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The 31 Greatest Horror Movies For Your 2005 Drunken Halloween Bash
(That Probably Cost Less To Make Than You Paid to Rent Out A Few Kegs*)
Horror Movie # 20:  Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives

Halloween is a weird holiday. It's the only one where we celebrate spirits, reanimated corpses, and death (if you don't count Christmas). It's the one day out of the year where freaks can look normal and normal people go out of their way to look like freaks. And, best of all, it's a great excuse to pull out your stash of horror DVDs -- ranging from laughable low-budget garbage to quality low-budget classics -- and party like those dancing corpses in the Thriller video. Since many people consider a Halloween Party with the Scream trilogy and some Old Milwaukee a "smashing success," I figured I would put my unhealthy obsession with all things horror to good use and let the world in on the cinematic secrets to giving the best damn Halloween party ever! A new movie will be added daily, right through until the morning of October 31st! You can thank me later. Now, would be fine, too. Either way.

After getting stuck in a hurricane,
Jason considers a career as a
field reporter. 

Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives
Review written by: Alex Sandell

Isn't it a little too soon for another Friday the 13th film?!?

In less than 48 hours, 19 Jason fans -- not Friday the 13th, but Jason fans -- sent me angry ("angry" meaning "psychotic") emails over my including the "only" Friday the 13th without Jason on the Halloween Party list, before including one with the masked madman.  First, Jason Voorhees was in the original Friday the 13th.  Here's a tiny, hard-to-see picture for proof:  Second, outside of a dream sequence and some hallucinations, he wasn't in the fifth, so all of you Jason nuts claiming that part 1 was the only F13 film without your hockey-masked hero proves you aren't paying much attention and should do a little research before claiming that I "deserve to have [my] throat cut with Jason's machete" for not putting a "Jason" film first.  If you remember (it was only 2 days ago, so it's hard to believe you've forgotten -- but then again, you did forget about Jason being in Part 1 and not being in Part 5, so who knows?), I did say that the first Friday the 13th "gave birth to the coolest serial killer of all-time."  Did you think I was referring to Pamela?  It wouldn't take many more brains than Jason has left in his decomposed head to figure out that I'd have at least one more Friday film on the list of the 31 greatest horror movies for your 2005 drunken Halloween bash.  I thought it would be better to separate them by at least a week, but the fans have spoken, so here's Friday the 13th Part VI:  Jason Lives.  Starring Jason.  The real one.  With the hockey mask.  And machete.  And super-powers amazing strength.  Happy now? 

The Story

After killing Jason in Friday the 13th Part 4: The Final Chapter, and being stalked by a fake Jason in Friday the 13th Part 5: A New Beginning, Tommy Jarvis (this time played by Thom Mathews of Return of the Living Dead fame) was shoved into a mental institution.  He escapes because he has to destroy Jason's corpse before it comes back to life.  For some reason Jason has a nice plot and an easy to find tombstone (wouldn't they cremate the son-of-a-bitch before spending taxpayer dollars to give him a proper burial?).  Tommy means to burn him but goes nuts and starts stabbing the corpse with a metal fence post.  Before Horshack from Welcome Back, Kotter can say, "has-been," a bolt of lightning hits the metal rod, reanimating Jason.  A well-rested Jason shakes off the maggots and goes back on his never-ending killing spree, starting with Horshack.  The audience applauds.  Tommy then has to convince the local Sheriff that Jason is back.  Somehow in the 10 years it's been since Jason was the most abhorred and well-known killer this side of Osama bin Laden, he's turned into nothing but a local legend (aren't there any newspaper archives around?  Or a TV?  Or a cemetery with a well-marked grave reading "Jason Voorhees?"  I guess nobody said these things had to make sense.).  Camp Crystal Lake has been renamed "Camp Forest Green" and a new group of counselors with a fondness for Alice Cooper songs about this urban legend known as Jason Voorhees are there for the slaughtering.  Tommy gets arrested when he's accused of being a copycat killer, has to escape and finds out that he also has to send Jason back to his original resting place, the place where he drowned as a child in 1957.  Yeah, that worked real well the first time.    

How Many Beers Should Be Consumed Before Watching?

4 or 5.  A good buzz is the only way you're going to laugh at the "fart-head" line in the movie.

Gore Score

Choosing between a score of "Light Bruising," "Recently Deceased," "Badly Decomposed" and "Puke-Inducing," Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives gets a rating of "Recently Deceased."  The uncut version is definitely worthy of a "Badly Decomposed," but the uncut version is unavailable, mostly because Paramount sucks.  Still, there is one hell of an impressive body-count, with Jason no longer satisfied with just killing one or two people off at a time.  He actually goes for three in this one, with a triple-decapitation (and they're a bunch of corporate fucks, which just makes it all the more fun).  The last gory Friday would be Part 5, way back in 1985.  After that the MPAA cracked down hard on horror flicks and took all the blood away (sort of like leeches, only not as smart or attractive).  At the same time, PG rated movies like Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom could get away with 10 times the gore of an R rated Friday the 13th picture.  Nobody said life was fair, and the MPAA was, and still is, proof that it isn't.

Would You Like Cheese With That?

Horror movies can be "Easy on the Cheese," "Regular Cheese," "Extra Cheesy" or "Instant Cheese Based Coronary."  Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives is "Extra Cheesy."  This is a pretty campy movie (I just used the "campy" pun 2 days ago in my Friday the 13th Part 1 review, but that's what you get for pushing me into popping the cork on a movie critique before its properly aged, and proofread).  The acting is definitely the best of the series, but what's most memorable about Friday the 13th Part VI:  Jason Lives isn't the acting, but rather the comedy.  Tom McLoughlin wrote to me claiming that Friday fans hated him for turning Jason into more of a super-zombie than a believable serial-killer, and for turning the series into a horror/comedy, rather than a straight-forward horror film.  I wrote back letting him know that a lot of people consider this the best Friday of them all.  He never responded.  Now I'm happy he turned down the directing job he was offered on the first Scream movie, leaving it open for Wes Craven.  Serves him right, for not responding to my heartfelt consolation email.  Bastard. 

Drug Use 

With "Let Off With a Warning," "Pay a Small Fine," "Put on Probation" and "Go Directly to Jail" to choose from, Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives gets er ... um ... should I make something up?  I haven't watched this one in about a year (it's the only movie of the 31 on this list that I didn't watch immediately prior to writing the review), and I can't remember if anyone does any drugs in the film.  If they do, I'm sure Jason kills them for it.  He's the ultimate soldier in the war on drugs.  Apparently he doesn't like the corporate types, either.  I'm looking forward to Friday the 13th Part XI:  Enron.     

Sex and the Psycho

Horror flicks and sex go together like romantic comedies and crap.  A terror movie can be rated "Nun," "Curious Schoolboy," "Chick After 8 Beers" or "Paris Hilton."  It's a "Curious Schoolboy."  A couple of kids have sex in a mobile home, but the girl is wearing her top, for some stupid reason.  And the song they're fucking to is horrible.  I thought Jason might spare the woman, for covering her breasts, but instead he pushes her head through the side of the RV.  She dies to Alice Cooper's "Teenage Frankenstein."  Her boyfriend says, "whaddya doing?  Takin' a dump?"   For some reason my friend's mom thought that was hilarious.  Her husband lost his job working on the railroad, and she works at the returns' desk at Target now.

When Should it Crash the Halloween Party?

This one would go over better than the first at a Halloween party.  It's not a better movie, but it definitely has that more party-ish feel going for it.  When Martin the caretaker is piling dirt on what he thinks is Jason's dead body, he pauses, looks at the camera and says, "some folks sure got a strange idea of entertainment."  This line almost always gets a laugh.  Because he's talking directly to the audience?  Telling them that they have a strange idea of entertainment?  Get it?  Oh, come on now, your party's gonna suck.

Will You Hate Yourself in the Morning?

Waking up from a night of partying can be downright depressing.  Waking up with a cheap horror movie in your DVD player can feel like "Sex With a Hotty," "Sex With Someone in Your League," "Sex With Your Sister" or "Sex With a Sheep."  Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives is like having "Sex With Someone in Your League."  The movie just isn't scary enough to warrant a "Hotty" rating, and I've always preferred the less invincible Jason from the first 5 films (well, technically the first 4).  As a comedy, it works.  As a Jason film, it works.  As a horror film, mmm ... not so much.  Something happened with Jason Lives that changed the series forever.  The movie poked fun at itself as often as Jason poked sharp instruments at his victims. It was as though the producers had abruptly discovered that a resurrected guy in a hockey mask walking around in the woods hacking up randy teens could only shock people so many times before it became a joke. So, with part six, out went most of the sheer terror and in came the pure schlock.  But there was that other change, and it definitely wasn't for the better:  Jason turned into an unstoppable zombie killing machine.  He was a monster, not a maniac (some would argue they're the same thing, but I'm using "monster" in the literal sense).  Tom McLoughlin told me that this was entirely his doing.  He did it well, and the film is probably the most enjoyable of the series, but it isn't the best.  I think the series should have ended with part 6.  Even though Kane Hodder's menacing and memorable portrayal of Jason Voorhees didn't arrive until part 7, Jason Lives should have been the death of Jason.  I will always argue that the first and second Friday the 13th films were actually fairly scary little slashers that were looked down upon unjustly by movie snobs unwilling to give them a chance. The third and fourth in the series did a tremendous job at delivering blood-soaked thrills for an audience that couldn't get enough of Jason's unique kills. The sixth went WAY over the top and gave us a couple of good, self-referential laughs and was a nice nod to the now aging Friday the 13th crowd. With Jason Lives, the Friday the 13th series could have went out with a wink and a smile, instead of the fizzle that it will inevitably leave us with, when the series does eventually fall on its own machete and drown in a pool of its own blood.  Then again, if they officially announced Jason was never going to appear in another movie, I'd probably be the first person writing to the studio telling them to bring the character back. 

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Fellow horror hound?  Have any comments on this film?  Recommendations for the list?  Email Alex!

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