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Sunday, June 7, 2020

Friday the 13th part VII: The New Blood (1988)



My trek thru the Friday franchise continues with one of my least favorites. Affectionately known as Jason vs. Carrie this movie does boast some decent characters and inventive kills, which is better than the next couple can say. But the franchise was starting to show its age.

Tina is first seen as a little girl running away from her parent’s fighting. Her dad follows her out to the dock where we first see that Tina has some powers and can move things with her mind. She ends up killing him and the action moves to the teenage Tina who is wracked with guilt over what she did. Her doctor, played by Teri “Weekend at Bernie’s” Kiser, takes her and her mother back to the lake house to work out her issues. Of course, that just so happens to be the same lake Jason is in… Tina freaks out after a nightmare and some tough therapy resulting in her powers accidentally waking Jason up.

Right next door is a house full of teenagers partying, doing drugs, and premarital sex stuff. Add Jason to that mix and you get a body count. This goes on in typical fashion until Jason kills the wrong person and ends up feeling Tina’s wrath as she goes angry telekinetic teenage girl on his ass! See where I got the Jason vs. Carrie?

Still not a fan of part VII but I will say it is better than I remembered it being. We get a lot of kills, fifteen in all. While most of them are off screen or heavily censored there are some fun gags left in the movie. You get a girl stuck to a tree, an axe to the face, one of those plastic party horns jammed into an eye socket, and Jason punches thru a guy’s chest. The movie also gives us the requisite amount of nudity and sex to fulfill the formula. This movie also features the first performance of Kane Hodder as Jason. He has always given what I consider to be the best performance under the makeup, so that is a positive. There is also a lot of Jason unmasked which is a nice design. At its core the movie isn’t too bad. But I still have some issues with it.

Even though we all know what is coming all of the Friday’s up to this point at least tried to toss in some jump scares. The closest we get here is a cat jumping out of a closet. Seriously they did the old toss a cat at a cast member gag! All of the kills are telegraphed as we see Jason right before the deed gets done. We know it’s coming and where from before the action is on screen. It is cool to occasionally see the killer sneaking up on the soon to be victim, but not every time.

The makeup for Jason unmasked is stellar!
I’m also not a fan of them giving the girl supernatural powers because by the time it is down to her being chased by Jason it turns into her kicking his ass. I don’t want to see a teenager girl throwing a television at him with her mind powers. There was no concern or fear for her because she was more than a match for Jason. The reason people watch Friday the 13th flicks is because Jason is a murder machine that you barely survive. They kind of make him a joke here as he clearly loses to the girl who also for the first time manages to save her love interest too. I get wanting to do something different, but this was a bit too far for my tastes.

I’m a completest and will continue to revisit this one every few years. Not because I like to but mostly just because I throw mini marathons on Friday the 13th and like to mix in an odd one. I’m still not thrilled with this movie, but Kane Hodder is good and there are some decent gags. I will recommend checking it out if you haven’t seen it or haven’t seen it in a while. But there are much better entries to this franchise.


© Copyright 2020 John Shatzer

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