Films have formulas and rules, but how well do films follow those formulas? Are the slasher film rules true?
Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985) the fourth Friday the 13th film. Does it follow the rules?
The following may include spoilers for
Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985)
Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)
Rule #1 - A Warning Will Come From...
"I said I know who it is." ~ Sheriff Cal Tucker.
"Who?" ~ Mayor Cobb.
"It's Jason Voorhees." ~ Sheriff Tucker.
Just the dream of Tommy Jarvis (survivor of the previous film) really.
Rule #2 - There Will Be T&A
The final kill is, again, Tommy's, but Pam and Reggie get some shots in, especiallt for the portion of the film where Tommy is missing (so he remains a suspect killer)
Rule #2 - There Will Be T&A
"I would like Lana to go with nothing on her." ~ Billy.
- Nudity - Lana the waitress flashes herself her breasts before changing for a date with Billy. Tina is naked during and after sex (Eddie is naked, too, but you don't see anything.) Robin takes her robe off and is just wearing panties, but she's alone in her room, so you have to expect that. None of the female characters appear to be wearing bras, especially Pam Roberts who spends some time running around in the rain in a white t-shirt.
- Sex - Tina & Eddie hacve sex in the forest.
Rule #3 - Death Will Be A Punishment For...
"We found them in Hubbard's woods screwing their heads off, Matt. We're lucky this time,
because Ethel didn't see them." ~ Sheriff Tucker.
The killer in this film isn't punishing transgression, but rather, either punishing those who had contact with his son, or just randomly killing people.
- 3a. Sex - Tina & Eddie have sex and are killed immediately after it.
- 3b. Nudity - Lana's breasts are seen (only by herself and in the process of changing)
- 3c. Drinking - Demon jokingly offers the underage Reggie a beer.
- 3d. Drugs - Billy the orderly and Lana use (or prepare to use) coke. Tina & Eddie smoke a joint as do Demon & Anita.
- 3e. Hitchhiking - There was no hitchhiking.
- 3f. Other criminal behaviour - Tina & Eddie are prone to tresspassing and sex in public. Raymond watched Tina and Eddie have sex which might make him a voyeur, however, as it was sex in the open it would be hard to prove an expectation of privacy, especially since they'd been caught before.
- 3g. Being annoying/being cowardly/being a sleazy guy - Joey was annoying, and was killed for it, but by Victor not the main killer Roy Burns. Vinnie & Pete. Roy's first two victims are a pair of jerks. Junior and Ethel Hubbard are really annoying, but as character and the over the top "acting." Billy is annoying and sleezy. Demon & Anita is a little annoying. Mayor Cobb is annoying, but isn't endangered. Duke the paramedic joked over Joey's body.
- 3h. Being a bystander - Raymond almost literally. Jake, Robin & Violet aren't hugely annoying so count as bystanders. Dr Matthew Letter could been seen as a a little annoying. George (Gramps) wasn't criminal or annoying.
In terms of the Roy's motive, he had some reason for killing Duke (his paramedic partner) who joked over Roy's son (Joey)'s body. The staff and kids of Pankhurst were viable targets, because they didn't protect Joey or picked on him (as far as Roy knew). Billy, an orderly who drove Tommy to Pankhurst, and presumably had similar contact with Joey. Junior and Ethel were against Pankhurst so possibly target. However, there's no motivation for the killing of Vince & Pete, Raymond and Anita & Demon were completely random.
Rule #4 - Never Go...
"I'll feel a lot better when I'm out of here. This sh-t box is gross!" ~ Demon.
- 4b. Upstairs - Three people are killed upstairs (Jake, Robin & Violet) but none are chased upstairs, or even aware of the killing. Reggie and Pam are upstairs, discover the trio of bodies and Pam immediately drags Reggie down stairs. Maybe she knows the rule.
- 4d. Into old sheds or out buildings - Demon is killed in an outside toilet. Reggie, Pam and eventually Tommy go into the old barn.
- 4e. Running off to the “safety” of the forest - Raymond, Tina & Eddie are killed in the forest, however, they weren't escaping the killer. Reggie and Pam did run into the forest and back to escape Roy. It didn't save them necessarily, but they both survived.
- 4f. Anywhere alone - Almost everyone is killed while alone. Then again, most of the survivors spennt some time alone, too.
- 4g. Anywhere Remote, Isolated or Confined - Most of the characters are killed houses away from the town. However, it is where they live.
- There were no (a) basements, (c) showers, (h) abandoned buildings.
Rule #5 - Order of Death...
"Aww, what's the matter, Vinnie? You scared of the dark? You all creeped out by that murder at the nuthouse?" ~ Pete.
"Oh yeah, sure. Look, as far as I'm concerned, all those loonies should be killed off one by one." ~ Vince.
- 5a: First person to appear on screen - Is Tommy Jarvis. He survives. The second and third are die next (but are dream characters who only die in Tommy's dream).
- 5b: Black guy dies first - Anita, Demon and George are all black and all die, but are the 9th and 10th (non-dream) people to die. Reggie (Demon's brother, George's grandson) is black and lives.
- 5c. The Stoner - Demon & Anita it's only one shared joint, but there's a lot of food in the van and they're very relaxed. Tina & Eddie have a joint, too, but that seems to be more a pre-sex ritual.
- 5d: The Bimbo - Lana, her breasts are seen (she flashes herself in the mirror and exclaims "Show time") before she prepares for a date with Billy (clearly a sexual relationship). Tina, who regularly has sex in the woods with Eddie.
- 5e: Nerdy/Funny Guy - Joey, a fat, socially inept guy, the first real victim but not a victim of the main killer. Jake would be a sensitive guy if he wasn't such a geek.
- 5f: The Macho-Jerk - Vinnie & Pete. Roy's first two victims are a pair of jerks. Billy the orderly is also. Eddie, although he doesn't have much of a personality.
- 5g. The Strong Female Character - Ethel is a strong female character, if a bit of a jerk. Robin laughs off sex with Jake, but we do see her topless. Then again, that's in the privacy of her own room, so it doesn't make her a bimbo. Violet makes some silly mistakes and never wears a bra, but not really a bimbo.
- 5h. The Protector - Tommy, most likely. A sensitive guy but turns up at the end to kill the killer. Pam and Reggie act as each other's protectors at times and survives.
- 5i. The Sensitive Guy - Matt & George are also sensitive. They could have been protectors, but they disappeared early and were killed.
- 5j. Children and animals – Reggie survives.5k. The Final Girl - Pam survives,
x. Two Jason fans (dream only)
1. Joey [E] (killed by Vic)
2. (1) Vince [F]
3. (2) Pete [F]
4. (3) Billy [F]
5. (4) Lana [D]
6. (5) Raymond
7. (6) Tina [D]
8. (7) Eddie [F]
9. (8) Anita [C]
10. (9) Demon [C]
11. (10) Junior [F]
12. (11) Ethel [G]
13. (12) Jake [E]
14. (13) Robin [G]
15. (14) Violet [G]
16. (15) Duke [F] (May have been killed earlier)
17. (16) Matt [I] (May have been killed earlier)
18. (17) George [I] (May have been killed earlier)
19. Roy [The Killer]
Rule #6 - Especially When They Are Most Needed, The Following Things Cannot Be Relied On…
"Now either you've got the car started, or you're a dead man." ~ Pete.
- 6c. Vehicular Transport - Vince and Pete's car is broken down when we first see them. Pam's ute breaks down later, pre-emptively preventing it being used to escape. The ambulance presumably works, but it had a corpse in the driver's seat and a killer nearby.
- 6d. Your Own Legs - In the end phase of the film both Reggie and Pam fall at least twice each.
- 6e: The Authorities - The police are really casual about a string of brutal murders. The mayor isn't, but he's annoying.
- 6f. Weapons – Pam's chainsaw stops. That's about the only weapon used by a hero.
- No sign of (a) communication devices, (b) lighting problems or (g) escape routes.
Rule #7 - The Final Girl
"Please! Please, somebody help me! Pam!" ~ Reggie the Reckless.
- 7a. Final - Pam, Reggie and Tommy survive.
- 7b. Girl - Yes, yes she is.
- 7c. Boyish - Female name, hair, large breasted. Doesn't where a dress or skirt, but still a feminine dresser. As "female" as most of the other females, with some being more boyish then her.
- 7d. Well Drawn - Yes.
- 7e. Virginal & innocent - Seemingly until the wet shirt bit at the end (and then that's mostly not her fault).
- 7f. Will be reborn - Yes.
Rule #8 - The Killer has a connection to...
"Roy was a real loner. Never talked much, not even to the other paramedics. I guess when he was called to the scene, and saw that it was his own Joey all hacked to pieces..." ~ Sheriff Tucker.
- 8a. The Location - His son was killed there.
- 8b. The Final Girl - No real connection to Pam.
- 8c. The Protector - No real connection to Tommy (but is dressed as Jason, who Tommy killed and seems to be trying to frame Tommy.)
- 8d. The Other Victims - His son, Joey, was killed, but not by him. Duke was his partner is the ambulance.
- 8e. Feminity - Not really.
- 8f. A Specific Look - Stole Jason's jumpsuit and a hockey mask look.
- 8g: A specific weapon - Uses multiple weapons: flare, pruning sheers, a strap, but especially machette, axe, knife. The machette was Jason's main weapon, and Joey was killed with an axe.
Rule #9 - Evil Never Dies...
"Jason Voorhees? You're outta your f---ing mind. You've been out in the sun too long. Jason Voorhees is dead! His body was cremated. He's nothing but a handful of ash." ~ Mayor Cobb.
- 9a: You always have to kill the bad guy twice - Roy is hit by the bucket of a tractor driven by Reggie. He appears dead and has a sever chest injury. Then he grabs Reggie's leg.
- 9b: Even then the bad guy lives on - Played with in the pre-credit dream sequence. The twist ending implies that Tommy is now taken up the mantle.
- 9c: Evil is immortal - Fairly clearly, in this film, Jason is dead (killed in the previous film). The memory of him haunts Tommy, but that's it.
Rule #10 - The Sequel Will Be Bigger/More Formulaic
"Severe trauma at age 12. Brutal self-defense murder of a psychopathic killer." ~ Dr Matthew Letter.
- 10a. They will follow the rules more - In simplistic terms:
It did, however, feel like it follow the rules more.
- 10b. They will be more formulaic - It kept the Jason costume to fit the formula, but dumped Jason. Teens killed at a sort-of-camp, but many random deaths (which is becoming part of the series). Certainly tries to be a Friday the 13th film, even making the killable non-Jason take a lot of damage.
- 10c. There will be more T&A - Probably a touch less than the previous film, but still high in the series.
- 10d. There will be more and bigger deaths of the victims - Far more deaths. They were meant to be bigger, but the movie had to be submitted to the censors and edited about 9 times.
- 10e. The killer’s death will be bigger - Probably a little smaller than the previous film, but about usual.
- The following rules are followed: 2; 5.
- The following rules are partially followed: 1; 3; 4; 6; 7; 8; 10.
- The following rules are not followed: 9.