Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood
|Friday the 13th Part VII:
The New Blood
|Directed by||John Carl Buechler|
|Produced by||Frank Mancuso, Jr.
|Written by||Manuel Fidello
|Starring||Lar Park Lincoln
|Music by||Harry Manfredini
|Edited by||Maureen O'Connell
Martin Jay Sadoff
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Running time||88 minutes|
|Box office||$19,170,001 (domestic)|
Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood is the seventh installment in the original Friday the 13th series, released in 1988. It is the start of the Kane Hodder era in Jason films in the role of Jason Voorhees, as he repeated the role three more times until the infamous Jason X. It follows Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives and precedes Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan.
Forest Green has become Crystal Lake again. At her family's lakefront cottage, seven-year-old Tina Shepard hears her drunken father abusing her mother and runs out to the lake. When her father tries to retrieve her and apologize, Tina's anger unlocks her latent telekinetic powers, causing the dock he's standing on to collapse, drowning him.
Ten years later, Tina, who has been through mental institutions over the guilt of her father's death and her mother Amanda travel back to Crystal Lake to help her alleviate her feelings and return her life to normal. There, they meet her doctor, Dr. Crews, who begins testing Tina with her abilities, explaining they are a side effect of her guilt feelings. In reality he hopes to exploit them for his own benefit, purposefully keeping her stress levels high to increase her reactions. Next door, a group of young adults are gathering for a birthday party of a mutual friend, Michael. The guests include nerdy Maddy, the perky Robin, stoner David, awkward science fiction writer Eddie, Ivy League student Russell and his girlfriend Sandra, jock Ben and his girlfriend Kate, Michael's cousin Nick, and snobby socialite Melissa. That night, Tina runs to the dock alone while grieving for her father. Sensing a presence in the lake and mistaking it for him, she inadvertently releases a badly decayed Jason from his underwater prison. She passes out at the sight of him as he swims to shore unseen; when Tina describes what she saw, Dr. Crews suspects that it's a hallucination of her father and not real. Meanwhile, Michael and his girlfriend Jane are walking to Crystal Lake when they encounter Jason, who rams a tent spike through Jane's throat through a tree and impales Michael with it. Back at the lake, Nick, who has developed an attraction toward Tina, comes to invite her to Michael's birthday party. While there she has a disturbing vision of Jason killing Michael and she leaves in a panic, finding a similar spike stuck in their porch. When she sends Dr. Crews out to look at it, he finds nothing and Tina fears she's losing her mind. Jason kills another couple camping in the forest as he makes his way toward Crystal Lake.
The next day, Tina confides in Nick about her hospitalization and Melissa overhears, later insulting Tina about being in a mental hospital, during which Tina angrily snaps Melissa's pearl necklace with her power; she later becomes increasingly frustrated with Crews's dismissal of her visions. That night, Amanda discovers Dr. Crews's motives and in the ensuing argument, Tina overhears that Crews is going to commit her to the hospital permanently and runs away. Meanwhile, Jason kills Russell by splitting his face in half with an axe, then drowns Sandra in the lake when she sees Russell dead. He tricks Ben out of his van and crushes his skull, then when Kate investigates he shoves a party horn into her eye. Tina has a vision of Jason killing her mother and crashes her car; she gets out and retreats into the woods. Jason kills Maddy with a scythe to her throat, cuts the power to the house and stabs David, who comes downstairs. Eddie also ventures downstairs after being spurned by Melissa, who used him to try and make Nick jealous and he is killed by a machete to the neck. Jason moves upstairs and throws Robin from an upstairs window while Tina and Nick meet each other in the woods and find Michael's body. Returning to her cabin, Tina discovers Crews's lies and articles revealing Jason Voorhees as the killer. Nick runs next door and discovers Eddie; when he returns he finds Tina gone. Meanwhile, Jason encounters Amanda and Crews, killing Amanda with a spear after Crews uses her as a shield. A little later, Crews comes across Tina who runs off alone to find Amanda as Jason stalks and guts Crews with a branch saw. After finding her mother dead, Tina follows a trail of bodies and encounters Jason. Keeping her distance, she incapacitates him several times with her abilities before bringing a porch roof down on his head. She returns to the cabin to find Melissa and Nick waiting.
Not to be undone, Jason returns to the cabin and kills Melissa with an axe to the head as she leaves. Jason then attacks Nick, but Tina forces him to back down, sending him falling into the cellar after smashing a ceiling light into his face. He pulls Tina down with him, who continues to attack him by dousing him with gasoline and using the furnace fire to ignite him. She and Nick flee when the fire gets too intense and the house violently explodes. Jason attacks again, knocking Nick unconscious and incapacitating Tina; using all of her strength, Tina summons her father from the lake who grabs Jason and forces him back to his underwater prison before Tina passes out. The next morning, as the fires are being put out by local firefighters, Tina is put aboard an ambulance with Nick who asks where Jason is. Tina calmly replies "We took care of him" before the ambulance drives off into the smoke-filled morning.
- Lar Park Lincoln as Tina Shepard
- Kevin Spirtas as Nick
- Susan Blu as Amanda Shepard
- Terry Kiser as Dr. Crews
- Susan Jennifer Sullivan as Melissa
- Elizabeth Kaitan as Robin
- William Butler as Michael
- Staci Greason as Jane
- Jon Renfield as David
- Jeff Bennett as Eddie
- Heidi Kozak as Sandra
- Diana Barrows as Maddy
- Larry Cox as Russell
- Craig Thomas as Ben
- Diane Almeida as Kate
- Kane Hodder as Jason Voorhees
- John Otrin as Mr. Shepherd
- Jennifer Banko as Young Tina
The film was originally hoped to be Freddy vs. Jason, a clash crossover between Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger. Plans fell apart when Paramount Pictures (who held the rights to the Friday the 13th series at the time) and New Line Cinema (who held the rights to the Nightmare on Elm Street films), failed to come to an agreement. That film was eventually made possible when New Line bought the rights to the Friday the 13th series, but did not see release until 2003.
The film's original title was "Birthday Bash". The entire production of this film was scheduled, completed, and released within six months; shooting took place from October to November 1987 in rural southern Alabama near Bay Minette. This film marks the first of four appearances by Kane Hodder as Jason, the only actor to ever reprise the role. Although C. J. Graham, who had portrayed Jason in Part VI, was initially considered, Hodder was ultimately chosen based on his work in the film Prison, for which The New Blood's director, Carl Buechler had worked on as the special effects makeup artist. In that movie, Hodder filmed a scene in which his character—a prisoner executed in the electric chair—rises from the grave; Hodder himself had suggested to Buechler that he have maggots coming out of his mouth during the scene to heighten the effect of decomposition, and went on to film the sequence with live maggots spilling out of his mouth. Buechler remembered Hodder's commitment to the part when casting The New Blood, and chose Hodder over Graham. Graham expressed disappointment, as he had hoped to reprise the role of Jason and make himself synonymous with the character, as Boris Karloff had with Frankenstein's monster, but ultimately expressed satisfaction with Hodder's portrayal and said that he bore no ill will about not being asked to return. Hodder would go on to make cinematic history for the longest uninterrupted on-screen controlled burn in Hollywood history. For the scene in which Tina causes the furnace to shoot flames at Jason, Hodder was actually set on fire by an apparatus rigged so that the ignition could be captured on film (as opposed to being edited in later with trick photography). Hodder was on fire for a full forty seconds, a record at the time.
Several explicit scenes of gore were cut in order to avoid an X rating, including: Maddy's death, who originally had a sickle jammed through her neck; Ben's death, which showed Jason crushing his head into a bloody pulp; Kate's death, which showed Jason ramming her in the eye with a party horn; the VHS and DVD versions only show a full view of Jason as he aims towards her face, but quickly cuts to another scene before revealing the blood and gore gushing from her eye; we see Eddie's head hit the floor; a shot of Russell's face splitting open with a large blood spurt; Dan's original death had Jason ripping out his guts; Amanda Shepard's death originally showed Jason stabbing her from behind, with the resulting blade going through her chest and subsequent blood hitting Dr. Crews; Dr. Crews's death showed Jason's tree-trimming saw violently cutting into his stomach, sending a fountain of blood and guts in the air; Melissa's original death had Jason cleaving her head in half with an axe with a close-up of her eyes still wriggling in their sockets. The boxed set DVD release of all of the films and the single deluxe edition have all these scenes available as deleted scenes in rough workprint footage, however the deluxe edition features more additional footage than the boxed set.
The narration in the prologue of the film (spoken by Walt Gorney) is as follows:
- There's a legend 'round here. A killer buried, but not dead. A curse on Crystal Lake. A death curse. Jason Voorhees's curse. They say he died as a boy, but he keeps coming back. Few have seen him and lived. Some have even tried to stop him. No one can. People forget he's down there... waiting.
Box office and reception
All existing home video versions of this film, including the box set released by Paramount Home Video have the infamous "sleeping bag death" cut to one hit, whereas the original theater-shown version had the uncut, six-hit sleeping bag death scene, with blood all over the sleeping bag, intact. At the budget of $2.8 million, the film took in $19.1 million at the domestic box office upon its initial release.
The film received negative reviews from critics. John Carl Buechler, the director, who also created the special make-up effects for the film, is credited with creating "the definitive Jason" in the audio commentary of the film from the series' DVD box set. The film is later mentioned in the novels American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis and The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. It currently holds a 25% rating on review aggragator Rotten Tomatoes, based on 17 reviews.
On September 27, 2005, BSX records released a limited edition CD of Fred Mollin's Friday the 13th Part VII and VIII scores.
- "Friday the 13th Part 7 and 8 - Original Score By Fred Mollin". BuySoundtrax.com. Retrieved 2012-01-15.
- Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood at the Internet Movie Database
- Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood at AllMovie
- Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood at Rotten Tomatoes
- Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood at Box Office Mojo
- Film page at the Camp Crystal Lake web site
- Film page at Fridaythe13thfilms.com