Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984) poster

Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)


USA. 1984.


Director – Joseph Zito, Screenplay – Barney Cohen, Story – Bruce Hidemi Salkow, Producer – Frank Mancuso Jr, Photography – Joao Fernandes, Music – Harry Manfredini, Makeup Effects – Tom Savini. Production Company – Paramount.


Crispin Glover (Jimmy), Kimberley Beck (Trish), E. Erich Anderson (Rob), Corey Feldman (Tommy Jarvis), Alan Hayes (Paul), Judie Aronson (Samanatha), Ted White (Jason Voorhees), Lawrence Monoson (Ted), Joan Freeman (Mrs Jarvis), Peter Barton (Doug), Camilla More (Tina), Lisa Freeman (Nurse Doug), Bruce Mahler (Axel)


Jason Voorhees emerges to slaughter more teenagers who have gathered to party at a house in the Crystal Lake area.

Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter was the fourth entry in the series that began with Friday the 13th (1980). It is fairly much the same old tune as before. On the other hand, while hardly a good film or even a mediocre one, Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter has moments that class it as one of the series better entries in the series (not a particularly difficult achievement).

This one was deliberately titled The Final Chapter by Paramount in an intent to kill the series off (the studio saw the slasher film as being over-saturated and in decline, while producer Frank Mancuso Jr wanted to kill the series as he saw it was getting him no respect). However, The Final Chapter proved such a success that Paramount then had to subtitle their next entry A New Beginning and the series went on for a further six sequels. The ninth entry is also subtitled The Final Friday, which makes the Friday the 13th series unique in being the only filmic franchise to announce its own final chapter twice – as well in both cases to ignore it in subsequent entries.

Director Joseph Zito had previously made the slasher film The Prowler/Rosemary’s Killer (1981) and would later go on to various  action films like Missing in Action (1984), Invasion U.S.A. (1985) and Red Scorpion (1989). Zito does not exactly bring any style but he does generate occasional moments of frisson, like an attack of a girl aboard a raft in a lake or where a victim is attacked through a movie projection screen.

Jason Voorhees (Ted White) attacks young Corey Feldman in Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)
Jason Voorhees (Ted White) attacks young Corey Feldman

Zito does however highlight an amazing sexual content. This entry ups the targeting of people during sex, indeed the only characterisation victims seem to get is their sexual status – a couple get it first of all making out in the morgue – she right between the breasts; the unfaithful boyfriend gets it in the crotch as he goes skinny-dipping in the lake; the girl who decides to surrender her virginity gets it in the process of doing so; the guy who watches blue movies alone gets impaled against the movie screen in what might be interpreted as some comment on masturbatory fantasy; and in one absurdly vulgar moment, the camera moves into closeup on a female hitch-hiker fellating a banana seconds before she is stabbed.

The other Friday the 13th films are:– Friday the 13th (1980), Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981), Friday the 13th Part III in 3D (1982), Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning (1985), Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI (1986), Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988), Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989), Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993), Jason X (2001) and Freddy vs. Jason (2003). The original was remade as Friday the 13th (2009).

Trailer here

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