Friday the 13th Part 7: The New Blood (1988)
Director: John Carl Buechler
Lar Park Lincoln/Tina
Susan Blu/Mrs. Shepard
Terry Kiser/Dr. Crews
Psychic hot stuff Tina (Lincoln) heads for Crystal Lake with her mother (Blu) and her shrink (Kiser) so she can attempt to let go of the guilt she feels over her father’s death (which she caused due to a psychic accident). There, she befriends a bunch of teens (in their twenties) who are chilling in the house next door, smoking lots of grass and of course, having lots of sex. She also encounters cutie Jason Voorhees (Hodder) who proceeds to slaughter her new fun pals with a variety of weapons, garden tools and even a sleeping bag. Tina puts her "Carrie" knockoff powers to good use and battles the Goalie from hell.
There's a legend around here. A killer buried, but NOT dead. A curse on Crystal Lake, a death curse. Jason Voorhees curse.
All the "Friday" ingredients are in the house: the teens fit the "slasher" film mold; we get the nerd, the slut, the stoner, the hunk with the heart of gold and the token black couple. And yes, folks still do really dumb things like walking ten miles into the woods to take a piss or camping in the middle of nowhere. But on this run, Friday the 13th: Part 7 surprisingly gives the audience a bit more than usual.
Ever wonder what would happen if Jason met Carrie in a crowded room. Well, "The New Blood" answers that unique question by giving us a tight battle of psychic powers against undead brawn. Tina's main confrontation with Jas is by far the most exciting set piece of this flick and I had a hoot watching it go down. The flying furniture, massive explosion, the crumbling roof and the impressive human torch stunt made sure I had a good time. Jason (Hodder) himself is also at his most handsome here. "The New Blood" follows Part 6’s idea (that turned him into a zombie) and takes it a step further. Jason doesn’t look like some loon in a mask anymore; he’s a massive zombie mess who means business. His spinal cord is showing through his ripped shirt, his knee caps are busted and his face makes Hillary Clinton seem pretty. The makeup and prosthetics are beyond astounding here. Another plus in regards to our teen exterminator is the approach "Kane Hodder" takes. Jason shows sign of "personality" in this one; he breathes heavy, lifts his shoulders in anger and seems mucho pissed off. He’s like a "Terminator" zombie on a mission to kill and Hodder's take on the character made the relatively dry kills worthwhile.
On the downside, this is Part 7 of a series, so no matter how suspenseful you make the stalk scenes, it doesn’t matter…we’re rooting for the killer. As for the heroine, we’re so conscious of the "formula" that we don’t bother feeling scared for her anymore, we know she’ll be alright. I think it would have been interesting to play on that, take the audiences knowledge of the "Friday" rules and turn them against them. The "stock" characters are also beyond underdeveloped and you really want them to die in brutal ways. They’re not even fun, although I will admit to popping a boner for blonde hottie Melissa (Sullivan)…God, she’s hot! But the biggest boo-boo this film registered was the way in which it disposed of Jason in the end. I won’t give it away, but it’s the dumbest finale I've ever seen in this series so far and it is very anti-climatic.
But on a whole, the film is pretty solid all around. It gives us a lot of what we know, while at the same time delivering some fresh elements. The psychic angle was a much welcomed breath of fresh air and I even fell for the sweet love story they slapped in. Sure, those crazy kids fall in love pretty fast but the actors are so sincere that I bought it. Tag to that, competent acting by the lead (Lincoln), able dialogue, many groovy "Jason" kill moments (loved the sleeping bag bit), a quick ass pace and you get a crowd-pleaser. Jason is at the top of his game! Enter this Camp.
The MPAA did some slashing of their own (see Bull's Eye). The violence is still there but some of it is cut very short or it’s bloodless. I did love the "sleeping bag" murder and the Melissa murder though. When’s the unrated version coming out??? Come on Paramount! Do it!!!!
Lar Park Lincoln (Tina) rocked my boat. She gives a focused, vulnerable, frantic performance. She’s the main reason this "Carrie" thang works…she’s very believable. Where is she now? Kevin Spirtas (Nick) does fine as the sweet hunk and chicks will dig him. Susan Blu (Mrs. Shepard) does great as the "adult" presence in the film, her chemistry with Lincoln is dead on. Terry Kiser (Crews) is dead on as the "asshole" presence in the movie, he gives a good show. Susan Jennifer Sullivan (Melissa) aroused The Arrow as the token rich slut. She looks great, especially with an axe buried in her forehead.
T & A
We got milk, kids. We get some naked broad skinny dipping (Jason dips too) but the highlight is some stoned gal showing off her ample knockers…good fun times. How come Susan Jennifer Sullivan, who plays the mega slut Melissa, gets to keeps her clothes on though? That’s breaking the "slasher" rules in a NEGATIVE way!!!
Buechler kicks all kinds of bootie. Since the movie has "supernatural" ingredients to it, it gives him license to try new things with this Friday film. We get "eerie" psychic flashes, quick zoom-ins (almost like a Bruce Lee movie) and lots more mood than in the previous Friday flicks. We also get the standard Jason POV shots, some close ups and some kool camera angles. Nice job.
The score by Harry Manfredini and Fred Mollin rocks! We get a revamping of the "Ki Ki Ki" theme (it sounds creepier) and a great "Tina" twang for when she does her psychic stuff.
IMAGE: Thank you Paramount for giving me this flick in Widescreen anamorphic, sure beats the "Full Screen" my worn VHS copy put out. The image itself does look polished but the print's age is apparent at times through grain and faded out colors.
SOUND: I dug my "Ki Ki KI" sound in English Dolby Digital 5.1. It never sounded better! We also get an English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo option and a French Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono option.
But every rose has its thorn, so I must say: Poo on you Paramount for not giving us the long coveted UNRATED version of the film and for not giving us one EXTRA! Would the trailer be too much to ask? Come on, man! Do you even care about the fans? You know...the ones who buy these DVDs??
I am a fan of the Friday films and The New Blood is one of my favorites because it brings something new to the series but without drowning the old stuff. We still get our "stalk and kill" but this time, it has a "supernatural" kicker to it with the battle between Jason and Tina being the highlight. If you relish the Friday movies, I don’t see why you wouldn’t warm up to this one. Now if only the MPAA would find a new cause and leave Jason alone!!!! This sequel would've kicked all kinds of heads with the gore intact! Stop pissing in my soup already!
Kane Hodder has been the official "Jason" since this entry. He's played Jason 4 times so far including "Jason X".
The following scenes were removed from the film in order to get an "R" rating rather than an "X"
Courtesy of: http://www.imdb.com
Jason's face is constantly masked in shadows to avoid shots of his moldy, decomposing face. The complex make-up was made to conform to actor Kane Hodder's face, but was later deleted from nearly the entire movie when the MPAA deemed it "a bit too grisly".
Judy's sleeping bag death was cut to absolutely no gore. In the original version, Jason hits her against the tree and her body explodes, spurting blood and guts from all sides of the bag.
Maddy's death, which is off-screen in the wide-release version, but in original prints a scythe is jammed into her neck and bursts from the other side.
Ben's death is much grislier. In uncut versions, Jason smashes his head into a mushy pulp and blood pours down his face.
Eddie's death was cut. In the original version, we see his head drop to the floor, but in the theatrical version, we only hear it.
Russ's head splits open as Jason hits it with an axe. This scene was also cut.
Amanda Shepard's death is virtually unseen in the wide release, which only shows her get stabbed from behind for a second and then cuts to Doctor Crew's shocked face. Uncut, she is impaled on the blade, which juts violently from her chest. Jason then lifts her off the ground on it and waits until she finally dies.
Dr. Crews was killed with a tree-trimming saw. Originally, Jason tore into his gut, spilling out a fountain of entrails and blood that spurted up into the air.
Melissa's death has an ax violently cleaving her face in two, splitting it down the middle in a gruesome close-up that left her eyes still wiggling in their sockets. Jason then tossed her aside, which is all we see in the cut release.
Stan's death was also cut. There was a shot of Jason's hand ripping through the front of his body with guts attached.
Tina Shepard has a vision of her mother's demise at Jason's hands while driving a car. Buechler originally wanted the vision to be of Jason holding the severed head of Mrs. Voorhees, but Gulf + Western wouldn't allow it.
A denouement scene was filmed in which a fisherman in a boat on Crystal Lake hooks a largemouth bass, but as he's reeling it in, Jason rises from the lake and pulls him under. The scene was removed from the final cut, because it was deemed too close to the ending of the original Friday the 13th and Part 3.