Oddly enough out of the entire series in “Friday the 13th,” Part Six entitled “Jason Lives” is easily my favorite. It’s flawed, the production quality kind of sucks, and there are plot holes, but damn it, it’s fun! You have to love how the deputy drops a bunch of cartons of food without food in them. And Jason being re-animated like Frankenstein is on par with Freddy Krueger being re-animated by the urine of a stray dog. It’s just fun and creepy Jason Voorhees doing what he does best. And he even slays a credit card handling yuppy, to boot. Take that, mid-eighties America!
Tommy Jarvis is no longer an eighties teen heartthrob and has now become the inept factory worker from “Return of the Living Dead.” After escaping the asylum with Horschac, he intends to unearth Jason Voorhees remains and cremate him. Shocking enough, he’s been dead for a long time, and Tommy can’t let sleeping slashers lie. During the cremation, Tommy stabs Jason’s corpse with a metal rod out of anger, and the rod is struck by lightning. This lightning apparently re-animates Jason (notice his corpses is rotten, but his eyes are fresh), and now he’s back and angrier than ever. Tommy escapes Jason’s wrath and struggles to warn the local authorities that Jason has come back to life, but the sheriff in the newly restored Camp Crystal Lake now named Forrest Green, is intent on proving he’s a nut job.
I don’t get why they just renamed the town and kept the entire camp the same. Why not just bulldoze the entire thing and make it in to a 7/11 or a pharmacy? Imagine Jason haunting the abandoned pharmacy? In either case, Jason comes back at the right time as a group of camp counselors have returned to the camp to watch over a group of kids for the summer. Sadly, the two head counselors have a run in with Jason and are brutally murdered. Poor Tony Goldwyn. As Jason leaves a body count along the path to Crystal Lake, Tommy does everything he can to prove his innocence, while also trying to convince the sheriff’s gorgeous daughter Megan to help him take down Jason. “Jason Lives” is a fun change of pace for the series. For once, there’s an actual male hero who not only loathes Jason but has a kind of Ahab relationship with Jason. He’ll do whatever it takes to stop Jason, and he’s not too concerned with who dies in his path.
There’s also the addition of Jennifer Cooke, who is Tommy’s sidekick/love interest who is very bold and daring with a sexual appeal apart from the whiny virgins we saw in previous installments. As well, there’s some great meta-humor, including funny cuts to different scenes, and breaking of the fourth wall. There’s also some wonderful chestnuts of bad dialogue like “Dig him up? Does he think I’m a fart head?” Plus when Jason begins wreaking havoc on the camp one of the kids looks to his friend and asks “What were you going to be when you grew up?” That said, “Jason Lives” is a deliriously fun time, with Jason at his all time meanest, slaughtering paint ballers, a young engaged couple on a bike, and smashing a girl’s head in to the side of an RV. “Jason Lives” is the installment I’ve seen more times than I can remember, and it’s a shame we never saw Tommy again. Or Megan. Jennifer Cooke was some kind of woman.