Sunday, May 22, 2011

Friday the 13th Part 2

***1/2(out of 4 stars)

With the success of Friday the 13th, Paramount Pictures went ahead and green lit a sequel that would open on May 1st, 1980. Friday the 13th Part 2 would follow that same formula that brought its predecessor so much success. Sex hungry, naive teens, running around all sexy getting picked off one by one.

But with Pamela Voorhees out of the way, who could possibly be causing such havoc in the middle of nowhere? Could it be that her son, Jason would exact the same revenge because of the death of his beloved mother?

Alice (Adrienne King) is having horrible nightmares months after the incident with Mrs. Voorhees. Through her dreams, we are shown flashbacks from the first film. Alice is now quietly living in a peaceful neighborhood, far from where all her fellow camp counselors were murdered - at camp blood. But Jason has different plans in mind, and with the same vengeful mindset as his mother - he kills Alice rather quickly with an icepick.

Face forward a few years and once again unsuspecting camp counselors are back out in the woods. They just don't get it, do they? Stay out of Jason's woods. Plain and simple. Actually the camp they're opening isn't the original camp where all the murders took place years ago. Instead, this camp is situated right next to the dreaded camp blood. Paul (John Furley) is the owner of the new camp and is training the new counselors. As far as he's concerned, the incidents with Jason and his mother are all in the past and should stay there. Mistake numero uno!

Our survival girl is Ginny, (Amy Steel) Paul's assistant. In my opinion she's a better survivor than that of Friday the 13th's, Alice. Many hardcore fans of this franchise thinks she's the best and I won't disagree. Ginny has it all - she's smart, sexy and isn't ignorant of the legend of camp blood. In a sense she feels sorry for Jason. You know, after seeing his mother decapitated, who wouldn't? Ginny has the typical make-up to be the soul surviving girl. Amy Steel does a fine job in this role.

As for our villain we have Jason. Long before he would don his famous hockey mask, he simply wore a potato sack over his head. Yeah, I really like this Jason. The hillbilly, redneck Jason. Isn't that what most people refer to the killer in part 2? He's kind of retarded in a way. He's just not all there. As we move along in the franchise, you'll notice how in control Jason seems to be in. In part 2, circa 1981, he was just a rookie. He's sloppy in his attack and easily taken down. Of course, he's only got one hole to see out of in that sack of his. I guess his vision would be off. Warrington Gillette is credited with playing Jason, but Steve Daskawisz is the Jason in the stunt scenes and throughout most of the film. At one point in the shooting, Daskawisz was injured and rushed to the ER where he received stitches. In the scene where Jason and Ginny are in the shack, Ginny tries to kill Jason by bringing a machete down upon his head. Daskawisz's was supposed to block the blow with the pick ax. Their timing was off as the machete came down; thus cutting his fingers. Daskawisz would later return to set and like a trooper finished the scene in the same night.

Tom Savini would not return to do the effects as he was busy on another known slasher called, The Burning. With Savini's absence, the effects aren't horrible, but they certainly lack that brilliance that Savini brought to the table. One notable kill AND my favorite (in this film) would be that of the character Mark. He's the tough guy confined to a wheel-chair after a motorcycle accident. With his kill all we see is a machete to the head, then, the wheel-chair rolling down the stairs with him in it. That one moment is one of my favorites in the franchise. I loved that kill and for some reason I find myself jumping a bit when that machete connects with Mark's head. You just never know when it's coming. Great effect, great kill!

Lauren-Marie Taylor who played the character Vicky is one of my favorites in the entire Friday franchise. For some reason, I've always found her quite attractive. Her character doesn't really do much, in fact, she actually tries to make it with the dude in the wheel-chair. That seems to be her entire goal. Making it with Mark the invalid. But, uh, he dies. Then she's stabbed by Jason, and I begin to cry every time.

The only real problem I have with this movie is the end. Paul and Ginny escape harm from Jason and retreat back to one of the main cabins. They hear a rustle at the door but it's only a cat that had gone missing earlier. Suddenly Jason jumps through the window and grabs Ginny. Paul is fine. When Ginny wakes up, she's on a stretcher and being taken off in an ambulance. She's still alive and asking where Paul is. Paul is no where to be seen. So it's never confirmed if he's dead. Presumably he must be.

Don't know what else to say. Loved this film more than the original, even though the ending is rough.

Starring: Amy Steel, John Furley and Adrienne King

Directed by: Steve Miner

Written by: Ron Kurz, Phil Scuderi

87 mins


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