FRIDAY THE 13TH 2, 1982
Directed by Steve Miner
Starring Amy Steel, John Furey, Adrienne King, Steve Dash, Warrington Gillette
Review by Mark Engberg
Jason Voorhees returns to Camp Crystal Lake, where he was presumed to have died from a drowning accident many years ago.
The second movie in the franchise marks the actual beginning of Jason's ongoing killing spree. As all horror buffs know, the first one belonged to his mother, who was so unceremoniously decapitated by a girl named Alice Hardy (Adrienne King) in a climactic slow-motion scene.
Not surprisingly, Alice is Jason's first official kill. In an uncharacteristic move, he tracks her down to her urban dwelling and takes her out with an ice pick before the opening credits. It is a sequence that seems highly necessary if we are to believe the Oedipal complex Jason's mother inevitably inflicted upon him.
At this early point in the franchise, Jason doesn't even have his hockey mask yet. Instead, he sports a menacing burlap sack that offers little depth perception with its singular eyehole. The combination of the headgear with the denim suspenders is completely chilling. It was a look that made him seem more debilitated and vulnerable, before becoming the world's most indestructible zombie.
Producers have maintained that his pillow-headed image was fashioned after the Phantom Killer in "The Town That Dreaded Sundown", which itself was based on the real-life string of murders that terrorized the people of Texarkana, Texas in 1946. This was perhaps the last time that Jason would ever be successfully compared to an actual serial killer or historical event.
Before the series became increasingly bizarre, Jason was more tangible, even human. In this edition, he not only responds to a kick to the balls, but apparently uses a toilet too. And this is perhaps why Jason is so much scarier in this film than any of its sequels. By the next film, he is such an unstoppable killing machine that we become numb to his destructive antics and anticipate any heroic struggle against him as utterly futile. There is something so much more frightening about Jason when we believe he can actually exist.
There is exceptional debate regarding the ending of the second "Friday". While struggling with the head counselor, Paul (John Furey), Jason is knocked out by Paul's girlfriend, Ginny (Amy Steel) with a machete to the shoulder. The two lovers escape to their cabin, but their moment of victorious peace is interrupted when Jason crashes through the window and grabs Ginny from behind. We never learn what happened to Paul or how Ginny escaped. She wakes up screaming while being loaded onto an ambulance on its way out of the camp.
However, this ending is in contrast to the beginning of "Friday the 13th Part III", which maintains that Jason simply escaped after being knocked unconscious by Ginny. In this case, Paul would still be alive, despite claims made by screenwriter Ron Kurz, who stated that the window attack scene was meant to be set in reality. This may seem like a trivial detail, but it affects the body count. If Paul was in fact murdered, the number is nine.
But the best death scene in the movie definitely belongs to Mark (Tom McBride), the guy in the wheelchair who spends way too much screen time looking handsome and earnest. His unkindly hatchet-to-the-face sends him spinning backwards down an outdoor staircase in the rain. The shot is instantly disturbing in terms of goriness as well as for being handicapped unfriendly. Let it be known that Jason is an equal opportunity murderer.