"A gory melodrama continuing where Friday the 13 Part III finished.
All the bodies are taken to the local morgue, however, Jason is not really dead. At the appropriate moment he finds a surgical hacksaw, and yet another savage bloodbath begins.
He returns to Lake Crystal, the scene of his previous grisly murders to carry on where he left off by carrying out more bloody executions. Despite warnings, more carefree young teenagers get slashed and dismembered in loving detail.
However, one of the holiday makers is Tommy (sic), a young horror enthusuast who plays Jason at his own game, and attempts to stop him forever.
And so in its Final Chapter, Jason is brought to a grisly halt. Or is he?"
There was quite some hype around this when it came out. I was still far too young to see the damn thing at the flicks back in '84, but I remember the TV ads proclaiming this was the definitive full stop to the FRIDAY saga; a fitting close to Jason's dance of death; the one you had to watch. ... Ah, the sweet niavete of youth!
It kicks off with a veritable FRIDAY THE 13TH megamix; a STARS ON '45 monster mash: the campfire tale of Jason's revenge from PART 2, unfolds in hushed reverence to the 'doomed!' campers, following with a peppering of the cavalcade of carnage from the first three movies, ending with the legend, "Can't be alive!", emitted from flapping, goldfish mouth of an incredulous Dana Kimmell (just after she whacked an axe into the forehead of the unstoppable Voorhees junior, only to find him stretching his arms out - zombie like - before finally collapsing in a bloody heap).
THE FINAL CHAPTER's action opens proper with police helicopters hovering above the farm (the setting of the last film), searchlights blazing through the night sky. In the barn, where Jason and his final girl of choice had their big showdown, the emergency services cover the motionless man in the mask with a blanket (meaning he 'died' after he was hit with that axe; seemingly the whole sequence with the freshly undecapitated (but still wormy) Pammy Voorhees wrestling a boss-eyed Dana to the bottom of the lake was all part of La Kimmell's induced gurning psychosis (if she was ever up for the lead in a remake of FRANCES then God help us all!)).
If Jason was truly dead then this would be a very short movie. Of course, Wessex County Hospital Morgue is in for a rude awakening. If anything was likely to stir Jason from his little nap it was a horny coroner and his slightly less horny (but still up for it until the killer's 'dead' paw flops out from underneath his death blanket) nurse; bouncing ladies in tight black lycra leotards doing erotic aerobics, on TV, probably setting the final alarm bells ringing for our favourite Momma's boy. Getting out of the wrong side of the trolley, Jason (ably abetted by fx hero Tom Savini (making a welcome return to the series)) garots the goofy looking medic with a bone saw, before twisting his head off with his bare hands. He then hunts down that naughty nurse and pins her against a wall, slitting her chest open with a knife. Not a morning person, our Jase, obviously ...
Meanwhile, back at the lake, we're introduced to a single Mom and her teenage daughter, Trish (Kimberly Beck) (whose toothy niceness screams Final Girl from the outset) and younger, horror make-up obsessed son, Tommy (Corey Feldman), who go about their happy day-to-day business seemingly unbothered - or blissfully unaware - of the wholesale slaughter that happened in their leafy neighbourhood during the last few days.
If that Summer idyll wasn't enough to start a beacon burning bright, beckoning Jason to return to his old stomping ground, then the imminent arrival of car load of hormone charged teens - staying in the large gothic house next door, no less - was going to send up the flares, and no mistake. Without a care in the world the group speed to their doom on a blood soaked highway, passing the grave of Mrs Voorhees and a non-too comely hitch-hiker, who's cocking her thumb perilously close, who gorily learns the error of her ways, munching a banana so close to Momma's grave. No respect, you see.
The teens settle in for weekend of the usual: partying, smoking pot and premarital sex. They go skinny dipping, shaking their boney asses at the (no doubt watching from the bushes) Mr Voorhees, which is obviously strike one. By the time the two local nymphoid teen twin temptresses in the matching pink tops and tight shorts introduce themselves you just know it won't end well.
Still, Jason keeps his distance (just daring them to do the dirty before he makes his move, presumably). The cha-cha-tsk-tsk is reserved for a few false scares, including a particularly silly one when one teen walks into a branch (looking like it wished it was in 3D). Meanwhile, Trish and Tommy are helped with engine trouble by mysterious , hunky stranger, Rob (Erich Anderson), who claims he's out hunting bear ...
With Jason about to pounce it's about time to identify the final girl. In an uncharacteristically devious move the makers of this 'supposedly' final chapter there's also another contendor for the crown: Sara (Barbara Howard), the "Will I? Won't I?", doe-eyed gal, who seems just nice enough to snag the crown away from Trish (or will Dana come in, knife between teeth; bandana eskew, claiming the prize?). Unfortunately for Sara she blows it (quite literally!) as she gets jiggy with her chosen beau in the shower: her punishment is an axe in the chest. The unashameded fornicating and moonlight skinny dipping (which inspires the first kill of the night) causes Jason to break his cover and gatecrash the teen party. One of the twins - who comes over all shy and decides to leave the party (just not quickly enough to save her, though), is skewered in a flash of a lightening. Her sister - in the best 'jump' of the movie - is pulled through a closed upstairs window and thrown on top of a parked car (getting the requisite, cinematic exploding glass). One character is harpooned in his genitals (ouch!); the second cruellest moment comes when the dorky Jimbo (Crispin Glover)(who proves his dorkiness with an embarrasingly robotic spot of dancing to some nasty, nasty metal/new wave hybrid) - who has just proved his naysayers wrong by getting a rave review for his bedroom prowess - has the answer we've all asked at parties: "Where the hell is the corkscrew?!", answered by Jason - with no regard for social etiquette - by sticking said corkscrew bloodily in his hand, followed with an audience pleasing encore: a juicy machete to the face. However, the biggest audience pleasing kill is reserved for Ted (Laurence Monoson), who must be up for the most annoying character in the whole series; he of the toothy, grinning "dead fuck" taunts; he of the "Wanna give teddy bear a kiss?" school of seduction - he gets his comeuppance when Jason slams a machete through the back of a pull down screen (where they had been watching early last century titlilation) into the back of his silly grinning head.
Meanwhile, off in the woods, Trish comes face-to-face with Rob's big chopper. He suprises her with his trusty machete as she finds his camp, as he thinks, at first, she's Jason. It turns out that he's hunting Mr Voorhees, who he says killed his sister, Sarah, and gives Trish (and the audience) another potted history of Camp Crystal Lake's bloody legacy. Eventually putting two and two together (unkillable teen hating serial mass murderer on the loose/ household of horny teenage party monsters in the near vicinity) they hot-foot it back to the lakeside, only to find our Jase's version of CHANGING ROOMS (a splash of red in the bedroom; a crucified teen on the veranda). The party house - in grand tradition - becoming the veritable charnel house. Ignoring that age-old adage: 'don't go down to that dark cellar, you damn fool!', Trish and Rob do. Rob, for his troubles, gets a hammer to the head, whereas Trish gets the fright of her life. Next, of course, comes the slasher movie version of BENNY HILL (only missing the little guy who gets his head slapped repeatedly), as Jason chases Trish up and down stairs, out of windows and through mudfields. Escaping the clutches of Crystal Lake's mad marauder - at least for the moment - she gets home to alert little bro (Mom is dead, supposedly, but the usual version only shows her surprised look at being confronted by the (off-screen) killer, but not the actual 'kill'). However, in true FRIDAY fashion, Jason gatecrashes the touching family reunion by tossing a body through the window (the old ones are always the best). Narrowly missing a flying hammer, Trish whacks a machete down on Jason's hand (more Savini magic). Not much stops him, though, not even a TV smashed on his head (which he wears at a jaunty angle for a few seconds before collapsing, only to - inevitably - rise once again).
As the BENNY HILL music fires up again, young Tommy (inspired by the late Rob's newsclippings, showing an artist's impression of the young, deformed, baldy Jason) shaves his head, and, in true Amy Steele stylee, tries to freak out Jason (who's closing in on a panicking Trish) by being both his childhood self and mad Mom Betsy Palmer (don't, whatever you do, don't scrutinise the psychological trickery afoot!). A confused Jason is unmasked as Trish takes his trademark hockey mask off with a game strike with the machete - the sight of Voorhees' grotesquely grinning face (complete with hack marks from previous films) is creepy stuff, indeed. Of course, Tom Savini's piece-de-resistance is the moment when Jason is whacked in the side of his head with the machete; falling to the floor his horrible mug, muscles twitching, slides down the blade in gorious technicolour (a scene that was retold to me, in lipsmacking detail by a girl who looked old enough to get into see the film on its original release, as I sat on the bus wishing I was old enough to see it for myself, and a sight I was cheated of when I first watched the UK video back in 1987, or so, as it was cut at the behest of the BBFC - well, at least I've seen it all now!). However, young Tommy, spying a prostrate Jason's finger trying to flip the bird, takes the machete and gives him a sound whacking (in slo-mo), as Trish screams for him to stop ...
Of course, despite the fact that this was ostensibly the final chapter of the series, the makers couldn't help slipping in a cheeky epilogue where it's suggested that young Tommy has either been completely unhinged by his experience, or has been possessed by the Voorhees magic; either way, as the closing music kicks in we're in no doubt that the carnage will continue in some way, shape or form, but little did we know that the NEW BEGINNING would taste so God-damn cheesy ...
BODYCOUNT 14 female:7 / male:7
1) Male has throat cut with hacksaw, and then has head twisted round
2) Female has chest slit open with a knife
3) Female has knife stuck through throat
4) Female stabbed through with machete
5) Male harpooned in genitals!
6) Female impaled
7) Female killed (method unseen)
8) Male stabbed in the hand with corkscrew; machete to the face
9) Female pulled through window and thrown to her death
10) Male stabbed in the back of the head with a knife
11) Male has face crushed with bare hands
12) Female axed in the chest
13) Male gets a hammer to the head
14) Male gets a machete to the side of the head