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The Latest DVD
Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter


By Ray Schwetz

Contrary to the title, as all "Friday" fans know, this was not the final chapter. Jason is pure, primal evil and evil will never die. Actually, Jason is just some stunt guy playing a pissed off deformed hillbilly who likes to hack up bad actors. Who can blame him? Although this is not the final chapter, it is one of the best entries of the series. Director Joe Zito ("Invasion USA", "The Prowler") paces this film better than previous "Friday" entries. The characters are more likable and they're played by slightly better actors (Kimberly Beck, Crispin Glover, and Corey Feldman). The killings in the film are more gory and creative ("Hey Ted, where's the CORKSCREW!!!"). And the nudity, even for a "Friday" film, is pretty darn excessive.

The story? Well, if you really want me to summarize, Jason is dead. They take him to the morgue. He's still alive (again). Lots of teens drink, smoke pot, and skinny dip. We want them to die. Jason kills them. He chases the last survivor (a female virgin) and her kid brother until they kill him (again). The end.

This movie doesn't have a real story. It's a ride. You get on the ride, the rusty tracks screech beneath your weight, you dip, you turn, you scream and you have fun. Some people throw up and never goon the ride again. Some run right back in line to goon again. I'm one of the latter. The "Friday" movies are formula slasher films to the letter, but they work. Plus, Ol Hockey Mask is pretty scary looking, thanks to makeup effects wiz Tom Savini.

Like the previous "Friday" films released by Paramount, this DVD has a digitally remastered picture and digital mono sound. The video is very good. The colors are vivid and the film looks reasonably sharp. There is some grain evident, but nothing too distracting. Overall, the video presentation is very good. The sound is also very good. It's mono, but the clarity is good. If your amp has a "mono movie" audio selection, it'll sound good enough.

For extras, well, you get the trailer. It's a pretty cool trailer. If you axe me (get it?), Jason heads are going to buy this film. Non-Jason heads won't. That's the bottom line. I still think it's a shame that Paramount doesn't give these films a more "special edition" kind of treatment. The "Friday" DVDs don't hold a candle to Anchor Bay's "Halloween" or New Line's "Nightmare on Elm Street" DVDs. But, the quality of the transfer will please most fans.