John's Horror Banana-nanza Episode Four : Friday the 13th - The Final Chapter
Coming off of a disaster of a sequel in “Friday the 13th – 3-D”, the producers decided to end the series. To do this, they brought in “The Prowler” director Joe Zito, and he brought in Tom Savini. With the intention to finally kill off Jason, the team created one of the best executed chapters in the series. Now that doesn’t mean there aren’t serious flaws, and we’ll get to those, but it’s still extremely enjoyable, and maybe one of the best slasher films of all time.
This movie has it all. Savini effects, likable characters, Corey Feldman, the banana girl, and a kick ass Jason played beautifully by Ted White. At the time, he was uncredited, but he has embraced his part since.
So the story starts after Part 3, with Jason's body still in the barn. We get to see what it's like to clean up after a Friday the 13th movie, as the coroners and doctors remove the bodies. Jason is taken to a morgue where we meet Axel, who utters the most ridiculous and awesome line of all time, "Jesus Christmas! Holy Jesus God Damn! Holy Jesus jumping Christmas shit!" All this while trying to hit on the nurse and watch late night stretching. You have to see it to believe it. So he throws Jason into the icebox, where for reasons we don't know or care about, he comes to and kills Axel and the nurse, and heads back to Crystal Lake. That's where five partygoers are headed, right next door to the Jarvis family, for a weekend party. They pass a hitchhiker eating a banana, and well, my favorite death in all of horror history takes place.
So the Jarvis family. Yeah, they’re an odd bunch. A killer is terrorizing the area around them, and while they seem to know about it, even mentioning, “What if the psycho wanders in?”, they basically ignore it. Tommy, played by Feldman, is a weird kid, modeled after Tom Savini. He and his sister meet a guy named Rob while broken down on the side of the road, who claims to be hunting bears, but if you saw Part 2 and remember the character Sandra, well, that was his sister. He's out to kill Jason. Yeah, serious plot hole, but we’ll get there.
Jason, meanwhile, is busting shit up. He harpoons one character in the groin, stabs a girl through a blow up raft, throws a girl out a window, mashes a guy's face into a shower wall, and of course, throws an axe through a door into the chest of some girl. Then he kills Mrs. Jarvis, leaving Tommy and Trish wondering what happened.
Trish and Rob go next door to investigate and find the most insane house of horrors of all time. Before they can leave, Rob is pummeled to death by Jason and what looks like a mini-garden rake. Trish and Tommy nail all the doors shut, but of course, Jason doesn't use doors! Not the normal way, anyway. He just bursts right through and chases the Jarvis's around the house, then chases Trish next door, then back over again.
Tommy, meanwhile, decides to use his makeup ability to confuse Jason and shaves his head. Jason thinks he sees himself from the past, I think. I really don't know. He's as confused as I am at this part. Then after a failed, miserable attempt at hacking Jason's head off by Trish, we see some excellent makeup work by Savini on Jason's face, before Tommy busts it all up in a dramatic and gory finale. We’re then left to believe that Tommy will take Jason’s place, as he gives a stare to the camera in the final shot.
So, while this is an excellent film, there are huge problems I have with it. First of all, this film takes place a couple days after the second film started, so Rob’s sister, who probably hasn’t even been buried yet, should not have Rob out in the woods hunting his killer. How did Rob get all that information on Jason so quickly? And why would he go out camping in the woods to find him? I hope he wasn’t planning on sleeping out there.
We also have a Jason magician for the first time. While he’s not quite supernatural at this point of the series, he still manages to appear in random places without logic. In one sequence, Ted is in the living room watching a black and white porn video. Uh, yeah. Anyway, Jim is in the kitchen, where Jason kills him. He then goes outside, goes up on the roof, throws one of the twins out the window, goes back downstairs, goes into the kitchen, and grabs a knife. He goes into the living room, cuts the reel-to-reel behind Ted, then goes around Ted to the back of the projector screen and stabs him. I guess it’s plausible that Ted was so high he didn’t notice any of this, but Jason went in and out of the house twice while Ted was in the living room.
Then, in a later scene, Rob and Trish are looking for Jason. Rob is in the basement. The dog is upstairs, and jumps out a window. Now, if Jason did that, he’s upstairs. So how does he get downstairs while Rob is there, without Rob seeing him? And if he didn’t throw the dog out the window, why did the dog jump out the window?
Ok. I’m done with the complaints. This movie, logically, makes little to no sense. Throwing those factors away, this is a fun film, one of the best of its kind. And if it wasn’t for the absolute magic of “Jason Lives”, it’d be my favorite in the entire series. If only they could have kept this going in the next entry.
Interesting Topics to Discuss.
1. Why exactly can't Rob be hunting bears? According to Paul in Part 2, women need to keep up with their female needs, because bears are in the area and they can sense it. (Which is a completely rediculous line.) So why can't he be?
2. Just exactly how many days have passed since Part 2/3? Why are people allowed in the area? And if it's less than a week, how does Rob know who killed his sister, and where he is?
3. Where exactly is Jason heading this time? And how did these partiers have anything to do with his accidental death, which by now we realise didn't happen to begin with?
4. For that matter, how could anyone have sympathy for a guy who's own stupidity, and who's mother's own ill-concieved revenge plot led to several deaths, are his justification for killing random people? I'm sorry, but even the stupidest stoner doesn't deserve to die just because he's stoned.