This evening I settled down to watch Friday The 13th – Part 2.
I should have known better.
I still don’t understand the cult appeal of this series, course I am only 2 films in. It could conceivably get better, but I’m not sure its going to.
The first 6 minutes of the 86 minute film is spent giving us a flashback, through nightmare of the previous film through the eyes of the survivor. Who promptly is killed afterwards by Jason, who apparently knew her address despite the fact that he lives in the woods, and seems to have no reading skills, or social skills to find her.
But I’ll let the movie have it… I mean it’s just supposed to be fluff in the growing genre of slasher horror, but then it leaps ahead 5 years, with no change in fashion, style, or intelligence of camp counselors apparently.
Here’s the biggest problem I have with the series so far… In the first film Mrs. Voorhees tells of how Jason drowned because the counselors were too busy having sex. Now I heard her say drowned. To me that means he died.
And yet at the end of the movie we see him leap out of the water to attack the survivor.
Now if Mrs. Voorhees believed he drowned years ago and lives at the lake, and Jason didn’t drown and also lives at the lake, how big is this little lake that they never saw each other? And why wouldn’t Jason go back to see his mother? And if she knew he didn’t drown, and she did say drown, not almost drowned, but drowned, then there goes her ‘motive’ for murder. Then she’s just murdering people cause. And Jason is watching her, or just trying to get away from his crazy old mom.
We’re talking about Part 2 though, so let’s get back on target.
The film introduces a whole new group of interchangeable characters who are all eager to have sex with one another, but about halfway through the movie, half the cast goes into town to have one last night of freedom before they buckle down to the hard work of camp counselors, and that’s the last we see of them! Except for three characters, only two of which head back to the camp.
Through all this, Jason starts hunting them down, despite having to wear a bag over his head with only one eye hole.
And sadly, Tom Savini didn’t work on Part 2 so I didn’t even have his fantastic work to look forward to. Sigh.
That would’ve been something at least. Instead, I got to just watch with incredulity at the wackiness that passed for motivation, story, and lack of common sense.
To illustrate the lack of common sense I present this point…
In one sequence one of the female counselors goes into a room looking for two of her associates who she believes are in bed together, on pulling off the sheet, Jason sits up, causing her to stumble back into the corner by the OPEN door, and find one of her friends dead beside it. She stands there arm up, screaming, as Jason walks slowly, sorry menacingly, towards her with a knife, while she stands… next to an OPEN door!
The other thing I found odd was the one female counselor, who is studying to be a child psychologist, so she must know what she’s talking about, stumbles her way through the woods to Jason’s shack.
And here we find that he has a little altar made out to his dead mother, including her severed head and sweater, and a few dead bodies to spruce up the place.
Now, earlier in the film the counselor posits that Jason may have no concept of death, so she figures that if she puts on Mrs. Voorhees sweater and pretends to be Jason’s mother, he must believe that she is.
And yet this works, until Jason sees his mother’s severed head on the altar.
I don’t get it.
I guess some of the appeal in the early 80s was that the slasher genre was all brand new, and that it’s target market, despite the R rating, was teen boys, as there is a little bit of female nudity (which I am all for) but am I asking too much for a little bit of characterization and plot to go with it? If I just wanted nudity I would have the internet… oh wait…
Both films so far have seemed to be nothing more than a series of kills, strung together pretending to be a plot. Not really my thing, but hey if that’s your bag…
But I cannot really endorse, or encourage you to watch, Friday The 13th Part 2.
On the flipside I won’t stop you either…