Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988)
Director(s): John Carl Buechler
Writer(s): Daryl Haney, Manuel Fidello
Starring: Kane Hodder, Lar Park – Lincoln, Terry Kiser, Kevin Blair
My SPOOKtacular pals; the season is once again upon us where freaks like us are a dime a dozen, almost in that weird hipster way where we knew it was cool from the start but everyone seems to get on board and we get super resentful. Wait a tick, no, no, no; not going to be cynical this time of year because this my friends, is my Christmas, my Birthday, or any other holiday where you are almost brainwashed to feel joy, this is Halloween for me folks. In the spirit of joy, I wanted to share with you folks a film that always reminds me how giddy a horror film can make me without scaring me once. You can make the argument that I was probably desensitized early in life with most scares but still, this is the kind of flick that transports me back as a child laughing on the couch because of how much fun a horror flick can bring.
Now, let me first say that as a Friday the 13th fan (don’t believe me, SHAME ON YOU…and click HERE), I realize this installment does not have a lot of scares (practically none) and hell, even from a KILL – tertainment factor, none of this flick’s kill scenes even make it to my top 10 (again, all you doubters can make your cynical way over HERE). So the question is, why all the romantic memories of laughing and clapping as a child watching this flick for the first time? SHOWDOWN. That’s right folks, after the first six Friday the 13th flicks under my belt (even the dreaded 5th film in the series….UGH). I was surprised in the best kind of way that this film boasts an actual match for the unstoppable Jason Voorhees. We spent at least three flicks focusing on Tommy Jarvis, my main man who took out Jason Voorhees as a kid and twice as a young adult. Naturally, I thought it’s either they bring Tommy’s character back or they create a new survivor that would be one and done or kept around for a few more flicks. To my delightful surprise, this was definitely not the case; not even in the same playing field. No, this flick was unique because Jason Voorhees went toe to toe with a TELEKINETIC TEEN.
Yes, you read that right, a teenager who can move things with her MIND. After six flicks of people surviving Jason Voorhees with traps, sheer brutality or cleverness, now there was someone who can challenge supernatural brutality with supernatural powers. It’s a slow burn but from the very beginning; you can tell that an eventual showdown would take place and boy does it deliver. The special effects were not as great of course, but the idea that a classic slasher taking on someone that was CLEARLY inspired by the likes of Stephen King’s Carrie, made it seem like this was my first Horror crossover! The movie focuses on a troubled kid who discovers she has the ability to move objects with the power of her mind and proceeds to accidentally kill her abusive father. Ten years later, she is now a young adult (played by cutie, Lar Park – Lincoln) and at the advice of her doctor (Terry Kiser) goes out into a cabin in the woods to help with her mental issues…and yes, this cabin happens to be near Camp Crystal Lake where she inadvertently resuscitates a dead Jason Voorhees from the lake (what’s with this lady and horrible accidents?!?!?).
A telekinetic teen however was just half of the reason that makes this one of my favorite edition of the Friday the 13th series (just a hair behind the 4th flick). This was the first time I had the pleasure of seeing the work of Mr. Kane Hodder. As a kid, I remember thinking that when Jason Voorhees finally donned the infamous hockey mask in the third flick, there seemed to be a movement about him that had slowed down but was much more menacing. When I think of how Jason Voorhees moves however, it always came back to New Blood and seemed to be established throughout the series. I was pleased to find out later on that it was the same actor who donned the hockey mask from Friday the 13th VII to Jason X. That classic Jason Voorhees walk, stare, tilt of the head and all of a sudden power – walk to maim his victim was classic Hodder. There was a brutish way that Jason Voorhees walks; not too slow like a zombie (Jason vs. Freddy version, I’m calling you out pal) and not too fast like he’s an amateur (Sorry Part II Jason, you were just a teen yourself I suppose) but a pace where he can strike at any moment with the speed and voracity of a grizzly bear but takes the time to stalk you like a lion. This was my Jason Voorhees. Kane Hodder will ALWAYS be my Jason Voorhees.
Mr. Hodder, I bought my first Jason Voorhees replica mask when I was 12 and proceeded to mimic your movements. As creepy as that sounded, I just admired your take on a silent slasher, so thanks!
This is the reason that the 2015 inductee to my FEARtastic Legends Vault goes to Kane Hodder as Jason Voorhees!
Jason Voorhees (Kane Hodder)
Friday the 13th Part VII/VIII, Jason Goes to Hell, Jason X
Life is FAR more interesting when we take interest in things that scare us.