The hockey mask is back. And it's pretty good stuff; well, for us aficianados, anyway.
In terms of technical efficiency and cinematic wit, director Tom McLoughlin's contribution to the interminable Friday the 13th franchise is the strongest of the series and a genuinely entertaining slice of eighties horror.
Four out of five stars may sound generous for a film of such low-brow limitations, but to take the franchise on its own terms, and restricting criticism across and between films within the much derided slasher sub-genre, Part VI stands up as a solid piece of work.
Comparison with other Friday films will illustrate Part VI's superiority: it has some semblance of a story (Tommy Jarvis, adolescent victim of Jason and now a young man fresh from a mental institution, is out to kill his old foe once and for all); the killings are executed with aplomb (a triple decapitation springs to mind); and as well as a decent sized budget on show, undercutting the horror is a certain postmodern knowingness (after finding Jason's disturbed grave, the gravedigger stares straight to the camera and with drunken indignation says, 'some folks have got a strange idea of fun.'
McLoughlin, it seems, was shrewd enough to play it mostly for laughs now that the series had limped towards its sixth offering. Some of the comedy is unintentional too, of course (check out the gun that an early victim pulls on Jason - it's a little toy). But that's part of the fun, isn't it? Overall, this is a good slice of saturday night horror.