Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986) – Tom McLoughlin

Jason (C.J. Graham) is back for another go around, as he gets resurrected and is now a truly unstoppable killer. Tommy Jarvis (Thom Matthews – the third actor to play the role, another problem that causes a lack of empathy and continuity with the character) is no longer in a mental institution, but he’s still haunted by Jason Voorhees so he’s determined to dig the body up and cremate it.

Unfortunately he and Horseshack, sorry, Allen (Ron Palillo) arrive just in time for an electrical storm, and with a couple of lightning strikes, Jason crawls out of his grave and Tommy finds he’s got to try to stop Jason one more time as he heads back to Camp Crystal Lake, now re-christened Camp Forest Green to put the past behind them.

Nobody believes Tommy, and the local sheriff’s daughter Megan (Jennifer Cooke) and some of her friends are serving as Camp Forest Green’s new councilors. And of course, that is is just going to be a problem, and the body count starts to climb.

Featuring songs by Alice Cooper, and a wonderfully playful sense of humour, the film features special effects coordinated by Martin Becker, which serve as a step up from the previous film, and again, show off a sense of humour (the paintball sequence is great!).

And you obviously need one. Sure there was a sense of Jason being unstoppable and being a little paranormal before. He was supposedly drowned in the lake, and yet he springs out of it at the end of the first, and stalks folks inthe following films. But this time, by having him brought to life Frankenstein style, Jason establishes himself as the incarnation of the classic monster.

This is a short instalment, not even clocking in at an hour and a half, but it does end up being pretty fun, and there’s that great image of him floating at the bottom of the lake. That one stays with you.

Tony Goldwyn shows up in the first part of the film, and doesn’t last long, but his and his partner’s deaths are pretty damned cool.

The series continues to be enjoyable for what it is, and it’s a great time capsule of slasher film of the 80s, and a great example of practical effects on screen. I mean, these films are just popcorn films, they aren’t for everyone, but if you can turn your brain off, settle in for some fun, then the series, at this point, continues to entertain.

I guess we’ll see what happens next time, when Jason gets out of the lake, and the series gets an even more supernatural bent by given us a telekinetic young woman in Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood!

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