Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood

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Friday the 13th Part VII:
The New Blood
Theatrical poster
Directed by John Carl Buechler
Produced by
Written by
Music by
Cinematography Paul Elliott
Edited by
  • Maureen O'Connell
  • Martin Jay Sadoff
  • Barry Zetlin
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release dates
  • May 13, 1988 (1988-05-13)
Running time
88 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $2.8 million[1]
Box office $19.1 million (US)[1]

Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood is the seventh installment in the original Friday the 13th series, released in 1988. It marks the start of the Kane Hodder era, during which Hodder played the role of Jason Voorhees a further three times, until Freddy vs. Jason . It follows Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives and precedes Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan.


Months after the conclusion of the previous film, 7-year old Tina Shepard hears her alcoholic father physically abusing her mother. The emotional trauma unlocks Tina's previously latent telekinetic powers, which result in her father's death at the bottom of Crystal Lake.

Ten years later, Tina is still struggling with the guilt surrounding the death of her father. Tina's mother, Amanda Shepard, takes her to the same lakeside residence so that her powers can be studied (and unknowingly exploited) by her psychiatrist, Dr. Crews. Dr. Crews begins a series of experiments (verbal assaults) designed to agitate Tina's mental state, forcing her powers to become more pronounced.

After a particularly upsetting session with Dr. Crews, Tina runs from the cabin and runs to the dock thinking about her father's death. While thinking about him, she accidentally breaks the chain around the neck of Jason Voorhees, the undead Crystal Lake serial killer. Tina's torment from her powers is increased as Jason's reign of terror descends on the area once again. Mrs. Shepard, Dr. Crews, and a group of youths vacationing in a nearby cabin are all violently killed by Jason.

The now-orphaned Tina is left with no choice but to utilize her telekinesis in an effort to stop him. She unleashes her powers in various ways such as forcing Jason's mask to tighten until it breaks in two, revealing his decaying and deformed face. As the battle rages on the Shepard lakeside cabin is destroyed by an explosive fire. Although she is unable to kill Jason, she unknowingly resurrects her father, who emerges from the lake and drags Jason back down into the depths with him, chaining the killer once more.



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[edit]


Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood opened on Friday, May 13, 1988 in 1,796 theaters, debuting at number 1 and earning $8.2 million its opening weekend. Ultimately, the film would go on to gross a total of $19.2 million at the U.S. box office, placing it at number 53 on the list of the year's top earners.[2]

Critical response[edit]

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 26% approval rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes based on 19 reviews.[3]


On September 27, 2005 (2005-09-27), BSX records released a limited edition CD of Fred Mollin's Friday the 13th Part VII and VIII scores.[4]


External links[edit]