Combustible Celluloid
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With: Kimberly Beck, Erich Anderson, Corey Feldman, Barbara Howard, Peter Barton, Lawrence Monoson, Joan Freeman, Crispin Glover, Alan Hayes, Judie Aronson, Camilla More, Carey More, Bruce Mahler, Lisa Freeman, Wayne Grace, Antony Ponzini, Frankie Hill
Written by: Barney Cohen, based on a story by Bruce Hidemi Sakow
Directed by: Joseph Zito
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 91
Date: 04/13/1984

Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Slash Course

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

This entry has always been one of my favorites of the Friday the 13th series, perhaps because I was at the right age when it came out (I was a bit too young for the others). Not to mention that it turned up on cable just about the time my family got our first VCR, so I was able to tape it and watch it numerous times. Watching it again today, it works oddly well, almost like a John Hughes movie that got lost and wandered into slasher territory. The cast and characters are above average and even likeable, and their little teenage dramas actually captivate to some degree. We get Samantha (Judie Aronson), who regularly sleeps with her boyfriend and doles out advice to her friend, who is not so sure about getting physical. We get the two single buddies, the confident Ted (Lawrence Monoson) and the nerdy Jimmy (Crispin Glover). Jimmy is sad over a recent breakup and Ted, in an effort to be helpful, teases him. During a weekend getaway at a remote cabin, the friends meet two cute twins (Camilla and Carey More), upsetting the romantic balance. We also meet young Tommy Jarvis (Corey Feldman), who makes horror masks and lives with his older sister and mother in a cabin across the way. Enter Jason, who slices and dices his way through most of them. The violence is mostly pretty tame, but there's ample nudity and sexual tension to make up for it; it's a purely physical experience, just like the best of the series. The Final Chapter does actually end with the death of Jason, but the film's success secured the release of a fifth film less than one year later. Corey Feldman returned in a brief appearance, and his character lived on, embodied by different actors, in more sequels. Judie Aronson actually did go on to appear in a John Hughes film, Weird Science, and director Joseph Zito went on to make Chuck Norris films. But Crispin Glover graduated to the strangest and most wonderful career of them all, including more horror films.

DVD Details: Paramount has released a super-deluxe DVD, timed to coincide with the DVD release of the new 2009 series "reboot." It comes with two commentary tracks, one with the filmmakers and a great "fan track" by directors Adam Green (Hatchet) and Joe Lynch (Wrong Turn 2: Dead End). We also get a "look back" featurette, deleted scenes and alternate ending, and part one in a series of fake "reports" about the Jason attacks in Crystal Lake. There's also "Lost Tales from Camp Blood Part IV," which I didn't watch all the way through; it looks like a fan film. Best of all, we get a featurette on -- and outtakes from -- Glover's weird dance moves.{subid}&url=hitlist.asp?searchfield=marvel
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