'Friday The 13th Part 6' Doesn't Take Itself Seriously, And That's What Makes It Fun

This piece was written in response to a fan's film review of Jason Lives added to our website a few years ago and we have agreed to post Eric's rebuttal to see what fans think.

By: Eric Malcolm

I'll start by saying I am biased in a sense as Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives is the first horror movie I had ever seen, at a tender age of 5 during the film's initial release on VHS back in the 80's.  Yeah, I had pretty sweet parents.  Anyways, it left a lasting impression on me, and at that age, hell, much does. But most wears.  Look at Pee Wee's Playhouse for example, I was obsessed with this show at 5, however when Adult Swim in recent years re-aired the television series, to me it had somehow lost its luster.  That and I knew the dude touched himself in a theater.  I also thought the Goosebumps books where the best thing since sliced bread, but most of us can plead guilty on that one.  This is not the case with Jason Lives, as into my 30's I still regularly watch and enjoy this film.

What I enjoy the most about Friday The 13th Part VI: Jason Lives more than any of the other F13 films in the franchise, is that it is truly the one that doesn't take itself too seriously, and is fun.  It has been written in other reviews that the jokes and gags take away from the horror element, but I think it has the opposite effect.  By the time Part VI came about the horror-slasher flicks had essentially ran the gamut, and dare I say, grown stale?  Kill here, kill there, woman screams, someone takes a machete to the head, the end.  Boring.  Part VI kept the slashing, the blood, and kill count, but provided breaks between the action to relax and ease the tension, making it all much more enjoyable. The inside jokes and sense of awareness the script and directing conveyed was quite refreshing.  The cemetery groundskeeper saying “Why’d they have to go and dig up Jason?”, then looking into the camera and saying “Some folks sure got a strange idea of entertainment.”  He’s making a joke at the expense of the entire film!  Like I said, the film didn’t take itself too serious as a “horror”.  And that’s not a bad thing.  Neither does Cabin In The Woods, or Shaun Of The Dead.  And it works.

The film even inspired a young Kevin Williamson, whom would go off to write the screenplay for Scream, which you can parallel with Part VI as film that thrived on self-awareness, inside jokes, and that provided an invigorating rush to a stale horror genre.  That's pretty impressive, and shows Part VI was way ahead of its time.  Williamson would go on to write Dawson’s Creek, but unfortunately Friday the 13th Part VI would have no influence over that series, as no one was ever pummeled with a machete by a dead psychopath in a hockey mask, but it would have made for a fun twist.

Part VI is one of the truly under-appreciated installments of the series, and I mean, when has a part VI of anything ever been good?  Friday The 13th Part VI is like a rare unicorn, and I hope others appreciate it as much as I do, or if not at least hit the noise and cherries once in a while for old-time’s sake.
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