Monstervision's Joe Bob Briggs Looks At
Friday the 13th, The Final Chapter (Part 4)
Friday the 13th, part 4, had better be good -- they've made it 4 times
By Joe Bob Briggs
Drive-In Movie Critic of Grapevine, Texas, April 20, 1984
Remember when Betsy Palmer got her head sliced off with a machete and movie history was made? Course you do. We all do. I think all our lives were changed on June 13, 1980, the original Friday the 13th, the dawn of the eighties, the day red meat came back into the American diet. In Friday NUMERO UNO Betsy played "I've Got A Secret" one too many times, and then when she shot Bing Crosby's son through the eye with an arrow, let's face it, it was all over, the woman was setting herself up for the benihana treatment.
I don't want to get all choked up talking about past history, though. I'm not even gonna mention the ax in the face, the double-reverse blade through the bombo's throat, the scene where Jason becomes a born-again mongoloid, or the national Friday the 13th Part 2 scandal when the Motion Picture Airhead Association told everybody they were gonna X-rate the sucker unless the spear-through-the-twin-humps scene came out. We all have our personal favorite "Friday the 13th" highlight scenes. Mine is the one in NUMERO TWO-O where Jason sticks Betsy Palmer's mummified head in Alice's icebox. That scene always said a lot to me personally. In my book, it pretty much stated the final word on the subject of personal grooming in America.
I've said it before, but I've got to give credit where it's due. Some people know how to make sequels and some people don't. Like Halloween 3, the one that didn't have Jamie Lee Curtis, we all know that was a joke. But these "Friday the 13th" people know their sequels. These people don't just make up n new story. These people made the exact movie four times in a row.
I guess you know what I'm leading up to. I guess you know what day it was last week.
It's time again. The premier of a new Friday.
"Friday the 13th, Part 4:The Final Chapter" starts with Jason the Mongolard getting crated up and put in the ambulance and took off to the morgue so they can put him in the deep freeze. Well we know this don't mean diddly to Jason, especially since he already spent 22 years growing moss on his arms at the bottom of Crystal Lake, and while he was down there he had time to find a hockey-goalie mask to wear over his lizard face.
First thing off the bat, this nerd working at the morgue is horsing around the utility room trying to get a nurse to get down on the concrete and make like Fritz Von Erich (a wrestler) trying to execute a double leg lock. Only all the bimbo will do is toss off lines like, "I am not going to fake any more orgasms for you," and "You're the Super Bowl of self-abuse," until the guy gives up and goes back to watching TV Aerobicise to get his jollies.
We know what this means. It's biodegradable human garbage time. These two jerkolas didn't even have actual human sex before Jason decided to turn their bodies into grape Jello. They just thought about it a lot. (One thing I like about these numbers is they have a lot of moral philosophy mixed in.) He gets a hacksaw to the throat with a twist. She gets sliced open like a fried catfish. And then a few minutes later after that this fat girl is sitting by the raod eating a banana and trying to hitch, and somebody comes along and shoves a knife throught the back of her throat so it comes out the front, and I know, you probly have problems with this one.
You're thinking, Is the fat-girl throat-gouging necessary to the plot? After all, she didn't ahve sex. She didn't screw around with anybody. She didn't even get a ride. But you have to remember, she was FAT.
As you all know, I don't approve of gratuitous violence unless it's necesary to the plot. That's way I had to explain about the fat girl being fat.
Okay, who can tell me what happens next? That's right. The kids go back in the woods.
Why do they go back in the woods? Because they think Jason's dead? Becasue they are horny? Because they like to drink Coors and play Def Leppard on their Sony Walkmans and make like fruitcakes.
Nope. Basically, it's because they're all dumb as a box of rocks. This, of course, is why they all deserve to die.
Down to the nitty. First this brunette sex machine (Julie Aranson) decides to take off all her clothes in the middle of the night and go down to Crystal Lake and swim around and lay in the liferaft. It's not so bad when Judie gets a metal underwater surprise, but when her boyfriend (Alan Hayes) swims out there to find her, we're talking shishkebab action right through the lower privates. Then Jason puts his hockey maks back on and starts breathing around the screen and we get some more plot development: corkscrew through the hand, butcher knife in the forehead, bimbo-through-a-plate-glass-window, a particular nice scene where a guy is stabbed through the stag-movie screen, a guy who gets his skull mashed into the bathrooom tiles and his eyes gouged with Jason's thumbs, a little nympho who gets an ax through her terry-cloth jumpsuit, another guy who gets his hands nailed to the door, the big paint-the-house-red finale, and some stuff that the high sheriffs won't let me put in the newpaper. There's also some grisly scenes.
They are calling this sucker "The Final Chapter," maybe because Jason's head gets turned into a box of melted Milk Duds at the end, but I wouldn't worry about it. The mongo's died four times now.
We're talking 13 bodies, as usual.
Ted White does a hell of a Jason.
Two gallons of blood.
No motor-vehicle chases.
No kung fu.
Academy Award nominations for Kimberly Beck, the blonde fox Jamie Lee Curtis screamer role;
Corey Feldman, this creepy kid who hangs around making slime glopola masks;
Camilla and Carey More, as identical porkchops who ride around on their bikes trying to have mindless sex in Jason's woods.
Joseph Zito, the director, gets one-half star off for cutting away too quick, especially on the butcher knife to the forehead scene. It's Joe's first time out, so I'm letting him off with a warning, but I want to tell you this one more time, Joe, if you're gonna make a sequel, MAKE A SEQUEL.
Three And A Half Stars. Red Meat Champion Of 1984.
JOE BOB SAYS CHECK IT OUT.
JOE BOB'S ADVICE TO THE HOPELESS
JOE BOB REMINDS YOU THAT THERE ARE ONLY 295 DRIVE-INS REMAINING IN THE ENTIRE NATION OF CANADA. WITHOUT ETERNAL VIGILANCE, IT CAN HAPPEN HERE. TO DISCUSS THE MEANING OF LIFE WITH JOE BOB, WRITE JOE BOB BRIGGS, P.O. BOX 225445, DALLAS, TEXAS 75222
JOE BOB'S MAILBAG
To Editor (San Francisco Chronicle)
One cannot help wonder that if children were being stripped naked, or stabbed with butcher knives repeatedly, or blown to pieces by a sawed-off shotgun, what kind of person "Joe Bob" would be considered then. If homosexuals were diemboweled with power drills or blacks hacked with an ax, what type of public outrage this would cause? And yet, in film after film, women are subjected to this treatment and nothing is thought to be wrong.
Women are not products, we are human beings. We are like you. We get angry, cry, meet disappointments, get bored, frustraded. We get up in the morning, go to work, pay bils, clean sinks.
This attitude indulged in by "Joe Bob" can only be inspired by hatred and fear. This sort of thing is not funny; it is only hurtful and degrading. Please stop.
I hear you babe. But what about a nekkid black homosexual child that attacks ladies and squeezes their eyeballs out while they're cleaning the sink? Are you gonna tell me THAT's not funny?
© 1984 Joe Bob Briggs All Rights Reserved. For more of Joe Bob's pre-TNT reviews in Grapevine, Texas, go to his Drive-In Reviews Archive over yonder at Joe Bob Briggs.com
Friday the 13th movies are available on video and DVD
Elvis has left the building, and he took Joe Bob with him.