Movie Review: Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI (1986)

Synopsis: Determined to end his nightmares about the serial killer, Tommy Jarvis digs up Jason Voorhees' grave with the intention of burning the body. However, when a bolt of lightning strikes the grave, reviving Jason and making him stronger than ever, Tommy must, instead, convince the local authorities the killer has returned.

Who's in it? The movie stars Thom Mathews, Jennifer Cooke, David Kagen, C. J. Graham and Vincent Guastaferro.

Review: Even though my wife and I were disappointed by the last two films, I decided to give the movie series one more chance and ended up watching this installment last night. As it turns out, this movie was actually quite a bit of an improvement.

At first, I wasn't really sure what to think of Jason's (Graham) revival, mostly because the lightning bolt happening to hit his grave shortly after it was dug up seemed like an awfully big coincidence. However, as the movie progressed, I found it actually fit the rest of the film perfectly.

The thing I found I liked most about this film is the decision to make Jason much stronger than he was in the previous movies. As I've stated before, Jason is kind of a wimp in earlier films. This one finally makes him into the scary killing machine he needs to be and rather than having to sneak up on his victims, he can approach them head-on and work his killing magic even when they stand up for themselves. The fact he can't be killed (mostly because he's already dead) is a nice bonus.

Another thing I liked about this movie is the way it avoided taking itself too seriously by throwing in the occasional comedic scene.  This, admittedly, doesn't always work and, more often than not, movies will cross the line with this and end up making the film more of a comedy than a horror. But, this movie had just the right mix of it and had just enough comedy to occasionally lighten the mood. After all, movies in this genre are supposed to be fun to watch.

One of my biggest complaints about the movies that preceded this one was the obsession with sex and nudity. This movie does taper that down a bit. There's still sex. But, it's not at the same level as the couple previous films and there isn't a bunch of topless women running around for no reason.

The movie's only real weakness, in my opinion, was it once again failed to give Jason's victims any real depth. There was a camp full of counselors and most died without us knowing anything about them (making it hard to care). Heck, I think the movie tells us more about the minor characters playing paintball than it does some of the more important characters in the movie with Tommy (Mathews) being the only one with any sort of backstory. Fortunately, the villain was strong enough, this time around, to make up for that.

Final Opinion: The movie still has some flaws. But, I do think it is one of the better ones from the series because Jason Voorhees finally became the unstoppable serial killer he should have been 2 or 3 movies ago.

My Grade: B


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