Triskaidekafiles

Triskaidekafiles is a love letter to cheesy cinema from the 80s and 90s, with the occasional dip into other eras.  if you're a fan of MST3K, Elvira, Joe Bob Briggs, or just bad horror movies in general, Trisk is the place for you.

Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)

FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 2

WRITER: Ron Kurz

DIRECTOR: Steve Miner

STARRING: Amy Steel as Ginny
    John Furey as Paul
    Adrienne King as Alice
    Kirsten Baker as Terry
    Stu Charno as Ted
    Warrington Gillette as Jason
    Walt Gorney as Crazy Ralph
    Marta Kober as Sandra
    Tom McBride as Mark
    Bill Randolph as Jeff
    Lauren-Marie Taylor as Vickie
    Russell Todd as Scott

QUICK CUT: Aaand we are back to not quite Crystal Lake.  We are Crystal Lake adjacent.  This time out, another camp has opened up for the summer, and the counselors have awoken Jason, bringing him to their camp for the summer.

THE MORGUE

    Ginny - The girlfriend of the head camp counselor, and our lead girl.  She covers pretty much the same territory as Alice in the first movie.  She's also a student of child psychology which gives her some insights into the behaviour of some guy called Jason.  Hey!  I'M some guy called Jason!

    Paul - The head counselor at a camp near to Camp Crystal Lake.  Also, Ginny's boyfriend.  He's lighthearted, but takes his job seriously.  He runs a tight ship, but also knows to let the kids working with him have some freedom.  He's probably the nicest guy in a horror movie.

    Scott - And then there's this guy.  He fills our horny, kinda jerky quota.

    Sandra - The movie starts you out thinking she's either gonna be our lead girl, or early machete fodder.  But she gets quickly overshadows by Ginny.  Still, Sandra's a good girl, maybe a bit too inquisitive for her own good, but she would've made a fine lead, I say.

    Jeff - Sandra's boyfriend, and also a pretty good guy.  The movie's filled with good people, really.  Save for Scott, and even he's just more of a troublemaker who wants sex, but I digress.

    Jason - Some poor guy stuck reviewing bad horror movies, until one day he's driven so insane from all the crap, that he goes on a slasher rampage while honouring his mother's memory.

 Camp Crystal Lake. I can't believe I'm back at Camp Crystal Lake.

Camp Crystal Lake. I can't believe I'm back at Camp Crystal Lake.

THE GUTS: And so 2014 ends, and we kick off 2015 with the second Friday the 13th movie, here at Trisk.  I don't want to make a guarantee that all the Classic Trisk reviews that were part of a series will happen in the same months they happened before.  But it sure does feel right to start off a new year with a Friday the 13th movie, so here we go!

Don't worry if you haven't seen the first movie or read my review of it, the sequel gets rolling with a hefty dose of reused footage from the first movie, recapping the major spoiler from it, with Alice still suffering from the events she lived through at Crystal Lake.

In all honesty, it's probably a bit much, as it goes on for a good five minutes, but I do appreciate a good recap, and that good decap of Mama Voorhees.

Alice then spends the next five minutes just wandering through her house as the cameraman follows her around.  It's fairly effective, as you start to wonder if the camera is actually someone stalking her, or just the film messing with us for style.

Surprise!  They're messing with us.  Mostly.

 Hey, can I pick your brain for a second?

Hey, can I pick your brain for a second?

A cat finally jumps in to break the tension, just as Alice opens the window to find out she still has Mrs. Voorhees head for leftovers in the fridge, and someone rams a spike into her head.

Remember, if you are ever looking around investigating a noise, and a cat ever scares you, you're probably about to die.  The cat's appearance has released the built up tension so the real horror in the darkness can get you.

You live in a horror movie.

 Tu!  Tu es no Mrs. Voorhees!  Tu es un Camp Crystal Lake creaturo en el rompaje...DOS!

Tu!  Tu es no Mrs. Voorhees!  Tu es un Camp Crystal Lake creaturo en el rompaje...DOS!

After the credits roll, we meet some new kids who find a payphone to get directions.  They get pestered by the same dude from the first movie, as our Harbinger returns.  His cries of "You're all doomed!" still going unheeded.

It's funny, but they're arguably MORE effective for the audience now, because now you've seen that he was right.

They eventually meet up with a local friend and get the plot rolling on to another camp, because no one's crazy enough to open Crystal Lake.  At least not THIS year.

Along the way, they get stopped by a tree in the road, and the girl wanders off.  Before she can be killed, she finds a sign for Camp Crystal Lake, and we at least find out the place is nearby.  I guess Jason's all lonely and just wants friends to play with.

 Camp Crystal Laxatives?  That sounds bloodier than I'd like.

Camp Crystal Laxatives?  That sounds bloodier than I'd like.

We spend some time meeting the rest of the counselors, and there's really too many with no real personalities just yet.  But they have names!  I guess that's something!

It takes awhile for everyone to arrive, and the head counselor to go through his speech, which has a great bit about bears and avoiding their attention.  Yeah, the bears are the least of your worries.

But, once everyone has settled in, he tells the group the legend of Cropsy...er, Jason.  It's a good way to cover some more ground that the reused footage missed, as well as getting the plot back on track.  Also, it rebuilds the tension for the characters as well as the viewers.

 But don't get too attached to them, they'll all be dead soon.

But don't get too attached to them, they'll all be dead soon.

Paul finishes off his story, as Ted jumps out of the woods in a horror mask and furs to scare everyone, and they dutifully scatter.  Yeah, go ahead, cry wolf a few more times and see how things go.

So, to recap, Paul says that Mrs. Voorhees was killed, her son didn't survive the drowning, and Camp Crystal Lake is off limits.  Setting up that status quo clearly, in wake of the end of the last movie, is pretty important.  But, I have my suspicions only that first one is gonna hold true by the end of the movie.

The group retires to the main cabin to entertain themselves, and eventually Ginny gets bored and tired and heads to bed.  Here's a tip.  If your characters are getting bored, the audience might be getting at least a little restless.

 Even Jason is itching to get things going.

Even Jason is itching to get things going.

Paul follows Ginny to her cabin, where he makes the latest scare fakeout.  While they proceed to make out, we see that the lurking figure around the camp is...Crazy Ralph!

What's he gonna do?  Go up there and tell them their relationship is doomed!  DOOMED!

Before he can do that though, Peeping Ralph gets strangled from behind, tying up another bit of loose canon threads from the first movie.  I'm a little bummed that he won't be sticking around to decry ongoings of doom for the rest of the series.

 You should've listened to your own advice, Strangled Ralph.

You should've listened to your own advice, Strangled Ralph.

So far, this movie's been too busy killing people from the FIRST movie to get around to the sequel characters.

We deal with more camp shenanigans until the inevitable beach scene occurs, which is the perfect opportunity for Sandra to drag Jeff off to check out Camp Blood.  Oh.  It's all gonna be her fault for this massacre, isn't it?

Not only did Paul give the warning that Crystal Lake was off limits, but once they find it, there's a barbed wire fence across the path.  With a "No Trespassing" sign, no less.  This place has 'stay away' written all over it, and repeated tellings of them to NOT go there.  They kinda deserve their fates at this point.

 We don't need to follow your RULES or your SIGNS, man!

We don't need to follow your RULES or your SIGNS, man!

Once they cross into the forbidden zone, they find what appears to be Terry's missing dog all mangled, and a local cop gives them the fakeout scare of the scene as he collects them and brings them back to their proper camp.

After the cop drops them off for their slap on the wrist, he drives off and sees someone running into the forest.  He gives chase and eventually finds a pieced together shack in the middle of the woods.

He eventually comes upon a room of horrors they don't show us yet, which distracts him from the guy coming up behind him with a hammer and killing him.

 Nailed it!

Nailed it!

While that's going down, the counselors wrap up their first day, and Paul offers everyone one last night in town for some fun before the real work begins.  This takes roughly half the group away, and it is conspicuously almost all people we've never really seen before, leaving the people we DO know behind to get murdered.

Shoulda gone into town, kids.

Terry goes for a walk by the beach, looks for her dead dog Rover, whom she's looked for before.  Eventually, she strips down and goes skinny dipping, when he doesn't show up.  As one does.

We get faked out again as the movie plays the killer's theme, and someone takes Terry's clothes, but NOPE! it's just Scott, playing a prank.  This is seriously eating into my goodwill with the constant fakeouts.

Scott steps into a snare and is yoinked into the air.  He manages to talk Terry into getting some help, despite being an utter tool, and he awaits to be cut.  Er, cut down.

 Okay, fine, I'll just hang around here, then...

Okay, fine, I'll just hang around here, then...

Fortunately, our killer is just as fed up as I am, and finally gets around to some killing.  While Terry's off looking for a knife, he's already there with a nice, big machete.  Unfortunately for Scott, it's not the rope that gets cut, and he instead gets sliced across the neck to bleed out like a pig.

So, that Scott guy's dead, there's not much movie left for him.

Back in town, Paul, Ted, and Ginny are talking about Jason, and Ginny gets pretty deep on him, and also pretty drunk.  She theorises what he would be like if he was real, what sort of experiences he's lived through, how it shaped him...

It's pretty deep stuff for a horror movie, but isn't quite as skillfully nuanced as the original Silent Night Deadly Night.

And I am not a myth, I'm a real boy!

Meanwhile at the camp, and away from the psychology class at Bar University, the kids are pairing off and having sex, as one does.

And it predictably ends badly when someone gets a machete in the face while the girl he's about to sleep with wanders off to try and find her brush.

 Is he trying to play air guitar?

Is he trying to play air guitar?

Mark takes the machete to the face, and then pulls an Exorcist homage as he's wheeled down a long flight of stone stairs in the middle of the forest.  This is why we need handicapped accessible areas in our summer camps.

The killer is done warming up on prey that can't run away, and finds the couple *actually* having sex, Jeff and Sandra.  Along the way, he picks up a spear someone casually left out.

It's pretty obvious where this is going, and it takes just a moment for the killer to get two birds with one spear.

 This looks nothing like me!

This looks nothing like me!

While Paul and Ginny decide they've had enough to drink, and drive back to the camp to see what sort of mayhem their charges have gotten up to, Vickie finally returns from fixing her hair, and looks for Mark.  In the wheelchair.

...Yes, he's upstairs, sure.

She pokes around, calling out for her friends, and eventually finds them in bed.  Well, she thinks she does, but then the Phantom Killer from Texarkana shows up.  She does find Jeff hanging around behind the door, though.

 The Lone Wolf couldn't catch me, what are YOU gonna do?!

The Lone Wolf couldn't catch me, what are YOU gonna do?!

That's when Paul and Ginny show up so THEY can find stuff.  What they find is an empty camp, with everyone having been disappeared.  They do find evidence of the worst period ever, erm, the results of the killer stabbing the couple on the bed.

Our heroes stumble through the dark, and Ginny notices Sackboy lurking in the shadows, just in time for him to jump out and pounce on Paul.

It doesn't look good for our lead counselor as Jason pops up and Ginny hides in the bathroom, holding the door shut.

 Uhhh.  Occupied?

Uhhh.  Occupied?

But Jason doesn't believe in doors, so punches his way through the window.  Before she can be caught, Ginny runs into the kitchen and locks the door.

And yes, I see the parallels to the first movie.

She grabs a weapon and lays in wait by the door, but Jason still doesn't quite grasp the concept of doors, and punches through that with a pitchfork.  Ginny runs off, but not before finding Corpsey Ralph hanging in the cupboard to scare people.

Ginny escapes through a window, and makes it to her car.  A car which has had a history of trouble getting started all movie long.  I suspect that was the entire point of the trip to the bar, to remind us of that fact.

And surprise!  It doesn't start.

 You need to pump the gas and turn the keys!  Thank you, Masked Mechanic!

You need to pump the gas and turn the keys!  Thank you, Masked Mechanic!

Jason starts to cut through the convertible's top with his pitchfork, and there has GOT to have been better ways to do that, with all the weapons he's used so far.

Anyways, Ginny runs for it, hides in the forest, and actually nails Jason in the nards.  A move not seen enough in horror movies.

There's quite a bit more chasing, eventually leading to Ginny hiding under a bed as Jason wanders around.  A plan that would've been fine until a mouse wanders by and pokes her nose.

Welcome to the forest!

 Even the mouse can smell the cheese.

Even the mouse can smell the cheese.

Ginny looks around and doesn't see Jason, so climbs out from under the bed.  Only to find he had climbed up on top of a chair, to pounce on her.  A plan that would've been fine, except the chair was crap, and Jason's heavy, so it all comes crashing down.

And let me tell you, watching Jason come tumbling down as the chair he's standing on breaks, and in the process breaking his pitchfork?  Hilarious.  That's my favourite villain takedown all year, and it's self-inflicted to boot.

Fortunately, they've ended up in the place where all the tools for the camp are kept, and Ginny grabs Chekov's Chainsaw that she was playing with earlier and waves it at Jason.

 Whoa, WHOA, shit lady!  That's not fair!  Geeze, whoa!  Back off!!

Whoa, WHOA, shit lady!  That's not fair!  Geeze, whoa!  Back off!!

Once he trips over his own feet, Ginny bashes him with a chair and runs off to find Paul and escape.  But, as we all know by the rules of horror, the killer is Not Really Dead.

...A rule that is ever moreso appropriate for Jason, but we'll cover that in later movies.

Instead, Ginny finds Jason's cabin, and we get to see what the cop saw earlier, a room of horrors that includes a dead Terry who disappeared earlier after finding Scott, and has as its centerpiece, Mrs. Voorhees head.

 No really, it's the centerpiece.

No really, it's the centerpiece.

The girl has an actually brilliant idea, and an original one to boot.  She grabs Mrs. Voorhees' sweater, which has been sitting around bloody and stinky for five years, puts it on, and once Jason breaks into his alter to mommy, she tries and plays up being her.

See, she's a child psychology major, and she's actually using her skills in a unique way to try and get through to the villain, and it's nicely set up throughout the movie.

That's how you do it.

 Come on Jason, give mommy a hug!

Come on Jason, give mommy a hug!

It was a good plan, until she moves to strike Jason with a weapon, revealing the actual severed head of Mama Voorhees behind her.  Once Jason sees that, he sees through the tricks, and is back in the game.

Fortunately, that's when Paul wanders by out of nowhere to continue his wrestling match with Jason.  While Sackboy is distracted by the new challenger, Ginny buries the machete in Jason's back.

The couple stumble back to the cabins, but hear a noise outside.  And surprise!  One last fakeout as it appears Terry's dog survived longer than its owner, as its just the dog outside and nothing terrible.

And again they turn that around by having Jason burst out of nowhere through the giant window behind Ginny, a la the final scene with Alice in the canoe.

 Hurley, nooo!

Hurley, nooo!

We fade to white and cut to Ginny being wheeled out on a stretcher into the sunset so someone can live happily ever after except for those who died.  She calls outfor Paul, leaving us once again with a few bodies for Jason to spend the first half of the next movie killing off before dealing with the new plot.

AUTOPSY REPORT

Video: This looks pretty solid, with the more muted colours of the era.  I have no complaints, other than maybe wanting things to be a bit darker at times, but that's a style issue.

Audio: Sounds perfectly fine.

Sound Bite: "Jason!  You've done your job well and mommy is pleased."  Thanks mom! =D  Heeey, you're not my mom!  You're Ginny in mom's sweater! =|

Body Count: Jason picks up the slashing mantle from his mother, and he does not disappoint.

1 - Jason cleans up his mother's leftovers from the first movie 12 minutes in, as he kills Alice with a stabby to the brain.
2 - Poor Crazy Ralph gets garotted to a tree.
3 - Local sheriff gets hammered in the woods.
4 - Scott gets hung like a side of beef, and Jason slashes his throat.
5 - Mark takes a machete to the face.
6 - Jeff gets a spear to the back...
7 - ...Which then pierces Sandra beneath him through the front.
8 - Vickie discovers the bodies and gets a knife to the chest.
9 - We discover Terry's body in Jason's lair, killed off screen.
Everyone says Paul is presumed dead, but I saw no body, I saw no kill.

Best Corpse: I almost go with Mark's machete in the face and then the tumble down the stairs, but I'm kinda partial to the two-fer of Jeff and Sandra getting stabbed during sex.  It may have been edited down for censors and ratings, but it's still an iconic moment for Jason.

Blood Type - C+: It's actually pretty bloody, with the much mentioned machete, some pools here and there, Mrs. Voorhees' severed head is pretty great...but at the same time, you KNOW that edits were made, and it hurts the overall feeling of the flick.

Sex Appeal: Pretty low to middle of the road, but bare breasts are seen occasionally.

Drink Up! Whenever someone says Camp Blood instead of Camp Crystal Lake.

Sights and Sounds: You gotta love when the bad guy is the instrument of their own downfall.  Jason would've done a lot better if he didn't stand on a cheap-ass chair, crash to the floor when it broke, and snapped his pitchfork in half.  And bonus, chainsaw action!

Movie Review: Friday 2 is slow to get going.  That first half hour is looong.  I normally like slow burns, and building up characters, but it felt like they didn't quite have the hang of things here.  It's not BAD, but there's some lagging parts, and ultimately the characters aren't built up that greatly, beyond Paul and Ginny.  But once people head to the bar (And some never even return!  HEY!  Get back here!), things really pick up, and the movie is great fun after that.  Jason is a natural choice to continue the series after his mother's rampage in the first movie.  It doesn't feel like a drastic shift, it's a natural evolution from what came before, and they actually did some thought in making it work.  I think I'll say I enjoyed The Burning more.  It was more fun, with funner characters, and better effects.  It's really an evolution and perfection of the formula that the original Friday really got rolling.  But Friday #2 is *right* behind The Burning.  Jason's a better villain than Cropsey.  It's really splitting hairs between the two movies, and I can see why some people would go one way or the other.  But back to Friday #2, the movie is well made, that uses the camp settings pretty well, and its biggest flaws on the storytelling front are the slow initial pace, and maybe covering too much of the same ground as the original.  Fortunately, once Ginny escapes the kitchen, we delve into some new stuff, with Jason's lair, and I absolutely LOVE Ginny's use of child psychology.  Anything that delves into the mind of the killers, is always a welcome thing in horror movies, and elevates them beyond just stabby, bloody fluff.  Five out of five drinks at a bar far, far away where it's safe.

Entertainment Value: I think when I said that this and Burning took the formula and evolved it and perfected it, I really nailed it.  You've got fun, colourful characters, a well-crafted killer with motivations and emotions while still being this strange, mysterious force, and a penchant for creative uses of knives.  There is some hilarious overuse of people calling for other people in the woods, the usual silly acting mixed with some good performances, and lots of fun to be had.  Still, it's not THAT goofy, and still kinda serious, outside of a few moments.  Four out of five broken pitchforks.

Someone should take the head of Momma Voorhees and go set her next to the burning skull from The Burning.  I think they'd get along famously.