Mine is Part VI, “Jason Lives.” First off, I love the opening sequence. We meet the newest incarnation of Tommy Jarvis (played by the wonderful Thom Matthews of “Return of the Living Dead”) as he is rushing to the grave of Jason Voorhees, in an ill-fated attempt to make sure he is dead (for real this time).
Jason looks grody in the grave — with makeup effects that mirror the face of Fulci’s most famous zombie. Tommy stabs him with a pole, which gets struck by lightning. Reanimated and ready for action, Jason rises from the grave and rips the heart out of Tommy’s friend. Tommy narrowly escapes only to be caught by the local sheriff.
There’s no shortage of good kills, but the movie also has comic relief — including a doomed group of dorky paint ballers and a crotch-shot car chase to the tune of “Hard Rock Summer.” The movie also has an incredible theme by Alice Cooper, “He’s Back (The Man Behind the Mask).” It’s the second best theme in the franchise, after Part III’s title track by Harry Manfredini.
I asked some of my friends about their favorite “Friday the 13th” movie — check out their responses below. And I’d love to hear yours, so feel free to leave a note in the comments.
- Dave (my hubby): “‘Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter,’ the fourth movie in the series, is my personal favorite. It has the incredibly gory effects of Tom Savini, which make this sequel really stand out from the rest. Corey Feldman shaves his head to trick and confuse Jason, who must be cognitively disabled to fall for such nonsense, and Crispin Glover gets bullied by ol’ ‘Teddy Bear,’ getting called such unforgettable names as a ‘dead f***.’There’s also some good and morbid scares to be had here. The best example is when Rob gets killed in the dark basement screaming, ‘He’s killing me!’ as Jason brutally hacks him to death. The final battle scene with Jason without the mask is unforgettable as he gets mutilated, culminating in a grand finale — Jason falling on the machete face-first. Plus, there’s plenty of teen shenanigans along with a great clip of a vintage stag film. Watch it this Friday the 13th and it’s certain to have you yelling, ‘Jesus Christmas! Holy Jesus! God****! Holy Jesus jumping Christmas s***!'”
- Leslie Kotzas (of The Smart Domestic): “My favorite was the first. I like that it is true slasher film and not totally ridiculous like Jason in Space [‘Jason X’]. And the ending was really suspenseful.”
- Dave Hronek: “My list of the original series in order from most to least favorite: 3, 4, 5, 2, 6, 1, 7, X, 8, 9. Part 3’s characters are my most favorite, plus it had my favorite leading lady and ‘ending’ with Jason mask-less in the cabin…banging on the windows, then blasting out the house. Creepy!”
- Jess Hicks (of Bloody Disgusting): Part IV, The Final Chapter. See her full rankings here.