F13 PART 2: DELUXE EDITION
Reviewed by: Jamey Hughton
What's it about
Five years after the original murders, a new group of counsellors gather for training at a camp that is directly adjacent to Camp Crystal Lake. Mrs. Voorhees is dead, so things oughta be peachy keen, right? Well, to paraphrase a popular saying involving bears... does Jason kill people in the woods?
Is it good movie?
It's been many years since I watched all of the FRIDAY films, but I don't remember marking Part 2 as one of the absolute worst of them all, which upon closer inspection, it clearly is. Director Steve Miner makes his debut behind the camera here, taking over from Sean S. Cunningham, and throws any notion of effective pacing or suspense to the wind. Itís a boring sequel that seems to take forever to get to the good stuff - and once there, it fails to deliver the desired amount of gruesome fun (aside from a nice machete- in-the-face gag). And Iím sure a lot of that was due to the intervention the MPAA, who were quick to notice that this franchise was going to push the violence envelope as far as it could (for the 80s), and would neuter a new FRIDAY THE 13TH movie on an almost-annual basis henceforth.
This installmentís best moments - perhaps the only ones worth mentioning - take place in the opening scene. On a darkened street, we follow a child's feet as he skips through puddles, singing all the while. The child moves on, and another set of feet enter the frame, accompanied by Harry Manfredini's classic ki ki ki score. We know immediately that this is Jason, making a very creepy entrance into the series. It's certainly enough to make any FRIDAY fan giddy. You see, Jason is on his way to visit the sole survivor of the first film, Alice (Adrienne King), who made the mistake of separating his mom's head from her body. The following sequence is deliberately paced but scary, an effective bridge from the last film to set up future mayhem.
PART 2 introduces us to an absurd amount of characters, all of whom are one-note and obnoxious. The closest thing resembling character development is when the guy in the wheelchair (Tom McBride) talks a little bit about how he came to be handicapped. The heroine of sorts (Amy Steele) is a blonde psychology student... and thatís all the information I got. Even for a FRIDAY THE 13TH film, the blank slates that pass for living, breathing people here are not going to cut it. Meanwhile, Jason is still pre-hockey mask and wears a pillow case over his head - which mostly looks goofy. And how does he manage to keep it so sparkling clean all the time?
Most of the murders follow a tried-and-true horror movie tradition. Two of the characters will pair up and a small romance will evolve out of what appears to be zero chemistry. Then at some point (whether or not it follows sex), the two characters split up. Next, one gets killed, and Jason stalks the other... or, one goes off and the other later goes to locate that person and comes upon their corpse, at which point Jason springs out of nowhere and finishes the deal. Many permutations of the ďpair off formulaĒ were played through resulting sequels. In fact, there was another nine movies afterward that relied on it.
Finally, the ending tries to replicate the shocking finale of the first FRIDAY by exhaustively setting up a scene of absolute serenity that seems like it will be fade into credits, and then pulling the rug out. That worked the last time around - youíre pressing your luck this time. As George W. Bush once said, ďFool me once, shame on you..... if you fooled me, you canít fool me again.Ē Or something.
Video / Audio
Video Widescreen Format. The FRIDAY films have never looked as good at home as they do on these new Deluxe Edition DVDs. Very nice transfer.
Audio Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
Inside Crystal Lake Memories An 11-minute interview with author Peter Bracke about his book, which chronicles the history of F13 and looks at its significance in horror history. The guy has clearly done his research and gives some interesting asides.
Fridayís Legacy: Horror Conventions is a brief look at the Scarefest convention and the fans who turn out to support the series.
Jason Forever features numerous actors who have played the horror icon over the years. This is a fun featurette for fans.
Lost Tales from Camp Blood - Part 2 continues on from a bonus short on the FRIDAY THE 13TH DVD. Basically, itís an offshoot of the series - a murder scene featuring a Jason-lookalike that looks like a student film. It might be of some mild amusement to fans, as long as they donít mind very cheap thrills.
As always, there's the Theatrical Trailer
FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 2 is a dull sequel. Thankfully Steve Miner would improve on his next FRIDAY outing, Part 3, but this go-around is little more than a cheap retread of the superior original film.