Friday, March 13, 2020

Review - Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI

It should be no surprise to anyone to learn that I love horror movies (and books). Since today's Friday the 13th, I'm featuring a review for Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI by Simon Hawke, which is based on the screenplay by Tom McClouglin for the sixth Friday the 13th film. The movie was released in 1986 and it marked the return of the horror villain icon Jason Voorhees, who was absent from the previous entry. (Spoiler Alert: Jason was replaced with a copycat killer!)

I have no clue what year I first saw Jason Lives but I do know it was the third Friday 13th movie I had seen at the time. The movie aired on TNT near midnight and I attempted to stay up to watch it but I kept falling asleep and ended up going to bed. No worries! I recorded it on VHS and watched the rest of it the next day, which drove my mother nuts as she hates horror flicks. Anyway, Jason Lives happens to be my second favorite Friday the 13th movie. (FYI - Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter gets my #1 spot!). I stumbled upon the novelization many years ago at a thrift store. I don't recall the price but it was under 25 cents, which was a steal as the title is currently going for around $150 for a used copy on eBay.

Jason Lives is set a few years after Friday the 13th: A New Beginning, where an adult Tommy Jarvis has just been released from a psychic ward. When he was little kid (Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter), Jason murdered his mother and along with several teenagers. With a machete to the face, Tommy thought he had stopped Jason. Well, that's until the hallucinations started and a madman wearing a hockey mask tried to kill him at the Pinehurst Halfway House (Friday the 13th: A New Beginning). To stop the hallucinations, Tommy needs to make sure Jason is actually dead, which leads him, and his friend Allen, going to Eternal Rest Cemetery at night to dig up Jason's corpse.

Tommy stabs Jason repeatedly with an iron fence spike.

Big Mistake!

Lightning strikes the spike and resurrects Jason! Tommy barely escapes, but sadly, Allen meets his end.

Final Thoughts

As with the opening, the book plays out exactly like the movie with Tommy attempting to get the local authorities to believe Jason is back. The only person who actually believes him is the sheriff's daughter Megan, who helps him escape jail and together, they confront Jason at the Forest Green Lake (Camp Crystal Lake).

The author, Simon Hawke, gives us a glimpse at Jason's childhood. Unlike the films, he's never referred to as being deformed, but instead he was a silent child who was bullied at school and at Camp Crystal Lake.

Sheriff Michael Garris is given a little bit of a backstory, a widowed Vietnam veteran who's doing his best to raise his teenage daughter, Megan. In the film, the character comes off as an idiot but he's better written in the novelization.

The biggest change is the ending, where Jason's mask floats to the top of the lake. Later, Mr. Voorhees is visiting Eternal Rest Cemetery, only to learn his son has risen from the grave. Jason's father has never appeared on-screen. The ending with Jason's mask was filmed but wasn't used in the movie. Mr. Voorhees's ending was planned but never filmed, which is sad, as I would've liked to have seen it.

Overall, Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI is a must-read for any Friday the 13th fan - if you can get your hands on a copy.

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