A young woman drives to Crystal Lake, and by the time she reaches it night is drawing in, so she goes to the nearest cabin and enters, switching on the light. The bulb blows, so she has to venture into the shed around the back to fetch another one, and while she's in there the light turns off and the door slams behind her - but it's only the wind and an unreliable generator to blame. When she gets back to the cabin, she runs a bath and is about to step in when she is plunged into darkness once more - but this time it's a certain serial killer called Jason Vorhees (Kane Hodder) who is the culprit.
Paramount had seen diminishing returns on their Friday the 13th franchise and after Jason Takes Manhattan they decided not to make any more of them. However, just like the killer character himself, this series refused to die and New Line, home of the rival Nightmare on Elm Street movies, picked up where Paramount had left off, although when this instalment was a flop they might have regretted their decision. The main problem with this ninth film seemed to be that they messed with the formula, as although Jason was still the murderer, he was subject to a revision.
Being one of the most recognisable horror villains you might have thought the filmmakers would have been wise to keep him in his most famous, hockey masked and boiler suited, incarnation, yet the first five minutes see him blown to bits by the F.B.I. and their firepower. So what are we to do when our main bad guy has been reduced to pieces? How about a sequel to The Hidden instead? How about not? Well, they wouldn't be told, and Jason in this becomes a rubbery parasite which moves from body to body to carry out the usual stalk and slash.
His first host is the chap performing the autopsy (Richard Gant) who is compelled to eat the heart of the corpse, leading him to start cutting a swathe through anyone unlucky enough to get in his way, not that we see much of this as there's the distraction of setting up the main plot to be getting on with. Erin Gray, best known as Colonel Wilma Deering off of Buck Rogers on television, plays Diana, who is actually Jason's hitherto-unknown sister and the best chance he has to be transformed back into his usual appearance if he can get that parasite inside her.
To complicate matters, Diana has a daughter, Jessica (Kari Keegan), who has a baby, and all three of them are potential candidates for hosting Jase. For what should be a simple narrative there are a load of convolutions, including a crazed bounty hunter named Duke (scenery-chewing Steven Williams, also a TV star as he was Mr X on The X Files) who is out to destroy the maniac and knows precisely how to do it without ever explaining why he knows, and Jessica's old boyfriend Steven (John D. LeMay) who turns hero after being framed by Jason for a couple of his victims. All this is undeniably busy, but you tend to lose interest very quickly as nothing presented as new here is an improvement, and when the most memorable thing in the whole movie occurs in the last five seconds, you know you're in trouble. Music by Harry Manfedi.