October Horrorshow: Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday

There’s a whole lot of plot in this shitty movie. Friday the 13th was a franchise tottering along towards its demise by the time Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday was released in 1993. The producers must have thought that expanding the lore around Jason Vorhees would make up for older plot ideas that had gone stale. It was the wrong way to go.

Directed by Adam Marcus, from a convoluted screenplay (the victim of precipitous rewrites, apparently) by Jay Huguely and Dean Lovey, Jason Goes to Hell is one gigantic mess of a movie. A viewer could be forgiven if they thought this flick was a continuation of the previous film in the series, as characters refer to previous, unseen events to which they were witness. But the flick before this was Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan. None of the characters in that shitfest are in Jason Goes to Hell. Nor are any characters from Part VII, VI, V…all down the line. This movie feels like a sequel to a movie that wasn’t made, and that’s kind of weird. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday”

October Horrorshow: Jason X

Jason XIt’s Friday the 13th! In October! Missile Test couldn’t possibly let the day go by without watching a Friday the 13th flick, and this one is a doozy. By 2001, the original Friday the 13th franchise was on its last legs. The producers, recognizing that the old formula had been ground into dust by overuse, decided to shake things up. And by shake things up, I mean they all contracted serious cases of the awfuckits and sent their franchise property into space. That’s right, no more summer camp and no more Crystal Lake. This film takes place in outer space…in the future. Hell yeah.

Jason X, from writer Todd Farmer and director James Isaac, is the tenth film in the Friday the 13th franchise. It’s the second to ditch the Friday the 13th moniker, after 1993’s Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday. When a film franchise forgoes using its title — the most significant brand that it has — a viewer can tell that things haven’t been going so well lately. The Friday the 13th flicks were always moneymakers, but the return on investment had been going down with every film, and the franchise had earned an unsavory reputation for being cheap, exploitative schlock. Clearly the only thing to do was to double down. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: Jason X”

October Horrorshow: Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood

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. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood”

October Horrorshow: Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter

Tom Savini, as with Martin Becker before you, I salute you. In a film that otherwise struggled at times to hold my attention, the exquisite onscreen deaths perpetrated by Jason Voorhees and engineered by Savini saved the day. From the morgue attendant attacked with a hacksaw and a vicious neck twist, to the harpoon crotch lift, to the young lover whose skull is crushed against a shower wall, to the most brutal machete attack put to film since Apocalypse Now, there wasn’t much that was mailed in, and I have a suspicion a good deal hit the cutting room floor to bring the film down to an ‘R’ rating. All that sweet, sweet blood, and the occasional chest shot, is really the only draw to the film. Juvenile? No doubt, yet Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter is still a sight better than most films in the Friday the 13th franchise. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter”

October Horrorshow: Friday the 13th Part 3

The first two installments in the Friday the 13th franchise managed to be oddly engaging, even while being bad cinema. Friday the 13th Part 3 is just bad, what little effort at quality went into making parts 1 and 2 obviously too much for the filmmakers, who must have found themselves overly occupied with tinkering with 3-D effects. That’s right, Part 3 was filmed in glorious 3-D, part of the 1980s revival that brought the moviegoer such lasting film gems as Amityville 3-D, Jaws 3-D, and Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone. Like these films, Part 3 pays great homage to the 3-D monster fare of the 1950s. That is, it looks cheap, feels cheap, and lacks much more than contrived 3-D shots to keep the audience engaged. There’s no cachet, no horror show charm to this film, and therefore no reason to remember it. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: Friday the 13th Part 3″

October Horrorshow: Friday the 13th Part 2

Why fix something if it isn’t broken? Well, that depends on one’s definition of broken. Friday the 13th was a little movie that could. Little plot, little acting, little in the way of developing much of what makes a good movie. But it had a substantial body count, and had huge returns on its little budget. So a sequel was made, but one that was less a sequel and more a remake. Friday the 13th Part 2 still had a tiny budget, but was blessed with enough funds to afford some of the finer things in moviemaking, like extras, better film stock and lenses, and better actors. Part 2 breaks out of some of the claustrophobia that was a necessary result of the shoestring the first movie was hanging by, but the plot, what little of it, remains faithful to the original: Lusty camp counselors encounter psychopathic murderer in isolated lakeside campsite. Got it? Cause that’s it. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: Friday the 13th Part 2″

October Horrorshow: Friday the 13th

There’s bad cinema, and then there’s bad cinema. Some movies are just unwatchable, displaying a profound lack of skill on the part of the filmmakers. There is nothing to them, not even the satisfaction of shock value. Take, for example, something like Theodore Rex, a film I wrote about last year. That movie was pathetic, with no redeeming qualities at all. It was even uncomfortably racist. But, had the title lizard gone on a murderous rampage, the filmmakers may have had something. Imagine that, a film so bad that it elevates grisly murder to the level of ‘redeeming quality’. Truly, a film that must be seen to be believed. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: Friday the 13th”