horror, movie, movie review

October 13th, 2019 Movie – Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter

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One thing that I always found interesting about the Friday The 13th movies is the timeline, primarily with the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th movies. Aside from the opening scene, the second movie takes place five years after the events of the first movie, with the third movie picking up the very next day. Then you come to today’s movie, which starts off on the night the third movie ends, meaning that Jason’s rampage was over the course of about 5 days to a week tops. I will be honest that I can’t decide if that is a good bit of world/story telling, or simple laziness so that you don’t have to really explain how he keeps showing up. Regardless, let’s see how well today’s movie holds up as I watch Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter

The plot: After a recap of the events from the previous films, the movie picks up with the police finishing cleaning up at Higgins Haven and transporting Jason’s body to the local morgue. After the morgue closes for the night, the attendant, Axel, and his girlfriend Robbie are fooling around in the morgue when Jason’s hand slips off the gurney he is lying on, scaring Robbie, who decides to leave. Axel puts Jason’s body into storage, then turns to watch TV but Jason suddenly revives and kills Axel, then kills Robbie as he leaves the hospital. The next day, Trish Jarvis and her mom are jogging around Crystal Lake before returning home, where they talk with Trish’s younger brother Tommy about the house next to theirs being rented by a group of teenagers. Meanwhile, Doug, Jimmy, Paul, Sam, Sara, and Ted are driving up to the cabin, with Jimmy complaining to Ted about his girlfriend breaking up with him. Along the way, the stop by a graveyard, where Sara notices the tombstone for Pamela Voorhees inside. They then pass by a hitchhiker but refuse to pick her up and as they drive away, the hitchhiker is killed by Jason. The teenagers finally reach the cabin and start unloading their car, being greeted by Trish and Tommy while they do so. The next day, the teenagers head to the lake and meet Tina and Terri, local twins that agree to show them to the lake. Trish and Tommy see the group as they are driving back home from town, but then have some car trouble after passing them. As Tommy tries to fix the car, they encounter a backpacker named Rob Dier, who helps them fix their car, and Trish offers him a lift to their house as thanks. Once there, Tommy quickly takes Rob up to his room to show him all of the monster masks that he has made, then Trish shows him where a trail is that leads around the lake and Rob makes his way down the trail. Back at the rental house, the teenagers are starting to party and Jimmy asks Terri to dance but after a while, Paul changes the song so he can dance with Sam, and Jimmy and Terri follow suit, as do Ted and Tina. As the party continues, Sam gets jealous when Tina starts flirting with Paul and decides to head out to the lake for a swim. As she makes her way to the lake, she hears someone moving through the woods and, thinking it is Paul, decides to tease him by getting naked and swimming out to the raft out on the lake and as she lays on the raft, Jason burst from the water and stabs her through the raft. Back at the house, Paul stops things from going to far with Tina and decides to go looking for Sam so Tina decides to turn her attentions to Jimmy, who eagerly accepts her offer to dance. Outside, Paul sees Sam on the raft and swims out to be with her but when he discovers she is dead, he quickly swims back to shore, only for Jason to kill him by shooting a spear gun into his groin. In the woods, Rob hears Paul’s screams and, grabbing a machete, heads out to investigate when he sees someone moving by his campsite and when he makes his way back, he discovers that someone had broken the stock on his rifle. Back at the house, Tina and Jimmy head upstairs to have sex, while Ted finds some old time dirty movies, which he decides to put on. Not enjoying the movie, Terri goes upstairs and tells Tina she wants to leave but Tina tells her to go without her so Terri leaves, only to be killed by Jason and pinned to one of the storm shutters. At the Travis house, Mrs. Travis comes home to find the power out and neither her kids or their dog answer her calls and heads outside, calling for their dog Gordon. Trish and Tommy return home to find their mom isn’t there and Trish decides to go find Rob to help look for her, telling Tommy to stay there in case their mother returns. Back at the house, Jimmy and Tina finish having sex and while she goes to take a shower, Jimmy heads downstairs to brag to Ted about having sex, then goes to get some wine for him and Tina, only for Jason to kill him. Tina returns to the room to find Jimmy missing and as she looks outside, she notices Terri’s bike is still there, As she looks out the window some more to see if she can spot her sister, Jason breaks through the window to grab her and throws her from the house, where she lands on Paul’s car and rolls to the ground in a heap. Meanwhile, Trish finds Rob’s campsite and ends up being attacked by Rob, who yells at her for being there. He then tells her about his sister Sandra, who was killed by Jason and tells her about his body disappearing from the morgue, and the missing hospital staff, and his belief  that Jason is alive, causing Trish to worry about Tommy. Back at the house, Jason makes his way back inside and kills Ted, who was still watching the movie, then heads upstairs, killing Doug in the shower. Sara discovers Doug’s body and goes screaming for Sam, only for Jason to kill her with an axe through the door. Back at the Jarvis house, Trish and Rob return to find Tommy still there, and Trish tries to call for help but when she gets no dial tone, Rob decides to go check next door and Trish goes with him. Seeing the broken door, they carefully make their way inside and find no sign of anyone there. Rob decides to check the basement and while he is gone, Gordon breaks free from Trish’s grip and runs upstairs, leaping out a window to the ground below. Trish heads upstairs to find Gordon but instead finds a body and yells out for Rob and as they go to leave, Jason attacks Rob, who yells at Trish to run before Jason kills him. Trish runs back to her house and she works with Tommy to barricade their house but Jason throws Rob’s body through the windows, then breaks another to grab Tommy. Trish attacks Jason with a hammer, causing him to drop Tommy, and they quickly run upstairs and lock themselves in Tommy’s room. As Jason starts to break down the door, Trish slams Tommy’s computer monitor onto his head, electrocuting him and seemingly killing him but as she steps over him so they can leave, he recovers and chases after her. As she lures Jason away from Tommy, Tommy, having seen Rob’s newspaper clippings concerning Jason, shaves his head so that he looks like Jason did as a boy. As Jason moves to kill Trish, Tommy yells out to Jason, who stops and stares at Tommy. As he moves towards Tommy, Trish tries to kill Jason but only succeeds in slicing off the hockey mask. Seeing his face, Trish drops the machete in horror and as Jason moves towards her, Tommy grabs the machete and buries it into Jason’s head. Trish and Tommy embrace each other and as Tommy hugs his sister, he sees Jason’s body twitch and quickly picks up the machete and repeatedly slashes at Jason while yelling “Die!”, all while Trish yells out his name to get him to stop. Some time later, Trish is in the hospital, where a doctor and the sheriff talk to her, and after they leave, Tommy shows up and runs to hug her, but as they embrace, Trish doesn’t notice the disturbed look in Tommy’s eyes.

Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter was panned by the critics, currently holding a 20% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “As lumberingly single-minded as its homicidal star, Friday the 13th – The Final Chapter adds another rote entry to an increasingly labored franchise.” In the morgue scene, the nurse’s name tag reads “R. Morgan, RN,” which is an homage to actress Robbi Morgan, who played Annie in Friday the 13th (1980). The movie was a box office hit, earning $33 million off of a $2.6 million budget, and despite the intentions of it being the final film in the series, the success of the film prompted another sequel to be released the following year.

Ok, There were some aspects of this movie that I liked, and there were some that just annoy the f@$#out of me. The sad part is, I remember some of these issues bothering me when I first saw this movie decades ago, and to watch it again now makes it seem even more mind boggling. Now the acting was pretty decent, with Corey Feldman doing a great job as Tommy. I also thought that Kimberly Beck did a good job as Trish, while Crispin Glover’s portrayal of the socially awkward Jimmy was great (which he seemed to use aspects of this character for his portrayal of George McFly in Back To The Future), but everyone else was just ok. The story was actually pretty decent, with Rob showing up to track down his sister’s killer, to Tommy tricking Jason much like Ginny did in Friday The 13th Part 2. However, there were a couple of scenes that just ruined any sort of “believability” for me. The first one was when Jason kills Sam in the raft. Since he stabbed her through the bottom of the raft, it would have taken in water and most likely been somewhat folded in on itself due to her body lying in it, instead of lying pristine in the water when Paul discovers her. The other issue I have is something of a timing issue in the kills. Jason kills Jimmy in the kitchen, then goes outside and climbs up to the second story in order to grab Tina and throw her out the window, then climbs back down and heads back inside to kill Ted. That honestly makes no sense to me, as I feel like he should have killed Ted, then Tina, as he would then be able to enter the upstairs through the broken window in order to kill Doug and Sara. If he killed Tina first, Jimmy might have heard the sound of the breaking glass and Jason would have still killed him, just not so much in the same way. Another thing that bothered me is that you never know what happened to Mrs. Jarvis; you are just left to assume that she was killed by Jason. The masks that Tommy “made” were top notch but that is most likely that Tom Savini, who had returned to work on this film, made them. The deaths themselves were also better than some of the previous movies but that is again most likely due to Savini’s influence. A pretty good movie that somewhat holds up and is worth giving a watch, especially during Halloween time.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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comedy, movie, movie review, romance, sci-fi

May 18th, 2018 Movie – Weird Science

weird science

You know, was there anyone more powerful in Hollywood in the 80’s than John Hughes. I mean, this man made some of the most iconic movies to exist in pop culture in the span of a decade.I honestly don’t know anybody that hasn’t seen at least one of his movies over the years, or referenced one of them. Today’s movie has always been one of those movies that I found entertaining. I think the fact that it seemed to almost always be on TV at one point or another probably helped with that. So let’s have some laughs with today’s movie, Weird Science.

The plot: Nerdy social outcasts Gary Wallace and Wyatt Donnelly are standing outside the gym watching the girls participating in their gymnastics class. As they fantasize about what they would like to do, including with Deb and Hilly, their boyfriends Ian and Max sneak up behind Gary and Wyatt and quickly pull down their gym shorts, then yell out to the girls, leaving Gary and Wyatt exposed in their underwear to them. Later, Gary goes to spend the night at Wyatt’s house and is upset to learn that while Wyatt’s parents are gone, his brother Chet is coming home from military school for the weekend to look after the house and Wyatt while they are gone. That night, as they are watching Frankenstein, Gary comes up with the idea to use Wyatt’s computer to make a female simulation so they can try and practice talking with girls. As they get more involved in their project, they end up hacking into a military computer to boost their simulation’s abilities, then hook the computer up to a doll as a body for the program. AS they are doing this, strange red strom clouds appear over the house and as lightning hits the house and cause complete chaos in the town, they end up creating a real woman from their experiment. After taking a shower with Gary and Wyatt, who both keep their pants on, the woman says she wants to go out and so they head out, with the woman magically changing their clothes as they exit the room. As they are driving downtown in her pink convertible, the woman says that since they created her, they should give her a name and Gary suggests Lisa. Arriving at a bar, Lisa produces ID’s for the boys so they can get in and they proceed to mingle. Gary and Wyatt are uncomfortable at first but soon loosen up, with Gary proceeding to get drunk during the night. On the way home, Wyatt ends up driving and Lisa asks him what he is going to tell Chet about her but Wyatt says he hasn’t thought of it. When they get back to Wyatt’s house, Wyatt runs into Chet, who proceeds to pick on Wyatt and Gary, and demand money to buy his silence, before he goes to bed. After putting Gary to bed, Wyatt heads back down to sneak Lisa inside and she talks to him for a little bit, and works on teaching him how to kiss, and though she doesn’t like it, she agrees to stay hidden from Chet. The next morning, Gary and Wyatt think that everything was a dream until they hear Lisa calling them down for breakfast and Wyatt is shown to be wearing Lisa’s clothes from when she first appeared. They head to the mall with Lisa and while they are waiting for her as she shops, Ian and Max dump an Icee on them. As the two bullies laugh at their prank, Deb and Hilly consider breaking up with them but decide to forgive them, as they didn’t want to be social pariahs. As they are leaving, Ian and Max see Lisa going up the escalator in the opposite direction and quickly leave their girlfriends behind to chase after her. When they catch up to her, they try talking to her but are shocked to find that she is with Gary and Wyatt. As they are leaving, Lisa says that there is a party at Wyatt’s house and she tells them to spread the word and they drive off, leaving a stunned Ian and Max staring after them. At Wyatt’s house, Wyatt is asking Lisa why she is throwing a party and she tells him that they wanted to be popular and have fun and they needed to loosen up. Lisa then goes to pick up Gary and meets his parents, who get upset and angry at what she tells them about Gary and threaten to call the cops but she uses her powers to make his dad forget about Gary and they leave. As Lisa finishes setting up, Gary and Wyatt admit that they have no friends but Lisa opens the door and they see the whole school there for the party. As the party goes on, Ian and Max show up with Deb and Hilly and as Ian and Max go to the bar, then try to hit on Lisa, Deb and Hilly wander around the house. The end up at the bathroom where Gary and Wyatt were hiding and they end up talking briefly before the girls leave. Deb and Hilly run into Lisa, who asks if they met Gary and Wyatt and tells them they should shower with them. Meanwhile, Ian and Max apologize to Gary and Wyatt in the hopes they will set them up with Lisa and Gary and Wyatt tell them about creating her. Ian and Max convince Gary and Wyatt to try and make them a woman of their own and they proceed to do it, causing chaos to occur at the party. When Lisa appears in the doorway, she chastises Gary and Wyatt, then reminds them that they didn’t hook up a doll to the computer, just as a ballistic missile comes up from the ground and into the house. Wyatt’s grandparents show up to pay a surprise visit to Wyatt and they start yelling at all of the kids to get out when Lisa confronts them and puts them in suspended animation. When Wyatt and Gary find out, they start freaking out and Lisa decides to cause a situation to give them a confidence boost. Suddenly, a gang of mutant bikers crash the party and begin terrorizing all of the guests. Ian and Max decide to run and hide, leaving Deb and Hilly to find for themselves. When the bikers grab Deb and Hilly and confront Gary and Wyatt, Gary and Wyatt stand up to the bikers and manage to make them leave. Afterwards, Deb and Hilly talk with Gary and Wyatt respectively and the girls end up falling for the two guys. The next morning, Chet returns from his hunting trip and when he sees the disaster the house has become, he confronts Gary and Wyatt over what happened. When he continually mocks Wyatt, Lisa stops him and tells the boys to take the girls home while she deals with Chet. Wyatt takes Hilly home and kisses her and as she walks to her door, he tells her he loves her, just as the lawn sprinklers come on. Meanwhile, Gary avoids getting a speeding ticket as he takes Deb home and when they get there, he tries explaining that the car, clothes, and everything isn’t really him but she tells him that she wants to know the real him and they kiss. When they return to Wyatt’s home, they find Chet had been turned into a talking piece of crap and Chet apologizes for how he treated Wyatt in the past. When Wyatt and Gary go see Lisa, she assures them that Chet will be back to normal in half an hour. They guys then tell Lisa that they have girlfriends now and don’t need her and she tells them she is happy for them and disappears in a cloud of smoke. Once she is gone, the house, and Chet, are returned back to normal, just as Wyatt’s parents return. The next day in school, Lisa is shown to be the new gym teacher and as all of the guys faint, she winks at the camera.

Weird Science met with mixed reviews from the critics, holding a 54% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Hardly in the same league as John Hughes’ other teen movies, the resolutely goofy Weird Science nonetheless gets some laughs via its ridiculous premise and enjoyable performances.” During the movie, Gary, played by Anthony Michael Hall, mentions having a girlfriend in Canada, a line Hall used earlier in the year in another John Hughes movie, The Breakfast Club. The movie was a box office success, earning $38.9 million off of a $7.5 million budget, and has spawned a television series in the mid 90’s, while a remake has been in the works since 2013.

This is still a ridiculous movie that is pretty entertaining. The acting was pretty good, with Anthony Michael Hall (Gary) and Ilam Mitchell-Smith (Wyatt) doing good jobs in their roles. Kelly LeBrock was great as Lisa, but I honestly thought that Suzanne Snyder and Judie Aronson were kind of boring as Deb and Hilly. The story was a great mix of teenage drama with some science fiction added to it. I thought the nod to “Frankenstein” was a great way to introduce Lisa, who went from being their “ideal” woman to helping them actually gain the confidence to get a real girlfriend. The special effects were good but most of the story was carried by the drama and comedy aspects of the movie. It’s a fun movie to watch when you just want to have some laughs.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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