FRIDAY THE 13TH PART IV: THE FINAL CHAPTER…wait, what? I could have swore I had eight more to go. Oh…wait…I get it. Intended to be the final chapter (hence the title) of FRIDAY THE 13th, this film came out and said up and down that it was the end of Jason. And to a point, they’re actually correct…for FRIDAY THE 13TH PART V: A NEW BEGINNING, after that it’s back to the Jason-train. But we’ll talk more about that particular, audience hating, film in the next review, which is for FRIDAY THE 13th PART V: A NEW BEGINNING, so it seems pretty serendipitous. For now, let me try to stay on topic and talk about FRIDAY THE 13th PART IV: THE FINAL CHAPTER.
First, this film has star power (depending on your definition), you thought Kevin Bacon in the original was awesome? Well this one has two before-they-were-famous actors in it. Crispin Glover (best known for being George McFly in BACK TO THE FUTURE), a year before he gained fame for 1985’s BACK TO THE FUTURE; and child star Corey Feldman (best known for his role in THE GOONIES and STAND BY ME). Also, in a supporting role, Crispin Glover’s very VERY weird dance (it’s a laugh riot, seriously).
Another thing, what is it with Jason throwing a person through a window, into a house when the final girl is standing to the side? It’s happened in every single FRIDAY THE 13th so far. I picked up on this two FRIDAY THE 13th marathons ago. I remember at one point this stops, but I can’t recall which film. Although since the entire franchise slides down to crap in the next film anyway, let’s say it’s the fifth installment. Nothing good can come of part five…NOTHING!!!
This time there are no counselors, and there is no camp, but it does take place near Crystal Lake. The action centers around two houses neighboring each other fairly closely. In one, lives a family of three; in the other, six horny kids that have rented the house for the week(end?). This one really sticks to the rules, going so far as to show us what is bad behavior, and what is good behavior. In the horny kids group are two virgins, one male (Crispin Glover) and one female. Much of the film focuses on these two characters, and you think that maybe they make it throughout the film…that is until they have sex and almost instantly (and unceremoniously) meet with a grisly end. If that’s not a message, I don’t know what is.
One of the biggest things that bug me in this film is the kids driving to the ‘cabin’ and they pass a hitchhiker that is…no mincing words here, she’s fat. Not only do the kids yell disparaging things at her, but as she sits down to eat a banana, she gets a knife through the throat FOR NO GOOD DAMN REASON!!! It seems a little harsh to have Jason kill someone that only got 90 seconds of screen-time. It seems like an immature fat joke played by the filmmakers.
We’re also introduced to our first Jason bounty hunter, who becomes the love interest of the final girl (by the way, I keep saying ‘final girl’ as to not reveal the identity of the survivor. See me looking out for you? You’re welcome). He may be the first, but he certainly won’t be the last.
One interesting thing that is throughout all these movies and I just having brought it up yet is the opening titles. The titles will give two or three people the coveted ‘Starring’ credit, then after that everyone else is put under ‘Co-starring’ or ‘Also starring’. Here’s a badly kept secret, anyone under the last two banners will be victims. However, just because someone gets a ‘Starring’ credit, doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll live through the film, but co-stars and such? Yeah, they’re there to feed Jason’s machete. It is like this in every FRIDAY THE 13th film without exception. Yet, I’ve waited four films to bring it up, simply put…I forgot to do it in the past.
Maybe it was during that few minute period I stepped out of the TV room and made myself something to eat when this happened, but how does Corey Feldman’s character (Tommy Jarvis, which we’ll discuss in a moment) learn so much about young Jason, including what he looked like? It’s kind of important to the story, and super important to the ending. Which, by the way, is the first FRIDAY THE 13th film to not end on a scary CARRIE dream sequence. There is an original ending that the filmmakers didn’t like that got lost on the cutting room floor, but it’s on the copy of FRIDAY THE 13th PART IV: THE FINAL CHAPTER I have on blu-ray. It’s pretty terrible, and tries to hold onto that tradition of having a scary CARRIE dream sequence ending.
Now to talk Tommy Jarvis (I shudder just thinking about this guy’s three film stint), in this film, he’s played by Corey Feldman. He’s young, loves masks and puppets, and apparently has a ravenous violent side that he unleashes on Jason towards the end of the movie. The character of Tommy Jarvis isn’t so bad in this film, it’s the next two that I will need courage for.
Ugh, that reminds me that next up is FRIDAY THE 13TH PART V: A NEW BEGINNING (because you can’t keep a cash cow like Jason down for too long. It’s quick and easy money). Gross.