The other day I watched a short video by IMDB on the film Flatliners. The theme of the video was “So ’90s It Hurts”. The video proceeded by showing all the ways Flatliners fell into ‘90s tropes. Now that I’ve seen the film, I call bullshit. Though the film was released in the summer of 1990, more than anything Flatliners feels like the last great movie of the ‘80s.
For those who may not have noticed (or cared) baseball season has reared its ugly 178-year-old face once again and will now haunt us for the next five or six months. I’m in a weird place with baseball these days. My love of football has far eclipsed my love for America’s pastime. If we still had a basketball team in Seattle, there’s no doubt in my mind, I’d be more invested in that as well.
If I have learned anything from the 2009 remake of Friday the 13th it’s that the slasher movie is dead. What was once a thriving genre in the 1980s has in the past few decades been reduced to a parody of itself. “Was it all worth it? The need for this derivative, explicitly violent, overly sexualized bastard stepson of cinema?” Let’s find out.
Earlier this week, new footage was discovered from the Freddy vs. Jason weigh-in. That’s right, this match up was so hotly anticipated that to promote the film, Jason and Freddy were brought to a pre-fight weigh-in at Bally’s Las Vegas followed by a press conference. I still get a kick out of the idea, but there’s one lingering problem I’ve always had with this movie.
I remember seeing a cardboard display for Jason X in the lobby of a Regal Cinema when I was eleven-years-old. I hadn’t seen any of the films but I was familiar with the character. My immediate reaction was “Wow, that’s dumb” followed by laughter. Even as a child Jason X seemed like a bad idea and it is a bad idea. I actually ended up renting it with my dad on home video—that’s what we called it—however many months later. I remember thinking it was just so terrible and then falling asleep.
Looking back, I think I was a little hard on Jason X. Too much preteen angst, perhaps. Then again, preteen John hadn’t sat through nine other Friday the 13th movies beforehand. Because in the grand scheme of things, Jason X is one of the most entertaining installments in the series. Yes, it’s a terrible idea with cliche characters, cheesy effects, and flat story, but it’s fun. The action is solid and there are a few genuine laughs. Jason X, like Piranha 3DD, is a movie that knows exactly what it’s supposed to be. It never tries to be more than dumb fun and on that note, it succeeds. On other notes? Oh god is it bad.
Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday is a film I hated before I even pressed play. This is because Part IX is the first film in my Friday the 13th viewing odyssey that I was unable to watch on Amazon Prime. I gather because the first eight films are Paramount releases while Part IX is from New Line Cinema. I understand this is a completely arbitrary and unfair grievance in regards to the actual film, but when I have to go out of my way to watch a film I already know is bad, you better believe I’m going to be cranky.
By 1989, Jason Voorhees had become a joke. Don’t believe me? Watch the YouTube clip I’ve posted below.