It occurred to me recently that we hadn’t quite finished our journey through the world of Jason Voorhees. Somehow it slipped my mind and schedule that we never had a little sit down round the campfire to talk about Friday the 13th Part VI, Jason Lives. We’ve got a couple more after that we’ll get to in the future (lots of newer stuff to review in the mean time) but for now, let’s talk about six, baby.
When we last left Jason Voorhees, little Tommy Jarvis had went a bit psycho and killed him. Then Tommy Jarvis went psycho and helped fight off a mentally unbalanced medic who took up the machete. In this installment, the real Jason Voorhees is back and one might argue that this is the turning point of the series. Sure, he’s survived a lot before, but now he’s a literal corpse, risen from the grave, ready to get his kill on. Meanwhile, everyone still thinks Tommy is batshit insane as he tries to warn them that an unstoppable killer is on the loose.
This installment of the franchise tallies up a very respectable 18 kills, which is something to write home to mother about.
A heart is torn out, a spear is pushed into a guy who is then flipped over, then the spear is thrust into some dudes face. An arm is torn off, a tree limb is shoved into a face, two heads (COMBO!) are cut off with one machete swing. A bottle is inserted into a throat, two people are stabbed at once, a face gets smashed, a head is stabbed, another head is ripped off, then a head is smashed and someone gets bent in half. This is a bloody one, baby.
There is a sex scene with a hot girl, but we don’t get to see any boobs. We do get to see a panty shot later, but come on, where is the nudity at?
All it takes to bring back an unstoppable and evil killing force is a timely lightning bolt to a metal rod inserted in a villain’s chest.
Jason Lives really, in retrospect, seems to celebrate the series. Yet, viewed through the eyes of the time this was a pretty radical change. Now, Jason movies are fun. This is when it stopped being about anything resembling a scary flick and more about embracing and enhancing the slasher genre it created. If you’re only passing familiar with Friday the 13th this is the movie you think of it – if not by name, then by substance. The kills are classic, full of blood and humor. You can call this the Combo-Kill Edition because on at least two occasions Jason scores two kills with one move, like he was playing some brutal video game in his head.
Speaking of humor, some of you youngsters might not remember this ever happening, but this is the installment that has its own little James Bond moment. Jason walks into the frame, kills the viewer, and the screen wobbles away. Definitely not a serious film here, folks, but one that I found very enjoyable. Sure, there is some bad dialog, most of it being full of exposition and unnecessary, but what do we expect?
If you’re a fan of the series and you’ve been away for awhile or you’re just getting into Friday the 13th thanks to the Platinum Dunes remake, do yourself a favor and check out Part VI. It’s the perfect mixture of camp, kills, and that “classic” Jason – that’s actually more like new Jason, at the time. Not a perfect film, but a fun as hell one.