help. Opening a car door, however, reveals Sissy's severed head, which rolls out and lands at Megan's feet. When she screams, Jason starts to head in her direction, prompting her dad to make a lunge at Jason. Jason responds by twisting Sheriff Garris up like a pretzel, then twisting his arms behind his body, and breaking the man's spine.

Tommy padlocks a heavy chain around the largest rock he could find, then takes his boat out to the center of Crystal Lake. Jason obviously didn't get the memo, because he explodes through the door of the cabin where the kids are hiding. The screaming children make Megan start jogging towards their cabin, and Jason crashes through a window to try to grab her. Hasn't this guy mastered nthe fine art of doorknob-turning? Even if he hasn't, why couldn't he just exit through the massive, gaping hole where the front door used to be?

Anyway, Jason grabs Megan by the head, planning to crush her skull, but Tommy manages to distract him at the last moment. Apparently, there is no greater insult in the zombie community than to call someone a "maggot head". Tommy does this twice, which really gets Jason's goat. As Jason wades out into the lake, the water gradually gets deeper and deeper. Eventually, Jason vanishes completely underwater. Uh oh, didn't really think your plan through very well, Tommy!

Rather than wait for Jason to reappear, Tommy goes to Phase 2 of his plan. He pulls out a large can of gasoline and starts pouring it out in the lake, around the boat. He lights the ring of fuel on fire, then simply waits for Jason to pop out of the water. When Jason does burst up beside the boat, Tommy tries to wrap the chain around Jason's neck. A struggle ensues.

As Megan and the kids tearfully watch the boat catch fire, Jason ducks back under the water. Tommy leans over the side of the boat to look for the killer, and Jason uses his stupidity to pop up again and pull Tommy back into the lake with him. The boulder sinks to the bottom of Crystal Lake, landing right on top of an old sign someone had defaced, changing the name to "Camp Blood". Luckily for Tommy, the chain around Jason's neck tightens, and he struggles with it, briefly forgetting about his latest victim.

When Tommy starts to swim for the surface, Jason forgets about the chain and snatches Tommy's leg instead. They struggle a bit, until Jason gets the upper hand and chokes the life out of Tommy. He lets the body float to the surface, and turns back to his other dilemma with the chain and rock.

Megan starts sobbing at the sight of Tommy's body rising to the surface, and she decides to attempt to save him. She plunges into the water(fully dressed, dammit! This sequel had the least nudity of any of them, it seemed...) and rolls Tommy over, then starts dragging his body back to shore. Jason makes a grab for her pretty ankle, and pulls her underwater. Desperate to escape his grasp, Megan clutches the side of the busted motorboat, and gets the engine started after a few failed attempts. She manipulates the rudder so that the propeller blades dig right into Jason's head and neck. There's even a great "Holy shit!" look in his eyes when he sees the propeller coming at him.

Jason's body convulses and jitters while the blades cut him up, and Megan uses the distraction to get back to Tommy. The lake starts filling up with meaty chunks of gore. As Jason finally stops moving, Megan pulls Tommy onto dy land and starts giving him CPR. As some of the kids get on the verge of crying again, Tommy coughs up about 3 gallons of lake water, and Megan hugs him while the kids all cheer. Tommy declares that Jason's reign of terror is finally over, and everyone watches the last bits of the boat burn up. The last scene of the movie shows the lake in the morning, looking calm, peaceful and kind of muddy...yuk! The camera shows Jason just hanging out in the water, followed by an extreme closeup of his eye, glaring at the camera. THE END?

Nope. We got at least, what, four or five movies after this one? Still, I think this one's a little more fun than the others. The humor was well-placed, the pace was more action-adventure, and the Tommy Jarvis saga finally paid off with a conclusion. Had this been the last movie, I don't think anyone would have felt cheated, really. A solid 5 killer trees out of 5 for this one.( Oh, that reminds me, I did some research to see if I could also re-watch The Guardian, the movie that inspired the rating system in the first place...and it's never been put on DVD! Can you believe that, with all of the crap that gets released, and even re-released to DVD and Blu-Ray? Man.)

So, what did I learn after watching Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives?
-Thom Mathews needed a bigger career in movies. He rocked!
-You could have an entire Friday the 13th film, and no scene at the end where his face gets unmasked! (I don't really count the face at the start of the was so dark, and the face was so covered in cobwebs and dirt, you couldn't really see much.)
-A little girl who survived Jason's rampage later met up with ANOTHER killer in her nightmares! What are the odds???

Up next: Hopefully, either the 7th film in this franchise or the remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street. Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Burning

Y'know, a ton of actors got their big break by starring in slasher films. Right off the top of my head: Darryl Hannah was in The Final Terror; Kevin Bacon costarred in the original Friday the 13th; Tom Hanks even had an appearance in a slasher flick early in his career. So when I started hearing about this slasher film that co-starred Fisher Stevens and Jason Alexander, I was pretty psyched. That movie is The Burning, and get ready for SPOILERS a-plenty.

The film opens with a scene at Camp Blackfoot. I guess Camp Greenfinger was off-limits that year. A group of kids are about to play a late-night prank on Cropsy, their mean-spirited camp janitor/handyman/whatever. There's Jamie, a nerd who apparently stole Sally Jesse Raphael's glasses before filming started; Billy, a guy who looks like a younger, goofier Bradley Cooper; and 2 other guys whose names I missed because the ringleader apparently couldn't master the art of a "stage whisper". Anyway, the guys devise a prank that involves lighting a candle and placing it near his face. Oh, and did I mention that the candle is in a human skull?

When he sees the thing, Cropsy freaks out and knocks it onto his bed with a clumsy hand. This sets off a chain of events where Cropsy sets the bed on fire, spills gasoline all over himself, and sets the cabin on fire before stumbling outside and throwing himself into a nearby body of water. Amazing that he didn't burn the entire camp to the ground.

The very next scene shows a new doctor speaking with a younger aide. The young guy is trying to intimidate him with hospital horror stories, and leads him to Cropsy's room on the Burn Ward. As the new doctor waits at the door, the other guy looks past the curtain around Cropsy's bed and grimaces. As the new guy nervously steps closer to the bed, Cropsy's arm shoots out, and he grabs the aide by the wrist. Cropsy's arm is missing patches of skin and is blackened all around, so the 2 men are understandably surprised. As the aide freaks out, the new doctor runs out the door.

Anyway, the opening credits roll. They must've been pretty damn long, because when the movie resumes, 5 years have passed since the previous scene. Cropsy has had many not-very-successful skin treatments, a lot of counseling, and is now ready to re-enter society. He wraps himself up in a dark jacket, pulls a wide-brimmed hat down to conceal his face, and goes home with a hooker. That makes perfect sense.

She invites him in, then starts making fun of him. Pretty ballsy for a lady whose face looks like a Yeti's afterbirth. She asks him to close the door and take off his clothes, and ol' Cropsy moves across the apartment until she can get a good look at his face. Needless to say, her poker face needs some work. As she keeps giving him the stink-eye, Cropsy approaches the hooker, and starts choking her. That doesn't keep her from flopping around like a goldfish, so he finishes her off by stabbing her in the midsection with a pair of scissors. Then he puts her head through a window. I remember this being a whole lot funnier in Pretty Woman.

The next scene shows a serene lake. It's Camp Stonewater, according to the subtitle that pops up. What happened to Camp Blackfoot??? Is the movie going to keep switching camps on me every 15 minutes or so? Well, whatever the name of the camp, let's meet our new victims: there's Eddie, a vulgar guy who thinks he's God's gift to women; Tiger, a girl who looks like she auditioned for the Molly Ringwald role in "The Facts of Life", but lost out on fame and fortune; Karen, Eddie's nervous, innocent girlfriend; Sally, a cute blond who has a shower scene seconds after we meet her; Alfred, a young pervert; Dave, played by Jason Alexander; Todd, one of the head counselors on the boys' side of the camp; and Glazer, a bully who thinks he runs the place. There are many, many others as well, but fuck if I can tell you any of their names. This has to be the first slasher film in history with a cast of a billion or so. It's like an Altman film, except I'm interested in it.

Anyway, there are a few fake scares right off the bat: Tiger runs into the woods during a friendly game of softball, and Cropsy lurks nearby. He even raises a very dangerous-looking pair of shears over his head, but does nothing to the girl. Then, we get Alfred's aforementioned peepshow in the shower, followed by Glazer threatening his life, both of which also go nowhere. So far this movie's about as thrilling as an Amish porno.

The next day, Alfred is hanging out with his buddies, who include Jason Alexander(with HAIR!!) and a very young-looking Fisher Stevens in an early film role, playing a guy named Woodstock. As his buddies all go swimming, Alfred lingers behind and watches jealously as they flirt with the girls. Glazer rushes up behind him and shoves Alfred off the dock, not realizing that Alfred can't swim. His buddies rescue him while Glazer meets up with the girls.

Shaken by nearly drowning, Alfred perks up at the mention of revenge. He and his buddies get their hands on a pellet gun, and fire it at Glazer's ass. He gets all bent out of shape as both guys and girls laugh at him. When the guys moon him, Glazer then gets shoved into the water by the girls. Wait, is this The Burning or Meatballs???

That night, Dave delivers porn mags to all the guys. He also bought condoms for Glazer, but Glazer refuses to reimburse him. While all of this is going on, Cropsy lingers outside the cabin, and Alfred catches a glimpse of his burnt face. Alfie freaks out, but no one else sees the face. As Glazer accuses him of lying, Todd arrives to get them all together for dinner in the mess hall. Woodstock leaves to get a vitamin. Exciting stuff.

The head of the camp stands up to make some announcements. The biggie is basically that most of the folks we've met so far are going to be canoeing down a body of water called Devil's Creek, and will be gone for 3 days. Gosh, nothing ominous about that.

Woodstock gets back to the cabin and starts looking for his pills. As he finds them, a noise startles him. He sees a figure enter the cabin, and when the person gets next to him, Woodstock turns his flashlight back on. It's only Todd, who escorts Woodstock back to dinner. Nobody dies.

All right, I'm starting to get a little pissed here....Is this thing even a slasher flick? I mean, yeah, there was the hooker...but she was making fun of a burn victim. Why hasn't Cropsy killed anyone else yet? Why didn't he go after the group who hurt him in the first place? If these idiots don't start dying in the next 10 minutes or so, I'm declaring this a non-slasher and watching Friday the 13th Part 6 instead.

So where were we? Oh right, the big friggin' canoe trip. 5-6 canoes of campers and counselors take off, to the tune of banjo music. Fantastic. They all start splashing each other with the oars. Anyway, that night, Todd tells them all the story of Cropsy and Camp Blackfoot. He claims that Cropsy's downfall was his temper, and that his mean nature was what led to the prank that disfigured him. He also says that Cropsy vowed revenge for the prank, right before vanishing. As he's telling the tale, Todd distracts them enough for one of the counselors to spring up from behind. dressed in a black robe, waving a knife around, and wearing a mask. Yet again, no one dies.

In the next scene, Karen and Eddie wander off together for some time alone. When Eddie makes a move on her, she backs off. Despite this, the couple wind up skinny-dipping. They kiss, but start fighting. Karen goes back to get dressed, only to find that her clothes have been taken. She realizes that the thief left them on tree branches, and starts to follow the trail, plucking one item at a time. After Karen gets her shirt back, Cropsy cuts her throat, and leaves her to die. FINALLY!! After about an hour, we have a dead hooker and a dead skinny-dipper. At a rate of 2 kills an hour, this thing should satisfy me at around the 7-hour mark.

The next morning, Eddie is accused of harming Karen. After she failed to return to camp, bystanders reported that she had been last seen going towards the lake with Eddie. Todd and his girlfriend, Michelle imply that they think Eddie raped Karen, but before he can defend himself, a group of girls run up and yell that the canoes have vanished. Todd and Michele assume that Karen took one to go back to the main campground, but disagree over whether or not she had anything to do with the other boats disappearing.

In the very next scene, the group discusses their dire situation. Glazer implies that he believes Alfred to be the prankster, but no one sides with him on that one. Oh, and there's a close-up of a girl who looks like Holly Hunter. Weird. One scene. Anyway, Michelle suggests walking back, but Todd quickly shoots down that plan, claiming that the forest is too dense to hike through for such a long distance. Instead, they all agree to break off into groups and search for the missing canoes.

Alone after the pow-wow, Todd and Michelle discuss their unease over both Karen's disappearance and the missing canoes, and agree that they seem related somehow. Incredibly, they somehow avoid fighting over it. Man, the only thing more tedious than this would be a scene involving Fisher Stevens, Jason Alexander, and some other kid looking for the canoes while engaged in pointless, unfunny banter.

Aw damn. Well, while they're wasting precious killing time, let's see what's on TV....Oh, hey, it's the episode of "Family Guy" where Brian becomes a drug-sniffing dog, and eventually gets addicted to cocaine. Is the stupid scene over yet? It is? A girl suggested making a milk carton into a raft? SHEESH.

Okay, so Glazer tries making a move on another girl, but it goes nowhere. I know the feeling. The campers finally gather enough wood to start building a raft, and decide that a small group should use it, and send help for the rest when they return to Camp Stonewater or Firecrotch or whatever the hell it's called. Dude, I stopped caring about 15 minutes into this turkey.

Oh good, Cropsy's back. He's apparently sneaking up on Glazer and Sally, the girl who showed off her acting talents in the shower scene earlier in the film. Also watching them is Alfred. Man, wouldn't it be a riot if HE killed everyone before Cropsy got the chance?

Ah well, no one died in that scene either. I swear, this movie is like a slasher flick conceived by Gandhi. Luckily, I think it's nearly over. Sweet relief, I can almost see the light! The raft launches, and the group includes Woodstock and Eddie. There's also a girl who looks like Shrek, the other generic male kid I keep forgetting the name of, and some pouty brunette chick. In other words, nobody we could give 2 shits about. Yay.

They spot one of the canoes in the water, and start paddling toward it. Awesome scene coming up, so get ready. As they row closer to the drifting canoe, they all get pretty jazzed up. They get close enough to touch it, and that's when Cropsy leaps up, shears raised over his head.(Incidentally, the scenes of him killing people always seem to show this same shot, regardless of time of day, the position of the victim, or even the placement of Cropsy himself. Nice continuity, movie.)

Anyway, Cropsy gets them all. He starts with the generic boy, stabbing him first in the shoulder, then in the stomach. He slices through pouty brunette's shirt, presumably stabbing her in either the chest or stomach, before slicing off Woodstock's fingers. Eddie gets it pretty fast, with the shears going into his neck just under the chin, and Shrekella gets a lobotomy as the shears slice through her forehead in one rapid motion. As blood drips into the water, the screen fades to red. Nice touch.

They follow up the raft massacre with another scene featuring Todd and Michelle. They're holding hands, kissing, discussing their future together...geez, throw in a long walk on a beach and it's an ad for feminine hygiene products! Hey movie, can you show us a less-boring couple?

Glazer and Sally? Really? Oh, fine. They just finished screwing like bunnies, and Sally seems kind of bored. When Glazer seems hurt by her non-gasm, she offers to let him try again. Before they do it again, Glazer decides to go find some matches, so he can build a fire. He gets up, and Cropsy gets an eyeful of his ass. The nanosecond that he leaves, Cropsy attacks Sally. The scene ends before we see what happens.

Glazer steals the matches right in front of Alfred, who pretends to be asleep, then follows Glazer. At one point, Glazer even looks back at him, which HAS to be a blooper. Anyway, Glazer kneels beside Sally's sleeping bag, assuming that she's asleep. She's not...and Cropsy leaps out of the sleeping bag to embed his weapon into Glazer's neck. He then lifts Glazer off his feet and sticks him to a tree.

Alfred runs back to camp, and wakes up Todd. Todd doesn't buy his story entirely, but agrees to go with him to check it out. They find Glazer, and Todd gets hit in the side of the head by Cropsy, which sends Alfred running again. While Alfred tries hiding, Todd wakes up. He looks around.

The raft drifts back to the remaining stranded campers, and they start to get excited. Todd returns to the camp just in time to see Michelle swimming out to retrieve the raft. As he watches in horror, she reaches the raft and a bloody arm falls toward her face. She dodges it, and Woodstock's corpse smacks into her. Pretty much everyone starts screaming like banshees.

Amid all the sobbing and shocked expressions, nobody seems to notice that Sally, Alfred and Glazer are all absent. Albert's still running and hiding fromn Cropsy, and he chooses a large formation of rocks to hide beneath so that he can catch his breath. Sadly, he fails to realize that Cropsy is standing on top of the rock, right over his head. Oops. Alfred starts to stagger away, and Cropsy lets him go. Weird.

The rest of the campers embark on the raft, on a magical journey of wonder, and learn a ton of valuable life-lessons along the way. Nahhhhh, I'm just messing with ya, but they do all travel on the blood-soaked Death Raft. When Tiger complains that the paddling is hurting her arms, Michelle tells them that stopping will basically sign their death warrants. Nice.

Todd stays behind to try and save Alfred, who is now lost in the woods. Both are running at a pretty good clip, so I'm sure that Cropsy will hear all the noise and kill at least one of them. IHOPEIHOPEIHOPE.....

Back at Camp Bongwater, the raft finally comes ashore. As all of the traumatized kids get back on dry land, the camp director demands to know why they didn't come back in the canoes. When Michelle tells him about the massacre, he accuses them of pulling some kind of prank, until she lashes out at him.

Alfred finds an abandoned campground, and pauses there to rest again. He still doesn't realize that the killer is watching his every move. I detected something behind him moving, but it must have been just some wind, because the scene ends without anything else happening to poor Albert. Briefly, we see Michelle worrying that the authorities won't make it in time to find Alfred and Todd before the killer does.

Curious, Alfred decides to start exploring the abandoned site he found. He ducks around walls, creeps and peers through cracks...he thinks he's a Nerd Ninja, I swear. The exact moment he decides it's safe, Cropsy reaches around a wall and grabs him up by the neck. Todd hears them, but can't pinpoint their location.

Cropsy gags Albert's mouth, then begins torturing him. He starts by opening a pair of shears and uses them to pin the boy's arm to the wall. The teenager's screams of pain draw Todd to the abandoned campsite, and he quickly starts exploring the buildings. When he finds the rusty door where Albert was dragged, he enters.

Inside, it's very dark and dusty. Todd holds his axe close and searches the building slowly, trying not to alert Cropsy. He finds some mining equipment and carts, and when he turns his back, one of the carts rolls downhill, right at him. Todd gets thrown off his feet and crashes through a wall into another room, where he comes face to face with a bloody female corpse.

Cropsy lights a flamethrower, and starts hunting for Todd. Then, as the two start to come face to face, there's a flashback to the night Cropsy was set on fire. It turns out that Todd the Counselor was once Todd the Camper, and was one of the boys responsible for what happened to Cropsy.

Before they meet again, Cropsy turns off the flamethrower. Todd emerges from his hiding spot and searches for the disfigured maniac, while Albert tries in vain to get loose and tell Todd where he is being kept. Todd explores some more, and literally bumps into Cropsy, whose face makes Sloth from The Goonies look like a major stud.

Sloth--Uh, I mean "Cropsy", re-lights his weapon. He and Todd have a duel right in front of Alfred, complete with lightsaber sound effects. I shit you not, their weapons whoosh and hum while they fight. Cropsy makes Todd drop the axe, and waves the flamethrower in a menacing sweep as the idiot realizes how far up Shit Creek he really is. Albert finally gets the shears off of his arm and stabs Cropsy with them, making the killer drop the flamethrower.

The rescue helicopter arrives, and Todd and Albert start to leave the deserted campground. Cropsy leaps at them out of nowhere, and throws himself at Albert, so Todd buries the hatchet squarely in Cropsy's deformed forehead. Albert then seals the deal by burning Cropsy's body. They watch Cropsy get engulfed in the flames. then leave to try and get rescued.

The final scene shows that the whole thing was being told around a campfire. The storyteller claims that Cropsy's charred remains were never found. Every summer, he supposedly finds a different summer camp to lurk at, and picks new victims. As the counselor wraps up his tale, there's an implication that Cropsy is in the woods, watching the campers. THE END

Not great, but better than I expected it to be. If The Burning ever gets remade, hopefully they can work on the pacing of the kills a bit better. On the plus side, it was cool to see so many familiar actors in a film looong before there careers went anywhere. It was similar to Madman and Friday the 13th, but I still enjoyed the cheesiness of everything in it. 3 and a half killer trees out of 5 for The Burning.

Oh, and what have I learned from this week's slasherfest?
-Burn victims get stronger the more they get burnt.
-All you need to do to name a campground is choose a color and a body part, and VOILA!, you have a camp! I'm starting Camp PurpleAss right after I post this.
-Hookers have standards. I'm screwed, if that's the case.

Next up: Friday the 13th 6: Jason Lives, which was the first one I ever saw in a theatre. Ah, sweet memories of my youth...See ya next week!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Friday the 13th Part 5: A New Beginning

So, last time out, we had Corey Feldman, Crispin Glover and the first appearance of Undead Jason. This time, our favorite Hockey Zombie returns....OR DOES HE??? *dun dun DUNNNNNNN* Yup, this week's funfest is Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning(but really, the only thing "new" here is the subtitle).

The film opens with a quick scene that bridges the previous sequel with this one, showing Corey Feldman as Tommy Jarvis once again, making his way through a forest during a storm. He's trudging along on his little chubby preteen feet, until he gets to a crude-looking grave marker: JASON VOORHEES. He hears 2 people coming towards his location, and he quickly finds a hiding spot behind some bushes.

Two unknown doofuses show up. Let's call them Archie and Jughead. They want to dig up Jason's grave to get a look at the legendary killer. They dig down to the coffin and use their shovels to pry open the lid. One guy calls the other one Neil, but I'm sticking with the names I gave 'em. They're not going to live long enough to care, so it's all good, right?

Anyway, Jughead bends down to get a closer look once the lid of the coffin is pried off. Archie just looks disgusted. There's a quick glimpse of Jason's wormy leg, as well as his machete, and he comes to life. He swiftly dispatches both Archie and Jughead(one gets it in the gut, the other gets stabbed through his throat), and climbs out of his grave to stare at Tommy's hiding spot. He pulls his machete out of one of the corpses and walks right up to Tommy, who makes no move to run at all. Dumbass. As Tommy begs for his life Jason raises the machete over his head, and--

He wakes up, looking like a guy in his early 20's. He's in a vehicle belonging to the Unger Institute of Mental Health, which I assume is run by a neat freak named Felix with roommate issues. The credits do their explode-y thing, and I pray for at least one recognizable name in the cast this time. I've seen this one before, but all I can recall is the mediocrity and the VERY '80's style of everything. Shavar Ross is in this, he sounds familiar. Maybe after I expunge this from my memory, I'll look him up on IMDB and see where I might know the name from. Jesus H. Monkeyballs, there's someone in this movie named "Caskey Swaim"! Seriously? That's a name? Sounds like a losing round of Scrabble, if ya ask me.

Nope, besides Feldman and Ross, no other names ring any sort of bells in my head. Damn. Well hopefully this one at least continues the tradition of having a cute chick as the Final Girl. All right, movie, amaze and delight me!!

As the credits end, we get to Pinehurst Youth Development Center. Sounds like a Nazi Daycare Center. Tommy looks like he might be turning into the OTHER Corey, Haim. I know, I know, bad taste and all, but he does look kind of like him. Or kind of like the "Daniel Jackson" character from the Stargate franchise, that sort of bookworm nerd character type.

The van pulls to a stop and one of the workers try to coax Tommy out, but he refuses to move, nor does he acknowledge the guy. A hot blonde named Pam comes out to see if she can help, and introduces herself as the asistant director of the facility. Ohpleaseohplease make her the Final Girl. She's VERY easy on the eyes!

Anyway, she does get him to exit the van, but he doesn't say a word. I think I read somewhere online that this guy has the least dialogue of any of the "Tommy" portrayers, and based on what I've seen so far, I believe it! He makes Marlee Matlin seem chatty. So, Pam takes Tommy to meet Matt, a doctor at Pinehurst. He tells Tommy a little bit about the facility, the staff, where his room is blahblahblah...and Tommy leaves to go find his room. He's had one word of dialogue since this thing began, and I think it was "Sure." Stellar. How bad does a movie have to suck to make me miss the acting finesse of Corey Feldman?!?

So Tommy finds his room, and begins to unpack his stuff. He takes out a picture of his mother and sister, and the film is so lazy that it doesn't even TRY to make it look like anything other than a publicity still. I'm surprised that they didn't stamp it with a PROPERTY OF PARAMOUNT label while they were at it. They were probably just too cheap to pay the 3 actors from the last movie to pose for a picture.

Oh, and Tommy also pulls out a knife. He plays around a bit with it, before hiding the knife under his mattress. Maybe the Knife Fairy will give him a dollar. He starts to put his clothes away, and is frightened by a toy spider on a string. The toy belongs to a kid who looks alot like Dudley, the boy who was molested on that one episode of "Diff'rent Strokes".(and, boy oh boy, were THOSE some pretty different strokes!! YIKES...hey, maybe HE'S Shavar Ross???) Y'know, by the guy who was the boss on WKRP. Yeah, I know, I watch WAY too much tv. Hey, it keeps me outta trouble!

Anyway, the kid introduces himself as Reggie, a local kid whose grandfather works at Pinehurst. He starts to make fun of Tommy's reaction to the spider, and Tommy returns the favor by wearing one of his trademark masks from the last movie. (see, in that one, Tommy was a horror-film nut who liked to make his own monster masks...). As Reggie watches, Tommy begins to reveal quite an impressive mask collection, probably courtesy of Rick Baker, who made all the masks in the last movie.

The sound of a police siren interrupts their conversation. Two local cops have arrived to deliver a horny ten couple who left the facility to trespass on a neighbor's property. The neighbor, Ethel Hubbard, and her son ride up on a motorcycle straight out of a beach party movie from the 1960's. After she threatens to kill all of the teens and blow up the place, she and her son Junior leave in a cloud of dust. From the look of them, I'm assuming none of the dust was caused by the motorcycle spinning away.

In the next scene, we meet some of our new victims: There's Joey, a simple-minded fat guy who gets more food ON him than IN him; Violet, a punky looking blonde who is absolutely hilarious later in the movie(it involves dancing, and is a great cheesy moment); Robin, a cute brunette who seems to be an uptight preppy chick; and Vic, a tough guy who enjoys chopping wood with a very sharp-looking axe.

So Joey offers to help the girls, who are hanging laundry, and proceeds to ruin a sheet because his hands are covered in chocolate(at least, we HOPE it's chocolate...). When the girls get angry, Joey approaches Vic, and ruins the firewood with bloodstains after Vic chops him in the back. The siren from the Naked Gun franchise shows up, but it turns out to be 2 paramedics, Roy and an unnamed guy we'll call "Bubba". Bubba sees Roy get upset when he views Joey's corpse, and mocks him. REMEMBER THIS SCENE!!!

Anyway, the scene cuts abruptly to 2 greasers having car trouble on their way to the same beach party movie the Hubbard motorcycle came from. One of them, Pete, is horsing around behind the steering wheel while the other guy does all the work. They get into an argument, and Pete goes off into the woods to take a dump. Charming.

As Pete wanders around, he starts hearing noises nearby. He swings his flashlight around and comes face to face with.....oh, it's just a bunny. Great, thanks for building up the suspense for nothing.

The other guy removes his leather jacket, turns around when someone behind him lights a flare, and gets it shoved in his mouth. Ouch! I wish I had taken note of his name. I feel bad now. Anyway, when Pete gets back to the car he gets behind the wheel. As he tries to get it started again, A hand shoots out from the backseat and grabs him by the hair, and another hand uses a machete to slice through his neck. What is this franchise's obsession with throat-slashings???

Back at Pinehurst, the new Tommy's not doing so well. He's having flashbacks to the day he stabbed Jason to death, brought on by the sight of Joey getting butchered. He gets out of bed to take some of his meds, and sees a vision of Jason in the mirror! The killer, of course, IS just an hallucination...but Tommy is still understandably shaken by the incident.

Downstairs, Reggie is helping to set the table, and he asks his grandfather if he can visit with his estranged big brother, who will be in town. The old man doesn't seem to like the idea, but knowing Reggie, I'll bet he still gets to have his visit. Oh, and we see a few more characters I don't remember being introduced earlier: a female who is kind of quiet and mousy, and a guy who resembles a sort of B-movie Jon Cryer who has a bad stutter.

The group gathers for breakfast, and there's an argument over how many places are set at the table. Apparently, Violet set 2 extra places, and it creates some sort of convoluted problem. Of course, since Tommy hasn't come down yet, and Eddie is still not at the table, I'm not sure that there IS a problem, but I also don't care enough to rewind this dull crap just to count the places at a friggin' dining room table.

Anyway, when Tommy walks in, he makes about as much of an impression on the group as The Invisible Man would at an orgy. Matt asks him to see what' holding up Eddie, but Tommy doesn't seem to like that idea much. As Tommy turns to leave again, Eddie pops up wearing one of those rubber masks, and scares the holy terror out of him. When Eddie sees that Tommy is reacting to the incident badly, he keeps playfully punching him in the shoulder, and that causes Tommy to blow off some steam by flipping Eddie over his head and onto the floor. HI-YAAAAA! He continually assaults Eddie with punches until Matt pulls him away.

Moving right along, we return to Ethel and Junior Hubbard, the dumb rednecks. She's slaughtering chickens for yummy grub, and he's eating "slop" like Babe the pig. When she hears the other chickens in their coop making a mothercluckin' ruckus, Ethel grabs her shotgun and nearly blows away a drifter who is looking for some work and a warm bed. She offers him a warm meal, but only if he cleans all of the chickenshit out of the coop first. After a largely pointless and unfuny conversation betwen her and Junior, the scene finally ends. Thank heavens.

Next, we get the crime scene where the 2 greasers died. Police have arrived, and are attempting to gather as much evidence as they can. Those same 2 paramedics arrive to take the corpses, and Roy exchanges words with the sheriff in an awkward attempt by the film-makers to remind us that these guys always seem to be the only ones who ever show up at every crime scene. *HINT HINT*

The next scene exists merely to pad the movie's victim roster and running time. We meet Lana, a cute-as heck waitress, and Billy, a hospital worker with an uncanny resemblance to Luigi, Mario's video-game sibling. After they flirt for a bit, she rushes back in to close up the diner and get ready to go out with him. She bares 2 spectacularly large breasts, and the scene ends there as I begin to weep.

While Lana's trying to keep me interested in watching the rest of the movie, Billuigi's getting high. By the time we see Lana again, she's already ressed up and finishing with her makeup. Damn. She hears something break in the diner, and goes out to investigate. We get a generic cat-scare, and then go back to Billy. He gets impatient, honks the car horn a few times, then gets an axe to the head as he begins to get out of the car to fetch her. Lana pets her pussy(sorry, I mean "cat") a few times and then walks out to the car, where she discovers her date's fate after she gets into the vehicle. She's murdered as she attempts to get away, with the axe being buried deep into her chest. Oh Lana, we hardly knew ye.

The following morning, Tommy watches from his upstairs window as 2 of his horny housemates chase each other around the yard, then suffers another vision of Jason. He rubs his eyes until Jason vanishes, and we get a scene straight out of Jaws. The mayor gets on the sheriff's case about finding the killer quickly and quietly, and the sheriff replies that he believes that the killer is actually Jason.

This scene is not just derivative of a far better film, but it creates a major plothole: the mayor rants at the sheriff that not only is Jason dead, but he's been cremated as well. Now, since we know that Jason is up and killing for about 7 more films, why did they throw in the line about cremation? I mean, I'm all for the attempt to have a new killer in the franchise and all, but why was this never mentioned or used again in any of the sequels that followed(except, arguably, Jason Goes To Hell)? Hanging or stabbing a zombie is one thing, but I don't see a pile of ashes going on too many murder sprees. Heck, they could just defeat him with an oscillating fan!

Well whatever. That same day, Eddie and ? run off for a bit to have some rough forest sex. As we're watching, so is the drifter Ethel hired. He gets a knife in the gut for his voyeurism. Eddie and ? finish up, and Eddie leaves her to go skip stones by the lake as she sunbathes in all of her nude, beautiful glory. As I start drooling on my laptop, she gets her eyes cut out with a pair of gardening shears. Oh well, at least he didn't mess up her rack!

Eddie returns, after wasting precious film time throwing rocks and whipping tree branches at nature. He finds ? and when he sees her eyes, he backs away in shock and horror. Too bad for him, he backs against a tree, because the killer winds a leather strap around his head, pulls the 2 ends together with a stick, and winds the strap so tight it crushes Eddie's eyes right through their sockets. What is it with throats and eyes? Weird fetish, if you ask me.

At Pinehurst, Matt is getting pissed off by all the troubled teens vanishing into thin air. A rocket scientist Matt is not. Reggie and Pam are leaving the house for awhile so that Reggie can see his brother, a gang member named Demon. With some coaxing, Tommy agrees to go as well. Matt and Gramps wave them off, looking as happy as clams that they've sealed their fates by staying behind. Oh, and we get 3-4 shots of the pickup truck Pam's driving going down the same road. MST3K would have had a feild day with this turd.

They pull into a trailer park, and Tommy stays by the pickup while Reggie and Pam go to meet up with Demon. Demon has more Jeri Curl in his hair than Vanity. He's wearing more leather than Leather Tuscadero. He gives Reggie a burrito, then introduces him to his hooker-girlfriend, Anita. Anita also looks like she stepped out of a cheesy '80's music video. Reggie then introduces Pam as HIS girlfriend. Oh, you wacky movie, you!

Back at the truck, Tommy is fascinated by the buzzing neon sign advertising the trailer park. He shambles toward it, and when he's right beneath it, he starts freaking out again. Man, someone should start a drinking game around the scenes where Tommy starts going apeshit! He sees a white light moving in his direction and gets scared, until it turns out to be Junior, out for a joyride.

At first, Junior just mocks Tommy for not getting out of the way, but then he sees and recognizes the pickup. He turns hostile, and threatens to kill Tommy. He gets as far as hitting Tommy once or twice, and that sets Tommy off. Tommy turns into Chuck Norris and proceeds to beat the snot out of the big lummox, until Pam shows up and calms him down again. Tommy runs away, and Pam quickly ushers Reggie back into the truck to find him.

Alone at last, Demon and Anita settle in for a night of unbridled crap-producing. Hey, maybe they can write scripts for Friday the 13th! Nah. It turns out that all of the greasy food Demon's been eating is giving him the runs. Great. At least this isn't the movie that was shot in 3-D! He runs into a tin shack(another outhouse...these movie writers find the stuff they like and run with it, don't they???) and proceeds to take a massive dump.

While Demon's getting his ass exorcised, the outhouse's corrugated walls start shaking. He yells out in alarm, and it turns out to be Anita, who apparently wants him to go all Rick James on her. They start singing to each other(ON A TOILET? REALLY???), until Demon hears her gasp and suddenly go silent. The walls start shaking(the earth was quaking, and my mind was was you, shook me ALL NIGHT LONG!!!), and Demon gets off the toilet to go bitch-slap his ho.

The door only opens partway, and he sees Anita blocking it with her dead body. How thoughtless! As he slams the door to hide in the toilet, the killer uses a spear-like metal pole to begin stabbing through the walls at random places. The first stab misses, but the second one jabs Demon in the leg. The idiot leans up against the wall for safety, and the spear enters his spine and pokes through his gut. Buh-bye, Demon. See you in about 20 years, in Juwanna Mann!

When Pam, Tommy and Reggie return to Pinehurst, Jake the stutterer informs Pam that pretty much everyone but he and the 2 girls he was with are all missing. Pam tries to reassure him that everything is just fine, but the only real piece of new information she gets is that the reason Matt left was so that he could look for Tina and Eddie. Heck, even Gramps went missing!

Pam puts Jake in charge of the group staying at the house, which means it'll probably take him an hour or so to call 911 for help. (Every time he speaks, I get a flashback to A Fish Called Wanda: "Oh, c-c-c-c-c-rap, K-k-k-k-k-en's c-c-c-oming to k-k-k-k-ill me!") She leaves the soon-to-be crime scene as fast as she can. Can't say I blame her.

Junior speeds home on his cycle, and starts doing doughnuts in the front yard. He screams and hollers for his mommy, but over the noise of the motorcycle Ethel can't hear what he's saying. She thinks he just wants his dinner, and she yells back that it's cooking. As they're shouting back and forth, Junior speeds up to a tree that the killer was hiding behind, and a machete cleanly decapitates Junior Hubbard. Thank GOD. Movie, I owe you one.

In the Hubbard kitchen, Ethel thinks that the lack of ruckus means that Junior must have finally decided to stop riding around the yard like a fat ninny. She hears the front door open, and tells him to wash up and get ready to eat. As she's mixing more stuff into the boiling pot in the stove, the killer smashes the window in front of her, plunges a meat cleaver into her face, and watches as she falls face-first into the stew pot. Dinner is served!

Pam is still out, looking for Tommy on that one stretch of road we've seen about 9,000 times in this flick. I swear, I almost think at this point that they're spoofing old "Scooby-Doo" episodes. Remember in those, when Scooby and Shaggy would get chased by the "monster" each week, and end up passing the same background walls over and over again. Same thing here.Only, I doubt the people behind this franchise could be that clever or witty. Compared to this the average episode of "Scooby-Doo" looks like it was based on Shakespeare.

Jake is busy guarding Pinehurst by watching an old thriller on tv with a girl named R-r-r-r-obin(heh, couldn't resist. My apologies to any real-life stutterers out there.) who has 1980's big hair and a crooked nose. Jake tries to flirt with her, but she ignores him to watch the movie. When he mistakes her apathy for coyness, he confesses to Robin that he'd like to lose his virginity to her. She responds by laughing in his face. Just to recap: A guy who stutters and looks like Jon Cryer just got rejected by the second-least attractive female in the movie(I was going to say LEAST attractive, but then I remembered Ethel...and I'm not saying Robin isn't cute. She is, but not as cute as any of the other female characters we've seen so far...). What could possibly make him feel any worse?

Well, for starters, he gets cock-blocked a SECOND time, this time by Violet. When he leaves her room, he gets a meat cleaver to the neck. Hey, aren't the virgins usually the ones who SURVIVE this shit? I guess not.

Robin's next. She finishes watching her movie, and tries to get Reggie off the couch, so that he can sleep in his bedroom instead. When he just rolls over, Robin covers him with a blanket. Then she goes upstairs, strips her clothes off, and admits out loud that she should have treated Jake better. Robin then proceeds to climb into the top bunk of the room's bunkbed, and comes face-to-face with Jake's bloody body before getting a blade plunged up through her back and out of her chest.

Then we get the greatest scene in the movie: a quintesesntial '80' breakdance sequence featuring punky Violet. She robots her cute little ass off, even as we watch someone stealthily enter her room. In a great bit of irony, when the camera shows the door opening, we also get a closeup of a poster that reads "STOP THE SLAUGHTER".

Anyway, as Violet's poppin' and lockin' to her hearts' content, she hears something and turns around. Nope, nothing's there. She resumes dancing, only to be grabbed by the neck, thrown up against a wall, and stabbed in the gut. This guy ain't the most creative killer, is he?

Reggie wakes up. MJaybe all the giggling from the camera crew filming Violet's dance routine woke him up. He drags himself off the couch and trudges upstairs to see if Tommy's back yet. He's not, but all of the folks killed during the past 10 minutes or so are piled up in his room. Reggie loses his cool and backs into Pam as he attempts to make a hasty exit. She sees how frightened he is, checks out the room, then grabs Reggie and makes a mad dash for the, a smart decision!

Before they get to the door, Reggie trips, sending them both tumbling to the floor. The door explodes open, and Jason enters the house. Wasn't he already inside? I mean, if he just finished killing everyone upstairs, why would he leave the house, shut the door behind himself, then break it down a short time later?

Well, no one else pauses to give this any thought. Pam and Reggie run to the front door, fumble with the knob, and eventually get outside, where it's raining. The hapless pair make it through the woods and emerge onto a road where they find an ambulance parked. Reggie screams for help, but they discover Roy's co-worker inside, with his throat cut. Jason pops up on the other side of the emergency vehicle, so they start running again. Reggie has a head start, so he and Pam get separated. Reggie tries to go back and find her, and gets turned around and lost. Pam, meanwhile, stumbles into Matt's body, pinned to a tree.

She runs back to the house and locks the door, apparently deciding that the little kid can fend for himself. As Pam hides next to a window, the body of Reggie's grandfather is thrown through the window, and it lands at her feet. Pam screams when she realizes that his eyes have been removed.

She runs back outside, and Jason pursues her in all his bald, masked, armed glory. As he corners Pam and raises the machete to kill her, Reggie bursts out of a barn on a bulldozer or steam shovel vehicle, ready to ram it into the killer. He sends Jason flying, then rushes over to Pam. After she assures the boy that she's fine, they both approach the unconscious killer on the ground. Jason suddenly grabs onto Reggie's leg, and the duo manage to run away after a brief struggle. Jason checks himself for injuries(???), then follows them into the barn.

He looks around, hears a noise behind a door, and comes face-to-face with Pam, who is holding a chainsaw. They duel for a bit, until Pam gouges his arm, near the shoulder. At that exact minute, the chainsaw goes dead. As Jason prepares to get his revenge, Pam throws the heavy chainsaw at him, knocking him off-balance. As the future looks grim, another player enters the game.

Tommy! Jason turns to face his nemesis, and Pam uses the distraction to climb into the hayloft, where Reggie has been hiding. They both urge Tommy to run away, but he hesitates long enough for Jason to slash him in the chest. Before Jason can deliver the fatal strike, Tommy uses his little pocketknife to stab the psycho in the leg. As Jason is clutching his leg, Tommy uses the diversion to climb up to Pam and Reggie.

Jason eventually recovers enough to stand up again, and he follows them up to the hayloft. He sees Tommy face-down in the hay and turns over his body. He walks past the body to search for the other two victims, and spots something moving behind a bale of hay, so he walks toward it.

It turns out to be Reggie. Jason makes a few threatening gestures, but before he can do more than stab a wodden plank, Pam emerges from her hiding place and clus him with what looks like an oar or an axe handle. As Jason gets closer to her, she sees that the ground outside has a wooden crate-thingy with tons of spikes sticking up. She leaps out of the way as Jason lunges at her, and Reggie pushes the killer through the hayloft's door.

He doesn't fall, of course. They never do. No, he just waits for the 2 dumbasses to get near the window, and grabs onto Reggie's ankle. As Pam and Jason each grab onto the kid, Tommy wakes up and snatches up the machete. He swings hard enough to make Jason fall, and they all watch the killer get several spikes through his body. This leads to the dumbest twist in the movie, just to warn you ahead of time.

It's not Jason at all, it's Roy the paramedic. He somehow got a head-covering bald guy mask, wore a hockey mask on top of it, and put on the same kind of jumpsuit Jason always wears. The sheriff meets up with Pam at the hospital to explain: Apparently, Roy's son was Joey, the fat kid who was chopped up by Vic. When he saw the body, he supposedly snapped and went on a killing spree. He even kept newspaper clippings about Jason, so that he could get away with the killings and get the costume to look accurate.

None of that last paragraph makes a lick of sense...First of all, why wouldn't such a small comunity know about Roy having a son, especially one who was living so close by? And how would Roy have changed his height and physical build? How does he keep teleporting in and out and in all of the locations he gets to? Oh, and why bother with going off on the Pinehurst kids? Wouldn't Vic have been a more sensible choice for a victim? Most of the folks Roy killed(Lana, Billuigi, the two greasers, the majority of the kids) had no reason to be on his radar. And why name the female lead after Jason's mother if they never planned to do anything with that reference? The more I think about the twists, the less any of it makes sense on any level.

Ah, screw it. Let's just see how they end this turkey. Pam enters Tommy's hospital room to see how he's doing. She wakes him up, and he pulls a large out from under his pillow to stab her in the gut. Wow, bold way to end the movie.

Nope, it's a dream sequence. Tommy wakes up in the hospital, and he looks kind of feverish. He lays back against his pillow, and sees a vision of Jason standing at the foot of the bed. I guess we're to assume that Tommy is possessed, because the more intense and evil Tommy's expression looks, the more the vision fades.

Anyway, Tommy detaches his IV, opens the nightstand next to his bed, and pulls out a hockey mask. Weird, most places just put a bible in there. Pam enters the room, sees the window wide open, and assumes that Tommy has escaped. He hasn't. He's right behind the door, wearing the mask. He raises a knife. THE END Wait, what?

Man, I've had straws that sucked less than this movie. The killer made no sense, most of the kills were ridiculously staged, and the ending is never followed up in any way, shape, or form in the 7 sequels that followed. The gore was all right, the nudity was pretty steamy, but this movie seems to embrace being mediocre. I'm glad part 6 is the next one in the franchise, because I remember that one being a guilty pleasure. 2 killer trees this time around. See ya next week! Oh, and if you haven't seen "The Walking Dead" on AMC yet, go watch it. That show ROCKS!