Our reviews of Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter: Deluxe Edition (published June 16th, 2009) and Friday The 13th: The Ultimate Collection (published October 13th, 2011) are also available.
Final Chapter my @ss.
After the success of the original Friday The 13th, then Friday The 13th Parts 2 & 3, Paramount Pictures finally decided to put a rest to the mega-maniacal Jason Voorhees once and for all (well, that is until 1984 rolled around) with the fourth (and FINAL?!?!?) entry, Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter. Billed as the end saga to the Friday The 13th series, this was to be the cherry-top to a very successful horror franchise. What we didn't know was this was to end up being just another scoop on top of a very large horror sundae. But what a sundae it was!
Paramount has released Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter in its widescreen format, starring lots of naked teens and Corey Feldman!!!
Yes ma'am, I said COREY FELDMAN!
Come on folks, it just doesn't get any better than that!
Facts of the Case
Alright, due to the fact that my editor forces me do this, I will actually review the plot summary for Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter. But if you are still reading this with anticipation for what the storyline is, you need to dragged outside in a burlap bag and beaten severely with a sock full of quarters.
For those of you that are still conscious, guess what? Jason is up to his old tricks again. At the end of Friday The 13th Part 3 Jason is killed (*snicker*) by a counselor with an axe. The paramedics, assuming (*hehe*) he's dead, take him to the local morgue (*chuckle chuckle*) where he is tagged and left to be buried (*BAAWW-HAHAHAHA*).
Jason, however, has other plans.
After a few shots of Bourbon, Jason is back on his feet in no time, trampling around the woods looking for nubile young teens to cavort with. Of course, he finds them (and in multitudes). But there is something new in Crystal Lake that strikes fear into his heart…a force so powerful that it blinds the naked eye…an entity so grand that to say its name is like hearing the majestic voice of God himself…the ultimate weapon against evil…the one, the ONLY…
(I gasp in delight just to breath his name)…
That's right baby, it's time to bring out the big guns. Corey is on the loose, and Jason had better make a beeline, stage left.
Feldman plays Tommy Jarvis (a character who will appear two more times in this series), a young boy staying at Crystal Camp Lake with his sister and mother (all you amateur Freudians get out your couches). Next door to THEM is a cabin full of teenagers frolicking and drinking and getting it on faster than Barry White at a Playboy mixer. Among this group of teens is "Mr. George McFly" himself, Crispin Glover (how he managed to do this film and follow it up with Back To The Future is still one of the great mysteries of the cosmos).
To make a long story (or should I say "simple story") short, Jason plays hide and seek with everyone, screaming, yelling, blood, boobs…the stuff that makes life great.
I get teary-eyed just writing about it.
Once again, Judge Patrick comes to the rescue to one of the most universally despised film series to date. I'm going out on a limb here, but I'm going on record to say that Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter is one of the best movies in the series. Why? Well, I'm glad you asked…
First off, we have the great Jason Voorhees with make-up by Tom "I have issues" Savini, doing wonderful things with a pinch of blood, rubber entrails and some crazy glue. We get the privilege of seeing Jason without his mask, looking like The Goonies' Sloth on a bad hair day. The plot for part 4 is nothing great, but at least we do get a few little turns and twists (hey, keep in mind I said A FEW…don't get your hopes up high). The acting is above par (if just barely), and it does help to have some B-list stars doing some nice emoting and scene stealing (especially Glover, playing a variation on his character from Back To The Future).
And we have Corey Feldman. I could write a whole devotional page to Mr. Feldman. Of course, we all know he's THE consummate actor. No film would be complete without him (obviously). For example, what would Stand By Me be without Corey? Or The Lost Boys? Or what about Dream A Little Dream Part 2? Do you see the universal importance of Corey Feldman? DO YOU?!?
And don't even get me started on Corey Haim.
Before I get kicked off this review for ranting, I need to get back on the topic of the Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter DVD.
Where were we…ah yes, the good things about this film. I will admit, there were a few scenes that made me jump. The scene with the corkscrew (you'll know it when you see it) was a good solid scare, as was the end battle with Jason and Tommy. Say what you will about formula, Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter delivers some nice frights.
For the first time on DVD, Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter is given an anamorphic widescreen presentation that looks very good. There is some grain present, but over all the 1:85.1 presentation looks fairly good, if not great. This is a pretty dark film (as most Friday The 13th movies are) so there is some shadow present. A few minor things, but nothing to get you panties bunched up about. I've said this before, I'll say it again: fans should just be happy to have these movies on DVD, as Paramount seems to care very little about them (despite the fact they brought in a nice chunk of change for the studio).
Audio for Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter is as well done as the other films in this series. Presented in Dolby Mono 1.0, it's your front speakers that will get the work out. However, for a 16-year-old film, dialogue is very distinguishable with no his or distortion from what i could hear. Not bad, but nothing great.
On par with the other Friday The 13th releases, this disc comes complete with only a theatrical trailer. Nothing special (and pretty scratched up), but still a hoot to watch if you're a fan of the series.
The Rebuttal Witnesses
Oh, come on…what can you say that's bad about any of the Friday The 13th movies? Sure, it's the same script over and over again with only 8-10 words changed and a different title. And, yes, it has no redeeming social value what-so-ever (although I do think it has something to say about when and where to do your nookie-knockin'). However, when you sit down and pop this in, don't even TRY to tell me that there isn't this little wave of nostalgia that washes over you like the ocean tide…unless, of course, you're 88 and think "Pac-Man" is a moving company.
Sure, I could complain about the lack of extras included in this disc. But what's the point? We're onto numer-o four-o in this series and Paramount has yet to stick us with anything fun or worthwhile (besides the trailers). And I could complain about the transfer, but it's an old film, and after the last three I wasn't expecting a miracle.
My mom used to tell me that these movies rot your brain. After taking a long, hard look in the mirror, I think she's right.
If you've bought the other three Friday The 13th DVDs, what's stopping you from getting this one? For the price tag of about $24.99-29.99, this isn't the worst thing you can get. If you're a fan, it's a must for your horror collection. But, if you're only into renting with an option to buy, maybe you should hit Blockbuster Video first.
Go free little guy…go join your brothers on the shelf and wait for parts 5 and 6 to have their day in court…
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