Friday, July 13, 2012

Throw-Back Movie Review: "Friday the 13th Part IV: The Final Chapter" by Ben Foutch

Release: 1984
Director: Joseph Zito
Writers: Victor Miller, Ron Kurz
Stars: Corey Feldman, Crispin Glover
Rated: R
Run Time: 91 min


In honor of it being Friday the 13th, I felt that it was my duty to post a review of a film in the Friday the 13th series. Part four is my favorite film in the series because it came back with a vengeance after the disappointing, yet still classic third entry (first time Jason donned his iconic mask). The film shows a young Corey Feldman and the always awkward Crispin Glover early in their careers. It also boasts some of the more ferocious and memorable murder scenes in the franchise, at least in this reviewer's opinion. None of the other sequels have quite lived up to the overall quality of this film, but that is not to say that they should be forgotten, as each one contains something special.
Here's a short clip to get you in the mood:

So, as you can probably tell from the clip that these kids are going to have an epic night of debauchery and judging from the title, one could assume Jason is just going to ruin the whole shebang in the gruesome, cock-blocking ways that he knows how. But, don't dismiss the film for being completely redundant just yet, it gets slightly more interesting...ya see, little Tommy Jarvis (Feldman) is somewhat of a horror-monster fanatic, and he isn't going to sit by idly while Jason conducts his finest symphony on these sexual miscreants - there WILL be a showdown. Who knows, maybe Tommy will mean more to this franchise than your average Joe who decides to stand up in the face of fear. Plus, Tommy, don't even begin to act as if you're not looking for that Jarvis sandwich.

The main thing that makes this slasher work is that everyone involved knew the type of film they were making. It's fun, brutal, atmospheric, and rocks a retro sounding horror score. The practical effects are great for the time period and are far more convincing than the computer animated crap that has infiltrated its way into modern horror fare. The acting is also effective. I don't know if these actors hung out much before filming started, but it looks like they were having a fun time around each other, which makes the ensemble scenes more entertaining than should be. And that, in my opinion is what makes these low budget, crappy movies so much fun. They have a certain energy and inspired tone to them because they were generally made by people trying to make a name for themselves. No, it's not a great cinematic experience, but it's definitely a fun, creepy thrill-ride.

I'll be completely honest by saying that this type of film is stale by today's standards, and I think most of you will agree. However, this is a shining example of trash cinema at its finest. Alcohol, nudity and deaths by sharp objects are plentiful. Also, you will be hard pressed to find a better film in this franchise (although the bar is set pretty low). Jason is one of those horror icons that is famously recognizable without having to have watched any of his movies. Regardless of his status and the diminishing quality of this popular franchise, if you're trying to watch some classic slasher films then this one better be on the list.



Photo courtesy of Friday the 13th: The Film Franchise