Tagline: On Friday the 13th, Jason will meet his match.
Director: John Carl Buechler
Writers: Daryl Haney, Manuel Fidello
Starring: Lar Park-Lincoln, Terry Kiser, Kevin Spirtas, Corey Feldman, Kane Hodder, Jennifer Banko, John Otrin, Susan Blu, Heidi Kozak, William Butler, Staci Greason, Diana Barrows, Elizabeth Kaitan, Susan Jennifer Sullivan
18 | 88 mins | Horror
Budget: $2,800,000 (estimated)
The New Blood is a mutilation of a movie, and not as a result of Jason himself, but because of the Motion Picture Association of America, who hacked away the majority of the gore and set out to castrate the franchise forever.
Because of this the movie is particularly bland. Forget the total lack of dramatic tension and technical ingenuity, more disconcerting is the complete lack of good honest gore. Because what is a slasher if not a tacky, senseless bloodbath? Well, it could be the original Halloween, but beyond that it is a movie full of one-dimensional characters just hanging around waiting for something to happen. And sadly, that pretty much sums up the audience experience.
By the time The New Blood came around Jason had been drowned, hacked, maimed, slashed, electrocuted, and had even had his neck snapped by a motorboat propeller. In spite of this, producers were unwilling to put their money-spinning creation to rest, and by the end of the seventh instalment you’re beginning to wish that someone would put the poor fellow out of his misery.
That being said, an uncut version of the movie may have turned out to be one of the better entries in the series had it not been so harshly decimated. For a start, The New Blood has one of the most interesting gimmicks of a gimmick-laden series, the movie’s heroine having the distinct advantage of possessing telekinetic powers, a gift that lands her in a psychiatric hospital after she accidentally drowns her father as a child. After years of teasing a Freddy vs Jason showdown, we got Carrie vs Jason instead, and the savvy folks at Paramount didn’t even have to pay for the rights.
Flash forward a decade and Tina (Park-Lincoln) has finally been released under the watchful eye of Dr Crews (Kiser), who feels that Camp Crystal Lake – the place where her father and so many girls her age have met their maker – is the most suitable place for her recovery and puts her through a series of gruelling tests designed to enable Tina to control her powers.
Predictably, things don’t run so smoothly, and when an impromptu bout of telekinesis brings Jason back from the dead yet another cast of vacuous teens are but a slaying from franchise immortality.
Plagued by psychic premonitions, Tina foretells the gang’s deaths, and when doctor Crews dismisses her forewarnings as products of her pent-up guilt, she begins to suspect that Crews is more interested in advancing science and making a name for himself, a suspicion that convinces her to leave first in in the morning – although something tells you it will be too late by then.
After snooping around in the Doc’s office, Tina and by-the-numbers love interest Nick (Spirtas) discover the identity of the masked killer who has been haunting our heroine’s dreams.
This is the same man who has been publicly slaying teenagers for close to a decade, and they are baffled to think who he might be, despite the fact that they are holidaying at the place where most of those murders were committed.
The New Blood was not the first ‘Friday’ instalment to be taken apart by the censors, but it was the first to make you think that a line had been crossed that there is no coming back from. Not only are the kills largely implied, they are so visually absent that you sometimes wonder what just happened, and by the time you reach the third kill you realise that the producers at Paramount are wasting everybody’s time – adhering to political standards but still happy for you to part with your hard-earned cash.
All is not lost, however, as the movie’s saving grace comes in the form a highly entertaining telekinetic showdown, one in which Jason is wrestled by trees, electrocuted, drowned in a puddle, struck with all manner of heavy furniture, headbutted by a decapitated victim, crushed by a porch, smashed through a staircase, hung from the ceiling, burnt alive, blown up, and shot several times with a pistol. Is this enough to finally put Jason away for good?
You’d think so, wouldn’t you?
Sadly, none in the final edit are worthy of the title. For the best kill, check out the raw footage included in this review and decide for yourself. With a human kebab, a heart pulled out with a fist, a crushed skull and a woman splattered against a tree among other atrocities, we are really spoilt for choice.
Most Absurd Moment
The grand finale is about as absurd as it gets, and to cap it off nicely, it is left to Tina’s father to apply the finishing touches. After almost a decade decomposing, he magically emerges from Camp Crystal Lake looking more like a catalogue model than a corpse, and drags Jason under with him. Surely blowing him up would have taken more of a toll.
Most Absurd Dialogue
This is technically a monologue.
Narrator: There’s a legend around here. A killer buried, but NOT dead. A curse on Crystal Lake, a death curse. Jason Voorhees’ curse. They say he died as a boy, but he keeps coming back. Few have seen him and lived. Some have even tried to stop him. NO ONE can.
Perhaps someone should have mentioned that to his latest cast of victims.
The New Blood is not without it’s charm, and acts of telekinetic fury like flying heads in flowerpots are something to behold, but with all the cuts it seems like something of a letdown, and is really a disrespect to the true protagonist of the movie. Sorry Jason, but your franchise will always sell tickets, regardless of the content.
VHS Revival is a non-profit venture. Any donation, no matter how small, will help towards the site’s running costs and ultimately enable us to grow. Thank you.