aka Friday The 13th – Part II
87 min., 1981
Written by Ron Kurz
Directed by Steve Miner
My rating: ★★★★
A strong sequel with a few sore spots.
* * *
We open two months after the first movie, with Alice (Adrienne King) having a nightmare about the events of the first movie and her fight with Pamela Voorhees (Betsy Palmer). After she wakes she decides to have a shower and after a shock from a cat she decides to make some tea. After putting the water on she goes to her fridge. Inside the fridge is the head of Jason’s mother. As she steps back in horror, someone grabs her and shoves and icepick into her temple. We then jump forward about five years. Two teens, Jeff (Bill Randolph) and his girlfriend Sandra (Marta Kober) are heading to the new Counselor Training Center that is a bit down from Camp Crystal Lake. The runner of the place is named Paul (John Furey) and we also get to meet some of the counselors in training. Goofball Ted (Stu Charno), wheelchair bound Mark (Tom McBride), Vicki (Lauren-Marie Taylor) who likes Mark, barely clothed Terry (Kirsten Baker) and her dog Muffin, and lastly Scott (Russell Todd) who has a thing for Terry. We then meet Ginny (Amy Steel) who has a thing with Paul. Around a campfire Paul tells everyone about the story of Camp Crystal Lake and that Jason’s body was never found, then Stu jumps out from the bushes and scares everyone. The next Sandra really wants to see where everything happened and convinces Jeff to go with her, but they are caught by a cop. That night most of the counselors head into town for some drinks and the last night of freedom, but that’s when someone starts to kill off the ones left behind. Is it really Jason who is avenging the death of his mother or is it someone else?
The acting was pretty strong throughout the movie with the exception of two of the actors. First was Kirsten Baker. I was never really sure if she was supposed to be a stuck-up bitch or a sweet girl. She had a tendency to do both and neither were really done all that well. The second was John Furey. At no point during the movie did I ever really feel that he gave a shit about what he was doing. His character is supposed to be proud of what he was doing, but I never got that from him. Now my favorites of the bunch had to be Amy Steel, Stu Charno and Lauren-Marie Taylor. Stu was great because he plays the prankster perfectly and even when the scene isn’t focused on him, he is always doing something fun in the background. Amy Steel plays the heroin to a T. When she is scared, boy does she look it, but when she has to be tough it doesn’t look silly and it actually fits. Lastly is Lauren-Marie Taylor who just blinded me with her cuteness and I really don’t remember how good or bad she was at acting, but damn she is cute.
The effects of the movie are at about the same level as the first movie. The deaths are really well done and the amount of gore is actually pretty tame. Some of the best are when Jeff and Sandra are having sex and they get speared and when Scott gets his throat cut it’s really nice. Now they could have tried to take the violence and crank it up, but instead they seemed to have decided to just keep it as simple as the first movie and it works really well for the movie.
The biggest surprise about the movie is that it’s about as good as the first. There are things about the first that make it superior, but that more has to do with who the killer was. This time you pretty much know exactly who the killer is and it gets ride of the surprise factor, but the kills are really solid and the acting is really good. My favorite thing about the movie is that it takes place almost right after the first movie and it builds on the original story instead of trying to go its own route. Another thing that I really like about the movie is that they kill off a man in a wheelchair, and that shows to me that they really don’t care who the victims are and that everyone is up for death. All around a fun movie that is mostly overlooked because of the fact that it’s a sequel, but it is worth a look. But Lauren-Marie Taylor is completely worth a look.Have You Read...?