Retro Review: Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)

When you write for a horror website, October is without a doubt the biggest time of the year. I may have said this last year around this time, to me the Halloween season is bigger than Christmas. Last October we had our ABC’s of Horror segment, going from A to Z. It was a lot of fun too boils and ghouls. But this time around, we are doing something a little different. We are chronicling the ‘BIG THREE’ slasher franchises. With Friday the 13th up first, I am going to attempt to tell you all why Part IV: The Final Chapter is my favorite of the bunch.

There really isn’t a need to give a synopsis for this. But what the hell. A carefree lakeside vacation is interrupted by the re-emergence of the killer Jason Voorhees (Ted White). After he escapes from a morgue, leaving bodies in his wake, Jason returns to Camp Crystal Lake where a group of friends are staying. The teens meet some locals: Tommy (Corey Feldman) and Trish Jarvis (Kimberly Beck), as well as a secretive hiker Rob (Erich Anderson). As the group of teenagers engage in drunken debauchery and dead fuck dancing, their numbers begin to dwindle, one by bloody one.

The Final Chapter was directed by Joseph Zito, who had mild success directing the 1981 cult classic slasher The Prowler, you can check out my review here. On that film Zito worked with the special effects wizard Tom Savini, who was fresh off the set of the original Friday the 13th (1980). Fast forward to 1984. The film producers were ready to put Jason down for the count for good. Signing Zito on for the director’s chair, he once again teamed up with his old pal Savini for The Final Chapter. Seems only logical that the man who created Jason, be the one that kills him. The rest as they say is history. Because we now know this wasn’t The Final Friday. Far from it. It was so successful at the box office that they couldn’t just let Jason die.

Part IV also helped usher in some up and coming actors. Feldman (Gremlins, The Lost Boys), Crispin Glover (Back to the Future, Wizard of Gore) and a childhood crush of mine, the sizzling Judie Aronson (Weird Science). This flick had everything from an angry hippy, a “peeping” Tommy Jarvis, butcher knives to the face, to Judie Aronson’s boobs and Doublemint Twins, Carey and Camilla More. Who also introduced the world to their boobs. But in my humble opinion boils and ghouls, the real star of the show was Crispin “dead fuck” Glover’s dance moves. They are so corny and idiotic, I can’t help but giggle every time.

Part of the reason why I think I like this film so much is because it doesn’t take itself too seriously. The Final Chapter was more light-hearted and fun in tone compared to the previous three entries. Sure, Ted White was still scary as fuck as Jason and it wouldn’t have been so successful if it wasn’t a little scary. There were also some pretty nice death scenes too. The scene where Jason completely obliterates the door in the third act, haunted my dreams as a kid.

 

IMDb: 5.9/10 (criminally low)

ZombiSurvior: 8.4/10 (probably too high)

 

RETRO TRAILER TIME

Thanks for reading and remember to check out our daily content all October long!

STAY SCARED!

-ZS

About Jared Letourneau 143 Articles
Hey there boils and ghouls! My love of horror films came on a dark and stormy night.... ....Truthfully, it probably happened in 1980-something during a sunny day when I was 5 or 6. That movie was JAWS. I had never been so terrified to go swimming and I live in a land-locked state! I have been a Horror Hound ever since. Having seen hundreds of films, some good and some downright dreadful, my love for horror cinema has grown stronger than ever! I have a Sci-Fi nerd wife, which allows us to share movies with each other(while she puts up with MOST of my movies). A couple of my favorite directors are Lucio Fulci and John Carpenter. Contributing here at T.H.S and being able to work with these other folks will be a treat I look forward to. I will share secrets after a few drinks and I also enjoy long romantic walks in dimly-lit cemeteries. My fave top 5 films are: 1)Dawn Of The Dead (Original) 2)The Thing (Carpenter's Remake) 3)Zombie 4)Texas Chainsaw Massacre (O.G.) 5)Friday the 13th pt IV: The Final Chapter Stay Scared! -ZombiSurvivor