Last I heard, Matt was still living with his Mom. I think he turns 40 this year.
His indignance over later films in the series that started with 1978's Friday the 13th went something like "First they kill him, then they have a different guy in The New Beginning, then they brought him back like 'Frankenstein' and and now they've got A New Blood! This is just dumb." Of course he also stopped reading Transformers because "Now they've got a little Robot inside of Optimus Prime, I'm stoppin' THIS shit!" and he was convinced that the fourth Hellraiser flick would be called "Hell on Heaven". Surprisingly he took no issue whatsoever with the increasingly silly entries into Freddy Krueger series.
I should look him up. See how his mom's doin'. Maybe buy some comics off him.
Anyway, while Matt's esoteric opinions and predictions rarely quite matched with reality, the actual reality behind the scenes of Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood might have piqued his interest, considering the fact that, up to that date, the seventh film in this series was as close as we had gotten to a Freddy Vs. Jason flick!
It's true as Chim chim cher-ee, chim cher-oo! But when talks with New Line broke down and The Clawed one was OUT, the "Vs." aspect remained... But Jason Vs... WHO?
Flash back behind the scenes of the first film, which was intended to be the only one. After dispatching the killer, Savini and Cunningham, inspired by a contemporary instant horror classic, decided to shoot for a "Suprise Twist Ending" to end the film. Thus Jason was Resurrected. Thus the real series began! The film with the twisted ending that inspired them... was Carrie!
Hence, it's neither a surprise nor an accident that fans refer to this entry as "Jason Vs. Carrie", nor that our lead character Tina Shepard bares more than a passing resemblance to the Telekinetic Prom Queen we all know, love and fear!
When we last saw the Jasonator he was splashing around his favorite place... the waters of Crystal Lake! That is... to say he's six feet UNDER the SURFACE of Crystal Lake, thanks to the bold mission of one Tommy Jarvis (whom we see in archive footage as played by Thom Matthews, John Shepherd and... sigh... Corey Feldman)! Around that same time a TK-gifted little girl named Tina (Jennifer Banko) loses control of her emotions and her powers, sending her drunk, abusive father to a similar watery grave just a stone-skip from where Jason himself is chained to the rock of shame!
But that was seven years ago. Seven years without the Hockey Masked Slasher Serial Killer stalking the grounds of the camp, killing teenagers and generally being king dick of the douchebag people. Seven years is enough to allow the citizens of the area to change the town's name back to "Crystal Lake", as opposed to its erstwhile stage name Forest Green and long enough for Tina to grow up to look a lot like the lovely Lar Park Lincoln!
It's at this strange point in time that Tina, her mom (Susan Blu) and her annoying shrink Doc Crews (Terry Kiser) head back to the old lake house to exorcize a few demons and hopefully get Tina's powers locked down like... well, like Jason is.
But not for long. See, Tina's memories and heartache over daddy cause a similar psychic event to sweep over the lake and snap off the Voor-Whore's chains of loathe. And as he walks out of that lake, let me tell you, he's never (to date) looked worse! As portrayed (for the first of many times) by Kane Hodder, known, to many fans, as "The Definitive Jason", our boy is a mess. The resurrected Jason's clothes are threadbare and his flesh has washed away in tons of places to the point that his white bones are shining through in plenty of gnarly and disgusting places. Whew.
So it's going to be a new-look Jason, seriously pissed off about having missed seven full years of his favorite soap operas, up against a super-powerful telekinetic psychic that just might be his match! Sound like quite a reinvention of the series? A new direction instead of the same, repeated splatter plot again and again and again? So did I... and that aspect is a great lure. However it seems that the suits at Paramount, writers Manuel Fidello and Daryl Haney, director John Carl Buechler or some strange combination thereof, were as uncomfortable as... as fuck about messing with the formula that had yielded so much green, because "Part 7" is largely a repeat!
Accordingly a pretty serious gaggle of partying young people show up at yet another Lake House at Crystal Lake to drink, smoke pot, get naked and have sex... and the lion's share of the film involves Mrs. Voorhees's best boy up to his old-ass tricks picking them off one by one. And because the ultimate showdown is yet to come, it's a safe bet who our "Final Girl" might be.
However, we do get to enjoy the performances of such talented women as Sandra (Heidi Kozak, whom we see naked), hot-but-bitchy Melissa (Susan Jennifer Sullivan who looks great in a bikini), Kate (Diane Almeida, who looks great in a blanket), Maddy (Diana Barrows, who... cleans up well) and the superbly hot Robin (Elizabeth Kaitan, whom we see amazingly, awesomely, scene-stealingly, gravity defyingly naked)!!! Thank you.
I think there were also some dudes in the cast, too, but I'm forgetting most of them, figuring that Kevin Blair Spirtas' Nick is the only guy who really proves to be central to the plot (except for maybe that Weekend At Bernie's dude who plays the shrink.
Credit where due, however, there are a few things to really like about this movie... or, at least, make it worth watching. For one thing, the concept of pitting Jason against a truly superior force is, to say the least, inviting for the horror crowd. This makes it all the more unfortunate that the foretaste and promise of "Jason Vs. Carrie" never quite comes to the thrilling fruition it most assuredly could have. Further, director John Carl Buechler doubles as the special effects makeup unit's line producer and his version of Jason manages to come off as frightening and monstrous in new ways. This, coupled with Kane Hodder's unique performance helps to make Jason more interesting than the one note silent killer he shows up as in most of his movies. If nothing else, Buechler should get the credit for having cast Kane Hodder as Jason at his own insistence. Hodder really brings a lot to the character.
As for the "kill scenes", while undoubtedly proficient in the Makeup department, these alternately feel like the same montage we see in most every Friday Film and a wild stab at being inventive in very obvious ways. Similarly, the score, though credited to Fred Mollin and Harry Manfredini, is actually a "clip show" of snippets of Manfredini's previous Friday the 13th Film Scores.
In short, Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood has its original moments and makes a lot of promises for the audience, but manages to deliver more of the same within a fringe framing of originality that never quite pans out! In short... this one is pretty good in its own right, but it's hard to not see how promising the premise was and how much MORE this film could have and should have been. So... oh, what the hell? Three Stars out of Five for the seventh entry into the Friday Fear Festival (and my 11th of the 13th reviews). Not so bad... but could have been much better. Like...
Okay, bear with me here...
Like if Tina accidentally frees Jason from his wet-ass tomb while Mom and the Doc head out to Bernie's place for a weekend, and Jason only ever stalks Bad Italian Filmmakers and the members of Boy Bands in this entry. But, like ROBIN is about to be in a Boy Band video directed by Bruno Fucking Mattei and she's about to change into her costume when Jason takes everyone else out, so she gets to spend the whole film naked and happy. Then the majority of the film will revolve around Jason trying to kill Tina, while she uses THE FORCE to bang his rotting, revitalized corpse against every tree in the forest like pinball or something and Robin is running around naked saying "Get him!" and screaming when Jason gets the upper hand... then when Tina finally sends Jason to the moon she, Robin and Sandra all take a Hot Tub Bath together that fills out the remaining half-hour of the film. Now I call that Friday Gold! SOLID, man! See you in the next reel!
Dude, you broke your little MASK, man!
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