Much like HALLOWEEN III: SEASON OF THE WITCH is often referred to as “the one without Michael Myers,” FRIDAY THE 13TH PART V: A NEW BEGINNING is known as “the one without Jason Voorhees.” Well, that and the original film (for the most part). Being sandwiched between what many fans feel are the two best sequels in the FRIDAY THE 13TH franchise is no easy place to be, and the fifth film certainly had enough working against it. Despite having the highest body count of any of the films at the time, it was still a big risk to not actually have the real Jason Voorhees in it.
Sure enough, most people hated PART V, and many fans still do. But just as HALLOWEEN III has slowly become a cult favorite over the past decade, I believe FRIDAY THE 13TH: A NEW BEGINNING is due for some major appreciation as well.
With that in mind, I’d like to share with you some reasons why I think all horror fans should love this movie. So let’s dive right into it:
1. Earthworm Eyes!
The movie kicks off with Tommy Jarvis having a nightmare about his 12-year-old self (played by Corey Feldman in a brief cameo, as he was unable to have a larger role in the movie due to his filming THE GOONIES at the time), watching two drunkards dig up the grave of Jason Voorhees. Predictably, they’re killed off in an instant, but the thing I always loved about this scene was the use of earthworms to depict Jason’s rotting body.
Normally, you’d expect to see maggots and other creepy crawlies, but earthworms? I’m sorry, but that’s just adorable. Earthworms are the most harmless creatures, replicated by moms around the globe by using spaghetti during blindfolded Halloween games to make their children giggle.
It’s also the blatant placement of the worms in the eyes, and seeing them flop around in the rain, that makes it work so well. The only thing that disappointed me was that they weren’t there as soon as Jason stood up from his grave. They should’ve been dripping off of him! In fact, I’d pay top dollar to see a FRIDAY THE 13TH movie where Jason constantly has earthworms wiggling out of his hockey mask eye sockets throughout the entire film. Make it happen, Hollywood!
2. Joey Burns!
Joey is the token fat guy in the movie. He’s a bit slow, clumsy, and loves chocolate. When I say he loves chocolate, I don’t mean he merely enjoys eating the occasional piece… no, I mean he literally has chocolate coming out of all his pockets. Three bars in his jacket pockets, two in his pants, and one in his hand. That’s a whopping six full-size chocolate bars that he’s carrying around! Amazing. He also has chocolate smeared on his hands and on both sides of his mouth.
Much like Shelly in FRIDAY THE 13TH PART III, his intentions are good, but he seems to annoy everybody he comes in contact with. First, he angers two of the girls by accidentally smearing chocolate all over the laundry they were hanging up to dry. Next, he pisses off Victor Faden, a psycho who clearly has some serious anger management issues and is chopping wood with an axe. Believe me, we’re talking about a guy whose therapy treatment clearly isn’t working out, so I blame the director of the halfway house for letting him anywhere near an axe.
Anyway, after Joey tells Vic that he was really out of line for chopping one of his chocolate bars in half, Vic loses it and chops Joey to pieces. He came and went like the wind, but I’ll never forget Joey Burns, master of chocolates.
3. Death Via Road Flare!
We all know that one of the best things about the FRIDAY THE 13TH films is the creative ways they conjure up how to kill people. This one had a heaping helping of straightforward kills, but for me, the best one involved a road flare.
Road flares are traditionally used to signal oncoming traffic that someone is having issues with their car. However, for Vinnie, the would-be greaser trying to repair his car while his friend Pete is off taking a dump in the woods, the only thing road flares signal are the end of his life. A stranger approaches him with a lit road flare, and soon enough, it’s shoved right into his mouth. Vinnie’s head illuminates from within and twitches around, and it’s so forceful, that it actually feels like a genuine kill by Jason Voorhees rather than the impostor.
4. You’re Not Crazy, Tommy!
Whether he’s looking into a mirror or staring out of a window, traumatized Tommy still sees Jason Voorhees all the time. I love the overly dramatic shots of Tommy freaking out, unsure if he’s really seeing Jason, or just having another one of his mental breakdowns. Of course, we all know that sooner or later, he’ll have to encounter the real killer, which makes each one of these hallucinations all the more entertaining.
While these flicks aren’t known for their great performances, I always thought he did a pretty solid job of portraying an adult still struggling with the fact that when he was 12 years old, he chopped up Jason Voorhees with a machete. On an unrelated note, “Traumatized Tommy” totally sounds like a Garbage Pail Kid, doesn’t it?
5. Okay… Maybe You Are Crazy.
The only thing I like better than Tommy attempting to not let his hallucinations get the better of him, is whenever someone bothers him and he flips the hell out. Take Eddie, for example: Eddie is a jackass practical joker, and scares Tommy by jumping out at him while wearing one of his masks. So what does Tommy do after he’s told to lighten up? He hoists Eddie over his shoulders, body-slams him through a table, and proceeds to pummel the hell out of him in a fit of blind rage until the adults pull him off.
Coming out of nowhere, Tommy’s explosion of anger is one of the funniest things in the entire movie, and to this day, I’m still not tired of watching it.
6. Silencing Junior!
While it seems like they were introduced as comic relief, Ethel and her son Junior are more like a bad parody of a parody of backwoods rednecks. While seeing Ethel call her idiot son heartwarming things like “dildo” and “fuckwad,” it doesn’t change the fact that his presence on screen is always grating. He rides a loud dirtbike wherever he goes and echoes everything his mom says, and all you want to do is see somebody shut him up for good.
Well, later in the movie, Junior pushes Tommy too far, and Tommy proceeds to beat the ever-living piss out of him. That moment alone is a real treat, but it then leads to a super aggravating sequence where an upset Junior rides around in circles on his bike while screaming at the top of his lungs. He just keeps riding around in circles and screaming nonstop, while his mom tells him to shut up and come inside for some slop. Seeing how Junior is ignoring her demands, our killer does everyone a favor steps in and clotheslines him with a machete. In an instant, Junior is silenced as we see his severed head thump onto the ground.
Now I wasn’t there in the theater to see this upon its release, but I can only imagine audiences stood up and applauded with great gusto, knowing they’d never have to hear Junior whine for another second in this movie. Oh, and the killer also murders Ethel… presumably to ensure she doesn’t further pollute the gene pool. Better safe than sorry.
7. Reggie the Reckless!
You didn’t actually think I’d do an article about FRIDAY THE 13TH: A NEW BEGINNING and not mention Reggie, did you? Reggie is a kid who wears an awesome red jumpsuit and hangs out at the Pinehurst Halfway House, since his grandfather works there. While everyone remembers Corey Feldman in PART IV, I dare say Reggie is even more entertaining on screen. For one thing, I don’t recall young Tommy Jarvis ever boldly claiming a woman at least three times his age was his girlfriend. Reggie, however, does just that when he introduces Pam to his older brother.
All that youthful confidence goes right out the window shortly after, however, for upon seeing the killer, Reggie belts out a hilariously high-pitched scream and runs off into the woods faster than the wind, completely leaving Pam behind to fend for herself. Next, just when it looks as though Pam is about to get chopped to bits, Reggie somehow musters enough courage, figures out how to drive a farm tractor, and rams it straight into the killer. Reckless indeed. Or as Reggie would say, “Solid!”
8. Violet’s Dance!
If you’re talking about dancing in horror movies, there’s no way you’re not gonna bring up the twitchy insanity of Crispin Glover in FRIDAY THE 13TH PART IV: THE FINAL CHAPTER. That’s simply a dance that cannot be topped. That said, while she’s not Crispin Glover, Violet still has a great little dance sequence in her room in this flick. The ’80s synth tune “His Eyes” by Pseudo Echo is playing as she performs her best pop-n-lock robot dance, and it’s absolutely glorious! The fact that she’s a total Madonna/Terri Nunn wannabe, complete with crimped ’80s hair, makes it all the better.
Honestly, if I were the killer, I’d just stand there mesmerized by her dancing instead of killing her with a machete. We’ve all heard the rules about not having sex or doing drugs in horror films… but we rarely hear about the “do not dance” rule as well. But it’s clearly a rule that everyone should heed, because psychos apparently have an intense hatred for radical dance moves.
9. There’s a Guy Living in a Van… and His Name is Demon!
Yep, you read that correctly. Reggie’s older brother is named Demon, and he lives in a van. So exactly how cool is he? Well, let’s just say he has a piping hot enchilada ready for his little brother to eat upon his arrival to said van, along with tacos, eggrolls, and slices of pizza. He’s also got a beautiful lady named Anita chilling out with him. Most importantly, he’s covered the back windows with a black light poster featuring a skull & cross-swords with a flaming cobra emerging from its eye sockets. I would pay good money to have a poster like that hanging on my walls… though I must admit, I’d want to substitute the flaming cobra with flaming earthworms instead.
Unfortunately, shortly after he’s introduced, Demon is dispatched by the killer while in an outhouse. That said, just before his demise, he sings “Oooh Baby” to his girlfriend while taking a shit. Did I mention his name is Demon? Because it is. Our enchilada-eating, outhouse-crooning hero… is named Demon.
10. Blue Mask Markings = Impostor!
It’s a somewhat subtle detail, but I’ve always loved that the filmmakers hinted at the killer not being the real Jason Voorhees by making the markings on his hockey mask blue, instead of red as they were in parts 3 & 4, and even in the dream sequence at the start of the movie.
It’s extra amusing when you consider how the killer otherwise went to great lengths to make himself look exactly like Jason Voorhees. I mean, the guy doesn’t just throw on a hockey mask and call it a day; he actually wears a full headpiece to make his head appear deformed just like Jason. I guess he couldn’t find any red paint for the mask at the time, but I doubt any judges in a costume contest would hold it against him.
All right, I’ve shared some of my favorite things about FRIDAY THE 13TH PART V: A NEW BEGINNING, now it’s your turn. Go visit us on Facebook (be sure to give us a Like!), then drop a comment and let us know some of your favorite things about this flick. Remember, there are no wrong answers!