Our reviews of Friday The 13th Part V: A New Beginning: Deluxe Edition (published June 16th, 2009), Friday the 13th: The Complete Collection (Blu-ray) (published September 16th, 2013), and Friday The 13th: The Ultimate Collection (published October 13th, 2011) are also available.
"If you liked the first four, and think you're up to getting back on Jason's bloody trail, you'll love Friday The 13th Part V: A New Beginning"
Much like the maniacal Jason Voorhees, some movie series just won't stay dead. Depending on your enjoyment of '80s slasher films, this is either a good thing or a bad thing. For this reviewer, it is a good thing. As most of you know I'm partial to the whole horror movement (well, it may not be a movement, but it sure sounds fancy), and I can honestly say without any shame that when it comes to cinematic garbage, I enjoy the Friday The 13th series most. There's just something endearing about a franchise that refuses to make any changes whatsoever in its storyline. That being said, I can also honestly say that Friday The 13th Part V: A New Beginning is the worst chapter in the series. Paramount brings back the dead with this widescreen DVD edition of Friday The 13th Part V: A New Beginning.
Facts of the Case
Let's see…I'm trying to figure out how to describe Friday The 13th Part V: A New Beginning. How does this sound?
Teenagers. Boobs. Machetes. Hockey Mask. More boobs. Screaming. Bloodshed. More screaming. Sharp objects. More boobs. Moore bloodshed. End credits.
I think that amply sums it up, don't you? If not, here is a more in-depth description on this fifth installment in the series. Tommy Jarvis (John Shepard) is being transferred to a mental clinic that is in the middle of nowhere. As a child Tommy watched as the indomitable Jason Voorhees killed lots of people and made a basic nuisance of himself around Camp Crystal Lake. Surrounded by other wacky patients and clueless doctors, Tommy is hoping that someday he'll be normal again…but today is not that day. It seems that Jason is back from the dead and getting back in the saddle offing good looking, nubile co-eds and stupid adults. Is the real Jason really back from the dead? Or could this be the work of someone with vengeance on their mind? Or maybe, just maybe, is it studio executives trying to cash in on the youth of America's lust for sex and violence?
While none of the other Friday The 13th films will win humanitarian awards, Friday The 13th Part V: A New Beginning seems to be an ultra mix of blood, death, and sex for those with the attention span of a rabid bulldog. I readily admit that I am a Friday The 13th fan, but I never got into the groove of this entry into the series. I think the main reasons were that it lacked something the other nine (and counting) movies had: JASON. It's no secret that this is the one film that doesn't feature the REAL Jason Voorhees. I won't give away who the killer really is (though it's as easy to figure out as it is to find the nose on your face), but it's safe to say that it's not the Jason we've all come to know and love over the years. Some might argue that it really doesn't matter who's behind the mask, as long as there's slicin' and dicin' going on. I wholeheartedly disagree. It makes a world of difference that it's the real Jason. I liken it to buying generic Oreo cookies—sure they taste kind of like the Nabisco brand, but you can still sense that they're different, and definitely not as good.
For those of you looking for Oscar winning performances, you'll be apt to look someplace else. While no one in Friday The 13th Part V: A New Beginning is particularly bad, no one is particularly good, either. The women pop up on screen to either A.) show off their supple knockers or B.) scream while having sharp instruments of death impaled into their body…roll credits, pick up paycheck. Everyone's favorite child actor Shaver Ross, "Dudley" from the TV show Diff'rent Strokes, is a hoot as he plays the same type of character as he did on TV. Now all we need is Gary Coleman quipping "What you talkin' bout, Jason?" Everyone else looks as if they were spit out from some warped 1980s time machine, complete with big hair and tacky clothing. Of course, I can't complain too loudly, as Friday The 13th Part V: A New Beginning features a cameo by the great Corey Feldman (The Goonies, Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter). Although his role is small, it's still very endearing to see his enlightening presence gracing the silver screen once more.
Does Friday The 13th Part V: A New Beginning have any redeeming qualities? I would say that it does have better production values than the first two films, and actor John Shepard as Tommy Jarvis holds his own on screen (though I'm still partial to Thom Matthews version of Tommy in the sixth film). For those looking for an excess of boobs and blood Friday The 13th Part V: A New Beginning delivers on many levels. The main problem Friday The 13th Part V: A New Beginning has going for it is that most fans don't watch these movies for a Columbia "whodunit?" plotline. If I wanted to see that type of thing I'd stay home on Saturday nights and watch re-runs of Diagnosis Murder.
On second thought, Friday The 13th Part V: A New Beginning is still better than anything with Dick Van Dyke in it.
Friday The 13th Part V: A New Beginning is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. As stated, the production values are much better in this film than the previous four, and this transfer is sparkling proof of this fact. Although this print suffers from minor imperfections (some grain, edge enhancement, and dirt were spotted), overall the image looks clean and clear of any major defects. Some scenes tended to look darker than normal, but that may be due more in part to the filming than the transfer.
Audio is presented in Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono (French and English), and like the previous films sounds only passable. Although dialogue, effects and Harry Manfredini's eerie score are all clear and distortion free, this track is woefully under whelming and flat. Also included on this disc are subtitles in English.
Once again fans of the series are stuck with only a theatrical trailer presented in anamorphic widescreen. As an additional slap in the face, Paramount has bafflingly decided to change the original cover artwork (which wasn't all that bad to begin with) into new cover art that looks like it was produced for a direct-to-video horror flick. Blah.
If you already have parts 1-4 of this series, then I am already preaching to the converted. If you're a DVD completist like myself, than you'll feel the need to own Friday The 13th Part V: A New Beginning even if you also agree this one is the weakest of the lot. Paramount has done a commendable job on the transfer, but much like the previous discs the extra features and audio leave much to be desired.
Friday The 13th Part V: A New Beginning is just barely free to go, but let's see the real Jason up and running next time around…
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• Theatrical Trailer
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