..

FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VII
The New Blood

Review by Chastity Campbell

Stars: Susan Blu, Lar Park Lincoln, Terry Kiser, Kevin Blair
Director: John Carl Buechler
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Surround
Video: Enhanced Widescreen for 16:9 Televisions
Studio: Paramount
Features: See Review
Length: 88 Minutes
Release Date: September 3, 2002

Film ***

Slash and hack…Jason’s back, and better than ever on DVD!

Before I begin my review it occurs to me that it may have been a while since you have viewed any of the Friday The 13th movies, so here are some important facts that all fans of this series should know:

1)      The only good teenager is a dead teenager! “Jason Voorhees” (no he didn’t say it but his actions imply it)

2)      You will run fast, he will walk slow, you’re still going to be found with a machete in your back when morning comes.

3)      No car will work properly once the sun has set at Camp Crystal Lake.  It might start but it will inevitably die…just like you!

Now that you have been apprised of the inevitable, let’s get on with the death and destruction, shall we!

The New Blood is the seventh installment in the Friday The 13th line of movies, and one of the better ones, I do believe.  Jason, that loveable guy in a hockey mask, is hanging out in his watery grave where Tommy left him at the end of Part VI.  Some time has passed since Jason’s demise, and we get to see a young girl named Tina Shepherd accidentally kill her father with telekinetic powers she is unable to control.  The years fly by and we find that Tina has returned to Crystal Lake.  She’s a teenager now and her powers have grown considerably.  She’s never been able to get past the fact that she killed her father, so her Psychiatrist Dr. Crews convinces her to return to the lake so she can put the past behind her and move on.  Unfortunately, Dr. Crews has his own agenda and instead of helping her he plans to push Tina to her limits so as to determine to real extent of her powers.

The traditional Friday The 13th formula was momentarily departed from with the introduction of Lar Park-Lincolns kinetically charged character Tina.   The way her kinetic powers were used throughout the film helped to breathed new life into a dying series.  The scripting could have been stronger, as the dialogue tended to sometimes be choppy and not fit well with the story.

Moving right along…Dr. Crews and Tina begin her first session, and he pushes her a bit too hard.  Tina runs from the house in an emotional fit of anguish straight to the boat dock where she killed her father so long ago.  Standing out over the water she tries to resurrect her father from the dead with her powers, but unfortunately it is the masked one that is unleashed, and her unsuspecting neighbors will be sliced and diced before the weekend is over!

Jason immediately goes in search of his first victim, and is lucky enough to happen upon Michael & Jane, a couple of stranded travelers in the woods.   These two unlucky teens are headed to Crystal Lake to join up with some friends & family who are waiting to throw Michael a surprise party.  There’s blood, gore, and need I say more as Jane is impaled on a tree with a tent spike!  Michael soon follows his girl as he takes a tent spike in the back.  They just don’t make camping supplies like they used to!

While Jason is happily hacking people to bits around the camp, Tina is having visions of the great masked one killing poor Michael.  Her mom and the Doc think she is delusional, so she hurls a TV at the Dr. and runs off into the woods.   Mrs. Shepherd, played by Susan Blu, is desperately trying to help her daughter get over her father’s death.  She chases after Tina along with Dr. Crews and the boy toy from next door, Nick.  Mrs. Shepherd doesn’t get to see her daughter break free from mental bondage because cowardly Dr. Crews uses her as a shield, and Jason uses her for target practice.  Don’t worry though…the doctor is given a dose of his own medicine as Jason gives him a lesson in tree trimming he won’t soon forget.

After finding her mother’s body, Tina uses her powers to electrocute Jason and drop a porch on his head.   John Carl Buechler, who plays the part of director as well as that of the special FX guy, did a wonderful job in my opinion when it came to capturing good shots and setting up FX for maximum quality.  While some of the FX did look a bit campy and a lot of the murder scenes were edited a bit too much, he did give us Kane Hodder in the gruesome roll of Jason.  Hodder did an amazing job of bringing Jason to life & death for that matter.   The realistic makeup and acting ability of Hodder made Jason more real than ever before. 

As the movie is winding down Tina and Jason face off with Nick running interference.  I was expecting an action packed ending that would rock the house, considering the possibilities this storyline presented.  I was quite disappointed with the way things played out in the end, but we got a great portrayal of Jason, a force to be reckoned with in Tina so as Meatloaf would sing, “Two Outta Three Ain’t Bad!”

Video ***

The video transfer to DVD format was a big rough looking in the beginning.   It didn’t have that lustrous shine like some older movies that are being remastered and released on DVD.  I don’t believe they did any remastering for this particular project, but it was still a pretty decent transfer.   Sometimes you don’t need gloss and texturing to make a good thing better.

Audio **

The audio, even though it was transferred into the 5.1 Dolby surround format and probably remixed, had quite a few problems.  There were times when the audio quality reminded me of someone speaking through a tin can.   There were dips and drops all through the first half of the movie.  The musical score was pretty good but the sound FX were a bit overwhelming at times and tended to drown out everything else in the scene.

Features ½ *

Sadly, there were no extra features for this DVD.  I really wanted to see scenes of Jason coming to life through makeup magic, to hear some director commentary, or at least see some still photos of pre & post production.  You get to choose your audio setting and what language you want the subtitles to be in, but that’s about it. 

Summary:

If your idea of a fun filled evening includes a half dead, hockey mask wearing, machete wielding murderer, then what are you waiting for?  Go buy this DVD!  If that’s not your idea of fun, obviously you’re in need of a slasher education, so go buy them all on DVD!