With higher production values, memorably gruesome special effects, and a better cast, Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter seemed like the ideal ending point for the lowbrow slasher series. After a nifty prologue montage that sums up the first three films, we’re off to Camp Crystal Lake and introduced to a new assortment of preppy teenagers (including Crispin Glover as nerdy Ted, who spasmodically dances to bad 1980s pop music and is presciently told by his best friend that he’s a “dead fuck,” gets laid, and then is promptly done in by a kitchen utensil after ill-advisedly shouting, “WHERE’S THE GODDAMNED CORKSCREW?”). In addition to the cannon-fodder characters is a machete-wielding, friendly neighborhood Jason hunter (Erich Anderson) searching for his missing sister and a precocious little kid named Tommy (Corey Feldman, in Goonies mode) who (a) spies out the window at naked coeds getting it on, (b) has a cool collection of monster masks in his room, and (c) during his final confrontation with Jason decides to shave his head, cut off the legs of his jeans to make short shorts, and I guess pretend to be the hockey mask marauder’s younger self. There are enough fresh twists to the played-out slasher genre to keep fans engrossed, with Jason going down for the count in a memorably nasty way and the final close-up on bald Feldman keeping the door open for the obligatory sequel. Even though we would see more of Jason over the years (first as a zombie, then battling a telekinetic super-girl, taking on Freddy Krueger within his own warped dreams, even hacking teens to bits in outer space), this one certainly felt as if it properly closed out the Friday the 13th series before it devolved into unadulterated camp.
- Paramount Pictures
- 91 min
- Joseph Zito
- Barney Cohen
- Kimberly Beck, Erich Anderson, Crispin Glover, Barbara Howard, Peter Barton, Corey Feldman
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