Friday the 13th week continues!
It starts getting interesting now. Mommy lost her head in the original movie, and now Jason has assumed the role of terrorizing Crystal Lake.
The movie opens with a flashback to the end of part One. In an effort to fully showcase the decapitation of Jason’s mom, we are treated to a replay of Alice Hardy (Adrienne King) giving a mighty machete whack to the neck of Mrs Voorhees. Jason’s motivation for murder is now doubled up as he needs to avenge not only his own supposed death, but also that of his mother. He wastes no time getting to work as he stealthily sneaks in to Alice’s apartment and scares the shit out of her by planting his mom’s head inside her refrigerator. Jason is no doubt devastated by the death of his mom….but he is not above using her head as a prop to get a cheap scare out of someone. What’s also interesting here is the fact that Jason acquired the skills to break into an apartment after leaving the comforts of his shack at Crystal Lake. Sure, Jason smashing his way through a door is absolutely believable…..its his lock-picking finesse, and hiding undetected in a small apartment which is a bit of a stretch.
The characters in this movie show a little more personality than in the first one. Not necessarily in a good way. One very annoying character is tall and lanky, dresses up in old skins and carries a spear. He spends most of the movie lurking in the shadows and scaring people…..which no doubt causes unsuspecting first time viewers to expect Jason as opposed to this dope. The first time I watched this, I couldn’t wait for him and Jason to cross paths…..only to see him safely leave the premises with a few other counselors for a night on the town, not even knowing the danger he escaped. I have to admit though….after what is probably my 40th time watching this movie he has grown on me a little. Today as I have acquired emotional intelligence and matured into adulthood (haha), I suppose I dont mind the fact that Jason never gets him. Make no mistake…..just because the characters do show more personality, doesn’t mean the acting is any better.
One of the criticisms that ALWAYS comes up with this series is that you never get to know enough about the characters to become connected to (or care about them), hence the viewer does not, or should not care that they systematically get disposed of by Jason. I disagree entirely with this assessment. After watching these movies as many times as I have, any character will start feeling like a friend to you. How can you not feel bad for the skinny dipping babe who treats you to a show? What about the guy in a wheelchair who took a hatchet to the face and got pushed down a long flight of stairs? What about the cute brunette who’s only crime was preparing herself for a night of lovemaking with the wheelchair guy, and Jason sabotaged the whole thing with knives and blunt objects? What cold-hearted s.o.b. movie critic would not feel bad for these two?
What’s also different for part II is the counselors also show a little more skin…..we are treated to a very attractive young woman skinny dipping alone in the moonlight. Did I say treated? I meant “subjected to”. This sort of thing has no place in quality films like this. Just terrible.
Finally, I think its worth commenting on the sack with eyeholes compared to the hockey mask. I do think there is a very real element of fear regarding the sack. Its rudimentary in nature, and chilling to look at. On the other hand, I think it makes Jason look kind of dopey. Its perhaps too simple and I think the series would have only lasted maybe half as many movies if he had to keep looking at him with the bag over his head. I think the bag served this one movie well, but there was nothing as truly terrorizing as the hockey mask. One look at that, and you just knew the shit was gonna hit the fan.