There probably should have been “My ass!” after the final chapter subtitle, as I don’t know anyone who believed the cash cow was being taken to the slaughter house. Like every good exploitation flick, the F13 movies were cheap and made a good profit. Who would want to stop that? Bueller?
With Steve Miner off to do other things, it was time for a new director, and exploitation movie director extraordinaire, Joseph Zito was brought in. Fresh off The Prowler, an underrated grindsploitation classic, Zito does the best he can, and while Final Chapter is a cut above (see what I did there?) the third entry, that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily great, or even good. It is however different, and certainly the best looking of the four. It also sports some well known names, including Peter Barton (who had completed work on Nightmare with Linda Blair), Corey Feldman (who would go on to film The Goonies the following year, thus keeping him from appearing in the sequel as the main character), and of course Crispi Glover, the Deney Terrio of the F13 franchise.
Much like Part 3, the fourth movie starts almost immediately after the previous. In fact the film opens on the investigation at the cabins, and the ambulances carrying away the dead bodies, and Jason. I should mention, prior to that, is a catching up of what has occurred in the previous movies, you know, because the back story is so rich and detailed it’s easy to get confused. It’s pointless filler, but with the running time at just about 90 minutes, can see why they threw it in. Regardless, we arrive at the morgue with Jason’s body, and the morgue attendant, a horny and serial sexual harasser tries to convince a nurse to spend some time in the cold room. She does this initially, however when Jason’s arm falls off the table, she loses her interest in boning the doc and heads off to do her job. Sadly for the doc, Jason rises and nearly decapitates him with a bone saw. I couldn’t think of a nicer guy to deserve such treatment.
Obviously the nurse is next to get it, and Jason takes off again for the woods. We then meet this installments fresh meat for the grinder. On the way to Crystal Lake, they see the headstone for Mrs. Voorhees on the side of the road-because where else would you bury the mother of a serial killer? It should have one of those natio0nal park, Views of Interest next to it. If you thought Peter Barton and Crispin Glover would be part of this group, you’re correct. Crispin’s character Jimmy is sort of an awkward loner (totally against type), who hangs with his best friend Ted (played by Larry Monoson of Last American Virgin infamy). Ted is the joker of the group, Barton is the jock, and there’s another guy who is so boring, I forget he’s even in the movie.
Once they get to the cabin, we then meet their neighbors a family of three, Mom, daughter and son. Corey Feldman is the son who has a keen interest in horror movies and makeup. The next day, the teens next door decide to go skinny dipping because, really, we haven’t seen enough boobs yet. While that is going on Tommy and his sister breakdown in their old POS which is mandatory for living in the woods. They run into a hiker that sis gets the hots for and they bring him back to the house. And what’s Jason doing during all this? I don’t know, they never show what he does in his downtime. (aside from the awful remake in 2009 which I will not review, I love you all but not that much.) Needless to say that since there’s going to be a party that night, you know Jason’s gonna be there to bust a move, furniture, bones, pretty much everything.
At this party Crispin Glover proves he isn’t a dead fuck as his friend referred to him on the trip to the cabin. Ted, said friend, ends up getting high, and acquires a case of blue balls while watching some early 20th century porn. In all honesty I think that would have been more interesting to watch. One by one everyone gets killed, save for Tommy and his sister,
Part four has perhaps my favorite way of Jason being killed. It is so gruesome that even today it makes me squirm, despite the fact iut looks fake as hell. He gets a machete in the head, and when he falls it hits the handle and we see it sliding through his skull, nearly cutting it off. It’s a fantastic effect marred only by the fact that Jason’s makeup looks more like a pull over mask than anything else. Yes it’s suitably deformed, that doesn’t make it scary though
In spite of the subtitle, and as I said in the beginning, there was no way this would have been the final movie, as the series was way too profitable for Paramount. The ending was setting up Tommy to take over for Freddy, and that could have happened had Corey Feldman not had to film The Goonies and Gremlins. Let’s be thankful to the powers that be that, that never happened. What came next was so, so much worse, but that’s getting ahead of myself.
The parts of F13 Part 4 are greater than the sum. There are some good scenes, such as Jason’s kill, and of course Crispin Glover’s spastic dancing. Yet the layout of Camp Crystal changes as much as Jason’s makeup-there’s no continuity in either of them really, and where did the second house come from all of a sudden? The world may never know. Needless nitpicking aside, Part 4 isn’t the worst of the bunch to this point, but that’s really not saying much.
Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter get’s 5/10 machetes