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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Jason X

Phew! There's finally a light at the end of the tunnel...this week, I finish off the Friday the 13th franchise with one of the more interesting ones, Jason X. I know there's still Freddy vs. Jason to watch, but it's really just a Freddy movie with Jason in a supporting role, so don't hold your breath waiting for me to get to it. Anyway, SPOILERS ahoy, so let's get started!

Our tale this time begins INSIDE Jason. During the credits, we take a journey through Jason's body and bloodstream. Every now and then, the camera pans back enough to show that Jason's being poked and prodded by a team of government-funded scientists. They take blood samples, skin scrapes, hair name it, they study it. Oh, and did I mention that Jason in this one is back to being a Mongoloid, and has healthy flesh? When did he find time to come back to life... after his trip in the New York(Canadian, heh) sewers, maybe?

Well, at least it's a pretty great visual treat to sit through these credits. When they end, we discover that the year is 2010(wait, they captured Jason LAST YEAR?), and Jason has somehow been defeated again, and is being kept at a facility at Crystal Lake. The military apparently wants to exploit his rapid healing ability in their own soldiers. As the movie begins, a lone soldier is keeping vigil in front of Jason. The killer is bound by several chains and shackles, still dressed in his usual hockey mask and uniform. After making a few nervous attempts at engaging Jason in a chat, the soldier grabs a nearby tarp and throws it over the killer to cover him up.

There's an abrupt scene change, and we meet a team of doctors and soldiers, commanded by Dr. Wimmer(played by creepy film director David Cronenberg) as well as an attractive young woman named Rowan. Rowan wants to convince the military to destroy Jason, but they think that his inability to die or suffer permanent injuries is worth studying further. At the very least, Rowan wants to have Jason frozen, but Wimmer refuses. He and the soldiers plan to transport Jason to another government facility, for more in-depth experiments.

They approach Jason, who is still covered by the sheet. Wimmer asks the soldiers to remove the sheet, and doing so reveals that the soldier who had been guarding Jason was strung up in his place, chained and bleeding. Caught off-guard, the men fail to see Jason attacking from behind. He takes out the first 3 soldiers with brute force, then uses his chain to strangle the fourth one before the guy can shoot him. He beats the last soldier with a rod to the face, then notices Dr. Wimmer escaping. Jason throws a metal rod at the doctor, impaling him from across the chamber.

From the corridor, Rowan hears all of the screaming and shooting. She decides to take a quick peek, but one of the soldiers is thrown at the door, knocking it off its hinges as his body slides to a stop at Rowan's feet. She stares at the pile of corpses inside Jason's cell, then sees Jason looming in the hallway behind her. Great. This movie has an alive, teleporting Jason. Why not have him talk, too? Then it can hit the trifecta of stupidity.

Rowan grabs the military rifle off of the dead guy on the floor, and starts running. She gets to the basement level, where she lures Jason into a cryogenic storage chamber. When he gets to the middle of the small room, Rowan fires at him with her rifle. After several hits, one knocks Jason off of his feet, and he sails into a cryogenic chamber. Rowan swiftly locks him in, then starts the freezing process, but Jason stabs her in the abdomen with his machete before the process completes. As the cryogenic area self-locks, both Rowan and Jason freeze and die.

The story then picks up 455 years later. A class of science/archeology students, led by their teacher Professor Brandon Lowe is taking a field trip to what was once Earth. Due to overpopulation, pollution and several other factors, humans learned to colonize other habitable worlds and abandoned ours. So much for Earth Day.

So why was this intergalactic field trip done at the Crystal Lake research facility? Who knows. The students in Lowe's class include Tsunaron, a goofy-looking surfer dude-type; Azrael, an even GOOFIER dude who is accident-prone and lazy; Janessa, a cute brunette who seems to be channeling Allyson Hannigan's quirkiness; and KM-14, a female android built by Tsunaron as a "companion". There's also a black dude along for the class, but in this scene he has no dialogue, and no one calls him by name. Nice that even in the future, horror cliches still exist.

As the students look around, Azrael gets his hand frozen to a coffee mug while examining it. They quickly find the chamber Jason was trapped in, but can't figure out his appearance or the machete frozen in his upraised arm(and I can't figure out why the equipment would still work after more than 400 years...and wasn't the army supposed to be moving him? Wouldn't there have been an investigation when the soldiers never returned???).

Azrael pokes at him a bit after the cryogenic chamber is opened and Jason's thawed-out arm lowers, severing Azrael's arm. KM uses some kind of quick-sealing bond to cover the stump, then gives Azrael a dose of painkiller to calm him down. Lowe uses a communicator to call Lou, the ship's pilot, and tells him to prepare for lift-off as soon as they get back.

Once aboard the shuttle pod(which is shaped like a giant hockey mask on legs), we meet the rest of the crew in the larger ship that they're taking the trip with: Brodsky, the tough-as-nails Marine in charge of a small squad of soldiers; Crutch, a scruffy engineer; a cute doctor named Adrienne(and her students, Stoney and Kinsa)...and that's about it. So, let me see, we've got the students, the Marines, carry the one....about a dozen or so people for Jason to kill. Cool.

In the medical bay, Azrael lays down on a table and his arm is placed directly beneath his stump. Using nanobots called "ants", the stump and the arm are fused back together, then the ants retreat. Azrael staggers to the corridor, where a friend gives him a high-five, causing Az to stumble in pain again.

At the same time, Professor Lowe is analyzing Rowan's DNA to see how much damage the freezing did to her body, and Adrienne is analyzing Jason's body with her two horny helpers, Stoney and Kinsa. Adrienne eventually throws them out, and examines Jason alone, with a remote linkup to Professor Lowe's lab station. It's always a good idea to be in a room alone with Jason. Yup. Move along, nothing to see here...

Rowan has suffered damage from the prolonged freezing process all over her body, so the ants cover her completely to begin their repairs. In Adrienne's lab, she begins an autopsy of Jason, starting with a scan of his skull, which shows an abnormally small brain. Ha ha! She then gently removes his deformed eyeball, while he stares up at her with his good eye. She examines the mangled eyeball and drops it into a sink filled with liquid nitrogen. Yum, who wants eye-sicles?

In Lowe's lab, the repair job was a success. Rowan wakes up and immediately attacks Professor Lowe with a hard punch to the jaw. When she gets her bearings, the first thing Rowan asks about is whether or not Jason is dead. They only tell her that he was frozen along with her, then they inform her that it's been over 455 years since the day she was frozen. Talk about sleeping in...

Professor Lowe gets to his private quarters as soon as he can, and calls a frail man named Dieter Perez. Dieter's asleep, but he agrees to take the call when he sees the caller. Dieter is sort of a fencer of artifacts, but he remains skeptical of the value of Lowe's latest "treasures". Apparently, re-animated people are a dime a dozen, even if they've been frozen for as long as Rowan was.

Dieter perks up when he sees the name Voorhees. Apparently, even 455 years later, Jason's legend still gets around. He strikes a deal with Lowe to pay a ridiculous amount of money for Jason's remains, and the two agree on the terms. As soon as the online chat ends, Janessa shows up, ready for some kinkiness. Rowwwwwwwr.

Adrienne cuts Jason's mask off to examine his face, and we get our only really good look at him unmasked in this movie. His skin is soft and lumpy-looking, and his teeth are a bit crooked, but other than that he looks like a troll from your average Grimm Brothers tale. Except for the first couple of movies, I don't think I've ever seen this much skin on his face. Grimacing, Adrienne drops his mask back into place.

In Lowe's quarters, Janessa is using a pair of tongs to twist his nipples. Believe me, it's as weird to watch as it is to read. I feel sleazy just typing it. She rides him like Seabiscuit, until he agrees to let her pass his course. Yeesh. I wonder which end got the bottle....on second thought: No. I don't wonder.

Jason's blood begins to ooze out from under his mask, dripping onto the floor of the lab. Adrienne fails to notice it, because she's at her desk, studying the various samples of blood and tissue that she took from him. At the same time, KM is showing off some metal nipples to Tsunaron. He doesn't realize it, but KM has grown beyond her programming, and loves him. Awwwwww! Kiss her, ya lug!

Okay, so back to Stoney and Kinsa...briefly. They're making out, so apparently "horniness" hasn't found a cure in the future. We switch back to Adrienne so fast, it gives me whiplash. She hears something, but when she turns around, Jason has resumed playing dead-ish. She looks around a bit, then goes back to her analysis. Jason flexes an ice-covered hand, and Adrienne looks up again. He lays still. When she goes back to her study of his DNA, Jason stands up, then glances over at the cute scientist.

Adrienne remains oblivious, until she sees the examination table is now deserted. Jason grabs her ponytail, presses his arms around her, then throws Adrienne against a wall. The anonymous black dude from the field trip is on the other side of the wall, but he fails to notice her struggle through the frosted glass wall. Jason drags Adrienne over to the liquid nitrogen, dunking her head into it until her face is frozen solid, then he smashes her face against the table, shattering her head. Before he leaves the lab, Jason grabs a particularly nasty surgical saw to replace the machete that Professor Lowe took out of his frozen hand.

Lowe, meanwhile, has brought Rowan a tray of food. He tells her that they're heading for Earth Two, then relates the story of how "her" Earth was depleted of all resources, destroyed with pollution, and eventually abandoned. Rowan tells Lowe that she was one of the heads of the project researching Jason's invulnerability. She says that they tried to kill him in numerous ways--gas, electrocution, hanging, firing squad--but he never died.

Meanwhile, Janessa is trying to make a move on Tsunaron, but he shoots her down. They get introduced to Rowan, then Brodsky and KM come in as well. Rowan accidentally discovers that Jason is on the ship, and she insists on proof that he is dead. Can't say that I blame her.

They find Adrienne's body, and put the ship on a high-security lockdown, until Brodsky's squad can find and kill Jason. Hearing the security alert, Stoney and Kinsa decide to stop making out, and join the others. Jason has other ideas. He meets Stoney at the door, impaling him, then dragging him away, as Kinsa goes hysterical.

She gets to the lab with the others, and informs them of Stoney's death. Brodsky tells his squad to be on alert, and to shoot to kill. When Lowe tries to bribe the Sarge not to kill Jason, Brodsky agrees, but then tells his squad to kill Jason anyway. The Marine grunts all have names like Dallas, Sven, Geko and Kicker, but they might as well be named "Body 1", Body 2", and so on.

We then find Azrael in a virtual reality game with Stone Cold Steve Austin's Canadian-actor equivalent, Lukewarm. They're shooting imaginary aliens when Jason steps in and starts killing the aliens as well. Lukewarm stops the program after Jason kills his and Azrael's "avatars", and then watches Jason pick Azrael up by the neck. Lukewarm shoots at Jason, who drops the kid and goes after Lukewarm, but Az tries to help by jumping on Jason's back. Jason pries the kid off, snaps his spine, then shoves Lukewarm's face into a wall.

Next, Crutch is being stalked. He hears someone in the general vicinity, but can't tell who it is. Crutch then sees Jason's reflection in a monitor, but before Jason can slash him, Brodsky and his squad blast away at the killer, and destroy Crutch's little "garden" in the process. Jason disappears in the smoke and barrage of bullets, and Crutch escapes while the trio look for Jason.

The first one to die, Sven, is snatched up by Jason as he walks by the killer's hiding place. Jason snaps his neck. The next to die, Condor, is trying to spot Jason by climbing a landing and seeing the room from above. Sadly, Jason is already up there to meet him(More teleporting!), and hurls Condor onto a giant drill. The drill impales Condor as his body spins, sending gore everywhere.

Brodsky fails to reach them on his headset, and gets nervous. The 2 female Marines find Condor, and report that he's "screwed". Ha-ha. Jason goes after the first woman, Geko , when she backs into him in the darkness. Jason cuts her throat and lets her stagger into one of her squadmates, Kicker. He fires several rounds at Jason, and watches the big guy stumble backwards onto a giant hook. Kicker then hoists Jason into the air by the chain that the hook is attached to, and reports that he killed Jason.

Nope. Jason lifts himself off of the hook and kills Kicker buy cutting him in half. The top half tries to crawl away(should we call him Crawler now?) and radio for any survivors to escape, but the only one left seems to be Brodsky. Brodsky finds one of the dead girls on a hook, and tries to sneak up on Jason. Jason grabs him by punching through a steel container, and stabs him twice through the stomach. Before he dies, though, Brodsky gets some funny dying words, saying that one stab in the ribs won't kill him, then admitting that the second stab did the trick.

Back in the lab, Professor Lowe and his surviving students,along with KM and Rowan realize that Jason has massacred all of the Marines. A loud pounding on the door frightens them, but it's only Crutch. He finds out about the dead Marines, then Lowe talks to the pilot, Lou, who is just about ready to begin docking with Solaris, the space station they were trying to reach. He prepares for docking, then Jason kills him from behind. Pilotless, the Grendel crashes through Solaris, killing everyone on the station in one fell swoop, as well as damaging the ship. The black kid, who finally has a name(Waylander), puts the damaged space station on the viewscreen just before it explodes. Whoops!

After the explosion, Tsunaron does one of the few SMART things in the film, by sending a distress beacon out into space. After Professor Lowe assures the survivors that this particular region of space is heavily travelled, Jason begins pounding on the heavy metal door. When he stops for a few moments, Rowan hopes out loud that he went away, leading Janessa to deliver a classic wiseass comeback: "Why don't you stick your head out and have a peek?" God help me, I think I'm in love.

While everyone's staring at the metal door, Jason crashes through a glass wall. They all sprint back into the corridor, stop when they realize they're alone again, then have another realization strike them like a sack of hammers: they left Professor Lowe with Jason. D'oh! Say goodbye to your GPA, kids!

Lowe tries to bargain with Jason for his life. Sure, that always works with unstoppable zombies! He offers Jason money, power, influential connections...but Jason only looms closer. Finally, Jason moves in for the kill, and...ignores Lowe, in favor of the ancient machete he had been holding when frozen. Lowe proudly yells out to his students in the next room, "Guys it's okay...He just wanted his machete back!" Ay yi yi, what a lunkhead Lowe is.

In the next room, Rowan tries to come up with an escape plan. She asks Waylander if they can "beam off" of Grendel, and he looks at her like she's Anna Nicole Smith's dumber cousin. They decide it might be possible to relaunch the shuttle, and Crutch agrees to get to his console and start the launch sequence. Waylander tells Crutch that he'll assist him, while the others try to get to the shuttle. Rowan picks up the rifle-cannon off of one of the dead Marines, and assures everyone that she can use it.

KM and Tsunaron move off in a different direction to arm KM with more weapons. When he asks KM to assess their chances of escaping the ship, she calculates that they're almost definitely going to die. He kisses her, and she responds that their odds just got much better. Gotta love how horny these guys in the future are, huh?

Rowan, Janessa and Kinsa make their way to the cargo bay, where most of the Marines were picked off. Curiously, they find the spike Brodsky was impaled on, but no sign of the Sarge anywhere. Kinsa starts to lose it at the sight of all the blood, and Rowan threatens to kill her before Jason can, if she doesn't shut up. Then they spot a surviving Marine across the room. Rowan decides to help the survivor, and orders the other two women to get to the shuttle bay.

Back at the flight deck console, Crutch and Waylander find Lou, sans skin. They move his body(what's left of it...) out of the way, and start to prepare for the shuttle launch.

Rowan discovers that the survivor is none other than Brodsky. She examines his wounds and tries to get him on his feet,but he can't do it. She promises to bring back some others to help move him, then resumes looking around.

Crutch uses Waylander's vest to wipe Lou's blood of of the equipment, much to the young man's chagrin. Then Crutch delivers another really funny line about a war he survived, the "Microsoft conflict", where "We were beating each other with our own severed limbs." I gotta say, as cheesy as some of this movie is, I love the dialogue.

Anyway, at her console, Kinsa meets up with Rowan, who asks for assistance in moving the injured Sarge. Crutch tells Waylander to go, but when Waylander meets Rowan at the spot where she found Brodsky, he is no longer there. Left alone at his console, Crutch is shown Lowe's severed head, right before Jason smashes Crutch face-first into an electronic panel, killing him.

Frightened, Kinsa seals herself inside the escape pod. Rowan tries to talk her down, but Kinsa tries to launch the pod before it's properly unclamped from the Grendel. The clamps tear the pod apart when it starts to take off, and the explosion knocks everyone to the ground.

Janessa, Rowan and Waylander stand up just as Jason finds them. The weapon in Waylander's hands jams, and Jason moves in to finish the trio off...until Tsunaron enters the room. Trailing behind him is the new, improved KM. She's dressed like a dominatrix and armed with what the Marines earlier referred to as a "BFG", which should be familiar to anyone who's a fan of classic shoot'em ups. Everyone else: look it up. You'll probably laugh yer asses off afterwards.

Also funny, in a stupid way, is Tsunaron proudly proclaiming that he gave KM "an upload", when I'm pretty sure he meant to say "upgrade". KM grins and promises to hurt Jason, and he throws his machete into her stomach before she even gets to fire a single shot. Awesome. She jitters around a bit, then goes limp. When Jason goes to retrieve his weapon, she looks up at him, grins, then fires her BFG right into his face at point-blank range. Jason flies off of his feet across the room, and KM somersaults after him. Yay! Finally, a proper showdown.

KM pulls out 2 handguns and continues to assault Jason. Then she uses martial arts to knock him around, finishing him off with dozens of more gunshots and even more karate. KM proudly stands over the killer, but he knocks her off of her feet and gains the upper hand. Before he finishes the android off, Sarge comes out of nowhere to stab Jason from behind.

Back on her feet again, KM backs Jason against a wall, then shoots around him, creating a hole-y outline. When he raises his machete, she responds by shooting his arm off, then kicking him through the wall. She further damages Jason by shooting his left leg off, then blowing two-thirds of his head apart. Uh, I think you got him, honey. Still not finished, KM flings Jason's machete across the room, planting it in his crotch. Owwwwwwwwwwwww!

KM kisses Tsunaron, and everyone celebrates. The survivors get to Lab Two, where they patch up Brodsky. The Grendel shakes some more, and Waylander announces that, according to the computer, the hull is damaged and Grendel is losing oxygen. Luckily, another ship, the Tiamat, has responded to their distress beacon. Unluckily, Tiamat is 45 minutes away, which means that everyone on board the Grendel will run out of air long before the Tiamat reaches them.

Rowan has an idea, though. She points out a flimsy walkway connecting the part of the ship they're on to another, less-damaged section. She proposes that they make their way to the intact section, disconnect the damaged area from the end of the walkway with explosives, then wait there for the rescue ship to arrive. Everyone agrees that it might work, and they tell the Tiamat to continue on their rescue course. Quickly, the group leaves the sick bay to begin the trek to the undamaged section of the ship.

Jason, by the way, landed on the repair table when KM shot him up. A malfunction restarts the medical console, and the nano ants analyze Jason's injuries and begin the task of repairing him. There's not enough healthy tissue on him to complete the job, so the computer replaces the missing areas with synthetic tissue, essentially giving his DNA an even better upgrade than it already had...or "upload", to use Tsunaron's dumbspeak. The ants even improve Jason's clothing and mask, making them into literal armor, and give him both of his eyes back, which is pretty nifty, considering that one was completely removed earlier in the film. Nice ants.

While Jason's being repaired, the survivors are setting up the explosive charges, planning to detonate the damaged part of Grendel, to separate it from the section they're going to. When they finish setting the charges, Jason(or, as he's referred to in the credits, "Uber-Jason") makes his big debut. The only thing I don't like about the new look is the mask: it's bulky and lumpy, and looks like something from the "Mighty Ducks" cartoon from several years ago. But everything else is pretty sweet, including his new, demon-red eyes.(And again, I did the ants replace the eye that wasn't there to fix up? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?)

KM tries to kill Uber-Jason again, but this time, the bullets all just bounce off of him. KM decides to try martial arts again, but warns everyone to run away first. Unfortunately for her,Uber- Jason uses her distraction to knock her robotic head off of her robotic body. Rowan tries to step in to help, but Uber-Jason starts to choke her.

Waylander distracts Uber-Jason long enough for him to drop Rowan and join the others in their frantic escape, but Uber-Jason just throws him around like a rag doll. Brodsky shows up to find out what all the commotion is, and Rowan tells him that Waylander has the detonator for the explosives. Before he dies, Waylander shows Uber-Jason the detonator, then presses the button.

Everyone gets knocked around by the explosions, and the intact portion of Grendel eventually stabilizes, just as the rescue ship arrives. Everyone sighs with relief...then Uber-Jason punches a hole in the outer hull of the chamber they're in. As they struggle to avoid the vacum of space, Janessa starts to lose her grip on the metal floor. She delivers the immortal line, "This sucks on SO many levels," just before being sucked into space and crushed into a blob of goo. Damn. I liked her.

The only survivors now are Tsunaron, Sarge, Rowan, and KM's head. They seal off the destroyed room, just as Uber-Jason breaks through the outer wall. They run through door after door, sealing off each one as they go. Tiamat docks with Grendel, and a flimsy-looking tunnel opens up and connects the two ships. Too bad the escape hatch won't open. The power to the door is cut off.

Brodsky volunteers to do a space-walk to open the hatch manually from outside. As he climbs out, Uber-Jason breaks through most of the doors they sealed on their journey to the hatch, and Tsunaron and Rowan try to think of a way to impede his progress. Rowan tells Tsunaron that they need to create a diversion, which Tsunaron begins programming while Rowan (guided by Sarge's audio input) tries to repair the panel needed to get the escape hatch opened.

The diversion is funny as heck: Using the virtual reality tech we saw earlier in the film, Tsunaron and KM transform the room next door into Camp Crystal Lake. It doesn't fool Uber-Jason for very long, so they add in a pair of nubile female campers in tights shirts and short-shorts. The virtual campers tell Jason that they plan to drink, smoke and have oodles of sex, then they go topless and climb into sleeping bags.

His reaction is awesomely funny. Uber-Jason picks up one of the girls, seals her into her sleeping bag, then uses her as a club to bash the other virtual girl. The whole time, both girls are saying things like, "Ow, that hurts!" When Uber-Jason finishes the fake girls off, he resumes trying to reach the remaining people on the Grendel.

Just as that happens, Rowan gets the escape hatch working. Sarge uses a rocket pack to get to them from outside, as the remaining section of the ship that Uber-Jason demolished starts to explode in a chain reaction. Rowan and Tsunaron run through the space-tunnel, until Tsunaron realizes that KM's head was left behind. Against all logic, Rowan goes back to the Grendel to snatch up the robot head.

Rowan sees Uber-Jason striding in her direction as the virtual campground explodes and burns around him. Before he reaches Rowan, Uber-Jason is stopped in his tracks by Brodsky, and the two start brawling as the Grendel gets destroyed around them. As Rowan watches through a small porthole, the blast propels Uber-Jason toward the escape pod. Before he gets to them, Uber-Jason gets sideswiped by Sarge, and the two hurtle in the direction of Earth 2.

Tsunaron, KM and Rowan marvel at the fact that they survived, and we see Sarge and Uber-Jason start to burn up as they enter Earth 2's atmosphere. As the movie comes to a close, a young couple on the planet mistake the burning astronauts for a falling star. They make a wish, kiss, then realize that the "star" landed in a nearby lake, and decide to go check it out. Uber-Jason's banged-up mask lands at the bottom of the lake. Here we go again...THE END

Y'know, that was a fun one to watch. The jokes were funnier than expected, the effects were well-done, and the look of the film was sleek. Also, the cast was pretty likable and the women in particular were gorgeous. On the downside, the story was weak, and riddled with plotholes: How did Jason get into the hallway at the start, without Rowan seeing him? How was the lab still operational over 400 years after the facility closed? How did the ants repair Jason's malformed eye, after we saw Adrienne remove it? Well, in spite of the inconsistencies, I still found myself loving the movie as much as I did when I first saw it in theaters, so it gets 4 and a half killer trees out of 5.

And what did I learn from Jason X?
-In the future, all women are attractive.
-Computers 455 years from now will have extensive information about summer camps from the 20th century.
-Canada has their own Stone Cold Steve Austin, and he's easy to kill.

Next week, no movie. I'm going in for surgery Tuesday, so I'm taking at least a week off for the operation and recovery. When I'm feeling up to it(hopefully the following week, maybe the next), I'll pick up right where I left off. The next slasher film on my queue is Blood Harvest, starring Tiny Tim, so it sounds hilarious right off the bat! See you soon(I hope...)!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Slight correction...thanks, Netflix!

Netflix sent Jason X as my next slasher film, and listed Splatter University as a "short wait". I moved it down the list a little, in the hope that watching some other slashers in the meantime would give it time to become available. Some of the other ones I moved up the list look fun, though...they include a movie featuring Frankie Avalon as a killer and Tiny Tim as a crazy clown.

Remember, the Suggestion Box post is sitting there, waiting for ideas...if nothing else, at least let me know that SOMEBODY reads this! lol

Monday, February 14, 2011


Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
I watch lotsa slashers,
How 'bout you?

Relax, relax...this review/synopsis won't be entirely in rhyme. This week's screamfest is Valentine, a better-than-average slasher flick starring David Boreanaz and Denise Richards. Will it leave me heartbroken? Will I fall in love with it? Read on, and share the experience with me! SPOILERS, blah blah know the routine.

Our tale begins much like the movie Prom Night, with a prank played on a boy that leads to tragic consequences. The boy in question, Jeremy Melton, asks 4 girls to dance with him at a school dance. The first girl, Shelley, calls him a loser. The second girl, Lily, makes a face, then turns away. The third girl, Paige, says that she'd rather be boiled alive. Oh, and the fourth girl, Kate, tells him that maybe they can dance later.

Discouraged, Jeremy spots a girl named Dorothy sitting off to the side. He asks her to dance, and Dorothy finally agrees. They wind up under the bleachers at some point, where Jeremy gets to experience his first makeout session. When some bullies find them, Dorothy tries to appear "cool" by saying that Jeremy was sexually assaulting her. Ah, the wonder years!

The bullies dump a bowl of punch over poor Jeremy, then strip him down to his boxers and beat and kick the poor kid, while the other kids at the dance just stand by and watch. Someone at the dance is wearing a Cupid mask, which becomes a key memory for little Jeremy. Then the title comes up. Oooooh....

13 years later, one of the girls, named Shelley, is having a date with a complete idiot named Jason. He refers to himself in the 3rd-person quite a bit, and has a wad of spinach in his teeth the size of Godzilla. She mentions it, and he further embarrasses himself by asking her to pay for her own meal, then expecting to have sex with her. When Shelley turns him down and leaves, he quickly eyes another woman and sets about trying to seduce her.

Shelley(played by my television-girlfriend, Katherine Heigl...oh, hubba!) decides to head back to school for a quick study session. See, she's a med student, and "studying" means heading into a lab to dissect a human cadaver. Before she can make her first incision in "Chad"'s abdomen, though, a noise gets her attention.

She leaves Chad to explore the hallway, and heads into a locker room. She gets the heck scared out of her by another student jumping out at her from around a corner. When he leaves, Shelley finds a Valentine's Day card taped to a locker. Even weirder, it's for her. The card reads, "The journey of love is an arduous trek, My love grows for you as you bleed from your neck." How sweet. There's even a pull-tab, to make an arm stab a figure in the neck.

Disturbed and confused, Shelley heads back to the operating room to finish carving up Chad. Now, I have to interject at this point, because even Mr. Magoo would've been able to tell that thee body was switched. Shelley doesn't notice, and she's the only one who jumps in alarm when the stomach moves at the briefest contact with her scalpel. She backs away against a closet, and Chad the Corpse falls out of it at her feet.

Seeing Chad on the floor suddenly brings her to the realization that, uh, there's a PERSON somewhere behind her threatening her safety. Shelley spins around, but the examination table is now empty. Oops. Shelley grabs her scalpel and starts to search the room, swinging the blade in a wide arc. She approaches the door, but now finds herself locked in. Another door, however, is wide open, so she heads toward it.

The killer expects that to happen, and tries to grab her from his hiding place behind a curtain. Shelley wriggles out of her assailant's grasp, and starts jogging down the corridor, in the direction of an elevator. The killer, dressed in a black overcoat and the Cupid mask from the school dance, emerges from the lab and follows Shelley.

She decides to give up on the elevator, and takes the stairs. Uh, did she forget that she's holding a scalpel? Cut the douchebag, so we can end the movie early and take a nap! I need a nap. Shelley gets chased into the morgue, where she finds herself facing numerous bodybags. Gee, which one will she hide in???

The killer enters a few moments later, and stops short when he sees all of the bodybags lined up in front of him. Cupid unzips the first 2, but gets frustrated when he sees corpses in them. He speeds up the process by plunging his knife into the next corpse, and the one after that. This makes Cupid's job much easier, and he quickly starts to make his way through the room by swiftly stabbing bodies.

He thinks he sees one of the bags shift slightly and creeps up on it. He unzips the body bag, yanks on the hair, and exposes Shelley's frightened face. She screams just before he draws his large blade across her throat, then he rezips the bag. As his nose bleeds through the mask's breathing holes, Shelley's blood trickles out of the bag through a tube that leads to a drain in the floor...

Paige(the lovely Denise Richards...if I ever fake-divorce Katherine Heigl, I'll make her my next fantasy wife!)) and Kate are out on the town, for a night of miserable, silly speed dating. I never understood the trend of speed dating...I mean, how does a 30-second chat help you to figure out who you'd be compatible with? If anything, I think it would make getting to know the person that much harder! Come to think of it, I'll bet speed dating was a concept thought up by screenwriters who needed a way to get their characters to meet each other faster in the scripts...

Wait, was I still watching Valentine? Shit! Okay, so Kate and Paige are going to try their luck at speed dating, but Kate's not sure she wants to. See, Kate's in a relationship with a guy named Adam(David Boreanaz), but they're "on a break" while he tries to get his alcoholism under control. Gee, I don't know: I think a little alcohol problem is a better alternative than resorting to SPEED DATING.

Let's meet some of our lucky dates! There's a guy who secretly wants to date his mother; the guy who assumes that his last girlfriend left him because she MUST be a secret lesbian; another guy who can't stop ranting about the greatness of the 49ers; a creepy Bible-thumper who could easily star in his own slasher flick; one nervous nerd who can't utter a syllable to Kate; and Brian, a bug-eyed guy that Paige steals from Kate before they get past the opening introductions. Yeah, speed dating looks like it has a high success rate...

After the trauma ends, Kate gets a call on her Hulk-sized cell phone from Dorothy. Through Dorothy, she and Paige hear about Shelley's murder. They all meet up at the graveside service, and Kate's boyfriend Adam tries to be her shoulder to cry on. They hug, and Kate gets excited when she spots a newspaper article that Adam wrote on the front page of the newspaper. Her joy is replaced by disappointment, though, when she sees a bottle of alcohol under the newspaper. Adam tells her it's a gift for another reporter, but the mood is broken. They almost make dinner plans, but she tells him that she'll call.

Dorothy, Paige and Lily catch up to Kate, and immediately press her for info about Adam. The interrogation is interrupted by Detective Vaughn, one of the cops investigating the murder. He asks them about her social life, before leaving his card with Paige. Oh, and he mentions that her date from the previous night, Jason Marquette, is also missing. Hmmm, I wonder how many other male characters in the film will have the same initials as Jeremy Melton? The girls all exchange mysterious glances.

Dorothy goes home and picks up that day's mail. Among the bills and junk mail she finds a red envelope. Her card reads, "Roses are red, Violets are blue, They need dental records to identify you!", and it's signed JM. The doorbell rings, and Dorothy comes face-to-face with Campbell, a shady charmer she's been seeing for only a few weeks. Campbell tells her that he needs a place to stay, because his roommate abandoned their apartment and everything they had was taken. Dorothy takes pity on him, and tells the family maid to set up a guest room.

After Campbell departs with the maid, we meet Kim, the flaky young Asian wife of Dorothy's dad. Dorothy makes a few cracks about Kim's age, Kim retorts with a catty comment about her sexual activity(or lack thereof), and Dorothy comes back with a remark about Kim being a high-class hooker. The mini-catfight is stopped by Dorothy's father, played by David Rasche(star of the underrated 1980's television series "Sledge Hammer"). This movie just got bumped up a notch, 2 notches if he, at any point, utters the phrase, "Trust me, I know what I'm doing!" before whipping out a handgun.

Alas, no more Sledge. Instead, we get a shower scene involving Katie. Whoa, was I complaining? She gets a weird feeling and gets out of the shower to search the apartment. When Kate finds nothing and gets back into the bathroom, the water won't go through the pipes. She calls the landlord, then decides to rinse out her shampoo in the toilet.

Wouldn't you know it, the phone rings again after she commits to this idea. Kate answers the phone expecting to speak to the landlord, but no one answers her. As she ponders the mystery call, Kate also notices that her front door is wide open. She steps out into the hall, and hears the elevator door opening and closing repeatedly. When she gets to that end of the hallway, Kate finds a Cupid mask on the ground, keeping the elevator from shutting. She picks up the mask and examines it.

A loud noise from behind Kate makes her jump. It's a scuzzy-looking guy named Gary, one of her neighbors. He keeps saying things to her that rhyme, which gets annoying REALLLLLLY FAST. Stuff like, "You look great, Kate," and "How about a date, Kate?" Her reply to all of the rhyming cracked me the Hell up: "You're scary, Gary."

Lily and Paige, meanwhile, are watching videotapes from a dating service. They have fun mocking a guy named Lance, when there's a knock at the door. Lily finds a box of candy and a rose, but there's no human presence to explain the presence of the, uh, presents.

Oh, and there's another creepy card..."'Tis a well-known fact that beauty is skin deep, Savor the are what you eat." Lily eats one of the chocolates, revealing that they're filled with maggots. Oh, and the card is signed "JM", in case there was any doubt in your mind...

After gagging a maggot or two, Lily and Paige try to figure out who the initials belong to. It's mind-boggling, how many "JM"'S they dated....John McCrite, Jeff Mallick, Jake Matheson...they pretty much dated a small country's population. After exhausting the population of the East Coast, Paige mentions Jeremy Melton. Lily doesn't remember him at first, but when she does, they both agree that he was just a creepy little dork.

Lily, Paige and Kate all meet up at an art gallery. They spot Jason there("Jason really likes you!"...remember him?), but he quickly disappears after giving Paige a dirty look. Lily introduces her friends to Max, the artist whose show they're attending, as well as her boyfriend. Paige mingles a bit, and meets Campbell, Dorothy's boy-toy. Oh, and we get to meet the sexy woman in charge of the exhibit, Amy.

Amy interrupts a makeout session in the art exhibit/maze, and Lily discovers that Max wanted a menage a trois. She breaks up with him on the spot, and quickly gets lost in the maze. Cupid starts toying with her, and then fires an arrow in her abdomen. She staggers backwards, and Cupid fires another arrow that lands next to the first one. The impact sends Lily crashing through a fire exit, where she sails over a banister into an open dumpster. Her corpse rattles the dumpster, and the lid slams down on her.

Campbell is found by Dorothy having an intense conversation with a woman named Ruthie. Ruthie is Campbell's last investor, and it turns out that he cons rich women out of money, then vanishes. Dorothy pulls Campbell away from her, but Ruthie threatens to pop up again.

Kate hooks up with Adam again, and she tells him about all the weird stuff that's been happening to her and her friends lately. He listens, but when Adam makes a move on her, Kate turns him down. He agrees, but only after a long pause.

Kate, Dorothy and Paige are questioned again by Detective Vaughn. He shows them more cards Jeremy sent, and they tell him about the threatening cards they all received. After promising to give him all of the cards and gifts Jeremy sent them, he lets them leave.

Outside, Dorothy tells Paige and Kate the truth about the Valentine's Day Dance. When they ask why she would lie about Jeremy attacking her, she confesses that she was embarrassed by her weight back then, and didn't want to b e shunned the way Jeremy was by their peers.

Later that night, Kate does an Internet search for Jeremy Melton, but it yields no results. A hand grabs her from behind, but it's only Adam. He reminds her of their dinner date, and she tells him all about Jeremy Melton. He suggests that they leave town until it blows over, but Kate laughs it off. He kisses her at her front door, and they part ways.

At Vaughn's office, he tells the girls everything he managed to find out about Jeremy. He recovered from his injuries that night, only to end up in reform school. That was followed by a stay in a juvenile hall, then a mental hospital. His parents died in a fire, and he disappeared. Vaughn then shows them some computer-enhanced pictures of what Jeremy might look like as an adult, but mentions that with plastic surgery and enough work ON his hair and body, he could look nothing like what they remembered.

Then Vaughn starts to go over their relationship histories, to see if Jeremy might already be among them. He spends most of the time asking Paige about her dating life. He also makes Dorothy realize that she knows almost nothing about Campbell, including his full name. She storms out. Kate reveals what she knows about Adam's background, but she realizes that none of it's ever been verified by anyone besides him. She leaves too.

Alone, Detective Vaughn tries to make a pass at Paige. He claims that she's seducing him with her sexuality, and she insults him then leaves.

Cupid shows up in Kate's apartment, and grabs her iron, which was left on. He sneaks into her bathroom, where Scary Gary is trying on Kate's underwear. Cupid smacks him in the head with the hot iron, then presses it against Gary's face. Cupid finishes him off with several swings of the iron.

Outside, Kate finds Adam waiting for him. He gives her a chocolate heart lollipop, and she gives him a "coupon" for some future TLC. They make a date for Dorothy's Valentine party, then part ways. In the apartment, Kate spies the iron, but it's unplugged and cleaned up. She hears a noise from the next room, but it's only Paige. Dorothy calls them, upset because Campbell was questioned by Vaughn. Then Vaughn calls, to let them know that he picked up Jason for questioning.

Dorothy finds Campbell fixing her hot tub, and gives him a Valentine gift, an expensive watch. They kiss, then try to make love, but Campbell can't get it up. When Dorothy leaves to take a shower, Campbell surprises her with a gold pendant. He then tells her that he'll be late for the party because of a business meeting.

In the next scene, Campbell is up to something. He gives someone on the phone Dorothy's father's name and personal information, and tries to steal his entire fortune. Dorothy calls him on the intercom after he closes the phone, and asks him to check the hot water in the basement.

Campbell goes to the basement to check the pilot light, and fails to spot Cupid coming in behind him. The minute he gets the furnace lit again, Cupid plants an axe in his back. I guess now we'll never find out if Campbell was his first or last name.

At the party, Kate finds Paige waiting for Brian, the speed dating guy, and Dorothy drowning her sorrows in the kitchen when Campbell doesn't show up. Adam walks in and whisks Kate away after a few tense words with Dorothy, who is a little tipsy. On the dance floor, Adam redeems his TLC coupon.

Dancing alone, Paige hooks up with Brian, who promises her a surprise gift upstairs. The surprise turns out to be his penis. When he asks her to "wax it", she ties him down on the bed, blindfolds him, then pours a large quantity of hot candlewax over his crotch. While he's writhing in agony, Paige leaves.

Downstairs, Ruthie crashes the party and demands to speak to Campbell. She also says that the necklace he gave Dorothy belongs to her. Paige and Kate escort Ruthie to the door, while partygoers watch with big, goofy grins plastered on their faces. Paige abandons Kate to go off on her own. Max then crashes the party, and tells Kate that Lily never arrived in L.A. As they walk away, Ruthie sneaks back into the mansion.

Ruthie finds Dorothy's room, and goes through her jewelry. After stealing a few items, she creeps into a deserted billiard room, where she finds Cupid dragging around the maid's corpse. Cupid finally notices Ruthie, and pulls out his knife. She runs away down a hall, and darts into a sauna. Cupid looks into the sauna, walks away...then looks again. When Cupid leaves the second time, Ruthie realizes that she's sharing her hiding place with a corpse(possibly Campbell, but it's hard to be sure, with the shadowy room, and the fact that it's a pretty quick glimpse) Ruthie covers her mouth to hold in the scream, then slowly creeps out of her hiding place.

She finds the hall empty, and tiptoes toward the open door leading back to the rest of the house. Cupid then leaps at her from behind, and throws her through a glass shower door. Bleeding and scratched, she narrowly avoids hitting several jagged shards of glass near her face, but Cupid grabs her again. He slams her neck into the shards, killing her with a swift, brutal jerk.

Back at the party, Dorothy and Kate discuss the fact that Lily never showed up in L.A. They decide to find Paige, to see if she's heard from Lily at all. Then they hear from Vaughn that Jason was released after questioning, due to a lack of evidence. He advises the girls to stay with groups of people until he gets there.

Kate finds Adam getting drunk as a skunk, and he chases her into a crowd of people dancing. Dorothy watches, but says nothing to him. Paige, meanwhile, has changed into a bikini and decided to use the hot tub. If this were in 3D, I think the sight of Denise Richards in a black bikini might damn near kill me.

Anyway, she slides into the water, gets all wet, then drinks some wine. Cupid watches her through a VERY steamed-up window in the door, then enters the room. Denise turns around, but he slips away unseen...however, she finds a rose next to her wineglass.

She gets out of the tub, and starts calling out for him to stop hiding. As Paige looks for him among the various plants in the room, Cupid creeps behind her. He grabs her by the throat when she turns back, lifts her in the air, then throws her back into the hot tub. Strong guy!

She tries to stand up, but Cupid has sealed her in with the glass cover. She bangs on the glass in a futile effort, then Cupid brings out a drill and starts trying to drill her through the glass. I kinda have the same idea, but the drill is more of a metaphor for...uh, never mind. I'll pour it into a fanfic later.

Cupid circles the hot tub, and stabs her in the shoulder with the drill. As Paige's blood starts to fill the hot tub, Cupid finally lifts off the glass cover, then finishes her off by throwing the drill into the water with her. As Paige dies by electrocution, the power throughout the house goes out.

Kate and Dorothy watch as the nice, safe crowd leaves the party en masse. They theorize that Paige is in the hot tub(lucky guess!), and that Adam is probably in the wine cellar. Dorothy suggests that Adam could very well be Jeremy Melton, and Kate responds that Campbell could as well. They have a mini-catfight right there, and Dorothy stomps away, ignoring Kate's attempt to patch things up between them.

Kate gets on her phone to call Vaughn, then hears it ringing nearby. She walks around outside to track down the sound, and finds the detective's phone in a pond near the house. Adam's IOU note also floats past her in the water, but when she reaches for it, the detective;s severed head pops up, and Kate runs away, screaming.

She gets back to the house, which is now eerily quiet, and fails to see Adam on the stairs, moving in her direction as quietly as possible. As Kate gets to the middle of the room, Adam calls out to her. He just about admits to being Jeremy, making cryptic comments like, "It's me" , and telling her that "Dorothy's a big girl," when she brings up looking for her friend. He even asks her to dance with him, and she does.

While they dance, Adam tells Kate that she is the most important person in his world, and that no one else matters to him in the least. Kate answers him with an injury to the crotch, then she takes off at a brisk sprint.

At the top of the stairs, Kate ducks into a room to look for Dorothy and Paige, but Adam interrupts her search. Adam tries to soothe her, but Kate runs away agin, and stumbles upon Paige's body in the sauna. She whacks Adam over the head with a wine bottle, then finds Ruthie's bloody corpse in the bathroom.

Kate gets to the study, tries to call the police,then grabs a pistol from the extensive collection of guns found in the room. She starts up the stairs again, holding the gun out in front of her body with both hands.Then Cupid lurches at her from the side, and they both go flying down the stairs. Kate sits up next to Cupid, who sits up 2 seconds later. Adam tears away the mask, revealing Dorothy underneath.

Kate embraces Adam, who calls the police. Adam tells her that the motive for murder was that Dorothy was lonely and angry, and learned to hide it. He continues to hold her, and Kate doesn't realize that his nose has started to bleed onto her. As an ear-piercing scream is heard, the credits roll. THE END

Boy, this one left me with a lot of mixed feelings. One the one hand, the actors are good for once, and the body count is impressive. But the ridiculous ending and the fact that they cribbed much of the film from My Bloody Valentine(the original one, obviously...) was a bit disappointing. Also, what was up with that Jason guy turning up at the art show? And why was he glaring at Paige? I'd almost imagine that much of the movie wound up on the cutting room floor. Still, it was a fun one, so I'll give it a solid 4 killer trees out of 5. Heck, based on the production values, I'd even watch a sequel!

So what did this Valentine give me(aside from a broken heart)?
-I need a Katherine Heigl in my life. Lordy, she is attractive!
-Women tend to date groups of guys with the same initials...anyone out there seeking a new MW in their life? Call me...
-If your lover gets nosebleeds, he probably wants to kill you and all of your friends.

Coming up next week, I'll be watching something called Splatter University. Sounds like a family-friendly Victorian romance, eh? Maybe I'll strike gold, and it'll be a comedic jackpot. See you next week! And remember: "Jason likes your dress!"

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday

Well, here we are again, in Jason-Land, with Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday...and by "final", they mean "we still made 3 more sequels after this, so, not so much". This one continues the trend started in the 7th film, of having Jason in a film that tries to change up his formula with a silly this case, body-hopping. It's like Freaky Friday the 13th!! Get ready for SPOILERS, as always!

Our story begins with an attractive women driving out to a rustic cabin at Crystal Lake. In record time, she manages to blow out a light fixture, and decides to prowl around in the dark to fix it. She follows this up by heading to the can, where she keeps turning away from the bathroom mirror, teasing us with the potential for a cheap scare that doesn't materialize. Clearly, the writers know the cliches and want to have some fun with us. Goody for us.

Luckily, we get to have some fun as well. She decides to take a bath, and we get to see what kind of body money bought in 1993. Stripperella barely has time to get wet, though: the power goes out. If I took a drink every time a slasher-flick cliche came up, I'd be in a coma by now!

Our damsel goes exploring, and Jason pops up out of the shadows and flings her over a banister. She gets up and runs outside to the woods, with Jason close behind. When she thinks that she outran him and stops to look around, Jason again appears behind her with his machete raised high for the killing blow.

Oops! Jason was outsmarted...numerous searchlights surround him, and dozens of Feds fire on him. Heck, they even fire explosives at the guy, blowing him to bits! THE END

Oh. Nope, the movie didn't end yet, sorry. As the law enforcement guys all celebrate dismembering the killer, a mysterious figure watches from a distance in disbelief. This is Creighton Duke; more about him later. The Feds gather up the body parts(which include a still-beating heart), and transport Jason to a morgue in Ohio. Why Ohio? Don't know. Don't care.

The medical examiner does a pretty funny exam while the opening credits roll. He places all of the different charred remains on his table, and makes several wisecracks about Jason's condition. My personal favorite is, "In my professional opinion, this guy's deader than shit!" Pretty funny stuff, for a Friday the 13th film.

When he gets to Jason's heart, he finds it full of a black liquid. It starts beating again, and he gets mesmerized, to the point of picking up the heart and taking a big bite out of it! Yum. The medical examiner then begins to vomit blood, and a series of red orbs circle him and pass through his body.

Right outside the lab, a lab assistant is chatting with the guys guarding the room. He brings a pizza into the lab, oblivious to the change in his boss's demeanor. The assistant starts to make fun of Jason's remains, and Jason, now in "Phil"(the medical examiner) kills him with a sharp metal probe. As Phil walks toward the exit, we can see in the reflective surface of a steel cabinet that it's definitely Jason in Phil's body, guiding him like a puppet.

In the corridor, Jason/Phil starts to walk by the two armed guards...until one of them makes a crack about how easy it was to kill Jason. In a television news magazine, we see the two guards dead on the floor. Hilariously, the host of the show claims that the 2 guards shown are from photos, even though we can clearly see that it's a video being shown. Geniuses wrote and filmed this script, I can tell.

The host of the show, Robert Campbell, sees the Jason legend as his ticket to fame. His show, "American Case File", is like a cross between "Inside Edition" and "America's Most Wanted". According to Campbell's report, Jason was born in 1946 to Pam and Elias Voorhees(nice bit of continuity there, referencing the dad's name from the sixth chapter of the series), and he was 11 when he supposedly drowned.

Campbell interviews Creighton Duke, and the conversation is delightfully batshit. Duke's theory about Jason is that the real Jason is long dead, and his soul is just jumping from body to body on an endless killing spree. Campbell reveals that 5 more murders were committed by Jason after he escaped the lab, and he publicly offers Creighton Duke half a million dollars to hunt Jason and provide proof of his existence, for all the world to see.

The television gets switched off by the still-lovely '80's hottie, Erin Gray. She plays Diana, a waitress at Crystal Lake's local greasy spoon. Diana has an unsettling conversation with Creighton Duke, because he believes that she and her daughter can help him find the killer. As his theories start to frighten her, the sheriff steps in to arrest Duke. Sharp-eyed viewers might have also spotted that the patch on the sheriff's uniform proclaims him to be the sheriff of "Cunningham County", a nice nod to franchise creator Sean Cunningham. Gotta love Easter Eggs!

Anyway, after Deputy Randy takes Duke away, Diana reveals to her daughter's ex, Steven, that there is a deep, dark secret that she needs to tell him. He agrees to meet her that evening, and hear her secret. Ooooooh, I wonder what it could be? Oh, and Steven is played by John D. Lemay, who co-starred in the tv series spin-off of this franchise. Cool! Is Robey in this as well? And is she still hot??

On his way to the house, Steven meets a trio of young campers that need a ride to Camp Crystal Lake. He unsettles them with a quick crack about all the activities that'll get them killed, but they all laugh it off. Before Steven leaves them at the camp, one of the girls(a cute redhead) tries to get him to join them, but he drives away, even after she gives him a quick peck on the cheek. Oh boy, I would have made a VERY different movie with her...after spending quality time with the Fed from the opening scene, of course.

Anyway, after Stevie-boy drives away, the young trio start hiking to the area where the camp used to be, and set up their tent. Faster than you can say "brutal slaughter", they shed their clothes and go skinny-dipping. The redhead warms up at the campfire afterwards, and the couple decide to have a romp in the tent.

The redhead gets up during the night to pee. Jason/Phil attacks her with a scalpel, and slashes her several times until she falls. Inside the tent, the couple debate using a condom, and the girl passes by her friend's corpse without ever seeing it when she leaves the tent to grab a condom.

Back in the tent, "Debby" and her boyfriend resume the sexcapades, and Jason decides to make his move. He impales Deb, then splits her apart when he drives his weapon up through her body. It's pretty brutal in the unrated version. The boyfriend presumably dies as well, but we just see the possessed M.E. marching away into the night.

Back at the cafe in Crystal Lake, Diana closes up for the night, and gives some leftover scraps to a stray cat in the alley behind the diner. One of the deputies scares the bejesus out of her while offering to escort her safely home. She declines. His girlfriend drives up, but before they can leave, Phil attacks!

He drags the deputy to a house, strips him naked, ties him down to a table, then shaves the frightened naked man. Why? Beats me. When the deputy starts swearing at him, Phil leans over his face, and the scene fades to black. Pretty bizarre. Did someone at Netflix replace my slasher flick with gay porn?

Diana gets a call from her daughter just as she arrives home. The daughter tells her that she has a new boyfriend, and it just so happens to be Robert Campbell, the television crime show host we saw earlier interviewing Duke. Diana tells her daughter about Steve coming back to town, and we discover that her daughter and Steve had a baby together. The possessed cop, Josh, attacks Diana from behind and makes her drop the phone. She panics and grabs a pistol from a nearby drawer, shooting the possessed officer in the head.

While Josh is on the floor, Diana creeps past his body to escape. He isn't dead, of course, and he manages to grab her and make her fall to the floor. He forces her mouth open, and tries to make her ingest a large sluglike creature that exits his own mouth. At that exact moment, Steven arrives. He and Josh scuffle, and when Steven manages to knock the possessed man down, he tries to help Diana escape. Sadly, she gets between Josh and Steve, and takes the impact of a knife that is flung across the room.

As Diana dies, Deputy Josh grabs Steve in an attempt to finish him off. He catches a glimpse of himself in a mirror, and stops cold when he sees Jason reflected back at him. That momentary hesitation allows Steven to stab him from behind, then push him out of a window. Steven rushes to check on Diana, who begs him to keep her daughter Jessica safe right before she dies.

The sheriff rushes in, and immediately assumes that Steven murdered Diana. When Steven insists that it was Josh who committed the murder, he discovers that the body of the deputy is no longer on the front lawn. Stevie Blunder is cuffed and arrested on the spot.

At the police station, Steven's old friend Randy, who is also a deputy, promises to help Steven clear his name. He takes Steven to a holding cell, right next to Creighton Duke's cell. Duke tells Steven that he knows everything about Jason, and will pass that information along... for a price.

The "price" turns out to be 2 broken fingers. Creighton Duke tells Steven that Diana was Jason's sister, which makes her daughter, Jessica, Jason's niece. Duke also tells him that only a blood relative can kill Jason permanently, by destroying his heart. He then encourages Steven to look for evidence of Jason's family tree at the Voorhees house, to convince Jessica that she and the baby, Stephanie, are unsafe.

Oh, and Jessica herself arrives home just in time to see her mother's blood being scrubbed off the floor. It's a nice way to say, "Welcome home!" Jessica reunites with her old friend Vicky, who offers to babysit while she takes care of her mother's funeral arrangements. Boy, there sure are a lot of potential victims to keep track of! Does this movie come with a scorecard?

Steven calls out for help, and Randy rushes to the rescue. He sees the broken fingers Creighton Duke left Steven with, and tries to help, but Steven steals his keys and gun. The staff at the restaurant hear about his escape, just after Vicky shows up with Stephanie. Joey B., who runs the cafe, lets Vicky keep the baby in the storeroom, but makes a big deal out of it. *YAWWWWN* Oh, and Steven just happens to be hiding in that very storeroom. Joey's son, Ward, finds him, but gives him the keys to his car.

Steven makes a beeline for the old Voorhees house, which is in ruins. While searching for a way to stop Jason, Steven finds the Necronomicon from the Evil Deadfranchise. Weird. He hears someone outside and hides in a closet, but the floor collapses, trapping him.

The intruder is Robert Campbell. He reveals that he stole Diana's body from the morgue as a ratings stunt. While he laughs about it on his phone, Josh leaps out of nowhere and attacks the sleazy reporter. The demon-slug gets transferred into Campbell, then Deputy Josh melts into a pile of bloody goo. Jason, now in the body of the reporter, gets up to resume his killing spree.

In the next scene, Jessica takes a shower. Yay! The power goes out, and she decides to walk around in the dark house half-naked. Double Yay! She makes her way to the garage, grabs a hammer as a weapon, then gets in the car. Robert/Jason sneaks up to the car and grabs her when she gets out again. Before he can pass the demon-slug into her, Steven shows up and rescues Jessica. As they drive away, Steven hits Robert/Jason with Ward's car.

A short distance down the road, Steven pulls the car over to try to explain what's happening to Jessica. She pretends to listen, then forces him out of the car. Jessica speeds away, leaving Steven stranded. Boy, I hope that this version of Jason isn't the teleporting kind. Steven, sprawled out on the road, passes out.

Jessica gets to the sheriff, and tells him that Steven killed Robert. When the cops need a better description of where she left him, Jessica tells them that Steven is near "the Myers place". Holy Shnikes!! MICHAEL MYERS is involved now??? This monstrosity might stop sucking for a scene or two! Deputy Randy swings by to pick up Steven. The 2 men brawl, then pull guns on each other. When Steven hears that Jessica is safe at the police station, he decides to let Randy arrest him after all.

Meanwhile, Jason/Robert shows up at the police station. He kills his way past the front desk, but never once utters the phrase, "I'll be back." Damn. Why do I always have to be the one to come up with brilliant ideas? Anyway, while the sheriff is on the phone in his office, we see Jason/Robert killing all of his cops in the background(it sounds impressive, until you realize that "all of his cops" consist of 1 female extra). By the time Sheriff Oblivious DOES notice what's happening, Robert is in the process of making Jessica swallow Jason. Maybe it's just me, but that last sentence sounds dirty.

The sheriff tries to pull Robert/Jason off of Jessica, but he gets a facepalm for his effort. The killer then pursues Jessica down a corridor, which turns out to be the same hallway Randy and Steven are walking down. Small world. Steven jumps over the handcuffs, aims a pistol, then shoots Robert/Jason right in the forehead.

A trio of cops check on Robert/Jason, and 2 of them get killed. The 3rd guy is knocked out cold by Creighton Duke, who then grabs the cop's keys and frees himself. Creighton straightens out his cowboy hat and grins, while Jason/Robert leaves the station.

At the diner, Joey pulls a pistol on Steven and Jessica. As she tries to make a citizen's arrest, Joey asks Ward to check out what's happening at the police station. The minute he leaves, there's a struggle in the diner, and a stray bullet knocks out the lights. Jessica knocks out Joey, and Jason/Robert kills Ward outside at the same time.

The zombie enters the cafe, kills a patron, and is shot several times. He dunks Joey B.'s husband face-first into some boiling-hot cooking oil, and hits Joey so hard that she swallows her dentures. He then tries to strangle Jessica, but Vicky springs up, armed with a shotgun. After she fires at him several times, the killer impales Vicky.

Jessica finds a note, but no baby. She takes off in Ward's car, and Steven reads the note she dropped: Creighton Duke took baby Stephanie to the old Voorhees house, and told her to arrive alone. At the house, Jessica and Creighton have a tense standoff. She gets her baby back, and Creighton tells her about the idea that only a relative can kill Jason permanently. To prove his point, he makes her pick up the dagger, and it glows in her hand.

Duke falls through the floor, just as the sheriff staggers in. Creighton tries to convince her that it's really Jason, but she hesitates. Then Randy walks in, and things get REALLY confusing for poor Jess! The sheriff is killed, but the possessed man turns out to be Randy after all. Steven waits for his former friend to put the baby down, then kills him.

The slug-demon crawls out of Randy, and chaos ensues. The knife has rolled away, the slug attacks Steven, and he throws it off of him. As Jessica and Steven try to pull Creighton Duke up out of the basement, the demon-slug sees Diana's corpse as a potential new body. Oh, and in a hilariously random bit, her corpse is next to The Crate from Creepshow. this movie has more cameos from horror movie creatures than "The Love Boat" had appearances by Charo! The demon enters her body through her, ahem, Velvet Underground.

The dagger is in a pile of gore, and no one wants to retrieve it. At that point, Steven's the one who realizes that Jason has found his new permanent body, and that's when Jason flies up from the basement in all of his masked, decomposing glory. FINALLY!! After an hour and 20 minutes, we finally get Jason in the film. Sheesh.

As Jason goes after Jessica and the baby, Creighton orders Steven to grab the dagger. Jason kills Creighton Duke with a bear hug, after Creighton delivers some mumbo-jumbo about having fought him before. Jason then throws Steven around a bit, and proceeds to smack him around with a rake that Steven had tried to stab him with before.

Jason grabs Steven by the head and throws him into a jungle gym, just as Jessica arrives. She leaps onto the killer, stabs him with the dagger, and watches him flail around while sparkly lights exit his body. Death by Tinkerbell.

The dagger isn't quite in far enough, so Jessica delivers a quick kick to the chest. The ground opens up, as Jason is dragged into Hell by giant, rubbery hands. He tries to take Steven with him, but to no avail. Hell swallows up Jason, and the 2 lovebirds walk off into the sunset. As the iconic hockey mask resurfaces in the dirt, a certain knife-fingered glove rises out of the dirt and snatches it, followed by a chuckle. THE END

Ay yi yi...Where do I begin? First off, I'm glad that I watched the unrated version, as the gory effects were a definite plus. But still...Jason has a supporting role in his own movie? Demonic worms take over human hosts in a blatant Invasion of the Body Snatchers ripoff? Jason TALKS??? (Well, okay, a human possessed by the worm talked, but still....) 1 lousy killer tree out of 5, for the nudity and gore.

And what have I learned after watching Jason Goes To Hell?
-Hell is filled with slugs. Slugs that look suspiciously like puppets.
-FBI agents look like pornstars.
-Jason has a homoerotic shaving fetish. Wow.

Next up is Valentine, the slasher flick starring Denise Richards and David Boreanaz. Watch it with someone you love....or, you know, just watch it when I do. Either way. TTFN!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Suggestion Box

After I posted Season of the Hunted, it occurred to me that, eventually, I might run out of ideas for slasher flicks to write about. In that spirit, I'm making this post a "suggestion box", of sorts...if anyone who reads this wants to have me watch a particular slasher flick, here's the place to mention it. As titles are mentioned, I'll add 'em to my Netflix queue. Sound good?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Season of the Hunted

This week's movie is an odd blend of cliches and originality, all mixed together. It's called Season of the Hunted, and it's the story of a group of buddies who go on a hunting trip together, only to be hunted themselves. Read on, but as always, be prepared to have everything SPOILED as I watch this thing.

The first scene looks like something you'd see on Skinemax after 11 p.m. It's a couple making love, while a guy is being chased down. After the couple finish up, the husband, Steve, goes to visit his old buddy Frank. Frank's played by Muse Watson, best known as The Fisherman in the I Know What You Did movies. They fought together in the military, presumably Vietnam, and decide to get together with more of Steve's friends for a hunting vacation.

The group consists of Steve, who's a firefighter and about to be a first-time dad; Frank, a mechanic who has troubling memories of the war; Al who looks like one of the Sopranos; Charlie, the loudmouthed clown of the group; and Lenny, who looks like a Vegas act waiting to happen. They have a disagreement early on over what weapon is best to hunt with, between a bow or a gun. Honestly, I'm surprised that Frank doesn't mention a hook, given his prior roles. They try flirting with a smoking-hot waitress then resume their journey. Hey, can we make a movie about hot waitresses instead? No? Damn!

The group of buddies meet up with Mitch, the owner of the hunting lodge they booked the trip through. See, Steve found the lodge online, and thought it sounded like fun. Oh, and Mitch looks like what Yosemite Sam might resemble if he became a flesh and blood person. I'll bet he says things like "Consarnit!" and "Tar-nation!" a lot.

He guides their vehicle to his hunting lodge, where they meet a group of local hillbillies who are going to guide them through the woods. The other country bumpkins are Jed, Roy, Earl, Wilbur and Ben, who is a gigantic mute. We also get the promise that we'll meet "Jimbo" later. Can't hardly wait! Yee-haw! Oh, and Bobbi-Jo, a woman who catches Frank's eye.

In record time, they all get annoyed with each other, then get drunk while playing poker. The hillbillies bring out their homemade whiskey, and soon everyone gets good and drunk. Frank leaves the game last, and decides to explore, but Mitch stops him. Before Frank can stagger off to bed, Bobbi-Jo makes him an offer too good to pass up(for him...I'm still slobbering over the waitress!). Hope he wore his raincoat...and his large hook!

The next morning, the hillbillies suggest breaking into several groups, to cover more ground(Yeah, RIGHT!). Each of our guys is put into a group with at least 2 hillbillies. Frank doesn't say anything in front of the rest of the hunters,but he finds the idea of separating to be highly suspicious. Smart man, that Frank...How the heck did Jennifer Love Hewitt keep getting away from this guy?

Charlie is the first one who discovers the true motives of the hillbillies. They take his gun away and give him a ten-count to run away. Before they finish counting, they even release a dog to track him. At the same time, Lenny is shot through the chest by Mitch, and Al witnesses it. He nearly gets hit by another arrow, and takes off into the trees.

Frank and Steve hear Al's gun go off, and Frank gets suspicious. He gets the hillbillies to leave him alone with Steve, and tells his friend that he thinks the lodge members are up to something. He proves it by setting up a tree to look like him, complete with his jacket, cap, and a lit cigarette. As he and Steve watch from a nearby hiding place, an arrow flies at the decoy.

Al gets hit in the leg, and has to stop before too long. He tears the arrow out of his leg, screaming bloody murder, and makes a tourniquet to try to staunch the bleeding. Mitch and Jimbo hear him moaning, and fire another arrow through his hand, pinning him down.

After seeing Frank's paranoia confirmed by the arrow in the decoy tree, Steve agrees to cover Frank while he retrieves his jacket. Frank's plan is to wait until the hillbillies show up, then pick them off. Even after seeing the arrow in the tree, Steve still isn't entirely sure that Frank is right about the hillbillies, but he agrees to keep watch.

Mitch and Jimbo tie Al to a tree, and Mitch tastes his blood. While he screams and threatens them, they strip him of his shirt, then gut him. At the same time, Frank manages to pick off one of the hunters, and another one captures Charlie. Frank hits another of the killers, but the hick dies before Frank can interrogate him. He and Steve agree that they need to rely on their military training to rescue the others.

Charlie is the next to go. He also gets tied to a tree, and his killers whip out a chainsaw. Grinning, Ben the Mute chops down both the tree and Charlie. Ouch. Frank and Steve spot the pair, and manage to kill Ben with an arrow through the head, Steve Martin-style. Too bad. He had all the best lines in the script. The other hillbilly gets hit in the upper chest, but lives. He tells Frank and Steve nothing useful, even after Frank tortures him for a bit. Frank should've just made him watch I'll Always Know What You Did Last Summer, it's enough torture to last a lifetime.

While Steve continues to cry and wail, Frank convinces him that he needs to survive, for his wife and unborn child. When Steve suggests that they should leave the others behind, Frank reveals that he can't, because of his experiences during the war. Inexplicably, this scene ends with Steve's wife on the phone with her mother. Great script decision. Suspense always goes well with a large dash of the mundane.

While hiking, they find a cabin in the woods. It's a slaughterhouse. Literally. Inside, Bobbi-Jo is carving up one of their friends to cook, but Frank bursts in. He wounds her, and asks her why the killers are doing this. She tells him that they trap hunters up in the woods all the time, for the express purpose of eating them. When Frank asks her why she gave him the blow job, she laughs and says that she likes to taste her meat before it's cooked. Disgusted, Frank cuts her throat.

Frank and Steve find Mitch disemboweled, and Steve vomits and cries. Frank slaps him, and they keep moving. A safe distance away, Frank tells Steve to remain hiding while he scouts the area for the remaining killers. Hilariously, the boom mike is visible right above them. Classic.

As soon as Frank leaves, Mitch captures Steve. The cannibal tries to get Steve to talk, but he refuses. When Mitch fires an arrow into Steve's leg, Frank fires his own arrow into Mitch's side, dropping him like a sack of potatoes. Frank cuts Steve loose, then spots another hillbilly and chases him. He hits the guy in the leg, and the hillbilly pulls the arrow out after a brief struggle with it.

He ambushes Frank, and the two men brawl. Meanwhile, Mitch isn't dead. He gets up, and watches Steve convulse on the ground. He doesn't kill Steve, but he does grab a heavy branch. Frank kills his prey with an arrow through the ear, then rescues Steve. He pulls the arrow out of his friend, then dresses the wound before they resume their journey.

That night, they flag down a passing car. Frank makes up a story to explain Steve's injury, and the motorist drives them to his house. Steve lies down in a bedroom filled with animal skins and weapons decorating the walls, while Frank goes with the Good Samaritan to call the authorities. Gee, I wonder if the creepy motorist/hunter is one of the bad guys?

Steve falls asleep, and has a nightmare. In it, Frank dies. He wakes up, covered in sweat and clutching his blankets. Wus.

The homeowner and Frank face off in the kitchen, and the creepy guy pulls a shotgun on Frank. The man delivers a cliche-filled speech about why he and his buddies hunt humans, and Steve uses the distraction to slip out of bed. He gets the drop on the guy, stabs him in the neck, then calls him a bitch. After also shooting another cannibal and trapping Mitch in a bear trap, Frank and Steve take the car and leave. As they drive away, Steve's wife calls, and then he and Frank joke about not booking any more online trips. THE END...oh, except for a dedication to 9/11. I'm not sure that it's entirely appropriate to dedicate a film about cannibalistic hunters to a national tragedy, but maybe that's just me, I dunno. Your mileage may vary.

Strange movie, man. It was kind of refreshing, in a way, to see a slasher film use an older cast, but the whole "hillbilly cannibal" thing really needs to be retired for about a decade or so. Also, it was disappointing that the movie featured no leading roles for the women, at least one of whom was a real head-turner. 3 out of 5 killer trees for this one...wasn't terrible, but it wasn't particularly noteworthy, either.

From Season of the Hunted, I learned:

-Killer Fishermen need vacations, too.
-Cannibalism is a great way to unite a community.
-In every hick town, there's always a mute who's about 6 feet tall and 4 feet wide. And mute.

Next week, we return to Jason territory with the 9th entry, Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday. Don't believe that subtitle for a second! There were about 700 more that followed it. Happy Hunting!