Friday the 13th Part 7: The New Blood Fan Poster/Review
Movie Review: Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988)
(Director: John Carl Buechler, Music: Fred Mollin, Jason: Kane Hodder)
This movie brings back some of the nostalgia of the original few movies: we’re on the lake, in the woods, and we’re very isolated with a band of partying teenagers. We’re gifted with a fantastic anthology opening spoken by none other than Walt Gorney (who was Crazy Ralph in the first two films) followed by opening music by Fred Mollin which is pretty intense.
After that this movie is pretty much a complete mess.
The characters, some of which can be likable at times, are all poorly written and even more poorly acted. The story and the directing all feel very phoned in. Doctor “bad news” Cruise is a delectable sonofabitch, but like much of the other characters we’re really just waiting for him to get killed. And that is a major mark of this movie, as it begins a trend where Jason himself is the most likeable, well-developed, and intriguing character in the movie. As a result, we end up rooting for him throughout the picture.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but when your best character has zero lines and is seen for only 20-30% of the actual movie, you’re basically failing as a film.
Overall, the music is really a mashup of the original soundtrack, with bits of Jason Lives and some new sound effects. None of it really works well together, though at times it can add tension.
Arguably, this is potentially the best character look for Jason Voorhees. His body and his outfit are have totally deteriorated. There’s exposed face, teeth, and bone, and the broken chair from Jason’s previous demise hangs almost like a trophy around his neck. In addition, we get our first dose on Kane Hodder as Jason, who arguably inject the most personality into the character that we’ve ever seen. He is a large reason why this movie is still watchable.
And in this movie, which ultimately became a psuedo-Carrie vs. Jason, the final act is very fun to watch. Tiny, a psychokinetic, troubled girl who killed her father at a young age is able to manipulate her environment to battle Jason and in turn, Kane’s portrayal of a very confused and frustrated Jason sets a new and exciting tone for the masked killer.
But none of those pluses can overcome the absurd plot holes which are rife throughout the final act:
-Where the hell did the cat come from? Was it really introduced for only one scare scene?!
-WTF is Melissa doing in Tina’s house near the end? Why would she simply wander in to the wrong house?!
-And where the hell is Jason getting all of these weapons from? There’s no tool shed, no barn, no nothing. Does he just have a repository somewhere?
-Oh, and yeah, all houses blow up once they catch fire, right? Right?
Whatever, I suppose this movie is still fun and it holds a strong nostalgia factor for me as it was one of the first Jason movies I saw as a kid. But man… it’s hard to watch as an adult.
- Originally this movie was intended to be a Freddy vs. Jason, but as talks fell through with New Line, they went a similar route with a Carrie vs. Jason
- Most of the kills were entirely cut out (no put intended) by the MPAA. This is pretty typical of the series, but it also goes a bit towards explaining some of the film’s shortcomings
- This film was shot on Byrne’s Lake near Mobile, AL; you can go there but the house isn’t there since it really was blown up at the end of shooting