Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter
Three times before you have felt the terror, known the madness, lived the horror. But this is the one you've been screaming for.
Year of Release: 1984
Also Known As: Friday the 13th Part 4
Running Time: 91 minutes (1:31)
Director: Joseph Zito
Kimberly Beck ... Trish Jarvis
Corey Feldman ... Tommy Jarvis
Joan Freeman ... Mrs. Jarvis
Erich Anderson ... Rob Dyer
Clyde Hayes ... Paul
Judie Aronson ... Samantha
Crispin Glover ... Jimmy Mortimer
Lawrence Monoson ... Ted
Barbara Howard ... Sara
Peter Barton ... Doug
Camilla More ... Tina
Carey More ... Terri
Ted White ... Jason Voorhees (uncredited)
The body count continues in this vivid thriller, the fourth - and final? - story in the widely successful Friday the 13th series. Jason, Crystal Lake's least popular citizen, returns to wreak further havoc in Friday the 13th - The Final Chapter. After his revival in a hospital morgue, the hockey-masked murderer fixes his vengeful attention on the Jarvis family and a group of hitherto carefree teenagers. Young Tommy Jarvis is an aficionado of horror films with a special talent for masks and make-up. Has the diabolical Jason finally met his match?
Friday the 13th Part IV, remindin' us that sometimes the term "final" really just means; "til next year when we remember how much goll durn money these things make." An just to set the record straight, I don't get any personal gratification outta educatin' people about the finer points of the English language all the time, it's just that us learned folks gotta pick up the slack now an then so everybody's on the same page. It can be pretty tough sometimes if you're not readin' a Larry Flynt publication. But the reason I bring it up is cause I got to thinkin' about this, an it occurred to me that pert' near everybody that's ever been on Who Wants to be a Millionaire has a solid case against ABC, what with the historical precedent of the Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter incident. An really, who among us hasn't at one time or another forgotten what color a giraffe's tongue is anyhow? Particularly when Regis is gettin' your thoughts all scrambled by tellin' you just exactly how many cans of Spam you could buy with the cool $1000 you've already accumulated if you were to just admit on national TV that you dunno what color a giraffe's tongue is an give up. But really, none of this should make any difference, cause once Regis finally gets tired of your indecisiveness an starts wavin' the studio security goons out onto the stage so they can toss you out into the alley like a borderline sentient meat caber, you finally end up blurtin' out "C) green, final answer." Of course, the way the game works in its current, jimmy-rigged setup, you've now lost your shot at gettin' rid of those frayed up old lawn chairs in favor of a nice futon for the front porch; when, if anybody at the network really understood what "final" actually meant, they'd have realized that while you may've given the wrong answer, you've still got an additional six guesses (plus two life lines, for the Elm Street crossover an the remake) before you've lost. After all, that's what "final" actually means, only nobody wants to admit it an so these people end up with some pitiful amount of money that they blow on Katy Perry "Firework" commemorative plates in the airport gift shop. An as if that ain't bad enough, they eventually realize that they're actually $134.95 in the hole after the United Airlines baggage fees for shippin' their Chinese Pug that looks like Jesse Jackson cross country, not countin' the $79.95 janitorial fee for the cleanup after the plane hit a little turbulence an little Jesse got air sick all over the luggage hold. The whole situation's a travesty as far as I'm concerned, an I'll be happy to pass along the card of my personal attorney, Cletus Rubenstein, to anybody who was a victim of the show's blatantly unclear rules and regulations. Cause if there's one thing I can't stand, it's seein' folks bein' taken advantage of. Plus Cletus cuts me a check for a cool $8.50 on all my referrals.
You heard it right. Jason Voorhees: potato-head, mass murderer, and arbitrator. Is there anything the man can't do? Sides machete that last girl, I mean. I dunno what the problem is there, she should be the easiest of all since there's no longer a need to sneak around, or anybody left to help 'er. The last girl is to Jason what a free throw is to Shaq, it's absolutely baffling. But I'll come back to that on my own time, cause right now I've made note of a few interesting kernels of wisdom that this third sequel brought to light. Just goes to show ya, people claim they're all just the same movie over an over again; an yet, each one is burstin' at the seams with practical, relevant knowledge. First, evidence bags're like little truth receptacles. What that means is that there's no reason at all to wear gloves while you're shovin' things into 'em cause the bag'll take care of everything an show the judge who the culprit is, even if your fingerprints're all over the bloody axe like liver spots on Keith Richards. Second, sometimes there ain't enough water in the Atlantic ocean that'll make a wet t-shirt contest excitin'. An third, women in the morgue never say no. Even the live ones.
But the thing that really snaps my Slim Jim about this one is all those middle-aged women back in the '80s that used to protest movies like this one, claimin' "gratuitous" violence. Yup, there's that word again. Gratuitous. I had to set the record straight about the "gratuitous" sexual content in Puppet Master an now it looks like it's comin' up again. An you know who I'm talkin' about before I even tell you. All the Tipper Gores of the world an M.A.U.D. (Mothers Against Unnecessary Dismemberment). These're the same people that got Silent Night, Deadly Night yanked outta the theaters cause somebody wasn't portrayin' a fictional character the way they wanted 'em to. The good news, of course, is that mosta those people're dead now an so it's not a big problem anymore, but I feel like Friday the 13th Part IV's *integrity* is at stake, an so I'd like to clear the air just in case any of those old sourbints're still on life support. Now, first of all, dependin' upon your point of view, the camp counselors from back in 1958 started all this when they let, or almost let, Jason drown. You'll notice the uptight, hatchet-faced crybabies aren't outraged about that in the least. Then, some more counselors show up an cut off his mama's head right in front of 'im, like a common Iranian strumpet an that's also hunky dory. His mama's head goes rollin' down the dock like a Chubb Fricke skid-snap an they're cool with that. But after Jason goes on two separate massacres to try clearin' the teased hair an cutoff jeans outta his woods they start foamin' at the mouth just cause he's a little P.O.'d that there're still enough dumb folks out there that he's still havin' to do this when all he wants to do is flop down in his armchair an watch the TGIF line up. These people think Jason's lettin' his anger get the better of 'im, that he's a little more gleeful in his killin' than usual, an that his enthusiasm is exceedin' the boundaries of "good taste." But much like the battered housewife with the black eyes, he's already told 'em twice; so yeah, the J-man's a little bit P.O.'d that nobody seems to be gettin' the message. An I'm sorry, but sometimes the only way to communicate your position to somebody is to yank 'em out of a window an powerbomb 'em onto the roof of a 1973 Chevy Caprice until they get the picture. So if you still think that's "gratuitous", feel free to come by the house an I'll be happy to discuss the matter further. Just, please, call in advance. I'll need a coupla minutes to back my 1984 Mercury Topaz into position.
The movie begins with another collection of Jason's greatest hits wherein he traipses around the woods an shoves farm implements into ditzy teenagers til they start squealin' like fruit bats caught in a bug zapper. Then things pick up exactly where we left off in part 3 with Jason layin' face down in the straw like a quarter horse that mistook the whiskey still for its waterin' trough, an enough cops an paramedics around that it looks like the decidin' game of the Stanley Cup finals. So the medics tie Jason to a gurney an shovel all the teenagers up into Hefty bags an haul 'em off to the local morgue where Sergeant Fackler from Police Academy's tryin' to bag the night nurse. Unfortunately, Sarge can't turn the candy striper into a randy stripper, an so he has to watch Spandexcise where these background dancers from a Paula Abdul video shake their groceries an call it aerobics. After a while the nurse comes back, but only to watch the news an the report on the Crystal Lake massacre so she can get all excited when the field reporter mentions where Jason's corpse was taken. Then 'er mood starts swingin' like white trash at the highway patrol after bein' pulled over for takin' out the Ronald McDonald order box back at the drive-thru, an she ends up sayin' the heck with it an goes for bloke til Jason's arm flops down on 'er hiney while they're makin' out. Unfortunately, she gets so P.O.'d about gettin' the surprise stiffy that she has to scream at Sarge awhile an go sort stool samples to cool off while Sarge sticks Jason in the freezer like a Swanson TV dinner til he gets so mad about the lousy service in this hospital that he has to climb out an hacksaw Sarge's neck an spin his head right round like a record, baby. Then he heads over to the supply room an slices a lower case "L" incision in the girl's chest til 'er insides become outsides. The next day, 12 year old Corey Feldman's takin' a break from drug rehab out at his Mom's place on Crystal Lake tryin' to forget about havin' to play Regi Tower on The Bad News Bears TV series just to afford cocaine til his Mom starts distractin' 'im an completely borkin' his shot at dethronin' his high score at Zaxxon. Elsewhere, the Jason fodder's headin' towards Crystal Lake with these two geeks in the back (Ted an Jimmy) talkin' about how Jimmy got dumped by the sluttiest girl in town an how that generally only happens when she's datin' a wimp that gets winded quicker'n Jabba the Hut doin' wind sprints an Jimmy gets the same look on his face that he had back on Christmas mornin' in 1978 when his mama wrapped up a sweater an some corduroy jeans in an Atari 2600 box. Then they pass this fat hitchhiker on the side of the road an leave 'er there even though she may be Jimmy's only shot at gettin' a date that doesn't end with 'im quickly dressin' 'imself on the front lawn while somebody inside bitches about where the heck those batteries've gotten off to. Clearly, nice guys don't really finish last.
Fortunately, about that time Jason happens by an sees how pitiful she is an does the gentlemanly thing an jabs his Buck knife through the back of 'er neck til the banana she's eatin' droops over like Jimmy's jimmy on a first an last date an puts 'er out of 'er misery. Later that night, after Jason's party guests finally arrive at the cabin next door to Corey's place, one of 'em goes upstairs an starts strippin' in front of the window til Corey's balls start droppin' quicker'n the granny panties did ten minutes after the release of 50 Shades of Grey, til his Mom comes in an he has to pretend to be asleep like Al Bundy when Peg's ovulatin'. The next mornin', the New Kids Lined in Chalk start headin' towards the lake til they stumble onto a set where somebody's shootin' a Doublemint ad an the twins on Schwinns tell 'em they're headin' for the lake too an so everybody goes down to the lake together an strips down til the lake's whiter'n a board meetin' at Cato Institute headquarters. Then Corey an Trish show up an pretty quick the dog (Gordon) has to bail outta the car cause he's gettin' a contact high offa Corey an by the time they're able to track 'im down Corey's seen more titties in two days than I have in my whole life. So now Trish has to blindfold Corey an get 'im back in the car so he can't find his way back, but once they get goin' again the engine starts knockin' like Woody Woodpecker on speed til the car dies an Corey has to get out an look it over. Meanwhile, back at the lake, Sam's tryin' to get Sara to pop 'er top an come swimmin' with everybody else, but Sara's afraid 'er hooters're gonna shrink in the cold water an so Sam pretends to drown 'erself so Sara'll lean over the edge of the dock where Sam grabs 'er an pulls 'er in, immediately turnin' 'er nipples into weapons of glass destruction. Back at the car, Corey makes a few adjustments but still can't get it purrin' again when Daniel Goon (Rob) comes outta nowhere an uses his boot knife to get the spark to arc as the car rises from the dead like a Romero zombie. Then Corey an Trish take the guy home an Corey shows 'im all the fright masks he an Tom Savini've been makin' durin' their downtime an Rob just kinda looks around in wonder like an 8 year old who's finally tall enough to ride the Round Up at the county fair. Elsewhere, the teenagers've all decided to head back to their cabin now that they're all wrinkly an their bits've retreated into their bodies, an so Jimmy puts some tunes on the stereo so he an one of the twins (Terri) can do this dance that looks like some unseen force is pullin' out all their pubic hair one strand at a time. Then the twins start turnin' up the beers like Stone Cold Steve Austin to see who can spill enough onto their hooters that it'll almost look like they exist, cept about that time Paul starts payin' too much attention to the winner (Tina) an Sam gets P.O.'d an goes down to the lake to let the leeches suck on 'er knobs since they'll at least appreciate 'em.
So Sam swims out to this rubber raft that's floatin' in the lake so she can lay around an make pouty faces til Jason surfaces like a stealth hippopotamus an runs 'er through with a whorepedo til 'er tongue starts hangin' out like Michael Jordon on a tomahawk dunk. You'd think she'd be a little more enthusiastic about this, considerin' she's been anglin' for penetration this whole time. But then Paul starts feelin' like a big jerk for eyeballin' the twins' peaks an so he swims out to the raft that Sam's layin' in an ends up freakin' out like Amy Winehouse when 'er dealer stops takin' credit, thinkin' she went all Juliet just cause he looked at a coupla mosquito bite boobies. Of course, since Jason's such a hopeless romantic, he can't bear the though of Paul havin' to live without Sam, so he does the decent thing an fires a harpoon gun into Paul's junk an hoists 'im up outta the water so he can throw his set in the air one last time. Not too far away, Rob, after finally escapin' Corey an his masks of the red meth, hears Paul screamin' like his scrotum just became a house divided an heads toward the noise. Only by the time he gets back he spots somebody leavin' his tent an finds his rifle lookin' like Bugs Bunny showed up an tied the barrel into a bow after runnin' the stock through a wood chipper. Meanwhile, Tina's finally managed to get over Paul's rejection after two or three inconsolable seconds an decides she wants to go for a ride on Jimmy Dean's sausage log while Ted sets up this old movie projector so he can play one of those stag films from the silent movie era where all the women look like 46 year old hookers from Little Rock, Arkansas. Then Terri starts lookin' around an realizes that she's the prude twin an that gets 'er so upset that she decides to go unlock 'er Huffy so she can head home an write in 'er diary about how all men are only interested in one thing an maybe head over to The Red Carpet singles bar: "where every night is lady's night." Unfortunately, much like Jimmy, who's presently upstairs bangin' Tina, Jason also has a divide an conquer strategy, an once Terri starts fumblin' with 'er combination lock, he rams a spear through 'er back so that just once she can know what it's like to have somethin' juttin' out of 'er chest region. Elsewhere, Corey's Mom comes home from 'er G.I. Jane trainin' regimen to find the house empty an darker'n Trent Reznor's childhood memories til she goes back outside lookin' for Corey an Trish an runs into Jason, who does unseeable things to 'er. Off screen death indeed, shame on you Mr. Zito. Then Corey an Trish come home an assume Mom must've slipped in the rain an got the achy breaky pelvis so Trish goes out to look for 'er an ends up hunkerin' down in Rob's tent til he comes back from waterin' the stingin' nettles an starts installin' a side door with his machete til Trish hoses down 'er shorts like a five alarm meth lab fire.
Back over at Chateau skank ho, Jimmy can't get any sleep on account of his thoughts bein' preoccupied with whether or not he had the right tool for the job an so he wakes Tina up an asks 'er if she got anything outta the sex or if he just mocked the casbah again an she assures 'im that the little singine that stood didn't run outta coal prematurely an promises it never had to pull into the feign station. So now Jimmy's got this look on his face like he knows the answer to Final Jeopardy, an he heads downstairs to get some wine an rub Tina's panties in Ted's face. Only by this point that's pretty much an upswing in Ted's evenin' an after Jimmy takes a bow he heads into the kitchen where Jason has to corkscrew his hand to the counter an part his unibrow with a meat cleaver. Ya know, it just occurred to me that if he ever parted some broad's pubic hair with it, it'd be a beaver cleaver. Plenty of sequels left, we may see that yet. Upstairs, Tina gets bored of waitin' for the Jimmies to return an goes over to the window where she notices both bikes're still outside, only she doesn't get too much time to contemplate why that is cause about that time Jason busts the window out an hits 'er with the Blackhole Slam on toppa the car an leaves a huge bint shaped dent in the roof an completely trashes both luggage racks. Downstairs, poor Ted's been reduced to standin' next to the projection screen hittin' on the black and white ladies in the antique porno, but pretty quick the reel ends an when he turns around the projector light starts blindin' 'im worse than an AM radio listener til Jason buries his steak knife into the back of his head through the projection screen. That's me in the spotlight, oozin' from incisions. But while all this's been goin' on, Doug's been upstairs in the shower poundin' Sara's loofa til they start havin' allergic reactions from tryin' to pass off shampoo as lube an Sara tells 'im she'll meet 'im in the bunk once he's done rubbin' out the easy one. Unfortunately, Sara's gonna be waitin' a real long time, cause Doug ends up developin' a terrible headache once Jason heads into the bathroom an uses his face for a stress ball, an once Sara gets tired of experiencin' an erection lastin' longer'n four hours she checks to see what the hold up is an starts freakin' out like Maureen Dowd when she bogarted that entire Colorado granola bar an winds up gettin' the world's worst pacemaker scar when Jason gives 'er the ole hatchet motorboat. It's weird how times change. Now, Axe allegedly attracts women. In the 80s, women attracted the axe. Well anyway, then Trish brings Rob back to the house where Mom's still missin' an so they head next door an find the front door lookin' like Jack Nicholson's been there an so Rob goes to jerk around with the fuse box while Trish goes upstairs an finds the shower lookin' like the openin' sequence from Carrie with Doug tacked up on the wall like a Culture Club poster. Unfortunately, by the time she can tell Rob, he's already gettin' butchered worse'n Smells like Teen Spirit after Miley Cyrus got ahold of it, leavin' just her an Corey (who's back at the house) to take on the J-man.
Alright, well, obviously the final chapter didn't get finalized quite like Paramount had intended, and fortunately, they didn't have Tom Savini kill off Jason using any of the methods that had been suggested wherein he loses his head, otherwise we'd have had to really start stretching the boundaries of logic when they decided to raise him from the dead. As far as Jason's concerned, I'm of the theory that this was Jason's last movie as a living entity, and that in all his sequels hereafter, he's more of a supernatural machete wielding zombie wreckin' machine. Something else that's kinda interesting about this one, if you were to put yourself back in 1984 where it was presumed this would be the last Friday the 13th, you'd then have to be of the opinion that the very last entry in the series was the best movie, which is nothing short of insane when you're dealing with a horror franchise. This one, Part 4, is my second favorite in the series, and definitely the best of the first four. But strangely, when you look at how similar all of the first four movies are, the only thing you're really comparing to determine which among them is the best, would be the characters and the ways in which those characters get turned into Hamburger Helper. I feel that, up to this point in the series, Part 4 has the most entertaining set of raw meat, and the best Jason. With these particular teenagers actually being the most fun of all the movies, and Ted White portraying Jason better than anyone else, except for Kane Hodder, of course. It's also got some of the better kills in the series, as well as some of the best stunts. The scene where Jason yanks one of the twins outta the upstairs window and onto the Chevy Caprice is one of the most memorable in the entire series. Although the sequence with the dog jumping out of the window for no real reason was tacked on and pretty silly, especially since they had to do it in two shots, with the glass all but removed in the second one so it wouldn't be hurt. They overreached on that one. But a really nice job overall by all the stunt people involved, good stuff on that front. And to be completely fair regarding the one off screen death, they did originally plan to show it later in the movie with a scene that comes the following morning after all the carnage. It basically involved Trish finding her dead in the bathtub upstairs and after pulling her out, the door swings closed to reveal Jason with an axe as a final false scare, as all of the previous movies had done up to that point. But they decided not to use it, which is okay. I think it would've worked fine, but it wasn't something that really needed to be left in. And speaking of the ending, no spoilers here, but watch the end of this one and tell me that somewhere in their minds they weren't still leaving the door open for another sequel, even while calling it The Final Chapter.
Okay then, lets jam a harpoon into this thing's groin til it tells us what we wanna know. The plot, you probably aughta know by now. The teenagers go into the woods, but they don't come out. It's your basic Spam in a cabin, hack up all the obnoxious teenagers into Beef Stroganoff plot, and nobody did it like the 80s. Always fun, but seldom profound. The acting is pretty good, probably the best of the series up to this point. With characters that're about as well defined and easily differentiated as you'll ever see in a Friday the 13th movie. All the important parts are here, the joker, the wimp, the tough guy, the nice girls, the sluts, and gratuitous Corey Feldman thrown in for good measure. My favorites were Lawrence Monoson as the man who knows everything there is to know about women but ends up bein' the lonely guy watchin' the dinosaur porno, and Crispin Glover as the insecure guy who dances like somebody hid a half dozen thumb tacks in his underpants. And of course, say what you want about Corey Feldman, he was a great child actor. It's also got a decent selection of nekkid jigglers on display, with the best set belonging to Judie Aronson who played Sam, and was already pretty decent to look at with 'er clothes on. Not gonna do a bio for Corey since everybody should be pretty familiar with him already. Crispin Glover's fairly popular as well but I'll include his since he's on the borderline. Here's who matters and why: Kimberly Beck (Massacre at Central High), Peter Barton (Hell Night), Erich Anderson (Night Watch), Crispin Glover (Beowulf, The Wizard of Gore 2007, Incident at Loch Ness, Willard 2003, Back to the Future), Clyde Hayes (Neon Maniacs), Barbara Howard (Amityville: A New Generation), Lawrence Monoson (Starship Troopers 2), Joan Freeman (Death Moon), Judie Aronson (Hannibal, Deep Core, After Midnight, Weird Science), Camilla More (The Serpent of Death, The Dark Side of the Moon), Lisa Freeman (Back to the Future 1 & 2), Wayne Grace (Alien Avengers II, Lord of Illusions, Scanner Cop, Fire in the Sky, Slumber Party Massacre III, Buried Alive 1990, Wizards of the Lost Kingdom II, The Running Man), Bonnie Hellman (It Came from Outer Space II), Frankie Hill (WarGames), Paul Lukather (Hands of a Stranger, Dinosaurus!), Tom Everett (The Island 2005, Tremors 3, Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III), Arnie Moore (Amanda & the Alien, Gremlins), Gene Ross (Halloween 4, Don't Open the Door!, Scum of the Earth, Don't Go in the Basement, Encounter with the Unknown, The Legend of Boggy Creek), John Walsh (Body Parts, Scanners II, Monster in the Closet), Terry Ballard (Friday the 13th Part III), Mark Stuart Lane (C.H.U.D. II), Ted White (The Hidden 1 & 2, Starman, TRON). You normies out there may remember Peter Barton as Eddie Conners on Sunset Beach, and Detective Peter Burke from Burke's Law. And of course, Bruce Mahler will be most recognizable as Sergeant Fackler from the Police Academy series.
Obviously, the special effects will always be the meat and potatoes of any Friday the 13th movie, and this one doesn't disappoint. We've got: bone saw throat slashing (with 180 degree head swiveling action), nurse gutting, throat stabbing, gut goring, nut goring, skank shanking, corkscrewed hand into a counter top, meat cleaver face lift, Jackknife powerbomb onto a 1973 Chevy Caprice, skull Bucking, head crushing, cleavage cleaving, and of course, machete mania. Great special effects by Tom Savini. The guy who made Jason returns to kill Jason, but not before Jason makes high school a lot more enjoyable for the teaching staff. Excellent job. The shooting locations are pretty good, though up to this point I think I still like the locations on Parts 1 & 2 better, which can likely be attributed to the fact that they were actually summer camps rather than residences. But the lake looks good, the cabins look good, and the woods, little as they're used, look good. That's one thing this one's missing, a chase scene in the woods, but still pretty good. The soundtrack is, of course, another Harry Manfredini composition; though a bit less manic than the first three movies, it's much of the same, and a crucial part of the Friday the 13th formula. I can replay a lot of the tracks from the Friday the 13th movies in my head, but by and large, probably couldn't tell you which movie any given track is from, as they really all blend together. As far as the soundtracks go up to this point, I think the first movie probably had the best soundtrack, but they're all fairly similar (aside from that fantastic, goofy track from the opening credits on Part 3), and all effective at creating the Friday the 13th aura that's necessary for the movies to work. Overall, at this point in the series, this one is the best.