Thursday, June 21, 2012

Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986)

If we can't count on Corey Feldman to defeat Jason, what do we have left to believe in?  It looked like he got him pretty good in The Final Chapter but I guess it takes more than a child actor to defeat Jason once and for all.

Now it's several years later, and another actor is playing Tommy Jarvis.   He gets the brilliant idea to go to Jason's grave and just check and make sure he's dead.  Hold on, what?  Who buried Jason?  Does he have family around who cares about him?  Who paid for the grave marker?  This whole part is sort of confusing to me.

Tommy and friend dig up the grave, and Tommy goes into a rage, stabbing the dead body over and over.  Lightning strikes (literally) and Jason is brought back to life.  Tommy tries to tell the police force, but no one is buying it.  Meanwhile, some morons in awesome 80s clothes are opening the camp again, calling it Camp Forest Green.  A bus just drops a bunch of kids off and that's that.  Oh, the 80s.

Tommy is having quite the run-in with the local law, white cutie Megan attempts to help out Tommy in ending Jason's life once and for all.  While Jason traipses about stabbing people and bending them in half, Megan and Tommy try to devise a plan.  Strangely, Jason doesn't kill any of the kids at the camp though.  Taboo, or does Jason just not kill kids since he's essentially one himself?

Megan and Tommy think that burying Jason under the lake will end his reign of terror.  Right in front of all the kids at the ill-fated camp, they trick Jason into a watery grave. A pretty sweet fight scene ensues and Jason is held off until a further sequel.  Although Jason Lives has become a cult classic, it's far from the best in the series.  And I kind of missed Corey Feldman!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Friday the 13th Part IV - The Final Chapter (1984)

I'm going to say it -- The Final Chapter is one of the best F13 sequels.  It's got Corey Feldman, Banana Girl, twins, a guy who calls himself "Teddy Bear," a creepster named Axel, and some pretty sweet kills.

So where did we leave off?  Oh yeah, Jason is dead and is being transported to the morgue.  No one has ever seen Halloween before and just figure him to be dead.  That's going to be a problem.  Jason predictably escapes and traipses back to Crystal Lake.  This time there's no summer camp, just a couple of lake homes where some people are vacationing.  Trish (Kimberly Beck) and Tommy (Corey Feldman) are living in a house with their mom, and a group of twenty-somethings have just arrived next door to party and skinny dip.  On the way there, they pass the infamous banana girl, not picking her up.

The group wants Trish to join in on the fun, but she's a little hesitant.  I would be too, with someone who's pick up line is "Come cuddle up with Teddy Bear."  Also, the horny bunch finds some cute twins, Tina and Terri (Camilla and Carey More) on the way back from the lake.   The party is on, and everyone pairs off to hook up, while Jason, true to form, murders them one by one. 

It's fairly obvious from the start that Trish and Tommy are going to be the final girl and boy.  But did we know that Tommy was going to shave his head and pretend to be a child Jason?!?!

My head explodes from awesomeness!

This confuses poor Jason and Tommy releases all his pre-teen suburban white boy rage by hacking Jason with a machete.  He was just defending himself and his family, right.  You decide.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Sleepaway Camp II (1988)

HAHAHA.  I love this poster, which insinuates that Freddy and Jason actually appear in Sleepaway Camp 2, when in reality, a couple of teenagers just put on some crappy Freddy and Jason costumes.  So how do you follow up one of the best horror movie endings of all time?  By bringing in Bruce Springsteen's sister and making an oddball sequel with a high body count.

Angela (Pamela Springsteen) is back.  After years of therapy, electroshock, and a sexual reassignment, she's ready to rejoin the summer camp workforce.  Before the days of background checks and the magical internet, apparently it is very easy for a person who slaughtered a whole summer camp to get another job at a summer camp.

There are several things that are clear.  Angela does not like people showing their boobs.  She does not like sluts.  She does not like people having sex.  And she does not like people not following the rules.  She is a virgin, and proud of it, dammit.  She also runs a tight ship at Camp Rolling Hills, with the proprietor, Uncle John, pretty much letting her do whatever she wants.  This includes killing campers and counselors and claiming to have "sent them home" for bad behavior.  I was a little confused about who was campers and who was counselors because everyone seemed so old.  Do you still go to summer camp in your teens?  This was definitely a confusing part of the movie.

Angela really wants to have a fun summer and sing the "happy campers" song every morning, but the campers are making it very difficult for her.  They drink, they smoke, they have sex, and they flash their breasts repeatedly to fellow campers.  The boys have panty raids, and everyone sneaks off to various locations to bang.  This doesn't sit well with Angela.  And her only reaction is to kill.  And kill she does.  In an amazing number of ways.

This sequel wasn't exactly necessary (very few really are) but the pure creativity of kills in this movies makes it worth making.  A drowning in an outhouse?  Drill to the stomach?  Strangling by hanger?  Set on freakin' fire?  Sleepaway Camp II has an astounding creativity in the way of murders.  Besides that, there's not much else besides sex, boobs, corny acting, and Angela being a goody two shoes, but should we really ask for too much more?  This is a fun teenage slasher watch, although nothing could top the shock of the original.

Don't Answer the Phone (1980)

When I was younger, there was no Netflix, and of course, no Netflix instant.  In fact, there were still many neighborhood video stores, which we frequented when we couldn't get a ride to Blockbuster or Hollywood Video.  I loved the smaller video stores, but the drawback was that they had a smaller selection than the big box stores, and we would often burn through all the horror movies the store had, or at least the ones we were interested in watching.  Once we got through all the Freddy's, Jasons, and Chuckys, we moved onto more obscure films.  We often watched these in a Mystery Science Theater 3000 manner, constantly criticizing and laughing over the ridiculous parts.  If I'm remembering correctly, Don't Answer the Phone had a particularly strange scene of "coining" and I guess I'll figure out if I'm right by the end of the movie. 

Don't Answer the Phone is about a deranged photographer and Vietnam vet named Kirk Smith (Nicholas Worth).  He's not an attractive man, being stocky balding, and generally creepy.  He breathes very heavily and does this weird laugh while he's assaulting his victims.  Who are his victims?  Women who are home alone, just randomly lolling about in lingerie.  As a woman, I will squash men's fantasies right now and tell you this never happens.  If I'm home in the evening, you're more likely to spot me in an old race shirt (the one I'm wearing now says 2010) and Old Navy PJ pants.  I might upgrade to my Evil Dead shirt if I'm feeling frisky. 

Dr. Lindsay Gale (Flo Lawrence) is a psychologist who listens to people's problems on the radio, as well as in person at a free clinic.  Kirk becomes interested in her, and calls into her show using fake voices.  He escalates their "relationship" by staging a call while he's with a prostitute.  The cops on the case are the stereotypical bumbling officers that were common in 80s slashers.  They muse a lot over the cases, and even hire a random psychic, who actually tells them all the information they need, but they don't believe him. 

There are random scenes involving Kirk ranting in weird monologues, seemingly talking to his dead abusive father.  This is strangely reminiscent of Son of Sam.  Will this strangling of women appease his deceased parent?  He also sells his weird post-rape bondage photos to a sleazy porn shop.  Professional!

The music in this movie is just pure 80s cheese.  Nonstop synthesizers and reminiscent of porno music.  Bawm chicka bawm bawm.  The acting is chock full of the gonzo performances that personified 80s horror, and is why we all love it so much.  Everything comes back in style, as they say, and will deliberate and corny overacting be the new trend in horror?  We can only hope so ;)

As for the coining?  The coin was present in some of the scenes, but I remember it being more graphic, like rape with the actual coin.  The internet is telling me that this DVD could have been heavily edited from the original, so maybe I saw something back then that is no longer in this version. What was this guy's deal with candles though?  Weirdo. 

"Shut up or I'll cut your tit off!"