Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood



Thanks to the telekinetic power of young woman whose fragile emotional state derives from how her ability to move objects and disrupt obstructions when pushed to the edge causes the chain holding Jason Voorhies to snap from the boulder holding him in the waters of Crystal Lake. This releases his really rotted corpse to freely kill to his heart’s content (if there’s little heart left salvaged from death and decay, that is). There is a group assembled at a cabin for the birthday of a friend but this unlucky guy meets Jason in the woods and is stabbed all the way through with a spike (I guess you could say Jason crashed the party! Oh, man, I know, but after seven Jason films I’m working on fumes). Established in this sequel is Tina’s ability to see Jason kill despite being away from his location, a psychic curse if there ever was one.


There's a legend 'round here. A killer buried, but not dead. A curse on Crystal Lake. A death curse. Jason Voorhees's curse. They say he died as a boy, but he keeps coming back. Few have seen him and lived. Some have even tried to stop him. No one can. People forget he's down there... waiting.


I always loved the idea that this girl just kicks Jason’s ass with her telekinetic abilities like tossing a plant with a severed head that head-butts him or when she drops a hanging light into his hockey-masked face knocking him backwards through steps, crashing to the basement (I think he even actually groans while falling through; I actually thought this was a nice touch, because I imagine those ole bones can’t take much falling through steps before the right landing popped a leg off). When she first faces off with Jason, Tina causes branches to wrap around him, dropping a power line into a muddy pool of water, with electric bolts sending charges all through him. Even an electrical cord is used to wrap around his neck, taking him off his feet, having him dangling. The basement has nails that stab him, followed up by gasoline streaming on Jason, a fireball igniting him into an inferno. 

Director John Carl Buechler gives us one doozy of an explosion as that cabin eviscerates into debris. Yet even that can’t keep Jason down. How could a corpse, regardless if it is moving and has enough brain power to think and somewhat reason, survive that explosion?!?! The credibility for the franchise had split the premises after Part 3, so all of the sequels afterward operate by their own ridiculous rules. Buechler has the make-up background to really give us a grotesque zombie with the flesh so rotted that you can see his bones, yet his mobility is incredible (not to mention, his body was under water for an extended period of time between the sixth film and this one). He can still crush a victim’s head with those mangled hands somehow. When a roof is dropped on Jason’s head, that really upped the ante in regards to how grand the final set piece would have to be (and it delivers in spades).


I have to admit that at this point during my re-evaluation of the entire Friday the 13th franchise, my tolerance for the cat jumping out at a soon-to-die chick, the same machete slicing a face, and a naked babe once again in the lake, vulnerable and ditsy, is starting to wane. It’s not the naked chick as much as the Jaws underwater shot that had been done to death, Jason pulling her feet with no sweat, later dragging her limp body out onto the shore. 

The characters in this film have become walking annoyances with little likability at all. Two girls are vying for the lustful attention of a pot-smoking goof named David (including the sight-for-sore-eyes, but  dim-bulb Elizabeth Kaitan). A blond (but hot) bitch named Melissa yearns lustfully for birthday boy’s cousin, Nick (the hunky Kevin Spirtas), who can’t stand the sight of her. Melissa does what she can to get his attention (and jealousy) by insinuation, flirting with a wannabe writer who offers his ideas of some stories to those in attendance, met with rolling eyes and disinterest. He has a great moment when looking through birthday boy’s presents, he finds a magnifying glass gift with its label a penis enlarger. His rejection by Melissa really is a demeaning moment for his sexually clueless character. Melissa getting it with an ax to the head as Jason takes her body and hurls it over a television set like a bag of garbage is a hilarious moment to me; Melissa is such a conceited, cold-hearted troublemaker that such a demise seemed fitting. Her strait-jacket joke towards Tina is her cruelest moment in the film and certainly the broken pearls, near-strangulation, thanks to the emotional outburst of telekinesis, seemed warranted. No matter how hard she tried, Melissa could not win his attention because Nick was more interested in Tina.


For me, the final twenty minutes, a special effects and pyrotechnics showcase, are what make Part Seven worth slogging through. The cut version (the excised gore footage has suffered so from being stuck in a Paramount Studios vault would look noticeable if inserted) has Jason stabbing and slashing with little shown, mostly hinted in quick shots of the carnage (a noisemaker stab into the eye, a spinning saw blade on what appears to be a weed-eater machine gutting Kiser, and the use of a brand new long-handled curving-blade impalement are certainly highlights of the bloody onslaught once you see them in the footage now available for our perusal; but the sleeping bag kill, the most memorable, celebrated kill due to its uniqueness is quick, merciless, and brutal all in a manner of seconds) as Tina discovers the dead bodies, looks of disgust, horror, and surprise on her face.


To me, the calling of her father from the watery depths just doesn’t work. For one thing, his body would have been brought to the surface by law enforcement, and when he does appear he looks as he did when he first went down to the lake floor. Pulling Jason down and keeping him there also asks us to believe that this would be enough to stop him. It does allow Tina to defeat Jason, survive without him getting his hands on her, and the salvation of beau, Nick.



At least, Buechler builds a plot regarding Tina, her crooked psychiatrist (he secretly plans to exploit her powers for his own personal financial gain), and the mother who plans to put an end to him once she discovers his scheme, only to fall victim to Jason. As Dr. Crews, Terry Kiser oozes slime, and he convinces from the get-go that he’s up to no good. Susan Blu is a source of aggravation to Crews because he’s got clout with the institution that has power over Tina’s treatment. Jason gets involved only because he kills anyone in sight and the fact that their cabin is located at Crystal Lake where he’s moving about conducting his massacre. Fate pits Tina against Jason and the way the story brings them together is probably the best aspect going from Part Seven besides the make-up effects and action-packed climax. Actually, the murder set pieces, for me, pale in comparison to the showdown between Jason and Tina, not the case for most of the other films that come before it, where the kills take creative precedence over much else.


Regarding Kane Hodder, I think he’s ideal as Jason because there’s a malevolence yet he humanizes the character (despite the fact that Hodder entered the series towards the end as an undead killer) more animated and on point. When Jason is unmasked and constantly thwarted of his desire to destroy Tina, you see the anger and resentment, the furor and how flat pissed off he is at all the mistreatment. Let’s face it, it is frustrating for Jason to receive such punishment, barely able to even get close to Tina without an object hurled in his direction (out of the levitation effects, I think the television set lifted in the air and thrown at Kiser was the best of the bunch, although the severed head plant and couch moments were cool, too). 


Because of Buechler’s background, all the rotted face Jason scenes are unique to the franchise as his make-up magic gives a different kind of look to the character than we are accustomed to. It was also nice to see the uniform in shambles, with parts of Jason’s body exposed. Buechler’s camera also does a competent job giving Jason a meaner, more imposing presence. It is a decent balance of Hodder’s work and Buechler’s vision of how Jason should look and act. It is all business, with none of the humor from the sixth film finding its way into this seventh Friday the 13th.

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Jtm 2

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mh2

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Hiii

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Fred

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Ghspo

Ghspo
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Enl

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Cbi1

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Wsha

Wsha

Mouth3

Mouth3
In the Mouth of Madness

Fdfn2

Fdfn2
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Vyr

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Sh fr

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Vlov

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f133

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Edpos

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Ttf2

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Jm2

Jm2
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Psycho '60

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Kife

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Meg

Meg
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ring 2

ring 2
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poster

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exor1

exor1
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Conj

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Tz1

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In the kitchen, The Shape

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Hun

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Ps89

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His

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Efny

Efny

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Edfen

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h1

h1
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Bs

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Amer

Amer
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The h gang

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Nlc

Nlc
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Hp

Hp

Smoke

Smoke
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Strek

Strek
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Hill

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Castle

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SRW

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Frere and dummy

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Mlove

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Alone/dark

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Lips

Lips

Fhz

Fhz

Ph

Ph

Vestron

Vestron
Vintage VHS

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sm 3

Monique parent

Monique parent
Erotique in Review

Were5

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Bmate

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Ms45 w

Ms45 w

Churcvh

Churcvh
The Church 1989

Ww

Ww
The Whip and the Body 1963

Lsho

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Christopher Lee

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Vampyros lesbos

You are one of us now. The Queen of the Night will bear you up on her black wings

The Unknown 1927

No....not sick. But I have lost some flesh.

Alonzo, the Armless.

Ckvh

Ckvh

Blood of Dracula's Castle (1969)

Glen: We'd like to speak to the Townsends, please.

The Butler: They are not available till after sunset.

Bw5

Bw5

Jill

Jill

Mad Love 1935

Doctor Gogol: Did you ever hear of Galatea?

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