In my last article, I briefly glossed over the adoration I have for Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning. It was an offering insufficient; this film’s staggering complexity cannot be delineated by a mere blurb.
It deserves more.
A dedicated monument in Washington D.C.would do, but no one seems interested in helping me get the ball rolling on that venture. I set up a Gofundme page and even contributed $27 out of my own pocket. Months went by and the total had only grown by six dollars—donated by Andrew (our editor in chief here at 25YL). Discouraged, I took the page down and used the funds to buy groceries for myself.
I say a gift is a gift. Andrew maintains I still owe him six dollars.
Since the monument doesn’t appear to be happening, I’ll do my best to give this film the write-up it deserves.
When the movie starts, Jason Voorhees is dead. Now, Jason presumably died at least three times prior to Friday the 13th Part IV: The Final Chapter, but Part IV assures us that this time he’s the deadest he’s ever been. Super-seriously deader than all hell. See, what no one understood was—like all monsters—Jason can’t be killed by standard mortal means. It took four movies, but someone finally worked it out. Werewolves are killed by silver bullets, vampires by sunlight or a stake to the heart, and zombies by a shot to the head. Jason Voorhees’ demise requires a much more specific and complicated method of execution. It turns out—for Jason’s death to be permanent—he must be hacked to shit by Corey Feldman with an insane haircut.
I don’t make the rules, only the observations.
Feldman makes an appearance as Tommy Jarvis in the first moments of A New Beginning; seeing Jason arise from the grave covered in worms. Jokes aside—it’s one of my favorite shots in any Friday the 13th movie. Alas, we soon realize it’s only a dream, as Tommy is snapped awake to realize he’s grown up to be portrayed by John Shepherd.
An adult Tommy Jarvis moves into a halfway house, as he apparently went off the deep end after killing Jason. Thankfully, he “hakuna matatas” himself out of a mental institution and is getting prepared to re-enter society; we’re all glad to see he’s progressing. There are numerous people residing in this halfway house. Reggie—a young boy—and Pam seem to be the only ones Tommy quickly befriends. Tommy isn’t there to make friends, he’s there to get his life back together. Good luck with that.
Worse than Jason, Leatherface, Freddy Krueger, and Scott Stapp combined, this sack of doorknobs is about to crash the whole goddamn plane into the mountain.
This absolute joke of a human being is referred to as Joey. Always showing up uninvited, people wonder why he’s even an option; he’s the human equivalent of celery. I always feel for the outcast in a movie, but not Joey. Joey represents all that is wrong with the world, he’s the reason we can’t have nice things. Everyone is doing their respective jobs at this halfway house and trying to get their head on straight. Meanwhile, Joey is walking around, covered in chocolate like a three-year-old; blathering in people’s ears, playing the victim when he’s rightfully told to fuck off for being in the way and contributing nothing but stress. He halts progress—full stop.
Vic is, to say the least, irritable. His body language projects a “don’t fuck with me” demeanor that reads like a sign spelled out in a bold 500pt. Mallory font. Joey somehow didn’t get the message as he apparently perceives the world around him in Wingdings. Anyone who doesn’t know enough to stop badgering a pissed off maniac named Vic—who is literally wielding a large axe and chopping firewood—absolutely deserves to have their spine severed. I will never apologize for saying that.
Just look at what this derelict causes.
Joey doesn’t simply ruin everyone’s progress, he adds even more havoc to the lives of everyone in the vicinity. Vic goes to prison, Tommy’s trauma is naturally triggered from witnessing the violent event, and worst of all, Joey’s paramedic father is a responder to the 911 call. As anyone would expect—Joey’s father is so shaken by the scene of his appropriately-dead son—he puts on a hockey mask and starts pretending to be Jason. It’s the only rational response.
Imagine, if you will—or even if you won’t—someone as myopic and oblivious as Joey from Friday the 13th Part V, being validated and aggrandized by millions of people. People, mind you, who are harboring his same shortcomings, treating him as a deity, giving him loads of political power, and the protection of 24/7 armed security. Imagine that and you’ll understand why I’m concerned for the direction in which our country is headed. Fuck Joey and everyone he represents.
Some may call that a reach. I would remind those people that I’m 6’3” and always help old ladies get items from the top shelf at the supermarket. Reaching is what I do and it’s a beautiful thing.
Analogies aside—what’s done is done. Tommy Jarvis still has to live in this world and weather the chaos. Even amid his perception that Jason Voorhees is back, Tommy must follow the tenants of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road and keep carrying the fire.
Another person carrying fire in Friday the 13th Part V is the character of Demon, who comes to visit Reggie halfway through the movie. Demon seems to be carrying the aforementioned fire in his bowels.
First off, it’s immediately cemented that Demon is a bad-ass by the fact that… well, his name is Demon. After zero research I’ve concluded that Demon is actually the third most intimidating name in existence—edged out by Magnus Von Shieldcrusher and Butch.
Demon’s image as a wild man is belabored by the fact that he wears a lot of leather and drinks beer in the back of his van. He’s the kind of guy Danny Tanner would fucking hate.
That said, even the most feared men sometimes succumb to the ghoulish call of violent diarrhea churning in the pit of their stomach. Long-digested enchiladas begin talking back to Demon with promises that a bubblin’ crude of Clampett-like proportions is imminent. He finds sanctuary in an outhouse, but Demon’s girlfriend plays games by shaking its aluminium walls and trying to scare him. He’s agitated at first, then shows his soft side by serenading her with his angelic voice singing “ooh ooh baby, ooh baby.” She joins in on the singing and a musical number ensues straight out of Whatthehellsville, Nowhere. Mind you, this occurs while Demon is still taking a brutal shit in an outhouse.
I have nothing clever to add to that, other than to say it feels like it could be deleted scene from Gummo.
Before Demon has time to pull his pants up, Jason—or someone like Jason—impales him. Love lost, a fecal duet cut short. I’m happy that they were happy, but personally, singing songs with my significant other while one of us is on the toilet is a level of comfort and familiarity I do not aspire to reach. Maybe I have intimacy issues.
Also, lest we forget about Ethel and Junior. I live in Western North Carolina. Ethel and Junior remind me of… not just people I know… but people I’m related to. Some days they make me laugh, other days they make me cry knowing that they’re basically caricatures of the city council for the town in which I grew up. Still, they’re one of the most entertaining parts of the movie.
The big climax, of course, is that Tommy finally confronts “Jason,” who as far as I’m concerned, is just Jason. Of course, we all know it’s technically Joey’s father acting as a copycat, but I consider it a technicality. I will say this though, if you watch the final act of Friday the 13th Part V as Jason peruses Pam and Reggie, it becomes side-splittingly hilarious to pretend that Jason is not actually trying to kill them, but just trying to return some car keys he found.
Might sound insane, but try it. You simply cannot unsee it—nor should you.
That’s all I have to say about Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning without writing a novel about it, and I probably could. But for now, I’ll close this analysis of my favorite Jason movie by asking how you feel about it. So let us know. What are your thoughts?