Yeah, yeah, yeah! We know how long that piece of piss promise lasted! It wasn't even a full year after this poison-oak penned freak flick bled onto screens that Friday the 13th: A New Beginning set up camp in those same blood-spattered movie houses. Yeah, "final" my left ass cheek, man! There have been no less than SEVEN Canonical entries into the series to date since the fourth one hit big (one more of which had the word "Final" in the title) plus one lame re-imagining and a sequel to that filmic joke. In fact, just as "Friday 4" constitutes the final in one trilogy, it's also has two direct sequels that round out the Tommy Jarvis Trilogy after this one kicked it off. Final? Ladies and Germs, PLEASE!
Still, the promise that this one would be the final film did bring in both the audience and the crew, including make-up master Tom Savini who reportedly only took the job to kill Jason off after having helped bring him to life in the first film. Interestingly enough, the Final farce wasn't enough to get Jason actor Ted White to allow his name to grace the credits along side Savini's, reportedly because he considered the film to be a "piece of shit".
In general the critics were less kind than White was.
Anyway... The rest of the cast was all too happy to appear in various states of undress in this Slasher-Cum-Teenage Romp flick. In most ways this fourth one follows the same formula of most slashers of the day, week, month, year and decade all the way up until Scream and similar flicks deconstructed the whole genre.
Of course, the main difference is that this particular prickly plot kicks off only minutes after Friday the 13th, Part III with cops and paramedics still cleaning up after J-Dawg's latest TeenKill rampage! The thing is that while the Jasonator most assuredly LOOKS dead as a rusty-ass doornail, it turns out that Pamela Voorhees' best boy was only MOSTLY dead and he's all too ready to start choppin' broccoli right there in the hospital they wheeled his "Corpse" to!
But as much fun as killing horn-dog coroners and the forlorn nurses who put up with them might be, old Whorehees would much rather be killing anybody and everybody who dares set boot or naked booty anywhere near his Summer Home of Camp Crystal Lake! Lucky for us viewers there are a few crappy campers showing up right about...
First off, you've got your gaggle of partying teenagers featuring Nerds Teddy (Lawrence Monoson) and Jimmy (Crispin Glover), Romantic Doug (Peter Barton) and his good-girl crush Sara (Barbara Howard) and, of course, you've got Jock Joke Paul (Alan Hayes) and his brain-wakingly hot girlfriend Samantha (the incredible Judie Aronson, whom we see naked, thankfully). Man, Paul is one lucky son of a... OH! Sorry... Next up you've got twins Tina and Terri (Camilla and Carey More, respectively) whom we also see naked. Further, we've got a few more locals in the form of the Jarvis Family, from good old Ma (Joan Freeman) to classy Trish (Kimberly Beck) to the repeating character of Tommy himself, originated here by... OH NO... Corey Feldman!
Well, at least the last major ingredient in the whole Slasher-Blender is pretty cool. Enter Rob Dyer (Erich Anderson) the guy who shows up in the town of Crystal Lake to take revenge on his sister's Killer, who has been at large, by this time, for... well, the math doesn't quite add up, does it, seeing as how Sandra Dyer was killed in Part 2! Okay, to be fair, the role of Rob is pretty interesting... oh, not because it gave way to the self-same subplot in the remake! No... Rob is interesting because he's played by the guy who played that comic book artist that Ellen was involved with on thirtysomething that time back when Ellen was all HOT... whew! No, not Jeffrey or Woodman... after them. The Comic Book Artist dude. Yeah... Man, Ellen got around didn't she? Go Ellenator! What? What? YES, I watched thirtysomething! What, did you think it was all-horror-all-the-time? Hell no, man! Okay, okay, okay, he also played Commander MacDuff on an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, too! Does that restore my Geek-Cred?
One of the more interesting things in this film is the actual continuity that it shares with its predecessors. Most of the before and after pictures seemed to set out to remake their own continuity (which is a bit of a dick move). Further, it's interesting to see the contributions of Tom Savini (whose Makeup Effects crew included one Kevin Yagher, amongst others). Savini's masterful fingerprints are written all over this thing from the impressive gore effects to the Fright-Face Jason Makeup to the very influences of that kid named Tommy (the character of which is also a mask maker and aspiring effects technician).
Of course the main flaw with Friday 4, aside from the very flawed and predictable nature of the Slasher Flick itself, is that so very much of this has been done before. Not that this is a virtual remake as Part 2 was of the first Friday, but it's hard not to notice that writers Bruce Hidemi Sakow and Barney Cohen were shooting for the familiar here with borrowed plot points and even repeated scenes from the first three entries before this... ha ha ha... FINAL one. Director Joseph Zito even kicks off the festivities with a horror MONTAGE of Jason's kills from the flicks that came before, just to make sure we're all caught up to date. Cool? Sure, but hardly original.
What is original, in so many ways, is the fruition of the promise that the title made. Hey, it's hardly a spoiler to say that Jason buys the proverbial farm in this Horror Experiment. Further, under the brutal hand of Tom Savini, the death is both wicked painful and memorable. It's hard not to also note that it might have had significantly more impact if it hadn't been diluted by the fact that the fruition of the promise the title made was a big bowl of BULLSHIT! This one's "final" like I'm Martian by Birth, man! Look, if this really HAD been the last film (and looking at the Ninth film, I wish it had been) there would still be issues with the sound, lighting, editing, scripting, acting and the very plot itself. However, the satisfaction of the IMPACT might have been much more moving and memorable if this had been the fourth-and-last domino to fall, not one of many placed somewhere in the first half of the splintered saga!
But on the subject of "Memorable" and "Moving", I must again salute the lovely ladies of this film who were... let's say... not shy. We start with our sexy twins, continue on through the entire uncredited naked cast of some vintage stag film that "Dead Fuck" Teddy finds and presents and end up knocking, smilingly, at the door of one Judie Aronson who was so hot she practically boiled the lake in her skinny dipping sceneS! Speaking of which, while Ted White may have made a pretty creepy Jason, the real dude was apparently a pretty nice fellow. While our lovely Judie was suffering from hypothermia from swimming in the December waters of Lake Minnewashta (that's in Minnesota, man), the White-Boy threatened to quit the film and leave Joey "The Zit" Zito with no Jason if Judie's Booty wasn't given a chance to get dressed and get warm. Nice guy, man! Then again, maybe that was just his way of asking for a date. "How did I meet your mother? Well, kids, I was being directed... by your Uncle Joe, I might add... to stalk and slaughter Mommy while she was skinny-dipping all naked, but seeing how uncomfortable and sad she was, I insisted that she get dressed for a bit before I stabbed her to death through the gut! Any more questions, children?"
Aside from that... it's still a relatively fun little slasher flick if you're into that kind of thing... and if you're the kind of human who likes seeing Crispin Glover be all weird like... well, like Crispin Glover, then his Dance-Party-Super-Scene has to be seen to be believed. I guess it can't be TOO bad, though... it does get him laid.
1984's Friday the 13th The Final Chapter was far from the Final Answer in this horror franchise, but it's also not the worst. It gets good marks for classic gratuities but gets points taken away for clichés, formulaic inclusions and a serious lack of originality! Try having a Friday Marathon, watch for the repeat motifs and you'll have little question why this one didn't get more than Two and One Half Stars out of Five! Sure, it beats 2009's Friday the 13th (and the nudity is comparable), but it's still not Shakespeare, or even Star Wars... or Dawn of the Dead... or Halloween... or even... thirtysomething... but it is... Um... Okay, I'm not sure how to finish that sentence! So, I'll just say, "See you in the Next Reel, True Believers!" If I can see through this Hockey Mask that is. SSSSHHH!!!
Man, I wonder if this review is going to get me in trouble.
Text me once you've read it so I'll know... I'm just bein' me!
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