Friday the 13th part VII: The New Blood (1988)

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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)


Review

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 here.

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, the producers were unwilling to let their creation rest, and by the end of the seventh instalment you are beginning to wish that someone would just put the poor fellow out of his misery.

The New Blood

Unfortunately for Jason, the studio’s union refused to provide a dental plan.

That being said, the unedited version of the movie might 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 a totally new concept at work, with the film’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. 

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. With the permission of Tina’s mother, Crews puts his patient through a series of gruelling tests, but Tina cannot perform at will – only under immense stress or anger – something which the good Doc seems adept at inspiring.

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The Doc inspires Tina to perform a matchbook Genie.

Tina soon returns to the place where her father drowned, and after another impromptu bout of telekinesis manages to bring Jason back from the dead, an event that Crews dismisses with cod psychiatry in a thousand different ways. So Jason is on the loose, and a bunch of one-dimensional characters are left at his mercy, a familiar cast of stereotypes who as chance would have it are partying nearby in a relative’s cabin.

By-the-numbers love interest Nick (Spirtas) takes a liking to Tina and introduces her to the group, including a token bitch named Melissa who grows jealous of their burgeoning relationship. Tina begins to have premonitions about her new friends’ deaths, immediately establishing herself as a weirdo, and Melissa predictably tries to ruin her, although Nick is surprisingly understanding when he learns about his girlfriend’s life in a mental institute, bless him.  

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You mean to tell me I got a perm for this?!

Tina reports her premonitions to Dr. Crews, who immediately dismisses them as products of her pent-up guilt. Regardless of this, the good Doc offers to investigate, and when clues begin to mysteriously vanish Tina starts to doubt herself. However, it soon becomes apparent that the group is diminishing, and our heroine begins to suspect that Dr. Crews is more interested in advancing science than helping his patient, a fact that leads Tina’s mother to decide that they will leave first thing in the morning – although something tells you it will be too late by then.

Unsurprisingly, we find out that Crews has been hiding evidence, a fact that Tina’s mother stumbles upon when she plays a random, unmarked videotape and discovers the truth in a convenient five second sound byte. It seems that the Doc has been deliberately transforming her daughter into an emotional wreck in order to turn her into a performing monkey, a fact that sees him go on the defensive and threaten to lock her up again.

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Jason grew a velociraptor claw during his sixth period of decomposition.

After some snooping in the Doc’s office, Tina and Nick discover the identity of the masked killer who has been haunting her 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, in spite of the fact that they are holidaying at the place where most of those murders were committed.

Anyway, Crews finally gets his comeuppance, and with him out of the way it is time for the long-awaited 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, knocked through a staircase into the basement, 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?



Best Kill

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.


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rtape rtape rtape btape btape

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.

Cedric Smarts




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4 responses to “Friday the 13th part VII: The New Blood (1988)

  1. Interesting, I had never seen any of those deleted scenes. I wonder why the theatrical release was so censored, it makes the film feel way more aged and tame than it should have been. And it’s also interesting to see those moments without additional sound effects or music.

    I really liked the final battle in this one with Jason, and the telekinesis angle was cool but the characters are definitely uninspired even for a slasher. But I love that stupid poster and have a print myself.

    Like

    • From what I gather, the MPAA had a new head installed who really despised slasher movies and what they stood for. I forget his name, but he used The New Blood to make his point. Even Tina’s father – who emerges from Camp Crystal Lake to pull Jason under with him – was supposed to look more gruesome (kind of like a zombie from The Evil Dead) and there are actually onset pictures out there with the actor in make-up, but even that was deemed too explicit. Some people are just so in denial about human nature!

      I too own a print of the poster from The New Blood, and the final battle featured in the movie is one of the most enjoyable finales from the entire franchise. It’s just a shame that the rest of the movie is no neutered. It may have proven to be one of the best in the series.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I liked this entry in the series even though it was a by the numbers slasher.The end fight with Tina and Jason was fun.I liked the kills but I was disappointed by the lack of gore here.Seeing the scenes the way they were meant to be is great. Had they been included it would have made a better film on the whole. Great post!!I loved the deleted scenes!

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  3. Those deleted scenes – pretty graphic, no? I agree with you. It is bland and by the numbers but there is something appealing about it, and the finale with Jason and Tina is arguably the best in the series. Imagine how great it would have been in its original cut! It’s such a shame what they did to it.

    Like

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