[Friday the 13th] Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)

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Director: Steve Miner

Cast: Amy Steel, John Furey, Adrienne King, Kirsten Baker, Stuart Charno, Marta Kober, Tom McBride, Bill Randolph, Lauren-Marie Taylor, Russell Todd

Screenplay: Ron Kurz

87 mins. Rated R.

 

Films like Friday the 13th don’t ever really get sequels. It is a horror film, so nothing is truly out of the question, but rarely does a sequel happen when the killer is [SPOILER ALERT] beheaded at the end. That didn’t happen for the Friday the 13th franchise, when a small tie at the end of the film involving Mrs. Voohees’ deceased son attacking a frail and fatigued Alice (Adrienne King, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, Silent Night, Bloody Night: The Homecoming) led to the first sequel in this highly-successful horror franchise.

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It has been five long years since Alice survived that fateful Friday and now, the camp is to be opened again and a group of new men and women have gathered to learn the trade of the camp counselor. What is required of camp counselors? Drugs, sex, and death, obviously. Plain and simple. But who is killing these teens? Mrs. Voorhees is long dead, and no one has ever found the body of her son, Jason.

The problem with Friday the 13th Part 2 is the fact that it is essentially Friday the 13th all over again. The film provides very little in terms of really progressing the plot, other than the introduction of a new killer. Pulling off the killer switcheroo isn’t an easy thing to accomplish. Several other franchises have tried and failed to complete the change, but Friday is lucky enough to have completed this change very early in the franchise. This is a transitional period for the series and it happens to transition nicely, in part due to its simplicity.

The strengths of this sequel come from the colorful group of likable leads who provide slightly cookie-cutter characters though still enjoyable ones. Ginny (Amy Steel, TV’s All My Children, April Fool’s Day) and Paul (John Furey, The Galinez File, Flight 93) have a solid amount of chemistry if somewhat underused. It is interesting to note the level of danger who two leads carry in the film is less than sufficient, but is a stylistic choice popular to the 1970s and 80s. Director Steve Miner (Halloween H20: 20 Years Later, Day of the Dead) utilized the style of several Italian horror films to influence the rainbow of deaths in the film. I’m not one to discuss how interesting the death is in horror films. That was younger Kyle. I prefer to believe that the way the person dies bears little when compared to the emotions I feel for him or her. In that way, the ways our killer dispenses with them is disturbing with a sizable amount of cheese (not exactly a bad thing in this way).

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Steve Miner’s Friday the 13th Part 2 has enough potential to keep the series alive past what already seemed like a death knell. Likable characters in disturbing danger and an unknown assassin keep the tension high enough to enjoy this sequel all the through the 14th. Happy Holidays.

 

3/5

-Kyle A. Goethe

 

For my review of Sean S. Cunningham’s Friday the 13th, click here.

31 Days of Horror: Day 17 – Friday the 13th (1980)

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Director: Sean S. Cunningham

Cast: Betsy Palmer, Adrienne King, Harry Crosby, Laurie Bartram, Jeannine Taylor, Kevin Bacon, Mark Nelson, Robbi Morgan, Ari Lehman

Screenplay: Victor Miller

95 mins. Rated X.

 

I hit another classic on my watch list. The film that said to people everywhere, “Hey everyone! I’m Halloween again!” My review of Friday the 13th comes right now!

Ki Ki Ki Ma Ma Ma!

Friday the 13th is an age-old classic. It also happens to be a movie that continues to surprise to this day. If you haven’t watched it, go buy it and watch it. It isn’t perfect by any means, but I’m warning you, there may be possible SPOILERs so look sharp.

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The movie takes place…on Friday the 13th. Years ago, Camp Crystal Lake was shut down after several murders and other crimes were committed on the premises. Now, years later, the camp is reopening with the help of several attractive 20-somethings (among them Kevin Bacon, TV’s The Following, Apollo 13). But, trouble starts up again as the camp counselors are picked off one by one by a mysterious stranger who just may be more connected than they know.

I love the original Friday the 13th. It is just so damn fun. The Jason Voorhees series is to this day one of those film series that you can have a bunch of friends over and just watch some mindless violence. It has a great drinking game. It has a bunch of young attractive people partying, playing Strip Monopoly, getting it on, and getting murdered.

This film actually has a bit more of a twist ending due to its franchise work. This was not intended by any of the filmmakers, but it certainly holds up as an interesting ending in light of the direction the franchise went.

The plot is simple. The performances are not good. The film is still fun. I will actually give this film a higher rating for fun factor, because it boils down to good old fashioned entertainment.

Many people still don’t know what the sound of the Ki Ki Ki Ma Ma Ma. Some people (myself included) think it is more of a Chi Chi Chi Ha Ha Ha, but that would be wrong. Others think it is an advertisement for Jiffy Pop Jif Jif Jif Pop Pop Pop, but that would be wrong as well. It is Ki Ki Ki Ma Ma Ma and if you know the ending SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT then you know it references Kill Kill Kill Mom Mom Mom.

People hated Betsy Palmer (TV’s Knots Landing, Mister Roberts) being in this film and portraying Mrs. Voorhees. One critic went as far as to publish her address in anger so that people could…I don’t really know, vandalize or send her Anthrax? Anyway, he published the wrong address, so I guess his plan didn’t work.

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So, Crazy Ralph said it best, these kids were all doomed…doomed! I love a little cheese with my horror films, and I think you will enjoy Friday the 13th.

 

3.5/5

-Kyle A. Goethe

 

For more 31 Days of Horror, click here.

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