Craptastic Cinema

Celebrating The Best Of The Worst Movies

Friday the 13th Part VII The New Blood

Year : 1988 Director : John Carl Buechler Running Time : 90 MInutes Genre :
Movie review score

After viewing Jason Lives, which was considered a “fan favorite”, I will admit I almost wanted to abandon this entire project.  If that pile of waste was considered one of the best, then I feared what was still to come.  Call me a fool, call me brave, call me what you will, I decided to carry on, and in many ways I am glad that I did.  In a stark contract to “Jason Lives”, “Friday the 13th Part VII The New Blood” toned down the comedy element, and revamped the horror.  The interesting thing about The New Blood is that it was supposed to pit Jason Voorhees against Freddy Krueger from the “A Nightmare on Elm Street” series.  Several issues got in the way, and it did not happen (at this point).  The script was slightly changed to now have Jason face off against a girl with telekinetic powers.  This was perhaps to allow some of the preconceived special effect still happen in the movie.  Regardless of the script changes, Friday the 13th Part VII The New Blood delivers on the vibes of the classic films in the series.

“Friday the 13th Part VII The New Blood” begins with 10 year old Tina Shepard (Jennifer Banko) on a trip with her family to Crystal Lake.  She witnessed her father abusing her mother.  Tina, in a moment of fear and anger, wished her father dead.  This became the start of Tina’s telekinetic powers.  The boat dock that her father was standing on feel apart, apparently because of her wish.  He fell into Crystal Lake and drowned.  Ten years later, Tina (Lar Park Lincoln) returned to lake with her mother Amanda (Susan Blu), and her doctor Dr. Crews (Terry Kiser).  Since the event that happened with her father, Tina had been struggling to to deal with life in general.  On the other hand, her doctor has a deep desire to explore Tina’s telekinetic powers.  Because of this, he did very little to help her, but kept her in an aggravated state in hopes of triggering a reaction.  One night, after a intense session, Tina ran out to the dock her father was killed on, and attempted to either contact her father or bring him back.  Instead, her powers caused the reawakening of Jason Voorhees (Kane Hodder) who was still at the bottom of the lake trapped to a rock by a chain, as seen at the end of Jason Lives.  Tina tries to tell her mother and doctor that she saw Jason, but they blew her off thing that she was just simply seeing things.

In a house nearby, a group of friends gathered together to celebrate one of their birthdays.  Tina met them, and one of the men, Nick (Kevin Blair), thought that she is cute.  This upset Melissa (Susan Jennifer Sullivan), who had a thing for Nick on her own.  Needless to say, Melissa did everything she could to get in between the two of them.  Most of the group of friends are there at the house, except for the birthday boy Michael (William Butler) and his girlfriend Jane (Staci Greason).  Of course, they became Jason’s first victims.  What is unexpected is that Tina had a vision that witnessed the event take place.  She tried to tell Dr. Crews, and even told him where to look.  He told her that she was just seeing things, and they couldn’t be real.  He did go out to investigate, and found that what Tina said was true.  He kept it from Tina and her mother.  While that was going on, Jason continued his killing spree.  He took out a couple camping in the woods, and the party mates one by one.

After a while, Tina and Nick became close, but they also worked together to figure out the strange things going on around them.  Together, they discovered Dr. Crews’ secret intent with Tina, as well as the bodies of the victims.  All of that lead up to the epic battle between Tina and Jason.  Tina’s kinetic powers proved to be quite a match for Jason; however, Jason always came back.  Eventually, the battle works its way back out to the lake area, and to the dock Tina’s father died on.  When things looked at their worst for Tina, her father crashed through the bottom of the dock, and saved the day.  Very awkward moment, but had a cool feel to it.

It has to be said, “Friday the 13th The New Blood” has perhaps the worst acting in the entire franchise.  Oh my Lord is it bad.  At times it comes off as the lowest of budget films, border line made for TV performances.  In addition, “The New Blood” was butchered by editors to tone down the violence.  It did leave several of the scenes feel choppy, but never to a point where it was incoherent.  One last thing to point out is that the special effects in this movie are OLD SCHOOL.  Lots of stop motion effects were used, and other things that were common of the time.  It looked corny then, and dated now, but it has it’s charm.  All of that being said, Friday the 13th Part VII The New Blood has its share of good points.  It does have have a great story line, fantastic chills, and Kane Hodder is without a doubt the best actor to ever play Jason Voorhees.  He just knew how to do it better than anyone else.

On the Craptastic Scale, “Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood” gets a 3 out of 5.  As pointed out before, it has it’s share of good and bad points.  These will either make you love the film, or completely dislike it.  I happen to be on the love it side of things, where as my wife is in the “didn’t like it” group.  Just to be clear, we both feel it is better than “Jason Lives”.  Also, neither one of us feel it is a bad movie for the franchise.  She just felt like it was not as good as it could have been with better actors in it.  I, on the other hand, loved the low grade performances.  I found them to actually be a highlight.  What I think hurt this film was that it does feel toned down from the previous entries.  Learning that it was edited to get that coveted “Rated R” rating, answers my questions.  That is not to say that Jason’s actions are absent, they are just not as “in your face” as they felt like they were supposed to be.  Also, the ending was a tad stupid, but totally fit the context of the story and the franchise.  Leading up to it though was a pretty kick ass fight between Tina and Jason.

This is yet another one of the films in the series that is not released on BluRay.  You can get this on deluxe edition DVD, and it is also part of “The Collection” boxset.  In addition, Netflix subscribers can see this movie instantly through Netflix Instant.  I would say that it is worth the viewing.  Will you miss a major story arc by not seeing it?  No, but you will miss out on one of the better films of the middle era of the franchise.

What to see how “Friday the 13th Part VII The New Blood” ranked against the other films in the franchise?  Click here to find out

-Matt Camarco

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