Friday 4 begins with one of the best montages of all time, as Paul from part 2 tells us all about Jason, spliced in with the greatest hits of the last 3 films. Then, there’s no breaking glass; there’s no weirdo-disco theme; hell no, then there’s an explosion as we’re catapulted into The Final Chapter. Honestly, that opening was so burly my TV grew hair.
We pick up at Camp Crystal Lake, the night after Jason’s colon-stomping in the 3rd dimension. They really went all out to recreate everything, including the fake deer. It’s funny that they made sure to match up that continuity, but later one couldn’t be bothered with little details such as Jason’s face looking the same from film to film. We go through the crime scene, as firemen, cops and paramedics tend to everything. We see the police take the axe that Chris used on Jason and put it in someone’s sandwich bag. They apparently didn’t think to remember to bring the big-sized evidence bags. Two paramedics strap Jason to a gurney as we head to the hospital. It is here we meet Axel, the rock star of all morticians. You know this guy just slays the babes, as within 10 seconds of meeting him he puts his sandwich on a dead body and makes a necrophilia joke. I’m surprised he didn’t put Jason’s mask on and go running into Chris’ recovery room, then tell everyone how the girl in room F13 is a bitch who couldn’t take a joke.
Anyway, after they drop off Jason’s body, Axel gets tired of wasting his time at work with work and instead hunts down a hot nurse. There’s one who happens to be helpless to Axel’s charms, as some girls just can’t resist a guy with multiple date rape charges. I’ve employed some of Axel’s techniques myself, and lemme tell you, there isn’t a girl alive who can resist a guy that watches weird exercise/fetish/soft core porn videos. They’re like bees to honey. Even though she’s all about Axel, at one point she calls him “the Super Bowl of Self-Abuse”. Now you know, you just KNOW that someone was woken up over that line. That the person who wrote it immediately woke up a loved one, or a stranger, whatever, to tell them about the line that will cement their spot on a future episode of Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous, with the house that The Super Bowl of Self Abuse built. Anyway, they start making out in the morgue, and the girl gets freaked out because Jason’s hand falls off the gurney and brushes her.
God, leave it to a woman to let a simple thing like touching a corpse ruin the mood [“Jesus, jumpin’ Christmas, shit!”]. Well, she splits and gets back to work, and Axel gets back to his softcore jazzercise porn. Just as he’s getting into the zone, Jason finally returns and saws about half-way through Axel’s neck with a bone-saw before retching it 180 degrees. It’s a hell of a kill that has Jason’s signature rage written on it. He soon catches up with the nurse and guts her with a scapula.
Back over at Camp Crystal Lake, we meet the Jarvis family. There’s Tommy, young bad-ass who creates masks and props, and digs playing Zaxxon; his sister, who digs hunters; and their mother, who left the kids’ father in order to start up a relationship with the kitchen towel. I’m serious, she’s rarely seen in this film not toweling herself off. After this we meet a group of joyful youths who are renting the cabin next door to the Jarvis’.
First up we meet Teddy, computer engineer and botanist, as he gives his friend shit for breaking up with “BJ” Betty. I’m not sure what BJ means, probably name initials, so she’s likely named Blanch Joanna Betty or something. Well, Jimbo is a bit distressed as to why BJB didn’t accept his offer to go to the Enchantment Under the Sea dance, and Teddy, after running the information through his computer, deduces that Jimbo is a dead-fuck. Jim is displeased with the computer’s read out, and the fact that while they’re on this trip he’s going to miss his favorite TV show, Science Fiction Theater. Meanwhile, the gang passes a hitchhiker who asks for a ride, but receives taunts instead [“Ruff Ruff!”]. She anticipates these taunts as she has a sign that reads “Fuck you” all ready to go. As she sits back down to have a banana, Jason walks up and drives a knife through her throat, causing her to crush the banana in the midst of her death rattle. It’s a really well done sequence, and creates an image that really stands out.
So, the group arrives and Gordon, Trish, and Tommy all make nice and meet each other. While in bed later that night, Tommy can see across the way into the neighbors’ house and notices Sam getting
undressed, and promptly loses his shit. I mean, what kid at his age wouldn’t? I would especially, since it’s the girl from American Ninja.
Later the next day, the group heads down to the river. On their way, they meet these two girls who are about as hot as someone at a family reunion [“Twins. Count ’em, one, two”]. These girls have the capability, but the wardrobe department thought it’d be best if the girls were dressed in a style that can only be described as “sexy living room.” So, once down at the river, they start using a rope swing and Teddy loses his shit. You’d seriously think this guy was flying on a jetpack and blasting two rocket-launchers while playing in the Super Bowl or something. Even more amazing than Teddy’s reaction is the lameness of this rope-swing.
You swing for about 1/10th of a second before you crash into the water groin first, then float to the top in pain as you hear that idiot Teddy screaming like he just struck oil. Elsewhere, Trish and Tommy are heading back from town when the car gives out. Naturally, since Tommy is a 10-year-old, he’s the one who gets out to fix it. He has no luck until a friendly stranger just comes barging out of the woods with a greeting. I always thought it was funny how he just scared the hell out of Tommy, but paid that no mind and went right into the greeting. His name is Rob, and he says he’s hunting bear, but I think he’s full of crap. I think he’s hunting deer, personally.
Night arrives, and the kids start their hooting and hollering. The twins came back to the house to engage in beer shotgunning and Lion’s Love Is A Lie. This time, the twins are dressed in something
from the “Sensual Sofa” collection. One of ’em tries putting the moves on Paul, which naturally pisses off Sam, so she deals with it by going for a swim and hanging out in a raft in the middle of the lake. Jason
doesn’t take too kindly to this and drives a machete through her and the raft, then seemingly repairs it with Fix-A-Flat or something, because the raft doesn’t sink. Big deal though. Paul soon shows up and discovers the body, which sends him flying back to shore.
He tries to climb up on the dock, but oh man, does he get it. Jason drives a harpoon gun right into Paul’s junk and PULLS THE TRIGGER! Then he hoists the guy up, with all his body weight resting on the harpoon gun. Fucking brutal. Rob hears the screams and leaves his camp site in search of Jason, who is playing games with him, as he doubled back to Rob’s camp to break his rifle and crumple up his map. What a dick! Good thing Rob didn’t have any salt shakers on hand, otherwise Jason might have also loosened the tops.
Jason heads to the houses now to get some serious work done. Inside, everyone has paired off, well, almost everyone. One of the twins, Tina, has gone with Jimbo; the other, Terri, has to avoid Ted, who somehow can’t seem to close the deal, despite the fact he’s pulled out the goods: 1940s stag films. What woman could resist? Well, she decides to leave and gets impaled by Jason for her troubles. It’s an
awesome shot that works in the “less is more” vein. Sarah and Doug head upstairs, while Jimbo has just done the deed with Tina, and does the one thing that turns chicks on big time, asks how he was in a very meek manner. That sort of stuff drives them wild. Well, he heads downstairs to flaunt his conquest with Ted, and they decide they need to celebrate.
We then get one of the greatest scenes in Friday history as Jimbo asks for the cork-screw [“Ted! Where’s the cork-screw? Ted?!”], only to get it shoved through his hand, and a meat cleaver driven through half his skull. It’s an awesome effect, and one I’m surprised wasn’t completely cut. It’s fantastic. Back upstairs, Tina looks out the window and notices that her sister’s bike is still around. She gets a closer look when Jason pulls her through a window and sends her crashing down onto a car below. It’s great, one of the best of the series. They used true slow-motion to film the scene, as opposed to just slowing it down in post.
Afterwards, Ted is still watching the stag films, and even Jason is annoyed with them at this point, cutting the film reel and then stabbing Ted in the back of the skull with a kitchen knife. While all this is going on, Sarah and Doug are canoodling in the shower, and Sarah decides to hop out and dry off while Doug finishes up. While she’s drying her hair, Jason shows up and crushes Doug’s skull. Just like a woman, you know? She’s around when it’s kissy time, but when skulls start getting crushed, where are they?
She soon gets hers, as she wonders why Doug is no longer singing, and finds him bloody, beaten, and lying in shards of broken glass. She runs downstairs in hopes of getting outside, but the front door is locked. As she fumbles with the door-knob, a piece of the door explodes and an axe buries itself into her chest.
Trish and Tommy arrive home to discover their mother is missing, and Trish heads out to find her. She eventually comes across Rob’s tent, and he explains what it is he’s really up to. His sister, Sandra [the girl who was shishkabobbed in part II] was killed, and he’s out looking for revenge. They decide to head back to her house to warn Tommy, and then saunter on over next door, which I always thought made Trish the worst sister ever. Sure, OK, show up with Handsome Forrest Hobo, scare the living hell out of me, and then leave.
They head next door and soon discover that Jason is in fact here. Rob tries to fight him, but apparently the karate he studied at the YMCA didn’t do him a lick of good, as Jason drives a garden too into his chest over and over again. It’s a pretty gnarly scene, as it’s very dark and you can barely make out what’s going on. This once tough guy is now in full-blown panic mode, as he realizes how real shit is getting and that he’s in fact going to die. Although, I think it would have been better without him yelling “He’s killing me!” Well no shit. What did you think he was going to do? He already warned you with the crumpled map.
Trish high-tails it out of there, but has trouble as Jason has planted bodies all over the house, the most awesome being Jimbo hung up like a net in the doorway. She escapes via a window, heads to her house and uses a few nails to hammer things shut, which should stop Jason good and well, but he just throws Rob’s body through a window. He finally gives up on being subtle and just busts through the front door and shucks a hammer at Trish, which crashes into the wall. Now, the reason I bring up this minor detail, is because I can’t explain what’s going on with the hammer. Look at your copy of Friday 4. What is the hammer stuck to? It looks like someone just glued the top of it to the wall, as it’s sticking straight out. Odd.
So, Jason and Trish have one of the series’ best chases, as Jason is legit scary in this one. He’s hulking, menacing and in a pissed-off frenzy. This film is full of incredible shots, but one of, if not the best, is when Trish arrives back home and stops to catch her breath for a moment. Then, from behind, out of focus, Jason stalks into frame out of the shadows. It’s very unsettling. Of course, it’s at this point they do major battle, and Tommy drives the machete into Jason’s skull, creating one of the series’ greatest deaths [“DIE! DIE! DIE!”]. I seriously can’t believe they got away with it, because it’s so brutal, and so bloody.
Official Slasher Movie Encyclopedia Tally:
Slow Motion Scenes: 4
Foot Chases: 2
Fake-Out Scares [ie, a cat]: 8
Car Stalling: 1
Instances of Drugs/Drinking/Sex: 5
Warned But No Belief: No
Released on April 13, 1984 by Paramount Studios to 1,594 theaters. Friday The 13th came in at #1 for the weekend with a total of $11,183,148 and an average theater take of $7,015. At the end of its run, it brought in $32,980,880, with a paltry budget of $2.6 million.
Things You Need To Know In Order To Survive:
Judie Aronson [Samantha], developed hypothermia and become very sick due to her filming of the scene in the lake. A prosthetic body from the shoulders down was in the raft, while the rest of her was in the lake, which happened to be freezing. Zito wouldn’t let her get out between takes, and it took her lips turning blue, and Ted White threatening to quit for her to finally get proper treatment.
Due to the previous incident, as well as others, Ted White & Joe Zito butted heads, so much so that White demanded his name be taken off the film, which is why he’s uncredited and why he turned down the chance to play Jason in following sequels. It’s something he admits to regretting.
The dance that Crispin Glover [Jimbo] does was in fact something he was doing in clubs. He said during a Q&A once that the original song being used was Back In Black by AC/DC.
Lawrence Monoson [Teddy Bear] decided to be a method actor for his death scene, and got stoned before filming. He said he became increasingly paranoid and was one of the most unfavorable events in his life.
After Jason arrives in the morgue, there’s a moment where we’re left with him on the gurney and no one around. At this point we see something move underneath the sheet. Zito had actually called cut, and Ted started moving. The camera caught this, and they chose to use it. Wise decision, I think.
Apparently the character of Rob was supposed to have some sort of high-tech Jason tracking equipment. But the props looked lame, so they didn’t use them. It’s 1984, what on Earth would he have used? A Jason Alarm that beeps, and tells you what cabin he’s in?
The video Axel is watching is called Aerobicise, and actually stars Darcy DeMoss, who later went on to play Nikki, Cort’s girlfriend in Jason Lives.
Camilla Moore [Tina] actually auditioned for the role of Samantha, but when they found out she had a twin sister they offered them the roles of Tina & Terri.