Well, as the old saying goes, “You just can’t keep a good seemingly inhuman psychopathic murdering machine down.” And that’s the case of Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter. I remember seeing the TV spots for this one 25 years ago (I feel old for even writing that), thinking “Oh, wow! The FINAL chapter!” I knew that it was going to be big. I knew it was going to be something. I knew that it was going to be it.
Would you believe I have never trusted an advertising campaign since?
So anyway, back to Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter. Up until the point that New Line acquired the rights and the guilty pleasure known as Freddy Vs. Jason finally came to pass, The Final Chapter could very well be the last good entry in the entire Jason Voorhees/Friday The 13th franchise. Sure, The Final Chapter’s story is about as dumb and as full of holes as the previous three installments, but it’s the execution of the film (poor choice of words, I know) that sets it apart from the later chapters (which ultimately did nothing but make fun of themselves).
As he has a habit of frequently doing, Jason Voorhees (this time played by Ted White) returns to life (or was he just resting?) after receiving an axe to the head in Part 3. With a sharp pointy instrument of death in one hand and a secondary sharp pointy instrument of death in the other, Jason heads back towards the Crystal Lake area but this time gets sidetracked near the home of the Jarvis Family (Joan Freeman, Kimberly Beck, and little Corey Feldman). The house next door has just been rented by a group of dumb horny teens, and their illicit and wanton behavior screams “Hey, just kill us!” in Jasonese. Among 1984’s victims are: E. Erich Anderson, Barbara Howard, Peter Barton (the future Peter Burke), Lawrence Monoson, Clyde Hayes, Judie Aronson, twins Camilla and Carey More (who look positively stunning diving underwater nude), the underrated comic genius Bruce Mahler, Lisa Freeman, and, of course, we can’t forget about Crispin Glover. While some of these lads and lasses more or less failed to go anywhere in filmdom, Crispin Glover forever cemented himself in unforgettableness with his patented Dead Fuck Dance Moves featured in this one (must be seen to be believed).
Moving back to the storyline (ahem, the what?) a bit: Jason starts doing what comes naturally to the poor feller but his whole night is ruined by those darn Jarvis kids — especially little Tommy (little Corey Feldman), whose flair for professional make-up and mask-making ultimately succeeds in bringing Jason’s reign of terror to an end. Why, this has to be the bloodiest Friday the 13th ever! It’s only a pity that, according to all calculations by anyone who has ever done the math, this movie actually takes place on Monday the 16th and Tuesday the 17th.
Apart from Crispin Glover’s fantabulous dance moves, Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter stands out from its predecessors in several ways. Make-up guru Tom Savini returned to provide the film with its gruesome special effects. Director Joseph Zito (who had previously worked with Savini on The Prowler, a complete bomb that has only recently started to enjoy a second life) brings his slasher movie expertise along to create just the right atmosphere. And the cast definitely contributes more, too. Hell, even little Corey Feldman helps this one roll right along!
Even though I haven’t seen any of the other DVD releases of this title in ages, Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter looks rather good on DVD this time around. The 1.85:1 widescreen image for this here “Deluxe Edition” doesn’t appear to boast a “Remastered in High Def” look to it, but the colors and contrast looked just fine to me. The new 5.1 Dolby Digital English soundtrack comes through loud and clear, but the rear speakers don’t seem to get enough exercise. The original English mono stereo sound is also included, as are French and Spanish mono stereo soundtracks. Subtitles are available in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese.
Special features — hooray! But these aren’t your average run-of-the-mill extras, kids. This time, someone had a little fun. An audio commentary with director Zito, writer Barney Cohen, and editor Joel Goodman is a joy to listen to, but it isn‘t anywhere as fun as the second audio commentary with diehard über-Jason fans Adam Green and Joe Lynch (a plus). Another useless entry in the “Camp Blood” short film series, “Lost Tales From Camp Blood – Part 4” (6:21), is just as boring as the last four entries. Several silent outtakes (15:19) from the film’s bloody death scenes are a real treat to behold. These outtakes are introduced and narrated by Joseph Zito. The retrospect featurette “Jason’s Unlucky Day – 25 Years After Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter” (11:02) interviews cast and crew (including Tom Savini, Joseph Zito, Kimberly Beck, and Ted White, who points out what a brat little Corey Feldman was).
Fans will go nuts for “The Lost Ending” (3:20), which shows us an alternate ending to the film (this clip is also silent, but contains subtitles for the dialogue and narration by director Zito and actress Beck). A cute addition here is “The Crystal Lake Massacres Revisited, Part 1” (18:06) featurette, which is a mockumentary that takes cheese to a whole new level. Lastly in the special features department is a collection of Crispin Glover’s inspired “Jimmy’s Dead Fuck Dance Moves” (2:07) which is also introduced by Zito; the original theatrical trailer (1:55); and a trailer for the newer suspense flick, The Uninvited (2:19).
As you can see by the bonus material alone, this new “Deluxe Edition” Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter is well-worth it to fans of the series. Sure, we know that the Blu-ray edition will probably be out soon (I’d say in October), but this edition will more than tide you over in the meantime.