The very opening of the film grabbed me when I first saw it. There's a sudden sting of music and we're shown a montage of creepy, fog-filled woods and bogs, which immediately sets a nice mood. We're then introduced to Tommy Jarvis and his buddy, Hawes (yeah, yeah, I know: Horshack), who are driving to the cemetery where Jason is buried so Tommy can destroy his corpse and hopefully end his inner torment in the process. The scene where they enter the graveyard is right out of an old classic horror film from the 30's: you have the typical creepy headstones and monuments everywhere, as well as a lot of wind and lightning to make it even scarier. When they find Jason's grave, there's a great moment where the lightning flashes, illuminating the headstone, as Tommy stares at it. Of course, they dig up the coffin and Tommy opens it. (The coffin is full of cobwebs, another holdover from those good old 30's movies.) That's when we see Jason's rotten, maggot covered corpse and Tommy, as a result, remembers back to when he killed Jason as a kid, with us hearing the audio of Tommy yelling, "Die!" from The Final Chapter. It's a very haunting moment. Overcome with the pain that Jason has caused him, Tommy grabs a loose metal fence post and furiously stabs the corpse with it, sticking it into the torso. Here's where things get awesome. Just as Tommy and Hawes are getting ready to burn the corpse, lightning strikes the metal rod, sending electricity surging through the body. After another lightning strike, Jason's eye opens. (The music that Harry Manfredini composed for this scene is so badass.) Tommy then goes to pull out the rod, unaware that Jason is watching him with a very evil look in his eye and when he removes it and gets out of the grave, Jason attacks. When he corners Tommy after climbing out himself, Hawes comes up behind him and smashes a shovel across the back of his head. Of course, it does nothing, and that's when Jason turns around and makes his first brutal kill. Tommy runs off, while Jason puts on the hockey mask that Tommy brought (why did he bring that anyway?), grabs the pole, and turns around. We get three sharp push-ins on Jason's eye and when the screen goes to black, Jason steps out, slashes the screen, blood gushes out, and reveals the title Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI. We then get some more awesome music as the credits play. First time I saw this, I was like, "Hell yeah! That's how you start a movie!"
After that, the story is that Jason, naturally, begins a killing rampage as he heads back to Crystal Lake, which has now been renamed Forest Green in order to get rid of all the bad publicity surrounding its former name. Tommy, meanwhile, tries to warn the local sheriff, who doesn't believe him and decides to lock him up instead, believing that he's insane. Thus begins a subplot where Tommy tries to make his way to the camp to stop Jason but with the sheriff now after him, thinking that he's the one who's killing people, while Jason hacks his way through the newest bunch of counselors at the camp as well as threatens the children there too.
I've always viewed the Friday the 13th series as being divided into two distinct phases, the first of which encompasses the original on up to The Final Chapter, four movies which all looked and felt pretty much the same and were more or less believable, with Mrs. Voorhees and a human, if hard to kill, Jason being the antagonists. (Part V sort of fits into that phase as well since we were still dealing with a flesh-and-blood killer there and it does have the same look as its predecessors but, at the same time, since its connection with this film is questionable, I've always tended to view it as its own separate entity.) Jason Lives begins the second phase of the franchise, with Jason's coming back as a murderous, walking corpse being the angle the series would stick to until the 2009 reboot. (Moreover, the supernatural territory now that we're clearly heading into now would be added to in the majority of the following films.) Starting here, Jason slowly walks after his prey rather runs, takes many gunshots and other forms of deadly punishment and just keeps coming, and is more powerful than ever, able to deal far more devastating and graphic kills. C.J. Graham plays Jason this time and he does so like the Terminator, turning and walking in a hulking, robotic fashion. While I don't think he's as menacing as Ted White was, I do think he does a good job here. One thing I like is that, even though he's undead now, Jason still has his childlike way of thinking and reacting to stuff he doesn't understand. One funny moment is when this paintball guy shoots him in the chest with a pellet and Jason just looks down at the splatter on his shirt, seeming more annoyed than mad, and slowly looks back up at the guy before chasing after him. He also does the inquisitive head-turn that both he and Michael Myers tend to do when he sees the RV rocking back and forth from Nikki and Cort's crazy lovemaking. You only get one look at Jason's face at the beginning but it's so dark and so mangled you can't really make it out.
Jason's also armed to the teeth in this movie. At first, he uses the fence post that acted as a conductor for the lightning as a weapon but when he encounters the aforementioned paintball players, he kills one guy and takes his machete. After he slaughters the rest of the players, he takes some of their equipment, including an extra knife pouch and combat belt, where he keeps throwing daggers. Jason's like Rambo here! As before, when he finally gets to Camp Crystal Lake, Jason knows enough to cut the phone line so nobody can call for help. One interesting note is that Jason doesn't kill any of the little kids. At one point when the little girl Nancy sees him, he walks up to her and leans down to look at her while she quickly says a prayer to make him go away, although it didn't seem like he was going to hurt her. Later, he does burst into the building where the kids are, sending them running for cover, but it seems more like he just did that so their screams would attract Megan there so he could kill her. My guess is that he either doesn't hurt the children because he basically has the mentality of a child himself or because he's like an animal and is simply curious about children while he sees adults as a threat. Speaking of which, when Tommy yells at him to get him into the lake, Jason seems to remember and stomps into the lake to attack. In that case, the question now is, does he just remember him from the cemetery or does he know exactly who he is?
kills is done by grabbing his arm and ripping it off, sending him into a tree. (It's so quickly edited, it's at first hard to tell exactly what happened.) He kills three other paintballers at the same time with a triple decapitation, which is awesome! We don't see him kill Roy, the poor guy who's dumb enough to shoot him, but later on, the police find parts of his body hacked off, suggesting Jason went a little crazy. He kills the caretaker by catching a liquor bottle he throws away, breaking it, and
shoving it into his throat. Ouch! He then proceeds to hack his body up when he seems some guy spying on him. He impales both that guy and his girlfriend with the machete. Jason kills Nikki by crushing her face into the wall of the RV and puts a knife in Cort's head. He twists Sissy's head off and Megan later finds it a squad car. He attacks Paula in her cabin and the aftermath that we see is pretty horrific: there's blood on every