This film really sucks.

I'm not kidding. If you're a fan of classic, thought-provoking and well-done cinema, don't watch Friday the 13th part 2. It's not even that good a film if you like this sort of thing.

BUT - if, like me, you're cataloguing and assessing the horror movie sequel and their related cliches, it's an absolute stonker. This film adheres to so many conventions of horror movie sequels it's hard to believe. It even goes with most of the lesser known ones (E.g. a wheelchair-bound character will be killed, but they won't be the first).

Sadly, however, Jason Voorhees (or Vorhese or however you spell the foolish word) makes almost no sense as a character at all. But then, maybe that's why we like him so much. We're led to believe that J.V. went swimming in a lake as a little boy and disappeared, presumed drowned. He's been living in the surrounding forest ever since. But by this film he's somehow found himself a nice pair of denim dungarees, walking shoes and a checked jumper. I'm not sure if forests around lakes are renowned for playing host to clothing shops.

Jason and bag (bag uncredited)

And at the beginning of the film he kills the woman who killed his mum in the last film. In her own home, no less! This guy's a complete mental and physical retard! How'd he find out where she lives or even who she is? And how'd he get there? Can you picture some weirdo wearing dungarees, a bag on his head and carrying a machete sitting next to you on the bus? Imagine the cold dread gripping your heart as he lumbered along the aisle and you suddenly realised the one next to you is the only vacant seat.

Then again, he is a retard. He'd probably sit on the floor or on someone's lap. But again, imagine the cold dread as he came towards you and you suddenly realised that yours is the only vacant lap -

But I'm digressing. And yes, Jason's still wearing a bag on his head at this stage. He gets the hockey mask in Friday 3. So I'm told, anyway. He should have kept the bag. It was rather fetching.

Main focus of the film is a band of hateful young trainee camp counsellors occupying the camp next to the one where J.V. met his supposed watery end. They're all partying and carrying on. Jason watches them cautiously from the bushes. He doesn't seem keen on starting his body count for the first half of the film. We do get a lot of those 'someone gets a tap on the shoulder, turns around with a start, but it's not the baddy' moments. They're OK for adding tension, but after the fourteenth or fifteenth you're practically in tears waiting for the bloody film to get bloody.

And here's another little rule that applies to quite a lot of action films too - any car that has been having trouble in the past, but has been generally A-OK for most of the quiet moments, will suddenly refuse to start at a crucial time. Yep, that happens in Friday 2. And this car is a soft-top, not designed with pitchfork-wielding maniacs in mind.

There's quite a spectacular amount of cannon fodder to get through at first, but then half of them decide to have a night on the town, leaving the appropriate bunch of victims behind to get preyed on. Now, if they'd started killing people right at the start J.V. would have had a chance to get them all finished by the end of the film, but no. Thanks to all that shoulder-tapping tension-building faffing about they're taking half of them out of the picture to speed the film along. BOR-ING. I usually fast-forward through most of the first half of the film, so I get half of what I paid for (3.99 from the second-hand video shop).

Right, we're left with generic boy, generic girl, generic girl #2, wheelchair-bound beefy boy, cheeky jokester boy and moody girl. The classic combination. Jason offs the lot of them. It's kind of interesting to consider that generic boy and generic girl are shagging each other senseless while wheelchair boy gets a machete in the face downstairs. It's also fun to watch the expression on generic girl's face as Jason, that renowned perv, walks in post-orgasm.

She seems happy.

Throat slit, stabbed, sliced, impaled and stabbed goes the sequence of deaths. Then another generic boy and girl come back early and have to do battle with the bag-clad JV. What fun. There's a very long drawn-out chase scene and generic girl is the only survivor. We think. The last few scenes are just too stupid for words, it's hard to work out.

At the end of the film we get treated to a nice long slow-mo sequence of JV leaping through a window, minus the bag, and we discover his hideous physical mutation. Er, did I miss something? Didn't the guy DROWN? How does one receive that degree of facial buggeration from DROWNING? What is IN that LAKE? Did he hit the water really, really hard or something? Or maybe he got savaged by a rabid thrush in those early, confused days of living in the forest. I imagine this gets a proper explanation in later flicks. But even so, WTF?! Freddy Kreuger is horribly burnt because he BURNT TO DEATH, fellas. The most JV should have is slight bloating.

One last thing - this film has a dog, and the dog meets a horrible end (we think). This is a horror movie convention that becomes reversed in disaster movies (i.e. the dog always survives). Isn't that interesting? No? Suit yourself.

Let's get the ratings.

Fingers in ears rating - 9/10
You'll jump more times than a kangaroo with electrodes up his bum. I did indeed spend half the film with my fingers in my ears.

Similarity to last film rating - 8/10
Load of camp counsellors get killed in gory ways. What more do you want?

Get nekkid and DIE! rating - 10/10
This film wrote the book on the 'get nekkid and DIE!' principle. Moody girl gets nekkid COMPLETELY GRATUITOUSLY for a bit of rather badly-timed skinny-dipping, off with her head. And generic boy and girl get a spear through them actually while nekkid and shagging. That's exactly the kind of thing we like to see.

Blood and guts rating - 8/10
Stab stab stab. Slice slice slice. Bleed bleed bleed.

Hateful heroes rating - 10/10
I hated the lot of 'em. Small wonder none of them returned for later films. Jason's the only constant character in the Friday series, and rightly so. Who'd want to watch the exploits of some moody losers for nine films when they could watch those of a loony with a machete?

Overall horror movie sequel rating - 9/10
The standard by which all horror movie sequels should be judged.

Quality Rating: 55%

One-Word Summary: "Gratuitous"

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