FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 2- recent Paramount DVD release
4 stars       Cheese Rating: 50% Fiesty Frommage!

"The body count continues..."

directed by: Steve Miner
starring:Amy Steel, John Furey, Adrienne King, Kirsten Baker, Stuart Charno, Warrington Gillette, Marta Kober, Tom McBride, Bill Randolph, Lauren-Marie Taylor, Russell Todd, Betsy Palmer, Cliff Cudney, Jack Marks

(back of video blurb):

       "Just when you thought it was safe to go back to camp ... here's even more heart-pounding terror.

       Five years after the horrible bloodbath at Camp Crystal Lake, all that remains is the legend of Jason Voorhees and his demented mother, who had murdered seven camp counselors. At at nearby summer camp, the new counselors are unconcerned about the warnings to stay away from the infamous site. Carefree, the young people roam the area, not sensing the ominous lurking presence. One by one, they are attacked and brutally slaughtered. Suspense and screams abound in this compelling thriller."

choice dialogue:

"A few words... Axes, knives, lanterns, swords- they can all be trouble.
Their misuse is the main cause of camp accidents."

- Paul makes the mistake of tempting fate

slash with panache?

       A wham-bam-double-impale-me-ma'am follow up to Sean Cunningham's highly successful, but critically loathed, FRIDAY THE 13TH (1980), which, despite being a virtual remake, is a whole lot of fun. As the ads screamed, "The day you count on for terror is not over...".

       It starts, at night, with a little girl jumping through puddles on a deserted street, singing "...istsy bitsy spider crawled up the water spout. Down came the rain and washed the spider out". Her Mother yells to her to come inside, and, as she runs out of shot the familiar "chh, chh, chh... hah, hah, hah" begins; and a new set feet appear and purposefully stride towards a nearby house.

       Inside, alone, is Alice (Adrienne King)- the sole survivor of FRIDAY THE 13TH. She's lying asleep on her bed, but it's clear from her theatrical tossing and moaning that she's having some kind of bad dream- it's a nightmare we're treated to, mostly made up of the choicest moments from the end of the first film (culminating with the censor trimmed but still Alice (Adrienne King) finds out the hard way that not all slasher movies have happy endings...quite juicy beheading of the incomparable matronly psycho, Mrs Voorhees (Betsy Palmer)). We are further left in little doubt that Alice is having a hard time overcoming the events of that night- of that Friday the 13th; her hair is all mussed and huge, and she's taken to painting tortured self portraits. She tells her Mother on the phone that "I just have to put my life back together and this is the only way I know how!"; before jumping in the shower (which is only the first of a whole cavalcade of slasher movie clichés, which also includes the phone ringing and there being no one at the other end; and that old chestnut- the cat leaping (or in this case being thrown by a crew member!) through a window. In-fact practically the only thing that doesn't happen is Crazy Ralph popping up from behind the sofa and telling her that she's "do-o-omed!"- (that comes later). ... To be honest I can't watch this bit without the trailer playing in my head- "On a June night in 1980 ... Friday the 13th ... twelve of her friends were murdered ... Why should Friday the 13th 1981 be any different?". Indeed. ... After all this Alice is understandably a little jumpy, so she puts the kettle on to make herself a nice cup of sugary tea to calm her shattered nerves. Much to her horror though, when she opens the fridge, to get her kitty something to eat, she finds Mrs Voorhees skanky severed head sat next to the cartons of farm fresh milk! Before there's much chance to react she is grabbed from behind by a mystery assailant (guess who!), and has a screwdriver rammed through her temple... Cue the FRIDAY THE 13TH logo looming out of the screen, before cheesily exploding to reveal the legend - 'part 2'...

Crazy Ralph (Walt Gorney) stubbonly refuses to change the record...       The film proper starts with two teens, Jeff (Bill Randolph) and Sandra (Marta Kober), stopping off to make a phone call in a sleepy town. Like the unfortunate hitchhiker, Annie (Robbi Morgan), in FRIDAY THE 13TH, they are given a bit of a shock when local loon, Crazy Ralph (Walt Gorney), creeps up on them to dispense some of his near legendary doom-saying. Like a cracked record he blurts out, "I told the others... they didn't believe me... you're all doomed.. you're ALL do-o-med!"; before wobbling off on his rickety old bicycle. Jeff and Sandra exchange a knowing look and then carry on with their call... It turns out they are on the way to a counsellor training camp (which just happens to be next to a certain lake- and opposite a certain abandoned camp); and they link up and get a lift with a friend of theirs, a prankster (there's always one) Ted (Stu Charno), who remarks, on their Summer job, "We'll probably all get a brownie badge... if we survive!". On the way through some woods they come across a tree that's fallen across the road- blocking their way. Whilst Jeff and Ted set about shifting the obstruction Sandra remarks that "this place is spooky!", before wandering off on her own. Despite her apparent stupidity she lives (at least for the meantime!), but during her stroll she stumbles across a discarded sign for the infamous 'Camp Crystal Lake'. She shows it to the others. Ted blurts out, "Camp Blood!"; but despite pleas for more info from Sandra and Jeff, Ted just cryptically mumbles "You don't want to hear about it before lunch- believe me!". A stalking prelude to the real thing...

       At the camp the others counsellor wannabes (and potential spam-in-a-cabin) are gathering round to listen to course leader, Paul (John Furey), tell them what to expect. He gives them a timely talk on the dangers of sharp implements(!); and relays "A word of caution about our friends in the forest". Just then Paul's girlfriend Ginny (Amy Steel), child psychology major and final girl par excellence, turns up in her old banger- a Volkswagen beetle, spluttering noisily into the campground.

       Later, that night, all the group gathers around a camp fire outside one of the cabins; and, what seems was de-rigeur in a 1981 slasher movie the hoary old camp fire tale is told to eager ears. Paul whispers in a hushed tone: "I don't want to scare anyone but I'm going to give it straight to you about Jason... His body was never recovered from the lake after he Faces on Voorhees junior's shit list!drowned... and, if you listen to the old timers in town they'll tell you he's still out there. Some sort of demented creature... full grown by now... stalking... The girl who survived that night at Camp Blood, that... Friday the 13th.. She claims she saw him- she disappeared two months later... vanished... blood was everywhere. No one knows what happened to her... Legend has it Jason saw his Mother beheaded that night- and he took his revenge... a revenge he'll continue to seek if anyone ever enters his wilderness... And by now I guess you'll know we're the first to return here... Five years... Five long years, he's been dormant- and he's hungry... Jason's out there...watching. Always on the prowl for intruders- ready to kill, ready to devour... thirsty for young blood..." Now, I mentioned that the old campfire routine was fairly obligatory in any self respecting backwoods slasher from this time, well, it wouldn't be complete without some e-e-i-diot lurching out of the shadows and giving everyone a really good scare. Naturally this is no exception- the fool here being prankster Ted, dressed as a caveman, waving a spear about above his head (you just know that that spear will come in handy later). Paul then goes onto tell the reeling teens that's all he wants to hear about Jason Voorhees (although I would have thought this approach would, rather than put them off, lather them up into a frenzy!); and the abandoned Camp Blood is strictly off limits. He makes it clear that there is no Jason, and there is nothing to worry about...Bzzzt- wrong answer!

       Something is out there ... waiting ... watching ...

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