Psychic wunderkind Tommy Jarvis digs up Jason Voorhees's corpse in order to cremate his body for good. God has other plans, though, and a stray lightning bolt reanimates Jason, sending him back to stalk the woods around the camp formerly known as Crystal Lake.
By far the most intelligent film in the franchise, Jason Lives is also one of the funniest and most entertaining slasher films I've seen. Playing more like a Sunday-afternoon monster movie than a traditional Friday the 13th episode, my heartfelt belief is that the original cut of the film would have earned a PG-rating; you know, for kids. The studio didn't like not getting threatened with an X, apparently, and added a ton of gore and extra kills in reshoots. Where I feel a kind of cruel relish in the franchise's emphasis on "kills" and over-the-top murder methods from the hulking, hypermasculine Voorhees, there's a playful self-awareness to Jason Lives that horror didn't cotton to until Scream begat a bevy of imitators. You don't need to see the previous entries to keep up with Jason Lives (though I'll say that the original trilogy and Jason Takes Manhattan all have a low-budget charm to them) - and while I wouldn't say it's the definitive representation of Jason Voorhees on-screen, I can still wish it was.
CAST + CREW
Director: Tom McLoughlin (One Dark Night,
Sometimes They Come Back)
Cast: Thom Mathews (Return of the Living Dead,
The Dirty Dozen: The Deadly Mission)
Jennifer Cooke (V, Gimme An 'F')
CONTENT (spoilered; highlight for warnings)
violence against women, violence against children, violence against a corpse, gaslighting, police violence, dismemberment, drowning, undeath
CAREER STATS [on a scale from 1 (least) to 10 (most)]
Maybe it was low expectations, but I had a BLAST with it.
Voorhees gonna Voorhees, but you'll laugh more than scream.
The ending is pretty strong, but it's too good of a time.
Untested theory, but I suspect this is a crowd-pleaser.
Friday the 13th, Part 2, Part III, Behind the Mask