blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

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

Director McLoughlin tries something new for the Friday the 13th franchise; he makes Jason Lives a monster movie. A really bland, not even slightly creepy and only once surprising, monster movie. It’s not notable for it failing to be a good monster movie, it’s notable because McLoughlin’s so sincere about it.

McLoughlin, who also scripted the entry, is also sincere about making the film accessible. No, really, there’s no other reason to have a bumbling executives playing paintball than the make the film accessible. McLoughlin wants people to enjoy Jason Lives.

Unfortunately, his script is lame and his direction of actors is weak. His composition is bland, predictable and never effective, but a lot of it is cinematographer Jon Kranhouse. The movie’s terribly lighted. And, even worse, Harry Manfredini’s score is laughable. It’s never scary. He’s going for that monster movie vibe McLoughlin wants.

In the lead performance, Thom Mathews is terrible. As his love interest, Jennifer Cooke gives a perfectly adequate performance in an unbelievable role. As her father–and the sheriff after Mathews–David Kagen is real bad. There are a lot of actors in a Jason Lives, sometimes too many to track, but none of them are good.

Jason Lives also distinguishes itself by putting children in danger of being brutally murdered by a resurrected by lightning slasher monster. McLoughlin can’t even make that sequence scary; he can’t even create empathy for children in danger.

Jason Lives is rather bad, even as a Friday the 13th movie.

One response to “Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI (1986, Tom McLoughlin)”

  1. Matthew Hurwitz

    I have a friend who’s a huge F13 mark and he loathes this one for its genial quasi-mainstream tone. I can empathize; the unironic scrunginess of the previous 5 films was the best thing going for them. For a lot of fans, though, this one is their favorite. The series never had two consecutive entries as stylistically far apart as the gleefully misanthropic A New Beginning, followed by McLoughlin having a comic drunk turn to the camera and say “Some folks sure have a strange idea of entertainment.”

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