Friday the 13th Part IV | Varied Celluloid

Friday the 13th Part IV

Posted by Josh Samford On October - 20 - 2010



The Plot: Our film begins where the previous entry to the series left off, as the bodies are being cleared out and Jason is being hauled to the morgue for his autopsy. When he arrives however, the morgue attendant is more interested in getting laid than actually starting an autopsy and we soon discover that Jason Voorhees is not dead quite yet. He escapes the hospital and starts traveling back towards the lake. Converging on the scene at roughly the same time is a car full of teenagers who are all looking to do some serious partying. The local neighbors, the Jarvis family, are not particularly bothered by the obnoxious teens but simply steer clear of their partying ways. Young Tommy Jarvis is a child of divorce who lives with his mother and older sister. He spends the majority of his time crafting masks and props that come straight out of a horror movie. The little do-it-yourselfer relies heavily on his older sister who avoids the partying crowd of teenagers next door but soon finds an infatuation with another young man who has wandered into the area named Rob Dyer. Apparently he is searching for Jason Voorhees, who killed his sister previously. He knows that Jason is alive and as bodies start to pile up and others start to go missing, it seems that he is correct. Who will survive and how will they stop Jason this time?




The Review
Last year I had the intentions of finishing out the entire Friday the 13th series for the Varied Celluloid Halloween Horrors celebration that we do every October, but there were just too many other titles on my list to finish up. So here we are, another year and another Halloween Horrors and in much the same way that Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter starts where its predecessor left off, so shall we! The great thing about the early Friday movies is the dedication that these movies actually had to keeping up with their continuity. Although there was a loose continuation between the rest of the series all the way up until part 8, after this forth entry it seemed as if the continuity simply became more and more loose as things progressed. The continuity at this point is very strong with the series, as we see Jason being picked up at the barn area last seen in part 3. Although the continuity is strong, it is at this point in this series that things start seeming rather ridiculous. That Jason could have survived the previous entry and the superhuman abilities that he has developed makes the movie seem that much more implausible.

That is not necessarily a bad thing mind you! With The Final Chapter we are introduced to a new element within the Friday series: comedy. Not only are the teenagers sarcastic and immature, but the comedy has become more vulgar and there comes an underlying degree of camp within the dialogue and the performances. Crispin Glover could be seen as the hero of this movie, without a doubt. We all know what a stranger character Crispin is but at the time it seems those roots were just being formed and his slightly offbeat performance here delivers so much to my personal level of entertainment that comes from Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter. While the character of Ted (played by Lawrence Monoson) is introduced as our token ‘comedic buddy’ character, a lot of his thunder is stolen by Crispin’s offput naive performance. Ted, who consistently makes reference to an invisible computer (“let me just put that in the computer here”), is a rather disagreeable character which seems to break from the convention that previous entries in the series had shown us up until this point. Glover instead steps up as the geek who tames the female world and along the way gives us two of the best lines in any Friday film. When asked to join a group of stripping girls inside of a creek, Glover responds with “Ahh, no! We have no suits!” which is randomly referenced at all times in my household. His other line, which only makes sense in the context of watching the movie is “TED! Where’s the hell’s the corkscrew at!?”. The way in which he says it followed by the inevitable continuation of that scene makes the line really stand out.

The humor and the writing for The Final Chapter is going to strike audiences in different ways. While watching, I had the feeling that the filmmakers were really hoping to amp up the entertainment factor behind their film by adding varying degrees of sarcasm and witty banter. You could just as easily watch the movie and see the jokes that fall dead, and then think what actually IS funny here is a result of unintentional comedy. That is a worth debate. There are moments throughout where you’re unsure whether to groan out of agony or fall over laughing. I love the small moments between characters that are ultimately so cheesy that just daring to include them makes me laugh. The introductory sequence, with the coroner Axel and his nurse girlfriend who are making out while Jason is laying unconscious behind them, always makes me laugh. Axel is a hairy and very average looking guy, while his girlfriend is absolutely stunning, but instead of kissing her feet and thanking god that a guy like himself could possibly find such an attractive female… he continues to switch the TV station to a sexy aerobics video while making out. This is followed up by the immortal line “Axel, you are the superbowl of self abuse!“, which I still have NO clue as to what that means but I love it!

We have Crispin Glover ripping into the absolute most bizarre dance moves that the world has ever seen and we have a litany of truly awful (but brilliant!) lines throughout. You really can’t second guess whether the filmmakers had an intention of developing a more fun entry into the Friday series. Lines such as “Hey… that’s a teddy bear… wanna give Teddy a kiss?” will forever keep this movie living in infamy. Still, regardless of how zany or inept these characters seem to be you still actually like them. When certain characters die, it actually stings a little bit because a certain portion of the comedy dies with it. The majority of the death scenes start to actually pop up in the very last portion of the movie, so at least we get to spend a great deal of time with these characters before the ultimately leave the mortal coil. Arguably, if you don’t enjoy the cheese quite like I do, you might simply be glad to see these characters die off. After all, they do make some of the worst possible decisions in slasher movie history. Honestly, who goes skinny dipping after they witness their boyfriend putting the moves on a random female? Just one of the bizarre moments where characters abandon logic. I have known a few females in my time and there are few who would avoid drama or emotion in the face of being publicly dissed by their significant other. With a few alcoholic beverages running through their system I think most women would have pulled a Jason Voorhees in that same situation.


The Conclusion
The Final Chapter is a very strange and different entry into the Friday series and although there are some who will see it as awful cheese, I have a true affection for it. It is actually as witty as most Friday films could possibly be. If you haven’t seen it, Crispin Glover’s enviable dance moves are worth the price of the DVD alone. I give it a four out of five and hope that I’m not the only one who loves it the way that I do.



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Varied Celluloid is a film website intent on delivering views on movies from all genres. Started in 2003, the website has been steadfast in its goal and features a database of over 500 lengthy reviews. If you would like to contact us about writing for the website or sending screeners, please visit the about page located here.

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