Often the end isn’t the end. The memories will live on, as the fears and the doubt will too. Sometimes this can become a self-fulfilling prophecy when the same problems you try to ward off end up bringing the same outcomes you’re trying to prevent. In 1986, in an attempt to placate his fears, Tommy ends up confirming his worse nightmare, as even Jason’s demise can’t stop his wrath, as Tommy and the continuing Crystal Lake residents soon find out that Jason Lives.
After recuperating in an institution after the events of Part 4, Tommy just can’t believe that Jason is finally dead. As such, he takes a trip to the cemetery to do a little grave digging, but when Tommy’s shovel comes in contact with some lightning, an Undead Jason is now on the prowl. This is bad news for the staff at the new Camp Crystal Lake (now renamed Forest Green), unaware of the looming terror, the local sheriff thinks Jason is a manifestation of Tommy’s mind. It is up to the Sheriff’s daughter, and her friends to help the area see the light, and to put Jason back into the ground where he belongs.
Retconning almost all the events of the 5th film, (after popular demand). The gears have shifted once again, as zombie Jason officially returned to his fans. It appears that, ironically, death has given him a new lease on life, he’s much stronger and much more determined in his killing. Even compared to the “phoney Jason” of part 5, the change is noticeable. Outside the character itself, Jason Lives is more aware of itself, from clever quick cuts for comic emphasis, with Jason even doing a brief homage to James Bond. Without getting too far ahead of myself, this streak of humour will carry on, yet in this instance, it evokes the meta humour that Wes Craven made popular.
He’s Back (The Man Behind the Mask) gives shock rocker, Alice Cooper, a chance to show off his shock rock talents, and provides ample indication about the return of the more competent slasher. It wouldn’t be a slasher film without the kills, including a sequence reflecting on the increasingly popular corporate team-building past-time of paintballing. Although he did go up against Tommy before, this Jason is adamant about leaving the innocent kids out of the carnage. Reflecting the attitudes of the people behind the camera, this mix does end up offering a film that is unafraid to return to basics, while continuing to innovate, maybe inspired by the emergence of rival Freddy Krueger, who can say?
With its injection of humour and unique kills, Jason Lives is a film that is unafraid to return to its roots. Part 6 is more than a competent slasher, away from the experimental pseudo-reboot of Part 5, Part 6 feels more akin to Part 4, with it being a direct follow-up. Another standout in a storied franchise. Fan’s concerns appear to be over, as they can proclaim that the old Jason is dead, long live the new one.
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