A week shy of Friday the 13th's first anniversary the first sequel (with the incredibly original title of Friday the 13th Part 2) splattered its way on to the screen, following its predecessor's formula to a T! If anything in Part 2 there's even MORE creepy crap, the women are even MORE beautiful and wear even LESS clothes, and get even MORE naked when they're not wearing them. Unfortunately, they get equally as dead. But, aside from competing with the first one, the same basic plot is followed and little is added to this increasingly supernatural series.
But then again, this is our boy Jason Voorhees's first foray into murderdom, and he's really competing with his mother here for slasher champion of Crystal Lake. After seeing what happened to dear old mom, Jason (who apparently was only mostly dead, making ol' Pamela Voorhees' rampage a little unnecessary) goes on a killing spree of his own starting, but not ending with sweet Alice Hardy (Adrienne King). From here, J-Dawg seems out to prove that he has the worst case of Mother Issues since Norman Bates. But it all gets worse when a bunch of smokin', drinkin', screwin' teenagers are hired to open a new Summer Camp, just down the road from old Crystal Lake. At about the point that someone gets the bright idea to smoke and/or drink and/or screw on Jason's own stomping grounds, somebody or other is gettin' their throats cut, heads chopped and guts stabbed, but not necessarily in that order.
The rest of the plot (aside from Jason and his mother trading roles) feels just like the first (even some of the actors, such as Walt Gorney, Betsy Palmer and Rex Everhart reprise their roles here), right up until the all-too-familiar "surprise" ending. It feels almost like Ron Kurz took the original screenplay, applied the old red-marker treatment to it and turned it in for money. Straight up, there wasn't time for a whole lot else. Watching Friday the 13th Part 2 can be a fun ride, however, because the scares, the blood and the funny stuff are all in there like prego! It's a must for fans of the series, especially seeing this proto-Jason first getting his bearings. Hell, he didn't even have the now-trademark Hockey mask until the third film in the series. Instead he walks about covering his pig-butt nasty-ass face with a K-Mart issue Pillow Case.
Man, I tell you, that wouldn't fly back where I come from. If you're some long-haired, deformed and ugly, possibly inbred dude living in a cabin out in the woods and you show up in Louisiana wearing a white hood, you'd better believe you're about to get shot. We've got enough image problems without dung like that. Here... take this Hockey mask, get that danged hood offa you raht now, boy!
For all the fun, incredible full-frontal and back-rear end nudity, legitimate scares and genre shaping death scenes, it's hard not to still think that this one has been done, and it wasn't quite a masterpiece the first time. Two Sta-, no, wait, Two and a Half Stars out o-, no, no again, wait... Two Stars out of Five for Friday the 13th Part 2. It's a bombastic retread, indispensable in hindsight, but fairly judged as a pretty bad movie. Where the first was creepy, this one just jumps out at you. Where the first was suspenseful, this one is silly. Where the first was ground-breaking and surprising, this one feels like a copy of a copy that's lost a little quality with each transfer. So until someone can explain to me just why Serial Killers target all the hot chicks, instead of the fat, ugly greasy men out there... I'll see you in the next reel... but don't you bring your hood, man!
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