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  Friday the 13th Part 2 In The Bag
Year: 1981
Director: Steve Miner
Stars: Amy Steel, John Furey, Adrienne King, Kirsten Baker, Stuart Charno, Warrington Gillette, Walt Gorney, Marta Kober, Tom McBride, Bill Randolph, Lauren-Marie Taylor, Russell Todd, Betsy Palmer, Cliff Cudney, Jack Marks, Jerry Wallace
Genre: HorrorBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Alice (Adrienne King) has recently suffered an extremely traumatic experience when she was the sole survivor of a mass murder at the isolated resort of Camp Crystal Lake. She still has nightmares about the incident and the way she was forced to kill the murderer to survive, but then there is the question of the boy she is convinced dragged her into the water, one Jason Vorhees - could he have lived on? The police say there was nobody else present, but Alice wonders, although she will not be wondering for much longer as there's someone outside prowling about her house...

And that was the last we ever saw of Adrienne King, the star of the first Friday the 13th movie who made a lengthy cameo in the opening sequence of its sequel, lasting nearly fifteen minutes before we are graced with the titles. She meets a sticky end, so she would not have to return in any more sequels since she hated the attention the original had brought her, and new instalments there were because so many people paid to see them: this second one took over twenty times its budget at the box office, proving that the world's moviegoers could not get enough of slasher movies in the early eighties.

Unfortunately, this meant the filmmakers did not have to put much thought into any exciting variations on what was even by then a well worn premise, and there's something of the strong bouquet of the obligatory moneymaking scheme about Part 2, even more than the first one. Once Alice has been dispatched, the film leaps five years later presumably to give Jason time to grow up, which he had apparently already done in the opening sequence - bad continuity or lazy scriptwriting? You be the judge. Anyway, we are back at the lake, in a different camp, but to all intents and purposes the same set up, giving the audience more of what they wanted which was essentially more of the same.

The "young" people we see are actually budding counsellors led by Paul (John Furey) with his assistant and girlfriend Ginny (Amy Steel), our final girl although this is not clear until the last twenty minutes of what is a pretty short film, as if they were keen to get this over with on as little expenditure as possible, leaving the profits all the more substantial. Exactly what they are doing to earn their counselling stripes is never spelled out, as to the untrained eye it looks as if they're doing a lot of goofing around and playing pranks on one another such as towing each others' transport away or stealing clothes when one goes skinny dipping. But this prank aspect is an important bit.

This is because Friday the 13th Part 2 is more or less a prank played on the audience, one to make them jump and give them a cheap thrill, but nothing with any lasting impact. Jason, marked out as the killer this time and no doubt about it so no twists here, is the ultimate prankster except his gags have deadly consequences, and as with the first nobody in the film really cottons on to what is occurring, that is, they're all being bumped off one at a time, until the story is almost over. Before then there is a lot of creeping about - the first quarter is nigh on filled with Alice walking around her house in a painfully obvious padding exercise - and the deaths, while plentiful, had their gore trimmed by the censors so are over with swiftly and without much lingering. Jason wears a sack over his head throughout this, but in the next offering he would get his famed hockey mask... and a third dimension. Music by Harry Manfredi.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


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