Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Friday the 13th Part 7: The New Blood (1988)

Friday the 13th Part 7: The New Blood

Written by Darryl Haney & Manuel Fidello
Directed by John Carl Buechler

Tina Shepherd...Lar Park-Lincoln
Amanda Shepherd...Susan Blu
Dr. Crews...Terry Kiser
Nick...Kevin Spiritas

We open up to a cool ghost story-type narration over a series of flashbacks to the earlier entries in the series, bringing the new and uninitiated up to speed and then we cut to the obligatory cabin by the lake. Young Tina's parents are fighting once again and she flees onto the water via a canoe. When her drunken father races out to the dock and demands her to come back, Tina's latent telekinetic ability kicks in and her emotions bring the dock crashing down into the water, killing her father.

Flash forward to the future. Tina is all grown up now, and along with her mother and therapist Dr. Crews, she returns to the cabin to confront her guilt. In reality, Dr. Crews doesn't want to help Tina but rather wants to stir up her emotional turmoil so he can exploit her psychic powers. It works all too well and Tina accidentally resurrects Jason Voorhees, who has been in forced hibernation at the bottom of Crystal Lake.

When Jason emerges, he's not a happy man. A whole bevy of teenagers have once again invaded his domain, and using a vast array of power tools and the ever-present machete, he thins the population by nearly 100 percent. Only Tina knows what's going on and most people aren't too eager to listen to an ex-mental patient.  Just ask Tommy Jarvis.

The usual psycho and sexual hijinx ensue. Most of the characters here are as paper thin as you would expect, but there are a few exceptions. Nick, Tina's love interest, comes across as a pretty solid fella--a bad boy trying to turn good, and this whole experience puts him to the test.

Dr. Crews, while not fully fleshed out, does come across as an intelligent and manipulative asshole. He's not quite a villain, perhaps, but he's also no hero. He's willing to do whatever it takes to make a name for himself, even if that means the exploitation and sacrifice of innocents. Slimy bastard.

Tina is the character that really shines through, though. Not only is she convincing as the shattered and frail victim, but the introduction of her telekinetic ability brought a bit of fresh air to the franchise. I'm sure some didn't think it fit the series, but in a world where a man can come back to life again and again, it makes sense that he's not the only supernatural power out there. Nightmare on Elm Street did it with the introduction of the Dream Warriors in Part 3, so why not Friday the 13th? It's just too bad that the character didn't return later. I would have loved to see her team up with Tommy Jarvis.

There's a lot less silly humor here than in the past couple of entries, too, which I was glad to see. Jason gets pretty creative with his kills, utilizing what appears to be an entire tool shed to do these teenies in.

Sure, it's Carrie meets Jason, and it's not entirely original, but I still have a lot of fun with this one every time I watch it.  The final confrontation takes form in a Ultimate Fighting Championship match between psychic ability and die-hard serial killer tenacity, wrapping itself up rather neatly in a ridiculous resurrection scene.  As always, this film doesn't bother to rewrite the genre but rather plays by the rules. It does get extra points for the telekinetic twist, and is ultimately more watchable than most of the Fridays.

In my opinion, it's one of the more underrated entries in the franchise.

Rated R
88 Minutes
United States

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