Friday the 13th: A New Beginning
If Jason still haunts you, you're not alone!
Year of Release: 1985
Also Known As: Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning
Running Time: 92 minutes (1:32)
Director: Danny Steinmann
John Shepherd ... Tommy
Melanie Kinnaman ... Pam
Shavar Ross ... Reggie
Richard Young ... Matt
Deborah Voorhees ... Tina
John Robert Dixon ... Eddie
Jerry Pavlon ... Jake
Juliette Cummins ... Robin
Tiffany Helm ... Violet
Mark Venturini ... Victor
Dominick Brascia ... Joey
Vernon Washington ... George
Dick Wieand ... Roy
Miguel A. Nunez Jr. ... Demon
Corey Feldman ... Tommy at 12
Tom Morga ... Jason Voorhees
Jason is back, hockey mask and all. And he's up to his old maniacal tricks in Friday the 13th Part V - A New Beginning. This time he seems to have set his sights on the young patients at a secluded halfway house. And more than a few of his teen targets end up in half, in quarters... you name it, Jason does it.
Friday the 13th Part V, remindin' us that you've got no idea how bad a gas shortage can get until your McCulloch runs dry in the middle of a duel with Jason Voorhees. Those wimps who were lined up for miles at the Texaco station back in 1973 whinin' an complainin' about 55 cents per gallon had exactly zero concept of what it really means to be in a crisis. You sissies can give me a call when the pump jockey pulls out a machete an starts carvin' the mark of Zorro into your upholstery. An speakin' of maniacal behavior, Cleave Furguson an I hadda subdue this nut who moved up here from Humboldt County after he completely wigged out an started threatenin' to kill Clovis Skidman over at the Make Love Not Whargarbl gun shop the other day. I was only in there to inquire about some armor piercin' ballistic tipped ammo, when this lunatic (I think he said his name was Bernard McGowen, but he mighta been screamin' "bah gawd mah gun rights") started reachin' over the counter for Clovis after havin' the three day waitin' period policy explained to 'im. The guy insisted he just couldn't wait an that he hadn't slept for three days because of a sadistic pine squirrel that'd climbed into his attic an built a nest inside the breaker box, an that anytime it rolled over in its sleep it'd kick off the UV lights in his hydroponic shed. Apparently he had to get up several times a night an chase it around with a furniture clamp to try scarin' it outta there, but by this point it'd gotten pretty territorial an bitten through his right earlobe an now Richard Fawner won't leave 'im alone cause he thinks the guy's closeted. In retrospect, I suppose Clovis prolly shouldn't have made that Caddyshack crack when the man was clearly unhinged, but that still doesn't excuse the guy yankin' a mule deer rack offa the wall an tryin' to stab Clovis to death while shriekin' somethin' about "Of Unknown Origin." Eventually Cleave an I got the rack away from 'im an Cleave held 'im in the Camel Clutch while he screamed somethin' about bein' a personal friend of Jim Porter an that he was gonna have us all stabbin' Burger King cups on the side of the freeway by lunch, which prolly didn't help his case since I was on the phone with Sheriff Hardassian at the time an he heard most of it. It was a real downer for Cleave though, cause the whole reason he'd gone over there was to try tradin' some elk mounts for the walls in exchange for Clovis hangin' up a Furry Mountain Stuffing, LLC sign to promote Cleave's business. Only now Clovis has PTSD from the ordeal an curls up into the fetal position anytime he sees an antler on Trophy Hunters TV, so that was pretty well a bust for everyone involved.
In any event, Friday the 13th Part V is unquestionably one of your better Part 5s in the history of the horror genre, even though a lotta people tend to get a hemorrhoid flare up when they get down to the last five minutes of it. It's the damnedest thing too, they pretty well made the same movie five times, an yet still manage to bring new bits of information into focus each time. I think they realize that us folks with an eye for the sublime simply won't tolerate anything less than an enlightenin' experience when we go to see Jason chop up teenagers into pastrami piles, an thus I'd like to go over just a few of the things I learned this time around. First, if you shove a road flare into somebody's mouth, you're going to experience diminishin' returns on the amount of lighting you're able to generate. Second; enjoying synth rock, sexual encounters with durations that can be measured usin' a stop watch, tearin' the sleeves offa plaid shirts, stutterin', or sappy movies from the 50s, you're officially a viable candidate for a mental institution. An third, if the worst experience you ever have in an outhouse involves bein' left low an wet without a Sears catalog to wipe with, you should consider yourself lucky. But what really hacks my sac about this one are these people who figure that if they can just subject somebody to a painful memory often enough it'll eventually cure the aversion they feel toward it. In Friday Part V for instance, they take Tommy out to a wooded area not far from where Jason hacked up his mama a few years back an dump 'im off like this's supposed to help 'im. I can just imagine the driver givin' out tourist info along the way, like "on your left is the road leadin' up to the scenic Mount Dingleridge hikin' trail, on your right is The Pragmatic Prepper general store, an just a few miles up the road a piece is the house where you were raised until Jason showed up an filleted your mama into a Hungry Man dinner." I used to have a babysitter like this. Every day she'd stick some toxic form of vegetation in front of me, an every day I'd reenact that restaurant scene from Monty Python's Meaning of Life. Failure never stops these people though, they're like brain damaged yellowjackets who keep flyin' into a window over an over, completely certain that the next attempt will be successful an they'll pass harmlessly through the glass. It's kinda sickenin' when you realize that the only motivation behind it is little more than personal vindication, too. Like if they can just force one more horror on somebody an prevent the repeated results of the last 143 experiments, that it'll mean their entire methodology an reasonin' process was perfectly sound. An there's no reasonin' with these people, cause they have no idea they're crazy. They're just like the head nurse in Don't Go in the Basement, only nobody's realized they're sociopaths yet, so they're free to run around loose an subject people to hours of repetitive torment in the name of "therapy" until their patients genuinely believe they can see the five lights. I dunno about you, but sometimes I wonder if the guys in the lab coats shouldn't be the ones in the straightjackets.
The movie begins with Corey Feldman (Tommy) sloggin' through the woods until he comes across these two mouth-beathers diggin' up Jason's grave to see if he'll autograph a coupla machetes so they can put 'em on Ebay. Unfortunately, Jason's in the middle of a real serious dirt nap an when he wakes up an sees these two chunkheads starin' down at 'im he's just a little bit P.O.'d about bein' hassled by fans before he even gets a chance to grab some coffee an watch a little mornin' news in his Barcalounger, an ends up guttin' 'em like a coupla tunafish on a charter boat. Then Jason hops outta the grave an makes like he's about to leave Haim as the only survivin' Corey til Tommy suddenly wakes up 25 years old an in the body of another actor. Seems Tommy's been passed around from one institution to another like a bong in Eric Forman's basement for the last few years, an his latest stop is just a stone's throw from where he hadda perform exploratory brain surgery on the J-man after his mama got chopped into Dinty Moore stew. So once they arrive, this foxy blonde (Pam) takes 'im to see the shrink (Matt) so he can explain that they're a lot different from the state sanctioned nuthouse an that they just kinda let everybody do what they want an hope everything works out. Then Pam gives Tommy directions to his room an tells 'im to try to avoid stabbin' anybody on the way, only when he tries unpackin' his stuff this punk kid (Reggie) is hidin' in the closet an scares the bejezus out of 'im with a rubber spider while he's tryin' to stash his Dockers. Reggie's real proud of 'imself, so he starts goin' into what a badass he is back home on the mean streets of Monte Carlo, til Tommy produces one of his Ed Wood masks an scares Reggie so bad he temporarily goes from black to white like Michael Jackson. Then the cops show up to drop off a coupla the patients (Tina an Eddie) who were caught out in the woods tryin' to produce mentally deficient children like the Duggars. But about that time this P.O.'d hag who looks like somethin' you might find cloggin' your shower drain (Ethel) an 'er quarter-witted son (Junior) who looks like the spawn of Randy Quaid an Sloth from The Goonies show up an Mama threatens to shoot the next ass that bares itself on 'er dirt farm cause every time it happens Junior gets excited an she ends up with a buncha minotaurs come calvin' season. So once everything dies down a little, Robin an Violet're outside hangin' up today's batch of bedsheets that were ruined by one biological fluid or another, til this chunkified slob with cerebral palsy (Joey) tries to help 'em an gets so much chocolate on their whites that they start lookin' like Ted Nugent's underpants.
The girls're P.O.'d, an after they run Joey off with their harpy-like shrieks, he wanders over to this sweaty guy (Vic) who's choppin' wood an lookin' madder'n Ken Ham when he found out he might hafta hire an atheist to work in his bemusement park. Course, after about 18 seconds Vic's on the verge of bein' literally annoyed to death by Joey an figurin' life imprisonment would be preferable to endurin' his presence any longer, decides to use Joey's back for a choppin' block. Later that night, once the paramedics've shoveled Joey into a Hefty bag an hauled 'im off to Crystal Lake General, these two greasers break down on the side of the road an pretty quick one of 'em gets grabbed by the scruff of the neck an forced to perform fellatio on a road flare til he lights up like E.T. Then the other guy comes back from his full system flush an hops back in the driver's seat where his throat gets slashed like a blind zookeeper during feedin' time. The next mornin', Tommy wakes up sweatier'n Gunnar Hansen during the filmin' of the dinner table scene in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre as a result of his Jason-fueled nightmares, an hasta suck down about a half dozen Xanax tablets when Jason starts makin' like Michael Jackson an goin' all Man in the Mirror on 'im. Meanwhile, the rest of the goof troop is downstairs at the breakfast table bitchin' out Vi for settin' places for felons an corpses, an about the time Tommy gets down there Eddie sneaks up on 'im wearin' one of his masks an Tommy's left with little recourse but to put Eddie through a coffee table with the Death Valley Driver an start poundin' his face into ground chuck til Matt can pry 'im off. Later that evenin', the pervy creep that dropped Tommy off at the nut hut pulls into this greasy spoon diner an starts honkin' the horn til another scrumptious blonde comes out an tells 'im she'll be a coupla minutes cause she's gotta hit the bathroom an make sure 'er tits're still huge first. While that's goin' on, the pervo starts snortin' some cocaine til he realizes the window of opportunity on his little blue pill's about to run out, an when he sticks his head out the window to whine some more, Jason buries the hatchet right in his bald spot. Finally, the dame gets 'er hooter situation squared away an sprays a little Binaca on 'em in case they've got bad breath, only when she gets to the creep's car he ain't there, an when she starts tryin' to bogart all the snow for 'erself Jason gives 'er a discount hysterectomy.
The next mornin', the mayor's reamin' the sheriff an gripin' about the fact that one more murder's gonna put 'em outta the runnin' for Rand McNally's Quaintest Towns in America award, at which point the sheriff explains that it's just that rascal Jason Voorhees an that he generally doesn't get past about twenty corpses before gettin' his fill. Elsewhere, Eddie an Tina're at it again, an ditch out on laundry duty so they can go make the sign of the triple cheeked hobo snail til Eddie's spooge levee breaks an he immediately takes off for the creek to Baptize 'imself an atone for his latest round of sins. Only while he's gone, the J-man sneaks up on Tina an jams a pair of garden sheers into 'er eye sockets an cinches 'em shut til she looks like Stevie Wonder tried givin' 'er an eye tuck. Then Eddie comes back an finds 'er layin' there with deadroom eyes an before he can flee like a homosexual at a Texas rest area, Jason wraps a leather strap around his eyes an tightens the strap til his skull caves in like an RV ceilin' in a Saskatchewan snow storm. Later that evenin', Pam agrees to take Reggie to see his brother (Demon) cause she figures a guy who drives around the country in a van skippin' out on the rent every month'd be a good role model for 'im. Cept Matt makes 'em take Tommy with 'em cause he's been more depressed than Russell Wilson after Super Bowl XLIX for the last few years, an he figures if Tommy can hang his head outta the car window for awhile an feel the wind on his face it'll cheer 'im up. So the three of 'em drive on over to Demon's parkin' spot an when Reggie spots Demon's girlfriend he starts to question why he hasn't snagged 'imself a gorgeous woman, considerin' he's approachin' the big 1-4, an pretends that he's sockin' it to Pam on a regular basis so he won't lose any parkin' lot cred. Reggie don't gotta ask, he knows exactly where the white women at. Meanwhile, the fourth guy from the left on the evolutionary scale, who answers to the name Junior, shows up an starts hasslin' Tommy til he gets P.O.'d an proceeds to Bruce Lee Junior in the facial area before Pam finally hears Junior bawlin' like an Angus bull who just had his nuts an bolts hacked off. Then Tommy splits like one of those eight year olds on the Chinese gymnastics team, an after Pam an Reggie go lookin' for 'em Demon hasta run for the outhouse to give birth to his anal namesake when the enchiladas refuse to go quietly into the night. Unfortunately, while he's in there spray paintin' the seat, the J-man comes along an installs a blowhole in his girlfriend's neck an proceeds to ram a harpoon through the outhouse walls until he finally shish-kabob's Demon, an wanders off to find some potatoes to go with 'im.
But when Pam makes it back to the house, the remainin' wingnuts tell 'er Tommy ain't there an so she ditches Reggie like a 1978 Jeep Wrangler in the hands of a drunken redneck an goes to find Tommy. A short distance away, Junior comes barrelin' into the ole homestead an starts doin' donuts in the front lawn an screamin' about bein' beaten up by a Ken doll til Jason mercifully decrapitates the shit-for-brains, an then busts out the kitchen window so he can part the Brillo pad that Ethel calls hair an leave 'er face down in 'er farm fresh fixins. While that's goin' on, Jake the stutterin' flake is watchin' some moldie oldie on TV with Robin an decides this'd be the perfect time to ask 'er if she's ever been with a man who has sex like a porno bein' streamed on RealPlayer over dial-up internet. Robin hasn't laughed this hard since that time she told Joey he could see his ear if he turned his head fast enough, so Jake storms off to see what righty's doin' tonight until Jason shows up an gives Jake the only sucking he was ever gonna be involved with in the form of a chest wound. Then Robin's movie finishes an she goes upstairs to rest up for another day of emasculatin' Jake, only she runs into 'im sooner than she expects when she rolls over an comes face to face with Jake's permanent stare of sexual frustration, an immediately gets an even less pleasant ram-roddin' than she'd have experienced if she had lower standards as she gets machetied through the bed springs. Meanwhile, just down the hall, Vi's listenin' to 'er synth rock cassettes an doin' this dance that looks like she's tryin' to work out a series of bad cramps, til Jason sneaks in an mounts 'er to the door like a whitetail rack an completes the sex, drugs, an rock 'n roll splat trick. Downstairs, Reggie's been nappin' like an Air France pilot til a thunder clap wakes 'im up, at which point he goes to see if Tommy ever made it back an finds nothin' but a heap of teenage torsos. About that time Pam finally makes it back so she can take a look at Mount Gushmore an start squealin' like a bar patron who knows he's too drunk to run away an realizes he's squarely in Joni Ernst's crosshairs. So Pam figures it might be a good time to finally go see the world startin' with anywhere but the room they're currently occupyin', only before she can get ahold of 'er travel agent Jason kicks the front door in like the world's pushiest Jehovah's Witness, forcin' Pam an Reggie to haul ass like a donkey taxi service. Gonna end it here, just in case somebody with thin keister skin ain't seen the ending. I wouldn't wanna steal Danny Steinmann's thunder.
Alrighty, well, without actually spoiling the ending (even though anybody who gives a damn is probably already familiar with it), I'd like to point out that anybody who feels like this "ruins" the movie is being just a tad bit melodramatic. I'm not going to pretend that the revelation at the end of the movie doesn't leave a bad taste in your mouth, but the idea that everything you saw up to that point is now terrible because you didn't like one facet of the flick is nonsense. Part V certainly isn't the strongest entry in the series, but I have completely different problems with it than most people who take issue tend to. The thing I really hated, and I hate this anytime anybody does it, is the fact that they replaced Corey Feldman. And this isn't just a case of the actor not wanting to return to do the sequel, Feldman would have (and did do the little cameo in the opening sequence) done the movie, he just couldn't do it right then because he was filming The Goonies at the time. So if Paramount had just waited, they could have used Feldman and simply released the movie at a later date. Only that would have interfered with getting as much money as possible, as quickly as possible. So that's *my* big problem with the movie. My other only real objection is the fact that the MPAA were bein' real assholes at the time, and because the original Friday the 13th was the initial blaze that set off the goddamned sprinkler system, any Friday the 13th movie was gonna get run through the wringer no matter what the director did. This is not the fault of anyone that worked on the movie, but it seems like this sequel, more than any of the previous ones, got scissored up horribly. So because of these cuts, we're left with multiple kills that feature little more than a facial reaction shot, an absolutely mutilated sex scene with the foxy Deborah Voorhees (no relation), and a coupla particularly original murders that aren't getting near the respect they deserve because you only get to see them for about two seconds before the camera cuts. Or rather, before the MPAA makes the camera cut. The hedge clippers in the eyeball scene was brilliant, as was the kill that immediately follows where John Dixon gets the leather strap around his eyes an has it tightened until his skull caves in. Although, it may not be fair to blame everything on the MPAA, I mean, the first Friday the 13th went into theaters with an X rating and look how much money it raked in. At this point, when you've already done four of these suckers and nobody is going to assume the X rating is indicative of hardcore pornography, what exactly is the risk of releasing another one with an X? Who cares if it gets an X? They probably could have even worked it into a marketing gimmick and made more money, cause it's been clear for decades that the more the weenies whine about a movie going too far, the more money it's going to make and the more infamous it becomes. I think Paramount just got soft and didn't want to get the MPAA board mad at them. Kinda makes you sick.
Anyway, lets hammer a railroad spike into this thing's thought center an see if there're actually any thoughts rollin' around in there. The plot is... well, you saw the first four right? That's the plot. Except that for only the third time in the series' history, we've got a returning character. To be fair, there is a little more to it than that, but explaining it would require spoiling the ending and I'm not gonna do that. It also comes across as a bit unfocused, due to a record number of irrelevant characters being inserted to serve as as raw meat for the slasher. This one *really* jumps around, which doesn't do it any favors since technically speaking it's at least trying to have more plot than any of the previous entries in the series. The acting isn't too bad, just standard fare for a Friday the 13th sequel. The bright spots are definitely Miguel Nunez Jr. as the Michael-Jackson-haired Demon, and Carol Locatell as the foul mouthed, bird flippin', raw chicken choppin', country-fried mega bitch, Ethel. Definitely the two stand out performances, even though those particular characters aren't very important. Dominick Brascia is also pretty good as the chocolate dribbling, mentally deficient Joey. He's obnoxious through no fault of his own and you end up simultaneously resenting, and feeling like an asshole for resenting him, in much the way you do with the Franklin character from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Shavar Ross's performance is a bit unpolished, although the movie has a strange way of endearing the character to you even though for all intents and purposes, he's a little shit most of the time. The "freakin' A, where'd you get THAT?!" line is so utterly botched you can't help but love the kid. I can't believe they used that take, I've gotta believe there were at least a half dozen more that turned out better. Anyway, here's who matters and why (less Corey Feldman): Dominick Brascia (Evil Laugh, Once Bitten), Todd Bryant (The Puppet Masters, Star Trek V & VI, Night of the Creeps), Juliette Cummins (Camp Fear, Deadly Dreams, Slumber Party Massacre II, Psycho III), Richard Lineback (The Ring, The Stand), Ric Mancini (Ed Wood, Ghostbusters), Miguel Nunez Jr. (Leprechaun 4, Carnosaur 2, Shadowzone, The Return of the Living Dead), Corey Parker (Scream for Help), Rebecca Wood (Barbarian Queen II), Marco St. John (The Punisher, Shadow People, Dylan Dog: Dead of Night, Frankenfish, Sacrifice, Cat People 1982), Caskey Swaim (Night Warning), Mark Venturini (The Return of the Living Dead, Mikey), Vernon Washington (The Last Starfighter, The Dark 1979), Richard Young (The Ice Pirates), Tom Morga (Star Trek & Star Trek VI, Alien Nation). Culturally stunted people might recognize Miguel Nunez Jr. as Zach from the short lived Friends spinoff, Joey, as well as Marcus Taylor in the TV series Tour of Duty. They might also prefer to think of Shavar Ross as Dudley Ramsey from Diff'rent Strokes, if they're into things they can show their grandparents, I mean.
The special effects, or rather, the special effects we're actually allowed to see, are pretty good. Sadly, on the whole, we're looking at a lot of the usual death from a single stab wound kinda kills, but there are a few original murders too. As I mentioned earlier, the eyeball crush and eyeball impalements are both pretty original, and equally important; both look good. Unfortunately, the only other original kill (the road flare fellatio) is probably the worst effect, and basically resembles a breast implant with a flashlight held up to it. The fake head just doesn't work. Otherwise, we've got the usual machete through the gut-bucket, slit throats, cleavers buried in faces, and a decent decapitation scene where the J-man sticks his machete out from behind a tree and gets Ron Sloan to behead himself as he's flyin' by on a motorcycle. So they're a little lacking in originality, but most of what the censors actually let us see looks okay. The shooting locations are adequate, but not ones I'd consider highlights of the series. We do have to presume that the movie is shot at least relatively close to Crystal Lake, otherwise the sheriff suggesting that Jason Voorhees is responsible for the killings would make no sense. So then you've gotta look at the scenes that take place in what you'd consider "town", like the diner scene, and ask yourself if that fits in with the scenes from the first two movies that actually showed the town... and they don't. That said, the scene where Eddie and Tina run off to screw in the woods was filmed in a location that had been used previously in the 4th movie, and that area does look more like what we're used to seeing. It's really not worth nitpicking, a forest is a forest, but these particular woods just didn't hold up to what we're used to seeing, in my opinion. The soundtrack is also a little weak, despite being composed by Harry Manfredini in the same style he uses for all the Friday the 13th movies. Don't get me wrong, it's not bad, it just doesn't seem to have that manic feeling that we're used to having cranked up to 11, and it also features at least one track that is almost (if not completely) identical to a track from a previous movie. And whomever thought it'd be a good idea to put that terror stricken track over the 25 mile per hour driving scene between Pinehurst and the trailer park is a complete idiot. Overall, it's barely better than the original, but not even a full percentage point better, and is the worst sequel up to this point in the series. That said, they're all basically the same movie, so there'll never be more than about a 10% difference between the best movie in the series and the worst one, and anyone that enjoyed the first four shouldn't do anything ridiculous like avoid this one just because it's not as good as the ones that came before it. Still good, just not up to the high standard set by Part IV.