Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI (1986).

Ahh, another horror puzzle piece slips into place. The music from this movie (the intro/title mainly) is the intro music to just about every Rue Morgue radio show! I recognised it instantly. Suddenly something in my horrorverse makes a little more sense, I love it when that happens.


Friday the 13th Part VI sees the re-birthing of Jason as Zombie Jason, hooray. This is undoubtedly why this film is the first of the franchise I have actually liked in a good while (yes, I have watched every one so far). That, the fact that I am obsessed with the number six, the Rue Morgue connection warming me up nicely AND the "self aware" moments early on...

"I've seen enough horror movies to know any weirdo wearing a mask is never friendly."
[cut to Jason standing in front of her, threatening music on the soundtrack]
There is also a moment where a character remarks on "some folks having a strange idea of what constitutes entertainment", while looking right into the camera.
It may sound hokey, but it just plays out as cute - and bear in mind that this was pre "I'LL BE RIGHT BAAAAACK...!!!". Anyway, those are the two most obvious instances in this movie, they happen in pretty quick succession and it isn't at all NUDGE NUDGE. I liked it.

So the plot with this one is that Jason is resurrected by lightning, of course.





Cool! He then continues his normal routine of a rampage in "Forest Green" - a renamed Crystal Lake. The name change was brought about due to the residents wanting to put the blood splattered history of the area way behind them. Alas, it don't mean shit to Jason, he's had a nice long rest in the ground and has awoken all refreshed, ready to gut some motorists/greasers/paintballers/horny teens/night-time picnickers/camp counsellors/children (sadly, this last one is only ever threatened).






What is refreshing about this installment is that people are introduced purely to get killed off a few frames later. We don't even learn the names of some of them. They are plonked in front of us, giving a basic situation to exist within, and then hello Jason - goodbye innards. It's fast, it's fun, it gives the second largest body count in any Friday the 13th movie of 18 corpses, corr (topped later by Jason X with an impressive 28 kills, according to the IMDb).

You know what you are getting here, c'mon. But this one has a lot more hits than misses. Alice Cooper on the soundtrack, hello?! Why did it take me so long to mention that?






Oh yeah, stand out moments in cap form: The James Bond-esque opening titles.


??? I don't really understand it, but I love it!

The gratuitous but clothed crotch-shots of the frisky sheriff's daughter, Megan (Jennifer Cooke) as she helps 'is he crazy/is he not?' Tommy Jarvis (Thom Mathews), now on his third consecutive film and actor.


This shot all on its own:



I like wondering what he is thinking here. Why look at the arm rather than just cast it away (apart from getting a laugh out of us I mean)? Is he confused, irritated, proud? What's going on in that little head of yours Jason?!

Also we have the practically subliminal peek of a blood-drenched cabin after Jason has paid a visit, shown here in its full glory.


Beautiful. Makes me think of the post murder and rape scene in From Dusk Till Dawn and the flashes of horrific images in The Shining. Which is alllll goood, in my book. I love OTT horror but glimpses of it can be just as satisfying.

And finally the footage of Jason underwater in the lake, chained to a rock. Perfectly lit, eh?



"The only way to kill Jason is to send him back to his original resting place where he drowned in 1957."
This idea of Tommy's isn't true of course, but it makes for a visually arresting climax.

I've a few gripes; I mean, there's some slapstick which it could have done without. There's the quote from the two surprisingly accepting of their fate little boys at the camp...

"So, what were you gonna be when you grew up?"

Hmm, that was a bit much. However that is really all I have on my "con" list. Excuse me, I need to watch the He's Back (The Man Behind The Mask) video again...

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