A Friday Full Of Fridays - Friday The 13 : Part II

Welcome to a Friday Full Of Fridays! In celebration of Friday April 13th, 2012, here at DreadWorld we are going to take a look at each film from the franchises initial run (meaning we are going to ignore Freddy v. Jason and the Remake). I'll be posting a short review, a reviewette if you will, every hour on this momentous day. The posts will be in reverse order of awesomeness, meaning we will be counting backwards from, what I believe to be the worst film in the series, to the film I believe to be the best. Welcome and enjoy the ride!

Friday The 13th - Part II

So the inaugural film in the series introduced us to the deranged Mrs. Voorhees and her possible drowned son Jason. Alice dispatches Mrs. Voorhees in with a rather heinous beheading lakeside at Camp Crystal Lake. She climbs in a canoe only to be attacked by a boy, Jason, just as the cops arrive. Later at the hospital the cops disclose that no boy was found.

Two months later we pick up Alice masturbating, or dreaming, its hard to tell until we see her flashbacks. Either way she is moaning. She gets awoken by a phone call from her mom. The phone rings again, its no one. Creepy things start happening around her apt. She opens the fridge to find Mrs. Voorhees head in her fridge and takes and ice pick to the temple. Good bye Alice. I'm assuming this was done by Jason. There are others that would argue differently, but I'm sure it's supposed to be Jason. Which means not only did Jason get Alices last name, address and phone number. He also boarded a bus, plane, whatever with his mothers head! Oh and Jason is now a grown man. Welcome to continuity island...Friday the13th part II - you can leave now.

5 years after the original (making this 1984, if you go by the death year for Pamela Voorhees on her grave marker in Part III), Paul is opening a training facility for new counselors on the other side of Crystal Lake from Camp Blood. I'm not sure if Jason respects property lines, but we'll see. His group of counselors arrive. We meet 5 or 6 of the important ones and Amy Steele, Pauls assistant/girlfriend. He car is shitty, not a good omen.

This film isn't quite sure of where they wanted to go yet. There are shots ripped right from "Halloween", where Jason is holding the knife stalking his prey through the house. Jasons prank calls to Alice at the beginning arr taken from "Black Christmas." I've written about it before but it bears repeating, two of the deaths in this installment are taken from the 1971 Mario Bava picture "Bay Of Blood" shot for shot. So they didn't quite know what they had on their hands here or what to do with it. Jason is still very much human here, more human than he would ever be actually. He's scared of sharp object. He runs a little, not like in number thee where he was Carl Lewis, but a bit. This is also the film that featured Jasons house prominently. I've always been a fan of the idea of Jason having somewhere to go and something to do between slaughters. Although I could do without the shot of the toilet, I really don't need the image of Jason pinching a loaf in my mind.

What the film does do well though, it does very well. Primarily this is the best "group" of kids personality wise, except for maybe Part IV. Time is spent to understand the backstors for most of them. there is some identity outside the the stereotypes that would come to dominate the series going forward. The cast is highlighted by a it's very strong lead, Amy Steele, who fansmay also recognize from the original version of April Fools Day. Her character is given depth. As a child psychology major, she wants to understand Jason. She wants to know what made him the way he is. She uses her skills in psychology to thwart Jason at the end. Thats called quality story telling. Enjoy it while it lasts, for as we know it's not something we see a lot throughout these films. I would also be remiss if I didn't point out the other star of the film - Terrys Ass. That thing deserved its own film.

It's not all wine and roses though. The logic surrounding the death of Alice is one thing, but it almost pales in comparison to what (might have) happened to Paul. Paul is with Ginny during the last battle with Jason, but when she awakes in the ambulance he's no where to be found. Did jason kill him? You might think so, but he's never shown or spoken of. In part III they state that there are 8 victims - Paul would have been 9. So is he dead or not? Who knows.

Despite it's maddening lapses in logic, Friday Part II is a good film, an adequate sequel and one of the better films in the franchise. I have it at #4 just out of the top three.

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