Paramount's spiffed-up repackaging of its long and lucrative Friday the 13th series proceeds apace with entries four through six of the slasher saga. First of the threesome to receive the deluxe DVD treatment: the fraudulently named Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter.
Directed by the efficient action exploitation filmmaker Joseph Zito (who lensed Chuck Norris in two of his most profitable low-budgeters, including the bombastic Invasion U.S.A.), Final Chapter is best known among horror aficionados for the return of makeup FX maestro Tom Savini, who did the hacks and slashes for the first flick but was working on other projects during the next two sequels. This proved a lucky break for Savini, since the short-term outcry against this type of movie material had producers tamping down the kinds of gore effects that were his métier.
By the time the fourth outing was released, the furor had died down sufficiently for Savini to be able to ply his trade without too much post-production tampering. You get to see lots of his trademark blade-tips-protruding-from-a-victim's torso shots, the first being a fat hitchhiker who gets it in the neck while eating a banana. Apparently, acting like a horny teenager is no longer the only way to get marked for death in this series: being a lover of fresh fruit will do it, too.
As with the previous installment, the flick picks up right where the last 'un ended. We're at the site of the earlier 3-D slashings, and Jason's seemingly dead body ("This the guy who's been leaving the wet stuff?" a compassionate paramedic asks when they come to pick up Voorhees' apparent corpse) is taken to the local hospital morgue. There, with no explanation whatsoever, the hockey-masked murderer returns to life, dispatching a dorky morgue attendant and a nurse before trudging back to Crystal Lake. Though his body's vanished and the two hospital employees are dead, nobody in a position of authority apparently thinks that maybe, just maybe, they should return to the original Scene of the Crimes.