The Jason Voorhees Marathon: Part V
Well, Jason Voorhees is dead. I guess the series will have to change direction and not think of contrived ways to maintain brand recognition.
Friday the 13th: A New Beginning
Director: Danny Steinmann
Cast: John Shepard, Melanie Kinnaman, Shavar Ross, Richard Young, Dick Wieand, Tiffany Helm. Juliette Cummins
Ironically the ‘New Beginning’ promised in the title is both a literal and metaphorical copy of what has come before.
This is certainly one of the contentious movies in the franchise, and after some research it seems to have earned itself a small cult following that celebrates its cheesiness. It certainly earns its reputation as a silly 80s slasher film, and even has some good ideas that unfortunately don’t get explored to their full extent.
We open with Tommy Jenkins from The Final Chapter, now older. His brush with Jason has not left him in a good frame of mind and he’s been spending the recent years in a mental institution. The film opens with Tommy being transferred to something of an open-air mental institution homestead. Shortly after arrival a particularly irritating resident named Joey gets murdered by a temperamental Vic. This is soon followed by local residents getting killed off.
Tommy suspects Jason, who haunts his dreams, but Jason is long dead. At first it looks like Jason has made a return but it turns out the killer is a paramedic who was secretly Joey’s father whose mind snapped upon seeing his dead son. He started dressing up as Jason and murdering people as revenge. To say this is a disappointing ending is to say something obvious. Not only is this a Jason film that doesn’t have Jason, but the killer isn’t connected to the previous story in the slightest. The final scene does leave us with a more interesting notion, that the impact of Jason on people is so great that people get driven insane by associated. Tommy survives the new killings, but the film ends with him donning the mask and potentially taking a new victim. If Tommy takes up the mantle of Jason in the next film it might actually be interesting.
No doubt the random and pointless nudity is playing a key role in the series success to date, so A New Beginning capitalizes on this idea. There’s a smattering of voluptuous female characters who exist only to get their kit off before being garden sheared to death. On reflection very few of the murder victims offer anything in the way of plot development, many just turn up out of the blue and get killed five minutes later. There’s almost no cohesion here.
There’s some good effects and creative scenes, and the setting lends itself to some amusing and unique characters. If we got to spend more time with them it might have felt like a more complete film. Instead the whole thing is a copycat.
Rating: FOUR out of TEN
Jason’s ‘Roy’s’ Best Kill: It’ll be a tie between two consecutive kills – garden shears to the eyes followed by belt related skull crush. That’s what they get for having sex!