Every now and then a film slips through the cracks. For the longest time, that film for me was Friday The 13th Part VI, but in the case of this blog, it was Part V: A New Beginning. As it turns out, even though I’ve seen this movie a time or two, I didn’t remember too much about it. Since I’m working on a Friday the 13th-based list for a freelance gig and the site is lacking a review, I figured it was high time I remedied that.
This film seems to pick up where Part IV left off with the return of Corey Feldman’s Tommy Jarvis, but as we quickly find out, it’s all a a dream taking place in the head of an older Tommy (John Shepherd), one who’s on his way to a camp for emotionally troubled teenagers. Things get heavy pretty quickly as one of the patients straight up murders another with an axe in an early scene. From there, it seems like Tommy’s biggest fear has come to life and Jason is back on the hunt. But, as many fans of the series already know, it’s not really Jason this time around, it’s SPOILER the true father of the patient murdered by axe earlier in the film.
I did a little reading about this movie and, apparently, the original idea was to have Tommy Jarvis somehow take over as Jason in this film, but that’s not wound up happening. Instead, we’re treated to some wildly confusing dream-within-a-dream-within-a-possible-dream stuff at the very end that left me scratching my head a bit.
As a whole the movie’s a mix of interesting and kind of pointless. Without getting too much into the idea, the film explores the effect of a killer like Jason on the world he lives (unlives?) in. He’s such a powerful figure that a man pushed to the edge will take up his identity — or a facsimile of it — and try to continue on his murderous work, targeting any number of random victims. On the other hand, since the movie doesn’t actually feature Jason — just people altered thanks to his existence — it feels a lot less important.
At the end of the day, Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning feels a bit like one of those comic book crossover tie-in issues that aren’t completely necessary to the larger story but do feature an interesting aspect of the larger story. Cast-wise you’ve got an okay mix of oddballs, but most of them are pretty one-note. Meanwhile, the kills are serviceable. Not the best of the bunch by far, but probably not the worst.
By the way, I’ve just got to take a few sentences here and talk about how awesome Shavar Ross is as Reggie in this movie. If you’re like me, you might remember him as Dudley on Different Strokes (I will not spell that title the “correct” way based on grammatical principle alone). He’s not only more emotionally balanced than all the older kids around him, but he pulls some pretty impressive moves at the end of the film to take out Faux Jason, including hitting him with fairly large piece of equipment.