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          Jason is back, hockey mask and all. And he's up to his old maniacal in Friday the 13th: Pary 5 - A New Beginning. This time he seems to have set his sights the young patients at a secluded halfway house. And more than a few of his teen targets end up in half, in quarters...you name it, Jason does it. 

"You better watch out for the snake that's going to crawl up that crapper and bite your ass."
                    - Anita Lincke

          Danny Steinmann's Friday the 13th A New Beginning picks up five years after events in the previous movie. Geeky little Tommy Jarvis - the kid who confronted Jason and emerged the victor! - has been transformed by the unlikely casting of hunky John Shepherd, taking over the role from the somewhat less photogenic Corey Feldman. Traumatized by his previous encounter with Jason, Tommy is transferred to a halfway house for disturbed teenagers, located deep in the woods, where the murder of one inmate by another seems to bring Jason out of retirement, unleashing a fresh wave of hideous killings by someone concealed behind a distinctive hockey mask. Has Jason really come back from the grave?...
          Given that Big J appeared to meet his match in Friday the 13th The Final Chapter, the mystery surrounding the killer's identity in A New Beginning is possibly its most intriguing feature. That, and the casting of Shepherd as an emotionally wounded victim of circumstances who's prompted into uncontrollable rages at the slightest provocation. Our sympathies are clearly with him from the start, though the script eventually reverts to the old formula of decimating the entire cast before pitting a handful of plucky survivors (including Melanie Kinnaman and Shavar Ross) against the marauding killer.

          By this time, of course, the series had become more of a franchise than a viable movie format, and the script (co-written by director Steinmann, David Cohen and Friday III scribe Martin Kitrosser) veers wildly from the ridiculous to the sublime. It's hard not to groan when the heroine's car runs out of gas in the middle of nowhere when the killer's rampage has been firmly established, or when a chainsaw breaks down at a crucial moment during the climax, or when a bulldozer is commandeered by the one character least likely to know how to drive it! Furthermore, an element of not-so-subtle parody is introduced by the sheer number of on-screen killings (a whopping 22!), most of which are completely unnecessary to the plot and involve peripheral characters who are introduced for no other reason than to be bumped off in spectacular fashion! Some of Martin Becker's more explicit makeup effects have been sacrificed for an R-rating, but there's still plenty here to keep most splatter fans happy.
          Whatever it's faults (and there are plenty!), this slapdash sequel still manages to work up a fair head of steam, allowing the concept to develop beyond the established formula in a manner which doesn't interfere with the main business at hand (Jason's rampage through an isolated location), whilst also meeting the expectations of an undemanding audience. Watch out for Carol Locatell as a foul-mouthed Ma Kettle-type character who lives in the woods with her thick-headed son (Ron Sloan), a comic double-act worthy of its own movie.

          From this point onward, the Friday series descended into caricature. Unable to rely on the same increasingly tired scenario, producers were forced to introduce thematic 'variations' which deviated from the original concept and thereby rendered it less effective. Jason Lives Friday the 13th Part VI foregrounded the elements of parody which had always been inherent in the material, while Friday the 13th Part VII The New Blood introduced a subplot involving telekinesis which lifted the franchise into the realms of the supernatural, culminating in one of the most stupid, contemptible climaxes in horror history. Friday the 13th Part VIII Jason Takes Manhattan fatally relocated the series to the Big Apple, relying almost exclusively on Jason's status as a cultural icon to carry a pretty feeble narrative, while Jason Goes to Hell The Final Friday offered a supernatural explanation for Jason's activities in a story which was completely removed from the series' humble origins and didn't play like a Friday the 13th movie at all. As such, for all its drawbacks, A New Beginning is the last genuinely worthwhile entry in the Voorhees saga.

Cast & Crew   |   Pictures  |   Coroner Report
Video Clip   |   Trailer

          - The film was originally written to have Corey Feldman as the star, reprising the role of Tommy Jarvis, but he was already too busy filming The Goonies. The movie was rewritten to have Feldman's appearance limited to a cameo. 

          - The scene in which Pam attacks Jason with the chainsaw was shot on Halloween night in 1984. 

          - "Victor Faden" can be seen written on the outhouse wall behind Demon. This is the name of the mental patient that hacked Joey to death and was taken away by the police. Many believe that this was put there to insinuate that maybe Victor had escaped and is committing more murders. 

          - Actor Dick Wieand is credited for the part of 'Jason Voorhees', but it actually was stuntman Tom Morga who did the scenes of Jason in the mask. 

          - The movie that Jake and Robin watch on the bed is A Place in the Sun.

          - There is a small black and white photo of John Lennon hanging up behind Dr. Matt Leonard's head in the first scene of them together in his office

          - Tommy's opening dream was different in the original script, and arguably made him seem more of a suspect later on. It opens as more of a continuation from the ending of the previous film as a young Tommy is taken to the same hospital with Jason, and winds up killing the staff trying to get to the body. He finally finds Jason where he rises from the operating table before the adult Tommy wakes up in the van on the way to Pinehurst.




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