Cinema has shown us zombies come in all shapes and sizes… and many different franchises.
One from the to watch pile…
Friday the 13th Part VI Jason Lives (1986)
Film: The Friday the 13th franchise is a pretty amazing one. It switches horror sub-genres from film to film and we, the horror consumer, swallow every change like an OCD glutton at a multi-cultural all-you-can-eat buffet. It hits us with giallo, slasher, scifi, body horror and here, with part VI, zombie elements and it does it without flinching.
I was always a fan of this series, with Part V being my favourite, but this is probably the one I saw the most, mainly as I had an ex-rental of it in the late eighties that I watched over and over.
This instalment sees Tommy Jarvis (Thom Matthews), survivor of attacks by both Jason Voorhees and a copycat killer, returns to Crystal Lake, now renamed Forest Green to try and escape the stigma of the amount of mass killings, to dig up the body of Jason Voorhees to make sure he is dead, which he thinks may release him from the madness which has pursued him his entire life.
Once he and one of his pals from the institution, Hawes (played by Ron ‘Horshack’ Palillo) dig the body up, Tommy freaks out and stabs the corpse through the heart with a iron palling torn from the fence of the graveyard, but as bad luck and a complete lack of medical or science knowledge would have it, a lightning bolt strikes the pole and brings Jason (C.J. Graham) back to life as a rotting killer with a thirst for teenage blood!
A new camp has been opened in ‘Forest Green’ and with a re-animated Jason on the loose, only one thing can happen: CARNAGE! Jason is just one of Tommy’s problems though, as he has the local Sheriff (David Kagen) and the gun-happy deputy (Vincent Guastaferro) after him thinking HE is the killer, and hot-to-trot saucy sheriff’s daughter and camp councillor Megan (Jennifer Cooke) after his body… will he manage to put Jason down once again?
This foray into Jason’s world is a lot lighter, and more PG than the previous outings but it still entertains with a likeable cast, fast movie story (there is even a car chase!) and a couple of genuine funny moments. A warning though, if you are offended by eighties fashion, or teenagers designed after the John Hughes model, you may have a small scale cringe tremor.
It’s not the best F13, but it’s entertaining nonetheless.
Format: This review was done with the US release of the region 1 DVD. It is presented in a 16×9 widescreen image that is top shelf for DVD and has a pretty good Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track!
Extras: The disc opens with a trailer for the Emily Browning film The Uninvited and then continues with a veritable Trevor-trove of extras.
First we have a commentary with writer/ director Tom McLoughlin, accompanied by editor Bruce Green and Vincent Guastaferro who played Deputy Rick Cologne, which is a fairly thorough and entertaining.
Lost Tales from Camp Blood – Part 6 is just some amateur, cliché ridden slasher divided up in parts for this release of the F13 films. Don’t even bother with it, even if you’ve seen the others. I’m not even sure why it’s on an F13 disc when you consider the only thing in common is the completely stolen score.
The Crystal Lake Massacres Revisited Part III is a mockumentary treating the events in this film as real. It’s dumb.
Jason Lives: The Making of Friday the 13th: Part VI is just that and is a nice, albeit short retrospective about the film.
Meeting Mr Voorhees looks at McLoughlin’s original ending for the film, which would have introduced Jason’s father to the lexicon of the lake. It is shown here using Storyboards and a cast member’s voiceover. I liked this and it would have taken the series in a different direction!
Slashed Scenes, I thought, was going to be deleted stuff, but it is just the murders shown all together in really bad quality.
Original Theatrical Trailer is just what it’s name suggests.
There is also a ‘preview’ option which just shows the a same trailer for The Uninvited that the disc opened with.
WISIA: It’s dopey, but it’s Friday the 13th, so you’ll rewatch it every Friday the 13th or whenever you have a F13 marathon.