Discussing The Humor In 'Jason Lives: Friday The 13th Part 6'
Jason Lives: Friday The 13th Part 6 is definitely one of the best reviewed films in the Friday The 13th franchise. Critics seemed to appreciate the self referential humor littered throughout the run-time of Jason Lives as well as the more lighthearted approach to the formulaic material. However, that type of humor was something not yet seen in the films prior, and as such, fans were initially not too happy with what was perceived to be a parody of Jason Voorhees and the movies themselves. Personally, I believe the film to be a perfect mix of old school Horror tropes coupled with the correct amount of levity to make for a commercially successful and critically received piece that pleases fans expectations of the franchise.
Even with my own feelings on Jason Lives, there are moments that even I feel like Tom McLoughlin went a bit overboard with the gags. Lets remember that Part 6 is the first film in the series to incorporate intentional visual gags to perpetuate the in-joke to the audience. The James Bond imagery of Jason walking, leading into the opening titles is one such visual gag that truly works on many levels. It's a slick introduction to audiences that Jason is indeed back and it just looks awesome. However, the one gag that makes me cringe to this day is where Jason grabs paintballer Burt's arm and throws him into the tree. That part is cool, but having Burt's face slide away to reveal a well rounded smiley face carved into the tree? It didn't work for me back in 1986 and it still doesn't work for me today.
There are many more visual gags that are fun and work and don't ruin the feel of the Friday The 13th film, such as the head bands of the paintballers that read "Dead" or the street sign that Megan races by in her Camaro with Tommy that reads "Speeding?" Overall, the film never misses a beat when it comes to exciting action coupled with numerous tense and scary scenes. Jason Lives tells the audience that Friday The 13th no longer hides Jason Voorhees in the shadows, but celebrates him wholehearteldy as the ultimate anti-hero that everyone cheers for, not necessarily be scared of.
Maybe this film truly signaled the end of Friday The 13th as older fans came to know it, but it cemented Jason Vorhees as an iconic figure in pop culture. What do you think? Are you a fan of the humor in the film? Does it make the film better or worse?
About The Film
As a child, Tommy Jarvis did what many others died trying to do. He killed Jason Voorhees, the mass murderer who terrorized the residents of Crystal Lake. But now, years later, Tommy is tormented by the fear that maybe Jason isn't really dead.
So Tommy and a friend go to the cemetery to dig up Jason's grave. Unfortunately for Tommy, (and very unfortunately for his friend), instead of finding a rotting corpse, they discover a well rested Jason who comes back from the dead for another bloody rampage in Friday The 13th, Part VI: Jason Lives