The opening of Friday the 13th Part 6: Jason Lives! has got to be one of the worst resurrections in the series of Friday the 13th (and that includes the telekinesis used in Part 7 . Tommy Jarvis (from Part 4 and Part 5) decides that he needs closure and that he needs to see Jason’s body in order to believe that he is dead. Tommy (with his friend in tow) goes to the cemetery to find Jason’s grave. They dig it up, and open the grave. After seeing the maggot infested body, Tommy decides that he needs further revenge so he pulls out a piece of the iron gate (right as a thunderstorm begins picking up). Of course, it gets struck by lightning and Jason is revived in a very Frankensteinian way.
And so we’re off.
(I hated this premise when I was a kid, and I hate it more today. How much beer did Tommy promise his friend in order to convince him to go along? And, besides that, how is Tommy walking the streets after the events of Part 5. Remember when he assumes the Jason persona at the end and presumably murders his love interest? Was that scene completely disregarded? Or was it another dream on top of a dream? How did he convince the doctors that he wasn’t insane and then use his first free moment to dig up Jason’s body?)
After Jason is awoken, Tommy runs to the sheriff’s office where nobody absolutely believes him (Yet they all know his history. Surely, somebody should have contacted his doctors or something instead of attempting to run him out of town.) The groundskeeper covers Jason’s grave back up thinking that some teenagers were just pulling a prank. The cops think Tommy is nuts, but they still let him run free (??!!).
Jason is in full glory here, and has some very good kills. He enjoys cutting or pulling people’s heads off a lot in this one, and even bends a guy in half (which ranks up there in favorite kills in F13 films). Of course, none of these will ever top him beating one girl with another in a sleeping bag. That was just…art. The body count is high, and the gore is plenty. This movie doesn’t have a gimmick like others have: It’s just straight up Jason.
Plot wise, this one was very jagged. I guarantee they designed the kills first, and wrote the story afterwards. It never had any flow, and it came off campy. There’s (maybe) one good jump scare as it hands us all of our kills on a silver platter with nearly no suspense. The only exception to this, however, is that actual campers are involved here (instead of just counselors). It does make you wonder if they will be willing to cross that line and I did like that. I found the end scene strangely comparable to Freddy vs. Jason (complete with fire on the lake). I half expected Freddy to pop out for a final confrontation. (I know this is not really a gripe as FVJ took place years later, but I find it funny how much they pushed Jason as “afraid of water” in that one when he (a) has a body count on the water nearly as high as on land, (b) lives on lakefront property, and (c) has been “buried” in the lake now on 3 separate occasions.)
The great thing about Friday the 13th Part 6 is that you can still sit down and watch it. Part 7 was on afterwards, and is rendered horrible as I watched it after this one. There’s many movies that I loved as a kid (The Gate) that have aged horribly. This is not one of those. I caught this on AMC during its Fearfest, and it’s been a while since I’ve seen the unedited version. I probably missed a boob or two, but I think I got the jist of it.