Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985, Danny Steinmann)

Someone–whether it be the writers, director, producers, studio, composer, whoever–someone tried really hard to make Friday the 13th: A New Beginning a comedy. It fails miserably, but the attempt is interesting if not admirable.

Wait, it’s not because of the composer; Harry Manfredini plays it straight and ruins a lot of the scenes. Well, not exactly ruins them but he definitely works at cross purpose.

It’s hard to say if it’s director Steinmann working the absurd cliche angle; there are a handful of ambitious scenes in the film, where Steinmann is clearly trying to do something with the filmmaking (never the film). So are those moments the fluke or is the rest of it the fluke?

The actors suggest the former, just because the acting is so bad and there’s no way Steinmann wouldn’t prefer better acting in those parts. He’s got Shavar Ross, who’s annoying as all hell but he’s a capable actor and Ross is stuck in scenes without any professionals to work with. Leading lady Melanie Kinnaman is bad. She doesn’t have anything to do, but she’s still bad.

As the suspect in all the film’s ineptly cut murders, John Shepherd is terrible. Obviously Steinmann saw Texas Chainsaw Massacre for one sequence, but he also borrowed heavily from The Karate Kid for Shepherd’s scenes. It’s silly and awful and the film’s so unsuccessful, it’s actually pitiable.

Decent enough performance from Juliette Cummins in one of Steinmann’s acceptable tangents.

But it’s an awful movie. Just lame.



Directed by Danny Steinmann; screenplay by Martin Kitrosser, David Cohen and Steinmann, based on a story by Kitrosser and Cohen; director of photography, Stephen L. Posey; edited by Bruce Green; music by Harry Manfredini; production designer, Robert Howland; produced by Timothy Silver; released by Paramount Pictures.

Starring Melanie Kinnaman (Pam), John Shepherd (Tommy), Shavar Ross (Reggie), Vernon Washington (George), Richard Young (Matt), Caskey Swaim (Duke), Tiffany Helm (Violet), Juliette Cummins (Robin), Jerry Pavlon (Jake), Carol Locatell (Ethel), Ron Sloan (Junior), Miguel A. NΓΊΓ±ez Jr. (Demon), Jere Fields (Anita), John Robert Dixon (Eddie), Deborah Voorhees (Tina), Dominick Brascia (Joey), Anthony Barrile (Vinnie), Mark Venturini (Vic Faden), Richard Lineback (Deputy Dodd) and Marco St. John (Sheriff Tucker); special appearance by Corey Feldman (Tommy at 12).

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