Site created 12/15/97.
review added: 10/31/00
Friday the 13th:
The Final Chapter
1984 (2000) - Paramount
review by Dan Kelly of
The Digital Bits
Disc Ratings (Video/Audio/Extras): B/B/D-
Specs and Features
91 mins, R, letterboxed widescreen (1.85:1), 16x9 enhanced,
single-sided, single-layered, Amaray keep case packaging, theatrical
trailer, film-themed menu screens, scene access (14 chapters),
languages: English and French (DD mono), subtitles: English, Closed
Call me crazy or call
me a crackhead, but I like this film! I make no excuses about liking
it and don't justify it by associating it with some sweet moment or
event in my life. Outside of the Police
Academy movies, 1980s slasher films are some of the most
reviled movies around. And everything that people hate about slasher
films is here in extreme amounts. There's lots of nudity
(skinny-dipping I can understand, but skinny dipping with strangers
in a notorious lake that's inhabited by a masked serial killer?).
There's lots of drinking and drug use (yet only one of the hapless
teens manages to get wasted). And then there's Crispin Glover's
dancing. I can't explain it. It's bad and I know it, but I can't
help liking it. I will never bad-mouth Friday
the 13th: The Final Chapter.
Slasher films are, by their very nature, so contained within their
own little world that any hint of reality in them would send them
completely out of orbit. Friday the 13th:
The Final Chapter is a perfect example of that. Still
another group of teens moves into the woods of Crystal Lake, this
time to party for an entire summer. They move in next door to the
Jarvises - a happy little single-parent family. Tommy Jarvis, at
such a tender young age, is a real pro at making latex monster
masks. Why introduce this into the movie, you may ask? Because it
will come in handy later on, in the "make-Jason-think-you're-him"
segment. I don't know how anyone so cunning and innovative with a
machete can fall for the same trick over and over, but he does.
This is the first of three series appearances for the Tommy Jarvis
character. In this go-around, he's played by young Corey Feldman.
Though he hasn't really made a career out of horror films, Corey's
definitely seen his fair share of them (Bordello
of Blood, The Lost Boys
and Dream a Little Dream among
others). It would be really unfair of me to give away the ending,
but it doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out that the "lone
female survivor" rule doesn't apply to this film. Brave,
break-the-mold filmmaking indeed! In the end, the film's misleading
title (and the effort to completely hack Jason up in the story) is
useless - The Final Chapter
this ain't. There are still five more Friday
movies after this one!
Aside from containing a real winner of a slasher movie, the disc
looks pretty darn good as well. A clean print was used for the
transfer, resulting in an anamorphic widescreen picture that is
mostly free of major scratches and other flaws. Flesh tones and
color saturation are generally good, but both seem slightly muted or
washed out on occasion. Blacks are dark and solid, but do fall prey
to occasional graininess that affects the feel of some of the darker
scenes. Needless to say, any previous home video incarnation of The
Final Chapter is going to look really dated compared to
this DVD. Again, the audio is a Dolby Digital mono reproduction of
the film's original soundtrack. Dialogue, effects and music are all
distinctly represented but will probably not impress. It should be
really obvious, by this point in time, where Paramount is putting
their money on DVD. Other movies from the studio that are just as
old (or even older, like Airplane!)
are getting new 5.1 sound mixes, while films like those in the
Friday the 13th series just
get retreads of the original soundtrack. Ah well...
I feel like I'm repeating myself with these Paramount discs. You
get the theatrical trailer here and nothing beyond that. I guess,
deep down inside of me, I was hoping for the really cool little Fangoria/Starlog
magazine documentary that Paramount put out in the 80s, called
Scream Greats: Volume 1, which
chronicled Tom Savini's effects work in horror films. It would have
been a nice little bonus, seeing as this was the last
Friday film he worked on. But
it's not here. I suppose I'll live.
One more Friday the 13th film
on DVD down... and five more to go. At the rate Paramount's going,
the whole series should be out in about two years or so. But fans
have got a good start with the discs that are already available.
After these four, the farther into the series you get, the tamer
they become. The censors became more strict with their cuts, and the
series, in turn, became a little less graphic. Whether or not that's
a bad thing is for you to decide. In any case, Friday
the 13th: The Final Chapter is certainly not tame, and it
makes for a decent looking DVD.