Undermining the moneygrubbers, or: how I learned to stop worrying and love 'Friday the 13th Part V'
AbstractThe box office intake for the Friday the 13th films up to 1984, including the original film and three sequels in the course of five years, proved to be quite large. Despite the fact that Jason Voorhees, the central character and main antagonist of the sequels, had been verifiably killed at the end of Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984; dir. Zito), the producers decided almost immediately to continue this wave of profitability by continuing the franchise. Although relatively profitable (U.S. Box office intake of over $20 million on a production budget of just over $2 million), Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning (1985; dir. Steinmann) made almost 1/3 less in domestic box office receipts than the previous film. This failure has been attributed by some to “Freddy fever” following the release of A Nightmare on Elm Street between the two franchise films, by others to far-fetched plotting (never attributed to the more successful forerunners, oddly), and to the overall unlikeability of the film’s aesthetic. This paper will make an argument for an analytical revisitation of Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning. Using an aesthetic textual analysis, as well as a comparative discussion of some of the major points by more mainstream academic treatments on the genre such as the work of Carol Clover, Robin Wood, and Vera Dika, I will demonstrate that not only does Friday the 13th Part V utilize a unique and complex aesthetic in spite of, and sometimes because of, heavy censoring on the part of the MPAA, but it also challenges the model of the 1980s slasher film. Ultimately, I intend to argue for reading Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning as a film that subverts its firmly formed genre and provides a complex viewing experience making it not only a significant genre picture, but also a generally unique viewing experience.
Clayton, Wickham <http://www.research.ucreative.ac.uk/view/creators/Clayton=3AWickham=3A=3A.html> (2015) Undermining the moneygrubbers, or: how I learned to stop worrying and love 'Friday the 13th Part V'. In: Style and form in the Hollywood slasher film. Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 37-50. ISBN 9781137496461