Horror-A-Thon: Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood

As we progress backwards through the Friday the 13th films, slowly making our way to the first movie, we’re going to have to sift through some garbage. We just covered part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan yesterday, and it settles firmly into the so bad it’s good territory. The New Blood, today’s focus film, is so bad it’s bad. It’s easily one of my least favorite films in the franchise, which surprisingly didn’t kill the whole series off.

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Let’s start with the redeeming qualities, first and foremost being Kane Hodder donning the hockey mask. The stuntman is creature feature royalty and has dozens of cult classic films under his belt. He’s one of the best liked versions of Jason, and is honestly the only redeeming quality in this film. His presence lends a great deal of silent strength to the movie maniac as he does to whatever role he takes on. It’s just a shame his talent was wasted on the end of the franchise, well after its heydey, and well after it was pulling in big audiences.

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The plot here involves a psychic girl (these were all the rage in the mid to late 80’s) who has spent her entire life in some form of therapy or another after accidentally killing her abusive father with her powers as a child. Fast forward to the future and she ends up at Crystal Lake for some private psychological tests by a skeezy doctor looking to exploit her powers for his own career benefit. During a particularly rough session she inadvertently awakens Jason, who is chained at the the bottom of the lake (we’ll get to that tomorrow as we look at Part VI). You’re probably wondering how this is going to work…where is the body count going to come from, right? Well, it just so happens that there’s a house next door filled with teen partiers that are ripe for the picking!

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Just as in part VIII, we’re pretty deep into the series at this point and Jason’s kills are by no means inventive or mind blowing. Part VIII comes out ahead here because at least the kills in that one are so over the top you’re laughing. Part VII suffers from a severe lack of consistency…one kill you’re getting a brutal death by swinging a full sleeping bag against a tree or a fist through the body, and then you’re bored to tears by a generic “seen it a thousand times” drowning or someone being thrown out a second story window (yawn!).

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All in all, where The New Blood ultimately fails is in the casting. You do not care about a single one of these characters because they’re all pretty unlikable. From your moody psychic protagonist, dumber than usual teenage partiers, and annoying and cringe worthy doctor, you’re practically begging Jason to get to work. Is it the worst movie in the franchise? No, for me that’s Jason X, which is so bad I’m not even covering it. But it’s nowhere near the top either. It does however have one of the worst endings, which is so bad that you just need to experience it yourself.

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