Happy Halloween! Here’s My Review of Friday the 13th Parts II – VIII (1981 – 1989)

I am currently with a COVID-safe group on Halloween, dappered up as the mysterious, mirrored figure from Maya Deren’s Meshes of the Afternoon, embracing my cinephile nerdiness to the biggest T a T could ever T. We got Doc from Inherent Vice in the room, a 2017 Joji at large, and some dude in Marvel PJs to join us here as well. F**k, I haven’t dressed up since middle school, and I don’t know what’s really going on right now, so brace yourself for my wacky series of Friday the 13th reviews!

Part II (1981)

2nd Viewing 

Part II confirms that continuity doesn’t exist in the world of Friday the 13th. By logic, Jason Voorhees has to be invisible in order for at least half the kills in this movie to operate at even a marginal volume of plausibility. Man, I thought Part I was s**t, but Part II doesn’t even have as gnarly of slashes as the original. They even copy the Kevin Bacon murderer in this but make it way less gruesome. Every time an epic kill appears like it’s going to happen the scene cuts or the camera decides to not show us exactly how it appeared. Jason in this entry is also hilariously clumsy throughout — the dude actually can’t see what he’s doing with that bagged mask on; it’s embarrassingly slapstick!

Should’ve made this one about the killer bears the camp counselors kept on mentioning. Smh. DiCaprio moment.

Verdict: D-

Part III: 3D (1982)

Challenge: try to make anything into 3D no matter how irrelevant or ridiculous it is. 

Watching Jason Voorhees casually shoot a spear into a camper’s eye was low-key kind of badass. Aside from a couple other solid kills and the noticeably better continuity, Part III essentially boils down to the quality of its predecessor. It even pays tribute to its grandfather movie with its copy and pasted ending, so, yeah, another “who cares” entry in this franchise I’m debating giving up on… but I’ll stay strong for now.

Verdict: D

Part IV: The Final Chapter (1984)

New game I tried with my watch group for this franchise: try to guess which side or corner of the screen the next name will show up on during the opening credits. 

The pacing in Part IV is truly mistreated by all the tedious romantic drama that forces the picture to feel like a slow-burn that doesn’t need to be a slow-burn for any particularly warranted reason. Luckily however, the kills in Part IV are pretty aggressive! Other than that, it copied the ending of Part II, the dialogue is meme-worthy, etc., etc.; there’s not enough to warrant that much enjoyment out of this entry — my apologies to the hardcore fans of Part IV

I will admit though, it is slightly better than Part II and Part III. Slightly!

Verdict: D

Part V: A New Beginning (1985)

The Psychiatric Hospital really thought nothing bad would happen if they let one of their patients use an axe. Yeah.

Umm… Part V: A New Beginning… sucks hard. There are a few decent kills here and Deborah Voorhees’ “role” kept it from being completely unredeemable, but yeah… this movie: it’s ain’t it. For a follow-up that attempts to switch up the formula a little by changing its location, continuing an arc on one of its victimized characters from a previous movie and adding a Last Jedi-leveled twist, it somehow feels just as run-of-the-mill and even more garbled in plot than its predecessors.

Greatest potty scene I think I’ve ever seen though. LOL. 

Verdict: D-

Part VI: Jason Lives (1986)

The best kills in the franchise so far are featured in Jason Lives EASILY, and they never stop coming and coming. This is twice the fun as everything that’s come before Part VI, and that’s exactly what happens when a film embraces its absurdity to a decent peak. Sometimes it’s meta commentary isn’t as interesting as it thinks it is, and yeah, everything else about the movie is quite flat including the conflict occurring among the many characters. But, yeah, this is the first Friday the 13th movie that is actually, at least, mediocre? 

Verdict: C-

Part VII: The New Blood (1988)

Starring Indigo White. If you know, you know.

This franchise has gotten so desperate for new ideas, that telekinesis has actually become implemented into this franchise, and no surprises here, it adds merely nothing of value to the redundant Friday the 13th formula that’s, once again, used to map out Part VII. It’s, furthermore, the most illogical on a technical level, an overall embarrassing attempt at adding sentimental relevance to its main character and there are literally NO good kills in this entire movie! NOT ONE! This is EFFORTLESSLY the most “censored in violence” entry yet, if you know what I mean. *Sad face.*

Best Jason Voorhees costume though, I can’t lie.

Verdict: F

Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)

The lighting in this is straight out of Batman Forever

Jason’s teleporting powers hit a new peak in Jason Takes Manhattan, and if you’re thinking that that’s not the only thing this eighth entry has to offer, you’re not completely wrong. The movie takes place mostly on a boat and there are a few distasteful surrealist sequences, but, other than that, despite new locations and new characters, Part VIII remains to be just as pathetic as a majority of its fellow relatives. Thank, Mother, this marathon has finally ended. After 8 of these, I can confidently say that even as a gratuitous horror movie obsessor, this franchise has disappointed me more than any other one in my entire life. Fin.

However, I LOVED the Julius vs. Jason sequence! I was dying of laughter during that comically elongated affair! 

Verdict: D-

The Shittiest Franchise Ranked

The 1980s “Friday the 13th” franchise is now available to purchase on Blu-Ray.

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