Home Year 1981 Friday The 13th Part 2 (1981)

Friday The 13th Part 2 (1981)

This was THE look in 1981. Honest.
This was THE look in 1981. Honest.

Twitter Plot Summary: It’s more of the same, but this time Jason shows up to do a bit of killing instead of letting his mum have all the fun.

Five Point Summary:

1. Oh look, another group of innocent teenagers.
2. Oh look, more gratuitous female nudity.
3. So… are we just repeating the plot of the first film here?
4. Yet more blood and screams…
5. Nice fashion sense, Jason. Pillow cases over your head are all the rage.

Friday The 13th Part 2 opens with an extended montage which covers the final moments of the first movie, which seems a touch excessive given the 86 minute run time of this mostly unnecessary sequel. Still haunted by the deaths she witnessed at Camp Crystal Lake, sole survivor Alice gets a few minutes of screen time to establish her mental anguish before she’s swiftly bumped off by an unknown assailant. Sorry anybody who was expecting a surprise in this respect, but it’s typical slasher horror territory and you should know by now that anybody who returns from a previous movie will die. It seems that despite everyone dying, there is still unfinished business at Crystal Lake for Jason Voorhees.

We then move quickly on to the new batch of nubile teens who are either so young and pert it’s nigh-on intolerable or so ridiculously stupid they deserve everything that happens to them. They are all training to be counselors at a lakeside camp not far away from the infamous Camp Crystal Lake. Predictably, another killer has reared their mostly obscured face and begins to bump off the new counselors. As if they didn’t have enough on their minds beyond learning a new job and trying to keep their hands off each other.

The grindhouse horrors are still predominant throughout with each death being typically violent and slightly gory, and wisely this sequel doesn’t outstay its welcome – there’s only about 75 minutes of new material if you ignore the opening montage and the end credits. This is for the best, as to stretch it out much further would be spreading an already thin story too far. There really isn’t enough here to warrant a feature length running time, and compares quite unfavourably to the original. In fact it’s basically the same story but with a burly male killer rather than the rather meek-looking Mrs Voorhees. Any and all attempts to explain events are thrown out the window in favour of following the same template as part 1 almost to the letter. It gives the impression that they didn’t write a new script, just crossed out the old character names and put new ones in.

Despite suggestions she should take her top off, she quickly realised that keeping her top ON was the only thing keeping her alive.
Despite suggestions she should take her top off, she quickly realised that keeping her top ON was the only thing keeping her alive.

If there was any doubt about the franchise being nothing more than cheap exploitation, then Part 2 cements it. Women regularly strip down to nothing for no reason at all other than to demonstrate they’re young enough for things not to sag, and libidinous teens are killed just for thinking about having sex – they receive a far more violent punishment if they’re actually caught in the act.

It’s abundantly clear that Friday the 13th only really stepped into franchise territory once Jason put on the now iconic hockey mask and morphed into the unkillable machine he would become in later franchise efforts. These early productions either don’t feature him at all or show him running round looking like some incompetent yokel killer who has signed up to become a member of the Ku Klux Klan. In this guise Jason is a frankly incompetent killer. Perhaps he should have focused more on perfecting his killing techniques rather than fashioning a mask out of an old pillow case, he might have been something worthy to write about that way.

Score: 1.5/5

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