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Overall Rating

Awesome: 15.15%
Worth A Look: 24.24%
Just Average25.25%
Pretty Crappy: 12.12%
Sucks: 23.23%

3 reviews, 81 user ratings

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Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter
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by Jack Sommersby

"One of the Very Worst of the Series"
1 stars

You'd be best reading the obscene scribblings off a restroom wall, I swear.

Zero would be a more appropriate last name for director Joseph Zito, whose work in Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter proves again that he has absolutely zero talent as a moviemaker. After all, his previous horror outing was the lackluster, crushingly-boring The Prowler, which was dreadfully paced and about as frightening as a fly on your drinking glass; the story premise was more or less the same as it always is in the slasher subgenre -- that of a deranged madman slicing and dicing his way through an array of randy teenagers -- and yet it wasn't aptly engineered for maximum suspense, or any suspense, for that matter. Even a hack director should possess some semblances of film instinct for effectively manipulating the viewer, however low-class the means taken to achieve that; and Zito, an insult to camera movement and composition and pacing, is all-thumbs at bringing off even the simplest cinematic tasks. Gosh knows you don't need to be a genius to make a Friday the 13th entry satisfyingly work on undemanding viewers, but you do need even an elementary grasp of expressive film technique to conjure up and sustain both suspense and atmosphere, and Zito is hopeless in these areas. Granted, he's not exactly working with the best of scripts -- a rancid atrocity by one Barney Cohen, who actually concocted a rather good one with his screenwriting debut, the 1977 action/whodunit Stunts (starring Robert Forster) -- but it's still provided him with the basic essentials that any on-the-ball director could take off from. (The first and third entries in this series didn't have fantastic writing, but the directors managed to make them work enjoyably enough.) Someone searching a dark basement with a flashlight, someone naked on a raft at night oblivious to their impending doom, someone knowing a fiend is in their house and is too scared stiff to think the straightest, someone in a shower expecting their lover to come back and wondering what's taking her so long, all are viable scenarios to be exploited for all their limited worth, and Zito's clunky approach winds up giving the impression that not only is he oblivious as to what subgenre he's working in but even what genre. You can't tell what in the world he's going for because the camera and his mind don't seem to be working together -- it were as if someone were tapping him on the shoulder and distracting him every time he needed to get to "the good stuff."

Of course, the talking-heads scenes in between the killings couldn't be more banal, what with idiotic dialogue and some really irritating acting accentuating the contextual vapidity. The teens, who've rented out a house in the woods in, yes, the same general vicinity where the murders in the previous entry took place at the ever-bloodied hands of the hockey-masked fiend Jason, have as much personality as petrified cauliflower; and the actors have been encouraged to play up sitcom-like "moments" to catch our attention rather than identifiable emotions to sustain it. They're either jerks or non-jerks, either horny or prissy, either extroverted or enervated. While we don't need full-bodied characterizations to tide us over until the bloodletting ensues in full-tilt-boogie mode, the people we're watching do need to hold some kind of appeal so we have some kind of stake in them -- for all the nonexistent investment we have in the diaphanous ones here, seeing them done in isn't any more unsettling than watching cockroaches being offed with bug spray; and because Zito has no earthly idea how to shape a scene or transition to another one with an ounce of fluidity, the actors often look unsure and uncomfortable -- you can imagine them making better impressions during their lunch breaks on the shoot than in front of the device containing celluloid because Zito shows no respect for them and constantly violates them. (Hand puppets wouldn't have made any more negligible impressions.) To try to add variety, Cohen's thrown in a family in the next house over (a mother, older-teen daughter and a young monster-mask aficionado of a son), along with a male hitchhiking camper (whose sister was one of Jason's early victims) who encounters them on his way to an area where he hopes to find and do in Jason. For a wee bit, there's promise here, because Corey Feldman, who plays the son, has some unforced charm, and Erich Anderson, as the camper, has considerable screen presence, but their roles are underutilized -- they don't lend the story any logical progression like we think they will, so they wind up casualties just like the rest of the cast. What's the point in having a fatherless boy who loves horror movies eventually going up against the fatherless Jason if no real correlation is drawn from it and doesn't pay off with any kind of self-referential wit or kick?

In a movie of countless miscalculations, it's hard to discern which is the most abysmal. When the camper is in his tent and hears a scream from a girl who's just been stabbed, he goes out to investigate while wielding a machete, and, when finding nothing, he catches a glimpse of someone walking away from his tent (who turns out to be Jason), he looks inside and sees his rifle has been destroyed. What, thinking that psychopath-to-end-all-psychopaths Jason was nearby, he opted to leave a perfectly good firearm behind? And later on down the line, when Jason is attacking him, he yells at a girl to run away yet doesn't try protecting himself, apparently not realizing your arms and hands can move at the same time as your mouth. A skinny-dipping scene certainly affords us the bountiful nudity that the previous entry skimped on, but when it comes to the sex, Zito gives us ho-hum post-coital cuddling instead -- there's not so much as a smidgen of the erotica that Kevin Bacon and Jeannine Taylor carnally gave off in their heightened-orgasm scene in the original. An early episode where Jason, presumed to be dead, escapes from a morgue after killing a libidinous doctor and his bubble-headed nurse doesn't have the nasty phantasmagoria that it should; besides, you sense it was thrown in just to rip off Halloween II. (I don't think Zito has enough brain cells to know what a homage is). When someone is looking for their friends in a dark part of the house, moving very slowly, Zito fouls it up by cutting to something incidental outside, thus dissipating any chance of tension; crosscutting can be effective when done right, but Zito, again, doesn't know how to simply get from A to B without making a mockery of things. You'd think any director would salivate with unbridled glee over the prospect of the group jerk being stabbed through a home-projector screen that's been playing an old B/W skin flick (maybe sending up the kind of trash the character is unknowingly participating in), but the juxtaposing is skewed, and the mangled payoff lands with a big fat thud. In case one hasn't surmised by now, Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter is a shambles from start to finish, a motion picture that offers neither pleasure nor wit, just a barrage of missed opportunities and the kind of startling directorial ineptitude that makes an industrial-training video seem positively Herculean by comparison. Sure, there's some gore and skin, but just about every second leading up to them all but neuters their innate sleazy appeal, and Jason no longer exudes so much as an iota of genuine menace. Zito the Zero, a real killjoy, he.

A barf bag, please.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=1139&reviewer=327
originally posted: 10/29/11 19:42:36
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User Comments

9/14/17 morris campbell lets hope so pure crap 1 stars
11/02/09 art FRIDAY THE 13TH RUN"S CIRCLE"S AROUND john carpentersPATHETIC halloween! 1 stars
7/10/09 hunt a awesome friday the 13th 5 stars
6/25/09 art THIS ENTRY is THE PIT"S!,the 1980 original BURIES all the sequal's,esp.T the recent remake! 1 stars
2/16/07 David Pollastrini 6 more sequels after the final chapter! 4 stars
11/14/06 MP Bartley Slow burning, but the best since the first. Creepy ending too. 4 stars
3/04/06 Jaime Moore Not Scary at all.And most of the Acting isn't that good. 3 stars
1/16/06 Anthony Feor Too bad it really isn't the final chapter 1 stars
12/09/05 cody a good sequel better than part 3, good acting and cool cast (corey feldman),entertaining 3 stars
10/13/05 Darren O Easily the most routine and mechanical of the entire series. 2 stars
8/23/05 Sugarfoot For me this was the lamest one, mainly because even the killings were dull. 1 stars
7/13/05 Brandy Harrington It it really the end of Jason?!?!? 2 stars
6/27/05 R HAHAHAHA!! ohh, these movies are funny.. 1 stars
6/10/05 Manu Ginobli Any movie with Crispin Glover is good 4 stars
5/26/05 tony It should've ended here. But good overall movie 3 stars
10/12/04 kevin watts NOT AS GOOD AS EARLIER FILMS 3 stars
7/01/04 American Slasher Goddess The most overrated of the series, the only thing that saves it, is the last 15 mins. 3 stars
6/07/04 Ryan Clark This is one of the worst of the series... the tired formula is just about dead. 2 stars
6/02/04 J Same old Jason 4 stars
5/26/04 hsu paul had one big problem 4 stars
4/07/04 phoenix The best of all the sequels, even Part 3. Corey Feldman as Tommy rules. 5 stars
3/17/04 PAYNE_KillerZ C0000000000000000000000000000000000L... !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
3/09/04 Littlepurch This didn't just have a weak plot, it had NO PLOT.Serously, NOTHING! It's quite incredible! 2 stars
2/17/04 Ramey The Climax is great. Good kills- Nudity- Decent Acting & Own Stunt Work From Kimberly Beck! 4 stars
12/13/03 G.K. actually, a good film 4 stars
12/13/03 Jor.Armstrong Suprisingly good film. Not funny good, but actually movie good. best "Friday 5 stars
12/13/03 American Slasher Goddess Overrated and more juvenile then usual but the last 15 mins make up for it. 3 stars
12/12/03 Jacob more along the genre of action than horror 3 stars
12/12/03 Samuel A very good horror flick, Jason can't be beat not even by Feddy which has been proven! 4 stars
12/12/03 BEast_master pretty good! 3 stars
12/11/03 billy bob pretty cool movie! 3 stars
12/11/03 The Killer decent... 3 stars
12/11/03 Captain Spaulding Awesome flick!! 5 stars
12/11/03 KOMOHA pretty good! 3 stars
12/09/03 Tommy horror_blood is immature, I've noticed he talks to Samuel Justus on every page i went to... 5 stars
11/10/03 Jor.Armstrong Suprisingly good film. Not funny good, but actually movie good. best "Friday" 5 stars
11/01/03 American Slasher Goddess Overrated and more juvenile then usual but the last 15 mins make up for it. 3 stars
11/01/03 J A really good action movie! Even doe it's supposed to be horror. 4 stars
10/15/03 Erik Van Sant Corey Feldman and Crispin Glover star...awesome. Watch for Crispin's radical dance moves. 5 stars
10/14/03 J.B. Crispin Glover is called a "dead fuck" - funnier than this film is scary. 2 stars
10/07/03 Double G Made the NES game! 5 stars
9/16/03 Samuel Justus I wish this was the Final Chapter! too bad huh? 1 stars
7/21/03 Double G Even though they made a NES game for this movie, i didn't like it much. I like the game tho 3 stars
6/07/03 jonny v I fyou like slasher movies, this one fits the bill. Should ha ve been the Final Chapter 4 stars
5/21/03 Andrew Carden Feldman & Beck Make This Routine Slasher Flick Worth Watching. 4 stars
4/05/03 Dave The best film in the series, even though that doesn't say much. 2 stars
10/14/02 Charles Tatum I flushed twice and still this movie keeps floating to the top 1 stars
8/15/02 Shaun chilling 4 stars
6/25/02 Brandon Not the Final Chapter, but thats ok, F13 just keeps going & going! 5 stars
6/02/02 I'm in (L) with a Jedi pppfff....yer im sure dis is da final chapter... 2 stars
4/24/02 maximal01 Corey Feldman should've got fucked and skewered by Jason. Only the FX make this watchable. 3 stars
3/09/02 Chowie the final chapter? michael myers shits all over jason 1 stars
11/30/01 travis all these movies in this seris is crappy 1 stars
11/29/01 Rutt13 not bad... 3 stars
11/05/01 Jake Are you a dead fuck? After the corkscrew yes. So many coincidences & mistakes in this movie 2 stars
10/29/01 Sthenno I changed my mind. This movie sucked, what was with the dog jumping out of the window? 1 stars
10/25/01 Sthenno What the hell? It was better when I first saw it,. Sluggish directing and no plot. 2 stars
9/25/01 Shane Robert Myers!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is a masterpeace! it has the story, motion and a creepy ending but it is'nt the last one 5 stars
9/15/01 Mr. Hat It's so much the same I don't even remember how it ended! THAT pisses me off. 2 stars
9/07/01 Michael Thornton It was one of the better films of the series. It was sure better than part 5! lol 4 stars
9/04/01 Stephen Pytak Try watching it in French on the DVD. Funny as hell. 4 stars
8/06/01 Joe Zappa Are you serious? You actually think there isn't a Part 5? 2 stars
8/05/01 E-Funk Corey Feldman's finest...a tie as the best of the series along with part 6. 5 stars
4/14/01 LiL jessie, are you for serious?! 1,2,3,4,5,6,7and8 were all pieces of shit! 1 stars
2/20/01 jessie these movies are great!!the best ones are 1,2,and 4 is.the movie was always best in the woo 5 stars
1/27/01 Barrett Kaelin More comedic than other enteries. Also, best looking women. 4 stars
9/03/00 TIGGER Absolute shite! Wouldn't see it again if someone paid me! 1 stars
8/12/00 Bender This is when the series lost some of its scariness, but its still entertaining. 4 stars
8/11/00 Justin Boring, anti climactic (it was supposed to be final) but the end is kinda cool if demented 3 stars
5/18/00 Matt Moseley I think this movie could have been better more deaths ,more nudity 4 stars
4/29/00 Ehh... c-r-a-p!G-o-o-d c-r-a-p! 5 stars
4/13/00 SwatchDog Corey Feldman hahaha.. Decent murder techniques but a thumbs down on the 'scares' factor 3 stars
3/23/00 Billy bob gandhi Anyone who looks at this is a fucking imbosile 1 stars
3/01/00 Kyle Broflovski The FINAL CHAPTER??? Uh, yeah, okay...and I got this tower in Paris for sale... 1 stars
3/07/99 KK Dusenbury The second best of the series. F13th 4: Wife Beating 101 5 stars
10/29/98 Negative Creep New direction for the film series. Jason goes to the other side of the Lake!!! Wooo! ;) 3 stars
10/16/98 CaptNish Two Words....Corey Felman....aw yeah 4 stars
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  02-Feb-1984 (R)
  DVD: 05-Oct-2004


  02-Jul-1984 (R)

Directed by
  Joseph Zito

Written by
  Barney Cohen

  Erich Anderson
  Judie Aronson
  Peter Barton
  Kimberly Beck
  Tom Everett
  Corey Feldman

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