A Friday Full Of Fridays: Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood

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 VII: The New Blood

When I started compiling the list I originally had this film below part VIII in my cannon. After watching and comparing, I moved this up for a couple of reasons. The first and most important I guess, is that the quality of this film is much better than Part VIII. Who would have thought that the quality of a film from the guy who wrote and directed "Troll." Actually, I love "Troll," it's just not the first film I think of when it comes to "quality." Sonny Bono is pretty awesome in it though. John Carl Beuchler, the man behind both "Troll" and "Friday Part VII" comes from an effects background and it shows. One of the things that part VII from other installments is you can definitely see all the money on the screen. Unlike Rob Hedden in part VIII, Beuchler doesn't let his eyes get to big for his stomach. His entry in to the series is essentially an old Universal Horror monster flick set in the twisted world of Jason Voorhees.

Tina is a telekinetic brought to the lake house by her dickish psychologist and her mother. Tinas father had drowned many years ago at the lake house and she feels responsible. Asshole shrink thinks that re-visiting the house will help Tina progress towards getting over her father. Said lake house just happens to be on the same lake Tommy Jarvis sunk Jason to the bottom of at the end of Part VI. He winds up pissing Tina off so much she tries to resurrect her dad from the depths of the lake. She pulls up Jason instead. Jason does his normal killing thing before running into Tina. Along the way he does have a couple really cool kills, especially the infamous sleeping bag against the tree kill.

Kane Hodder steps into Jason shoes for the first time in this film. I may be crucified for this, but I'm not the biggest Kane Hodder guy. He does a fine job playing Jason, but I hated the way he whined like a bitch when he didn't get to be Jason in the Freddy VS. Jason movie. Jason looks better than he ever has, or ever will, in this film. Beuchler stated that his Jason is the only one that reflects all of Jasons wounds thought the series. Sniff, sniff....is that continuity? From a Friday the 13th film? Would would have thought? So we have a cool looking Jason, a good looking film and some real continuity in the series, then why does the film chart so low?

The main issue I have with the film comes from Tina. It's not that Lar Park Lincoln is bad in the role, she's quite good actually. It's the character of Tina I have more of a problem with. Up until now the Friday films had followed a solid formula (even Part V with Roy the ambulance driver). Jason fought against the underdog. The people that Jason does battle with during his "boss creature" moments are normal everyday folks, people like you and me. With her telekinetic powers Tina makes Jason look silly or even worse sympathetic. Jason looks like Luke did in Empire when Vader busts the force out on him - totally over matched. Yes, it's a throwback, but did the series really need it at this point? The rumor is that this was sketched out as a Freddy v. Jason film but when that fell apart they slid Tina into Freddy's spot, cleaned up the script and ran with it.

The film is also a dramatic departure in tone from the films that preceded it, specifically Part 6 Jason Lives. Gone is the self referential humor. Gone is the fun, the laughter, the awesome Alice Cooper soundtrack. What's there instead is a very serious film. One that's far too serious for its own good.

Jason by this time had become the sort of anti-hero of the series. He's clearly the bad guy but he's the reason the kids are coming to see the film. By the seventh film in the series, people have figured shit out. They know what they want, and what they want is to see Jason hacking folks to shreds. Even better? Rather than have him just hacking innocent (?) teenagers apart, what if we have an asshole character that people feel o.k. while rooting for his death. Here we see the debut of the asshole, Tina's psychologist. He's clearly full of shit. He's clearly banging Tina's mom. He clearly has to die.

Beuchler is one of the many Friday directors to claim the MPAA neutered his film. His claims are backed by virtually every person who worked with him. Whereas other directors had to trim seconds in total from their films beaches cuts were much deeper. By the time this film was released in 1988, the MPAA, under pressure from various parents groups had really targeted horror films, slashers in particular. Blood was kept to a minimum, and gore is almost non-existent genre wide, at least for theatrically released studio films. Of all the Friday directors who bitch about the MPAA, Beuchler seems to have the best case.

If there is a directors of the film is released, this film may move up in the overall Friday cannon, but until then, its a rather anticlimactic film that takes itself a little too seriously.

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