Now here’s a Friday the 13th film nearly the entire fandom unanimously agrees is absolutely atrocious. Probably because it doesn’t have Jason in it. Much like how Halloween III lacked Michael Myers or Silent Night, Deadly Night IV omitted the killer Santa Claus, when a franchise makes a movie lacking the one aspect people recognize and appreciate most, fans aren’t going to be happy.
This movie does have its upsides, though. It has one of the highest body counts in the entire franchise, so you’re going to get a whole lot of kills in this installment. Most feel like filler, as they’re just completely unnecessary to the plot and involve peripheral characters who are introduced for no other reason than to be bumped off in spectacular fashion. There are some memorable deaths in this flick, like one where the killer straps a kid to a tree with a belt around his head, then crushes his skull by slowly tightening it. In some other sweet moments, a fat slob on a motorcycle gets clothes-lined with a meat clever and a girl gets a pair of hedge trimmers jammed into her eyesockets, and then the bridge between them clipped like shrubbery. Admittedly, the film has a monster body count, but after the relative leniency from MPAA on THE FINAL CHAPTER, the scissors were out for this installment. What gore there is is almost lost during the quick cuts forced upon the film. The kills may be up, but quantity doesn’t necessarily mean quality.
1) Male killed with a machete
2) Male gets ice pick to the neck
3) Male hacked to pieces with an axe
4) Male has a flare shoved down his throat
5) Male has throat slit with machete
6) Male gets an axe in his head
7) Female axed in the chest
8) Male knifed
9) Female stabbed in the eyes with garden shears
10) Male has face crushed with strap
11) Female has throat slit
12) Male speared
13) Male decapitated
14) Female gets cleaver to the face
15) Male gets cleaver to the face
16) Female killed with machete
17) Female gets a machete to her stomach
18) Male hacked to death
19) Male found with spike in his head
20) Male blinded and thrown to his death
21) Male impaled on spikes
22) Female stabbed
Even the inventive kills must come at a price in this disaster. Director Danny Steinmann employs the age-old technique of having the characters annoy the crap out of you right before they die, so their gruesome demise is received as a blessing. Characters Ethel and Junior are easily the worst offenders in this regard, not to mention the most obnoxious characters in the movie. Still, that Violet chick dances a pretty mean Robot.
And while Part V gets a lot of flack, it does serve an actual purpose to the overall storyline of the franchise. It continues Tommy’s story and shows his obsession with Jason and gradually depleting sanity. It’s an essential transitioning point for Tommy between the events of Part IV and Part VI. Despite the final scenes of the film assuring the audience that Tommy is going to be the new slasher of the series, fan-demand resulted in Jason’s return for Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives and Tommy seemingly returning to sanity. It’s also important in that it gives Jason a break, making his grand return in the next film feel all the more special. So, in that regard, Part V is an important chapter in the Friday the 13th storyline, albeit a quality-challenged one. Regardless, you can skip it without disrupting the flow of the storyline.
It’s perhaps the trashiest of all the Friday films, and there is certainly a cheesy, bad movie charm to it.