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The audience goes to hell is probably a more fitting title for this piece of drek. Without a doubt, JASON GOES TO HELL- THE FINAL FRIDAY ($20) is got to be one of the worst films in the entire FRIDAY THE 13TH franchise. Now I try to find something redeeming in every film because I understand that every movie has its audience, but this particular opus just left me wondering how it got in front of the cameras. Don't get me wrong; JASON GOES TO HELL is a professionally made film, it's just that the screenplay has an interesting premise, but doesn't do anything interesting with it. The movie just seems to lumber from one graphic killing to the next. Heck, the screenplay is so poorly conceived that it kills off the one character that had the potential to add something new and interesting to the Jason Voorhees mythology. Still, I'm sure this movie has its fans, although I don't know who they are, or what they see in JASON GOES TO HELL (other than the really cool final shot of the movie)

JASON GOES TO HELL opens with the hockey-masked serial killer getting blown to pieces, following a government sting operation conducted on Jason's Crystal Lake stomping grounds. During an autopsy of Jason's jigsaw puzzle-like remains, the disembodied heart begins beating and transfixes the coroner in such a way that he devours it. Instantly, the essence of Jason Voorhees takes possession of this new body and begins a murderous rampage that places him on a path directly back to Crystal Lake. From here, things really begin to get silly with the addition of a preposterous supernatural subplot… and where did that copy of the Necronomicon Ex Mortis come from??? The movie also introduces to a badass bounty hunter named Creighton Duke (Steven Williams), who knows that Jason isn't really dead, and that his family ties will either allow machete-wielding killer to be reborn or destroy him for all eternity. The cast of JASON GOES TO HELL also includes Kane Hodder, John D. LeMay, Kari Keegan, Steven Culp, Richard Gant and Erin Gray (who had to be desperate for a paycheck to take this thankless role).

New Line Home Entertainment has made JASON GOES TO HELL available on DVD in a 1.78:1 wide screen presentation that features the anamorphic enhancement for 16:9 displays. Both the R rated cut and an unrated version are seamlessly branched on the DVD. Viewers can select the version they wish to see from the menus before the film begins. New Line has done a really good job with this low budget offering, making it look a lot better than it should on DVD. Although pretty dark, the image is sharp and well defined. Colors are strongly rendered and flesh tones look good. There are no signs of chroma noise or fuzziness in the hues, although the reds tend to bleed all over the characters. Blacks appear pure, contrast is good and shadow detail is decent. Digital compression artifacts are well concealed on the dual layered DVD.

JASON GOES TO HELL is presented with 5.1 channel soundtracks in both Dolby Digital and DTS. One thing I'll say for the soundtrack is that it is good and loud- the stingers seem to be at such a high level that they will have viewers jumping out of their seats. The track is also fairly aggressively mixed, with sound effects being well deployed in all the discrete channels. Dialogue is cleanly rendered and always understandable. The bass channel is definitely pumped up on testosterone and will give one's subwoofer a good workout. The differences between Dolby Digital and DTS isn't particularly pronounced on this release, with DTS have only a very slight edge in terms of spaciousness and fidelity. An English Dolby Surround soundtrack is also encoded onto the DVD, as are English subtitles.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the DVD’s interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as some extras. Director Adam Marcus and screenwriter Dean Lorey are on hand for a running audio commentary that only plays along with the unrated version of the film. The audio commentary proves to be quite entertaining, probably more so than the film, and is worth a listen for any diehard Jason fan. Some alternate footage to pad out the TV version's running time is also included on the DVD, along with a theatrical trailer and a Jump To A Death Scene feature.

In my opinion, JASON GOES TO HELL is a real dud. However, I am willing to acknowledge that almost every film has its own fan base, and those that like JASON GOES TO HELL are getting a good quality DVD release from the folks at New Line. The disc looks and sound pretty darn good, plus it offers an entertaining audio commentary that I though was more enjoyable than the movie.



Jason Goes to Hell - The Final Friday (1993)


DVD reviews are Copyright © 2002 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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