Friday the 13th, Part 5 – A New Beginning (1985)
US (dir. Danny Steinmann)
Cast: Anthony Barrile, Corey Feldman, Curtis Conaway, Dominick Brascia, John Shepherd, Juliette Cummins, Melanie Kinnaman, Richard Young, Shavar Ross, Suzanne Bateman, Tiffany Helm, Todd Bryant
Synopsis: Having landed in a mental hospital after “killing” Jason in The Final Chapter, an older Tommy is released to a halfway house populated by the usual maladjusted teens. Then, surprise, the grisly murders begin anew. Has the homicidal hockey goalie returned from the dead, or is Tommy turning into Jason himself?
Review: What’s really unfortunate about “Friday the 13th Part 5” is that Jason isn’t even in the movie. Yes, even though it’s a movie within the “Friday the 13th” franchise, Jason isn’t even in it. Yes there is a killer on the loose who wears a hockey mask and stalks down promiscuous teenagers, but it’s not Jason. What’s worse is that the guy pretending to be Jason isn’t really that significant at all, and in the end you aren’t even 100% sure if it even was that guy pretending to be Jason, or just old delusional Tommy Jarvis relieving himself of some pent-up craziness. Oh and yes, this is a bad movie that is so bad it’s actually good.
I’m not quite sure why this installment in the series was subtitled as “A New Beginning”. I have no clue as to what they are referring to, unless they some how figured it related to the fact that some random new guy is pretending to be Jason Voorhees, because then the title would make sense (new killer, therefore a new beginning). The killer (an EMS guy) is called to attend to a murder victim who, coincidentally is his long-lost (mentally handicapped) son. Seeing his son murdered supposedly threw him into a rage of sorts, and he adopted the Jason persona in order to kill the teenagers who were living in the same half-way house as his son. It’s a shaky motive and a dumb set-up. He doesn’t even go after the guy who killed his son, he instead stalks the teenagers who happened to live with his son and who weren’t really all that bad anyways. I think maybe only two of them deserved to die, the rest were just filler kills.
Tommy Jarvis (a recurring character in the “Friday the 13th” franchise) happens to live in the same half-way house where the murder occurred. He was sent there after witnessing the murder of his family at the hands of Jason in the last installment. He apparently grew very fond of making latex masks (which is baffling considering how the guy who murdered his whole family wore a latex mask) and for some reason he knows some crazy karate moves. Tommy ends up assisting in the final killing of the fake Jason, and that’s all well and good until the ending when we see a bizarre scene where Tommy is actually Jason (in a dream sequence) but then wakes up and envisions Jason is watching him (or that he actually is Jason again… something along those lines) and then jumps out a window before anyone sees him. Likely the worst ending in a movie EVER. Well at least it’s not as bad as having a Jason movie with a fake Jason in it.
The movie has some really unlikable characters (some dumb rednecks, weird teenagers, a guy who hates chocolate bars enough to murder someone who offers him one, a street savvy black kid, and a big breasted blonde who manages to stumble over her own feet so many times during the course of the final chase scene that a CHILD has to save her) and a handful of memorable ones (the black biker guy, Demon, who eats too many enchiladas and his girlfriend who sings to him while he takes a dump (?)). This is also the only movie where the Tommy Jarvis character is played by a really creepy guy who looks like he spends a lot of time masturbating in his room. He also for some reason knows some kickass ninja moves, but they cannot help him in the end.
There’s a significant amount of gore in this movie, but the lack of a good storyline and the absence of any stand-out characters cripples the movie and makes it lame. Also the lack of Jason is pitiful and it feels like a cheap shot. There’s a really funny scene with the cops talking with the mayor about Jason having been cremated and a scary scene where “Jason” stalks a new waver teenager in her own bedroom. Other than that, nothing good here, but still a film that supersedes the later sequels.