Thursday, June 10, 2010

Review: Jason Goes to Hell (1993)

Director: Adam Marcus
Starring: Kane Hodder, John D. LeMay, Kari Keegan

This is Jason Goes to Hell.

…yup, no other explanation needed. Let’s get started. The movie opens with a girl going into a Crystal Lake cabin for no other reason than to…change a lightbulb, take off her clothes and turn on the bath water. Makes sense. Then Jason comes in, so she goes out to the hall to find him and is promptly almost slaughtered by him for the heinous crime of having a naked body underneath her clothes. So she gets thrown off a balcony, chased outside and then stands back as the FBI blow Jason to bits within a few seconds with nukes – yes, they bought nukes, and yes, they definitely couldn't have done this any time in the previous 8 films. They were just...waiting for the right time, I guess.

“Open fire, men! We can’t let him get to outer space to make Jason X!”

So, he’s dead. Movie over, right? No, then we get our title screen, Jason Goes to Hell…which makes me wonder what would happen if they confused this series with the Ernest movies. I mean we already had Jason Goes to Manhattan, what’s next? Jason Goes to Jail? Jason Goes to France? Jason Scared Silly? The credits play out over a black screen interspersed with clips of this guy taking him into the morgue for an autopsy. For some reason they pat him down…to make sure he’s not going to...do what, exactly? What they should have done is make sure JASON was really dead; there’s a cause worth patting someone down for! They even pat down the coroner later, like he’s going to do anything wrong in there…weird.

So after a good five minutes of jumpy orchestrations and drawn out opening credits, we finally have our first real scene involving the orderly guy…eating Jason’s heart. I am dead serious; he just stares at it for a few seconds, picks it up and starts chomping on the fucking thing. And apparently Jason’s heart is some kind of a catalyst for him to possess the body of whoever eats it. Huh. I wonder where that plot point came from. I don’t remember hearing about it in any of the past movies…is this that thing I always refer to as…plot convenience?

Nah, a Friday the 13th movie would never do that.

So then we get introduced to our next big spectacle in this movie, Creighton Duke. His job, aside from being a bounty hunter, is to spout snarky phrases that would make him look like a real cool guy if his character was more developed – but there is no real substance beyond that. Why do I have a feeling that they were hoping to make an action figure out of this guy? He’s just so quick to spit out “badass” lines that don’t fool the audience or the actual characters in the movie, either, into thinking he’s actually cool. Also, he apparently is about the only one who thinks Jason is still alive, even though most of the country can hear the reports of the string of murders that is making its way back to, surprise surprise, Camp Crystal Lake. Who do they think is doing it, Keyser Soze? I mean really, how is everyone so skeptical about this? Are they even investigating other suspects for the murders to try and validate their suspicion? The only other guy who it could have possibly been is the orderly who they only classify as “missing,” with no other word about him at all! Make some sense, movie, make some sense!

Duke tries to intimidate a middle aged waitress at a diner serving “Hockey Burgers” and “Jason Fingers” to celebrate Jason’s death, and apparently she’s important to the plot somehow…he gets brushed off by some cops protecting her, she tells this skinny guy with glasses to meet her tonight, and then we cut to Jason doing what he does best. He kills some naked teenagers, a blonde chick in a checkered bonnet and then…well, bear with me here. This is honestly one of the strangest and most bizarre scenes in any Friday the 13th movie as we see him kidnap a fat, mustached cop, strap him naked to a table, shave his mustache off and then we can assume he switches bodies and takes the time to put the guy’s clothes back on, as we see him kill the waitress in the next scene. But my question is…why the hell did he shave the cop’s mustache? I know it’s a mundane thing to bring up, but what the hell? It’s so out of nowhere and just flat out strange that it’s hilarious. He didn’t shave the other guy’s face who he possessed, so what the fuck?

Okay, moving on. So Jason/Cop-Without-Mustache kills the waitress just as that guy with the glasses from earlier comes in and tries to stop him. He gets arrested under suspicion of the murder and put into a cell next to Creighton Duke, who has more snarky witticisms to offer. Just what we needed. Apparently he was arrested for just…existing. He asks the glasses-guy to make a commitment to helping him fight Jason, and then promptly breaks his finger through the bars of their cells. Nice going, asshole, you just made it harder for him to help you fight. Truly you’re a battle strategist at heart.

Oh, wait, were we supposed to think that scene was badass? I’m sorry.

No, seriously, who the hell is this Creighton Duke and how does he magically have all the answers? Was there just…no other way you could possibly write this story without a fucking oracle of wisdom for you? So what, the only one who can kill Jason is the one who can destroy his heart, and that is the daughter of that waitress, who is conveniently also the ex-lover of the glasses-guy, who had her child…are you following this? I mean, it’s better than the shit they gave us in Halloween 6, but it’s still pretty out there. So Duke keeps breaking glasses-boy’s fingers to incapacitate him even further from actually doing anything to help, while telling him how to stop Jason all the while. And the glasses-boy just believes every word he says, without question, because of course the best person to trust on these life-and-death matters is a black guy in a prison cell who breaks your fingers before he tells you anything. The logic in this movie just astounds me.

So basically the waitress, her daughter Jessica and Jessica’s baby are somehow connected to the Voorhees bloodline, and they have the power to either kill him or make him reborn. Okay. Fine. I can live with that. Where does the movie go next? Well, Sir Brokenfingers breaks out of jail and goes to complete the insane mission that Duke gave him. He hides in the Voorhees house as Jessica’s new TV star boyfriend comes in for some reason talking on the phone about his plan to make their TV ratings go up by hiding the body of Jessica’s mom the dead waitress in the Voorhees house and having the police discover it on camera. What a douche. Fortunately he’s killed in about a second as the Cop-Without-Mustache shows up and possesses him now! Joyous. I’m so glad to see that Jessica left Sir Brokenfingers for this guy. It clearly shows how intelligent she is and how high standards she has.

By the way…have you noticed that we haven’t even gotten more than five lines of dialogue from Jessica herself, who is supposed to be this important plot point? That seems a little skewed; we should at least be able to care about her by this point, but frankly I care more about seeing Creighton Duke get killed than our supposed lead girl. But wait, we get a scene of her in the shower next, crying presumably about the fact that she’s in this movie, when the lights go off. She gets attacked by her Jason-Boyfriend, and then Sir Brokenfingers saves her. Like any sane person, she doesn’t believe a word he says, and runs to her daddy the police chief, who sends one of his guys after him, and he brings him in after a pretty funny scene where they point guns at each other.

And then we start The Big Chase as Jason in the body of that TV show guy kills everybody besides the two main characters and the baby. Oh, and Duke comes back, too, because I just really needed to see him again. Ugh. It’s revealed that apparently Jason can also use a DEAD VOORHEES to reincarnate himself! Meaning Jessica's mom whose dead body her TV boyfriend hid in the house as a prank. I’d let that sink in if we had more time, but frankly this review is WAAAY too long already, and it’s not worth getting angry over anymore. So, he couldn't have just knocked these fuckers down right after he killed her AT THE BEGINNING OF THE DAMN MOVIE and reincarnated himself THEN? It’s a shitty twist for a shitty plot, but at least it gets Jason back to how he should be, and the final climax isn’t actually that bad. The ending epilogue scene is pretty decent, even if it is too little, too late.

This movie sucks. I won’t waste too much more of your time with this, so let’s just skim over it – a shitty, hole-ridden plot, terrible characters, gore that is more disgusting than entertaining and a lack of any kind of human logic. This was the only Friday movie to feature such an elaborate plot, and if this is all they have, I say keep it, and give us back the Friday where all he does is kill dumbass, slutty teenagers at camp. That’s the better way to go.