Many people credit Psycho with being the first slasher film, then Halloween established the set-up and rules of the modern day slasher but if you ever wanted to know where the template of teenagers, sex, nudity and doing something so common sense defying and horrendously stupid that the audience is screaming 'No turn around, put your clothes back on and fucking run!' was truly tested and then pushed to illogical and hilarious levels then look no further than The Friday The 13th Franchise.
Part 4 is particularly stupid in this regard. There are scenes in this film of such heroically idiotic ineptitude as to boggle the mind.
In one instance a girl leaves everyone else she knows in the warm safe glow of a rental house and wanders out into the dark woodland towards a lake, all the time shouting the name of her boyfriend and despite no reply, no evidence of him anywhere or no reason to believe he'd be out in the woods by himself in the small hours of the morning, she gets to the lake, removes all her clothes (you know as one does), calls his name a few more times and then swims to a semi inflated rubber dinghy in the middle of the lake. It is then and only then that she realises, you know what, he's probably not out here and I got all naked, wet and cold for nothing. It is these moments of clarity that happen seconds before some hockey wielding maniac leaps from the lake and kills you with a machete.
Featuring odd performances from such randoms as Crispin Glover and the creepy little boy role filled by none other than Corey Feldman, the film is the standard horror fair with a bunch of kids renting a house from a Mother, daughter and her son (Feldman), who despite being no older than 10 maybe, inexplicably has a hobby where he makes masks and make-ups for horror films (possibly a nod to Tom Savini who's make-up and special effects started the franchise) just down the road from where Jason hacked all those people to death in part 3. In fact the beginning of this film follows on exactly.
Not content, obviously, with the carnage and mayhem he brought about in the previous film, Jason staggers down to the next pack of stupid, alcohol swigging, fornicating teenagers and decides, for no apparent reason what so ever, to do them in as well.
As well as the bizarre addition of Feldman's character, which, at least, plays a relevant part in the final showdown, there is also a seemingly endless scene of one of the, quite frankly, nondescript and tedious teens watching a super 8 projector of 1920s burlesque dancers.
Which is what every sad male did in the 80s when all of his friends either hooked up or, unbeknownst to you, got hacked up. You break out the old whirring projector, string up a sheet and seemingly amuse yourself (but not abuse yourself) to a grainy black n white image of topless women from a bygone era. Standard Saturday night for most I would imagine.
This where the slasher horror genre became like porn, in the sense that you sit slack jawed in amazing boredom during the dialogue scenes waiting for the money shot, or in this case, deaths. Unfortunately the deaths are heralded about 5 minutes in advance so you know exactly what's going to happen and it's all over way too quickly. There are some good effects though, I guess and the odd inventive death, still it all gets a bit ridiculous when you see that Jason has had time to arrange some of the bodies, and in one case nail one of them up to a door frame, apparently in no time at all. Where got the hammer and nails from is anyone's guess!
However, you know, these are minor niggles at the end of the day, you either like silly slasher fair or you don't. I watched this in a cabin by a lake late at night and I loved it. I laughed, I clapped when one of the annoying ones got killed, shouted at the stupid people in disbelief as they made basic blunders and the ending, not unlike the ending of Halloween 4 that would come 4 years later, was genuinely affecting and a bit creepy, if for no other reason than a tiny Corey Feldman in a bald cap with a knife will always be affecting and a bit creepy.
Is it the best of the series? no but it's not the worst (say hello Jason takes Manhattan) and I had a ball watching it. If you like to laugh and you like your slasher films to have their fair share of nudity then this is one of the ones for you!
6 out of 10 blood oranges or something...