24 September 2015

September 24th

Friday the 13 Part 2 (1981) directed by Steve Miner
Warrington Gillette as Jason
Steve Dash as Masked Jason
1 May 1981
Freddy vs. Jason, Part II: Revenge for Mommy
More or less, the same movie as Part 1. Someone who's face we're not allowed to see stalks and kills a bunch of horny camp counselors around Crystal Lake. Crazy Ralph tells people they're doomed. There's a downpour right before the climax. One or some of the counselors go into town to a restaurant, only to return to camp to be killed. A woman uses a machete to defeat the killer, but -- surprise, surprise -- Jason jumps out of nowhere to grab her. The second time around, it's all a little duller.

Not that I hated the movie. I found myself really enjoying backwoods Jason. Normally, I'm in the "Zombie Jason is Best Jason" camp, but living Jason grew on me. As a kid, had I been allowed to watch these, I think I might have found The Town That Dreaded Sundown rip-off Jason to be the scariest. I remember stories of crazy hermits who lived in shacks in the woods just like Jason's shack in this one (and there's a lotta woods here in Michigan). Nothing would be scarier than getting lost in those woods and accidentally stumbling upon a shack and its occupant. More scary even, if he's wearing a bag on his head with just one eye hole. "The man who's gone wild" is a classic trope and great for use in a horror movie.

We also have Part 2 to thank for several slasher cliches. Killing off the main character from the previous movie at the start of the sequel is something that -- correct me if I'm wrong -- started here. There's also the first instance of nighttime skinny dipping, to be repeated and then even parodied within the series. My favorite of the cliches, the vast variety of killing implements used by the killer, begins with this film as well. Joining Part 1's rather standard machete and knife tool set is a pitch fork, a wire garrote, a rope snare, and a toy spear used as you would a real spear.

Now that they've got all of the bits and pieces they need -- an adult Jason, creative kills, unnecessary nudity -- the series can enter its golden age. Still, there's just one more iconic bit missing...

Favorite Character
Ted (Stuart Charno): the lanky, red-headed prankster who escapes death simply by getting utterly wasted at the bar in town

Favorite Sin
Primitive handheld sports video game innuendo

Favorite Kill
Mark (Tom McBride) getting a machete buried in his face and then pushed down an enormously long flight of stairs in his wheelchair.

Jason's Mood
"Git off ma land!"

Tales from the Darkside: "The Devil's Advocate" (1985) directed by Michael Gornick
Jerry Stiller plays an angry shock-jock in the Dr. Laura mold who does nothing but berate people on his talk show. I was excited when I saw this episode was written by George himself, but I soon found myself disappointed. While Stiller's performance is excellent and he was the perfect casting choice for this part, the story is a pretty standard "asshole gets his just desserts" tale. Through the course of the episode, the shock-jock demonstrates how much of a jerk he is while slowly discovering that he has died and is in Hell, doomed to listen to whiny callers for eternity. It's far too predictable and the audience is going to be way ahead of the main character for most of the story.

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