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Friday the 13th---A New Beginning Reviews

When we last left Jason--the psychotic killer in the hockey mask who enjoys cutting up nubile young teenagers for his greedy bosses at Paramount Studios--he was finally done in by a 12-year-old boy trying to save his family. With Jason finally dead, how does the studio continue the lucrative series? They make somebody else the crazed hockey-masked killer. After a dream-sequence in which Jason rises from the grave while the 12-year-old watches in horror, we are introduced to the guy plagued by the nightmares--Shepard. Shepard, Jason's killer, has grown up deeply disturbed by the event. Because of his problems, he is sent to a halfway house for disturbed teenagers run by progressive-minded counselors. There the standard cliched assortment of mental cases (a dangerous homicidal type, a nerd, a nymphomaniac and her equally lecherous male partner, and a few others who don't seem to demonstrate any kind of abnormality) are fodder for the special-effects crew when Jason--is it or isn't it Shepard reenacting Jason's crimes?--kills them all off. Believe it or not, the bloodletting here was toned down considerably compared to the previous films, which delighted in showing the murders in medical-school detail. This was not the choice of director Danny Steinmann, however, who shot the film in the typically gory manner, then was forced by an unusually conservative MPAA to tone it down to achieve the all-important "R" rating. To make up for the lack of blood, the film provided more gratuitous nudity than had been seen in the previous installments of the series.