Horror Movie Review: Friday the 13th – Part VI: Jason Lives (1986)

The 6th Friday the 13th movie opens with our old pal Tommy (now played by the always awesome Thom Matthews) on his way to Jason Voorhees grave. It seems as though Tommy is still suffering from Jason-related hallucinations & figures making sure he is dead once & for all is the answer. His plan is to dig him up & burn his body being helped by a friend from the hospital he’s been staying at.

They dig Jason up who is nothing but a rotten husk of a body (looks really good) but Tommy snaps & starts to stab the body with a large metal pole…did I mention that it’s a stormy night too? Leaving it stuck in Jason’s chest Tommy turns to get the gasoline & lightning strikes the metal pole resulting in Jason’s reanimation. It’s a brilliant idea & turns the once human Jason into a super-powerful zombie!

Friday the 13th 6 Jason Lives

Jason kills Tommy’s friend by punching a hole through his chest & turns his attention to Tommy who manages to escape & heads straight to the police station.

It has to be said that the opening 15 minutes of this movie might be the best opening of any Friday movie by far. It is fun, looks great & Thom Matthews is such a great actor that you want to see more of him instantly (I know him best from his amazing role as Freddy in Return of the Living Dead).

Friday the 13th 6 Tommy

Naturally the police don’t believe Tommy & his reputation sees him end up in a cell. You see the town has tried hard to shake of its past including changing the name from Crystal Lake to Forest Green. Life without a rampaging killer has turned it into a popular & happy place to go as we see the camp up & running with actual children in attendance!

The counsellors, one the daughter of the sheriff are introduced with the two heads being taken out early on by the returning Jason. A smaller group means we get a bit more development but focus is on Megan, the sheriff’s daughter & Tommy.

Friday the 13th Megan

Part 6 has a bit more slapstick to it than previous movies & no-where else is that more apparent than the company paintball retreat team who end up running into Jason. It’s silly as hell but very enjoyable, deaths have a more comedic edge but considering the violence is being meted out by a walking super-zombie, I think it’s perfectly ok.

Friday the 13th 6 Paintball

Actors excel in their roles thanks to the lighter tone, getting to play around with their roles a little more & it’s welcome to see something other than sex, screaming & quick deaths. Not to say that stuff isn’t in it…it’s still a slasher horror movie after all however there is no nudity at all, a first!

As night falls Jason’s body count rises (by the end of the film it is 16 in total!) & clichés take over. That being said there are few clever attempts to subvert the obvious ones such as the RV that shouldn’t start but does! That sequence is great as Jason’s lack of care for himself sees him kill the driver while it’s moving resulting in a pretty cool crash & great shot of the monster standing on top of the burning RV.

Friday the 13th 6 RV

Tommy, recently kicked out of the county, returns & the police suspect he is the one responsible for the murders wanting to convince them of Jason’s return. Teaming up with Megan the duo realise Jason is going to go back to the camp & lead the police on a wild chase to get there before him.

At the camp Jason finishes of the rest of the counsellors whose peripheral vison is disgraceful, Jason is often just standing to the side & no-one freakin’ sees him! Before he can go to town on the kiddies everyone else arrives at the Camp & we move towards the finale.

Friday the 13th 6 Camp Arrival

Tommy knowing that Jason is more up for killing him than anyone else so manages to lure him into the lake with the plan being to weigh him down with a rock & chain. It results in an epic battle that feels more personal than any struggle in the past. Eventually Tommy manages to get the upper hand & sends Jason to the bottom of the lake but Jason manages to grip his ankle & drowns Tommy also. Megan desperate to save him uses the blades of a motorboat to cut up Jason in a nicely done gory scene & manages to revive Tommy at the water’s edge. I was glad to see Tommy survive in the end even if he still doesn’t have the closure he needs.

Friday the 13th 6 Jason at the bottom

The film ends with a close up shot of Jason underwater, trapped but still alive (you can’t drown a zombie).

As you can probably tell I thought this was a great film, one of the best Friday the 13th movies so far. Great acting, some great deaths (the sheriff being folded in half had me grinning), decent gore, great effects & a story that makes a lot of sense…it’s well worth watching even if you’ve not seen the 5 that came before.

Friday the 13th 6 Folding Death

I’m worried that this is the series high though with only the New Blood, Jason Takes Manhattan, Jason Goes to Hell & Jason X left to watch. No matter what though this film has changed how I view the famous hockey masked killers series for the better.

Friday the 13th - Part VI: Jason Lives
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