Why I like Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood
1) It was weirdly kid-safe for a slasher film. FF13:7 was maybe the second or third horror movie I rented for myself, and I picked it because it was supposedly tamer than the rest due to strict MPAA interference. The movie is a master class in editing violence, with all the kills done either quickly or off-screen. As such, it was a good gateway introduction to the genre.
2) The movie marks the first appearance of Kane Hodder as Jason Voorhees. The definitive actor to assume the role, Hodder brought a lot of elements from the previous incarnations together while adding his own unique touches to the character. Hodder's Jason is an interesting combination of Frankenstein's Monster and an angry pro-wrestler, but he also has an impeccable sense of timing. I recently re-watched the film and noticed the unique way Hodder goes in for the kill: he raises the weapon slowly, giving the viewer a moment of tension, before bringing it down with tremendous force. It's those small touches that make the character effective.
3) Jason meets Carrie is a great idea.
4) As a child of divorce, the image of the dead father rising from the water to save the child he had previously abused resonated with me.
5) Bad News Crews and evil yuppie Melissa. The F13 films always had the best dirtbags.
7) Maddy. Poor, poor Maddy. The Friday movies seldom had an ugly duckling and they never had one with a character arc. I really liked Maddy's boost of confidence. She's the one I'd have picked to survive. Alas, Jason is a poor judge of human potential.
8) The telekinetic battles between Jason and Tina that take up the final third of the movie. I grew up on superhero comics, especially Jim Lee-era X-men, and it felt like the movie tied in my love of superheroes and monsters. The battles are really effective and visually interesting, given the film's low budget, and they end with the biggest non-CGI explosion in any Friday film.
9) As a kid, I'd always been curious about what Jason looked like under the hockey mask. He goes bare-faced the longest in this film. He also kind of looks like Reptile from Mortal Kombat.
10) Did anyone else love the exposed spine and bones in the Jason suit? I did. It's the best interpretation of Zombie Jason I've seen.
11) The sleeping bag kill, probably the most famous kill of the series.
Conclusion: Friday the 13th Part VII is probably my favorite of Hodder's roles. It does a lot of the slasher conventions right while mixing in fanciful supernatural elements and an excellent final battle.