Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (DVD)
Reviewed by Heather Wixson
Starring Lar Park-Lincoln, Kane Hodder, Terry Kiser, Susan Blu
Directed by John Carl Buechler
Released by Paramount Home Entertainment
Paramount Pictures is finally completing their set of amazing new editions of the Friday the 13th series with the long overdue deluxe editions of Parts VII & VII.
The New Blood, directed by Buechler, was the installment where Jason Voorhees finally met his match in a telekinetic teen named Tina (Lar Park-Lincoln) who has returned to Crystal Lake in an effort to gain control over her unwieldy and sometimes deadly mental powers. When she was younger, she accidentally killed her father by causing a deck to crash and drop on top of him, which sent daddy to the bottom of Crystal Lake.
During her return visit at the urging of the unscrupulous Dr. Crews (Kiser), the teen unknowingly unleashes Jason from his watery grave and now Tina, as well as the usual group of unruly teenagers in the area, has to figure out a way to stop the supernatural killer before there's no one left to kill.
The New Blood was also the introduction of stuntman/now actor Kane Hodder as Jason. He went on to be the only actor to ever don the hockey mask for four films in the franchise and he definitely had a lot to deal with in the showdown sequences with Tina. The stunt sequences in the house involving hard falls, stairs collapsing, and a fire breakout remain some of the most impressive in the series to date.
One of the more infamous stories surrounding The New Blood was the fact that the ratings board demanded that Buechler remove most of the gore, leaving the movie with very sterile kill scenes that left the die-hards furious. The good news is that due to special features producer Dan Farrands, the footage has been finally recovered and is included in the Deluxe Edition.
Due to the fact that it's been over two decades since the movie was made, the found footage isn't the greatest quality- but don't let that deter you. The missing kills are definitely fun to take in (I feel like I've waited forever to see the "sleeping bag kill" and now I finally have in all its glory) despite the grainy quality of the videos recovered (it's impossible to restore the tapes is what Farrands and Andrew Kasch, who assisted Farrands with the project, explained last week during a Paramount luncheon).
In addition to an engaging commentary by director John Carl Buechler and actors Lar Park Lincoln and Kane Hodder, there are three other featurettes included here; two of which are really good and fun, but the third? Even as a chick I was a little put off by "Makeover by Maddy." I know it was a "turning point" for the character of Maddy in the film, but to watch two chicks in real life go to a salon to be made over was serious dull. I do applaud the producers for taking a creative leap but I don't really see many of the target audience members -- meaning dudes wanting Jason and kills -- really wanting to check it out either.
Overall, this new cleaner-looking version of The New Blood is miles ahead of what fans had access to previously on DVD and the special features offer up enough goodies to keep the true Voorhees fans feeling finally satisfied after seeing what they'd been waiting on for almost twenty-years.
3 1/2 out of 5
4 out of 5
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