Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Friday the 13th, Part 7 (1988)

Jason returns from his watery grave to break up another party out at Crystal Lake, but this time, the telekinetic Tina is sure to put a stop to his murderous rampage once and for all! John Carl Buechler's FRIDAY THE 13TH, PART VII is arguably the darkest, cruelest, and most terrifying film in the series. There is no comedic safety net to balance the horror, and the death scenes are not left to silly gags like they had been in earlier entries. PART VII aims for a hardcore Slasher, even if it falls short of its ultimate goal. A disastrous run-in with the MPAA left Buechler defenseless against harsh censorship, and without the support of Paramount to back him up, the film was mercilessly butchered in order to earn an R-rating. Most of the gore has been removed entirely, but even still, THE NEW BLOOD contains some of FRIDAY's most memorable murders. The sleeping bag death, in particular, would live on in infamy for years to come, and was so popular that it was later revisited in JASON X. Buechler makes up for the flaccid action sequences with his atmospheric use of light and shadow as well as high- and low-angles to emphasize the sinister mood. The vision of Jason that he presents on-screen is a zombified brute that shows all of the wear and tear he has taken in his years of slicing and dicing. PART VII is most notable for introducing audiences to Kane Hodder as Jason, who would become the only actor to wear the hockey mask more than once (for a total of four films). Kane Hodder is the stuff that nightmares are made of. His specific mannerisms, huge stature, and heavy breathing would define the role for most fans. Jason completely raids the tool shed in this one, killing his victims with the most absurd weapons imaginable. Even though THE NEW BLOOD is riddled with poor special effects, lame acting, and corny dialog, the combination of Buechler behind the camera and Hodder imposing himself on-screen make this a very scary entry.

Rating: 6/10.
Entertainment: 7/10.
Gore: 4/10.

7 comments:

  1. It is a scary entry in the series and while it can't hold up to some of the stronger films, it is miles ahead when compared to the film that followed.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love this film, it may be my favorite FRIDAY! Jason is scary as hell, and when I think of Jason Voorhees, I think of FRIDAY VII

    ReplyDelete
  3. definitely underrated. scary, brutal and Kane Hodder's performance is just terrific

    ReplyDelete
  4. I caught a lot of this on USA once. No, I don't know why they were showing it.

    The same John Carl Buechler who started out doing F/X work and got into directing, huh? It's hard to picture the same guy that did 'Ghoulies III' and 'Troll' making it.

    I guess it bears a rewatching from me then. I did like the idea of 'Carrie vs. Jason.' It can't be any worse than the 'Chuck Norris vs. Jason' movie...

    ReplyDelete
  5. The very same, and he would go on to direct all sorts of cheese from here (see Watchers 4). This one is probably my favorite due to the awesome looking costume, easily the darkest in the series!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Buechler did tons of crappy rubber monster flicks, but his costume design here was incredible. It put all those lame past creations of his to shame. So much of his stuff looks the same. From DEATHSTALKER to GHOULIES to CELLAR DWELLAR, they all have that same distinct look. Oh, and CARNOSAUR, too, he did pretty good with the $50 Corman gave him for the dinosaurs.

    I got to see FRIDAY 7 in the theater and was kind of bored with it till the big fight at the end. I remember the theater erupting in a synchronized "HUH???" when the girls dead daddy pops up out of the water.

    ReplyDelete
  7. C'mon, the Ghoulies look nothing like the forest ghouli-- monsters in TROLL! Wait..

    My favorite scene here is when Jason is hidden in the shadows in the corner of the living room, and you only see him when the lightning strikes as the pot head goes into the kitchen. So friggin terrifying, one of the most memorable scenes in the entire series IMO!

    ReplyDelete