According to the timeline I follow, 'Friday the 13th Part II' takes place five years after the events of the first film. With enough confusion to deal with already, in my mind, the Jason from the original film is a simple hallucination or dream Alice has before getting rescued by the authorities. He was thought to have drowned in 1958, at the age of eleven, but has really been living in the woods this whole time.
We open this chapter in a quaint little town, a few months after the events of the first film (August, 1979) where previous survivor, Alice (Adrienne King) is being stalked by a grown up, 32-year-old Jason (Warrington Gillette). Jason witnessed Alice decapitate his mother from somewhere in the woods, and though it took a while for him to finally find her, he takes his revenge straight away, making Alice the first of Jason's kills.
Beginning on Thursday, July 12th, 1984, 'Part II' begins a sort of trilogy that spans a full week, ending with 'The Final Chapter' (although I have the films divided a little differently for this project) On this particular Thursday, a counselor training program is opened by Paul Holt (John Furey) at a neighboring camp to Camp Crystal Lake, which has gone back into mythical status as "Camp Blood". All of the counselors-to-be are warned to steer clear of the camp, and to ignore their inner voice of morbidity.
Among the counselors are several romantic interest, starting with Paul's, Ginny (Amy Steel). We also have the sexy Terry (Kirsten Baker) and the cocky Scott (Russell Todd) who's always joke-flirting with her. Jeff (Bill Randolph) and his morbidly curious girlfriend Sandra (Marta Kober), who wants nothing more than to check out Camp Blood. My favorite pairing here is the girl next door type, Vickie (Lauren-Marie Taylor) and her crush, former jock, Mark (Tom McBride), who ended up wheelchair-bound after a sports injury. Lastly, we have Ted, a practical joker who can kinda get on the nerves, but is still a likable guy since his jokes don't go incredibly overboard - that's 'Part III'.
One by one, Jason hacks and slashes his way through this group of teens, once he gains knowledge that there are people in the area. Meanwhile, Jason has built a shrine to his mother, where he has kept her decapitated and surprisingly well-preserved head for the past five years. In my mind, he keeps it as a reminder that there's no such thing as a good camp counselor, allowing him to drown, and his mother to be beheaded. He now hunts and kills anyone interfering on his territory, much like a wild dog. Here's a good opportunity to get my first animalistic comparison out there - Jason, the loyal and obedient guard dog. There's a comparison for every horror villain in this series, so stay tuned for more!
Anyway, this tends to be my least favorite of the series, aside from maybe 'A New Beginning' (but I always debate that one in my head between good and bad). While the characters are your typical horror movie fodder, the big star of the show isn't much of a star yet. This is by far Jason at his weakest, and some of his attempts on Ginny's life are just laughable. He stumbles and misses at least three times by my count, and it's almost Stooge-like. Aside from that, the kills just aren't all that exciting or creative, and it's essentially everything the first movie does all over again, but with a different and less capable killer. I'm sorry, but Mrs. Voorhees is way scarier than the Jason I have dubbed "Pillow-cason".
This doesn't have the same historical pull that the first 'Friday' had, where it's a big part of the saga's history. I see it as more of a "bridge movie" that gets us to 'Part 3' which is far better, if only because they amp up the kills, Jason gets tougher, more accurate, and receives his famous hockey mask. Here, he's a bit slow, easily tricked, clumsy, and just non-threatening. It's almost as if he was his mother's surviving sidekick. So it's not the highest on the recommendation list for this series, but if curiosity gets you there, it's not entirely a waste of time, either. It's not without it's fair share of inappropriate laughs at its overall cheesiness.
Body Count: 10