GORE GORE GORE – Friday the 13th Part 2
I’m back for the second installment of my slasher review series and I’ll be continuing with the Friday the 13th series with Part 2. I figure it was apt to publish this review today seeing that it’s Friday the 13th and I like doing things like that. I shall give the obligatory spoiler warning here so as to not anger the six people who haven’t seen this movie.
This movie starts off with a flashback to the end of the previous movie, as Alice the hero from the first movie suffers nightmares of her ordeal. The writers of this movie originally wanted to have Alice be a much bigger part but because of her stalker issues in real life, she insisted that the part be small. I think it takes some courage to reprise the role at all considering what the role caused her to go through.
After waking up Alice takes a shower and has a phone call with her mom. She then heads into the kitchen for the iconic horror movie trope, the cat out of nowhere jump scare. At least this time it’s a cat jumping through the window instead of being nonsensically locked in a cupboard or closet as these movies often do. She puts some water on the stove for tea and then moves over to the fridge to get something. When she opens the fridge she finds the head of Mrs. Voorhees. A killer steps up behind her and does what the previous films villain couldn’t do and murders Alice. For some reason after that he takes the whistling kettle off the stove (How hot does that stove get, the water started whistling in like 30 seconds).
This scene was an effective one. It establishes the new killer and makes obvious hints that it’s Jason, though they don’t show his face. It sets the viewers expectations that things are going to be more intense for this movie. If Alice who was so strong in the previous movie can be taken out this easily, this guy is serious business.
Now that we’ve got the intro down, let’s talk about the cast of characters and their demises; because that’s what these reviews are all about.
Our heroine in this movie is Ginny. She’s a psychology student and is helping her boyfriend, who is starting a summer camp on the other side of the lake from Camp Crystal Lake. Ginny is a good replacement for Alice from the first movie. She’s smarter than most slasher movie heroines and and actually ads to the mythos of the Friday the 13th series in a positive way when she explains what it must be to be like Jason if he did indeed survive and see his mother killed years ago at Camp Crystal Lake. She’s kind of a mini Dr Loomis rolled into Laurie Strode from Halloween.
Paul is Ginny’s boyfriend and the one running the camp. Paul isn’t a bad character at all, he serves as the adult authority figure and he does it well. He tries to keep the counselors in line while not being a bastard about it. A funny scene involving him is when a cop is complaining to him about two counselors running off into the woods towards the old camp. He responds with the punishment of no seconds of desert, effectively telling the cop to screw off. It is never firmly established in this movie if Paul dies or not (In the third movie it implies that he didn’t).
Crazy Ralf was in the first movie warning everyone about Camp Blood. He’s back in this movie to try to warn everyone again. The difference is while Mrs. Voorhees let Ralph run around saying these things, this killer wasn’t about to put up with him. He killed Ralph bar garroting him with some barbed wire. You should have listened to your own ranting about death curses Ralph.
The interesting thing about this movie is the classic joking jerk character doesn’t actually die. Ted is every bit the annoying character you root for the killer to take out, but it doesn’t happen because he’s among the characters that go out to the bar leaving a few campers behind. It’s a shame because this cross between Ichabod Crane and Rick Astley definitely deserved an axe to the face. One stunt he pulls is to jump out of the woods with a mask and a spear scaring all the counselors after Paul tells the story of what happened at Camp Crystal Lake.
Terry is this movies version of a pair of breasts whose only purpose is to die. She’s like a Paris Hilton clone years before Paris Hilton was unleashed upon the collective consciousness like VD she undoubtedly has. The girl even goes as far to carry around a little yippy dog like a fashion accessory. She goes for a swim in the lake, naked, to show her boobs of course and dies shortly after some antics with our next guy on the list.
Scott is a sub jerk not as big of a Jerk as Ted, but still a jerk. Scott actually has a fun death though unlike Ted. Scott steals Terry’s clothes and goes running off. As she chases him he gets caught in a snare trap (likely more of Ted being a jerk) that leaves him hanging upside down in a tree. When Terry goes to get a knife to cut him down, the killer walks up behind him and slits his throat; leaving him there to hang for Terry to find just before she dies herself.
This movie also has the classic couple of have sex and then die you immoral teenage sluts, a standard of the series. Their names are Jeff and Sandra. They are an early victim of Ted’s unpunished douchebagery when he has their truck towed purely to cause the characters to panic. When Sandra and Jeff run off to have sex the killer stabs both of them through at the same time with the spear Ted had earlier. Come to think of it, Ted was pretty much the worst friend these two could have, first he tows their truck, and then he supplies the implement of their murder.
This movie actually has two characters that are truly sympathetic. People the group can really get behind and feel sorry for. People who should have survived instead of Ted (I know I’m ranting on Ted a lot, but really, screw Ted). They are Vicki and Mark. Mark is in a wheel chair and decides to stay behind when most counselors go to the bar because he didn’t want to be a damper on their fun. Vicki who appeared to like Mark decided to stay behind and spend time with him rather than him feeling left out. Here we have two genuinely nice people in a slasher movie. They play Mattel Football and Hockey (I remember those!) and then they decide that they want to spend some more private time together.
Vicki went back to her cabin to change and Mark hung went outside to relax and wait. While waiting Mark got a machete to the face and was sent rolling down a long flight of stairs. It was a fun death but I really did feel bad for Mark because he was an okay dude.
Vicki returns shortly their after and begins to find dead bodies. After stumbling upon the sluts, the killer attacks her and ends her life; thus bringing an end to the rare two victims in a slasher movie that people feel bad for. I won’t forget you Vicki and Mark your memory lives on in this article.
It’s at this point in the movie that Ginny and Paul return to the camp to find all the lights out. They investigate and find the blood soaked sheets and bodies stuck into weird places for them to find, like Crazy Ralph in the fridge. What is it with Slasher villains stuffing their victims into closets and things? The killer appears and wrestles with Paul beginning the ending thrill sequence. Ginny goes running off trying to get away in her car first but the car wouldn’t start (in a slasher movie? That never happens!), so she goes running off into the woods. I said she’s smarter than most slasher heroines, not that she’s smart.
While running through the woods she stumbles upon the killer’s shanty. Inside she discovers a horrible sight that the cop found earlier, though we never saw it, and got a claw hammer to the head for his effort. It’s finally revealed to be a shrine to his dead mother‘s head, confirming what anyone with a brain could figure out that Jason was the killer all along. Ginny being a psychology student gets an idea that while implausible for normal people might just work with a lunatic. She puts on his mother’s sweater (ew) and begins to talk to Jason. It works at first, until Jason sees his mothers head behind her. He goes after her with a pick axe, but she gets his machete and fights him off before swinging it into his shoulder, this defeating him.
Ginny is found by Paul and they leave the shanty, but not before they take off Jason’s burlap sack mask and get a look at his face off screen. They return to the camp to collect their thoughts and figure out what exactly they are going to do. Seeing as half their staff was murdered and all. They do a fake scare with the front door, where it turns out to be the dog from before. Then suddenly Jason all deformed and ugly and sans sack mask comes jumping through the window and attacking Ginny. It cuts to Ginny being placed in an ambulance and asking for Paul. Originally this sequence while left ambiguous, was supposed to be real and Paul was killed off screen. The third movie however changed it so that the sequence was definitely a dream and the body count discussed on the news confirmed that Paul did in fact survive.
Friday the 13th Part 2 did take everything to a new level. Some of the characters were better written than the first one. The villain is less shocking as the first one you had no idea it was a woman until the very end, this one though it tried to be surprising with it, they hinted rather heavily early on that it was Jason so no one who sees this should be shocked, unless they have a massive head injury. All in all this is a very good slasher movie, though not as good as the first one and not as good as some that follow. This movie was before Jason got his iconic look so that makes it a little interesting in that regard as it shows how the character evolved from movie to movie with his look. If you haven’t seen this movie somehow, I suggest you check it out as it’s a prime example of a Slasher move done right, even though Ted survived.