First on this tape, and surprisingly on BBC1, it’s Friday 13th Part VI: Jason Lives. Thom Matthews stars as Tommy, a grown up version of the character played by Corey Feldman in Part IV, the prematurely titled Final Chapter. He’s still affected by the events in that movie, and for reasons that aren’t really made clear, has decided the way to purge his demons is to dig up the body of Jason. Frankly, I’m surprised he was buried, since I presume he has no family. But there we are.
Tommy and a friend open the grave and do indeed find Jason’s maggot-ridden body, and at this point Tommy makes his first mistake. Rather than just filling the coffin with petrol and lighting it, which I believe was a plan, he grabs a big metal spike and starts stabbing it into Jason’s body. During a thunderstorm. Thus, while they are going to get the petrol, a stray lightning bolt hits the coffin and, because that’s science, Jason is revived to kill again.
The title reveal is about the one interesting thing in the whole movie, as the camera goes into an extreme close-up of Jason’s eye, then, in the iris, like James Bond down the barrel of a gun, Jason walks into shot, turns and slashes with a machete, and the resulting spurt of blood forms the film’s title. If only the rest of the movie showed a fraction of the wit of this small moment.
Tommy goes into town, ranting about Jason being alive, and the idiot cop in charge of the police station locks him up. Then we cut to a random couple in a car, and here’s where my partial face-blindness kicks in, because I genuinely couldn’t tell if the man was actually Tommy – he’s another twentysomething light haired guy with slightly curly hair, and he looked almost identical. After a minute or so, though, I realised that another reason he looked familiar is because it’s Tony Goldwyn, future president of the United States in Scandal, here playing just some machete fodder.
There’s a couple of scenes with some people doing paintballing, and I thought maybe the film would do something interesting here, but no, they’re mostly really annoying people, and they very soon get hacked up.
The rest of the movie is mostly the usual teens in danger, with the added element of actual young children at the renamed summer camp. Although the small kids get off unscathed. Tommy finally tries to kill Jason by tying a rock around his neck and submerging him in the lake, then, for good measure, they drive an outboard propeller into his face. It’s all rather lumpen, as most of the F13 movies are. And either this version is cut for TV (fairly likely) or this one had a lot less gore effects than usual, which rather leads me to ask, why bother?
BBC Genome: BBC One – 13th March 1992 – 23:35
After this, recording switches to the Movie Channel and a movie called Wicked Stepmother. I remember recording this, but don’t remember watching it. It’s written and directed by low budget maven Larry Cohen (Q The Winged Serpent).
Tom Bosley plays a policeman. He’s investigating a family that’s gone missing, and all their money has been stolen from their bank account.
They find the family soon enough – in a shoebox.
He’s looking for an old woman who’s been responsible for a string of families like this. We cut to a couple returning from holiday to find their father, Lionel Stander (Max from Hart to Hart) has married Bette Davis.
Except they see flashes of other things – including Jason’s hockey mask
And Freddy Krueger’s glove. I think this is supposed to be knowing and post-modern, but it just comes off as a bit lame.
Stander’s son is David Rasche – Sledge Hammer – and he’s a lawyer.
Arguing on behalf of a client in an IRS case, it looks like his opposition have a lot of evidence against him, but enter Barbara Carrera, who blows all the evidence around the courtroom.
Carrera and Davis appear to be swapping places, taking turns to be in their black cat. There’s a random scene on a beach, where the younger son of the family wants to join in with Beach volleyball, is pushed around by the older kids, then, thanks to Carrera’s magic, beats up a couple of the older boys, and is somehow now a hero.
Now there’s a Psycho reference as Rasche’s wife, Colleen Camp, dreams of murdering Davis.
The private detective hired by Camp to spy on Davis is undercover – as a Japanese gardener. Oh my lord.
Everyone in this film is just shouting all the time, presumably under the impression that it’s funny.
Davis/Carrera’s plan appears to be to make Stander a quiz expert, have him go on a game show and win a lot of money, then kill him and inherit it. Why she doesn’t just go on the show herself is never explained. The gameshow is another leaden parody, complete with a blonde hostess who’s overly excited.
Tom Bosley and Colleen Camp are taking witchcraft classes.
At the end there’s a big Witch-off between Carrera and Camp.
Edit to add: I wrote this a few days ago, and I’ve just seen on Twitter the news that the director of Wicked Stepmother, Larry Cohen, has died. Although I didn’t enjoy this one much, he had a great career in Genre films, and would be well regarded if only for Q The Winged Serpent. I’m so very, very sorry.
After this, there’s the start of The Wizard of Loneliness. The tape ends after a few minutes.
- trail: Music Box
- trail: Tonight on the movie channels
- Barclaycard – Rowan Atkinson
- trail: Bugsy
- trail: Cousins