31 Days of Horror: Film #13 FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VI: JASON LIVES
Today’s the 13th. It’s not a Friday, but still I figured if I was going to fit a Friday the 13th film into my 31 Days of Horror, today was as good a day as any.
Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives is my favorite film from the slasher series. I’m not in touch with the Jason Voorhees fandom to know whether or not Jason Lives is an unpopular choice or not (for the record: Jason Goes to Hell, the 2009 remake, and the Carrie rip-off chapter are my least favorites). The Jason series isn’t high-art and unlike Halloween or even Nightmare on Elm Street, I’ve rarely ever found the Friday movies to be all that scary. That doesn’t mean they’re not entertaining, though. The thing I like about Jason Lives is that it seems to understand the shortcomings of the Friday the 13th series. It doesn’t ever really try to scare you (though one sequence where Jason shadows a girl outside the window is effective), the film’s mostly just interested in being bloody 80s entertainment.
When one of Jason’s victims gets out of the insane asylum, he goes to Jason’s grave to destroy the body and send the killer to Hell. Instead PLOT TWIST a lightning bolt strikes the casket, reviving Jason and sending him on yet another murderous rampage. Jason goes back to Camp Crystal Lake, terrorizes all the stupid kids, and the dude that accidentally revived Jason must try to kill him again.
This is all standard slasher movie stuff. What makes Jason Lives different is its sense of humor. Early in the film, Jason struts across the screen, turns, slashes his machete at the audience, and blood sprays everywhere. Jason’s doing the 007 turn and shoot move that’s seen at the beginning of virtually every Bond flick. From then on, you know that the film’s not playing by the usual rules. What follows mixes the usual Friday formula with some amusing dark comedy, making it (for my money anyway) the most entertaining and rewatchable film of the series.
Jason Lives makes fun of itself but it’s still very much in touch with what makes a Friday the 13th film tick.
Writer of horror, science fiction, and dark fantasy. Lover of books and film. Lifelong Godzilla fan. Reluctant blogger.
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