Director – John Carl Buechler
Cast – Lar Park-Lincoln, Susan Blew, Terry Kiser, Kevin Spirtas, Susan Jennifer Sullivan, Heidi Kozak, Kane Hodder, William Butler, Staci Greason, Larry Cox, Jeff Bennett, Diana Barrows, Elizabeth Kaitan, Jon Renfield, Michael Shroeder, Debora Kessler
Release Year – 1988
Reviewed by John of the Dead
Ever since I was a child I have loved this film, and although over the years I have noticed that it is not the great film I remembered it to be, I still find much joy in watching this flick. With big shoes to follow after the success of Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives, Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood gives us enough Jason action and the usual F13 tidbits we all know and love for this to be a fun watch for fans of the series, and unfortunately may be the last mediocre-to-OK film of the series before things went really bad.
It has been many years after Tommy Jarvis successfully chained Jason to the bottom of Crystal Lake, leaving him to rot for as long as the lake stands. When a troubled girl with telekinetic powers named Tina accidentally frees Jason from his entrapment at the bottom of the lake, he begins his usual hijinks of hacking up all who have entered his domain. As Tina’s neighbors are hacked up by Jason she comes across a startling discovery behind her psychological “treatment” at the hands of her psychologist, Dr. Crews, but that is the least of her problems when she comes face to face with Jason himself. However, thanks to Tina’s telekinetic powers, Jason may have finally met his match.
OK, so the idea of having a girl with telekinetic powers face off against Jason sounds a bit cheezy, and it is. Thankfully, I found it pretty fun to watch and not the moronic idea I first pictured it to be. If you go into this film expecting another cheezy Jason movie then you are right on the dot, and you should hopefully enjoy this one as much as I did if you have the amount of love for Jason as I do, which is a lot. Story-wise the telekinesis element will be hit or miss with most people, but during the ending sequence I found it enjoyable, so I am glad about that. The rest of the story is the same old same old storyline of naïve teenage campers hanging out while boozing and fornicating with one another until Jason arrives and hacks them all up. If you are down with that, then good for you, because I was.
Director John Carl Buechler, known for the infamous Troll, did an OK job with this film. The pacing was good enough thanks to us getting a fair amount of Jason action throughout the film, and his use of the musical score was a nice touch. Personally, I feel the Friday the 13th series, much like the Halloween series, just has fantastic musical scores for pretty much every film in the series, both good and bad. We do not get as much gore as I wanted to see in this film, so that was a bit of a letdown for me. Some of the kills in this flick were pretty darn awesome, and quite brutal as well so naturally I expected to see an equivalent amount of gore to go along with the kill, but that just did not happen. I will, however, commend Mr. Buechler on introducing us to the greatest Jason Vorhees actor of all time. Read on.
Kane Hodder has made a name for himself as not only the only actor to portray Jason Vorhees more than once, but the very best actor to portray Jason Vorhees PERIOD. Simply put, this guy IS Jason Vorhees. It takes a powerful actor to positively pull of a role that involves no real facial expression and of course, no speaking lines, and Kane Hodder shows us in this film that he has what it takes. His mannerisms show the true brutality that Jason holds within him, and my point is proven with that fact that Mr. Hodder went on to portray Jason in the next three installments: Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, Jason Goes to Hell, and Jason X.
Overall, this is a fun film to watch if you are a fan of the F13 series, but should maybe be avoided if you are not into the Jason scene. We get some sweet kills and awesome Jason action but those looking for something “new” should maybe head elsewhere and leave this for the fans, who still might find this to only be a mediocre watch as I did.