Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning (1985)
You had to know that Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter wouldn't actually be the final chapter, didn't you? Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning makes a feeble attempt to keep the franchise going. It was a box-office hit, but I don't think anyone really came out ahead.
For this installment, we jump ahead five years after little Tommy Jarvis (Corey Feldman) turned Jason into so much steak tartare. Now he is played by charisma-free John Shepherd and he is being shipped off to a sort of backwoods halfway house for troubled teens or something; however, he is still plagued by memories of Jason. Of course, this group home is populated by your typical bunch of lunkheads and dimbulbs.
Things get off to a rocky start, to say the least, when on our hero's very first day, butterball Dominick Brascia is chopped up into kindling by psychotic Mark Venturini. Guess all of that therapy didn't work too well. I bring up this seemingly unimportant event because in reality this is what sets off the new spate of murders. Huh? Yeah. I'll get to that in a minute.
The whole rest of the movie is your very typical myriad of slasher deaths: we get your slashed throats, impalements by machete, a cleaver to the face, axes to the head and torso and so on, along with the bizarre death via road flare in the mouth and another with hedge-clippers to the eyes. But unlike the earlier films in the series, which at least tried to generate some form of suspense (even though they usually failed), director Danny Steinmann doesn't even bother. Seemingly, dozens of characters are put on the screen for no other reason but to die an immediate, and uneventfully staged death. It's all about quantity here. And the acting? Even for these films, the performances are dreadful. Melanie Kinnaman is our 'final girl' here and she is easily the worst of them all.
But even with all of this, the worst part of Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning is the big "twist". Fans of the series were not fooled by the surprise that Jason is not, in fact, the killer here. All one had to do was look at the total change in body shape and the brand new hockey mask coupled with the fact we can see his eyes. The killer's identity turns out to tie into the death of Brascia at the film's beginning. And, boy is it lame. Really, really lame. And, of course, the very final cliffhanger of the movie is almost exactly like the final cliffhanger of Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter... Will Tommy Jarvis follow in Jason's footsteps? After the fans universally disowned this Jason-less entry, it would be safe to assume that, no, this won't really happen.
Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning is nearly a total washout. It is only slightly better than the howlingly terrible Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, but only by a tiny increment. The only reason to watch it is if one is a completionist and wants to watch them all. For everyone else, this one can be safely skipped and you won't be missing a thing.