To celebrate Friday the 13th, we look at the craziest movie in the franchise — the under-loved Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning. Put on your goth makeup, do the robot, and read on! (Image courtesy Duderult on Tumblr.)
Happy Friday the 13th, errbody. Let me start out this holiest of days by repenting — yes, I was hoping to do a Friday the 13th-focused show this week, but as the date approached, I figured out that my series knowledge wasn’t as vast as I had thought. While I had sunk dozens of hours into the abhorrent NES game and seen a few of the movies upwards of a dozen times (those of which I taped from cable or found in a bargain bin), certain chapters were a blur (Jason X is an afterthought to me), and… the hell? There was a TV show? Anyway, now that most of the movies have landed on Netflix, I plan to remedy this in time for Halloween, but in the meantime, I wanted to present an ode to my favorite movie in the franchise — Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning.
You see, this entry in the series has been maligned by hardcore fans, and understandably so, due to the fact that [SPOILER, BUT HONESTLY IT’S FRIDAY THE 13TH SO WHY DO YOU CARE SO MUCH] the killer isn’t technically Jason. Instead, some deranged cop dons the mask to avenge his son, before an all growed-up version of Part IV’ s Tommy Jarvis takes the helm at the end. [/SPOILER] However, I choose to celebrate this movie for what it does so, so right, and present the franchise’s hallmarks at their best. A New Beginning, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways:
1- SO MANY DEATHS
A New Beginning had more deaths than any other Friday the 13th before it, and by a considerable margin — the previous film was the closest with 14, while A New Beginning had 19. How did they do it? By removing the whole “only the immoral die” restriction from the previous movies (since Jason only wanted to kill irresponsible camp counselors and in this movie, well, check the spoiler). Since there’s really no counselors in this movie, a bunch of crazy halfway house inhabitants eat it. Starting, with a brutal murder committed out in the open by one of the resident nutjobs, who kills a fat dude who’s only fault was being kind of annoying and oblivious to chocolate deposits forming on his face. Check it out:
Once the masked killer is on the prowl, we get a nice mixture of classic deaths (where drunk, drugged, and horny people die), as well as a few kills that border on the unjust. In particular, one stuttering dude works up the courage (and a string of coherent words) to tell a fellow halfway house inhabitant that he’d like to make love to her, only to be rejected and murdered in short form. What a heartbreaker. Even the wheelchair dude in Friday the 13th Part II was able to get some!
2- STEREOTYPES STEREOTYPES STEREOTYPES
If you’re looking for a Friday the 13th movie with some outrageously stupid stereotypes, Part V is for you. We’ve already seen the fat dude and I’ve told you about the stutterer, and there’s a few more to come in the third entry, but I’d like to point out two of my favorite pairs out of central casting. First, there’s the “y’awl gonna die” locals, who usually take on a hillbilly-esque tone, but are just amped up to an unbelievable degree in A New Chapter. The inbred son (who I could have sworn was Randy Quaid the first few times I saw the movie) takes out his aggression after being punched in the face in a perfectly normal fashion — by riding around on a motorcycle and crying. After he’s shut up via decapitation, Granny from The Beverly Hillbillies is similarly shut up with a cleaver to the forehead. OBSERUV:
Then there’s this scene where the movie forgets it’s set in the 1980s, as a pair of Antista impersonato…er… “greasers” are mowed down by the mass murderer, with the latter humming a delightful tune right before he gets a blade to the throat:
3- MUSICAL INTERLUDES (WITH DEATH!)
Speaking of delightful tunes, A New Beginning has my two favorite scenes of the entire series, and they both happen to center around cheesy music. First, we have this particularly anachronistic young lass, who dresses (and acts) goth throughout the entire movie, but retires to her room later in the film to dance to New Wave while doing the Robot. Obviously, having multilayered tastes isn’t permitted in the world of Friday the 13th, so she gets a machete to the gut. Due to the fact that Violet doesn’t survive her dance number, it gets the slight victory as the series’ best dance over Crispin Glover’s spastic dance in the previous film. Watch these slick moves:
And finally, there’s the coup de grace for A New Beginning, and frankly, the most inspired scene in the entire series. In his finest pre-Juwanna Mann role (as Demon), Miguel Nunez delivers so much in the space of just two minutes. Staying inside a porta-potty the entire time, Demon jumps from abusive boyfriend, to a circa-Resident Evil 1 tete-a-tete (“You’ll feel a lot better after YOU SHIT” is followed by “This shit-box is GROSS”), to serenading his ladyfriend with an instantly-memorable R&B jam, to a particularly brutal death where he’s stabbed multiple times from outside of the GROSS SHIT-BOX. Juwanna see it? Here you go:
I could go on for another 1000 words on the majesty of this movie, with one of the series’ best nude scenes, the amazing tree-based kills within said scene, and the weird survivor trio that includes a nearly-mute dude and Demon’s little brother (a poor-man’s Gary Coleman), but I’ll recommend you celebrate this movie (and this day) the best way possible — by watching the flick on Netflix or purchasing the DVD set on Amazon (just click on any link on this page to get there!). Hopefully Antista can survive that slice to the neck he suffered earlier in this article let me do a proper horror-cast come Halloween time. In the meantime, follow Lasertime on Twitter, like Lasertime on Facebook, and follow me, Dave Rudden, on Twitter.