the Chumpchange Friday the 13th review, or “Why do the heroes never take off the big bad’s head when he appears dead?”
The Friday the 13th movie has never really gotten a ton of respect, even amongst those of us that love the horror genre. If “Halloween” is our “Citizen Kane” and the Texas Chainsaw Massacre is our ‘Godfather”, then the Friday the 13th franchise best stacks up with the “Earnest Goes To…” flicks in terms of the prestige scale. There’s a slew of reasons to kick these movies around. I won’t insult your intelligence by listing all of them here, because if you’ve taken the time to click on a review of the Friday the 13th movie, I’ll assume you know what you’re getting yourself into.
Ok, onequick dig: Jason X. Jason goes into space. That’s just…ridiculous. sad and ridiculous.
That said, there some things the Friday movies did great. The creepy ka-ka-ka-ki-ki-ki motiff that served as a prelude to some bad mojo, Tom Savini’s special effect works that created some fantastic “oh snap” kills and singlehandedly allowed the Karo syrup industry to make quota during the eighties, and of course, the Hockey Mask.
So while the Friday movies aren’t much more than dumb, splatter cinema, I admit I geeked out as the date for the reboot got a little closer, and was stoked to grab a free pass for Monday’s sneak preview.
Unlike the Halloween/TCM reboots/remakes/retreads of the past few years, there’s a lot to like about the new Friday the 13th. The blessing of lowered expectations? Perhaps. The set up for the movie is simple. The first two minutes of the new flick tell the whole story of the original: Jason’s mom goes Rambo on a group of camp counselors after her son Jason drowns. The tables are turned on her by the last camper standing via a machete to the neck. Jason, seeing his mother decapitated, picks up where his mom left off, mowing down anyone who ventures near the campsite. Twenty some-odd years later a group of five friends venture to Crystal Lake to score a massive amount of weed. since the dot-com bubble is long over, and we’re balls deep in a recession, you’ve got to hand it to these fine young entrepreneurs. Of course, Mr. Vorhees doesn’t take too kindly too the trespassing, and sends them a gentle message to bugger off via his trusty sidekick, Mr. Machete.
If nothing else, pause for a moment to savor the deliciousness of Jason Vorhees as a weed farmer just trying to protect his stash.
These first twenty minutes are perfect. Jason’s less of a mindless, lumbering zombie and more of a backwoods survivalist. In the past, I’ve never understood how this dude actually kills anyone once they spot him. he moves like a snail full of turkey dinner, yet kids that would give Carl Lewis a run for his money can’t seem to get away from him. They’ll run for miles and miles, while Jason essentially shuffled along and then, BLAMO, machete to the gonads. End scene.
The rebooted Jason is stronger, smarter and faster. Lightning fast. It’s like Mickey decided to stop training Rocky and taught Jason how to eat lightening and crap thunder. Also, the new and improved Jason is more of a back woods survivalist. He sets traps for his victims. He has his place wired to clue hm in if there’s someone creeping about. He is one hell of a creepy, destructive, all powerful presence in this flick. He’s all the things you thoughtJason was when you remembered back on the original film from the eighties, which, in retrospect, were more funny than scary. Adding to the creep factor is the implication that the towns people know they have a berserk killer living in their backyard, but just want to leave well enough alone.