Part VI: Jason Lives
- Rated R
- Buy the DVD
Reviewed by Jason Thompson
n this episode of “The Many Lives of Jason Voorhees,” Tommy Jarvis has returned once again to finally kill off Jason, the person responsible for slaughtering his family so many years ago. When we left Tommy in “Part Five,” he had escaped the hospital, seemingly “becoming” Jason himself. But luckily, we are spared that storyline and instead Jarvis gets his shit together (more or less) and is ready to finish off Jason once and for all. Only problem is, Jason has been lying in a grave for quite a while now with maggots eating away at his face and the rest. For some reason Tommy figures the only way to really get rid of Jason is to cremate him. Who knows why because Voorhees seems pretty damn dead when he digs him up at the beginning of the flick.
Did I mention Tommy’s partner in crime is none other than Horshack from “Welcome Back, Kotter” (AKA Ron Palillo)? Jesus, he’s even dressed in his old green Horshack jacket! Unfortunately for Tommy and Horshack, Jason becomes reanimated once again after Tommy drives a piece of wrought iron fence into his chest that is then struck twice by a bolt of lightning. Of course, all hell breaks loose and poor old Horshack is the first one to go in the new body count.
From the opening title screen – a hilarious take on every James Bond movie intro featuring Jason walking into the middle of a lens and then throwing his machete towards the screen which then fills with blood – it’s obvious that Tom McLoughlin set out to make “Jason Lives” as much of a comedy as a horror film. Too bad, then, that it’s not as funny as the unintentionally hilarious film that preceded it. Still, there are some laugh out loud moments to be had here, like when the local sheriff tries to gun down Jason multiple times with a shotgun only to see him sit up dramatically over and over, complete with clichéd thriller music cues. And let’s not forget the seemingly unnecessary screwball scene featuring camouflaged paintballers.
Aside from that, once again it’s the relics left over from the ‘80s that viewers will probably have the most fun spotting. Thrill to scenes of a sweet young thing decked out in sweat pants with suspenders! Watch as a zit-ridden young Travolta lookalike with a bad Menudo haircut gets laid in an RV to some Alice Cooper songs! See original antiques like a Walkman and typewriter! Check out the Masters of the Universe t-shirt on one of the kids at Forest Green (formerly Crystal Lake) Camp! Be on alert for insanely moussed female hairdos! And why exactly does Thom Mathews have to resemble a generic version of Woody Harrelson so much?
“Jason Lives” isn’t a bad horror or comedy movie; it’s just that it doesn’t deliver enough on either end. There is one legitimately good jump-out-of-your-seat moment, some amusing death scenes, and a bit of a better budget this time around. If anything, it’s almost quaint when seeing the older films in this series and just how little blood there actually is during Jason’s killing sprees. The special effects might seem laughable at times, but in all honesty, they come off more effective than the over the top gore the new generation of horror fans is used to these days. More blood doesn’t exactly mean more entertainment. It was a simpler time then, back when Jason could hilariously stab a dude in the ear with zero blood spray.
Deluxe Edition DVD Review:
“Jason Lives” continues the lineage of bonus goodies as experienced on these new “Deluxe Edition” versions of the “Friday the 13th” series. There is a director and cast and crew commentary, part six of “Lost Tales from Camp Blood,” a making-of featurette, deleted scenes, and other goodies like “Meeting Mr. Voorhees.” The bonus features on this outing are a bit better than the previous film’s release, but once again, it seems unlikely that anyone but the biggest Jason buffs will want to dig through most of these.