Monday, October 7, 2013

Halloween Hootenanny: Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (Tom McLoughlin, 1986)

Thanks to some epic over-indulgence over the last few days (i.e. I think I might have watched more movies than had hours sleep during the previous three), I had one hell of a moviethon hangover today. As always, there's only one cure for what ails you in this situation... watch another movie of course. And seeing as the final two I watched last night were slashers from 1986 (April Fools Day and Slaughter High), I think I've just found all the excuse I need to re-watch Jason Lives.

I first watched this instalment in the Friday franchise earlier this year and for some reason (probably fatigue) it just washed over me at the time. But during my recent re-watch (i.e. prior to today's) it totally hit my mid-to-late eighties slasher sweet spot. There's more of an emphasis on humour here (and some of it quite knowing) than in most of the previous sequels (I say most because I've still not seen Part V, so obviously can't comment on it), but I'd say never to the extent that it ruins the more tense aspects... though your mileage may vary of course... suppose it really depends on what sort of a sense of humour you have... as the drunk cemetery caretaker dude says early on (and almost directly to camera): "Some folks have a strange idea of entertainment"... and I'm one of them apparently...

Admittedly, there's some damn silly, borderline unbelievable stuff happening in this one, but come on, this is a slasher movie for Christ sake, so to knock it for stretching the limits of our collective credulity is probably foolish to begin with. Case in point: Jason's resurrection... I really couldn't give a crap if it makes no "logical" sense... he was dead, he got struck by lightning, and now he's a walking extra in what seems to be (albeit very temporarily) a Lucio Fulci movie... fuck it, I'm sold, no questions asked! Finally, Alice Cooper provides a few tunes, including the 80s-tastic end credits theme song, so what else do you want? All in all, I can see why this is a fan favourite, and after my last two viewings (in as many weeks), it's jumped straight into my top ten slasher sequels list, and ahead of another entry in the series. I doubt it's the best entry the franchise has to offer, but it could be the most purely entertaining.

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