Paramount // 1985 // 92 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // June 16th, 2009
Terror is reborn.
What is this, the ninth time these movies have been released on DVD? Whatever. Here's yet another review to throw on the pile.
The story so far: Jason Voorhees was an ugly kid who drowned in Crystal Lake, his mom went crazy and killed Kevin Bacon. Later, he went crazy and killed some stupid kids, then put on a hockey mask and killed some more stupid kids, until Corey Feldman hacked him to death with a machete.
Now: Tommy Jarvis is all grown up, but his mind has gone straight into the dumper from his murderous actions when he was prepubescent lad. As such, he's sent to a group home full of other nutty kids and it's not long until people end up dead, the apparent handiwork of a newly resurrected Jason. But, wait...isn't Jason dead???
One of the more infamous chapters in the Friday the 13th canon, A New Beginning detoured (sort of) from the tried and true Jason-goes-bonkers-and-gets-his-stab-on formula. Actually, that formula is still largely intact. The big difference here is that SPOILER! it's not Jason but some random paramedic who no one remembered or recognized when he was unmasked. There are very few slasher flicks out there with as unsatisfying a twist as A New Beginning. Even the big, big, big surprise fade-to-black ending is completely ignored in Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives. It's time to face facts: this movie was pretty much a waste of time for everyone involved.
There are a few redeeming qualities for the consumer of old school slasher horror. One: pointless nudity. Two: lots and lots of people die. Twenty in total, actually. And while the gore is low-key -- especially when compared to some of the bat-@#$% bloodshed that's infected the torture porn genre of recent years -- at least the body count is in double digits.
A few of my "favorite" moments from Friday the 13th Part V:
* The quickest sex scene in history. Two horny members of the group home lay out a blanket in the middle of the woods and make whoopee for roughly twelve seconds.
* Pointless side story for the express purpose of providing more cannon fodder for "Jason". What was with that hillbilly family? And why did they get so much screen time? At least one of them ended up getting decapitated.
* Belt to the eyes guy. I didn't even know you could kill someone by strangling their eyeballs, but that's how one of the victims met his end; his face scrunched up by a leather strap wrapped around a tree. I'll never understand these needlessly elaborate kills. Jason, the machete is a proven winner! Stick with it!
* Cool convertible guy getting his head stabbed off. The killing wasn't necessarily noteworthy. I'm just grateful we were spared a love scene between him and the blonde waitress.
* The final encounter. Talk about a sequence that embodies every stupid horror movie dumb-ass cliché. The good guys not only refuse to finish Jason off, when they have him on the ropes, they decide not to run out of the barn and instead climb a ladder to the hayloft, keeping said ladder available for Jason, even though Jason's left shoulder was shredded by a chainsaw. Finally, after they presumably tossed the guy out of the barn, they slowly peer over giving Jason the opportunity to grab their ankles and drag them down with him, while everyone screams like children.
Here's what you get in this "Deluxe Edition": A solid 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer supplemented with a passable 5.1 surround mix; a fun, deprecating commentary by director Danny Steinmann alongside cast and crew; the fifth chapter in the forgettable "Lost Tales of Camp Blood" microseries; "The Crystal Lake Massacres Revisited: Part II"; a fictional newscast about the "killings"; and a nifty making-of retrospective.
Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning blows. It's near sterile, when compared to modern shockers, but there is a charm to it. This double-dip is nearly worth it.
Hoo hoo hoo ha ha ha -- Guilty!
Review content copyright © 2009 David Johnson; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2015 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
* 1.85:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono (English)
* Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono (French)
* Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono (Spanish)
Running Time: 92 Minutes
Release Year: 1985
MPAA Rating: Rated R