Ahh, our first real taste of the immortal Jason Voorhees. Released in 1981, this sequel mostly takes place five years after the events of the first film. However, before we get to that, we are witness to Alice’s continued mental suffering after surviving the prior incident at Camp Crystal Lake. She is still an artist, but seems to have become very cynical, jumpy, and defensive. Who wouldn’t? Either way, we flash back through her dreams to the end of the first film and the iconic decapitation of the abominable Mrs. Voorhees. She then takes a phone call with her mother, who is worried about her mental health. After jumping in the shower, the phone rings again but no one is there….Alice feeds her cat after he gave her quite a scare by jumping through the window. She goes to open the fridge and sees Mrs. Voorhees’ severed head. She shrieks, just as Jason rams an ice-pick through her temple. Damn, and Alice was always so tough, too….
Fast forward to five years later, and a new slew of naive, impressionable young adults are lined up to be slaughtered. The premise is nearly the same, except that the movie takes place at a campsite a few miles away from the original because of its infamy. Jeff and Sandra, a couple who will be attending camp, show up, looking for their friend, Ted. Meanwhile, Crazy Ralph saunters over, and warns them in the same apocalyptic manner as he did with Annie five years earlier. Of course, no one ever heeds his advice. Once up at camp, we are introduced to our fresh batch of victims. The manager of the camp, Paul, is in a relationship with the adorable Ginny, our final girl for this film. After many typical camp hijinks, Jeff and Sandra decide to go to Camp Blood to investigate, even though it has been strictly forbidden. They are caught by a forest ranger and brought back, whereby they are reprimanded. On the way back, this forest ranger sees another trespasser. It happens to be Jason, and he is subsequently dispatched by way of a claw hammer to the head.
That night, Paul allows the campers that want to go, “a last night on the town”. Most of them go, clearing out the characters that are basically extras that we have not been introduced to. Ginny, Ted, and Paul end up at the bar, while Jeff, Sandra, Scott, Terri, Vicki, and Mark stay behind. Jeff and Sandra stay back, because that is their punishment for their earlier stunt. Terri goes skinny-dipping, of course, and pervert Scott trails behind. Scott ends up in a trap and therefore swinging upside down by his feet. Terri goes to get a knife to help, while Scott has his throat slit. Upon Terri’s return, she is also killed offscreen. Mark and Vicki, playing video games, begin to get frisky. Vicki, who is incredibly horny for some reason, asks Mark if “everything else” is okay, seeing as how he is in a wheelchair. Really? Could they get cheesier? So, after going back to her cabin to freshen up, Mark is killed by a machete to the face and tumbles down a set of stairs. Jeff and Sandra are impaled together after finishing having sex, and Vicki is taken out with a big knife, while not even attempting to run. Okayyy….have it your way.
While Ted continues to get his drunk on, Paul and Ginny return to camp, to find no one. Jason jumps out and attacks Paul, and Ginny runs and hides. The typical chase sequence ensues, but Ginny is an excellent fighter and thinks fast and smart on her feet. She ends up in an abandoned cabin in the woods, where she finds some of her dead friends, as well as the well-preserved head of Mrs. Voorhees. Ginny knows who her assailant is, and the story about him, so she puts on Mother Voorhees’ sweater and as Jason busts through the door, she attempts to talk him down by pretending to be his mother. That works well for about a minute, when Jason wises up and slashes Ginny hardcore in her leg. By now, Paul has shown back up, and tries to help. In the perfect position, Ginny raises a machete and swings it down hard on Jason’s neck and shoulder area. Why she just didn’t decapitate him, we will never know. Seems it would have been a perfect ending. Paul and Ginny make their way back to the main camp. They hear a sound at the door, and it turns out it is Muffin, Terri’s dog that everyone assumed had been killed in the woods. While relieved and talking to the puppy, Jason bursts through the window with his mangled head and fucked up eyes. Flash to the next morning, with Ginny on a stretcher, asking where Paul is. Turns out, we never really see what happened to Paul, but everyone assumes he did perish.
There are a few reasons why I believe this is a worthy sequel. Many people do not like this one, but I don’t see why. First of all, it really began the scantily clad female characters in the Friday the 13th series. The original had a bit of nudity, but it wasn’t gratuitous. It had a purpose. With this one, they sneak skin into it just for the hell of it. If nothing else, guys should respect that part! Another reason is because it proved that with the new wave of slasher films, no one was safe, even a handicapped individual (i.e., Mark in the wheelchair). It wasn’t afraid to take chances, and make you ask, “Are they really gonna kill the wheelchair guy?” Well, the answer would be yes, yes they are, and they did. This means that our idea of who is and isn’t safe was shifted as we realized that no distinguishing feature necessarily safeguarded you. Furthermore, Ginny and Paul had sex, therefore she wasn’t a virgin, thus voiding the idea that if you are not a virgin, you will be killed. Not so, in this film. This is why I really enjoy and respect this film, and in particular, the character of Ginny. Besides being cute as hell, she kicks ass, and pulls no punches. Lastly, they really stuck to the original premise. As you can tell, I have a thing about sticking with the main idea. Jason wasn’t being blown up, or in fucking outer space. He was in the woods, killing teenagers at camp, which is where he should be.