|C.J. Graham as Jason|
1 Aug 1986
Freddy vs. Jason, Part VIII: Jason's Undead
This was one of the movies I chose to watch last Halloween, when I discovered that it's one of my favorites of the series. Which might be a little hard to explain... Like Part 5, this film was clearly gutted by MPAA demands. None of the gore survived the editing room and every kill ends abruptly in a quick cut. It's also bizarrely lacking in nudity... the only entry in the entire series to do so, if I remember correctly. Added to that, the goofiness that began with Part 5's redneck mother and son duo continues in this film. There's a ton of silliness in the movie -- from the dipshit cemetery caretaker to the business executive paintballers to the self-referential jokes ("I've seen enough horror movies to know any weirdo wearing a mask is never friendly."). Despite all of this, the movie works.
I think the primary reason I like this entry is Jason himself. Jason is on quite the tear in this film. The body count is higher than ever before and Jason never seems to take a break from killing. In fact, the movie even inserts completely unnecessary characters (the picnicking couple) just to give Jason more people to kill. And, the man is mean. Mean, mean. He's crushing heads, bending people in half, twisting their heads off, and shoving their faces so hard into metal that we can see the outline of their screams. He's so mean, we almost believe that the camp's young children are in danger when he waltzes into their cabin.
Silly as the movie can be, Jason himself is always treated as an extreme threat to be taken seriously. That's the key. The second you're allowed to laugh at the villain -- see Freddy's Dead for a particularly egregious example -- you're making a comedy and not a horror movie. Even with the censored kills, Jason remains a fearsome force in this movie.
This helps heighten the tension in finale, which has my pick for the best ending of the Friday movies so far. Tommy's plan is to balance precariously in a canoe and get dangerously close to the resurrected monster, throw a chain connected to a rock around his neck, tighten the chain, and throw the rock overboard. Jason is a guy who has been shown to rip a man's arm off without even trying, just to get his machete. I'd rather try to wrestle a hungry bear than attempt such a feat.
And that final image, of Jason serenely floating under the surface of Crystal Lake and then opening his eye, is absolutely perfect. Had this been the "Final Friday," I think that might've been just fine. Jason's long-time nemesis Tommy defeats him in the most appropriate manner possible, yet we all know he's still underwater... waiting...
Martin (Bob Larkin): the always-drunk cemetery caretaker who looks directly at us at one point and with not a small amount of accusation in his voice says "Some folks sure got a strange idea of entertainment."
Requesting super-human sexual endurance from your boyfriend in order to finish listening to a really lone Alice Cooper song.
Nikki (Darcy DeMoss), who has her head shoved into the wall of an RV so hard it deforms the metal exterior into the shape of her screaming face.
Super-grumpy after a long nap.
The Walking Dead 5.05: "Self Help" (2014) directed by Ernest R. Dickerson
An episode that flashes back to Abraham's backstory as his group slowly makes their way towards D.C. I like Abraham, so I enjoyed seeing more of where he came from before meeting up with Eugene. Abraham is a man who requires a mission in life. When the apocalypse hit, his mission -- like any good father -- was the protect his family. Unfortunately for him, the vision of him beating a -- zombie? bad human? -- to death with a soup can in a grocery store frightened his wife so much that she fled with the kids towards their eventual deaths. Eugene enters his life with his lie of a mission -- to stop the zombie plague altogether -- which stops Abraham from killing himself and gives him something to focus on, I'll be curious to see where the show goes with him now, now that he knows Eugene was lying and there is nothing to be done. In the comics, everything turns out OK, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything for the show.