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Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (Deluxe Edition) - horror DVD / slasher flick DVD / sequel DVD review
Rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America curledupdvd.com rating: 3 1/2 stars
Actors: Thom Mathews, Jennifer Cooke, David Kagen, Kerry Noonan, Renee Jones, C.J. Graham
Director: Tom McLoughlin   Distributor: Paramount
DVD release: 16 June 2009   Runtime: 87 minutes (1 disc)
Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, DVD, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
DVD features: Aspect ratio 2.35:1, Audio tracks (Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround - English; Dolby Digital 2.0 - English; Mono - French, Spanish), Subtitles (English, French, Portugese, Spanish), Commentary (dir. Tom McLoughlin and cast), Lost Tales from Camp Blood - Part VI, The Crystal Lake Massacres Revisited Part III, Jason Lives: The Making of Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives, Meeting Mr. Voorhees, Slashed scenes, Original theatrical trailer

In truth, Friday the 13th, Part VI: Jason Lives could not help but be an improvement after the absolutely wretched Part 5. Like the Detroit Lions last season, the series hit rock bottom and had nowhere to go but up. Still, Part 6 deserves credit not only for being an improvement, but a VAST improvement: it is actually one of the best two or three entries in the series. The primary reason for the improvement: it shrewdly and effectively inserts a needed dose of humor into the series, along with some genuine scares sorely missing from its predecessor.

The plot: Tommy Jarvis (played by a different actor for the third straight movie, this time by Thom Mathews) needs assurance that Jason is really dead and makes the rather stupid decision to dig up Jason's grave to check (his doomed assistant is played by none other than Welcome Back Kotter's Horshack himself, Ron Pallilo). Wouldn't you know that an iron rod just happens to hit Jason in the chest, and that a lightning bolt conveniently hits the rod, resurrecting Jason Frankenstein-style? (To its credit, the movie never once takes itself too seriously.) From there, Tommy, who barely escapes, desperately tries to convince the sheriff that Jason is back (the sheriff, understandably, doubts him and thinks Tommy himself might instead be the culprit), while Jason makes his way back to Crystal Lake (renamed Forest Pines) to find a fresh batch of teens (as well as, rather disturbingly, some small kids as well).

In some ways, this film is a precursor to the Scream movies. Not only are the teens aware of Jason, but one of them even plays a card game named after Crystal Lake. Second, there is the aforementioned element of black humor throughout the film (one victim, for instance, tries to give Jason her American Express card; also, the intro is a humorous nod to the Part 6: Jason Lives series). Third, there are some genuine jump-scares and creepy moments in this one that were missing completely from Part 5. Finally, there are some truly brutal kills in this one, more so than the ones seen in some previous entries. Since the murders often happen to characters that are funny and likeable, they are more terrifying than the ones seen in lesser films in the series.

In short, while not a great horror film, Part 6 is a fun one to watch and definitely an improvement over Part 5. It gives the series a much needed boost after the horrid Part 5 nearly did what others could not do and killed Jason forever.

  • Commentary track by director Tom McLoughlin and cast and crew.
  • A continuation of Tales from Camp Blood (Part 6) (note: just end this thing already!)
  • Jason Lives: The Making of Friday 13th Part VI
  • The Crystal Lake Massacres Revisited Part 3. this is perhaps the funniest of these parodies that were started with Part 4.
  • Meeting Mr. Voorhees. A rather cool feature. Though never filmed, the director's original intent was to introduce Jason's father into the story. Using a storyboard and narration, this feature shows how the film planned to introduce Mr. Voorhees in the movie.
  • Slashed Scenes (including gorier versions of some kills that were toned down by the MPAA).
  • Original trailer
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reviewed by Trent Daniel
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