Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning (1985)
FRIDAY THE 13th PART V: A NEW BEGINNING
WRITERS: Story by Martin Kitrosser & David Cohen
Screenplay by Martin Kitrosser & David Cohen and Danny Steinmann
DIRECTOR: Danny Steinmann
STARRING: Melanie Kinnaman as Pam
John Shepherd as Tommy
Shavar Ross as Reggie
Richard Young as Matt
Marco St. John as Sheriff Tucker
QUICK CUT: After losing his family, Tommy Jarvis recovers from his trauma at a camp in the woods, and can't stop thinking of his long lost friend, Jason, while hoping to piece his life back together.
Tommy Jarvis - Many years after the last movie, Tommy's in his late teens, and still dealing with the previous sequel. He's a fighter, he has anger issues, but somewhere underneath the shell shock is the same little scared boy.
Pam - One of the counselors at the halfway camp. She's a good sort, and eager to help anyone she can. She doesn't really do a whole lot but help and run.
Reggie: Or Reggie the Wreckless. A little kid, around the same age Tommy was in the last movie, and a bit of a daredevil. He's only at the camp because his grandfather works there.
THE GUTS: Happy new year, Triskelions! I hope our collective 2018 is better than 2017 was, and it can't be much worse. But to kick things off, it is time for the yearly return to Crystal L...wait what? We're not going there this time? Oh, right, Jason's dead. Are we still doing a...we are? O...kay then! Let's just dive right into Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning. Dude's like a phoenix...
We last saw Jason, uh, kinda dead! So the movie opens up with him still dead, and Tommy Jarvis checking on the grave. He hears some voices through the woods, and two jokesters come running up to dig up the grave, just so they can catch a glimpse of the mythical Jason Voorhees.
Before they can do anything other than stare in awe...Jason comes back to life and kills them both. As Jasons do when you wake them up from a nap, geeze.
He spies The Boy Who Lived and goes to do something about that. He grabs his trademark machete, comes over to Tommy Potter, and...an adult Tommy wakes up in the back of a police car.
This is another rare instance of IT WAS ALL A DREAM that I will allow. It is a good scare, gives us a taste of Jason to whet our appetite until the fun truly begins, and establishes how fucked up Tommy is all these years later, and how much Jason continues to haunt him. Also, they gave us a cameo of Corey back as Tommy.
Adult Tommy is being taken to Pinehurst, a camp-like halfway house for people being released from mental hospitals, to make the transition easier from that to the real world. At least we still get a camp like setting.
He meets Pam, the head counselor there at Camp Notalottacrazy, and then the head doctor that will keep an eye on him. We get some brief time with the canon fodder for the movie too, but not a whole lot.
Tommy heads to his room to settle in, and he meets Reggie the Wreckless. He's not a patient there, his granddad works there so he hangs out. We also see Tommy still works on scary masks, which never really enters the plot, but could have SO easily.
The sheriff shows up to drop off some wayward kids that were trespassing on someone's property, and those someones ride up on a motorcycle and hillbilly all over the place before driving back off. So many potential victims.
Or maybe, with all these angry, or mentally unstable, people lurking around, a whole lotta red herrings.
Speaking of angry red herrings, while goofy naive innocent Joey wanders around looking for someone to help, he gravitates towards Vic, who has anger issues, and is busy axing up some logs. Because that can only end well!
And it doesn't, when he gets fed up listening to Joey babble, and he buries the axe in his back. Over and over again.
So the cops show up and take Vic away and an ambulance takes Joey's body away...but not before one of the doctors pulling back the sheet to check out the wounds and traumatising all the kids.
We take a break from Camp Halfaway to two guys in a broken down car on the side of the road somewhere. One of them heads off into the woods to take a crap, giving the other just enough time to be killed with a road flare to the mouth. Vinnie returns, tries to get the car started...and gets slashed from someone in the back seat. Nice to not really meet you guys!
The movie has reached the end of the first act, and that's a good point to bring in our killer, even if he's mostly unseen at this point. These first thirty minutes have really flown by, while not a lot has happened. It's nicely paced, with some okay character moments, and moments of horror. It's never too slow, or doing too much too soon, so there's plenty for the end.
Speaking of anger issues, at breakfast the next morning, one of the kids comes in and gives Tommy a scare...which is the last thing you wanna do to this guy with PTSD. Tommy grabs him and flips him over, punching the hell out of him. Tommy seems like he's been training for years just in case Jason ever shows back up. He will not be a victim again. BUT that makes him a little jumpy.
Meanwhile, over at the hillbilly farm, a complete stranger shows up outta the blue saying he hasn't eaten in a few days and could sure use some work. HMMM maybe he's the kill...oop nope, he dead. Shortest red herring ever.
Technically before he dies, we get another random couple, that helps supply food to the camp, get murdered in the night, but Raymond doesn't last long at all, when he watches another couple have sex then get killed, and he gets axed himself for watching.
The mayor finally has a chat with the cops, and the sheriff is sure this is the work of Jason Voorhees, because that makes sense. And it turns out Jason was cremated, and is nothing but a pile of ash. ...What was that I was saying about a phoenix?
Pam takes Reckless to go meet his brother, and they ask Tommy to tag along so he can get out amongst the world a bit. And this is just a weird setup. "Sure, I, a professional caregiver, shall take a ten year old boy to meet his brother hanging out in a van, and take our most recent parolee to meet him as well!"
While they chat and kill time, Tommy hangs back and keeps to himself, being drawn to a neon sign like he's a moth, for some reason. The Hillbilly Kid shows up on his motorsickle and gives Tommy a hard time...so Tommy returns the favour by punching his face in.
They've done a great job establishing Tommy as one half unstable and full of rage just under his calm surface, and one half well trained fighting machine.
After the beatdown, they head out before momma shows up, or the cops, leaving Demon and his girlfriend some alone time before the killer shows up to off them too. The girl dies off camera, and poor Demon gets speared on the shitter. What a horrible way to go.
Pam and Reckless get back to the camp, Tommy has run off, and some others have wandered off to find some of their other missing crazy campers.
So many victims, so little time, but our wannabe Jason heads over to Hillbilly Acres to take care of Junior and Ethel first. Momma gets a knife to the face, shown from her perspective. It's an almost 3D gag callback, but it's so quick, and hard to see, that I had to watch it several times to tell just what was going on, besides NotJason looking like he was punching her in the face. He's always been strong, but not THAT strong.
Heck, someone catching a glimpse of that, would give the sheriff's beliefs more weight, and make the Big Reveal later all that much more of a swerve. They really should have just leaned in to making people think it's Jason.
Ahem. Back at the camp, some of the kids are just chilling and waiting for anyone to come back not dead, eventually NotJason shows up to keep things interesting by offing three of the kids before Reckless wakes up and discovers all their bodies in Tommy's room. Nice way to make him seem like the killer.
Pam hears the screams and comes, checks the room out and screams herself, because three brutally murdered people you know posed like a Renaissance painting.
They rush downstairs and slip into the kitchen, giving Jason enough time to catch up from...outside? Kicking down the door?
Okay, first off, I forgive some of the holding back, because introing him in full like THAT? That's a great moment.
But second of all, he was in the house, which he got to quickly from the neighbours, but the time cuts from a to b explains that well enough, it just SEEMS fast. But he was INSIDE, then went OUTSIDE just to be a bit extra with a grand entrance I guess?
When Pam and Reckless see the giant supposed to be dead machete wielding hockey mask wearing maniac looming over them, they do what any good thinking person, or Doctor Who companion, would do; run.
They find the ambulance from the start of the movie, think they can get some help, but one of the EMTs is in there, already dead. And Jason is standing right in front of the car. HOW. He was back in the house behind them! This is the single most egregious use of supervillain teleportation I have EVER seen
We get lots more running and finding of dead bodies throughout the woods, and Pam eventually gets back to the farmhouse. But she's not safe there as Reggie's granddad's dead and eyeless body gets flung through the kitchen window.
Pam runs off back into the downpour again, trips, and Jason is about to add her to his impressive body count...when Reckless bursts in with a fucking bulldozer to run the guy down.
"Is he dead??" Not with 15 minutes left he ain't!
They rush off to the barn once he pops up like a Jason in the Box, because at least they'll die where it's dry, and Jason follows them.
He pokes around a bit, and Pam busts out of a storage room armed with a chainsaw, flailing at Jason. You get to see chainsaw v. machete, and it's pretty awesome. You can totally see how freaked out this Jason is as a chainsaw is gunning for his face.
Sadly, the engine conks out, and Pam can't get it started back up, giving him the upper hand. She runs off after throwing the chainsaw at him, and that's when Tommy arrives. I hate to admit it, but I kinda wanted him to be Jason.
After getting slashed across the chest, Tommy bolts up to the loft with the other two, and plays dead, while Jason tries to get to Pam. She stands in front of the large loft door, and Reggie saves the day by pouncing from behind, and pushes him off to his death on a spikey death trap farm tool.
Well, he struggles on the ledge for a bit, tries to grab Reggie, until Tommy comes over and machetes him in the arm, THEN he falls.
So at last we get the reveal of who has been using the legend of Jason Voorhees to murder all these people!
If you're wondering, the movie explains it to us. That was Roy, the other ambulance driver, and it turns out Joey, the overweight guy looking for a friend, but got axed to death by Vic, is his son. That made Roy snap and go all Voorhees on everyone.
Before the movie wraps up, we get that exposition, and Tommy once again in a hospital, where he has a bookending nightmare of killing Pam and something in him finally snaps, he finds a hockey mask in his drawer, and he escapes into the night.
Many people didn't like this twist, and I can see why. I wish Roy had more of a presence, so there was more recognition when we finally see him, and didn't need so much of an infodump. Watching on a second time through, it is REALLY clear that Roy is in on it, if you watch his reactions throughout. Also, it's really clear that that is not Jason, for many reasons.
I also really like the parallels of a grieving parent using the Jason persona as a mask to do their killings. Pamela in the first movie, now Roy. I enjoyed watching a bit of a mystery, a throwback to the first movie almost, and this at least builds off the lore, trying to use what has been done and move forward, without remaining mired in the past forever. Sadly, they didn't stick with this, and instead brought Jason back from the dead.
Following the adventures of Tommy as a new serial killer, the legacy of the Voorhees family, would've been a great direction to go in.
Video: Looks really good, considering it's a big release.
Audio: Same here, with some good atmospherics.
Body Count: Whoo. This movie sure is not shy about killing damned near everyone.
1 - 21 minutes in we get our first real death when Vic gets pushed too far and axes the fat guy to death.
2 - Vinnie with the broken down car gets a car flare in his face. COOL
3 - Pete gets his neck slashed from behind.
4 - Billy gets an axe in his bald spot.
5 - And then Lana gets it in the gut
6 - And guts catching axes continues with Raymond watching the next two victims
7 - Tina gets her eyes stabbed out with hedge trimmers
8 - Eddie gets belted and crushed.
9 - Anita gets her throat slashed off screen
10 - Demon gets stabbed in the shitter.
11 - Junior gets beheaded
12 - Ethel gets a knife to the camera
13 - Jake gets a knife in the face.
14 - Then Robin gets machete'd in the back from her bunk bed.
15 - Jason hoists up Violet and guts her too.
16 - Duke gets found dead in the ambulance off camera
17 - Matt was nailed to a tree off camera.
18 - George loses his eyes off camera and gets refenestrated.
19 - Jason but actually Roy falls to his death.
20 - Implied Pam death after a fake dream death.
Best Corpse: I really love that road flare death.
Blood Type - C+: While there's some good effects, I did notice something going through this movie...a lot of the kills are off camera. Knives get bloody from time to time, the effects we see are good, there's those eye gouges, but so much of it is implied. It feels weirdly sanitized.
Sex Appeal: Your usual smattering of boobs in a Jason flick.
Drink Up! Every time the real Jason Voorhees shows up.
Video Nasties: I think I'll stick with that road flare death...
Movie Review: This movie has a terrible reputation. It's the Halloween 3 of the franchise. I even understand why, in some ways. But I really enjoyed it. I love the mystery, I love taking what was established and moving forward, and not being forever stuck going in circles. There's some poor choices made, but it's ultimately a well made movie, with a decent story, and the only failing of the twist is that they could have explained it better. Four out of five hockey masks.
Entertainment Value: The strength of this movie is certainly the amount of characters and creative, fun deaths in which they die. Every character is distinct, has their moment, before they get brutally slaughtered. It's a lot of fun, it's silly, and very enjoyable. Four out of five enchiladas.