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Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988)
OK. Let me tell you what I speak of when I speak of the Friday the 13th films. I speak of films one through eight – the exact films in my nifty little From Crystal Lake to Manhattan box set. I know I should but I don’t consider Jason Goes to Hell or Jason X or Freddy vs. Jason or the 2007 remake cannon. So when I say “I love me some Friday the 13th” these are the films I mean – one through eight. And then not even all the time. I know, I know. What kind of fan am I? Well, I’m a good one, let me assure you, because I’ve watched A New Beginning more than twice, and no one should ever have to watch it more than once – or really even once. So yes, that is the worst Friday film. Which may make one wonder – what is the next worst? Well, rveryone seems to hate Jason Goes to Manhattan – I don’t. It is definitely one of the lesser of the series, but I think it is better than say – New Blood – better made I should say. But I like the fact that New Blood actually takes place in “Crystal Lake” and is a more traditional Friday film. I like the characters in New Blood better – except for our main character, Tina. I really don’t like her. She is the most annoying Friday the 13th final girl EVER. In my ideal world, Rennie from Manhattan would be the protagonist in this one as well. Actually in my ideal world this film would be A LOT different. But we’ll get to that later. Oh, trust me when I say this one has the worst ending of any of the Friday films – I’m talking WORST here – even more horrible than the no-show Jason of A New Beginning.
I sort of like the whole Carrie meets Jason angle even though not a lot is done with it. I like the whole “we’re not fucking around this time” music that plays over the opening credits – well, I like it for the first few minutes until it starts to feel so repetitive that you could swear someone was hammering a nail into your head.
We open on Camp Crystal Lake on Friday October 13th. A little blond girl (Tina) is outside a lake house, listening to her parents fight inside. Tina’s father is drunk, he decides to slap her mother around, Tina gets upset and runs down to the pier, hops into a little boat and put-puts out to the middle of the lake. Her father pursues her, stands on the pier, tries to reason with her, begs her to come back. Tina hates her father though at that moment and wants him to go away, but instead of wishing him to the cornfield, she makes the pier do a herky jerky dance which eventually causes it to collapse and kill her father. Tina gets a really angry look on her face as she makes this happen, but as soon as the pier starts bumping and grinding she seems to change her mind, looking really sad and shouting, “No, Daddy, no!” Like, she totally just killed him, I don’t know who she thinks she is fooling.
Now, we cut to present day and Tina is all grown up and played by Lar Park Lincoln. Yawn. Tina and her mother (Susan Blue) – who has the most 80s hair I have ever seen – are driving to Crystal Lake. Tina doesn’t think it is a good idea – could it be because she has heard about the mad zombie killer who wears a hockey mask and hacks up anyone who comes into his woods? No, of course not, silly, Tina just doesn’t like her psychologist, Dr. Crews (Terry Kiser). Her mother is all – oh, give it a try, he really wants to help you, I’d hate to see you go back to the hospital, you husband killer.
The mother obviously doesn’t care about Tina at all and is just hoping Dr. Crews will show her his bedside manner.
Some fresh air, some therapy, some outdoors – it could do them all good, right?
Of course there are some randy kids staying at the cabin next door. Tina makes sure to spill her suitcase as she is unloading it from the trunk right in front of yummy cute guy, Nick (Kevin Spirtas) who is washing his jeep in cutoffs. Well, when he comes over to help her, she isn’t very nice to him. All because he touched her underwear? Let me tell you, that would personally make me not so unhappy.
Dr. Crews is all rarin’ to go and wants to get started right away. He explains they’ve done all they can for Tina at the hospital and she hasn’t made enough progress. Maybe because she hates Dr. Crews? He isn’t really a bad doctor actually. When Tina asks him “Why am I seeing things?” his reply is – “I don’t know, Tina, why do you think you’re seeing things?”
Dr. Crews wants Tina to concentrate and think about her feelings and focus them on a matchbook he lays out on a table. Maybe she can get it to move? Tina says she doesn’t know how “it” happens. Sometimes “it” happens and sometimes “it” doesn’t. Oh, silly, Tina, it happens when your emotions are at their peak – when you’re mad you can make things move. Even I know that. Doesn’t it sound familiar? Crews-y explains her psychokinetic abilities are a projection of the suppressed guilt feelings that she has about her father’s death. (This film was originally planned as a Freddy Vs. Jason vehicle, but that fell through and so instead we get the poor man’s Carrie Vs. Jason.)
Tina gets upset and runs outside and to the end of the dock, gazing at the lake. Is it really necessary to have a flashback fourteen minutes into the film showing the events that opened the movie only moments ago? I guess it is.
Tina senses something in the lake and thinks it is dear old dead daddy – but it is Jason, duh. Remember in the previous film Tommy Jarvis wrapped him up in chains and anchored him to the bottom of the lake with a big rock? Well, he did. And now Tina awakens him using her powers. So she gets a zombie serial killer. What did she expect? A zombie father? I don’t understand this chick at all. She had trouble making the damn matchbook do anything until Dr. Crews got her good and pissed off, should she really be attempting to raise the dead now? Oh, Tina.
Tina sees Jason pop up to the surface of the lake and passes out. Some heroine.
I do have to say I did love the makeup job they did on Jason in this one. He really looks like something that has been stagnating at the bottom of a lake – he’s all decompose-y and you can see sections of his ribs, his entire spine, and even portions of his jaw are exposed. It is the realism in these films that get me, folks.
Well, when Tina comes to Dr. Crews doesn’t believe her story about seeing a man coming out of the lake. He’s all – guilt about your dead father this, guilt about your dead father that.
Nick knocks on the door and returns a shirt to Tina that she neglected to take when she spilled her suitcase – he even washed it for her. She’s a lot nicer to him this time. He says he also wanted to invite Tina to a party. It is a party for his cousin, but guess what – the cousin ain’t comin’. The cousin’s girlfriend rented the cabin next door for the cousin’s birthday party, but the couple broke down on their way and deciding to hike through the woods were taken out by Jason. Way to go, Tina.
This one also has the infamous sleeping bag death. Just so you know.
The whole movie is basically Tina running – running out of one house, running out of another house, running out of a room when someone is mean to her, running through the woods… if you take a drink every time Tina runs from something you could potentially enjoy this movie.
Tina’s mother discovers that Dr. Crews is trying to keep Tina’s stress levels high so he can induce huge psychokinetic reactions, gather evidence of the phenomena, write about it, become famous… in other words, he cares zilch about actually helping her.
One of the segments that I always remembered from these films was the scene where Maddy (Diana Barrows) is killed by Jason. I don’t know why that one stuck out so much in my memory, but it always did. I love the little makeover she gives herself. Why exactly does she think her dream date David would be in the woods and why does she go into them looking for him? I think she’s just shy to show off her new look to everyone.
Oh, yeah, another thing – this one has almost no gore, kids.
I wonder if Jason ever gets tired of it all. Always stalking, always killing, always the same old, same old. The kids just keep showing up, and he just keeps slaughtering them. It must get very mundane. Does he ever feel that he is under appreciated, does he get burnt out? Also – does he eat?
Tina can make a potted plant fly at Jason but she can’t blow up his head using the power of her mind? Forget, Rennie, what this movie really needs is the Amy Irving character from The Fury.
Have I mentioned how much I dislike Lar Park Lincoln in this? I can’t remember if I let it slip or not. I wish we’d had a gay Friday the 13th – why can’t we? We have the gay Nightmare on Elm Street. This one could deal with Nick coming to terms with his sexuality, somehow maybe that could awaken Jason, who serves as his repressed desires… OK, whatever, but it would be more interesting than this. Lar Park Lincoln could even still be in it – she could be the first victim. Jason is wearing chains around his neck throughout the entire film – symbolism!
I really enjoyed the ‘Oh, no, you DIDN’T bitch’ look on Jason’s face when he pulls Tina down into the basement and tears the electrical cord from around his neck after she has tried to strangle him with it.
So the ending… yeah… Tina’s dead father comes popping up out of the lake and wraps a chain around Jason’s neck and drags him back to the bottom. The end. Why isn’t he all rotten and zombieville? He looks like he just went for a dip.
OK, so it isn’t as bad as A New Beginning. I liked the kids next door, especially Nick and Maddy and blond bitchess Melissa (Susan Jennifer Sullivan). At this point it does all feel like it is getting just a little too routine – but they did try and mix it up with the Tina the telekinetic angle – which yieled little payoff. This was the first of the films that really toyed with the formula. (I’m not counting Jason Lives – because even though it is a total satire it didn’t really change the WOODS. KILLER. template.) Next up: New York, space, hell and yes, finally, that showdown with Freddy. C-