FRIDAY THE 13TH, PART VI: JASON LIVES (1986)
SLASH’S FUCKED UP FRIDAY
Alright, alright–the bloody holidays are over, & now it is time to get back on the Horror/Slasher rollercoaster, & pick up where we left off in the Jason Voorhees saga. Remember that in Part V, Jason himself never made an appearance, & the writers wanted us to believe that Tommy Jarvis, now a young adult, was so fucked up & traumatized by the action in Part IV, that he became the copy cat killer, pretending to be Jason. Fans did not really go for that malarky.
Actor John Shepard, who had played Tommy in Part V, became a born-again Christian, & did not want to reprise his role; so the role went to Thom Matthews. This time the producers originally wanted the Tommy Jarvis character to become the “new” Jason Voorhees.
The film is directed by Tom McLoughlin; who is quite the prankster. He kept the coffin for Jason Voorhees, keeping it in his garage, & he kept the tombstone, which he sat up in his backyard with a fake grave. A meter reader for the city refused to go into the backyard because of it.
McLoughlin is the son of a magician, and himself was a trained Mime; having studied with Marcel Marceau in Paris.
He has directed 40 film projects, 90% of them episodes for American television, since a film in 1982. JASON LIVES was only his second feature. Some of his work included THE D.C. SNIPER (2003), MURDER IN GREEWICH (2002), BEHIND THE MASK (1999), & THE HAUNTING OF HELEN WALKER (1995).
McLoughlin decided to go into the Classic Monsters genre with this one, making Jason a supernatural force; kind of the way Freddy Kruger & Michael Meyers went as their series continued. Jason was raised from the dead by lightning, & became an undead super-human killer; an element he kept for most of the rest of the franchise. One very disturbing aspect of McLoughlin’s vision though, was the complete absence of nudity; although there was one sex scene. He decided to remove the premise that as in so many Slasher films, the priced of premarital sex was gruesome death. He was pressured by the producers to let Darcy Demoss remove her blouse in the sex scene, who has a great pair of tits she has exhibited in other films; but it never happened; damn shame for sure.
Taglines: Kill or be killed.
Nothing this evil ever dies.
Evil always rises again.
The nightmare returns–this summer.
The musical score for the sixth time was written by Harry Manfredini.
The cinematography was done by Jon Kranhouse, who has lensed 25 films since (1982), a cameraman who had a reputation for shooting quickly.
Some of his films included DEADLY FORCE (1983), BRAIN WAVES (1983), THE GLITTER DOME (1984), KICKBOXER (1989), & BROKEN ARROW (1996).
A teen age couple have sex in an RV, but remain mostly fully clothed–no body parts, especially not tits, are shown. It was filmed in Georgia, USA, at Camp Daniel Morgan in Covington, & in Rutledge. It had a budget of 3 millions dollars, & its domestic gross was 19.4 million; lowest grosser so far in the series–but even so, this was the first time since the original film where the movie received a lot of favorable reviews. The body count was 18.
JASON’S BABE GALLERY:
Darcy DeMoss played Nikki.
She had the one sex scene, fully clothed.
But as you can see, her tit scenes in other films were wonderful.
Jennifer Cooke was the protagonist babe,
Megan Garris; who hangs out with Tommy Jarvis.
Renee Jones played Sissy.
Kerry Noonan played Paula.
Oh yeah, Voorhees lovers, this one takes the franchise off into a new direction.
Open on a feral mutt chewing on some road kill, scared off by a speeding pick up.
We meet Tommy Jarvis, & his pal from the wacko-bin, Hawes. Through some inane conversation as they speed along toward the Forest Green cemetery, we kind of figure out that Tommy is supposed to 18 years old (the actor looks 28ish), that he has been in & out of mental institutions for 6-7 years (no mention of all the impostor bull shit from Part V), & on that night his plan was to go to Jason’s grave, dig his dead ass up, & cremate him; sending him to hell where he belongs.
Further we figure out that the town of Crystal Lake has changed its name to Forest Green, to dissociate it from Jason, & its bloody past; once again lying to the teen agers; calling Jason Voorhees just a myth, an urban legend.
The boys get to the cemetery, & find Jason’s tombstone, & dig up the coffin. Hawes wants to just pour gas on the coffin, & not open it, but Tommy is so bat shit whacked out by his nightmares, he opens the lid to make sure Jason is 1) in there, & 2) dead.
Of course a thunder storm is brewing, lightning strikes, rain, wind & shit. The cinematography is very good, giving the scene a British Hammer horror quality, a paean to the old Universal monster movies for sure. The coffin lid is raised & we see the horribly disfigured corpse in rotten rags of clothes.
So much work has gone into the head & face prosthetics of Jason, it seemed a shame that for most of the film he wore his hockey mask, & we could not appreciate the creative monster make-up.
Tommy really goes bonkers, & rips off a metal fence rod, with a lance point on it, & stabs the inert body 8-10 times, the impacts sounding like stabbing a steak knife into wet paper. He had brought Jason’s mask with him for some unexplained reason. So “Fuck you, Jason”, Tommy yells, tossing the mask into the grave.
Tommy has brought a five gallon gas can for the cremation rites.
Cut to two direct lightning strikes on the rod driven into Jason’s chest; close up of his eyes opening.
Tommy makes a dim witted horror character decision & decides to remove the metal rod before it could be hit by lightning a third time; not clear whether he believed in horror trope rejuvenation.
Jason comes back to life the moment the rod is pulled from his chest, grabbing Tommy’s foot. Tommy screams like a girl in kinder- garten & squirms away. As Jason crawls up out of the grave, we see that his clothes have been mended/replaced; no rags for this monster, fuck no–lots of spider & dust cob webs of course.
Jason stands up to his full 6’3” & stares at Tommy, who was busy dousing him with gasoline; but wouldn’t you know it, no Bic for the kid. He tries to light some paper matches, just as rain begins to fall, putting out the matches.
Enter Hawes to the rescue, whacking Jason in the back of the head with a shovel; it hardly phases the newly animated super human creature, who turns quickly & in one vicious thrust punches his fist clear through Hawes’ chest, tearing out his heart.
Tommy gasping in horror, makes his hasty exit from the cemetery, jumps in his 60’s Ford pick up, & escapes. Jason just shrugged, kicked Hawes’ body into his old casket, & puts on his old hockey mask.
Cut to Tommy showing up at the Forest Green Police Department. Sheriff Garris was napping, & as Tommy rushes in, the sheriff leaps to his feet with his gun drawn.
Tommy whines like a scared little bitch that Jason has returned; admits he dug up the grave, wants cops to go with him back to the cemetery.
Sheriff Garris knows all about the saga of crazy Tommy Jarvis, so he is not very receptive to the nutty ravings about a monster brought back to life with lightning. Tommy loses patience, rushes past the Sheriff & his deputy, & pulls a rifle out of the arms rack, hoping I guess, to go back to the cemetery & face Jason again. The sheriff disarms him, bitch slaps him, & tosses him in a cell.
Cut to the cemetery caretaker, sucking on a whiskey bottle, being pissed off that someone desecrated Jason’s grave; not wanting to get in trouble, since the coffin lid is sort of on, without looking inside, he just re-buries it. He looks right into the camera lens & tries to make some sick jokes, breaking down the 4th wall.
Cut to a VW yellow bug convertible banging down a forest service road. (This is the third VW used in this series; what is it about them? Maybe one of the honcho producers liked the rattly Prussian beer cans). We meet Darrin & Liz (she is the wife of the director), the two head camp counselors,
who are trying to read a backroads map & cannot locate Camp Forest Green in order to meet up with the newly hired camp counselors, just before the bus loads of kids arrived.
“We need to turn around”, says Liz, looking right into the camera lens, “Because I’ve seen enough horror movies to know that when you are confronted by a crazy looking dude in a hockey mask carrying a spear, that is the time to get the hell out of there!”
Cut to Jason standing calmly in the middle of the road, blocking their way, holding his five foot rod spear. Liz backs up, but the road is too muddy to turn around without getting stuck, so she guns the gas & the VW beetle rushes toward Jason; who does not move. She slams on the brakes just before impact (now why in the fuck would she do that; now they are screwed for sure.)
Darrin plays the big man, reaches into the glove box & picks up a whore’s pistol, some feminine little purse gun, probably a .22. He looks like a fool getting out & pointing that damn pop gun as Jason. Jason rushes him, & Darrin shoots him in the chest three times; which does not even slow him down (uh-oo, this is some Michael Myers evil mojo super human shit going on.). Jason rams the rod spear through Darrin & just tosses him over his shoulder like a small bale of dog shit.
Liz screams as Jason drives the rod spear through the windshield & scares her enough that she gets out of the car; but Jason is on her fast, spearing her as she lies in a mud puddle.
Cut to Tommy waking up in his jail cell the next morning; the set for the sheriff’s office is cheesy actually, with only the one cell; not too believable.
Enter the Sheriff’s blond daughter, our protagonist Megan, who is working out at the summer camp, & is looking for their bosses, Liz & Darrin. She is accompanied by friends Sissy, Paula, & Cort. Tommy warns them, raving that they need to be careful because Jason is alive, & out there.
The sheriff gets all pissy, & tells him to shut the fuck up. The kids laugh it up, since they have been told that Jason is just an urban legend. For some reason Megan seems to think that Tommy is cute.
The Sheriff lets Tommy go, but tells him to get out of town, & to not come back with his alarmist crazy bull shit; but when they get to the cemetery road, he take off down it with the cops in pursuit.
Of course, when they get there, & chase him down on foot, they find the grave all filled in, with no signs of misconduct. So Tommy is escorted to the city limits.
Cut to the woods outside of town, near Forest Green Lake (aka Crystal). A company has a paintball competition; lots of silly farcical banter. The lone wolf warrior, who has “killed” most of his staff encounters Jason, & tries some hand to hand combat with him.
Jason seems amused as he tears the arm off the man, & slams him into a tree, crushing his skull; a director’s joke is that someone had carved a happy face into the tree, & now it is covered in blood; hilarious, right?
We waste some more time watching a wimpy competitor who darts around like Mr. Bean meets Inspector Clouseau. Jason appears & he fires his paintball gun, planting a glob of red paint on his chest.
Jason charges him, but the wimp is fleet, & gets away. Cut to a pair of Abbott & Costello ass holes who are arguing & bitching; a woman staff member has just ambushed and “killed” them both.
Enter Jason. The three stand mute staring at him. He swings his machete, & decapitates all three at once (this is cut out of the film, of course).
Cut to Camp Forest Green, where a busload of elementary school kids arrive. Megan, Sissy, & Pauls try valiantly to start some activities,
but Cort, acting like Fonzie, doesn’t have a clue. All are worried that the Camp leaders have not turned up yet.
Cut to later that night. Cort has hooked up with his girlfriend, Nikki, & they are getting it on in a borrowed older RV. Nikki seems to be naked from the waist down, wearing her blouse.
Cort leaves his wife beater on, & just has his pants around his knees; Nikki is on top, & is playing an Alice Cooper song, & is trying to keep Cort screwing, telling him not to cum until the song is over.
Cut to outside, Jason has wandered up, & has pulled the main plug out of its power socket, so the power goes off in the RV. Inside, Cort cums, thinking the song is over. Nikki calls him a dumb asshole, & they get dressed to go outside & investigate. They can see their plug has been pulled out (but don’t RVs have the auxiliary choice to just use the battery of the vehicle if started up?)
They decide to get the hell out of there, starting up the rig. Cort is driving. As Nikki finished getting dressed in skin tight jeans, Jason appears out of the tiny RV bathroom, & drags her into it.
Cort is driving fast, & listening to tunes himself, so he does not hear Nikki’s screams.
She struggles a lot, but this is the new superhuman Jason. He shoves her face into the mirror, & her head makes a dent in the wall behind it.
Cut to Cort really enjoying his R&R & hotrodding the RV tank. We see Jason sneaking up on him. Wham, Cort takes a Bowie Knife in the skull.
The RV goes out of control, flipping over on its side. Jason rips a door off & stands up on the burning vehicle. Then he heads off into the woods.
Cut to Tommy, who didn’t leave town, calling Megan, who is hot to trot & help him. He has a plan to ambush Jason, trick him, & get him back into the lake he had nearly drown in as a boy; monster returned to home soil & shit. She jumps in her orange Camaro, picks up some things Tommy has asked for, & heads off to meet Jarvis.
Cut to the police station, the Sheriff finds out that Nikki, Cort, & Roy have been murdered; he, of course, is sure that Tommy is the mad killer.
Cut to the cemetery Caretaker wandering drunk in the woods. He meets up with Jason. Jason breaks the whiskey bottle, & kills the old man with the broken end of it.
There has been an extra scene where a pair of lovers off a motorcycle, making out on a blanket; they saw Jason kill the old man, so he chases them down, & cuts them up into weasel bait. (Odd casting for the couple, she looks 50, him 30).
Cut to Jason finally getting back to his lake, & the camp, striding past the new sign, but very familiar with the camp layout. We know that the little boys are in one cabin, the little girls in another; & the counselors seem to have a couple more; Sissy & Paula are roomies.
Megan & Tommy, now headed for the lake, encounter several of her Dad’s set up road blocks. They lead the cops on a merry chase, but are finally caught.
Tommy is arrested, taken back to the jail, & Megan is grounded, & ordered to stay there at the jail while her father goes out to solve the cases.
Tommy & Megan trick the dim witted deputy, put him in the cell, & head back to the Camp.
Cut to the Camp. A little girl, Nancy, sees Jason outside, & she complains of seeing a monster; which of course, no one pays much heed to.
They put her back to bed, we see Jason in the woods watching them. Paula falls asleep, but Sissy hears some one outside; thinking it may be Cort just trying to scare them, she opens a window, & peeks out. Jason reaches in & grabs her, pulling her out of her shoes, as he drags her out of the window. He is not fucking around now. He breaks her neck, & twists her head completely off.
Cut to Someone carrying a bloody machete, entering the counselor’s cabin, walking up to the sleeping Paula–who wakes up to find Nancy holding the machete; claiming that she found it outside. Nancy drops the machete on the floor, gets a hug, & they head back to the child’s cabin. Nancy, once more is placated, & Paula comes back to her own bed.
But this time when Jason shows up, having picked up his trusty machete, he slices up Paula into chum bait; cutting off all her limbs, head, hands, & feet. Most of this gore is only suggested, since the filmed portion was edited out.
The Sheriff & two deputies arrive on the scene, only to discover the abandoned kids, & dead Sissy & Paula. When they opened the cabin, the entire room was covered in blood, like someone had slaughtered hogs in there. By then, the Sheriff knew that Tommy was on the loose again, so he concluded all the killings were done by Jarvis.
The three cops, of course, split up, & began wandering around looking for the killer. One of the deputies ran into Jason by the wood pile. Jason was shot three times, but it did not seem to phase him. He held the deputy off the ground, & crushed his skull with his bare hands.
The second deputy was attacked on the dock, near some boats. Jason threw a hunting knife, which stuck in the cop’s forehead.
(Jason had stolen clothes from the paintball crew, so he was dressed in a military fashion, with several hunting knifes, & big pockets.)
Sheriff Garris opens the main cabin door & nearly throws up when he sees the gore within.
Cut to Megan & Tommy showing up in her Camaro. She rushes off to check on the children. Tommy drags some heavy chain down to the docks, where he finds the cop with the knife in his head. Then he finds a large heavy boulder, which he rolls back to one of the camp boats.
He ties the chain around the boulder, then sets a noose on the other end (Talk about a lame plan, Jesus).
Megan is trying to calm the kids, as she hollers for her father, the Sheriff, but all this yelling alerts Jason, who shows up, & begins to attack Megan; but Tommy calls to him from the water, “Leave her alone, I’m the one you want, right?”
Sheriff Garris is holding a pump shotgun. He jumps in trying to save Megan. He blasts Jason in the chest, which knocks him down, but as Garris bends over to check on the monster, Jason jumps up, undead. Garris shoots him several more times with the shotgun, but each time he falls over, then springs back up.
The Sheriff shoots him 4 times with his .357 pistol. Jason, unstopped by multiple gun & rifle shots dead center, runs the Sheriff down, disarms him, then snaps him in two, breaking his spine completely, folding his back over his feet; literally folding him over like a flesh taco.
Then Jason comes after Megan, as the children scream & run in every direction. Tommy has poured gasoline on the water around the boat, & lit it on fire.
He gets Jason’s attention again, who enters the water & swims out to combat Tommy. They wrestle, grunt, & scream as Tommy manages to get the thick chain noose around Jason’s neck. As they tussle, the boat is snapped in two,
& they & the boulder sink to the bottom of the lake. Jason holds Tommy under the water until he drowns him, then lets him float face down to the surface. Jason is held securely onto the boulder.
Megan sees Tommy’s body floating, so she charges into the water, & tries to rescue him; must be a shallow lake for Jason is able to reach up & grab her feet. As she struggled she managed to get the outboard motor started on the prow.
Then, miraculously, absurdly, she is able to guide the motor over to Jason, & slices up his head & neck; the logistics of this handled with shaky-cam blurry underwater shots, so it is impossible to discern WTF was supposed to happen.
Megan breaks free of Jason’s grasp, & pulls Tommy out of the water, as all the kids gather around her, cheering her as she performed CPR; which was successful, of course. Tommy sits up, hugging Megan, saying “Jason is home again, back where he belongs.”
Cut to Jason, chained securely to the boulder, standing up, calm patient eyes open, with no apparent need to breathe, giving us the feeling he would just wait there until the next sequel, when someone will fuck up & set him free.
Roll the end credits.
Rotten Tomatoes rated this movie at 54% Critic’s Approval, with 50% Audience Approval.
Gene Siskel of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE wrote: “The murderous Jason is back in the latest chapter of the most offensive series in film history–unless Burt Reynolds makes three more SMOKEY & THE BANDIT pictures real quick.
Jeffrey M. Anderson of COMBUSTIBLE CELLULOID wrote: “This may be my favorite of the FRIDAY THE 13TH series, mainly because of the winking, insider humor; it is almost a precursor to Wes Craven’s SCREAM ten years later.”
Stefan Birgir Stefansson wrote: “ Jason pretty much kicks ass in this one.”
Eric D. Snider wrote: “The sixth installment of the thunderingly mediocre series franchise features no nudity whatsoever. Surely this is some kind of major editing error.”
Ken Hanke of THE MOUNTAIN XPRESS wrote: “Is this is a great horror picture? Well, no–yet though within the confines of an artificially dubious series–it is like a work of minor genius.”
Gerry Shamray of YOUR MOVIES wrote: “This one is the only good FRIDAY film in the series–fast-paced, funny, & nicely atmospheric, with a neat ending.”
After being overwhelmed with TITS for the now infamous HH Red Holiday features, literally breasts by the fucking battalions, it is really a sad damn day to watch a Slasher movie without a millisecond glance of a nipple. The shots of Jason getting the propeller in the neck were shot in director McLoughlin’s parent’s swimming pool. This was the first & only time in the series, in the prologue & flashbacks, in which there actually are children visiting the Camp.
Crew member, Dan Bradley, played Jason on the first day of shooting, but after the rushes from the first day, the producers asked that a less “bulky” actor be cast as Jason. So C.J. Graham, an area restaurant manager & former soldier, was cast. Graham was 6’3”, weighing 250 pounds. Remarkably, he did all his own stunt work, although had never been either an actor, or a stunt man. But his physical fitness, & military training gave him a swagger, & he looked good moving around; no clunkiness whatsoever.
Once more, to keep the story line secret, the production was given the fake title of ALLADIN SANE, a pun on “a lad insane”, referring to the mental health history of Tommy Jarvis, & it was also an album title for David Bowie. Nancy McLoughlin, the director’s wife, played Liz in the movie.
Well, even with the heavy editing the film received, cutting out several good minutes of gore, & the purposeful lack of nudity in the film, today it would probably get a PG rating. But the actor playing playing Jason did a fine job, & this created a lot more menace & semi-believability. The plot line was still pretty lame, inept cops, pretty maidens getting sliced up–but it was cool to see the asides to the camera, the campy humor, & actual kids in the Camp.
The Georgia settings worked well, & the cinematography was above average. The acting by the youngish cast varied from credible to bad, & part of that could be blamed on McLouglin’s script, which was pretty contrived. Yet it was good to set up Jason Voorhees as superhuman, a monster brought back from the dead by bolts of lightning, a return to the supernatural classic monsters of the 1930-40’s at Universal. Looking at some of images for the film, I did expect to see Jason without his mask more, but what the hell.
I rate the film at 7 stars out of the 10 star HH scale; at least one star more than it deserved secondary to bringing Jason himself back to the stage.