Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (John Carl Buechler, 1988, USA)

Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood marks another entry into the Jason franchise - and it is another solid entry. The film, directed by John Carl Buechler (perhaps most famous for the original Troll film from 1986), is very much a response to the third entry in the Nightmare on Elm Street series - Dream Warriors. That film, one of the best in the Elm Street franchise, managed to successfully fuse fantasy elements with the trappings of the Nightmare series. In this case, our protagonist is a psychokinetic teenage girl named Tina Shepherd (Lar Pink Lincoln). John Carl Buechler described the film as "Carrie meets The Terminator" and this is an apt description.

The "Terminator" in this case is Kane Hodder. Kane Hodder is to Jason what Sean Connery is to James Bond - he played him the most times and left the biggest impression on audiences. Jason in this film looks better than in any of the other films. Kane's physique gives him a hulking menace - he looks like he is powerful. But we also see that he has decayed somewhat - his mask is broken, his bones are visible. The most impressive moment occurs toward the end of the film, where he is unmasked and looks truly horrific. 

There are a few weak points in the film, notably, the bizarre ending wherein Tina summons the spirit of her dead father (whom she killed as a child) to pull Jason into the lake again. The fact that her father looks the same makes this part unbelievable. Also, the censorship was very heavy at this time, leaving much to be desired in terms of the visual effects. Most of the violence in the film was removed, and this impacts the overall effectiveness of the film. Overall, Part 7 is a solid entry into the franchise. 



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