Jul 07

Friday the 13th II

Year: 1981
Country: USA

Director: Steve Miner
Starring: Amy Steel, John Furey, Adrienne King, Kirsten Baker, Stuart Charno


The body count continues…


A counselor training camp is set up near the condemned Camp Crystal Lake that was the camp where a massacre happened five years ago. The group of aspiring counselors are informed of the atrocities that took place on the nearby camp, but doesn’t let it affect their fun summer before Jason Vorhees come out to continue what his mom had started.

The first Jason movie! Yeah, technically he had a cameo in the first one, but the Jason that we have all come to love (without the famous hockey mask though) made his first murderous appearance in this film. Alice, the survivor and the main heroin from the first one gets a violent meeting with him at the start of the film. A reminder that no matter what, you cannot escape death forever in slashers. Actress Adrienne King did not want to have a big part in this film after being stalked by a maniac fan after the first film and she stopped acting for several years after that experience. A very sad and disgusting story, although I don’t think it would have been a good idea to keep holding on to the Alice character in this sequel anyway.

We don’t really have camps like they do in America so I’m not too familiar with how they work, but this is probably the first time I have heard of a counselor training camp. I guess it was a good premise where they didn’t have to explain why there where no children there yet instead of rehashing the reason from the first one.

This film doesn’t take as long to start as the first one and tries to deliver blood and guts right away. Director Steve Miner keeps the same type of tone that the original had and they feel and look so similar that they could easily be played back to back. The characters are once again just regular teenagers trying to have a fun summer before having to face the ruthless killer Jason. They have another good heroine here with Amy Steel’s character Ginny. She might be the best female character of the entire Friday series with her pretty girl next door looks, sympathetic and strong traits.

Tom Savini did not return for the special effects and the murders might be a little more tame this time, but the high body count makes up for it. There are some kills that seem to be taken directly from Mario Bava’s Bay of Blood. I guess that was called a rip-off in the 80’s, if Tarantino or anyone else would have done it today it would have been called an homage. Jason is a much more intimidating villain than his mother and he is an awesome killing machine here. There’s not much of a backstory for him and it’s not needed either. He is an entity that lurks around in the woods, taking his time and watch his victims before making a strike.

The ending is quite eerie and well done with Ginny having to fool Jason into thinking she is her mother, while at the same time having her decapitated head right behind her. It’s one of the best and suspenseful scene in any Friday movie. Friday the 13th II is actually a very good sequel that is just as good as the first one, perhaps even slightly better!




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