The Rube’s Review: Friday the 13th Part 7 – The New Blood (1988)
So, why did we have to wait a year for the next Friday the 13th movie? Believe it or not, most of it had to do with an up and coming razor-gloved psycho. Even though Friday the 13th was still a profitable franchise, some horror fans were getting tired of seeing the same masked man kill yet another 10+ campers with the same machete -been there, done that – they wanted to see something new. They wanted to be scared again. They wanted a serial killer with attitude… and what they got was Freddy Krueger. Even with only two movies, the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise was pulling in almost $60 million dollars (combined, domestic)… $60 million that should have been in Paramount’s pocket.
With tons of interest from horror fans and “What If “rumors from major media magazines, Paramount approached New Line Cinema to give the people what they wanted, Friday the 13th: Part 7 – Jason Vs. Freddy. The two companies negotiated for about a year over Nightmare rights, but unfortunately a compromise could not be made. While this was going on, New Line Cinema was about to start filming A Nightmare on Elm Street III: Dream Warriors and Paramount was scrambling to compete, so they decided to quickly green-light Part 7 of the F13 franchise and filmed it in 5 weeks. Kinda ironic that Paramount tried it’s best to buy New Line’s biggest money maker (at the time), only to sell out the F13 franchise 15 years later. Ok, enough with the history lesson, let’s get down to business…
The film starts with a quick F13: Parts 1-6 montage and a voice over that, for some reason, reminds me of the opening of The Incredible Hulk TV show from the 80’s (only, more pirate than newscaster):
There’s a legend ‘round here. A killer buried, but not dead. A curse on Crystal Lake. A death curse. Jason Voorhee’s 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. People forget he’s down there…waiting.
Then there’s a cut screen to Jason’s mask that I’m only assuming is protecting us from the LIGHT OF GOD! before it cracks in half and we see this installment’s opening credits with a soundtrack that hurts the fuck out of your ears if you have a Dolby surround sound system… MAKE IT STOP!
We open to a shot of Crystal Lake, Jason back in the water, an argument with a whinny wife and a drunk, slap-happy dad. Their little daughter, Tina (no, not Carol Anne from Poltergeist) runs away from their lakeside intervention and heads for the docks. As she pulls a speedy boat getaway, Tina’s parents stop thinking about their bullshit problems for once and go after her. Tina’s dad runs to the docks to save his special little girl, just for Tina to wish a death curse on him. As Tina gives her dad a psychic stink eye, spooky music plays (which sounds a lot like the music from Phantasm) and the dock sways back and forth, finally collapsing on Tina’s dad.
Tina (now a teen) violently awakens to reveal it was all just a flashback dream (fuck, I hate those). Her mother, with a werewolf-like hairdo, continues their drive down the road to meet Tina’s psychiatrist, Dr. Crews… I guess to help her get over her father’s death or something? They pull up to a lakehouse where they’re greeted by Doc and the next door neighbors, Rich Bitch Melissa, a nameless female extra, and Nick the Jock.
The Doc doesn’t waste any time and starts to document Tina’s off and on psychokinetic abilities… wait, what?! I thought he was going to help Tina get past the lingering guilt of her father’s death, not to play circus sideshow? Anyways, after the lamest moving matchbook trick ever documented on film (which I think is covered in chapter 3 of the Junior Magician’s handbook), Tina and Doc get into a argument about her treatment/exploitation. When it’s about to get boring as shit, the screen cuts to teens fucking in a van… whew, that was close. I was almost bored for a second. There’s another quick cut to Tina on the docks reliving another money-saving flashback. She then makes a wish to bring her father back (I guess she never read The Monkey’s Paw by W.W. Jacobs… yeah the Rube reads a book from time to time), not knowing that she just made a big boo-boo and awakens Crystal Lake’s resident bad boy.
Like a trout on fire, Jason jumps up to the docks and Tina is witness to the coolest, zombie-looking version of Jason to date before involuntarily pooing a little and faints. Tina is soon found on the docks and comes around at the cabin where she tells the Doc and Mom about seeing her father (not a 6 FOOT+ ZOMBIEMAN) but Doc just chalks it up to stress. Nick the Jock comes by and invites Tina to his brother’s surprise party next door. While that shit is happening, Michael’s (the birthday boy) car stalls on the way to the cabin and both him and his girlfriend get Jason’d™ via tent spike.
Back at the cabin party, Tina meets the rest of the not to be named late term abortions. The only two that stand out are Sci-Fi Eddie and Mousey Maddy. While getting to know everyone, Tina has a premonition of Jason stabbing one of the brat pack in the back, and runs back to the lakehouse to find a tent spike sticking out the back door. As she tells her mom about the vision and the spike, Doc violently grabs Tina and shakes her like a rag doll. He yells at Tina that it was all in her mind before going to check out Tina’s claim. When Tina and her mother join him there’s no spike to be found.
The next morning, as the kids question the whereabouts of their birthday boy, Tina and Nick skip rocks and chat about her fathers death, mental institutions, and other normal first date banter… perfect bitch fight fuel for eavesdropping Melissa to single out the “new” girl. More 90210 teen dramas ensues… just say no… yadda yadda… Melissa makes fun of Tina, Tina pyscho-snaps Melissa’s necklace, Tina makes a TV on strings float around… yadda yadda… more nudity at the 36 minute mark… Jason plays golf with a guys head using an axe (FORE!)… yadda yadda… THEN JASON FINALLY MAKES IT TO THE HOUSE!
After being rejected by the Nick the Jock, Melissa starts to heavily flirt with Sci-Fi Eddie. Back at the cabin Ma Werewolf snoops around in Doc’s office and finds the missing tent spike along with a telekinetic exploitation video. Tina overhears the Doc’s plans to have her committed for the rest of her life and takes off in a car. While driving she has another premonition of her mom being Jason’d™ in the back and crashes the car in the woods. Meanwhile, Mousey Maddy turns from geek to chic, but before she has the chance to show off her new look a dead body falls from the sky and with a quick EEK! she decides to run (in high heels) into a shed FULL OF SHARP TOOLS! Seconds later, Maddy gets Jason’d™.
As Jason is on his way to the lakehouse to kill bed-bumping Melissa and Eddie, he stops at a van thats a’rocking. Thinking it’s the belated birthday boy, the two stop their backseat bang-bang to surprise him. Turns out, Jason isn’t a big fan of surprises and crushes the boyfriend’s skull before making the girl’s head into a honking party favor. Back at the lakehouse, before Eddie can have a whack at Melissa’s Taun-Taun with his 6 inch lightsaber, she turns into Queen of the Blue Balls and says it was all an act to get Nick jealous. There’s more teens bone’n and getting Jason’d™… yadda yadda… Tina and Nick find the dead birthday boy in a tree, find a gun and Jason newspaper clippings… yadda yadda… Eddie, Ma, and Doc get Jason’d™… Tina and Nick gets separated. Tina finds the Grande Gallery in the forest and comes face to face with Jason. NOW IT’S ON LIKE DONKEY KONG!
At this point, for fans that are watching Part 7 while reading this review should take the time pause your DVD, take all necessary bathroom breaks, turn off your phones because the next 10 minutes are going to be AWESOME!
Tina strikes first by tangling the big guy in tree roots then pulls a Ben Franklin via puddle and powerline and *ZAP!* goes Jason. After being lit up like a Christmas tree, he falls down, gets up and chases Tina into the lakehouse. After poorly knocking around the masked man with a floating loveseat (sure why not?) and potted plant/severed head combo, they take the fight back outside. Tina causes the front of the lakehouse to fall on Jason and then runs back into the house to meet up with Cocktease Melissa and the Jock. Melissa says a final “fuck you” to the two lovebirds as Jason swings an axe to her pretty face, finally ending her reign of terror. Nick and Tina run to the second floor where Tina pulls a psychic wang job, knocking Jason down and though the (cardboard) staircase.
Jason (very comically) bursts through the side of the staircase wall, knocks Nick down and goes to town on Nick’s spine… but Tina ain’t going to let no walking, rotting meatloaf fuck with her man! She does another bewitching wang job on Jason’s mask straps, finally exposing Mr. Warmth’s perfect smile. Then Tina wangs an lightbulb to Jason’s noggin knocking him down to the basement below. While she goes check on her man, Jason does a remarkable NBA jump and drags Tina to the basement. She counterattacks with flying can full of nails, but that just pisses Jason off. Just when you think this has to be the final end to Tina, she wangs a can of spurting gasoline and fireballs Jason via furnace.
Jason falls down and the entire lakehouse catches on fire. Nick shows up in time to grab Tina and run for the hills before… before what? Jason is apparently defeated, so there’s no threat. Yeah, part of the lakehouse is on fire but there’s no reason to run since there’s an old wood burning furnace heating up the joint. It’s not like there’s a gas hookup, right? Why would you have a gas hookup if you have a wood burning… and before I can finish this sentence *KA-BOOM!* The explosion is so intense that the flaming fragments end up hitting the telescopic lensed film camera… well, we know where all the remaining budget went to.
Tina and Rick survive the explosion (that took place 10 feet away from them) just to be once again stalked by Jason. Before Jason can take his final revenge, Tina does one last wang job and brings her father back to life. Out of one last act of redemption, Tina’s father takes down Jason and drags him to his final resting place. The End.
Even though the undead Jason makeup looked fantastic, it wasn’t enough to save this movie from being stomped by that year’s heavy hitters like Willow, Big, and surprise mega-blockbuster, Who Framed Rodger Rabbit. Sadly, it felt like Hollywood just gave up on horror movies all together in 1988. Out of the 206 movies to come out that year, only 25 were horror movies, which would be a good number except that most were poorly written sequels or horror/family suitable comedies, such as High Spirits and Beetlejuice.
I’m not saying that all late 80’s direct-to-video horror movies were bad. Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama (yes, it’s a real movie) is one of the Rube’s favorites of the late 80’s. Unfortunately, most of these small budget films focused more on bouncing double D actresses then actual horror. Once multi-million dollar productions, the horror genre was reduced to big-boobed, direct-to-video, rubber-puppet slasher movies.
Susan Blu (Werewolf Mom) and Jeff Bennet (Eddie) may not be famous for their physical acting abilities, but both have worked for over 20 years as voice actors for countless Saturday morning cartoons and animated films including Cars, Finding Nemo, and Transformers. Terry Kiser (Doc) has played my favorite dead guy from Weekend at Bernie’s (I & II)… oh man, how the Rube loves those movies! A few others went on to do one-shot appearances on sitcoms and soap operas.
Nobody likes a cockteasing bitch… NOBODY!
If you’re not happy with you current psychiatric physician, it doesn’t hurt to find another doctor.
Camping in woods that are notorious for causing teen deaths is just a bad idea.
Bad junior-magician parlor tricks like magnetic moving matchbook or floating tv on wires.
DEATH BY SLEEPING BAG! (well kinda… death by tree with sleeping bag)
Doc getting what’s coming to him with a gas powered hedge cutter
Melissa FINALLY gets killed.
House goes KABOOM!!!!
“He left a large delusion stuck on our back porch! Why don’t you look if you don’t believe me!”
“Ok you big hunk of a man, come get me!”
“Needs a little touch-up work, my ass!”
Even though it’s supposed to be summer at Camp Crystal Lake, the movie was shot during a rainy winter in Alabama.
This is Kane Hodder’s 1st (of 3) appearances as Jason and set a world’s record in this film for the longest time a stuntman was set on fire (on screen controlled burn), which is 40 seconds.
Since Paramount was now competing with New Line for “blood money,” the director (John Carl Buechler) was told to up the gore to almost comedic levels. Unfortunately, this backfired for Paramount and all the death scenes were re-edited so F13 Part 7 could receive a R-Rating. These edited scenes included the infamous Ben’s head-crushing death scene (originally crushed down to nothing!) and the over-edited 6-hit sleeping bag scene. These original scenes can be found on the DVD or the Extras DVD in the boxed set.
The original Jason vs. Dad scene had Tina’s father in full zombie makeup but it was rumored that one of the producers wasn’t happy with it. He/she stated that Tina should see her hero as a father, not as a monster. So they reshot it, we watched it, and I still laugh at it to this day.
BODY COUNT: 15