Return of the Living Dead III (1993)

Directed by Brian Yuzna [Other horror films: Self Portrait in Brains (1978), Society (1989), Bride of Re-Animator (1990), Initiation: Silent Night, Deadly Night 4 (1990), Necronomicon (1993, segments ‘The Library’ & ‘Whispers’), The Dentist (1996), Progeny (1998), The Dentist 2 (1998), Faust: Love of the Damned (2000), Beyond Re-Animator (2003), Rottweiler (2004), Beneath Still Waters (2005), Amphibious 3D (2010)]

To quote from a Stephen King novel, Duma Key, ‘I never imagined it could get so bad, and God punishes us for what we can’t imagine.’ This is the punishment I never expected, and it came as quite a surprise to me.

Now let’s be clear – the second film of this series was far from stellar, and I personally thought it was a ways away from good. It was tepidly average at best. Here, they change things up a little, and take another route that I just couldn’t have cared about in the least, removing the comedic influences altogether and inserting a romance that’s doomed to fail because the young woman has become a zombie.

Removing the comedic influences was a bold choice, as The Return of the Living Dead, at least back in the early 1990’s, was probably one of the most popular zombie-comedies in existence, but it didn’t have to be a bad choice, and, if the film had gone in an entirely different direction, might even have been a heralded one. It’s also worth pointing out now that this film amazingly has the same rating as the second one on IMDb (or did at the time of this writing – it now looks like this film is rated 5.9/10 whereas the second is rated 5.7/10), and most of my friends in the horror community find the film moderately enjoyable.

All of that said, I found this movie absolutely and utterly horrible, and would never, under any circumstance, want to sit through this again.

The main problem is the romantic relationship between Melinda Clarke and J. Trevor Edmond. I was okay with them during the first scene, and when Edmond was breaking away from his father (played by Kent McCord), I was somewhat applauding them, but pretty much every moment after that, I just couldn’t stand them. As soon as, in pain and misery, Edmond brings Clarke back from the dead, and she starts eating people and becoming, you know, a zombie, and he sticks with her through it all (and I do mean all – far past the point where any reasonable person would have done so), I just wanted it to be over.

But the movie runs for an insane hour and 40 minutes instead of making it a more reasonable 70 minute film, which, while I wouldn’t have enjoyed it much more, at least would have felt more digestible.

The best character was played by Basil Wallace, who gets killed by Edmond’s idiocy, and later comes back as a zombie and helps out Edmond’s character despite the fact that the only reason he died was due to Edmond. None of that really mattered, as the final 15 minutes of this film was needlessly tacked on anyway, but there you go.

Oh, and Mike Moroff’s character was rather terrible also, but at least it fits in with the movie.

The special effects are decent, I’ll give it that. Though again, I don’t think that really matters as soon as Clarke’s character starts threading metal through her body and becoming a HARDCORE ZOMBIE CHICK. I cringed as soon as I saw that. It just looked awful, and it looked stupid, and I hated every second of it even more than the hate I had for it during the previous scenes.

Plenty of horror fans, as I’ve said, seem to enjoy this film, or at least enjoy it as much as they enjoyed the second film. Like I also said, the second film wasn’t great, but I just don’t get the love this one has. I don’t see it, and I don’t understand it, and I never want to cross paths with this movie again.

3/10

Horror Island (1941)

Directed by George Waggner [Other horror films: Man Made Monster (1941), The Wolf Man (1941), The Climax (1944), Jack the Ripper (1958), Destination Nightmare (1958), The Veil (1958)]

This is a film that I’ve wanted to see for some time now, and despite it being nothing special or really unique in any way, I am quite happy that I finally got to this one, as it’s a fun ride throughout.

What with a hidden treasure, half of a treasure map, multiple parties looking for the gold, and a mysterious Phantom, Horror Island has pretty much all of the elements that make those old dark house mysteries of the bygone era so damn fun, and it’s made moderately more unique by setting itself on an island (and the opening on the atmospheric docks was also welcomed).

It does carry a more noticeable light-hearted element (think Sh! The Octopus), much of it coming from Fuzzy Knight’s character Stuff, but that doesn’t hamper the quality feel that the film possesses, especially once the group gets to the titular island and deal more and more with the mysterious phantom, not to mention some other dangerous characters.

Dick Foran made for a solid, if potentially unremarkable, lead. Having also starred in both The Mummy’s Hand and The Mummy’s Tomb, Foran had that typical lead look that radiates ‘good guy.’ Fuzzy Knight was a lot more meh if only because he was the central source of comedy, and his side-kick character just struck me as more silly than anything else. Peggy Moran (who was also in The Mummy’s Hand) was solid as the romantic interest, her wittiness often amusing.

Leo Carrillo (who played a heavily-accented sea captain), much like Knight, was another source of humor, though I could sort of dig his style. The others that make a difference, such as John Eldredge and Lewis Howard, were just fine, if not, as Foran was, unremarkable.

Luckily, despite having a few sources of humor here, Horror Island never gets to the point where it’s too silly, and in it’s favor, the fact it takes place on an old castle on a small island, what with multiple mysterious parties running around, is nice to be witness to.

Overall, Horror Island is a movie that I’d wanted to see for quite some time, and it lived up to my expectations. It’s not an amazing movie, but it’s quick and easily digestible, not to mention fun, so if that’s what you look forward to from classic horror, give this a shot.

7/10

Carrie (2013)

Directed by Kimberly Peirce [Other horror films: N/A]

Every horror commenter has one or two opinions (at least) that go against mainstream thought of horror fandom, and the fact that I’m not a fan of the 1976 adaptation of Carrie is one of them. Now to be fair, it has to do more with the story than the movie itself, but there you go. Here, while I can appreciate the modern-day take, I can’t say I’m much happier with this version.

Carrie is based off Stephen King’s first novel, and as it is his first novel, while I’ve consistently found it interesting in the way it was written, it’s never been a book I’ve really gone back to for enjoyment (unlike a handful of his other novels, such as It or Duma Key). I just don’t find the story all that interesting, and though I do like the spotlight being shone on the dangers of religious mania, I don’t think that’s the focus that most people in-universe would have to a situation like this.

This version follows the book (and original adaptation) pretty nicely, though with a few necessary alterations (such as Ms. Desjardin not slapping Portia Doubleday’s Chris during their punishment runs, or mentioning that the state stopped Margaret White from home-schooling Carrie). That said, it does feel, to me, like a closer version to the book than the 1976 movie, only with an updated feel (such as a far more prevalent use of technology, which made the scene in which Chris and her father were talking to the principal, played by Barry Shabaka Henley, all the better).

The adaptational attractiveness of Carrie does bother me a bit. She might look a little plain here, and she has the necessary awkwardness, but Chloë Grace Moretz is far from ugly, and I find it disappointing that no adaptations want to touch on the fact that Carrie, from the novel, was overweight and, to many people, unattractive. This doesn’t take away from Moretz’s performance, which I thought was pretty good, but just something that bugs me. Moretz does great, especially with her scenes when with Tommy (Ansel Elgort), and you really got the sense that this unhappy girl was happy, finally, for the first time.

I did like Judy Greer as Ms. Desjardin. Greer’s an actress I know from really random things, such as 13 Going on 30 and Jurassic World to Ant-Man and a single episode of The Big Bang Theory, and she does pretty good here in her role. She doesn’t really add anything to the character, but she was a solid presence. The same could be said for Julianne Moore (The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Hannibal). Now, I really did like her performance (and a lot of her dialogue was taken directly from the book, which I loved), but like Greer, I don’t think she really stood out in any spectacular way.

Neither Gabriella Wilde nor Ansel Elgort were great, but I did like the humanity I felt from Elgort. Wilde was decently compelling in her regret, but a face-heel turn like this a week before graduation doesn’t really make up for the times that she and friends made life hell for Carrie in the past. Portia Doubleday was a pretty good Chris, so no complaints there.

One way in which I think the 1976 version was undoubtedly better was during the prom sequence at the end. Maybe it’s because the 1976 movie is such a classic (even if it’s a classic I don’t love), but the prom sequence here just felt sort of shallow and almost tepid. I did like some of the scenes after, such as Carrie stopping that car with her telepathic powers in slow-motion, but overall the finale lacks the feel the 1976 version had, and that dream at the end just felt like a failed imitation of what’s been done better.

If you enjoyed the 1976 version of Carrie, you might enjoy this. You might hate it, also, and find it unnecessary, but since I don’t enjoy the 1976 version that much, it doesn’t really bother me that they made a new version of this. I found this movie passable, and certainly watchable, but still not a type of movie I’d watch for pure enjoyment. I think this movie does some things right, and the 1970’s movie did some things right, but both end up around the same for me.

And I wish I remembered more about the 2002 Carrie TV movie, because, ironically, I actually remember liking that one more than the 1976 version, and thus, more than this version. Until I see it again, though, I’ll refrain from pissing people off.

Carrie is a movie that looks pretty good, and has fantastic production quality and names attached to it, but it’s not a story I ever cared for (be it novel or most adaptations), and as such, I found this below average. Kudos to the guy in the library who shows Carrie how to make videos full-screen, though – he’s perhaps the most stand-up character in the movie.

6.5/10

You’re Not Getting Out Alive (2011)

Directed by Kristine Hipps [Other horror films: The Monument (2005)]

Coming to us from Colorado, You’re Not Getting Out Alive is a rather low-budget horror comedy. Like many lower-budget films, some of the special effects can be questionable, but what’s not in question is that this movie has a lot of heart. I enjoyed most of the performances, the story, and overall, no matter what the budget was, this was a lot of fun.

Of course, I’ve always held a healthy respect for independent horror. Even if the movie isn’t great (such as Camp Hideaway Massacre or Curse of Halloween), you have to respect everyone involved for doing their best and trying to pull a movie together without the bottomless well of money that Hollywood can dole out. As such, some of the better lower-budget horror, such as Silver Cell (2011), The Horrible 4 (2010), Clownz R Us, and Vampire Ticks from Outer Space, deserve as much accolades as possible, and this movie is no different.

So many of the performances were great, but before I can even touch on that, I wanted to speak briefly about how amusing the story here was. To be sure, it’s not abnormal as far as slashers go – a group of people are killed by a mysterious killer in a rural location – but what allows this to be more is the fact these people are actors in a low-budget play. The play itself is hilarious – written by a stoner director, the title is “Southern Greens: The Story of the Civil War Stoner.” This stuff is comedy gold.

Aside from the director and assistant director of the play, the seven central characters are actors in the play, and are introduced to us via their auditions to be cast in the play. Some of these auditions are decent, and what you might expect, but some are damn funny, such as Toby’s ridiculous hand-puppet skit, Misty’s piece from Memoirs of a Confederate Jezebel (“Papa? Is that you, papa? I cannot see you for the tears in my eyes and the blindness”), or Ellis performing a piece from Julian Caesar: The Musical. These performances are great, and this is a comedy horror I can get behind.

There are a few performances that don’t stand out that well, but that’s only because some of them here are just so wildly fun. Though James O’Hagan Murphy, Patrick Mann, and Krista Rayne Reckner have a harder time being remembered, I really don’t think that takes away from what they brought into the movie, especially since Reckner’s character of Misty was legit funny at times.

Taking it from the top, though, we have Michael Kennedy, playing the stoner director. This guy, though maybe too stereotypical in his caricature, cracked me up. His play about marijuana saving the Union was great, and possessed some quality lines, such as “I propose a toast to Southern victory and the marijuana plant,” and a bit about “sucking on” someone’s “bubbling pipe” (being a bong, but it’s entirely possible his character didn’t get the sexual innuendo). I loved his character, and Kennedy did a great job with it.

Playing his assistant director was Dawn Bower, who was high-strung and the exact opposite of the laid-back, stoner director. Her character could be curt at times, but I thought she was a lot of fun. And speaking of fun, there’s David William Murray Fisher, who played Ellis, a rather flamboyant gay guy, who was great, and he worked well with Duane Brown, who played Toby. Brown brought a decent amount of humor too, so kudos.

Linda Swanson Brown was pretty perfect as the straight final girl. Not too quirky, but not without personality, she did really well in her role, and playing an entirely different role, Jillann Tafel was amazing. Playing an older actress past her prime, and always drinking, she had a lot of funny lines (“I once took it in the caboose from Benny Hill. That’s how I got my union card,” and “Isn’t she Miss Sunny Tits?”).

You’re Not Getting Out Alive is a funny movie. It’s not over-the-top, like The Stripper Ripper – once bodies start piling up, most of the jokes and banter stop – but for the first forty minutes, there is a lot of fun to be had with this movie.

Of course, the kills aren’t great here. There is a decapitated head that pops up (obviously a dummy head), and there are a few stabbings and bit of bloodshed, but this slasher is more focused on the characters and story (and on a related note, while the story isn’t great, I do think it handles some foreshadowing pretty well) than it is on kills, which works to it’s benefit given the budgetary constraints.

I really like this movie. For whatever budget they had to work with, they did a great job (and provided some amusing outtakes during the credits), and for low-budget horror comedy, I think this movie definitely does what it sets out to do, and fans of independent horror should endeavor to give this one a look.

8/10

Uninvited (1987)

Directed by Greydon Clark [Other horror films: Satan’s Cheerleaders (1977), Without Warning (1980), Wacko (1982), Dance Macabre (1992)]

So I’ll give the poster credit for being decent, but boy, this movie definitely has some issues. That doesn’t make Uninvited any less entertaining, but I suspect that this film, while somewhat fun once around, might suffer deeply with revisits.

Even seeing it once doesn’t lead to the best time, but the dialogue and acting is so awful, it’s almost good. The cat itself is fine, but the ill-defined creature that exists within the cat that does most of the killings doesn’t look particularly impressive whatsoever.

I do personally appreciate that this film takes place mostly on a yacht (and a few years before Jason Takes a Long Boat Ride), because more enclosed spaces theoretically should increase the tension. Of course, it never really did, but being lost out at sea without a working engine did hold with it a certain despair.

Alex Cord was appropriately campy here, and his character, of course, quite a dick. He did have a slimy charm at times, but by the end, he got somewhat hard to appreciate. Clu Gulager (The Return of the Living Dead and Freddy’s Revenge) was sort of nice to see, but he didn’t have a heck of a lot of screen-time. Better was George Kennedy (Just Before Dawn and Death Ship), who was Cord’s serious-minded right-hand man.

Shari Shattuck and Clare Carey never really caught on with me (they were cute, sure, but they weren’t winning any IQ tests). Likewise, neither Beau Dremann nor Rob Estes (Phantom of the Mall: Eric’s Revenge) blew me away, but I did really like both Eric Larson (Demon Wind) and Toni Hudson. Hudson was maybe a bit more generic, but Larson’s character was pretty interesting, and one of the only ones on board to really root for.

Toward the end, once the surviving characters get into a lifeboat, the cat-creature-thing attacks them twice, with this ridiculous music playing. The sequence was a good example of what to expect from this movie. It’s not overtly silly (though like I said, some of the performances are more than a little camp), but it almost reaches into the realm of comedy with as bad as some of these scenes are.

When it’s all said and done, Uninvited isn’t anywhere near a great movie, but it can be entertaining, and if that’s your main concern, I think you could certainly do a lot worse than this, as bad as this can get.

5.5/10

This is one of the films covered on Fight Evil’s podcast. If you want to hear Chucky (@ChuckyFE) and I discuss this one, then look no further.

Wolfen (1981)

Directed by Michael Wadleigh [Other horror films: N/A]

This is a movie that I’ve been aware about for pretty much as long as I can remember. I recall, the few times this film has been brought up, being warned against calling this a werewolf film (which, given the title, is certainly a reasonable assumption), but aside from that, I went into this knowing very little.

Despite the almost two hour run-time, I feel like I’m leaving much the same way.

I’m not saying that Wolfen is a bad movie, but I will admit that I left quite underwhelmed, especially given, again, that the film was almost two hours. Now, I’ve not read the novel this film was based on (written by Whitley Strieber), but the story here, while starting out interesting, pretty quickly becomes more of a grind than anything else.

It was nice to see a younger Edward James Olmos, who I know mostly from his roles in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and The West Wing, but I didn’t really get his character, and despite the explanation given, I also didn’t really get the Wolfen. Diane Venora played an okay character, but I have a hard time believing she’d be attracted to Albert Finney’s character (Finney, on a side-note, is an actor I know only from Big Fish, so it’s interesting to see him in a role like this). Finney himself gave a fine performance, but I just couldn’t get into the story, and that’s the main issue.

The setting for some of these scenes were top-notch, though. When Finney and Venora first go to that really horrible, decimated portion of New York City, it brings to mind vibes of Cabrini Green from Candyman (only this was more desolate and looked a hell of a lot worse). I lived in Gary, Indiana a bit as a child, but I’ve never seen anything as sad as that. Also, that bridge scene with Finney and Olmos was fantastic, and though there were no Wolfen in sight, I thought it was one of the tensest moments of the movie.

Alas, it all comes back to the story, which I just didn’t care for, and despite some quality scenes (such as the undiscussed yet still enjoyable sequence in which Finney and Gregory Hines are looking for the Wolfen in the ruins of derelict buildings), I just don’t think this movie was really worth the time. Perhaps if I read the novel and then came back to try the film out again, I’d get more from it, but as it stands, I can’t say Wolfen did much for me.

5.5/10

Night of the Creeps (1986)

Directed by Fred Dekker [Other horror films: The Monster Squad (1987)]

This is a solid piece of campy fun, and while Night of the Creeps is a rather tongue-in-cheek film, it’s not too much as to be distracting, and ends up an all-around entertaining movie.

Honestly, there’s not that much to the story, and ignoring the stylistic black-and-white flashback introduction, the movie takes place over the course of just a few days. That doesn’t make the film weak, by any means, but it certainly doesn’t have that epic feel you might expect (which is probably to it’s benefit).

If there’s one place where I think the movie maybe went a bit overboard, it’s with the constant references to famous horror-related directors and actors, such as Wes Craven, Tobe Hooper, John Carpenter, Steve Miner, Sam Raimi, and David Cronenberg, among others. We got it after the first few names popped up. On the other hand, Atkins’ saying “Thrill me” never got old, nor was I unhappy to see Dick Miller for a few moments.

Jason Lively wasn’t the best here – I just didn’t really care for the look of him. I think he was a fine companion piece with Jill Whitlow, though, and his friendship with Steve Marshall (who, in himself, was a sort of unique character, what with the disability) was sort of nice to see.

Let’s be honest, though. The true star here is Dick Miller, who’s been in tons of horror films, from Chopping Mall to Gremlins, The Little Shop of Horrors to The Howling, Demon Knight – wait, no. Upon further examination, I think Tom Atkins is the true star, though as always, it’s fantastic to see Dick Miller pop up, even though it’s for only a single scene.

Tom Atkins (The Fog, Halloween: Season of the Witch, and Maniac Cop) was great here. You couldn’t help but feel for him upon learning about his full backstory, and that scene in which he decides to help out Spanky as opposed to killing himself was oddly touching, as was the conclusion. Atkins was great here, and I thought he brought a lot to this film, especially since virtually no one else here aside from Miller had experience with horror.

The special effects are all pretty good aside from that pile of slugs at the end, which looked somewhat janky (and to be fair, that dog puppet didn’t look the best either). Slugs are admittedly probably hard to mess up, but they looked good here, and the zombie designs were all admirable (if a bit uninspired, but that wasn’t the focus, so I can’t complain).

With quite a few amusing quotes throughout (including the one on the poster about the ‘good news/bad news’) and a good sense of what this movie was going for, Night of the Creeps is a good film that’s well-worth it’s cult classic status. It doesn’t blow me away, but it’s always a fun watch.

7.5/10

The House Next Door (2006)

Directed by Jeff Woolnough [Other horror films: Nightworld: Lost Souls (1998), Strange Frequency 2 (2002)]

This made-for-TV movie isn’t the most forgettable film I’ve ever seen (it helps that I’ve just seen it, to be sure), but I don’t think it has the staying power that the creators were probably hoping for, which is a shame, as the story itself isn’t too bad.

I’m not personally one to care about production value – there have been plenty of quality low-budget made-for-DVD and made-for-TV movies, and I don’t judge a film based on what money went into it – but that being said, a lot of this movie still came across to me as bland and occasionally uninspired.

Based off a novel by Anne Rivers Siddons of the same title, published in 1978, the story isn’t that shabby, and has some interesting ideas in it (such as going through different owners of the house and the varied misfortunes they encounter), but the film isn’t able to pull that together into that great a movie-watching experience.

For what it’s worth, I think most of the performances are okay, at least in that Lifetime movie way. Lara Flynn Boyle and Colin Ferguson are decent together, though maybe come out of this a little generic (and that first-person narration that popped up at the beginning and the end didn’t do them wonders). Mark-Paul Gosselaar (of Dead Man on Campus… fame?) was a bit soapy at times, but still serviceable. Of the people who temporarily brought the house, Noam Jenkins (who appeared in Saw II and IV) was the best, becoming an overly orderly and pompous jackass like few others.

There were some okay scenes here, such as a somewhat jarring suicide, and the uncomfortable way Jenkins’ character spoke to his wife during the dinner party, along with any of the scenes of the new home owners giving into the mental pressures of the new house, but all of it feels tame and bland, even when it really shouldn’t.

The House Next Door isn’t a bad story, but the execution wasn’t properly done. The movie was lacking in feeling, and though a few things were decent with it, overall, I can imagine this being one of the many post-2000 made-for-TV movies that people will watch once and forget entirely.

5.5/10

Killer High (2018)

Directed by Jem Garrard [Other horror films: N/A]

Back in 2012, Syfy had an original movie called Haunted High (which was later retitled Ghostquake, because that’s so much better), and it was terrible. I mean, in some ways, it was okay, but the point is, it wasn’t a great time. So when I marked this to record to my DVR, given this is also a Syfy original, I was expecting something much in the same vein.

However, surprisingly, I had a really good time with this.

I didn’t know that it’d be a horror-comedy when I started watching this, and if I had, I’d have probably gone in with even lower expectations, but the humor here was actually pretty good (and in fact, the “rabid Snuffleupagus” line had me cracking up so much, I had to pause the movie), and I found myself laughing plenty of times. The freeze-frames were probably used once too often, but for the most part, this was a movie that knew what it was doing, and I think it showed in the script (“I don’t need your help. I have God to protect me,” followed up by, “Oh, that’s a really bad choice,” was an exchange that caused more laughter).

What really helps is that the main character, played by Kacey Rohl, is one of those annoying, overachieving types who was in every high school organization possible, and she’s in charge of the ten-year high school reunion. Rohl’s character easily could have been unlikable (and she had her moments), but it turns out that she didn’t go to college – she stayed in her dying town (and I do mean dying – the town doesn’t even have a police station) to care for her sick mother, and all she has to really look back on was her success in high school while everyone else is succeeding around her, such as her old rival, played by Humberly González, who has been around the world.

Really, this is a movie with more feeling than you’d expect. Make no mistake, most of it’s a silly monster movie with a giant warthog goring people, if it’s not eating people, that is, but there’s still some emotion, such as the tender moments between Asha Bromfield and Varun Saranga (Neverknock), or the scene in which everyone’s favorite teacher, played by Linda Goranson, comes to the reunion in a wheelchair after suffering a stroke. There are nice moments here, which is good to see, especially as I have absolutely no plans to attend my ten-year reunion. Though if a killer warthog were on the loose, I might reconsider.

Kacey Rohl is a name I don’t know, but she just did fantastic. I can’t really fault her character for being petty to high school rivals, because that’s really all she has – for ten years, she’s been in a dying town, dreaming of planning the perfect reunion, and this happens. I’ll admit I never loved González’s character, but she did grow on me. Both Bromfield and Saranga were good (especially Saranga), and I wish they had a happier ending then what they did. Jonathan Langdon mostly fell flat for me, but he did have that hilarious Snuffleupagus line, so points for that.

Killer High isn’t a particularly gory movie (though the aftermath of the main slaughter was pretty nice), nor did it boast the best effects (the warthog was pretty simple, but it had it’s charm to it), but it was a surprisingly fun ride, with occasionally moving moments and an interesting story to it’s killer warthog. It was a fun movie, and definitely one I’d give another go. It over-uses a few elements, and the finale isn’t quite that strong, but it’s a surprisingly strong film.

7.5/10

Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)

Directed by Joseph Zito [Other horror films: Bloodrage (1980), The Prowler (1981)]

Long-considered one of the best of the series by many, The Final Chapter has the elements you’d come to expect from a Friday the 13th movie, and it puts them together well.

With quality special effects (certainly not something new for the series), some memorable characters (just look at Dead Fuck’s – I mean, Crispin Glover’s – fantastic dance moves), and just an all-around solid story (not that it’s hard to mess up script for Friday the 13th), I think that this one is remembered fondly for a reason.

I love the beginning to this one, a compilation of scenes from the previous three films, and the film picks up immediately following the conclusion of the third film, which is pretty fun to see (we don’t get much of Jason at the hospital, but what we did get was pleasantly reminiscent of Halloween II). Given that the third film and this one take place over the course of just a couple of days really brings forth the slaughter.

Some of the characters weren’t that memorable (Clyde Hayes, Judie Aronson, and Peter Barton being the best examples), but then we get gems such as the cute Carey More and Camilla More, the funky fun Crispin Glover (of Back to the Future fame), the unlucky Lawrence Monoson, the innocent-yet-fun Barbara Howard, and all-around quality Kimberly Beck. I didn’t care much for Erich Anderson’s character, but Joan Freeman was good, and Corey Feldman of Gremlins fame) really gave a great performance as a younger actor.

Plus, Crispin Glover gave us a great dance.

Either the corkscrew or shower kill is my favorite, but there are plenty of decent kills throughout the movie. I also enjoyed the rain coming back during the finale, as rain always felt like a good way for these movies to end. Tommy Jarvis too was an interesting character to challenge Jason, and I enjoyed his decently intellectual approach, as it reminded me of Ginny (Amy Steel) from Part 2.

Both this movie and Part 2 are pretty close in quality, truth be told. I don’t think either one is significantly better or worse in any real way, which is a good indicator that these are the two strongest films this series has to offer.

Definitely The Final Chapter has been a favorite of mine for years, and it will continue to be.

8.5/10