Monday, February 14, 2011

Something Rank (#12-11)

4 Freaks, 36 Films, Infinitely Inappropriate

Previous Entries:
(#36-33) (#32-29) (#28-25)(#24-21)
(#20-17) (#16-15) (#14-13)

(#12) Friday the 13th Part III (1982)

Yo-yo has never been this in your face! Part III gleefully juggles fruit, hippies, biker gangs and brand name slaughter fare. One-dimensional characters are thrust into the third dimension, with brainless thrills in bombastic excess. Cheap scares and even cheaper effects make this one of the series most efficient exercises in formula. It wouldn't be a stretch to imagine this film cut with stock footage, it's that much of a tailored product. But for every element that feels by-the-numbers, there's countless worthwhile carnage and camp.

Jason finally trades in his homely bagface beginnings -- now a hockey goalie with one simple goal: mass homicide. His opponents range of pregnant women, stoners and a Final Girl he encountered in his youth. Oh those calm, collected days when Jason would apparently abduct his lady victims and return them safely to their beds (rape merely a presumption). Chaste Chris returns to the site of their moonlit rendezvous only to find herself with an undesired second date. But Jason's weathered the Crystal Lake storm long enough to have little patience for even the most sexless of the topless, transient teens.

Part III literally (and wisely) passes you a joint. One should always heed its hippie advice to "Mellow out, man," and its easy to do with all this extraneous distraction. Snakes, baseball bats, and grimy backwoods fists burst off the screen, while characterization and plot seep into the cardboard backdrop. This entry's not clever enough to come up with a new ending, but it's clever enough to steal one from the first film and turn it into absolute nonsense. Druggie, disco-infused nonsense.

The Face of Fear:

Killer Looks:

1) Even backwoods fashion evolves.

2) Hanging with our favorite homicidal hermit.

3) Pallin' around with Pamela.

My Thoughts Exactly...

(#11) A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2:
Freddy's Revenge

Freddy Krueger is coming out. Out of the closet and out of the chest of some poor gay kid in Springwood, Ohio. At this point we know that Freddy Krueger is a menace to the mindscape of troubled teens, and likely a subpar janitor as well. Turns out that Freddy's also a counselor of sorts -- helping local boy Jesse come to terms with his sexuality... or rather deny it until it comes bursting through his bowels and into the bedroom of a jock he could only hope to bang.

It's among the gayest horror films ever made -- uncomfortably homophobic but undeniably homo-centric. Curiously bent, fascinating for its demographic, and dreadfully inadequate as a sequel, Part 2 is a flamboyantly fun mess of a movie. Jesse's gay desires manifest in the form of Freddy Krueger, a self-loathing sinner that can only be stopped with the love of a good woman. As misguided as its approach is at (all) times, Jesse's coming out process is a smart conceit. Jesse's stifling of self and his sexuality fuels a demon inside of him that threatens to wreak havoc on the world around him. His judgemental father, his clueless crush, and the coach that desperately wants him to play ball... Jesse's world is a wasteland of wanton lust and weary attempts at being with a woman, despite his tell-all music collection. Bedroom dancing and locker room bondage are only the beginning as Freddy tries Jesse's body on for size faster than you can say, "Banana Republic."

As a film it's more shame-filled than its lead character and probably even more confused. Comparing it to any entry in the Nightmare series or most genre fare, Part 2 is about as gay as possible without the aid of glitter. There's some deep-seated repression in this screenplay! Even though Jesse's sexuality seems innate, it also seems to leave him contently in the closet by the film's close. While it's unclear if this was intended as a masturbatory, ex-gay movie-of-the-week, or a bold way to broach the subject of internal homophobia, Part 2 ensures that young male horror fans will be made extremely uncomfortable and/or extremely aroused for years to come. For that we can be both gracious and harshly mocking.

Gay Highlights:

A more detailed breakdown here...

Jesse's jock itch...

Jesse doesn't dig chicks but likes to play 'Probe'...

Jesse butt bumps and pops his cork...

Foul play on the field...
And suffocating snakes during classroom talk of the colon...

A night out in Springwood's leather district...
And cruised by Coach Schenider...

Teacher/student towel snapping...

Jesse goes down... and out.

The Face of Fear:

Killer Looks:

1) Freddy outs Jesse.

2) Freddy is flaming.

My Thoughts Exactly...

Up Next: #10-9

Jason Lives! And dies. Again.


Jaime Grijalba said...

You chose two pretty bad installments of this series in a way too high spot. F13th 3D is gimmicky and just a rehash of the first one, and in that it's not surprising at all.
The second Nightmare is homophobic and boring beyond belief, it's a classic example of how a franchise can be turn into ashes in the matter of a year.

Adam said...

I'd agree they're pretty disposable films, but looking at the varied series, these entries still stand out for me. Not for originality of course, but for their baffling choices amidst all the cliche. "Friday Part III" because it is very much a shoddy film driven by a shoddy gimmick. In the same way I watch all "Friday" films, it's about accepting the crap with joyous aplomb. As for "Nightmare 2," I defend its placement only in that it's one of the most baffling films of any horror franchise. Admittedly a dreadful sequel, but one of those films you're fascinated to find exists. Anything this gay and this questionable gets my seal of approval.