Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)
FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE FINAL CHAPTER
WRITERS: Screenplay by Barney Cohen
Story by Bruce Hidemi Sakow
DIRECTOR: Joseph Zito
STARRING: Kimberly Beck as Trish
Peter Barton as Doug
Corey Feldman as Tommy
E. Erich Anderson as Rob
Crispin Glover as Jimmy
Alan Hayes as Paul
Barbara Howard as Sara
Lawrence Monoson as Ted
Joan Freeman as Mrs. Jarvis
Judie Aronson as Samantha
Camilla and Carey More as Tina and Teri
QUICK CUT: It's back to Crystal Lake as a local family welcomes their new neighbours for the weekend. Local special needs man, Jason Voorhees, also pays them a visit.
Tommy - A young boy living with his mom and sister on the shores of Crystal Lake, who has a special knack for making monster prosthetics and special effects. He's got a long future ahead of him! If he doesn't die first...
Trish - Tommy's sister, and one of the toughest people Jason has ever faced. She's almost your typical female horror movie character, but there's a definite strength to her on top of the typical tropes.
Jimmy - One of the kids coming out for the weekend, who is a bit of a goofball, but also a genuinely good guy. He's not had the best luck with women so far, and hopes to change his luck this weekend. Which never works out well when Jason is nearby.
Ted - The prankster of the group, and he can be a bit annoying. He makes fun of everyone and everything, and is generally enjoying life, for as long as that lasts.
Rob - A man hunting after Jason, for a previous murder in another movie. He's determined, has resources, but he's going up against the unstoppable...
Jason - He's baaaack. All his tropes have been solidified by now, from the big hulking unstoppable brute, the hockey mask is there, and the machete. The monster is at last fully formed, and ready to tear through a cast.
THE GUTS: Happy New Year, Triskelions! 2017 is here, and you know what that means, time for the next installment of Friday the 13th! After a bunch of movies that I've gotten through really quickly, it's nice to get back to Crystal Lake, and my namesake bringing a nice, long movie with lots going on. This one is Friday the 13th part 4: The Final Chaptahahaaaahahaha...I can't type that with a straight face. #4 isn't even halfway through all the Jason movies.
If you're new to the series, the movie catches you up with a LOT of reusable footage from the first three movies, before we get to catching up with the events of #3, and continuing from where that left off with the aftermath and cleanup, as Jason's dead body is carted away to the moruge. Along with everyone else.
Normally I would scoff at such a gratuitous reuse of footage, but it has a few plusses going for it. First of all, it is all from previous movies, going back anywhere from one to five years, so that's good. It's not old stuff from THIS movie we just saw a few minutes ago. Also, putting the murder montage over the campfire story of Jason's past is a great way to set up this supposedly final chaaaaahahahaha. Ahem. It's also just really well edited.
Jason arrives at the hospital morgue, setting it up to look like Friday is going to retread the boot-stomped ground of Michael Meyers and break format from stabbing in the woods. But the good news is, it's only briefly.
We spend JUST enough time in the hospital to get to know the few characters he kills off, make you think this is gonna be the movie, and then we rush right back out into the forest.
But before we get there, we at least get to watch as Jason kills off Axel the creepy medical examiner, and a nurse.
We meet our main family for the movie, the Jarvis's; Tommy and Trish, and their mom who doesn't deserve a first name, I guess. Oh, and Tommy is some sort of Stan Winston mask making creature effects wunderkind. He should totally go hang out with the kid from Deadly Spawn.
Also, I note that the creature effects for this movie are done by legendary Jack the Ripper actor, Tom Savini. I wonder if the kid was named Tommy as a bit of an homage to him. Doubly so since he literally helped create Jason originally, and now gets to kill him in the Finaaahahahaha. And yes, Tommy is played by a baby Corey Feldman.
But they can't be the only people out in the woods, so the movie slides in a handy car full of canon fodder kids, who are...largely interchangeable with any other movie. But there are two standouts; Jimmy played by the legendary Crispin Glover, and his friend Ted, who's a bit of a goofball and prankster. They largely only stand out from the quality of acting and they're a bit larger than life.
While on the way there, Ted declares that Jimmy is a "dead fuck" which is not what you want to call someone in a Jason movie. And he says it repeatedly.
Along the way, they spy a hitchhiker and leave her behind, so she can get killed by Jason, whom I guess is apparently walking all the way back to the lake. And really, there's a lot of talk about Jason only killing the naughty, but this girl did nothing wrong. Can you imagine an alternate version where she didn't die, and her and Jason tagged along together for a chunk of their walk? "So, your mom was a counselor at that nearby camp...?"
The kids arrive at their cabin in the woods, they meet the Jarvises, and Tommy gets to watch high school girls getting ready for bed from his bedroom window.
And the next day, just to add a little added canon fodder to the mix, the gang meets the twins, Sherri and Terri, or something like that.
We are doing a lot of meet and greet and character stuff, fortunately the movie remembers to keep that lurking threat of Jason present with PoV shots and his music.
Before the real fun can begin though, the movie gives us one more character, who shows up when Trish and Tommy have their car break down. Rob arrives to help them out, and he's going to later be revealed to be the brother of one of Jason's victims, and is looking for a little revenge.
I feel like there's TOO much character stuff and just hanging out, and while the characters do tend to blur a bit, I genuinely like everyone here, so it's hard to complain too loudly. But the impatient side of me is starting to tap his fingers.
Finally though, the movie reaches the halfway point, and one of the girls heads off to swim in the lake. Alone. At night. Naked. Now that's the Friday the 13th I'm looking for.
It doesn't take long for Jason to find her on a raft, and touch her, making her die in agony. What, is he suddenly Lake Thing? Whosoever knows fear shall burn at Jason Voorhees' touch?
Oh no wait, I missed the knife coming up through the bottom of the raft and skewering her right through. It happened so quick.
Paul realises she's been out on the lake for awhile, and finally goes to see if she's okay. Meanwhile, the twins pair off with Jimmy and Ted. But before they can have any fun, Paul gets harpooned in the nuts and hoisted into the air.
Rob hears the commotion and goes to see if he can find his nemesis. But somehow in the five seconds he's not in his tent, Jason runs in and wrecks all his shit. Somehow right after skewering a guy into the air.
In the meantime, Ted finds an old vaudeville era type porn movie, and puts it on for everyone to watch and laugh at. A lot. Seriously, the movie spends way too much time showing us this lurid movie, and the teens laughing at it. If I am going to be forced to watch people watch another movie and watch them laughing at it for this length of time, that projector better be used to bash someone's skull in to justify all this setup.
Sherri gets bored with this, wants nothing to do with Ted, and decides to leave, letting Terri know before she heads out into the downpour outside. But before she can even sit on her bike, we see a shadow grab her shadow and kill her shadow. And then she gets stabbed onto the cabin just so you know she dead.
Mrs. Jarvis wanders back into the plot, finding her house abandoned, since the kids are driving back from town or something.
But poor Tommy Mommy will never find out where everyone went, because she looks for their dog, and finds Jason instead, in a rare unseen kill. She died without a name.
The kids arrive home to find mom 'missing' and Trish goes back into the rain to look for Rob...er, her mother. She finds Rob's empty tent, and a lurking shadow playing Jason's music. But then it's revealed to just be Rob, and...okay, look.
I'm sorry, but if you're gonna use Jason's music, it HAS to be Jason doing the lurking. It makes NO sense to have someone else using his theme music, other than to be manipulative. It breaks the rules, in my opinion. But anyways, Rob finds Trish in his tent when he was expecting Jason.
After George McFly screws Sherri, forever altering poor Marty's timeline, he heads to the kitchen to try and find the corkscrew. And in a great death where he really comes out of nowhere, we find out Jason has it. He just swings out of the shadows and impales Jim's hand to the counter. Before he can scream and alert the house of survivors, he gets a cleaver to the face.
While she waits for Jim to come back, Sherri notices her sister's bike is still there, and before she can raise the alarm over that, Jason suddenly appears and rips her through the window and throws her into the yard.
That would be, what? A reverse defenestration? Outward defenestrated? I need a whole new word for this.
While Jason's playing victim lawn darts, Rob tells Trish his backstory, along with Jason's, and convinces her that Jason is still alive. And have I ever mentioned how weird it is to talk about Jason being alive or dead, and I'm sitting here with that name? It's really, really bizarre.
Back at their cabin, two of the kids are taking a shower, while Ted is STILL WATCHING PORNY HOME MOVIES. For Corman's sake.
At one point, he gets up to talk to he screen, but the movie suddenly stops. As he turns back to the projector flapping the film around, he gets caught unawares when the knife stabs him in the back of the head through the screen, slicing downwards.
Y'know, it's not a projector based death, but I will indeed accept it as a fair pay off to this lengthy setup.
Upstairs, Sarah wanders off from the shower, leaving the guy ripe for the picking, as Jason shows up to take a leak, and crush the guy's skull against the wall. At least wash your hands first!
Sarah returns to the shower, and finds the dead guy, then runs screaming down the stairs. We'd reach peak corpse here if *anyone else in this group was alive to be alerted.*
She runs downstairs, and gets an axe in the chest when she tries to run out the door, while Trish and Rob return to find Tommy alone, and Jason removing the entire phone box from the wall outside. By hand.
They run across the way to check on the kids, and um...as they walk by the projector, they're looking right where the screen SHOULD be...does no one notice the gaping knife slash? Or the bloody streak that would be left? I mean, I know Jay V has moved the bodies, but c'mon.
Rob and Trish split up to cover more ground...WITH THEIR BLOOD. Because that never goes well. But before Jason gets to those two fools, he finds the dog and...this is open to interpretation. But I think what it would take to make it look like Jason flings the dog through the window, and deciding to make the dog do the jump, it LOOKS like he jumps of his own wishes, to escape, rather than be killed and flung out by Jason.
Trish finds a few dead bodies in the bathroom, and runs to grab Rob. But Jason grabs him first, and finishes him off. Guess he's not our hero.
She can't decide if she should run to get help, or stay to help Rob, but once he grabs Trish through the stairs, she kinda decides running is the better idea.
Trish runs, but finds bodies at every doorway, blocking her escape, if she's gonna be a wuss about it. Just step over the dead twin!
She runs home, where Tommy's been reading up on the local serial killer folklore, and they begin to fortify the house.
Which is silly, because Jason has never ever been one to let things like 'doors' or 'windows' or even paltry things such as 'walls' stop him.
He makes this abundantly clear when he flings Rob's dead body through one of their giant windows, making the fortifications completely pointless.
The big guy breaks even more windows to grab Tommy, and won't let go until Trish embeds a hammer deep into his neck. On the plus side, Tommy is free. On the downside, Jason is now piiiiissed.
He's so damned pissed that when he smashes through the door, he flings that same hammer at Trish's head, and it's a good thing he missed, because it buries itself into the wall.
They run upstairs and get into Tommy's room, and use a giant, heavy bookcase to block the door. Which might be a solid enough plan to catch your breath, if you didn't leave half the door uncovered, giving him plenty of time to AGAIN smash through the door.
He won't get into the room that way, but he can then push that shelf right out of the way, because fuck that too!!
As he tries to get through the door, Trish grabs Tommy's computer, and turns it into a new hat for Jason. He gets electrocuted and falls to the floor, which they creep by.
But you know where this is going, so all together now, Jason's Not Really Dead.
Jason jumps up, chasing Trish back to the other cabin, because we paid for two locations and by damn we are gonna use 'em.
She runs upstairs and sees only one means of escape. And it is preferable to being caught in a room with Jason between you and the door; she jumps out a window.
Trish totally pulls a Jason there, and manages to survive, as he slowly trudges forward. Meanwhile. Tommy's giving himself a makeover, to make himself look like baby Jason.
Jason finally arrives despite his speed, getting his own machete in between his fingers, and slicing his hand up good. He pounces on Trish and holds her down because he's had enough of someone actually fighting back.
Tommy shows up with his shaved head, distracting the big lug long enough for Trish to get out from under him. She grabs the knife, knocks off his mask, and we get a great look at grown up Jason.
Corey picks up the knife as Jason starts to go after his sister, and he embeds it deep into Jason's skull. The monster falls to his knees and then collapses further onto the blade, sliding down the entire length of it.
And there is no way he's surviving that, because this is the final chaaaa*SNORT* the finaahaaha...the final chapter.
They do a quick wrapup in the hospital, as the kids recover, and a threatening shot of Tommy's face, hinting that maybe he's traumatised and will be the next Jason, because he is TOTALLY dead and not coming back.
Video: Like all the Friday movies so far, this looks solid. It maintains the 80s look, has that soft grey to it, and while it might not be as vibrant, might not pop, it's how it should look.
Audio: And it sounds pretty good too. The music is spot on, and has a great chilling note as always.
Best Line: "Jesus Christmas! Holy Jesus! Goddamn! Holy Jesus jumping Christmas shit!" Almost Axel's final words
Body Count: As always, Jason can be guaranteed to bring the body count. And fun little note, 13 people die before Jason takes his ffffheheeeeheehee...final bow.
1 - 14 minues in, Jason wakes up in the morgue and hacks Axel's neck, and twists his head like a soda bottle..
2 - A nurse soon follows.
3 - Some poor hitchhike dies for no reason with a knife through the neck.
4 - One of the teens gets rafted in the lake.
5 - Paul goes for a swim and gets skewered.
6 - Terri gets killed outside in the rain.
7 - The cameraman scares Mrs. Jarvis to death.
8 - Jim gets screwed, corkscrewed, and cleavered.
9 - Tracy gets flung out the window and bounced off a car.
10 - Ted gets a knife in the back of his head.
11 - One of the guys gets offed in the shower with Jason's mighty hands.
12 - Sarah gets an axe to the chest.
13 - Rob gets hammered.
14 - Jason dies, for realsies and forever.
Best Corpse: With Savini at the helm, this is a TOUGH one. So many great gory deaths. But let's go with Jason's death himself. It may not stick, but it's epic, and poetic.
Peak Corpse: Pretty late in the movie once Trish and Tommy get back from wandering around to find everyone dad.
Blood Type - B+: It's Tom Savini, so you know the effects are gonna be solid. And he definitely comes through with a lot og great gore. It may not be super bloody with spraying it everywhere, but what's there looks great.
Sex Appeal: Gotta have the occasional naked lady to drive Jason wild.
Drink Up! Every time you hear Ted say "Dead fuck".
Video Nasties: I am a sucker for slowmo, and Jason just ripping a girl out a window and flinging her away is classic.
Movie Review: For a slasher movie, this is pretty great. I even daresay this might be the best Friday movie to date. Roger Ebert said it was a tired retread of the original, but that is very wrong, in my opinion. Sure, the very very basic formula is the same. Jason kills people in the woods, but the actual story is completely different. A more accurate way to say it, is that it may follow some of the same guidelines of previous Jason movies, the Final Chapter takes the lessons of the first three movies, finds what works, and actually improves on the formula. It's not perfect, and it is a bit slow to really get going, but it gives you plenty to be going on, and once the action does kick in, it never ever lets up. But since it's a slasher, it does remain pretty basic, and it won't wow people for innovation, but this is absolutely solid for what it is. Four out of five escaping dogs.
Entertainment Value: Every death in this movie is great, delivered with believable effects by Savini. Jason's demise is fitting, and I almost wish it had stuck. All the kills leading up to it are great and interesting, save for maybe one or two. If anything, they show too little of them, but that leaves a lot of room for the imagination to build upon. Even the acting isn't bad, and most of the featured players are great to watch, particular Jimmy and Ted. They bring a lot of life and animation to the proceedings. A great, solid, entertaining movie. Four out of five corkscrews.