The 191st review overall!
So Starz has every Friday the 13th movie except for two of them. Why? It’s like when Monstervision did the marathon, but couldn’t get the rights to number four. Joe Bob Briggs gave them an earful, let me tell you. So, after striking out on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Starz and youtube, I just started looking for streams and finally found a working one to watch...
Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985)
This movie... The movie opens with Corey Feldman reprising his role as Tommy Jarvis. He witnesses two people digging up Jason who then machetes them both and right before he can kill Feldman, Tommy wakes up being played by a different actor. Feldman was going to reprise the role but he was shooting The Goonies so all he was available for was a dream sequence cameo on his day off. Shame.
So, Tommy is still dealing with the effects of Jason murdering everyone and then putting Jason down himself. He is being taken to a halfway house after spending a lot of time being pumped full of meds at a mental institution. He’s there about five minutes when a fat dude offers an angry guy chopping wood a chocolate bar one too many times and gets an ax in his back for his troubles. The first kill in this movie is from a random, over a chocolate bar. From there our hockey mask-wearing friend shows up and starts killing people.
What can you say about this movie? The director was under orders to “deliver a shock, scare or kill every seven to eight minutes.” How do you do that? You constantly keep adding new characters out of nowhere that only serve to be cannon fodder. There’s two greasers, a couple at a diner, a hillbilly mother and son, a farmhand and a couple at a trailer park who have one scene (outside of the mother and son who have two, well the son has three) before they’re murdered. That’s on the top of the bunch of people living at the halfway house. For the most part it turns into, “Hey, meet this new character that just appeared out of nowhere! Now watch them die. Who are they? Why are they there? What are they doing? Who cares!”
This is one of the movies in the series where the MPAA really went to town on its restrictions, and the movie suffers for it. Part of the fun of the series are the inventive ways the baddie kills you, and just about all the kills in this installment you don’t see anything, only the aftermath. The MPAA is the worst.
The movie is acted terribly, everyone is really dumb. But I guess you can excuse everyone’s stupidity because the setting IS a halfway house for people leaving a mental institution. But man, the hillbillies in this movie are so annoying. They’re draped in every stereotype imaginable and scream CONSTANTLY. They have maybe have five minutes of screen time, but man does it get old really fast. Contrast that with the main character, Tommy Jarvis, says 24 words throughout the entire movie and he does so very quietly.
You may have noticed when actually talking about the movie, I’m not talking about Jason. Because (SPOILER ALERT), the killer isn’t Jason, it’s a copy cat. You see, when the fatty gets killed, two paramedics come and one of them is shocked when he sees the dead body and then looks angry. The paramedic, Roy Burns, is that kid’s dad. He then goes on a rampage posing as Jason. So if you backtrack to the murder, everything in this movie, all the loss of life and violence happened over a chocolate bar. A chocolate bar...
The last movie strongly hinted that Tommy was crazy and he would become the new Jason, and watching this movie, if you HAD to go the route of fake Jason, Tommy would have been a much better choice. It would have made sense and made a more interesting character to have a PTSD Jarvis carrying on the mantle of Jason. They hint even stronger at the end of this one that Tommy would be the killer in the next one, but everyone hated the idea of no Jason. There was a trilogy planned where it’d be a new killer every movie, but fans didn’t like that one bit. So those ideas were scrapped for part six, a different actor playing Tommy was cast (John Shepard was in a seminary and didn’t want to do a sequel) and the undead Jason was brought back, much to my delight. But I’m glad they didn’t make Tommy the killer because Jason Lives is very good and I like the heroic Tommy, and the actor, Thom Matthews a lot more, so I’m they didn’t have him be the baddie.
One thing that’s important to note, the Roy Burns “Jason” was the first killer in the series to walk everywhere. In number one the baddie is Pamela, two and three he runs, and in four he actually sprints. So the most iconic things about Jason, his mask - he doesn’t get until movie number three, and him walking everywhere, doesn’t happen until movie number five when it’s not even Jason!
With that being said, it’s not a good movie. It has a lot of problems, some of which were out of its hands like the poopy MPAA, but still it’s not very good. I can respect trying something different, but turning it into “Scooby Doo” with an unmasking every movie would have been real lame. Jason forever.