Out of all of the Friday The 13th movies, this one will always have a special place in my heart because this was my first. I don’t remember how I convinced my mom to rent this for me, but one weekend found me clutching this VHS tape in my hands and eagerly waiting for everyone to go to bed so I could stay up late and watch it. I was familiar with who Jason was so seeing a movie called “Jason Lives” made me eager to see just how scary the hockey mask wearing killer really was. So let’s have some fun with today’s movie, Friday The 13th Part VI: Jason Lives.
The plot: Several years after the incident at Pinehurst Halfway House, Tommy Jarvis, accompanied by his friend Allen Hawes, heads to the cemetery in the town of Forest Green, formerly known as Crystal Lake. Once there, Tommy locates Jason Voorhees’ grave and intends on destroying Jason’s body but after digging up the grave and opening the coffin, Tommy recalls the events of the past and grabs a metal fence post and begins stabbing it into the corpse. After exhausting himself, Tommy tosses a hockey mask he brought with him into the grave and moves to grab some gasoline so they can burn the body when the fence post is struck by two bolts of lightning, bringing Jason back to life. Jason grabs Tommy, who manages to get free and douses Jason with gasoline but when he goes to set him on fire, it begins to rain, dousing the match in his hand. When Hawes attacks Jason from behind with a shovel, Jason turns around and punch Hawes through his chest, ripping out his heart and causing Hawes body to fall back into Jason’s coffin. Tommy runs back to his truck and drives off as Jason reaches down and grabs the hockey mask, putting it on and heading back towards the lake. Tommy makes his way to the sheriff’s station and tells Sheriff Mike Garris what happened but Garris thinks he is trying to stir up trouble and puts Tommy in a cell after Tommy tries to graba shotgun. Meanwhile, Darren and Lizabeth, two camp counselors, are driving towards the campgrounds at Forest Green when they encounter Jason, who ends up killing both of them. The next day, Garris’ daughter Megan and her friends Cort, Paula, and Sissy arrive at the station and tell him that Darren and Lizabeth are missing but he doesn’t share their concern. Tommy, who is still in his cell, says that Jason might have gotten them and Garris quickly shoes the kids out of the station, as Megan appears to be attracted to Tommy, then tells Tommy that he is going to escort him out of his jurisdiction so he won’t have to deal with him anymore. At Camp Forest Green, Paula is still concerned about her sister Lizabeth not showing up yet and the group talks for a little while before they are interrupted by the arrival of the kids that are there for the weekend camp. Elsewhere, a group of business executives are playing paintball in the woods as part of a training exercise when they come across Jason, who kills them all. Meanwhile, Tommy is driving along, with Garris and a deputy following him, when he quickly turns down a road heading towards the cemetery, then races towards Jason’s grave, only to find that the grave has been filled, as the caretaker had filled it in that morning after discovering that it had been dug up, and an angry Garris continues to escort Tommy out of the county. That night, Jason kills the caretaker, as well as a couple who were having a romantic evening in the woods, then continues towards the campgrounds. At the campgrounds, Sissy and Paula are dealing with some frightened girls while Cort has snuck off to have sex with his girlfriend Nikki, who had driven to the camp in her step-father’s RV. When Jason arrives at the campgrounds, he rips the RV’s power cord from the outlet and when Cort and Nikki go to investigate, Jason sneaks inside the RV, then kills them both as they drive away from the campsite. At the sheriff’s station, Garris is arguing with Megan about Tommy when he receives a call from his deputy, who found the remains of Darren and Lizabeth. After Garris leaves, Tommy calls the station to try and convince Garris that Jason has returned but Megan answers the phone and after warning Tommy that her father is looking for him, she goes to pick him up. The two pick up the supplies Tommy needs to try and kill Jason for good, then head to the camp but end up encountering some police roadblocks, eventually forced to stop when they come to a second roadblock and Garris levels a shotgun at them. Back at the camp, Sissy hears a noise and thinks it is Cort trying to scare her and Paula so she goes to trick him instead but ends up being grabbed and killed by Jason. A short while later, a little girl sees Jason walking past her cabin and goes to tell Paula, carrying the bloody machete that she found on the ground with her. Paula thinks it is just Sissy and Cort playing a trick on them and tells the girl they should go find them and scare them back. At the sheriff’s station, Garris has Tommy in cuffs and is trying to convince Megan to stay away from him when they receive a call about Cort and Nikki’s accident. Garris still believes that Tommy is the killer but begins to have his doubts when Megan says that Tommy was with her when the accident occurred. Back at the camp, Paula and the girl find no sign of Cort and Sissy so Paula puts her back to bed, then heads back to her cabin. With there still being no sign of her friends, she goes to try and call the sheriff but the phone lines have been cut by Jason earlier. She then notices that the machete is missing and goes to lock the door when Jason steps through it and kills her. Back at the station, Megan tells Tommy to cause a distraction so she can grab the keys from Deputy Rick so she can free him. Tommy causes and argument with Megan and when she goes to get her sketch book back from him, he kisses her. Rick sees this and rushes to separate them but Megan uses the opportunity to grab Rick’s gun and force him to open Tommy’s cell. They then lock Rick in the cell and head to the camp, with Tommy reluctantly agreeing to take Megan with him. At the camp, Jason has entered the girls’ cabin and notices the one girl still awake but as he approaches her, he hears a car door slam and quickly leaves the cabin. Outside, Garris and two more deputies have arrived at the camp and while Garris goes to look for Paula and Sissy, he tells the deputies to look around and keep an eye out for anything that doesn’t belong but Jason ends up killing both of his deputies. Garris goes looking to Sissy and Paula’s cabin and discovers it covered in blood, then goes to check on the childrens’ cabins and discovers that the little girl is missing. Having heard one of his deputies fire his gun, Garris goes to grab the shotgun from his car then runs into the little girl. After calming her down, he sees the boys have all woken up and quickly tells them to follow him to the girls’ cabin, where he tells all of the kids to hide under the beds until he gets back. Garris heads back outside and after discovering the body of one of his deputies, he encounters Jason and starts shooting him but Jason continues to get up so Garris is forced to run. Tommy and Megan arrive at the camp and Megan goes to look for her friends only to find the bloody cabin, then goes to check on the kids. After checking to make sure Megan and the kids are ok, Tommy heads to the docks to continue his plan on killing Jason. Megan starts yelling for her dad and Tommy tells her to use her dad’s radio to call for help. Megan heads to the sheriff’s car but when she opens the door, Sissy’s head falls out. Megan then starts screaming for her dad, alerting both Jason and Garris to her presence and as Jason turns back towards the camp, Garris attacks Jason but ends up being killed. Megan heads to the dock to ask Tommy to help her find her dad but he tells her to head back to the cabin with the kids while he deals with Jason. As Tommy heads out onto the lake, Jason bursts into the kids’ cabin and Megan rushes towards them, only for Jason to grab her. Tommy yells out at Jason, who drops Megan and heads out into the lake after Tommy. Tommy has tied a chain around a large rock, then formed a noose out of the other end, intending to return Jason to the lake he drowned in and keep him there. When Jason goes underwater, Tommy pours some gasoline around his boat and drops a match onto it, creating a ring of fire around him to help him keep Jason off guard but as he looks for Jason, Jason surfaces behind him and grabs him. As Tommy struggles with Jason, Tommy manages to get the noose around Jason’s neck but Jason breaks the boat, sending both Tommy and Jason into the water. Tommy tries to swim to the surface but Jason grabs his leg and holds him underwater until Tommy stops moving, then releases him and allows Tommy’s body to float to the surface. Seeing Tommy lying motionless in the water, Megan swims out to save him when Jason grabs her and tries to drag her under. Megan manages to grab onto the back end of the Tommy’s boat and starts the motor, then maneuvers the propeller so that it begins slicing through Jason’s neck, severing enough of it so that Jason lets go of her as he appears to finally have been killed. . Megan drags Tommy back to shore and begins performing CPR on him and is eventually able to revive him and as she hugs Tommy, Tommy stares at the lake and says it is finally over as Jason is finally home but as dawn breaks over the lake, Jason is shown to still be alive underneath the water.
Friday The 13th Part VI: Jason Lives met with mixed reviews from the critics, holding a 52% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. This makes it the second highest rated movie in the entire series, with only the original movie receiving better reviews. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, the critics that liked the movie seemed to enjoy it because it seemed to poke fun at itself for how campy the series was becoming. Even though the movies have always been set at a summer camp, this is the only time where kids actually appear at the camp (not including the scene of Jason drowning). Despite being favored critically compared to the previous movies, the movie actually performed worse than them, only earning $19.4 million off of a $3 million budget.
Even though it has been a while since I last saw this movie, I still enjoyed the hell out of it. In fact, this movie is one of the most enjoyable movies in the entire franchise, and a good part of it is because of how cheesy it is. The acting was decent and while nobody really stood out, I did think that Thom Mathews (Tommy), Jennifer Cooke (Megan) and David Kagen (Garris) were pretty good in their roles. The story was actually pretty good because if you think about it, Jason’s constantly coming back after receiving fatal wounds in the 2nd and 3rd movies never really made much sense. Having him resurrected as a murderous ghoul(?) actually helps make his being an unstoppable killing machine a little more credible. I also love the fact that the movie kind of pokes fun at itself in a kind of tongue-in-cheek manner, such as the caretaker breaking the 4th wall as he refills Jason’s grave and Deputy Rick’s comments to Garris about it being Friday the 13th when they discover several bodies in the woods. The special effects were pretty decent, particularly regarding the makeup for Jason’s corpse body as I thought it was especially well done. All in all, it’s a fun movie to watch as it started a trend of not taking itself too seriously.
Rating: 3 out of 5