By Raymond Knowby


Apparantly, even an entire film devoted to killing their low-budget slayer wasn’t enough to stop Paramount from bankrolling an additional greedy followup. The adage: “why fix it if it ain’t broken?” springs to mind, since the executives were raking in major cash from a devoted teenage demograph. Many die-hard fans consider this entry to be the vanishing point, and there are certainly valid arguments to support this allegation.

Tormented by his traumatic past, a now teenage Tommy Jarvis (John Sheppard) has been sent to an adolescent halfway house for psych rehibilitation. He’s barely there half a day when a fellow detainee goes berzerk and hacks up an intrusive Aspergers-type patient, which kickstarts a string of killings on the rest of the group home. Is Tommy responsible for all the carnage, or has Jason come back from the grave to continue his bloody legacy?

All right, pluses first: there’s a huge body count (hell, I can’t say that’s really a positive thing in good conscience).The death sequences are especially nasty, even by franchise standards, and there seems to be no mercy shown on the cast. Some of the performances are quite good (notably the lead male), and most of the make-up effects are spot on disgusting. There is also some very scumptious nudity from actress Debbie Sue Voorhees (no family relation to Pamela or her fictional son), sporting a bust that might possibly be the most impressive natural special effect seen in any genre movie.

The bad parts: just about everything else. Gratuitious scenes built for sex and violence that serve the story no more than random cutaways, even more shamefully than any other film before it. Worst and most offensive of all is the relevation of the antagonist, and while the triple climax ending is morbidly interesting, it’s quite a cheap kick to the lugnuts.

It's an especially brutal gathering in FRIDAY THE 13TH PART V: A NEW BEGINNING.