Wednesday, January 6, 2010

FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VII – THE NEW BLOOD DELUXE EDITION

Paramount completes their re-issue of the popular FRIDAY THE 13th franchise with the last two films produced by the studio (before selling the character to New Line) hitting store shelves just before Halloween. In Part Seven, THE NEW BLOOD, the old formula gets stirred up a bit, as writers Manuel Fidello and Daryl Haney collaborate with director John Buechler to introduce a new type of opponent for the invincible Jason Vorhees.

Pretty Tina (Lar Park-Hilton) has problems. Aside from having powerful telekinetic abilities, she believes herself responsible for the drowning death of her father when she was a child – at Crystal Lake, of course. Now, as a young woman, her psychiatrist (Terry Kiser, Bernie of WEEKEND AT BERNIES’s infamy) has brought her back to that notorious body of water to confront her guilt. Of course, there’s a bunch of teenagers partying in the rental house next door, and when Tina’s attempts to raise her dead father from the lake dredge up Jason instead… well, we all know what happens, right?

The addition of the telekinetic teen (the director cheerfully admits to ripping off CARRIE in the supplements) does inject a bit of new life into the franchise -- for this installment, anyway -- culminating in a very entertaining final battle between the girl and hockey-masked monster (portrayed here, for the first time, by fan-favorite Kane Hodder). Buechler, primarily a make-up effects artist, proves himself a capable director and keeps the movie moving at a good pace. The "kills" are fairly imaginative and well-staged, and female nudity makes a welcome return to the series.

Paramount’s Deluxe Edition DVD sports a machete-sharp 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer and both Dolby Digital 5.1 surround and 2.0 stereo audio mixes. Bonus features include a commentary track with Buechler, Park-Lincoln and Hodder, a behind-the-scenes documentary, deleted scenes, and a couple of featurettes.

Not the best FRIDAY, but certainly one of the better ones.

BUY: Friday the 13th, Part VII: The New Blood (Deluxe Edition)