Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning (1985)

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First let me get this out of the way for Part 5. Unlike some of these so-called fans (ha), I still loved and enjoyed the shit out of Part 5.  Unfortunately all my first Friday the 13th viewings were out of order. I saw Part 4 and 6 before seeing this one. For the moments leading up to the first viewing of Part 5, I kept wondering what the hell was going to happen in between 4 & 6. The cover didn’t give away anything, it’s just a cheesy looking hockey mask. The pictures on the back of the VHS tape just show a chick crying, holding a chainsaw, Junior about to be decapitated, and maybe the kid making a scared face.

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The description of the film was also very vague. It was something along the lines of the typical, cheesy description “Jason Voorhees is back and more murderous than ever in this blood-soaked installment to the classic slasher franchise, etc.”
It must be pointed out that Tommy Jarvis is the first character since Alice and Crazy Ralph to show up in a following sequel.
It’s nice (but only for a brief moment) to see Corey Feldman play the Tommy we remember in the very beginning of the film. Right away we see him wandering through a Crystal Lake-looking forest. He ends up at the grave site of the deceased Jason Voorhees.
2 random dudes with shovels randomly run over to the grave and just start digging him up. Really? Now I’m confused as shit thinking how the hell is the beginning of Part 6 supposed to get to that point?
We find out its really just a nightmare of Tommy’s, who now appears to be older and in a van on its way to somewhere… Roll opening credits.

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So at this point early on in the movie, I see it has something going for it. Tommy is now at a mental institute in the form of what looks like a “recovery” house run by Matt and pretty blond Pam. We learn that Tommy’s been in and out of these kinds of places because he can’t seem to shake Jason Voorhees out of his head (Who wouldn’t after the events of Part 4?). He suffers from hallucinations of Jason, only to leave the audience wondering. Unlike the Tommy Jarvis in Part 4 and 6, this Tommy (played by John Shepherd) is very quiet and mentally unstable. If people mess with him, he will fight back like a motherfucker.

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Tommy isn’t the main focus believe it or not, as the story progresses. We learn that some of the locals don’t like the “nut house” including a wacky redneck lady Ethel and her son that looks oh so much like Uncle Eddy Dennis Quaid, “Junior”.

There’s a shocking moment in the beginning of the film where one of the nuts kills another. The slow, fat kid Joey annoys the shit out of a guy Vic, who is chopping wood. I was actually not expecting that at all even though i was thinking Vic might do something to Joey if he keeps pissing him off.   And whaddya know, Vic attacks Joey with an axe. Why not?

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Want a chocolate bar?

 

After that incident, murders begin to happen again. First its random locals, then it seems to be people around the area of the nuthouse.  Basically everyone in this cast, one by one. Even though most of these are typical Jason-like kills (some of them are actually creative I’ll go over my favorite kills a little later), something felt off about the killing scenes while watching it.
This has the Part 1 & 2 feeling of the mysterious killer. In Part 3 and 4, we knew clearly it was Jason. In this one, the killer is hard to figure out. It couldn’t be Jason, the murderer’s hands are too clean-looking instead of the usual rotting Jason flesh, and unlike the other 4 there is hardly any POV of the killer. While I was confused about all that, I was also starting to realize the body count is very high compared to the previous 4.

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Finally by the end, we find out the killer isn’t really Jason, but a copycat. It ends up being Roy the paramedic who was earlier in the film bagging up Joey’s corpse. When Roy was called to the scene, he realized it was his own son that was killed by Vic. He took it upon him to vow revenge Jason Voorhees-style.
Unlike Jason, Roy wasn’t a zombie, so he did meet his own fate in this one. This has a bad effect on Tommy, one of the few survivors left at the end. I’ll ruin it for you, Tommy dawns the Jason mask Roy was wearing, and…

This is why it was a big disappointment to a lot of people. But you have to realize that they wanted “A New Beginning”. That’s why the ending sucked. Tommy the new Jason after this one? Get the fuck out of here.
It’s hard for me to completely dismiss this one though. I do agree that Part 4 and 6 follow each other very well and with this one in between it feels like a mess, BUT it’s still Friday the 13th-like as it always is, and I love that. The kills are very creative. My favorites kills include the flare in the mouth, the cleaver to the face landing in a pot of hot soup, and when Demon (played by Miguel Nunez from Return of the Living Dead!) gets killed in the shitbox after singing “oooo baby” to his girlfriend, etc. Classic.

If you know this going in, and just watch it for what it is – a Friday the 13th movie! So chill out and stop hating, you can always skip it after Part 4 and go right to Part 6.

RANDOM THOUGHTS/OBSERVATIONS
— Anyone else think Pete and Vinny were weird dudes looking like they’re teens from the 50s?
— Before their deaths, Ethel and Junior would’ve been a great spin-off comedy.
— Joey’s Munchies chocolate bar. Wish I had an authentic one!
— Violet the emo chick looks ahead of her time.
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— Reggie the Reckless screams at a pitch almost higher than a little girl. I laugh at that every time. Turns the horror to comedy every time 🙂

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