Hard Ticket to Home Video Classic: Friday The 13th – Parts II and VI

We thought we’d be highly original and post something related to the Friday the 13th films today! Please let us know if anyone else does this so we can sue them.

Friday the 13th: Part II (1981)

Trailer:

*spoilers throughout*

What’s It About: Homer Wells (Tobey Maguire), an orphan, is the film’s protagonist. He grew up in an orphanage directed by Dr. Wilbur Larch (Michael Caine) after being returned twice by foster parents. His first foster parents thought he was too quiet and the second parents beat him. Dr. Larch is addicted to ether and is also secretly an abortionist. Larch trains Homer in obstetrics and abortions as an apprentice, despite Homer never even having attended high school.

The film continues as Homer decides to leave the orphanage with Candy Kendall (Charlize Theron) and her boyfriend, Wally Worthington (Paul Rudd), a young couple who work at the Worthington family apple orchard. They had come to the clinic to have an abortion. Wally leaves to fight in World War II. While Wally is away, Homer and Candy have an affair. Later, Wally’s plane is shot down and he is paralyzed from the waist down. When he returns home, Candy takes care of him and leaves Homer.

While he is away from the orphanage, Homer lives on the Worthington estate. He goes to work picking apples with Arthur Rose’s (Delroy Lindo) team. Arthur and his team are migrant workers who are employed seasonally at the orchard by the Worthingtons. Mr. Rose impregnates his own daughter (Erykah Badu), and Homer, who disapproves of abortions, realizes that in Rose’s case, he must perform one for her. Later, when Arthur makes another amorous advance toward his daughter, she stabs him, and as a last request, the dying Arthur asks the other workers to tell the police that his death was a suicide. Eventually Homer decides to return to the orphanage after Dr. Larch’s death from inhaling an ether overdose, and works as the new director.

At the end of the film, Homer learns that Larch had faked Homer’s medical record to keep him out of the war, and later made fake credentials for Homer in order to convince the board overseeing the orphanage to appoint him as the next director. Finally, Homer fills the paternal role that Larch previously held for the children of the orphanage.

No actually it’s about a mentally-challenged hillbilly wearing a burlap flour sack on his head killing off camp counselors to avenge his mother’s death.

Is It Actually Scary: The first sequel of the very long series of Friday the 13ths is my personal favorite. It’s the first to feature Jason as the killer and picks up right after the first one. His first victim is the camp counselor who decapitated his mother. Most people only think of Jason as wearing his iconic hockey mask but in this film he’s wearing a burlap sack with only one eye cut out for vision (why only one is anyone’s guess). To me, this is waaaaay scarier than a hockey mask. And it fits Jason so much better in that he’s a backwoods imbecile thought to be dead when he supposedly drowned in the lake and living off the land in northern New Jersey, probably eating squirrels and berries. His head and face are deformed and to cover it up he would use what he can get—an old flour sack. However, this is a blatant rip-off/homage to another famous killer from the film The Town That Dreaded Sundown who also wore a sack over his head. But if someone in a white burlap sack is chasing me with an axe I’d be more terrified than someone looking like Patrick Roy.

Scariest Moment: Gosh, so many to choose from. I’ve been watching this flick since I could remember (Yes, since I was a young kid—like 7 or 8!) and this film and the third are the most chilling of all 11 of them for me. I especially love the wheelchair kid’s death (machete to the face and he then rolls down a very long flight of stairs) and the knife-wielding POV shot before a young girl gets cut is another great moment but the decomposing mother Voorhees head is by far one of the creepiest heads in horror. Supposedly they shot an alternate scene at the end when the head actually opens its eyes and smiles but that is totally dumb.

How Much Gore: Halloween may have broke the mold in terms of inventing the whole slasher sub-genre but that film has very little gore. The Friday the 13th franchise is what made the slasher genre the gorefest that has been copied time and time again. It’s gory but not over-the-top; believable yet not reserved in showing the audience some of the red-stuff.

Dumbest Moment: As the franchise trudged on into sequel after sequel they ultimately got very dumbed-down. Like making photocopies from photocopies, what was believable became more absurd and the suspension of disbelief thinned out over time. In the first 3 movies of the series Jason doesn’t actually die and is able to live on to kill another day. But I’m not totally defending this sequel either, these films weren’t made for MENSA folk. There’s plenty to nit-pick but for me the dumbest moment is the opening credits. The Friday the 13th logo races towards the screen from the lower right corner really fast to the center and suddenly EXPLODES!! I don’t think there’s an explosion in any of the first 8 Friday the 13ths. Why would a horror movie about a maniac killing people with silent tools like knifes have a logo that explodes?

Any Nudity: Most of all Friday the 13ths in the series features a girl being naked at some point. Sometimes a couple of girls. You really can’t have teen camp counselors in a slasher flick without having them disrobe at some point. This film has one and it’s a skinny-dipper.

Overall: Like I said this is one of my favorite installments of the series and I still hold it deep to my heart. It has a great score as well as great kills in a very believable scenario. I like the continuation from the first one and should be on that list of great sequels like Godfather part II, The Empire Strikes Back and Wrath of Khan. While I applaud the tone and attention to detail that the filmmakers gave Jason in that he’s still young and his final kills are totally sloppy (at one point a chair breaks under his weight and he misses the heroine), I don’t quite understand the continuity. I just realized that this film (made in 1981) takes place 5 years after the events of the first one (made in 1980) meaning this is set in the future?! Weird. Also in the canon Jason supposedly drowned in the 50s which makes all this very confusing.

Score: 9 (out of 10)

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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

Trailer:

What’s It About: After a mediocre and Jason-less sequel, The franchise and Jason get a new jolt of energy and reboot with this film. Tommy Jarvis, the young lad who has been haunted by Jason since part IV, is recently out of his mental institution and taking Horshack with him decides it’s time to dig up Jason’s body and cremate it. Even though no killings from Jason Voorhees have occurred since Tommy killed him in part IV he feels it could happen so better be pro-active. But despite his best intentions Jason gets electrocuted by lightning thus resurrecting for 5-6 more films. And as luck should have it, Tommy was thoughtful enough to bring a hockey mask along with him too!

The rest of the film is your basic Friday the 13th flick. Jason going around killing everything that comes into his path with Tommy trying his darnedest to put Jason down for good.

Is It Actually Scary: No, not really. While not technically a reboot this film is a restart for the franchise. Much like Halloween IV did a couple of years later, this film made Jason the antagonist again and this time with the resurrection from the really dead he’s now a super-strong, super-fast zombie killing machine. This film is also very tongue-in-cheek compared to the others with a lot (sometimes too much) of unfunny comic relief. Jason tries to grab machete from a guy playing paintball and instead of just pulling away the blade, he rips off the whole guys arm. Jason looks at the severed arm in somewhat disbelief. Another paintballer shoots him pointlessly in the chest. Another would-be victim offers Jason about $40 dollars in cash and an AMEX card for her safety.

Scariest Moment: Like I said not really scary so I’ll just highlight the best kill and that would be the poor sheriff who is bent in half the opposite way nature intended. Runner-up: Horshack getting his heart ripped out of his chest.

How Much Gore: This installment brings the blood & gore ratio up from the previous few quite a bit. We enter one room in a cabin that is blood spattered from wall to ceiling.

Dumbest Moment: Why did Tommy bring a hockey mask to Jason when he was only planning to cremate the corpse? Why is there a couple alone in a dark forest having a small picnic and drinking champagne celebrating their recent engagement? At one point Tommy reads about 3 books on the occult and folklore to figure out how to kill Jason. Not to mention what amount of time is spent on reading 3 books when you’re in a race against the clock to find and kill Jason but why would you think a book would help.

Any Nudity: Not in this installment. There’s a very lame and annoying sex scene but nothing to look at.

Overall: Easily the most entertaining of the franchise, Part VI revives the franchise and gives it a breath of not only fresh air but (dare I use these words) gives it some light-heartedness too. By adding flourishes of humor and self-awareness to this fifth sequel it helps make it more entertaining. Also, for the first (and I believe only) time in the franchise’s history that the camp actually has kids at the camp! And one has to love the opening credits when they spoof James Bond’s famous entrance of walking from side of the screen and quickly shooting at it. Jason does his walk and quickly slices his machete. Nice touch indeed. And for the first time a major musical artist contributes to the mythos—Mr. Alice Cooper gives Jason a theme song called: He’s Back (The Man Behind the Mask). It’s just too bad that every sequel since has been a major waste of time.

Score: 8 (out of 10)

7 thoughts on “Hard Ticket to Home Video Classic: Friday The 13th – Parts II and VI

  1. Pingback: Schlocktoberfest IV – Day 21: Hellgate | Hard Ticket to Home Video

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