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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981) Slasher


  Fridaythe 13th Part 2 (1981) - This film starts with a little girl singing and running through puddles, then a pair of adult shoes and jean covered legs walking towards a house. The unmistakable music of the Friday the 13th theme plays as we see in the house. Final girl Alice (Adrienne King) lays in her bed having a nightmare. An overly long review of the first film; where we see way too much as she covers Mrs. Voorhees explanation in the climax of the first film. When Alice does her final act of survival against the older woman and we see the final surprise scene of that movie there is no way we do not understand the starting point of the second film. The idea of this whole thing is to establish the idea that the boy Jason has supernaturally survived.
  Alice wakes from her horrible dreams and we learn she is really still not over her ordeal. When she enters the shower we get a false psycho reference, this is the lull before the storm to come. The music picks up in scary fashion and she seems a bit nervous, checking the door to see it is locked. She makes t slowly back to the rear of the apartment and hears a crash seeing an open window in the kitchen. She takes a knife for defense. Another false alarm as a cat jumps in the window. Opening the fridge she sees the severed head of Mrs. Voorhees, and then Jason grabs her and sticks an ice pick through her head. It is the start of a new film and it means the final girl from the first must be the first victim.
  Early in this film we get to know some counselors as they make their way to Chrystal Lake. As they close in at the little town Crazy Ralph (WaltGorney) makes and appearance without as much craziness this second time around. Jeff (Bill Randolph) and Sandra (Marta Kober) head out to the lake with funny guy Ted (Stuart Charno) are shown on their way to the new locale with the sole purpose of establishing that it is on Crystal Lake and that it was called "Camp Blood" On the opposite side of Crystal Lake is a training facility for camp counselors, and you and I am thinking that this can't be good. As they sit around a campfire we get the story of Jason and the killings across the lake. It is said that the mongoloid child of Pamela Voorhees saw his mother killed and is roaming the woods seeking to hurt all who enter the area. How much more set up do you need than this? It means we now know what is going to happen to these counselors in training. One really early piece of foreshadowing Ginny (Amy Steel) who will eventually be out final girl can't get her VW bug started.
  What follows are some more of the counselor introductions just like in the first film, Paul (John Furey) and Ginny are a couple, Jeff and Sandra are also. Pretty boy Scott (Russell Todd) is in pursuit of the beautiful Terry (Kirsten Baker) when she is not looking for her little dog Muffin. Then there is girl next door Vicki (Lauren-Marie Taylor) showing interest in handicapped stud Mark (Tom McBride). Mixed in with this is the death of Crazy Ralph and Jeff and Sandra wandering over to the original Camp Crystal Lake. Then the death of  Deputy Winslow (Jack Marks) after he foolishly chases someone through the woods only to come across Jason's shack, shrine to Mom, oh and the claw of his hammer.
Jason this time around has not yet chosen his iconic hockey mask to wear. Instead he stalks around with a sack over his head. In general you can guess what happens since it is well established in the first film, but since this is part two they up the ante on the creativity of the kills.
   Ralph got choked with barbed wire, the deputy got a hammer to the head. Scott, takes Terry's clothes while she swims nude in the lake but ends up stuck in a rope snare hanging upside down completely helpless. It's a creative scenario if an unrealistic one. She goes off to get a knife to cut him down but he is bait for a killer and the helpless man has his throat slit with a machete.
  Both Jeff and Sandra, as well as Vicki and Mark are gearing up for sex when they meet their makers. Did I mention another rain storm moves in further isolating people. Of course this is a continuation after all. Killing the guy in the wheelchair with a machete to the head is pretty cool, having him tumble down stairs because there are no handicap ramps is harsh. Still things get even more creative when Jeff and Sandra joined in love making get a spear through their bodies.
  Final girl Ginny and boyfriend Paul make their way back to camp to join the action. Ginny as the final girl has to fight off the attacks by Jason repeatedly. She does a great job of it too, fighting him off on several occasions. Eventually chased to his cabin in the woods she is sharp enough to put on his mothers sweater and try to convince him she is his Mom. With the help of Paul they manage to overpower the killer putting a machete through his shoulder. Of course there is another surprise ending to this story, how else would we get part three?
  This is a solid second feature on the subject and I really enjoyed how hard Ginny fought through. I did not like that every time Paul arrived she seemed to shrink into a shell instead of helping him fight the killer. Also the baffling, "it makes no sense" scene from the next morning absolutely messes up what is a solid slasher film.
Rating (6.5) 5.0 and up are recommended, some more recommended than others.

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