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  Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood Jase Knows His Place
Year: 1988
Director: John Carl Buechler
Stars: Kane Hodder, Lar Park-Lincoln, Susan Jennifer Sullivan, Kevin Spirtas, Terry Kiser, Susan Blu, Heidi Kozak, William Butler, Staci Greason, Larry Cox, Jeff Bennett, Diana Barrows, Elizabeth Kaitan, Jon Renfield, Michael Schroder, Debora Kessler
Genre: HorrorBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: Some years ago around Crystal Lake there was a house and in that house was an unhappy family. The young daughter got sick of her parents fighting and wandered out one night; her father followed after to see that she had taken the boat out onto the water and he tried to compel her to return to shore. Yet as he stood on the dock yelling, it all became too much for the girl and she suddenly tapped hitherto unknown psychic powers, sending her father tumbling into the lake to drown. Now, a few years later, Tina (Lar Park-Lincoln) is returning there for therapy - but someone is about to awake...

Can you guess who that someone could be? That's right, it's Zippy from Rainbow, oh, no, of course not, it's our old enemy Jason Vorhees for the umpteenth time, in this instance played by series newcomer and future fan favourite Kane Hodder. This one was also notable for having been directed by makeup expert John Carl Buechler, which might lead you to expect a host of dramatically impressive gore effects, and that's precisely what he came up with, er, until the censors refused a certificate and he was forced to go back and edit out all his hard work.

The result is that Part VII is a curiously bloodless affair, and by that token one of the most incredibly routine of the series, if something can be incredible and routine at the same time. Though if you doubt that it can, simply catch this and see how it's done. The main novelty this time around is that the heroine is a prototype Carrie, a teen with psychic powers which she can use to either predict who will be slain or else use in her climactic battle against Jason. Why make the final girl superpowered? Because Tina wasn't meant to be the heroine at all.

What The New Blood was supposed to be was Freddy vs Jason, but as the rights troubles wouldn't be sorted out for another ten years or so, the Freddy Krueger parts were dropped and instead of that franchise villain utilising his dream-based talents against Jase it was plucky (or more accurately, whiny) Tina. In truth, this doesn't add much to the story until the fight during the finale, and as such we're mainly spending time with some unremarkable actors doing the barest minimum to keep their characters sympathetic (Susan Jennifer Sullivan aside, who enthusiastically gets her teeth into a bitchy role).

Tina is being studied by a dodgy doctor, Crews (Terry Kiser), who wishes to encourage her abilities by starting small, that is by moving a matchbook across a table. Alas, her powers only work when she's stressed, so the bad doc has to wind her up by telling her she was responsible for her father's death (which to be fair, is kind of true). So fizzing with energy is Tina that she ressurects Jason from the watery grave we left him in at the end of the previous instalment, thereby allowing him to carry on as usual. Very much as usual, with the same old business providing very little variety, as if the filmmakers were reluctant to try out some variations apart from Tina's E.S.P. Without all those effects, this is very ordinary indeed. Music by Fred Mollin, using old bits and pieces of Harry Manfredi's past scores.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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