Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday
1993, R Directed by Karel Kachyna. Starring Tom Courtenay, Brigitte Fossey, Freddie Jones, Linda Jablonska, Daniel Margolius.
REVIEWED By Marjorie Baumgarten, Fri., Aug. 20, 1993
Steve Davis is a dirty rotten ratfink -- a defiler of tradition, a soiler of the natural order. Since the dawn of the Chronicle, Mr. Steve Davis has dutifully gone to see and then reviewed every Friday the 13th movie. I say this with no small amount of awe and respect. I repeat: every Friday the 13th movie.(This perverse tradition began on the orders of the Chronicle's then-film editor, Scott Bowles, a man known far and wide for his numerous perverse traditions... but I digress.) Scott moved on years ago but, to his dubious credit, Steve kept up the tradition. Every damn one of those Jason/Friday the 13th epics -- each one purporting to be the “Final Chapter,” the “Last Friday,” the “Absolute End of the Line.” Why? Because they're there? Because someone has to? Because he fears Bowles' demented retribution? Because he's a pushover for psychos in hockey masks? Because he's going for a Guinness Record? Because (eeeuuww... I had never considered this) he actually enjoys the experience. I mean, it does make him kind of unique and I'm sure it's a good ice-breaker -- “Hi, I'm Steve Davis and, you know, your windbreaker reminds me an awful lot of the jacket worn by the seventh teen offed in Jason Part VI,... uh, before it got bloody.” All teasing aside, you've got to admire the guy. Jason has been his cross to bear and bear it he has done, with dignity, grace and wit. He's written his reviews in a variety of inspired formats: one was to the tune of “New York, New York” (it must have been Jason Takes Manhattan), one was written all in slasher sound effects, others were in poetic verse. Haiku was promised for his next venture (no one believed that final chapter garbage). And here's where we get to the dirty rotten ratfink part. The ninth Jason movie is now out and dear Steve has high-tailed it out of town. Though he retired from the weekly grind of movie reviewing a couple months ago, he agreed to reappear for any subsequent Jason chapters. He knew that you can run but you just can't hide from your own predestination. He said he had already planned his vacation, had airline tickets, places to be, etc. He even chuckled when a certain unscrupulous editor pointed out that he didn't even really need to see this movie in order to review it. And anyway, hadn't he heard of fax machines? Besides, how long could it take to knock off a pithy haiku or an insightful Zen koan.? Damn that Steve; he still got on that plane (at least, I hope, with a trace of guilt). He's let us all down. Of course I still admire the man and I'll tip my hockey mask to him at the drop of a hat. But, Steve, Steve, it's the dawning of a new era.