Friday, August 13, 2010

As bad as this is, it should have been the end

Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993)
Starring: John D. LeMay, Kari Keegan, Steven Kulp, Steven Williams, and Erin Gray
Director: Adam Marcus
Rating: Three of Ten Stars

Infamous serial killer Jason Vorhees is revealed to be a creature of supernatural origins and only bounty hunter Creighton Duke (Williams) knows how to kill him once and for all. But will anyone be able to meet the price he demands before Jason kills the few remaining citizens of Crystal Lake?

While the "Friday the Thirteenth" movies have never been big on logic or continutity, this one doesn't try to be even internally consistent. It's so sloppily written that key characters change persoonalities and natures from one scene to the next and not even the slightest attempt is made to explain the hows or whys of the connections between characters--like the bountyhunter Chreighton Duke played by Steven Williams who goes from purely obnoxious and psychotic for most of the film to suddenly helpful and self-sacrificing in the film's climax... and who has a history with Jason that remains unrevealed along with the source of his supernatural knowledge. The character of Duke is only the worst example of this in the movie. Time and again, viewers feel like they are not only watching part two or three of a series but that they also must be having blackouts becuase there seems to be chunks of the story missing. Neither is true... this movie introduces a whole new set of characters and circumstances that have never before appeared in ANY of the "Friday the 13th" series, and their relationships to one another and why they behave the way they do is likewise never made clear.

It's a shame that the script for this movie is awful, because there are some nice moments in it, mostly at the beginning--I love the scene with the coroner--and the end, starting with the slaughter at the diner. But everything in between is badly paced, badly written, and nonsensical. There are some nice some nice gore efffects and kills, but even they can't make up for the messy storyline.

In fact, this story might have played better if it hadn't been presented as part of the "Friday the 13th" series... and the writer/director might have even have been motivated to bring logic to his story instead of jokes (such as the Necronomicon from "Evil Dead 2" being present in the Vorhees house and crates in the basement that are either a Lovecraft reference or a reference to "The Thing").

It's also a shame to watch a cast of decent actors be wasted the way they were here. And I won't even bother commenting on the factthe title promises something the film doesn't deliver, primarly because my twisted imagination is more than Hollywood will ever match. (I envisioned "Jason Goes to Hell" as a tale where Jason Vorhees dies as he does here... but he then goes on a killing spree in the Underworld, eventually fighting his way back to Earth because he's simply too evil for Hell.)

Despite some good ideas, this is probably a movie that even the hardlest of the hardcore slasher movie fans can skip.

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