Friday The 13th Part V: A New Beginning gets a lot of flack from both casual & hardcore fans of the series, and I’m here to set the record straight; that’s a bunch of malarky. Friday 5 is a fine addition to the series
The film starts off as most of them end, with someone running through a rain-soaked forest. We quickly discover that it’s Tommy Jarvis from The Final Chapter. He comes to a clearing where Jason’s grave happens to be. It also looks like the Voorhees family paid for the ‘Express Package’ at the funeral home because his tombstone almost looks like it was made out of ardboard. Before Tommy can get too close he sees some flash-lights in the distance and ducks behind a bush out of sight. The flashlights belong to two guys looking to dig up Jason. They succeed, and for their troubles they get a machete to the gut and a spike to the throat. Jason then rises from his coffin and aims to do some major damage to Tommy Jarvis and his Paddington Bear coat, but before the strike comes down, the adult Tommy wakes up in the back of a van, as it was all a dream. Tommy’s no longer the Zaxxon playing, mask making, peeping on the naked neighbors kid we all knew and loved. Now he’s a squeamish, rage filled mental case who’s the pride of the Unger Mental Health Institution. He’s being dropped off at a halfway house, ran by Dr. Matt Letter, for those who are preparing to “re-enter society”. One of the first people he meets is a brat named Reggie, who enjoys throwing plastic spiders in people’s faces and then giving them shit for it. Due to Tommy’s track-record, the kid’s lucky Tommy didn’t make him jump up his own ass or something. Soon after their introduction we hear sirens as everyone runs outside to see what all the commotion is. Turns out two of the kids, Tina & Eddie, staying at the half-way house were off on private property touching each other’s private property. Oh snaps. See, see why I’m a writer? Anyway, we soon meet the owner of the property, a crazed hillbilly women, Ethel, and her son Junior. They’re about as stereotypical as you can get, and often steal the show. They don’t much care for this place, and make it well known they’ll kill anyone who shows up on their land again.
We quickly meet the other kids, a red-haired girl named Robin, a nu-wave girl named Violet, and a shy kid with a stutter named Jake. There’s also Victor, and Joey, who we’re about to meet now. He comes out with his chocolate bars and is basically annoying everyone with his messiness and constant need to talk while people are busy. Victor, a guy who gets pissed off at the site of logs is going to town on a piece of wood with an axe when Joey comes along with his chocolate bar, and completely steps over the line when he offers Victor one. Vic, having no choice in the matter, begins to bludgeon Joey with the axe while everyone screams in horror. The paramedics show up with the meat wagon, and while one acts like it’s nothing, the other seems to be rather troubled by all this. Later that night, two guys who are on their way to what I can assume is a classy, black-tie affair, when the car breaks down. The one stuck working on it catches a road flare in the mouth, while the other one ends up getting his throat slit via a machete. Honestly, he should have received the road flare because he was annoying as hell, and dressed like the punk-scenes version of the Village People. Else where, one of the guys who works for the Unger Institute, Billy, arrives at a road-side diner to pick up his girlfriend. Naturally, because she’s a woman, she takes forever to get ready and as a result of it Billy catches an axe to the head and she catches an axe to the chest. So, to be on the safe side, I never get ready for anything nor allow anybody I’m with to get ready for anything. No one’s catching me with an axe.
Naturally, with all the murders going on, officials want whoever this is found and delt with. The Sheriff has an idea, as he states it’s Jason Voorhees. This has to be the first time in horror movie history where it’s the POLICE who are trying to convince people. Meanwhile, Tommy is on edge as he’s seeing visions of Jason as well as proving he may be the world’s greatest fighter. As the day goes on, Tina & Eddie decide to shirk responsibility and engage in some lewd activity out in the woods. Tina is ridiculously hot, and her real last name is Voorhees, how cool is that? While they’re doing their thing, Ethel’s farm hand catches a machete to the gut, which is why I always look over both shoulders when I’m being a peeping tom. It pays to be safe.
Eddie feels the need to wash up, and while he’s gone, Tina catches hedge-clippers to the eyes, which are then CLOSED. Eddie soon catches an equally brutal murder when his skull is crushed with a leather strap.
Later in the evening, Reggie asks if he can head to the local trailer park and visit his brother, Demon, who’s in town. Pam, one of the employees at the house, agrees to take him and they also talk Tommy into joining the venture. Sure, why not. You may get bored and want to see if Tommy can karate chop a person in half like a wooden board. They arrive at the trailer park and enjoy some smoke, food, and drink with Demon in his palatial van. While there, Tommy encounters Junior, who decides it’d be wise to pick a fight. Well, Tommy obliterates the guy and is just about to snap and kill him when Pam stops him. Tommy runs off, so Pam & Reggie part ways with Demon and drive off after him. While they’re gone, Demon uses the outhouse, and his girlfriend thinks it’s funny to shake the damn thing while he’s doing his business. I tell you, if that had been me, if she hadn’t been killed I would have done the deed myself. Roy probably saw her doing that and thought “Holy shit, that’s so annoying. She’s gotta go. Well, while I’m at it, Demon has to go to, I can’t let that jerri curl mullet go unpunished”. With that, Demon catches a spear through the gut. Over on the farm, Junior is riding around his motorcycle, screaming about how they hurt him. Before doing too many laps, Roy takes his head-off, and the dispatches Momma with a meat cleaver to the face.
Back at the house, Reggie has fallen asleep while Pam has gone off to find Tommy. Meanwhile, Roy has worked his way into the house and begun with the dispatching of it’s residents. Jake tries to put the moves on Robin, but is of course shot down. He tried to hop on the good-foot and do the bad thing, so he catches a meat cleaver to the head. Robin is soon taken care of with the classic machete from under the bed trick. Violet is in her room, trying her best to one-up Jimmy’s Dead-Fuck Dance Moves. Roy is able to get to her, as she’s unable to notice there’s someone else in her room because of it’s massive 3×3 size. At this point Reggie wakes up and attempts to find everyone. He does, but they’re all dead. Pam arrives home, and Reggie shows her what’s been going down since she left. They attempt to leave the house, when they meet the near-do-well in one hell of an entrance. He blows open the door like Jason Voorhees being played by Jean-Claude Van Damme, it’s fantastic. The chase begins, and within the chase we find that Matt’s been killed, as well as Reggie’s grandfather.
At one point, Reggie manages to hop on a tractor and run down Roy, who only has about a minute or so’s time to get out of the way, and thus clearly doesn’t have enough time. Naturally, it’ll take more than a tractor to take down anyone who dons the moniker of Jason. They take it to the barn for a machete vs chainsaw brawl before they crawl up to the top and Tommy shows up. He believes the Roy/Jason to be a hallucination until it slashes him in the chest. He makes it up to the loft with Pam & Reggie, where Roy finally meets his end by falling into the pit from Mortal Kombat. This is suppose to be the big reveal, but it looks nothing like Roy as far as I’m concerned.
Afterward at the hospital, we discover that Roy was actually Joey’s father, and was very pissed that someone killed the child that he abandoned and didn’t ever visit. Tommy is laid up, and has a dream where he kills Pam. After waking up, he opens up his drawer to reveal that he still has the hockey mask that Roy used. He makes it seem as if though he’s fled the hospital, but in fact he’s waiting behind the door with a knife when Pam walks in.
Official Slasher Movie Encyclopedia Tally:
Slow Motion Scenes: 1
Foot Chases: 1
Fake-Out Scares [ie, a cat]: 5
Car Stalling: 2
Instances of Drugs/Drinking/Sex: 2 drugs, 1 drink, 1 sex
Warned But No Belief: No
Released on March 22nd, 1985 by Paramount Studios to 1,759 theaters.It came in at #1 for the weekend with a three-day total of $8,032,883, and an average theater take of $4,566.At the end of it’s run
it ended up bringing in a domestic total of $21,930,418, on a budget of $2.2 million.
Things You Need To Know In Order To Survive:
The parts with Corey Feldman were shot during a break he had while filming Goonies, and was actually filmed in his back yard. That’s why you never actually see him in the same scene as the grave or Jason.
In one of the original drafts of the script, Tommy’s original dream had him in the hospital with Jason’s body. He goes into a rage, attacking people until he gets to Jason’s body to confirm he’s dead, only for him to rise off the slab.
It took 9 trips to the MPAA in order to get an R rating, and stands as the most heavily edited of the series.
Danny Steinmann was originally set to write & director Last House On The Left 2, but when the project fell through he was offered A New Beginning, which ended up being the final film he directed.
Violet’s original death was suppose to take place while she was doing gymnastics and catches a blade between the legs. Naturally the MPAA wasn’t having that, so we got the far more generic stabbing.
Had the film been well received, John Sheppard & Melanie Kinnaman would have been brought back for the sequel.
In real life, Violet’s mother is the woman who plays Kristen’s mother in A Nightmare on Elm Street: Dream Warriors.
This film gets such a horrible rep, and I think it’s pretty unfair. Most people complain that it’s “not Jason”. Who cares? How would it have been ANY different had it been Jason? It’s a dude in a hockey mask who’s killing people in brutal sometimes inventive ways. I never understood that complaint. Perhaps if the killer had been running around with a different sports mask, like one of those nose-guard things that basketball players wear and the guy killed people by exposing them to 2nd hand smoke & asbestos, I could understand. But that isn’t the case. With all that said, while I still enjoy this film and like it plenty, it’s one of my least favorites of the series. So many of the kills are generic, and the MPAA completely stripped this film of any flare it had. The cast is a bit bland, but at times there are highlights, such as Tina’s boobies, and the over-the-top craziness of the hill billies. I applaud Paramount for trying to go a different route, but Jason is the man, and that’s why people come to the show. I think it deserves more respect, and is a necessary & worthy inclusion in the series. Oh, and I resent any implication that the Jason figure in the pictures is the result of me taking a hockey mask from one of my Jason figures and slapping it on my Michael Meyers figure.
3 & 1/2 Head-Butts out of 5