Picks and Pans Review: Friday the 13th Part Vii—the New Blood

updated 05/23/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/23/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

You're a teenager. You've helped make this gory, R-rated series, begun in 1980, a box office smash (total gross is $170 million). Gad! This means you enjoy going to the movies to see other teens have sex and then get sliced and diced by a crazed zombie named Jason who likes doing his dirty work wearing a hockey mask. Those alarmed by your bad taste probably have forgotten the main reason horror movies have for generations exerted date-night appeal: People tend to hold, squeeze and grab onto each other when they're scared. Such make-out flicks give teenagers privacy at the local cineplex: A sensible adult wouldn't be caught dead at one. Until now. Part VII is being pitched to grown-ups. In addition to lifting the plot of Carrie, the slick 1976 horror film, Part VII has given prominent roles to two adult actors: Terry (The Men's Club) Kiser plays a venal doctor and Susan (Deadly Weapon) Blu is the gullible mother of his telekinetic teen patient. Played by Lar Park Lincoln (I do not make these names up), this teenager has the power to move objects, start fires and explode buildings just by thinking about it. It's Jason Meets Carrie. That's the movie's come-on; also its con. Part VII hasn't a whit of Carrie's style or scare power. Don't be fooled. Remember that this is the Friday series whose third sequel, in 1984, was called The Final Chapter. It's not new blood Jason is chasing in Part VII; it's new money. But the plan may backfire. If anything, Part VII is more stomach-churning than the others (one of the 17 victims in 90 minutes of running time gets his head squashed in oozing close-up). What adult is going to come back for more after that? Horny teens, fearful of running into Pop or Aunt Harriet at the movies, may also start avoiding Friday flicks. How fitting that the greed of his creators may do to Jason what no one in seven movies has managed to accomplish: finish him off for good. (R)

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