A similar piece to this was originally published back in May 2011, but I’ve decided to attempt another as part of my Friday Night Frights series. As its Friday the 13th today (if you are reading this on a Friday that is), now seems as good a time as any to have another look at my favourite Jason film. Well I’ve done Freddy, I very well can’t leave out Jason now can I?
Come on admit it, we all have that one slasher film that we find as a guilty pleasure. Whether it’s one of the 90s teen slasher’s starring Jennifer Love Hewitt or Neve Campbell, or a cheesy rip-off slasher from the 80s (such as Slaughter High or Prom Night). For me, the one slasher film I revisit (purely because it’s so much fun to watch) is Tom McLoughlin’s entry in the Friday the 13th franchise – Jason Lives.
Admittedly this is when Jason became a ‘zombie’, but there’s still something interesting about its Hard Rock stylings and comic book-like violence. When compared to the previous instalments (particularly the sleazy Part 5) it undeniably has its tongue planted firmly within its cheek.
But what makes this a more pleasurable watch when compared to the previous five entries? Well before the opening titles even role it manages to contain one of the most preposterous ways to resurrect the series antagonist. In this case a metal gate post is plunged into the dead and rotting corpse of Jason as it’s struck by lightning. The fact this film seems to be aware of its own ridiculousness works for it, allowing it to be the most enjoyable entry.
Its very much a product of the 80s (much like Nightmare 3) with its bad hair do’s, shocking fashion sense and the stereotypical disposable teen characters. It even goes so far as have its title song sung by experimental rock legend Alice Cooper. Jason as a character also has a fantastic look, all of those little details of the damage that have been inflicted from parts 3 and 4 are all visible.
But what is a Friday film without some wholesome slasher violence? Well for my money contains some of the series more gory sequences and possibly its best (most explosive) finale, seen in the series (I’m discounting the full body explosion from Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday).
With the kills from Jason we get: Imprint of a face being left on the metal of a motor-home, Jason going toe-to-machete with a group of crazed paintballers and the (still) impressive full-body break. Honestly what is not to love? Then for us lads there’s possibly one of the most kick-ass female characters from the series – Jennifer Cooke as Megan.
Also for some reason one of the disposable police officers seems to have one of the largest laser sights ever used for a hand gun – honestly how bad a shot is he? It’s a gun-sight that it would make even Gabriel Cash (from Tango and Cash) feel inadequate and blush.
When all is said and done, this is just good old fashioned trash and one of the Friday films to be actively fun throughout its brief running time. As much as I enjoy Parts 3, 4 and 7, there’s a special place in my heart for Part 6 as it was the first I stayed up late to watch many years ago. So for this Friday the 13th may I personally recommend this piece of 80s nonsense, to be enjoyed with a group of like-minded friends and a couple of cold ones.