Retro Review: Friday the 13th VI: Jason Lives (1986)

The beginning of the second version of Jason.  From Friday the 13th part 2 to the Final Chapter it was Jason who was a crazy momma’s boy mongoloid.  With Friday the 13th V: A New Beginning, not to spoil anything, but Jason is dead and not a part of the movie, with the exception of figments of Tommy Jarvis’ imagination.  Fast forward to part VI, Jason Lives.

How could you not love the opening to Jason Lives, very James Bond.

To me, this is the best made Friday the 13th movie.  The story was a little different and it called back to a lot of different horror movies.  Names of characters and locations, we can tell that the director, Tom McLoughlin was heavily influenced by classic horror.   The film is dark, it has comedy and it stays true to the Friday the 13th legend and adds to it as well.

 

The movie begins with an adult Tommy Jarvis played by Thom Mathews, driving with his friend in a truck.  They are driving to a cemetery to make sure Jason Voorhees stays dead.  The dig up the grave and open to find Jason dead and maggots and worms allover his face.  His body is dusty and just based on that, Jason is in fact dead.  Tommy decides to take out his anger on Jason’s corpse by grabbing a metal fence post and jamming it into the corpse.  With a storm approaching Tommy douses Jason’s body in gasoline to incinerate the remains.  Well, before he can light the match and set Jason ablaze, lightening strikes the fence post and sends a bolt of lightening through Jason, thus resurrecting him, like Frankenstein’s monster.

 

Tommy Jarvis, the kid who killed Jason, he is responsible for killing the unstoppable force…brings Jason back to life.  Tommy has been haunted by Jason since he was a kid and tried to put an end to it all, but he brought Jason back.  I blame Tommy Jarvis for every single death from this point on.  The blood is on Tommy’s hands.  Unknowingly, he puts all of these kids who are going to Camp Forest Green at risk.  Yeah, that was another cool thing, the town voted to change the name to Forest Green to put Jason Voorhees and Crystal Lake behind them.

Other things I never talk about, Megan is pretty awesome and totally underrated, probably over shadowed by the Tommy Jarvis story.  Megan added to the story, she was probably the most competent of all of the final girls in the series, even more so that Tina from The New Blood or part VII.  Sure she her attraction to Tommy is what led her to help him, but she did, she helped him a ton.  I also love Sheriff Garris, he is a good cop, we see so many shitty cops in these movies, he does what he can.  He is convinced Jason is dead and Tommy is responsible for the killings.  Why not, why wouldn’t Tommy be the suspect, Jason is dead.  They even take Tommy back to Jason’s grave and it looks to be undisturbed.  In some ways, it is the most realistic movie of the franchise.

I love this one and can’t say enough.  It is the best shot, the score is wonderful and it has a great cast.  I do love the Final Chapter, but it feels stale, something about it, it is not the best in my opinion.  Jason Lives is the most balanced movie of the series.  It is also the most “80s” of the series and I love it.  I think it was the “MTV” Friday the 13th, Alice Cooper had a couple of songs in the movie, including He’s back, the Man behind the mask.

For me, it is the first of the Friday the 13th films I have ever seen.  It has remained my favorite since I was  kid.  I tried to believe the hype that Final Chapter is the best, but no, Jason Lives.  The cheese is way down, I know there was disappointment from A New Beginning, but this was the right way to bring Jason back.  I just love this movie, of all the horror films that have multiple movies, Jason Lives is my go to Friday the 13th movies.  Of course A New Beginning I have seen in a different light over the past few years, but when watching the series, or marathoning the series for the first time Jason Lives brought us back to a good Jason movie.

On a final note, I cannot say enough about C.J. Graham.  He is the man behind the mask, replacing Dan Bradley as Jason after he was deemed, not menacing enough.  Graham, to me played Jason to perfection.  Others will say Ted White or Kane Hodder, most will say Hodder, but Graham was the first “zombie” Jason and Kane Hodder only added a few things to what Graham started.  I really wish C.J. Graham would have had the chance to play Jason again.  Hell, C.J. Graham is going to be 60 this year, I bet he could still be Jason.  You can follow C.J. on Facebook here.

IMDB.com has a rating of 5.9

I rate Jason Lives 7.6, my personal favorite of the series.

Don’t forget to join us January 13, 2017, Friday the 13th for The Horror Syndicate Live.  Follow on Podbean and Subscribe on YouTube, not to mention follow all of the Horror Syndicate on Twitter and Facebook.  Remember we will go live at 8:30/7:30 central next Friday the 13th.

About Ray Marek III 273 Articles
Who am I? I am a widower now, father of two amazing children. I co-created the website, Nightfall Unlimited with a good friend of mine. Nightfall Unlimited was a great learning experience for me and I learned a lot from so many great people. I had the chance to dip my toes into blogging and even social networking. Now, we are here, the Horror Syndicate is nearly a year old and we are having fun! There is so much more about me. I hate this phrase, but I am an aspiring comic book writer. Problems with finding artists and getting published have held me back. Writing comics has been a dream for, well as long as I can remember. Now I am writing with a great team, Apogee Comics and hopefully we will make some noise in the same way Image comics did in the 1990s. One day, Rage of Rayzor and the Horror Syndicate will lead me to my dream. Support me, by sharing this site, liking and sharing posts, even following me on twitter would help @Rayzor_33. But you want to know about the horror…right? I have been watching horror films since I was 6 years old. The story, one Saturday night, my mom and I were watching movies and she fell asleep on the couch. We had the channel set on HBO and the movie we were watching ended and the next one, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge. This was some time in 1986. I watched then entire film, I was sitting on the edge of my seat. When my mom woke, she asked me what just ended and I told her, “Freddy”. That was all I talked about for weeks and finally she broke down and rented more horror films for me. She rented, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre part 2, Re-Animator, Friday the 13th VI: Jason Lives and Halloween II. I watched all and fell in love with horror films forever. When my little brother was 2, I was 10, so were talking 1990. He was introduced to Halloween and I made him believe Haddonfield, IL was a real place. We lived in Illinois at the time and this terrified him. After the intial shock, he grew older and more interested in horror films. When he was 8, we went to the local video store and made our way to the horror section. We started with Alien and worked our way through the alphabet of horror. That day we basically started our course in horror. Since then, I have built a nice horror film collection of my own and started a Facebook Horror Group, The Horror Movie Massacre. I wrote for Nightfall and Rage of Rayzor, realized there is a lot of horror content I wanted to put out. So, I drafted some fellow horror fans to make a site, run by fans, for fans and here we are. 5 Horror Films to Watch Inferno (1980) A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) The Beyond (1981) Friday the 13th VI: Jason Lives (1986) Horror of Dracula (1958)