Yeah right like this really the finale, but Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984) acts like one. In it, Jason meets his greatest foe, Corey Feldman. Oh and Greg's back stating, "Of course he's his greatest foe! He hunts vampires!" Plus one additional surprise.
Credits & Solicit Info:
Written by:Barney Cohen (screenplay) and Bruce Hidemi (story)
Directed by: Joseph Zito
Kimberly Beck as Trish Jarvis
Corey Feldman as Tommy Jarvis
Erich Anderson as Rob Dier
Ted White as Jason Voorhees
Peter Barton as Doug
Crispin Glover as Jimmy
Alan Hayes as Paul
Barbara Howard as Sara
Lawrence Monoson as Ted
Joan Freeman as Mrs. Jarvis
Judie Aronson as Samantha
Camilla More as Tina
Carey More as Terri
Lisa Freeman as Nurse Morgan
Bonnie Hellman as Hitchhiker
Bruce Mahler as Axel
So for a little added spice for this particular entry given it's so special. I asked another horror fan the one and only eltopo to make a video reviewing this film also. Here's Eltopo on what he thought of the film (again major thanks for him in doing this):
And with that.. what Zechs and Greg thought of the film:
Zechs: So it's taken four weeks to get to Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984), but it's finally worth it to tear into this film. Considered by many horror fans to be the best amongst the Friday series, the movie has a lot going for it. First off, not only do we get Tom Savani back handling the make-up and special effects in this one, but they've handed the direction over to Joseph Zito, who previously helmed the very hugely popular slasher flick, The Prowler (1981). Add in some actual actors and there's a great recipe to be had here for this film.
Greg: I dunno, dude. I think it was more like the recipe to suck.
Greg: What? Okay I will give you Savini's return. It was amazing watching it in Part 1, and Part 2's killings sucked all types of suck. Seeing some of these kills returned, like the first kill of Jason twisting that doctor's head around?! YES, PLEASE!
Zechs: Here's the lowdown for this entry. It takes place, but mere moments after the events of the previous film with Jason being carted away presumed dead. Yeah, right like an axe to the head really could slow a good slasher down? After a brief rest, Jason's back up prowling Crystal Lake again. This time he sets his sights on not only a group of hormonal teenagers, but their next door neighbors, the Jarvis family.
There's a lot to like about this film. For me the number one thing I love about this particular Friday film is the direction via Zito. The mood and atmosphere to me is unlike any previous Friday film. Every moment is crafted very nicely by Zito. Some of the best moments in this film are the quiet ones. One that easily comes to mind is the opening with the eerie silence after the police vacate the premises where Friday the 13th: Part 3 (1982) took place (it's the actual same location from the third movie to boot). Another would be the scene where Jason takes out a teenager off camera, but we see the kill shot via the shadow against the house and the sound effect.
However, the biggest plus this film has compared to it's predecessors are the characters. This film fixes the mistake Friday movies in the past had, you couldn't remember a single character's name. Here almost every character is fresh in my mind and you get some depth to them before they meet their possible end via Jason. Though it helps that this film has actual seasoned actors for this go around with Crispin Glover heading the teenage group as Jimmy and his partner in crime, Ted or Teddy played by Lawrence Monoson. The pair's antics and dialog throughout the film is a VERY welcome change of pace to what we're usually given.
Greg: Eh, I thought the characters were alright. I myself didn't quite care for the characters. And I was excited to see Crispin Glover's name in the opening credits, too! But then, nada. I didn't really start having much of a care for any character until the last 20 minutes when the final survivor chick, Trish, started fighting back.
Zechs: What about Corey Feldman as Tommy Jarvis? A character who for the next two Friday films will be taking center stage. Feldman as Tommy just has a total innocent charm to him given he's just a kid who loves horror. He represents all the kids who snuck into these films in theaters, read Fangoria magazine, or caught them late night on cable when their parents where asleep. It makes absolute sense that of all the characters in this film to understand or trick Jason it be a kid like this.
Greg: Yeah, I suppose. He wasn't a terrible character but I don't think much was done with him to his full potential. We see he was a big horror nut and while it did help that he sorta knew how to take Jason down, I just think more could have been done. Maybe use some of the horror props he created himself to mess with Jason's head or something, I dunno. Something!
Zechs: Alright I'll give you something. The best performance of all in this film goes to Ted White as Jason. The previous two actors who played Jason had some quirks to them, but really for me they didn't have a full on presence or attitude to them. White as Jason on the other hand, is an utter beast in the role. His Jason once he locks onto you, there's a good probability you're going die. His Jason does enjoy toying with some of his prey, but to the effect of the various methods he tears into his victims. To me, that's one of the reasons why White ranks up there as one of the best Jason's, even more so than the beloved Kane Hodder. White's Jason is utterly terrifying and a dude you can fully understand the need to run like hell cause this maniac is literally hot on your heels.
One of the best moments White has of Jason is near the end where he has a choice of victim to go after and he then instantly dashes like hell after his choice of prey. You could almost see in the body language of White's where he actually considers both before his eventual choice is made. But the crown moment of White as Jason is probably one of the best Jason moments period where he nonchalantly yanks down a victim he put by a door with just sickening ease (helped very much by the effects). I cannot help every time cringe, yet also just go bug eyed screaming holy crap that's bad ass.
Greg: Heh, I actually really dug that part also.
Zechs: At least we can agree on something! Still, there are flaws even I have for the film. For me the biggest flaw is that there's one particular victim's fate in this film we aren't quite sure of. We assume she met her end via Jason, yet it's never really confirmed save for the next film or the alternate ending that was cut from the film. Zito on the commentary to the film stated the reason he never showed the death was because he felt it would gone too far. Honestly, I can see why he chose it, but we still needed to see the body at the end. If the character's body was the one used flung like a rag doll through the window, it would've made for a far more impress shock and scare.
The final flaw is Rob, who's sister, Sandra met her end via Jason in Part 2. Thus the elder brother is looking for payback against the murderer. This to me was a greater flaw than the previous one above, because Rob really was a douche in the whole revenge scheme. Simply put, the dude isn't like Dennis Hopper's character, Lefty, from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part II (1986). There is no way Rob is it shown that he's utterly prepared to go toe to toe with Jason. I mean seriously the dude's great plan was really not soon after he's in the Crystal Lake area, his plan in ending Jason is quickly dashed by our hockey masked slasher (oh showing he was extra mean, Jason crumpled Rob's map up too. What a fiend). So honestly, I couldn't help but laugh at what happens to this idiot in the film. Still, Rob does make a tie in for the events of part 2, as everything is tied together for this "final" movie.
Greg: Rob was a frakkin' joke.
And come on, I have to talk about the return of Tom Savini to this series. The master of grime returns to the series he helped start. With him back the kills to that original fun one has with the first movie. Yet, I dare say Savini topped himself with this one. I mean there are moments in this movie I question how the man did the effects. I cannot ponder any answer, but turn into a little kid and thinking how in the hell did he do that?
Zechs: It just goes to show you that nowadays, nothing can top the golden age of gore when Savini and his kin where around and at the top of their game.
Greg: If I was a woman, I'd give Savini a baby.
Zechs: *pauses for a moment and giving a O_o face and just stares at Greg for several moments*
I.. well. .. my. I'm just sorry what?!
Greg: For your love of the franchise you have no right to judge me.
*narrows his eyes*
Alright Greg you win this round!
My favorite kill for this film would have to easily be the cork screw kill. I know it was the easiest to explain how Savini did it, but still it just looks so damn awesome and it's so quick with such a nice payoff with a great deliverance by Glover on the impact. Everytime I watch the scene I cannot help but utter, "damn." at just the brutality of the kill.
Really that's probably the greatest thing about this movie offers. It connects all the previous Friday films before it into this movie and feels like a great reward for watching all of them to get to the finale.
Greg: Well, once again, I thought it overall sucked. And I really freakin' hate you for making me sit through this. I was nearly completely bored. Only time I really got much satisfaction was seeing some of the deaths which filled me with laughter. Oh, Savini.
Zechs: You're going to hate me even more next week with Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning (1985).
*now is giving a silent look back at Zechs*
Greg: *shakes head*
As I mentioned earlier, I didn't start getting into the film until Trish started fighting back. Heck, I loved when she jumped out of the window and fell stories to escape Jason! And then she got up! This chick was a survivor! She had the spirit of Mrs. Voorhees!
Zechs: 5 out of 5
Greg: 2.5 out of 5
Zechs' Kills: 5 out of 5
Greg's Kills: 4 out of 5
Zechs' Favorite Kill: There's a TON of great kills in this movie. I love the knife to the neck of the hitchhiker. The way the actor sells the knife twisting in her neck with the banana squishing in her hand. Or yet another sweet kill via the spear-gun. Though the best Jason one I have to go with the death of Jimmy, the just out of nowhere with the cork screw slammed onto his hand followed quickly with the cleaver to his face. OUCH. Again, the way Glover sells the hit is what does that particular kill for me. But really no kill in this movie truly beats Jason's. A machete to his face with him then falling to the floor with his face slowly going down the blade. Yeah, that so leaves a mark.
Greg's Favorite Kill: This should be hard given how great most of them actually were, but I do have one overall favorite. But before I mention which one it was, how can you NOT love Jason's death with the machete?!? YEESH! Also, Jason poking a dude through the balls with a spear-gun and lifting him up with it then pulling the trigger, and then there's the first kill of Jason slicing a guy's neck open and twisting his head around. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA!!!! But yes, my favorite was the death of one of the bitchy bicycle chicks. When she goes outside to go home but all we see is her shadow getting attacked. Then a few seconds later, her body is speared onto the wall. Beautiful.
Zechs: That wasn't Savani who did that. That was all the director.
Greg: You are so going to be reading the works of David Hine after this.
Zechs: OH GOD! OH GOD! NOT HINE! NOT HINE! OH GOD! YOU'RE KILLING ME! YOU'RE KILLING ME! OH GOD!!
As stated before next week Greg and Zechs look at the only other Jasonless Friday film, Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning (1985).
Review by: Zechs