A new group of kids tries to reopen Camp Crystal Lake and are stalked
and killed by an unknown assailant who may be Jason Voorhees.
Friday the 13th Part II (1981)
Directed by Steve Miner
Written by Ron Kurz
Starring Amy Steel, Warrington Gillette, John Furey,
Adrienne King, Stuart Charno, Kirsten Baker
Sequel to 1980's Friday the 13th
“Then he’s still out there.”
That’s what Alice said at the end of the first movie after finding out that the cops didn’t find the boy who tried to drown Alice after she killed Pamela Voorhees. Sean Cunningham wasn’t too thrilled with the original ending and thought it lacked something to make people talk so he had the ending everybody knows now added which left the door open for a sequel in 1981. Any expectations Cunningham had for the first film were exceeded because it made a lot of money and, as we all know, producers love nothing more than betting on a sure thing which always meant there was going to be another trip to Camp Crystal Lake.
Alice (King) is still haunted by the events from the first film and who wouldn’t be? She’s having a nightmare that conveniently serves as a recap for the ending of the first movie to set the stage for this opening scene. What she doesn’t know is that someone has come for her and they know what she did…who could it be? We aren’t sure but they did happen to bring along Pamela’s head to say hello when Alice goes to get a drink from the fridge and instead gets a screwdriver in her head. Revenge served. Movie over. Roll credits, right? WRONG. We’re going back to camp! This time we’re on the other side of Crystal Lake where a group of counselors in training have taken up residence at Packanack Lodge under the tutelage of Paul (Furey) for a few weeks of training and partying, what could go wrong? On their first night, Paul shares the tale of what happened to Jason and this is where the legend gets changed and what carries the rest of the series forward until we get Frankenstein Jason in Part 6 (my personal favorite). The young boy did not drown that night and witnessed his mother being killed that fateful night on the shores of Crystal Lake. Already Jason has become a campfire tale and the legend has taken on a life of its own. Paul closes out with the fact that he could still be out there living in the woods taking his revenge on anyone that crosses his path, even little dogs named Muffin. As is the case with slasher sequels, the body count is higher and the bare flesh plentiful. This sequel has one of the most memorable deaths of the franchise as Jason impales a couple with a spear! What could possibly top that? How about wheelchair bound Mark (Tom McBride) getting a machete to the face and rolling down the stairs! We also find out how to survive in a horror movie: go to the bar! That’s what Ted (Stu Charno) does and he’s makes it through the night because he was too drunk to drive back to the lodge and had to sleep it off at the bar, what a genius.
Ultimately he is outsmarted by Amy Steel’s Ginny as she dons the sweater of dear old Mama Voorhees to confuse Jason long enough to take him down…or does she? Surely this would have been a good place to stop but we all know this was just the beginning. Jason still has to upgrade his head gear to reach icon status and that’s for the next installment along with going into the 3RD DIMENSION! Fun fact, you ever thought about what those final girls lives would be like if they were real and had to endure the trauma of those situations and were in a support group? Look no further than Grady Hendrix’s The Final Girl Support Group! He tackles this very topic and uses many of these characters from beloved horror franchises to explore survivor’s stories. Also, Adrienne King reads the audiobook which is a treat for any fright fan out there so go get it!
The first sequel in the Friday the 13th franchise is highly entertaining and the first real glimpse we get at the iconic Jason Voorhees. The story is nearly identical to that of the first one, but that isn't really why we watch these movies, is it? We enjoy the gore factor, the cheap scares, and the big bad monster, all of which this film has plenty of. I only hope the following sequels are this enjoyable.
The first sequel to Friday the 13th proves to be a highly entertaining time. This was the first movie in the series to give us our first glimpse at Jason Voorhees, and it was definitely worth it. While he didn't have the hockey mask just yet, the burlap sack was still a good choice. Even though the story is exactly the same as the previous, the movie once overcomes this by giving us more creative kills and more disposable characters.
On that note, I did like how the movie came up with Jason's home in the woods. It was suitably creepy and held a terrifying surprise. This entry began the tradition of revealing Jason's face and, luckily, it worked. Jason looked very creepy. A solid installment that introduces the iconic villain Jason Voorhees.