With a more polished look and presumably a higher budget, PART IV (The first to use roman numerals) is erroneously called “The Final Chapter” which it is obviously not. Of the early films, I enjoy this one the most for the mere fact that they pull out all the stops as far as gore and…ahem…nudity.
Like the other two sequels, PART IV begins with a recap of the previous entries. This time we’re treated to a “best of” montage to really get the blood flowing. And once again, there’s not much of a plot once the movie gets going. Line ‘em up, so Jason can knock ‘em down. That about sums it up. At least there was an attempt to humanize the characters, giving at least a few of them a backstory (one of the characters is the brother of one of Jason’s victims. He’s tracking down Jason for just some plain old revenge). Most of the drama centers around your typical teenage angst of “will I or won’t I get laid before the maniac chops me into tiny bits.”
Like the original, PART IV has some notable actors. One is a less odd than usual, Crispen Glover, who the following year would star in BACK TO THE FUTURE (1985) as Marty’s milk toast dad, George McFly. The other is a very young Corey Feldman playing the pivotal role of Tommy Jarvis, the boy who would get the better of Jason Voorhees.
The man who birthed Jason in part one, Make-Up F/X gore-master Tom Savini, returns to the series to see the killer off in a blaze of glory. The F/X are particularly bloody in this entry and some of the best of the series. When Jason is finally unmasked, he truly is a vision of horror and his “death” is fitting and equally grisly.
Speaking of Jason, I also like his physicality in this movie. He has intensity to his walk as well as his kills that is ferocious and there are times when you witness the wheels slowly turning in his head as he decides who to dispatch next. A step forward for the fading series and certainly one of the best it has to offer (which isn’t saying much).
FRIDAY THE 13th - PART IV: THE FINAL CHAPTER (1984)