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The Good and Bad of Friday the 13th: Vengeance

January 25, 2021 | Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz
Friday the 13th: Vengeance

The Good and Bad of Friday the 13th: Vengeance


Friday the 13th: Vengeance, also known as just Vengeance according to imdb, is a Friday the 13th fan film directed by Jeremy W. Brown and Dustin Montierth that hit YouTube in the fall of 2019. The movie functions as a sort of direct sequel to Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives!, taking place roughly thirty years after the events of that movie. The story, as I understand it, has Tommy Jarvis disappearing, presumably on the hunt for Jason Voorhees once again (Jason is back. He pops up out of the lake and starts killing people again). Tommy’s daughter Angelica (Kelly Tappan) joins up with a group of young people who are also the kids of Jason survivors to search through the woods for Tommy. There’s also a reporter, Robert Thompson (Luke Schuck), along for the trip, as he’s doing research into the Jason killings (or something).

Now, while all of that is going on, Jason’s father Elias (played by the man who played Jason in Jason Lives!, C.J. Graham) shows up in town (I think the town is still called Forrest Green) to exact revenge on the people who killed his son Jason back in the 1950’s. And Tommy Jarvis’s other daughter, Ashley Jarvis (Sanae Loutsis), sets off into the woods to look for her father, too. But she’s a teen. Can she and a friend survive the woods? As the body count rises all over town and the authorities try to figure out what to do (the sheriff is Jason Realotti, played by Steve Dash, one of the guys that played Jason in Friday the 13th Part 2), the two stories eventually converge with bloody results.

And so, without any further what have you, what’s good and what’s bad about Friday the 13th: Vengeance?

The Good

Tom McLoughlin is in it: McLoughlin, who write and directed Jason Lives!, pops up as a graveyard worker named “Gravekeep Walt” at the very beginning of the movie. McLoughlin’s Walt interacts with Jason’s father Elias, which is just cool to see (it’s the director of Jason Lives! acting with the guy who played Jason in Jason Lives!. If you don’t flip out at this scene then you’re not a real Jason Lives! fan). McLoughlin is also funny, which always helps with these kinds of cameos. I’m surprised Walt doesn’t get the Martin treatment.


C.J. Graham kicks ass as Elias Voorhees: Elias Voorhees, as seen in Vengeance, is depicted as a kind of malevolent vagrant, and when he starts killing people he becomes a full on vessel of evil. Yes, he’s on a vengeance mission because of what happened to his poor son at Camp Crystal Lake back in the late 1950’s, but there doesn’t seem to be much righteousness in him. Elias is just a bad, bad man. And, as I said, Graham kicks major ass as Elias. He’s still physically imposing three decades plus later, and it’s shocking to realize that Vengeance is only his third movie role. Why the hell wasn’t Graham a big deal action actor through the 1990’s and into the 2000’s? And why the hell isn’t he getting big parts today? It’s just mind boggling.

The movie’s score is by the Harry Manfredini: Harry Manfredini’s score for the Friday the 13th movies he worked on are nothing short of legendary, and it’s cool as hell to get the man hisself to do the score for a Jason fan movie. While the score Manfredini puts together for Vengeance isn’t as mind blowing or gigantic sounding as the scores he did for the official movies it’s still pretty damn awesome and gives Vengeance a leg up in the sound department. Has he provided music for any other Friday the 13th fan movies? His imdb page suggests he does, but is he making original music for those fan movies or is he just getting credit because the other fan movies use music from the official movies? I think I need to look into this.

The movie is filled with sex and nudity: People having sex and nudity in general are hallmarks of the Friday the 13th movies, and yet I haven’t seen that much of either in the fan movies that I’ve seen. Granted, I’ve only seen, counting Vengeance, four of them, but I still find it odd that Vengeance is the only one that has any of both. And I have to say that it’s all pretty good and fun, just like in the official movies, and it leads to the same kind of thing that happens in the official movies. Jason does not approve. At all.

Darcy the Mail Girl is in it!: The great Darcy the Mail Girl, also known as Diana Prince, appears in Vengeance as Marilyn Evans, a woman who works for a tour group that leads people interested in the Jason Voorhees story through the woods, kind of like one of those ghost hunting outfits (and like in the Hatchet movies). It’s cool to see her in a Jason movie (she’s a big fan of Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter), and she gets to participate in one of the more “What the hell?” kills in the movie, which must have been awesome (isn’t that what all fans who get to be in a Jason movie want, a cool death scene? You goddamn know it). The movie definitely could have used more of Darcy in it, but what she does get to do is neat as fuck. Great, great stuff.

Movie actually attempts to do creative kills: Creative and cool kills are another hallmark of the Friday the 13th movies (and, to a degree, slasher movies in general), and Vengeance actually makes an attempt at having creative and cool kills. Do all of the special effects work out? No. Some of the effects look rushed. But I have to give the movie enormous credit for giving the whole “creative kills” thing a shot. The other Jason fan movies that I’ve seen didn’t really try, at least not in the same way as Vengeance. So what is the best kill? There’s a pretty awesome “rough decapitation” scene. And the tent death is funny and ridiculous, just like the fabled “sleeping bag kill” from Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood.

Steve Dash is in it: And he’s goddamn hilarious. Dash, in what turned out to be his final movie performance, plays Jason Realotti, the sheriff of Wessex County, one of the local officials who has to figure out what the hell is going on in the woods next to Crystal Lake. Sheriff Jason gives an “interview” to a local news station, who is live at a crime scene, and he goes off on the reporter in a tremendously profane manner. And, again, Dash is hilarious. The man could strong together profanities with the best of them. Dash also has a nice, emotional scene where you see, via flashback, why Jason Realotti is important to the Jason legend, at least in this timeline. The movie definitely could have used more of him in it.


Movie makes an effort to do a “different” kind of Jason: The previous three Jason fan movies I watched had Jasons that resembled the Derek Mears Jason from the Friday the 13th reboot, so it was nice to see a different kind of Jason in Vengeance. Jason, as played by Jason Brooks, looks like the Jason C.J. Graham portrayed in Jason Lives!, which makes sense since Vengeance is meant to be a direct sequel to that movie. And, for the most part, the makeup looks decent enough (well, not always. Read on for why). Directors Brown and Montierth could have changed up the Jason look and gone a different way (Jason had been in the lake for over thirty years. You would think he’d look a little different if he popped up out of the lake again after all of that time), but they didn’t and that’s to be commended. Brooks isn’t as good or as imposing as Graham was, but then why would he be? In general, it’s a good performance and a good look. Mostly.

Vengeance looks like a real movie: Just like the other Jason fan movies, Vengeance looks like a “real” movie, and it’s obvious that everyone involved put in some serious effort and technique to make it look good. I know that “real movie” quality cameras are cheap and easy to get, but it’s still jarring that these fan movies look so dang professional. You just don’t expect it. Good looking stuff.

The Bad

The story is a convoluted mess: While it’s cool to have Elias Voorhees in the movie, the movie doesn’t really need him in it. When I first saw him I thought that Elias would be the killer throughout the movie, with Jason maybe popping up at the end to exact revenge on everybody now for his dead father. Instead, Vengeance has the Elias story operating parallel with the actual Jason coming out of the lake and killing people. Pick one or the other. And the whole thing with the kids of Jason survivors doesn’t really mean anything because we don’t know who any of them are. They’re just people that Jason is likely going to kill. Vengeance would have been more successful if it had picked one idea, it’s a Jason movie or it’s an Elias movie, and then went with it.

Also, what, exactly, makes Jason wake up from the lake? It’s just something that happens. Am I missing something?

The “chain gang” scene is a massive missed opportunity: There’s a sequence in the movie where Jason lays waste to a chain gang of prisoners who are doing some sort of “public beautification” thing in the woods. It’s a potentially great idea, watching Jason kill multiple people who can’t get away, but in order for the scene to really work we have to see it happen. Jason shows up, the men scream, and we see the aftermath of it. Jason also briefly faces off against a huge prisoner but that’s all it is. We don’t get to see anything. Why not have that prisoner somehow get out of his chains and fight Jason hand-to-hand and run off into the woods, only to be killed later? Or why not have multiple prisoners sort of team up against Jason, get the upper hand on the killer for a brief moment only for Jason to destroy everything in his path with his machete? There are a million things the movie could have done with the idea but the movie doesn’t bother trying. Sure, budget could have been an issue for doing anything more elaborate than what the movie does, but then maybe the movie doesn’t need to have a “Jason-kills-a-chain-gang” scene in it.

The Jason makeup doesn’t look good during the day: While I applaud the use of Jason makeup that resembles C.J. Graham’s Jason from Jason Lives!, the makeup doesn’t look great from the side during the day when the sun is out. It looks like a special effects makeup suit. At night, the makeup is terrifying, but during the day it just doesn’t work as well. And this isn’t me being nitpicky. You will notice the difference big time.

The ending is confusing: I have no idea what happens at the end. No idea whatsoever. Have Elias and Jason decided to team up at the end of the movie? Is Elias even alive anymore? The ending seems to suggest a sequel is in our future, but what happened in this movie? The ending of a Friday the 13th movie shouldn’t be confusing, at least I don’t think it should.



Despite its flaws, Friday the 13th: Vengeance is a pretty decent horror movie and Jason fan flick. It does some things well, fails at others, but its heart is in the right place. That’s what ultimately matters. It also gives us another great, badass C.J. Graham performance. I’ve seen online that a Vengeance sequel is happening, so we have that to look forward to. Will Graham appear again as Elias? Will the story be streamlined and made simpler? Will Darcy get to show up again as a different character (I hope so!)? And what will Tom McLoughlin get to do?

And that post credits stinger sequence. Where will that lead?

Friday the 13th: Vengeance is worth checking out. If you have a spare 90 minutes and you’re a Jason nerd, I think you’ll dig what Jeremy W. Brown and Dustin Montierth put out.


Rating: 7.0/10.0



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