Craptastic Cinema

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Friday the 13th The Final Chapter

Year : 1984 Director : Joseph Zito Running Time : 90 MInutes Genre :
Movie review score
3/5

The original plans were to end the Friday the 13th series after Part III, thus making it just a trilogy.  Things changed, and the powers that be decided that Jason Voorhees needed a proper send off film.  That makes sense too because at the end of Part III, you only see a body under a blanket.  It never really showed that Jason was dead.  Plus, were we to believe that he died with a simple blow of a knife or an axe to his head?  He had survived those injuries before, why would this be any different?  Therefore a fourth Friday the 13th needed to be made.  If nothing else, it would give closure to the character.  One could call it Jason Voorhees’ final chapter.  In fact, that is what they called it.  The fourth film was Friday the 13th The Final Chapter.

Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter once again takes place the following day after the event of the previous film. This is just like Part III was to Part 2.  That means that Part 2 was on a Friday the 13th, Part III would be Saturday the 14th, and this one would be on Sunday the 15th.  Stupid observation, but interesting tidbit of knowledge.  The police are cleaning up the crime scene at Higgins Haven, and sent Jason’s corpse to the morgue.  Of course, Jason isn’t dead.  It is not long after he was admitted, that he rose from the gurney and murdered the doctor and nurse who were fooling around next to his “corpse”.  Jason escaped from the hospital, and headed back to Crystal Lake.

The next scene introduced us to this movie’s victims, err I mean cast of characters.  A group of kids rented a house on Crystal Lake.  Being another group of stereotypical teenage characters, by this point we know that none of them have the traits of being the movie’s survivors.  They are all about sex, drugs and partying.  Ah, but next door to them is the Jarvis house.  Here we find the real stars of the movie.  Trish (Kimberly Beck) and her younger brother Tommy Jarvis (Corey Feldman) meet the party group next door and Trish befriended them quickly.  On one trip into town, Trish and Tommy’s car broke down, and they received assistance from a hitchhiker named Rob (Erich Anderson).  Rob told them that he was in the area hunting bears.  Tommy called his bluff stating that there were no bears in the area.  Rob still insisted that there were.  Despite this, the Jarvis’ invite Rob back to their place out of gratitude for his help.

As night falls, the group next door begun the traditional activities of loud music, drinking, drugs, and of course hooking up with each other.  Rob also leaves the Jarvis house to set up his camp in the woods.  It is around this time that Jason Voorhees begins his mass murdering spree.  One by one the horny teenagers are killed off, unbeknownst to the Jarvis family next door.  Trish Jarvis goes out into the woods to look for her mother who has not returned home yet, and runs into Rob.  Rob explains that the true reason why he was out there was because he was hunting down Jason Voorhees for the murder of his sister Sandra (who was killed in Part 2).  He warned Trish that he feels Jason is still alive, and probably roaming around Crystal Lake at that moment.

Trish and Rob ran back to the Jarvis house to make sure that Tommy is okay.  After ensuring his safety, the two headed next door to check on the party group.  They arrived to an empty house.  After some searching, Trish eventually finds a corpse, and runs to warn Rob.  Her timing was horrible, because as she warned him, Jason appeared and killed Rob.  Trish managed to escape and ran back to her house to protect Tommy.  Jason followed and broke his way into their house.  After going from room to room defending themselves from Jason, Trish and Tommy get separated.  During this time Jason continued his persuit of Trish, and Tommy found some press clippings that Rob had about Jason.  In them, Tommy saw a photo of a young, bald Jason.  Tommy decided to shave off his hair, in hopes that it will come in handy against Jason.  Downstairs, Trish and Jason are battling it out.  No matter what Trish does, it does not seem to harm Jason.  Soon, Tommy came down the stairs and yells at Jason to get his attention.  With his shaved head, Tommy played mind games with Jason.  They worked because Jason lowered his guard, allowing Trish to hit him in the head with a machete.  This did not harm Jason, only knocked off his mask reviling his deformed face to the two of them.  Trish droped the machete, but Tommy is quick to pick it up, and chop it into Jason’s head.  As Tommy and Trish embraced, thinking that it is over, Tommy noticed Jason had twitch.  Tommy grabbed the machete and went to town chopping into Jason’s body.  As he was in his rage, Tommy kept saying “Die Die Die” as Trish yells “Tommy” in terror.  The movie ends at the hospital where Trish and Tommy share a brother-sister moment.  As they hugged, the camera showed Tommy’s face, and he has a demented stare on it.  Could this be the real end, or has things just begun?

As mentioned before, Friday the 13th The Final Chapter was supposed to be the last movie of the series.  However this movie did very well at the box office, and fans loved it.  In many ways, this movie rejuvenated the fan base, and they knew they could carry on from this point.   This movie became the first film in a sub-triology inside the franchise about the character Tommy Jarvis.  Tommy’s demented stare at the end of this film did leave the impression that the events that occurred left him traumatized.  Where will this take him?  Just how messed up did Jason make Tommy?  Well those are questioned answered in another movie.

On the Craptastic Scale, Friday the 13th The Final Chapter gets a 3 out of 5.  It isn’t bad, but it is not all that great either.  The cast was ok, but nothing to remember.  I honestly saw that Crispin Glover was in cast, and that was in the ending credits.  I normally love Crispin, but he went completely unnoticed by me watching it for this review.  I had to watch the movie a 2nd time just to figure out who he was.  Believe it or not, he had a semi major role as one of the horny teenagers renting the house next door.  He also had one of the better deaths in the film too.  I kinda feel like an idiot not spotting him out to begin with, but then again he was kinda just another face in the crowd.  This movie was really about Cory Feldman, and that is where my biggest gripe with this film is.  If this was truly the final Jason movie, why the heck do they have a 12 year old kid kill him off when so many adults couldn’t even harm him?  Maybe I am being a little petty there, but it just didn’t do it for me.  Jason meeting his end from the hands of a little kid who did nothing different than every other adult Jason had faced to that point?  Yeah, call me unconvinced.  Outside of that fact, this movie does have some of the best camera work out of any Friday the 13th.  I love when directors take one long shot, without any cuts, and incorporate a lot going on in it.  This movie opens with one, and has several others though out the film.  Joseph Zito did a fantastic job directing this movie.  If only he had a better cast, or script.

This particular movie is only available on DVD, and I have not found a release date for a BluRay.  Like the other Friday the 13th films, I have it DVD, and it looks fine.  I personally would say that if you want to buy this one, get it in a box set with the whole series.  You can also get the one that has the first four films in a standard size case.  You can also view Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter in Netflix Instant.  I’m really middle of the road on this one.  I will not say that it is worth seeing, nor will I say to avoid it.  It is the best of the three “Tommy Jarvis” films, but more on those in a bit.

Want to see how Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter ranked against the other Friday the 13th films?  Click here to find out

-Matt Camarco
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