Way back during the first Horrorshow I posted reviews for the first four movies in the Friday the 13th franchise, plus a review for Freddy vs. Jason. I had planned to do a review of the fifth Friday the 13th film, as well, but it was so awful I tuned out for most of the time I was watching. I can’t write about a movie I didn’t pay attention to. This franchise is iconic in the horror genre, but the truth is, these movies suck. Writing about them means I have to watch them, and I didn’t think I could do that anymore, until last night. I should have stayed away.
The most disappointing thing about Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood, isn’t the clumsy title or the weird telekinesis angle. Rather, it’s the bizarre lack of gore. There is plenty of death in this flick, as there should be, but the shot always cuts away just when things are about to get good. This is a slasher flick. Slasher flicks require blood and gore. A slasher flick like this one, which has barely anything else to offer a viewer, needs gore more than other films, yet almost all of it appears to have been left on the cutting room floor. I feel cheated.
In the previous film, the murderous undead psychopath Jason Vorhees was drowned in Crystal Lake, chained to a rock for all time. If you have not seen Friday the 13th Part VI, no worries, because this film opens by recapping the events of the previous film. It’s a proud tradition in the franchise to spend the opening minutes showing what has come before. It’s a great way to pad runtime without having to make any more movie.
Fast forward a couple of years, and Jason’s waterlogged corpse is still suspended underwater. But, a teenager named Tina (Lar Park-Lincoln) is cursed with telekinesis. In a fit of something (rage, guilt) she uses her powers to try to raise her dead father from the waters of Crystal Lake (huh?), but instead summons Jason. Man, people in these flicks can’t catch a break. Something always seems to resurrect Hollywood’s most relentless killer, and that thing is profits.
Luckily for Tina, she’s the heroine of this film, so Jason lets her live while he goes about hunting down every other person in the film. There’s Tina’s mom, her shrink (Terry Kiser, known for his legendary role as a corpse in Weekend at Bernie’s), and a gaggle of oversexed teenagers for Jason to choose from. One thing I noticed about this film: every single person Jason kills must be no more than 500 feet from each other. Otherwise Jason would have had to have done a shitload of walking around in the woods chasing these people down. All the action in this dog happens in a single night, and I cannot believe that Jason walked a mile or two back and forth in the woods every time he killed someone. Rising from the grave I can buy, but bad logistics I cannot.
Once a person has seen one of these flicks, there isn’t anything new to be found. Teenagers, Crystal Lake, Jason, kills. That’s about it. Fatigue at the formula is one of the things that was dragging the franchise down by this point, but the filmmakers’ solution to this fatigue didn’t work. Tina’s psychokinetic powers, which she can use to fling objects about with her mind, feel tacked on like a Brady family cousin or a little green shoulder alien. It’s the last gasp of a dying idea. Remarkable, then, that so many more films were made after this one. Again, profits.
Part VII has left me very cynical about the state of this film franchise. This is the first Friday the 13th flick I’ve watched since that first Horrorshow and I cannot muster any more enthusiasm for any further entries. All of them, every single one, has been poorly written, poorly shot, and poorly acted. The one saving grace of the previous films, their well-done effects, have been excised in this film. So, there is no reason, ever, to watch Part VII.
Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood, is a far worse film than Alien: Resurrection. It’s so bad it can’t even make me angry. I just feel let down.