Friday The 13th Part VII – The New Blood (1988)

Friday The 13th Part VII – The New Blood (1988)

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She's either channeling her mental powers, or she's making toilet in the lounge again.
She’s either channeling her mental powers, or she’s making toilet in the lounge again.

Twitter Plot Summary: Jason’s back, but this time he has to contend with a girl who has psychic powers. Go figure.

Five Point Summary:

1. She has psychic abilities? Rilly?
2. There’s something dodgy about that psychiatrist.
3. More people dying. Traditional territory.
4. Machete attack!
5. Well now, that was a very silly ending.

Time has once again passed at Crystal Lake and Jason has been trapped at the bottom of the lake for that entire time, again apparently dead. Naturally, that isn’t going to last for long – it’d be an absolutely awful film if Jason didn’t liven things up a little bit. The New Blood had originally been intended to combine the Friday the 13th and A Nightmare On Elm Street franchises by having Jason and Freddy face off against one another. When that didn’t pan out, the story was adapted to feature a girl with telekinetic powers instead. That girl, Tina, feels guilty after accidentally causing the death of her father years previously, and inadvertently releases Jason from his watery grave to wreak havoc anew. Other than the random inclusion of telekinesis – which true to form gets no explanation – this is standard Friday The 13th fare.

Once more another group of random teenagers happen to be in the area to act as Jason’s victims. Many of them are so identikit it’s frequently difficult to tell them apart. On the whole they’re definitely less well defined than previous teens in the series, with the possible exception of the nerdy girl who makes efforts to make herself more attractive, and the poet writer type guy who dresses in army fatigues and spouts nonsense story ideas because he’s, you know, creative and all that. Besides Jason’s return, Tina also has to contend with her antagonistic psychiatrist, of whom there is seemingly more than meets the eye.

Jason's human-shaped machete holder was saving him a fortune in lost machetes.
Jason’s human-shaped machete holder was saving him a fortune in lost machetes.

Fans of the original Transformers series should look out for Susan Blu, who played Arcee in Transformers The Movie and later served as casting director on Beast Wars. Here she plays Mrs Shephard, Tina’s mother. For everybody else, the only standout performance is Kane Hodder as Jason. He demonstrates just the right amount of menace as the masked killer, and is almost the only part of the production worth tuning in for. You would assume that portraying a mute, freakishly big killer would be easy, but Hodder somehow manages to prove that there is a way to get it just right.

While the template remains disappointingly similar to what has come before, we’re also sadly back in familiar territory as the terrible subject of poor gender politics rears its ugly head and pointless female nudity makes its return. At the same time the knowing comedic tone has completely disappeared so the deaths, whilst inventive yet again, work less impressively because they are intended to scare – which they don’t. Instead they appear to be an attempt at returning to the grindhouse tone from the earlier entries, but instead lack any sense of fear or tension. This is in part thanks to the quick cuts that shy away from all of the violence, to the point where Jason looks mildly ineffective despite having killed a vast number of people already. The biggest tragedy of all, of course, is the horrific 80s fashion which dominates everything else. In hindsight the poodle look is not a good one, and they all should’ve known better.

Score: 1.5/5

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