“31 Days of Horror” Day 13: “Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives” (1986)
A Nightmare Resurfaces…Jason Lives!
Ki ki ki…ma ma ma… Honestly, how could we not go this route for the thirteen movie of ‘31 Days of Horror’? We’re huge “Friday the 13th” fans in the Tobin household, so it only stands to reason that we would make sure to squeeze this franchise into our October viewing. We let Adrianna choose the specific entry this time around, and she chose Jason’s second favorite: “Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives”.
If you are unfamiliar with the timeline of the “Friday the 13th” films, when we open on Part VI Jason is quite effectively dead. However, Tommy Jarvis, who was the one to finally do the deed as a child (spoilers for a rather old movie, you guys) is still haunted by the spectre of the machete-wielding maniac. In an ill-advised plan to rid himself of the memories that haunt him, Tommy (played by Thom Matthews) decides to dig up Jason’s body to prove to himself once and for all that the killer is gone.
Tommy’s plan, of course, goes awry when he inadvertently brings the rotting corpse back to life instead. (Never dig up bodies in a lightning storm, my friends; that way leads to horror-movie ruin.)
Remember, kiddies: lightning is the catalyst for all evil.
Now the Crystal Lake Killer is undead, stronger than ever, and right back on his murderous rampage, and it’s up to Tommy to fix his deadly mistake.
Let’s be real, you guys. That opening plot is all kinds of absolutely ridiculous. But that’s also part of what makes it great, and it served its purpose in bringing Jason Voorhees back in a big way. Up to this point in the series Jason had been a silent, psychotic killer, which was scary enough. Now, however, he was also a goddamn zombie, and if that isn’t the cherry on top of the horror movie cake I don’t know what is.
“Friday the 13th Part VI” is one of Jason’s all-time favorites for good reason. Part of that is because of the awesome design and portrayal of Jason Voorhees in this entry. The masked killer is played by C.J. Graham in this iteration, and to incredibly amusing effect. Jason’s design is ripped, torn, dirty and grody, with skin the color of a muddy iron pipe. His portrayal (always a tough task, I imagine, considering his silent nature and lack of facial expression) is a mixture of menacing and curious that is both frightening and hysterical. In other words, exactly what fans of the franchise have come to love about their favorite movie murderer.
“I’ve seen enough horror movies to know that any weirdo wearing a mask is never friendly.”
On a personal note, I can tell you that “Jason Lives” has a couple of my favorite scenes/kills in the entire franchise. If you’ve never seen this entry I don’t want to ruin them for you, but take my word for it: you’ll get a huge kick out of Jason’s quiet reactions to the victims he’s taking. One kill in particular never fails to make me think of Jason as a particularly murderous-but-curious puppy. An ugly one. But almost so ugly he’s cute. Yeah, I’m an odd duck, leave it be.
“Friday the 13th” as a whole franchise is something that no horror fan should have managed to avoid, so my advice is honestly to start at the beginning. But if, for whatever reason, you have to pick one single film from the franchise to watch, I would absolutely suggest this one. “Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives” is one of the high-points of Jason Voorhees’ story, for sure.
What are you watching for the spooky season? Have you seen “Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives“? Let me know your own thoughts and give your own suggestions for horror movie musts in the comments! And don’t forget to check out my other ‘31 Days of Horror‘ movie reviews!
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