Monday, July 09, 2007

Friday The 13th Part VII -- The New Blood

Paramount skipped a year in its FRIDAY THE 13TH series, maybe because no Fridays in 1987 landed on the 13th day of the month. So it wasn’t until May 13, 1988 that FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VII: THE NEW BLOOD hit theaters all over the U.S., when it debuted at number one at the box office. This time, Jason Voorhees (stunt coordinator Kane Hodder, who went on to play Jason four times in all) meets CARRIE, as the hockey-mask-wearing killing machine, last seen chained to a rock at the bottom of Crystal Lake, is again resurrected from the dead to face a blond teen with telekinetic powers.

As a child, Tina accidentally killed her abusive father just by wishing him dead. Years later, Tina (Lar Park Lincoln, a regular on KNOTS LANDING at the time) is undergoing psychiatric therapy under the tutelage of Dr. Crews (Terry Kiser, the corpse in the WEEKEND AT BERNIE’S movies), whose brilliant idea of treatment is to take Tina and her mother (Susan Blu) back to the Crystal Lake cabin where her trauma first began. Wouldn't you know that the cabin next door is being rented out by a group of partying teens, who get high, have sex, argue, and...well, you know what happens next.

Continuity and plot logic are given short shrift in the screenplay by Daryl Haney (XTRO 3) and Manuel Fidello. For instance, PART VI established that the community of Crystal Lake had changed its name in an effort to forget its bloody past. That said, director John Carl Buechler (TROLL), a special makeup effects artist by trade, adds a new twist or two to the FRIDAY formula, ditching Jason's familiar hockey mask during the climax and showing off a creepy new visage akin to the rotting cadaver Jason actually was by that time.

The first film to introduce elements of science fiction, THE NEW BLOOD closes with a battle between big, menacing Jason and tiny, vulnerable Tina that is one of the series’ most exciting climaxes. Buechler offers slightly more gore and nudity than the previous film, although it, like many others in the series, was eviscerated by the MPAA much worse than Jason ever did to any of his victims.

With the next movie, FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VIII — JASON TAKES MANHATTAN, Hodder became the first performer to play Jason in back-to-back films. Also making his F13 debut here is composer Fred Mollin, who took over from Harry Manfredini after six films, although some of Manfredini's cues from PART VI were used on the soundtrack.

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