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Friday the 13th - Part 6: Jason Lives (DVD, 2001, Sensormatic)
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Jason's ALIVE! ...Like Frankenstein and Stuff. Friday the 13th: Part VI
Aug 2, 2010
Review by Jason Haskins
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Entertaining, pretty funny, solid ending, direction
Cons:Not too gory, fat Jason(?!), not scary
The Bottom Line: If you're hankering for another trip down the Crystal Lake of memories regarding this series, look here for a good time.
1986's Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives takes place after the events of the fifth film, A New Beginning, where Tommy Jarvis returns to Crystal Lake after breaking out of the nut house. He digs up Jason Voorhees' (you know, the killer from the Friday the 13th movies) corpse and hacks at it just to make sure he's dead when a metal stake he's put through his heart turns into a conductor for electricity.
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A crazy piece of lightning strikes the pole and reanimates Jason's body thus throwing all of the campers at Camp Blood (Crystal Lake, renamed Forest Green) into turmoil. Will Tommy Jarvis finally succeed in destroying Jason once and for all with the help of the sheriff's hot and spicy daughter or will he finally succumb to the monster he's been battling since he was twelve years old?!??!
I've been a little unforgiving with this series in the past--probably giving too low of scores than I should've and whatnot. Upon rewatching the sixth film in the series I fell back in love with the series and why it's remained a classic horror staple in the slasher genre. Okay, so a lot of the sequels have been pretty downright bad, but the sixth one...oh, yes, the sixth one is one of the greatest sequels in the series. Why?
There's humor in it! And Jason turns all supernatural with mad abilities like magically being able to teleport in front of his victims, indestructible body parts, and superhuman strength. Yeah, this one has balls and doesn't take any prisoners. However, I don't know what the heck Jason's been eating, but in 1986 he looked chubby--and some moments had me laughing hard at his man boobs jiggled while he stalked.
That said, like all of the damn movies in this blasted series, this one has its many lame and corny parts. It's almost painfully yucky at times, but it all works as Jason kills in the end. Okay, so Jason can't kill those pesky awkward little kids who are being interned at the camp, but the stupid counselors? Yeah, they get the axe!
The cast is mostly made up of no-naming marauders and you don't really grow overly attached to any of them by any means, but Tommy Jarvis (this time played by Thom Mathews) holds up as being the central hero in the movie along with Jennifer Cooke as Megan, the sheriff's daughter and all-around bad girl.
There are many parts where humor envelopes the movie and a lot of people don't like it, but I think it oddly fits quite well. There's a great part of the movie where these middle-aged people are on a business trip out paintballing in the thick of the woods only to be killed one by one...then three at once (!) by Jason after a long series of schlocky moments (and a terrible score to boot).
Then there are parts that are purely awkward like Tommy's creepy look at Megan's crotch in the cab of her car and the whole RV fiasco between two star-crossed "lovers" that's sure to get some laughs from someone (hopefully). The RV part is awesome and lacks any nudity, which is probably the reason why most hardened fans of the series have their panties in a bunch.
The Friday the 13th movies have been really inventive for the most part in coming up with different deaths for their characters and yet Jason Lives doesn't feel as inspired to me. This one takes a more straight-up approach to the slasher plate with chops of machetes and what-have-you without too much originality.
It still works, but the movie isn't too scary. Tom McLoughlin's direction is actually pretty solid in trying to build up suspense before the kill, but the lack of gore is definitely felt halfway into the movie where you wonder where all the blood is in Camp BLOOD. There's also a low death count and not as many outlandish characters, but I think the seventh installment, The New Blood, would correct that a little bit.
Jason Lives is a fun movie and it's entertaining from start to finish with a ballsy director that tried to do something new with the standard formula. It's not slapstick funny, but modestly humorous in its attempts at being lighthearted, eighties GOLD. I could've used more gore and characters as well as some trimming of the cheesy parts, but I guess in hindsight they cheesiness is what makes this one so tasty! Also, when you mix in some exciting moments like the satisfying ending sequences then you have a recipe for a good night out with Jason Voorhees. In a series full of some bad moments, this is one good moment that needs to be remembered.
© Jason Haskins, 2010
Friday the 13th (1980)
Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)
Friday the 13th Part III (1982)
Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)
Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985)
Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986) [you are here]
Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988)
Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)
Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993)
Jason X (2002)
Freddy vs. Jason (2003)
Friday the 13th (2009)
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