Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Friday the 13th Part 5: A New Beginning (1985)

Friday the 13th Part 5: A New Beginning

Written by Martin Kitrosser, David Cohen & Danny Steinmann
Directed by Danny Steinmann

Tommy Jarvis...John Shepherd
Pam Roberts...Melanie Kinnamin
Reggie the Reckless...Shavar Ross

Tommy Jarvis returns from part four, and never mind the fact that he's ten years older than he was a year ago, just be aware that he's no longer the little Goonie he once was. He's now a mental patient up for the title of Ultimate Fighting Champion and he's got some serious fucking rage to dish out.

Tommy is transported to a new-age hippie commune/mental institution/log cabin where's he introduced to his new Doctor and his fellow patients. There's also the so-called 'Reckless Reggie,' who lives with the schitzos because his grandpa works the kitchen, always bouncing around the background and yapping annoyingly like Scrappy Doo. Although he's just a kid, immediately we long for him to die.

Wouldn't you know it? No sooner than Tommy arrives, bodies start to pile up. Almost as if some masked, machete-wielding lunatic has been following him all this time.


It was good to see Tommy Jarvis return (even if he was portrayed by a different actor), and I'm glad they didn't just kill him off before the opening credits like these franchises sometimes tend to do. In the years since we last saw him, most of them were spent institutionalized, but he must have gotten himself into a number of scraps along the way because he has turned into a fighting machine. So much so that I suggest a new lexicographic entry.
Tommy Jarvised: to receive an epic beatdown from an unexpected source; e.g., "Daaaamn! That fool just got Tommy Jarvised!"
Most of these mental patients don't even seem to have anything wrong with them. If liking bad music and screwing like rabbits means you're unbalanced, then every teenager in the world needs to be locked up. Maybe that's why Pinehurst felt they could afford to be so lax when it comes to rules and structure.

But some of these kids obviously DO have problems. Here's a little rule of thumb: Mental patients with free access to axes quickly equals axe murder.

This is a strange entry in the series for a number of reasons, all of which work against its favor.

It seems to have an unnatural affection for bowel movements, and if a few more were depicted onscreen, they'd have to change the title to The Scatological Slaughter. In one pointedly ridiculous scene, a castoff from Morris Day & The Time sings a duet with his girlfriend while sitting on the shitter.

Some secondary characters are so over-the-top and absurd that they come off like cartoons. Among these are backwood yokels Ethel and her son Junior, and a pair of completely out-of-era greasers who rat-a-tat scat their way right into oblivion. What the hell kind of a town is this, anyway?

The twist ending, while certainly not one you see coming the first time you watch it, still leaves me feeling a little cheated. I won't spoil it here (although if you haven't seen this movie yet, it's unlikely that you're going to), but suffice it to say it's not what you're hoping for, or what you paid for.

Overall, a bit too silly for my tastes with far too many deaths that occur just out of camera frame.

And for the love of God, Reggie. Go back to Diff'rent Strokes!  You're the Jar Jar Binks of the Friday franchise!

Rated R
92 minutes
United States


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