Friday the 13th, Part VI: Jason Lives: Deluxe Edition
In the commentary for “Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter” (which is–count ‘em–Part 4), director Joseph Zito noted that from here the remaining Fridays all had a less-human Jason. Part VI, subtitled “Jason Lives,” rings in that theme with a bolt of lightning that literally reanimates the dead Jason.
“Lives” is the third leg of the Tommy Jarvis saga, marking the third film (and third actor; this time it’s Thom Matthews) to feature Jason’s chief rival. The odd events in the finale of Part V are ignored, and Tommy this time plays the character no one believes, and is even the chief suspect when bodies start popping up again.
Tommy, then, has to battle Jason’s ghost as well as his literal body, as the citizens of Crystal Lake have moved on by renaming the area “Forest Green” and reopening what had been known as “Camp Blood” as a summer camp for kids.
Of course, we know it’s the real Jason this time, and the residents of Forest Green are ignoring the problem at their own peril.
Again, this film adopts a deep vein of black humor, with almost each kill an opportunity for a joke, from paintball players to a woman who offers Jason cash to let her live (he doesn’t take her up).
There’s also a face through the wall gag, a folding of a body the wrong way, and various other jokey kills.
As a film, Part VI is one of the better entries in the series, but may be too reliant on the comedy to be truly frightening.
DVD extras include a very insightful commentary by director Tom McLoughlin, where he offers a lot of great tidbits, among them how they staged some of the comedy kills, that John Shepard (Tommy in Part V) turned down the chance to reprise his role, and that McLoughlin’s original intention was to introduce Jason’s father in a scene that was written but never filmed. A storyboarded version (with dialog) is presented as another extra on this disc.
Also in the features: another in the “Lost Tales from Camp Blood” series, yet another mockumentary, a making-of doc, and more “slashed scenes,” where kill sequences are extended, most for merely a few seconds.
One minor quibble: the box art features an incorrect portrayal of Jason in this film. He’s wearing the “Fake Jason” mask from Part V (with the charcoal gray triangles under the eyes, rather than the single red triangle on the brow), and is wearing an oddball flannel shirt that he never wore in any film in the series.
The commentary alone is worth a pickup of this disc, but as with other entries in this series, fans will be delighted at the amount of extra material here.
Film: 3 1/2 Yaps out of 5
Extras: 4 Yaps out of 5