Paramount Studios presents
Friday The 13thóPart VI: Jason Lives (1986)
"Look, you got to do something. Jason's alive. He killed my friend and now he's coming for me!"- Tommy Jarvis (Thom Matthews)
Stars: Thom Matthews, Jennifer Cooke, C.J. Graham
Other Stars: David Kagen, Ron Palillo, Kerry Noonan, Renee Jones, Tom Fridley
Director: Tom McLoughlin
MPAA Rating: R for (horror violence)
Run Time: 01h:27m:02s
Release Date: 2001-09-25
DVD ReviewFor a series of films that has spawned at least nine (!) sequels as of this review, it never ceases to amaze me how truly crappy the Friday The 13th follow ups have been. I will admit that in 1980 the first Friday The 13th, directed by Sean Cunningham, spooked me, caught me off guard and offered up what would become a literal horror franchise poster boy in the form of the seemingly unstoppable Jason Vorhees and his machete. Purists, of course, will be quick to point out that Jason didn't really make his first full-length debut until the 1981 release Friday The 13th—Part II, but for all practical purposes it was the first film that anchored his legend in celluloid. In what would become a veritable wave of "dead teenager" flicks that would pop up during the period from 1980 through 1986, it was good old Jason that had some kind of cinematic sea legs to keep on killing through an endless wave of really rotten sequels.
Tom McLoughlin wrote and directed this 1986 installment, Friday The 13th—Part VI: Jason Lives, and he did not bother to actually create much in the way of horror, and very little in the way of entertainment. I realize that he wasn't asked to direct the sequel to Citizen Kane, but it just seems that this chapter is nothing more than a series of uneventful killings, topped off with a predictable open-ended climax. Considering that another four Jason films—and counting—have been cranked out since Part VI, it would seem that not even the lack of a substantial story can stop the hockey-masked killer.
This type of film doesn't require much in the way of in-depth understanding of the previous Jason chapters, because in the world of Friday The 13th, all characters speak in those handy "explain everything up 'til now" monologues. In this film, we learn that the town of Crystal Lake has been renamed Forest Green, which apparently was done to make everyone forget the assorted Jason-induced massacres that have occurred there in recent years. That's like saying that if a crazed killer murdered a pile of teenagers in YOUR town, simply changing the name would make everything better.
Jumping a few years forward after the events of Part V, twenty-something Tommy Jarvis (Thom Matthews), who "killed" Jason (yeah, right) in the last go-round, returns here after spending years in therapy. (Part of his therapy is no doubt due to the fact that he was portrayed by Corey Feldman in Part V, but that's another story.) The opening sequence is the "resurrection" scene, where Tommy and his pal Allen (Welcome Back Kotter's Ron "Horshack" Palillo) dig up Jason's grave in some attempt at closure. (Note to self: if a crazed killer that tormented me is dead, as a result of me killing him, and said killer has been buried for years, consider that closure.)
To no one's surprise, the slightly decomposing Jason is accidently brought back to life during Tommy's half-witted attempt at making a point: Hence, the title. During the course of the next 87 minutes, Jason is responsible for 18 kills, which averages out to one violent death scene almost every 5 minutes. It is rather disturbing to think that even with that much carnage, a film like this could be so dull.
Rating for Style: D
Rating for Substance: D
|Aspect Ratio||1.85:1 - Widescreen|
|Original Aspect Ratio||yes|
Image Transfer Review: Paramount has released Friday The 13th—Part VI: Jason Lives in its original 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen format. Overall, the color field is bright, and the saturation level is a good, without any annoying bloom; fleshtones remain consistently lifelike throughout, though. There are minimal compression artifacts and general contrast is very good, too. Shadow detail and depth is far better than I would have expected on a cheapo film from 1986, and it would seem that Paramount may have put a little effort into this release.
Nice transfer of a very bad film.
Image Transfer Grade: B-
Audio Transfer Review: Originally released in 1986 in "Ultra-Stereo", Friday The 13th—Part VI: Jason Lives has been remastered in a 2.0 surround track for this DVD release. I was acutally quite pleased with the dynamic range of the 2.0 track, and the stronger than expected use of the surround channels for cues. Dialogue, which is not a necessity here, is always clean, while Harry Manfredini's memorable theme sounds deep and enveloping.
The viewing experience for this film is enhanced significantly via this track, and stands as major improvement over earlier installments.
Audio Transfer Grade: B-
Disc ExtrasStatic menu
Scene Access with 16 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
1 TV Spots/Teasers
Extras Review: A grainy, 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen theatrical teaser trailer, English subtitles and 16 chapter stops is all there is.
Extras Grade: D-
Final CommentsFriday The 13th—Part VI: Jason Lives. It's Part VI, for chrissakes! Just how good can it be? However, I'll bet that if you love the whole Jason series, then I imagine you will probably find something likeable here. Jason kills a lot of people. That should make you happy, right?
Films like this make me glad I have plenty of tequila in the house. It helps to numb the pain.
Rich Rosell 2001-10-01