After building up momentum from a decent outing in PART VI, I decided to see if FRIDAY THE 13th could keep up the pace in PART VII: THE NEW BLOOD. What a huge mistake on my part. Frankly, a huge mistake on everyone’s part. In this film Jason ostensibly meets his match in a 17-year-old girl with telekinetic powers. No, Sissy Spacek didn’t return to reprise her role as CARRIE, but they should still pay Stephen King a few bucks for ripping off his character. But honestly folks – is this like the fourth or fifth time Jason meets his match? My favorite, of course being PART IV in which Corey Feldman takes him down. When a “Corey” has the ability to bring you down, you’re just no longer that scary.
Nevertheless my faith in the series was temporarily restored in PART VI, a film that actually displayed the steady hand of a director who knew what he was doing, combined with a script that had enough of a sense of humor not to take itself too seriously. PART VII on the other hand subjects to the torments of Tina (the film’s stand-in for Carrie), whose father was killed (“drowned”) at Camp Crystal Lake when she was a young child. Here’s the one little twist – Jason didn’t kill her daddy, Tina did. He was a bad drunk man, so she made the pier collapse on him using her superpowers.
Guilt-ridden, Tina returns to confront her demons with her mom and psychiatrist. Unwisely, she once again taps into her not-so-super-powers to bring daddy up from the lake. Of course, that’s where Jason was left at the end of PART VI, chained to the bottom. Now, with Tina’s unwitting help, Jason is let loose. Thank goodness at least they had the good sense to throw some moronic, horny teens in at the camp so Jason could work his way chopping through them until he gets to his “showdown” with Tina.
These killings adhere to all the regular rules of the game – have sex, skinny dip, smoke pot – get killed. There’s something really ironic about these rules of horror movies. It’s as if they are there to get you to behave morally, but in the meantime it asks for your money so you can watch naked teens cavort and get killed in gruesome fashion. At least, that’s why I watch them – I mean, you may be watching it for the moral lessons, but hey, whatever floats your boat.
If there is one good thing about this movie, it is the make-up job. Near the end, we actually get a decent amount of time seeing Jason without his mask, and it's an impressively nasty sight. Clearly all that time at the bottom of the lake (not to mention the time he spent in the grave, or with the machete in his head, etc etc etc) has taken a toll. I mean, dude looks ugly.
Make-up job notwithstanding, there’s little to support the case for seeing this movie. And it certainly isn’t Lar Park-Lincoln’s incredibly cloying turn as the psychic Tina. Not long after this movie, she took a break to raise her kids, but Park-Lincoln is now back in action as an actress/life-coach. Yes, I’m serious, here is her site. It ain’t much to build your career on, but I guess if you’ve starred in a FRIDAY THE 13th movie that’s more than most. PART VII unfortunately is less than most.
RATING: * and a half (out of four)