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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Day 101: Friday The 13th Part 2

Friday the 13th Part 2
But the creativity doesn't

The term “Cult Classic” gets thrown around a lot when talking about horror movies from the 80's. Sometimes the name is perfect for a movie that was underappreciated when it first came out, but through word of mouth and video tapes (now DVDs and Blu Rays), it has gained a faithful and loving based. Evil Dead is a good example. Unfortunately, almost every horror movie from that era gets slapped with a “cult classic” status no matter how shitty it really is. Throw in one of the most famous slashers in horror movie history and you have a recipe for disappointment.

Friday the 13th Part 2 starts off with Alice Hardy, the only survivor of the Crystal Lake murders of Pamela Voorhees. Despite seeing her pulled underwater by Jason in the first movie, it is revealed that that never happened and no boy was found in the lake. Alice, though traumatized by the experience, decides to live by herself to deal with her issues. It's an unfortunate choice because Jason kills her with an ice pick. Five years later, a group of teenagers come to Crystal Lake to reopen the camp. There really isn't much more story to tell unfortunately. In typical 80's slasher fashion, the teens all have sex and are then brutally murdered by Jason. Seriously, that's all there really is to this movie. Most of the characters names are inconsequential and have no real connection to the first movie. We see that Jason carries around the head of his dead mother, and one of the surviving teens, Ginny, is briefly able to convince Jason that she is his mother. Unfortunately it doesn't last too long. Will Ginny be able to stop Jason and make it out of Crystal Lake alive?

The forgotten California Raisin

As you can tell from my half-assed description of this movie, there really wasn't much of a story. What should have been a story about Alice Hardy battling it out with Jason became just a rehash of the first movie with a different villain. Apparently, Adrienne King, who played Alice, was unhappy being bothered by rabid Friday the 13th fans and wanted her involvement to be as minimal as possible. That's unfortunate because it actually would have been nice to have a stronger connection to the first movie. Beyond the sex and killing, there really isn't much to Part 2. It came out in 1981 and hasn't aged very well with all the slashers and horror movies that have come out since.

My biggest problem (other than being bored out of my mind) was Jason himself. When you think of Jason Voorhees, you think of a giant guy with a hockey mask and some sort of jumpsuit. Part 2 didn't use the hockey mask and instead had Jason wear what looks like a potato sack with one hole cut out to see. I guess they were going for a Michael Myers style blank mask where you could mentally project whatever image you wanted onto his face. Unfortunately it just made me think of Oogie Boogie from A Nightmare Before Christmas. He's also wearing flannel and overalls, which actually makes sense when you think about it, but makes less sense when you think about it even more. How did Jason find clothes, let alone find clothes that fit him? He's supposed to be a killing machine so when did he have time to find appropriate outdoorsman clothes? Did he murder his way through a Dick's Sporting Goods? Regardless, the killing throughout is good, but certainly not great. 

He looks like he's about to shuck some corn to death

Friday the 13th Part 2 had a lot of potential for a fun slasher movie, but settled for scare-by-numbers. There is almost no story and no emotional connection is made with the audience to have you care about the characters. There are a few decent scenes and you can see a glimmer of good ideas here and there, but it's just not enough. We all know and love Jason, but dubbing this cult classic is just wrong. It's important because it introduces us to Jason, but its just not a good movie.


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