Comments Off on Friday the 13th Part 7: The New Blood
After he told us a cautionary tale about the dangers of cartooning with “Cellar Dweller”, and before we went off to college with the Ghoulies in “Ghoulies 3”, director and special-effects-magician, John Carl Buechler, gave fans one of the best entries in the Friday the 13th franchise with “Friday the 13th Part 7: The New Blood.”
When the opening credits begin to appear on the screen, composer Fred Mollin (“Friday the 13th the TV Series” and “Forever Knight”) immediately sets the mood with an unsettling, atmospheric, synth-score that fits this movie like a glove. A nice touch was having Walt Gorney (known for the role of “Crazy Ralph’ from “Friday the 13th Parts 1 & 2”) come back and narrate over the video clip medley from past films that gets us caught-up on everything Jason.
The story begins with a flashback of a young girl named Tina who takes throwing temper tantrums to another level by unleashing a telekinetic beat-down on her abusive father that ends with him being a barnacle buffet at the bottom of Crystal Lake. Maybe Dad should’ve thought twice before using his wife (Mom) as a party piñata. As an adult, Tina is still an emotional wreck, tormented by the horrific visions of seeing her father die, and worst of all, knowing she was responsible for his death. Her psychiatrist, Dr. Crews (Terry Kiser), convinces Tina and her mom to get away for the weekend at a quiet lakeside cabin while Tina’s hospital room is being painted a cheerful shade of lobotomy grey. This mini-vacation sounded like a wonderful idea until I saw the Crystal Lake sign (cue creepy music) and found out the cabin by the lake is the same one where Dad was turned into fish food years earlier.
The dastardly doctor uses this trip to conduct his lab-rat-like experiments away from the prying eyes of the mental institution. During an intense cram session for the upcoming TAT (Telekinetic Ability Test) there is a mishap involving some matches, and Tina rushes out of the house like she started a fire. While standing on the dock her mind starts to fill with warm memories of dear ol’ Dad, such as his drunken swagger, glassy-eyed stare, and the late-night heave-fests in the bathroom. Her unexpected stroll down Daddy Lane causes a psychic episode, and she casts out a telepathic fishing line in hopes of reuniting with him, but instead hooks big trouble, catching the undead Mr. Voorhees. He was apparently going for a personal best underwater effort, after having broken the world record with a time of several years, making endurance artist, David Blaine’s, time of 17 minutes seem like mere child’s play.
Jason emerges back on land, pissed-off at his failed record attempt and wastes no time getting to work using a variety of home and garden tools against his prey in such a way that would earn him a Home Depot endorsement. This installment contains your usual mix of under-cooked, walking horror cliches. Eddie, a sci-fi writer nerd with a PhD in rejection, couldn’t get laid if he was holding a million dollars in a locked room full of horny hookers. Melissa will remind you of the snobby diva from high school who was voted “Most Likely to Steal Your Boyfriend.” Nick is the resident nice guy from a broken home who is trying to get his life back on track. When he isn’t attending night school, or kicking himself over botched “ice-breakers” involving the opposite sex, he likes to show his sensitive side by doing women’s laundry. Maddy the “nottie” friend of “hottie” Robin is so homely-looking that Medusa would give her beauty tips. David, Head Conductor of the Pothead Express, earns some extra cash on the weekends performing his beer shotgunning extravaganza at college frat parties. Dr. Crews wears “sleazy” like a well-tailored suit, and only wants to profit from Tina’s pain and misfortune. The rest of the cast isn’t worth mentioning, since they only show up on screen long enough to talk about how cold it is, something about wallet sizes, and needing firewood…until Jason arrives, doing his best impression of a Cusinart food processor.
From the brutal kill sequences to the inspired makeup design, this film is all about seeing the masked maniac in action. Buechler shows a fan’s eye for detail, including all of the battle damage, such as the propeller carnage, gunshot to the head, machete slash, axe wound, and missing eye that the Crystal Lake dweller has sustained from previous movie installments, to create the ultimate Jason in all of his gruesome glory. Kane Hodder’s first appearance as Jason (a role he’d reprise in four consecutive movies) is the best portrayal of the character since Ted White became the lakeside slasher in “Friday the 13th Part 4: The Final Chapter.” Proving that he isn’t just another crash test dummy behind a mask, Hodder expresses an array of believable emotions through a latex suit (which isn’t an easy task) without saying a word of dialogue–unless you count groaning. By using a combination of heavy breathing and subtle movements, he carves out a new version of the character that is all his own.
I would definitely recommend this sequel, even in its neutered state (courtesy of the fascist MPAA), as it still has several creative death scenes, some brief, but quality T-n-A, and just enough of the red stuff to keep fans happy, along with a few surprises like solid acting by the lead actors, a telekinetic subplot, and supernatural Jason twist to give this standard slasher formula some new blood.
Keep an eye out for…
– Tree roots gone wild
– Deadly use of a party horn
– Jason’s gross-out face reveal
– Boobtastic melon display that would make a seasoned farmer blush
– Flower pot headbutt
– Wham-bam sleeping bag death slam
– Self destructing pearl necklace
– Deluxe penis enlarger
– Debut of the Voorhees Death Vise
– Explosive finale
– Super-sleepic love van
– The Battle of the Gargantuan Throngar
– Exclusive Star Mummy preview
– Carol Anne from Poltergeist hairstyle
– Scare Corpse lawn decorations
Rated 9.2 out of 10 for the movie
Watch the trailer for Friday the 13th Part 7: The New Blood.