|The Plot: Tommy Jarvis (Thom Mathews) is back and he is as ticked off at Jason as he ever has been! This time Tommy begins our movie by proving to himself once and for all that Jason Voorhees is dead without question. He arrives at the graveyard where the ex-killer has been buried and digs him up in an act of catharsis. Simply seeing the dead body isn’t enough for him though, so he rips a metal rod out of a fence and proceeds to stab through the dead heart of this killer who scarred his childhood. As Tommy digs out his gasoline in order to burn the madman with, a lightning bolt strikes the metal rod and in true Frankenstein fashion Jason Voorhees is alive once again! This time however, he is equipped with new super human strength and the killer doesn’t even NEED to use weapons any more! Tommy heads into town to try and warn the sheriff but ends up sitting behind bars. When the sheriff’s lovely daughter Megan (Jennifer Cooke) shows up to meet with her daddy and explain their re-opening of Crystal Lake, she meets Tommy and is immediately attracted to him. Now it is up to Megan and Tommy to try and stop this new beast version of Voorhees before he wipes out the entire camp full of children/counselors!|
If I were to describe Jason Lives with one word, it would have be “Relentless”. It starts off with the blistering Friday theme that we all know and love, but the pacing is simply so much more extreme than in any of the other films. We jump right into Tommy Jarvis’ story as he literally speeds down the road in search of Jason. We are hurled speeding into this story and it never at once lets up. This is an entirely different take on the Friday the 13th series, which is likely the reason it still remains a favorite within the eyes of so many. Where A New Beginning may have taken the series into an ‘over the top’ frame of mind, Jason Lives goes far beyond even that but does so with a comedic charm that actually manages to make the silliness work. These characters and everything within Jason Lives seems hyper-stylized to the point of losing all sense of reality. When Tommy Jarvis ultimately arrives at the police station the police are already prepared to throw him in jail, so as to set themselves up as the antagonists of our story. You can clearly see where all of this is going, but the gleeful nature of the movie is infectious and you can’t help but smirk along with the movie as it turns the series upside down on top of itself.
Jason’s invulnerability had been joked about previously in pop culture before this entry into the series, but with Jason Lives they literally make him an unstoppable killing machine. Similar to comic book villains with no discernible weakness, Jason becomes a super zombie despite all of logic saying that this is not at all possible. After years of rotting in the ground, we all know that even if a corpse were to be re-animated how on earth could its muscles be in better shape than during actual life? I mean, if you want to pick this movie apart logically, it isn’t at all difficult. Everything that establishes our story this time out is completely implausible, but through the use of silly comedy we establish this very irreverent mood that nothing can be taken serious when we’ve reached these levels of ridiculousness. The cast all seem to be in on the joke as they handle their roles in a very tongue in cheek fashion. The characters are two dimensional caricatures, to be sure, but they know it and make sure the audience has fun with it. Cort (Tom Fridley) is easily one of the funnier characters, as he takes his rock & roll stoner character to its max.
The movie isn’t without its disappointing aspects of course. When you take a series that had been handled the way it was up until this point, you have to wonder if by going so outrageous you aren’t being slightly disrespectful in the face of the fans. Jason Lives definitely walks that line and I think those who would be disappointed by it would more than likely be left so because of the lack of flavor from the originals. Still, the Friday series is often considered one of the first big “body count” movies and you have to give Jason Lives credit, as it keeps that tradition up in fine honor! Jason goes through some of his most memorable kills in the series as he punches holes through men, decapitates three people at the same time in one swipe and rips off limbs with ease. He literally has become Super Jason at this point in the series and Jason Lives helped redefine the slasher mystique from that point onward.