FRIDAY THE 13TH (4): THE FINAL CHAPTER (1984)
FUCKED UP FRIDAY
Here we go, Jasonheads, Part 4 is in our face, in the HH House. In the tradition of some of the prior films, it opened on a Friday the 13th, & the body count was 13 (though one source claimed the more accurate kill count was 15).
This is a production that captured some insider publicity because of the overbearing directing style of Joseph Zito. Corey Feldman, only 13 when he made this film, already had 10 years experience, & he has reported that Zito was far from easy to work with/for; a less experienced child actor might have quit the business after being mistreated like he was by the director.
Ted White, a very experienced stunt man/actor, who played Jason in this one, was very upset that some of the young actors had to do their own dangerous stunts. Zito claimed that the modest budget did not allow for extra stunt persons.
When White spoke up as an advocate for several of the young cast, he & Zito developed an adversarial relationship. So much so that Ted White demanded that his name be taken out of the credits, calling the movie, “A piece of shit.”
Director Joseph Zito has directed nine films since 1975, including ABDUCTION (1975), BLOOD RAGE (1979), THE PROWLER (1981), MISSING IN ACTION (1984), INVASION USA (1985), & RED SCORPION (1988).
Ted White is 6’4” tall, & he has been an actor/stuntman in 68 movies since 1949 including THE SANDS OF IWO JIMA (1949), RIO BRAVO (1959), THE ALAMO (1960), CAT BALLOU (1965), POINT BLANK (1967), DIRTY LARRY, CRAZY MARY (1974), DEMONOID: MESSENGER OF DEATH (1981), TRON (1982), STARMAN (1984), SILVERADO (1985), THE HIDDEN II (1993) . He doubled for John Wayne, Clark Gable, Fess Parker, & Lee Marvin.
The film was written by Barney Cohen, who has written 16 screenplays since 1977, including HAPPY HOOKER GOES TO WASHINGTON (1977), KILLER PARTY (1986), DOOM RUNNERS (1997) & MICHAEL VS. JASON (2004).
Taglines: This is the one you’ve been screaming for.
Yes, Jason is back.
You are doomed.
Friday, April 13th was Jason’s unlucky day.
The budget was a mere 1.8 million dollars, but hey, it grossed 32.6 million dollars, so volatile infighting on the set aside, it was a money making machine. It, like Part 3, was filmed in California, near Santa Clarita, where they have filmed 7 sevens of SONS OF ANARCHY. At the time, this movie had more nudity than its three predecessors. (always a joy to hear, right?). In terms of profanity, it had at least 11 F-words, 1 obscene hand gesture, 7 scatological terms, & 1 religious profanity. Using archival footage, all the actors that played Jason appeared–Ari Lehman, Steve Dash, & Richard Brooker. Tom Savini returned to do the special gore effects, & they were better than most.
JASON’S BABE GALLERY:
Our lead-off babe is Judie Aronson.
She played Samantha.
Our protagonist babe was Kimberly Beck.
She played Trish Jarvis.
Next up we have Barbara Howard.
She played Sara.
Then we have the twins,
Camille & Carey More playing twins Tina & Terri.
Lisa Freeman played the amorous nurse.
Joan Freeman played Mrs. Travis.
Yeah, yeah, we understand this is a “Paramount” picture; that’s cool. It opens with 8 minutes of scenes from the original film, & Part 2; an expanded version of the scary talk by the head of the camp in Part 2, outlining just how dangerous Jason is, & repeat scenes of several of the kills.
After the credits, we pick up the night after the end of the mayhem in Part 3, lots of cops, aid cars, & flashing lights; dead bodies everywhere. Two paramedics go into the barn & Jason is lying in the same position he was in at the end of Part 3. They remove the axe from his head, & they transport him to the county morgue. We, of course, are quite used to these come-to-life at the morgue scenes, so we know what is to come.
The attending mortician seems to think he is quite the Lothario, & he talks one of the nurses into a make-out session next to Jason’s covered body on a gurney. She unbuttons her blouse & dry humps the guy, but one of Jason’s hands flops out near her face, & the hook-up unhooks, with her yelling the guy is a creep, & he’d better get that stiff into the cold storage slabs; which he does.
Sometime later the mortician is watching some sexy workout show on TV when Jason, who somehow got himself out of the body drawer & is still wearing his mask, which seems like quite an oversight, sneaks up behind the guy & cuts his throat with a hacksaw; where in the fuck he found a hacksaw is a bit of a mystery.
Soon nurse Morgan returns for more smooching & Jason stabs her several times in the stomach with a scalpel, holding her mouth, pushing her up onto the wall, feet dangling.
Cut to Mrs. Travis, an attractive middle-aged blond, jogging with her buxom daughter, Trish. POV of someone watching them as they trot down a forest trail. When they arrive at home, it is on a lake (Crystal-one presumes). She is a divorced Mom. We are introduced to younger brother Tommy, who likes to make horror masks for a hobby
(Tom Savini designed them, so they are pretty cool). They happen to mention that a group of six teenagers are renting the house on the lake next to them.
Cut to the six teenagers on their way toward the lake, Paul is driving, & his assertive girlfriend is Samantha, Sara & her boyfriend Doug, & two boys going solo, the talkative Jimmy, & horndog know-it-all Ted, who likes to call Jimmy a dead fuck, since he is still a virgin.
Cut to an overweight hitchhiker waiting by the side of the road, gobbling twinkies while she waits. The teenagers pass her up, since they have no more room in their vehicle. She had been holding up a sign asking for a ride. After the teens whiz past her, she flips the sign around & it now read FUCK YOU, as she flips them the bird.
Then she sits down disgusted at her luck, & begins munching on a ripe banana. But this is not a lucky fat broad, for Jason sneaks up behind her & knifes her through her neck & out her throat. The subliminal message, NO FAT CHICKS seems to blink.
Cut to the teens arriving at their two-story rental cabin. Neighbor Trish with little brother Tommy in tow, greet them. She is invited to a party for later that night. The teens head off on the path to the lake, where they meet the sexy twins, Tina & Terri, who were biking.
The girls join the group & they arrive at the lake. There is a swing rope, & the boys try it out. Then Tina & Terri strip to bikinis & jump into the water. Then they pull off their suits & start calling for a bout of skinny dipping. Sam & Paul strip naked & join them, followed quickly by Sarah & Doug, then the bachelor boys, Jimmy & wise-ass Ted.
Little Tommy has followed them & he is enjoying seeing all the nudity, until sister Trish makes him leave. On the short drive home, Trish’s car breaks down. Tommy, who seems to be a whiz-kid gets under the hood & tries to find the problem. Stranger/hiker/hunter Rob shows up & quickly fixes the car, arcing his hunting knife on the solenoid. He has a lot of camping gear with him, & a rifle. He tells them he is bear hunting, but he asks a lot of questions about how many teenagers are at the lake.
Trish insists that Rob come home with them to meet their mother, & be thanked properly; have a home cooked meal, etc. Mrs. Travis eyes the studly Rob (in my version of the screenplay, I would have had she & Rob hook up later in his tent, have some steamy sex in praise of older women). After dinner, Rob kisses Trish on the cheek, & heads off into the woods to make his camp. We, of course, know that those are Jason’s fucking woods.
Cut to later that night, & the impromptu party at the teen house. Tina & Terri, in matching twin outfits have joined them. Their pink bikes are parked outside, but they must have lived near enough to go home, change, grab some rubbers & lip gloss & head back to the party. Ted finds a 1920’s stag film, & a projector & screen, so while getting stoned on Maui-Wowie, he runs the film; which is full of archival tit-shots on dancing fat-butted waifs.
Tina begins to hit on Paul, & he, dumb jock that he is, goes for it. This pisses off Samantha, who after almost a terminal case of pouting, announces that she is going out for a walk. No one really notices her leaving. Sarah & Doug play with each other’s leg while watching the vintage stag film.
Terri starts to cozy up to Ted, who is getting progressively more stoned, getting all giggly & shit. Jimmy, tired of playing pocket pool, talks Terri to a dance off, where he improvises some kinky wild dance moves, until Ted gets jealous & stops the music.
Cut to Sam walking, who has made it all the way to the lake. She strips off again, showing us some fine tit-shots, & swims naked. (the scene was shot in January, & the water was freezing. Actress Judie Aronson was not allowed to get out of the cold water between set-ups, & that’s when stunt-man/actor Ted White, who was playing Jason, called director Joe Zito an arrogant prick, & their on-set battle began.)
Some careless person has left a rubber raft out in the lake, or maybe it was the teens, though there was no sign of the damn thing previously; anyway there was a rubber raft out there which Sam swam out to, & pulled herself into; giving us another sweet dangling tit-shot as she does so. She lies on her tits with her butt steaming to the stars, when Jason, quietly had swum up to the raft. He reaches up & holds her in his left grip, and a machete blade comes up through the yellow rubber & impales Sam.
Cut to the party, Terri dirty dancing with Paul, motioning for them to “go upstairs”. Paul has a healthy stab of guilt, and takes off to find his real squeeze, Samantha. He, too, arrives quickly at the lake. It is real hard to tell how fucking far the lake is from their cabin, a quarter of a mile, or a hundred yards. He is calling for Sam, & then sort of sees her floating in the yellow raft (which pisses me off because after slicing her open through the bottom of the raft, it should have sunk).
Ted strips down to his briefs, & just as he enters the cold water, Jason shoots him in the dick with a harpoon gun. (WTF, how long could Jason stay hidden under the water, & where did he find a diver’s harpoon gun?)
Cut back to the teen house, where Ted is totally stoned, giggling like a bitch punk fag, & Tina takes Jimmy’s hand & they head upstairs for some hide the sausage & grab-ass. Outside, of course, a thunder storm has come up. It seems that in so many of these slasher flicks, it has to be raining like a cocksucker every time there is a killing spree; a sort of Indie horror meme I guess.
Terri puts on her raincoat, & is headed toward her sissy pink bike, when she takes a spear to the back. (Much of the time we see the killing instrument do its job, but do not actually see Jason doing the deed; another fucking meme).
Sarah & Doug go upstairs to take a shower before consummating their mutual crush. We see them through the plastic door. This is the scene where Barbara Howard used a body double.
Cut to Tina & Jimmy getting it on; no real nudity, but a glimpse of some side tit will suffice. Jimmy, the virgin, asks if it was good for her; Tina, the slut, tells him he was wonderful. Then she heads for the bathroom.
Cut to Mrs. Jarvis getting home after a night jog, soaking wet. She cannot find Trish or Tommy, & the power seems to be off. She heads off to find the breaker box, or find her children or some shit, & that is the last we see of her.
Later we have to assume she fell victim to Jason off-screen, but sloppy editing leaves me cold.
Cut back to the teen house. Jimmy comes downstairs to brag to Ted about getting his first piece of ass, handing Ted a pair of white panties belonging to Tina. Ted, still giggling, pushing the stoned-bit way too far, puts the panties on his face, while Jimmy heads to the kitchen to open some wine & celebrate his loss of celibacy. While in the kitchen, Jimmy is yelling that he can’t find the cork screw.
Suddenly it appears, driving clear through his left hand, followed by a meat cleaver in the face.
Then shit begins to happen rapidly. Ted hears something & walks up by the screen, with those naked B&W 20’s bitches dancing behind him, a butcher knife comes through the screen & goes straight into his skull. Upstairs, Tina looks out a window, & sees that Terri’s bike is still there.
Before she can process that, Jason reaches her through the shattering window, & tosses her out into the air.
She lands on the station wagon the teen’s had driven, & flops onto the ground.
It is amazing how Jason can move around so quickly. Sarah has left the bathroom for a moment, & Jason kills Doug in the shower by crushing his skull on the wall.
Sarah, in only a towel, realizes something is amiss.
She comes downstairs, & reaches for the front door handle; but Jason plunges an axe through the door & into her chest.
Cut to Trish & Tommy coming home from shopping or some shit. They find their house dark, & there is no sign of their mother. Trish tells little Tommy to stay there & try the fix the lights, while she goes outside to look for their Mom. It is raining like hell still, of course, so her hair is soaked & plastered to her head, & she is nipping out of her sexy short dress.
Cut to Rob’s campsite. He hears something, & of course, goes outside to investigate, carrying a machete. Coming back he sees a shadow in his tent. Pulling back the flap he finds Trish. Then he gets into the tent with her, & informs her that he is not bear hunting, he is Jason hunting. Jason had killed his sister (in Part 3). Trish insists that Jason is dead. Rob tells her that is bullshit, that Jason’s body is missing from the morgue. (No mention of the staff he killed). I tell you, Jason is alive, & all of you are in trouble. He then notices that his hunting rifle has been broken in half.
Trish decides that probably with Jason at large, she should get back to her house. Rob agrees, taking the machete, & he accompanies her. They find Tommy reading old newspaper clippings about the former Jason killings, & a drawing of the young Mongoloid-looking Jason (from the original film).
Cut to Trish & Rob, machete in hand, entering the teen house. They find the bodies of Ted & Jimmy & Sarah, though they didn’t notice Tina lying on the ground alongside the station wagon out front. Terri’s body must have been dragged off somewhere. Then the lights go out. Rob gives the machete to Trish, & being a macho dumb bell, he heads down to the basement. Before he can locate the breaker box, Jason attacks him. Rob screams, Oh God, he’s killing me, he’s killing me, which for some reason made me laugh.
Dispatching the hero, Rob, in short order, Jason comes after Trish. She manages to escape & run back to her house.
Cut to the Travis house, with Trish pounding on the locked door, & Tommy rushing to open it. They barricade the door with a bookcase, & then sit on the floor hugging, & cowering. Jason arrives & begins chopping his way through the front door (I do not know where he finds all these fucking axes).
Jason breaks in, but Trish clobbers him with a lamp, knocking his ass out for a couple minutes. (Why doesn’t she use the machete on him right then?)
Then things get purely farcical, as Jason comes to, & Trish runs out of the house with Jason in pursuit, her screaming for Tommy to run. Trish runs back to the teen house, & Jason chases her short-skirted white panties showing shapely butt. She runs upstairs, & escapes out one of the windows, falling to the ground as the gutter she was hanging on broke.
She lies in a heap, her white panties shining, then she began stirring. We can hear Jason coming down the stairs.
Cut to Tommy upstairs next door looking at the picture of young Jason, & cutting his long hair off.
Cut back to Jason chasing the injured Trish. She makes it back to her house before he catches up to her. She picks up the machete & swings for his head, but only manages to knock his mask off.
We do not see his face, but we sure as hell know what it looks like. She freezes in horror at the mere sight.
Cut back to Tommy, now shaving his head as counterpoint to the tussle downstairs. (I winch at the lame plot development since the kid would not have had enough time for all this preparation & make-up).
Cut back to Jason being on top of Trish, choking her instead of boning her. He has almost strangled her when Tommy comes downstairs, made up to look like the younger Jason.
He yells at Jason, who turns, stops choking Trish, & stands up confused. Trish, meanwhile gets up, picks up the machete again, & swings for his head. She connects with the blade this time, partly severing part of his skull, leaving the machete sticking out of his head.
He goes down hard, & as he hits the floor, the machete slices more of his skull, & appears to nearly cut his head in half.
Trish & Tommy hug it out, but then Tommy notices Jason’s fingers twitching. The bloody machete is now on the floor in front of the kid.
Tommy picks it up, & brutally begins to hack at Jason, again & again & again, while screaming Die! Die! Die! We, of course, since the movie title is THE LAST CHAPTER, are to believe that Jason is put down for good. (As Tommy hacked at Jason, the carnage was just off frame, as Corey Feldman hacked away at two sandbags. Later the actor said he was pretending to cut up the director, since they had an adversarial relationship).
Cut to the mandatory hospital scene, where Trish is being comforted by a doctor, & a sheriff is telling her she & Tommy, & their dog, Gordon were the only survivors.
Tommy comes in, & both of them weeping, they hug tenderly. But then we see Tommy’s eyes open, & it is evident that he is fucked up mentally. Roll the end credits.
ROTTEN TOMATOES rated this film at 26% for Critic’s Approval, & 50% Audience Approval.
Roger Ebert wrote: “This was a sad, cynical, depressing movie, emerging as an immoral & reprehensible piece of trash.”
Kevin Carr of 7M PICTURES wrote: “The final confrontation between Tommy & Jason is quite gorgeous, at least in the horror sense of gore-geous.”
Jeffrey M. Anderson of COMBUSTIBLE CELLULOID wrote: “Watching it again today, it works oddly well, almost like a dark John Hughes movie that got lost & wandered into slasher territory.”
Ken Hanke of MOUNTAIN XPRESS wrote: “Final Chapter, my ass.”
Rob Vaux of MANIA.COM wrote: “Considering how long these movies kept going & how many of them there were, it is strange that only this one had everything in its proper place.”
Tim Brayton of ANTAGONY & ECSTACY wrote: “Not so venally stupid as its predecessor.”
Besides the great skinny dipping scene by Judie Aronson, we did have the sex & shower scene done by Barbara Howard; & even though she used a body double, that is always preferable to us rather than a jump cut, or fake-out. The eccentric dance moves performed by Crispin Glover were entirely his own invention, no choreographer was ever used; shades of Napoleon Dynamite for sure. Camilla More originally had auditioned for the part of Samantha, but when the producers found out she had a twin sister, they cast them both in the other parts. Lead actress Kimberly Beck has stated that she dislikes the horror genre (man, we hear this shit all the time), & that if she had done the rating for this film, it was a C-Film, not even up to B-status.
The musical score was less pedestrian this time, setting the mood more effectively than in the previous film. The cinematography was adequate, but the set ups were more like rushed television than story-boarded cinema. God knows how much the script was changed by the director, the producers, or their girlfriends, or even the fucking janitor, but it was a bit of a mess by the time the film was in the can. I rate this fourth episode at 5 stars out of the HH 10 possible stars. The plentiful nudity helped me forgive the plot irregularities. The gore was slightly improved over the previous film, but one thing that could have been taught by Rob Zombie, was to show Jason on film doing the murders, not just show knives, axes, & shit coming out of doors, or through walls. I, for one, am sick of the POV shots; just too lame.