Friday the 13th 6: Jason Lives (1986) Explained

An Average Movie-Goer’s Review

Spoilers! If you don’t want spoilers – check out the Spoiler-Free post

Friday the 13th Part 6 Jason Lives Explained poster

I love horror movies and if I’m going to watch them anyway, why not write an entertaining/funny review from the POV of an average movie-goer and not a professional critic.

Today we’re looking at the sixth film in the Friday the 13th series; 1986’s Friday the 13th Part 6: Jason Lives

In an attempt to destroy Jason’s corpse, Tommy Jarvis (Thom Mathews) accidentally brings him back to life and unleashes the killer onto Crystal Lake

Is Friday the 13th 6: Jason Lives Scary?

If you’re not scared by the Friday the 13th series up to this point, then no Friday the 13th Part 6: Jason Lives is not scary. It has a few jump scares and less gore than the previous films but does do a better job at building tension compared to the last few films.

By the end, you won’t leave Friday the 13th 6: Jason Lives scared of anything unless you’re planning to destroy a corpse of a serial killer during a lightning storm… but that’s on you.

All Friday the 13th Explanations/Reviews:

Related Article: Friday the 13th (1980) Explained

Related Article: Friday the 13th Part II (1981) Explained

Related Article: Friday the 13th Part III (1982) Explained

Related Article: Friday the 13th Part IV: The Final Chapter (1984) Explained

Related Article: Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning (1985) Explained

Related Article: Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986) Explained

Related Article: Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988) Explained

Related Article: Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989) Explained

Related Article: Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday Explained

Related Article: Jason X (2002) Explained

Related Article: Friday the 13th (2009) Explained

Friday the 13th 6: Jason Lives Full Plot Summary:

Last we left the Friday the 13th series in Friday the 13th: A New Beginning Tommy Jarvis found himself at Pinehurst, a youth development center that was meant to help him deal with the mental trauma he experienced. In a very unhelpful way, Jason arrives and starts murdering everyone.

Tommy, assistant director Pam, and the young Reggie Winter are the only three survivors after they manage to kill Jason using the spikes of a tractor harrow. It’s then revealed it wasn’t Jason and was actually some guy named Roy in a mask. The film ends in the hospital with Tommy now donning the Jason mask and looking like he’s about to kill Pam. 

This would have made for an interesting sequel but people weren’t so keen on that idea and the sequels were scrapped and rewritten so here we are…

Friday the 13th Jason Lives opens with Tommy Jarvis (played by Thom Mathews) and his friend Allen (played by Ron Palillo) having just been released from a mental institution and are now speeding down a road towards Crystal Lake. 

We learn Tommy, who has Jason’s mask, is planning on digging up Jason’s body and destroying it as a form of therapy. I’m pretty sure this wasn’t an approved therapy but to each their own. As a thunderstorm approaches, Tommy and Allen arrive at the cemetery and find Jason’s grave. 

Ron Palillo as Allen and Thom Mathews as Tommy Jarvis in Friday the 13th Part 6: Jason Lives
“This is a good idea right?”

The two start digging, eventually reaching Jason’s casket which Tommy opens revealing a very decomposed Jason. Tommy immediately starts getting flashbacks to the fourth film, because fuck the fifth film, and grabs an iron pole from the gate using it to angrily stab at Jason’s corpse.

Satisfied, Tommy climbs out of the casket, leaving the iron pole impaled in Jason, and tosses the mask into the coffin. Allen and Tommy go for the gasoline canister but are thrown back when lightning strikes the pole and courses through Jason’s body. 

Jason's corpse is struck by lightning in Friday the 13th Part 6: Jason Lives
I’m sure this is fine.

Moments later, in some Frankenstein bullshit, Jason’s eye opens! To Tommy and Allen’s shock, Jason climbs out of the casket and just stands there in what I assume is him being very confused at what the hell just happened. Tommy desperately tries to light him on fire but the wind and rain extinguish the match. 

Allen hits Jason with a shovel and, Jason calmly responds to this assault by punching Allen’s heart out of his chest and dropping him into the casket. Wanting to keep his heart in his body, Tommy runs out of there and drives off. Meanwhile, Jason puts on his mask, grabs the iron fence post, and it’s now showtime!

Jason comes back to life in Friday the 13th Part 6: Jason Lives
“I am very confused on the logistics of my resurrection but it’s time for murderin’”

In the weirdest title screen I’ve seen so far, we zoom into Jason’s eye and another Jason walks out like James Bond. He then slashes at the screen which turns into the title screen.

Tommy runs to the police station and into Sheriff Garris’s (played by David Kagen) office to warn him of Jason’s return. The highly aggressive Garris doesn’t believe the story and when Tommy tells him he is Tommy Jarvis, Garris remembers him. 

Unfortunately, he also remembers Tommy spent the last few years in a mental institution. Deputy Rick (played by Vincent Guastaferro) walks in and Garris refers to Tommy’s claim as a prank. 

David Kagen as Sheriff Garris and Vincent Guastaferro as Deputy Rick in Friday the 13th Part 6: Jason Lives
“Hey Rick, want to hear a dumb prank that we won’t regret not taking seriously later?”

Tommy doesn’t take this well and attempts to grab a shotgun which is a serious no-no in a police station. Garris and Rick toss Tommy into a holding cell and we learn from Garris that after the murders, the town changed the name of Crystal Lake to Forest Green.

Meanwhile out in the forest, two camp counselors Darren and Lizbeth (played by Tony Goldwyn and Nancy McLoughlin respectively) are driving through a dirt road heading to Forest Green camp. Lizbeth suddenly stops the car when she sees Jason standing several feet away and attempts to turn around. She doesn’t know it’s Jason but she knows dudes in masks standing ominously in the middle of the road, is never a good sign.

Unable to reverse due to the mud in the road, Darren suggests they scare Jason by pretending they’re going to run him over. This doesn’t work and Jason uses the iron fence post to puncture their tire. Darren pulls out a gun and confronts Jason only to have an iron post driven through his chest essentially making him a Ghost.

Tony Goldwyn as Darren pulls a gun on Jason in Friday the 13th Part 6: Jason Lives
When people find out Jason killed these two, it’s going to be a Scandal

Lizbeth runs out of the car and immediately falls into a muddy puddle allowing Jason to kill her easily. The next morning Tommy wakes up in his cell just in time to meet the rest of the cast who are also the rest of the camp counselors, Paula, Sissy, Cort, and Megan. 

Turns out the first day of camp is today and after Darren and Lizbeth didn’t show up, they’re hoping the sheriff and deputy can conduct a search. The sheriff denies their request despite Megan being his daughter, so I’m starting to think Garris is just lazy. When Tommy hears the other 2 are missing he immediately blames Jason which catches the attention of the counselors. 

Megan immediately falls for Tommy and jokingly tells her father not to beat him up too badly. Angered, Garris demands they all leave and then tells Tommy he’s going to escort him out of town so he can’t poison anyone else with his “pranks”.

In the screenshot below from left to right, we have Paula, Lizbeth’s sister (played by Kerry Noonan); Sissy (played by Renee Jones), Cort (played by Tom Fridley), and Megan (played by Jennifer Cooke).

Kerry Noonan as Paula, Renee Jones as Sissy, Tom Fridley as Cort, and Jennifer Cooke as Megan in Friday the 13th Part 6: Jason Lives
“They probably got lost, it’s not like there’s a supernatural killer on the loose… what? I said there’s not!”

At the cemetery, the caretaker Martin (played by Bob Larkin) finds Jason’s dug-up grave and covers up the incident believing that if someone found out, he would lose his job. As he starts filling the grave, he breaks the fourth wall and says “Some folks have a strange idea of entertainment.” So I feel attacked.

At the camp, we learn that the counselors have been told by their parents that Jason is just a legend which is weird because those murders verifiably actually happened. It’s only been like 6 or 7 years since Friday the 13th Part 2, 3, and 4 and Jason’s grave was in the cemetery under the name Jason Voorhees. The counselors are then interrupted when a bus full of children arrives… is Jason going to murder a bunch of children today?

Meanwhile, in the forest, a group of friends are playing paintball when Jason comes across one using a machete to cut down some brush. Seeing as he has Jason’s favorite weapon, Jason grabs him, takes the machete, and throws him into a tree; killing him. Jason then realizes he also ripped off the guy’s arm.

Jason gets a machete by ripping off a paintball player's arm in Friday the 13th Part 6: Jason Lives
“Holy shit, do I have super-human strength now?!”

After coming across another four paintballers, Jason easily chops them in half in one swing and chases and kills the last one. Meanwhile, the sheriff and deputy escort Tommy out of town but let him drive his own car which goes as well as you think it would. 

Tommy speeds off towards the cemetery and leads the sheriff and deputy to Jason’s grave where he’s shocked to find it filled. The sheriff arrests Tommy and leads him off as Martin denies covering up graves. Tommy is dropped off at the edge of town and threatened to never return.

That night a drunk Martin gets lost in the woods on his way home as he finishes drinking his bottle of alcohol. Throwing it over his shoulder, it’s caught by Jason who I assume hates litterers because he breaks the bottle and stabs Martin in the neck. Nearby a couple, Steven and Annette, are making out in the woods when they hear Martin’s screams and Steven decides to check it out.

Following the scream, Steven comes across Jason in the middle of dismembering Martin’s body and that’s very bad news for Steven.

Jason kills the caretaker Martin in Friday the 13th Part 6: Jason Lives
The last thing you ever want to see in the woods

Steven accidentally catches Jason killing Martin in Friday the 13th Part 6: Jason Lives
The face of someone realizing they saw that last thing

Steven runs back to Annette and tells her to run as we see Jason chasing after them. The two get to their scooter but so does Jason who stabs them through the chest, kebab style, killing them both.

On the outskirts of camp, Cort meets with a girlfriend, Nikki (played by Darcy DeMoss) in her RV and the two have sex with the lights on and music blasting. Outside the RV Jason, having never heard the rule “if the RV’s a-rockin’ don’t come a-knockin’”, rips the power cord off the RV. 

Nikki sends Cort outside to check the power cord and after finding it torn, he immediately knows shit ain’t right. In a jump scare, Nikki appears behind him asking what happened, and Cort tells her they have to leave. The two get back into the RV, start it, and Cort speeds off while playing loud music.

Because of the loud music, Cort doesn’t hear when Jason pops out of the bathroom, grabs Nikki, and drags her inside. After killing her, Jason walks up to Cort and stabs him in the head with a hunting knife. Since Cort was driving, the RV careens off the road and flips onto its side. 

At the sheriff’s office, Megan argues with Garris regarding how dangerous Tommy is when Garris gets a call from Rick alerting him of Darren and Lizbeth’s deaths. Garris immediately suspects Tommy is behind the murders and orders Megan to stay in the office as he leaves to investigate.

Meanwhile, Tommy gets a bunch of books from the all-night library(?) and starts studying the occult, basically, this is the internet research portion of the movie. After thinking he’s found a way to stop Jason, Tommy calls the sheriff’s office but Megan answers. She tells Tommy he’s now a wanted man and offers to pick him up to help him with his plan.

At the camp, Jason finally arrives and cuts the phone lines. Sissy hears someone outside of the window and Paula assumes it’s Cort trying to play a prank. After pouring some beer out of the window to get back at Cort, Sissy looks out and is grabbed by Jason. Not having seen Jason, Paula still assumes it’s Cort and yells for them to keep it down. 

Outside, Jason twists Sissy’s neck and rips her head off accidentally. I say accidentally because Jason’s reaction after ripping her head off feels like confusion to me. 

Jason rips off Sissy's head in Friday the 13th Part 6: Jason Lives
“I didn’t even know I could do that!”

Megan meets up with Tommy in her Camaro and makes him agree to let her help. Unaware Garris has set up roadblocks, the two come across one and Megan quickly speeds off starting a high-speed chase. After a short chase, Megan is forced to stop at another roadblock where Garris points a shotgun at them and demands she get out.

At camp one of the young girls wakes up and sees Jason carrying Sissy’s headless body past the cabin. Scared, she decides to tell Paula and even brings her Jason’s machete she found outside the cabin. Paula assumes it’s just more pranks courtesy of Cort and decides to help the girl find Cort and Sissy in order to put her fears at ease.

Paula leaves the machete behind and the two leave the cabin, not noticing Jason nearby watching them.

One of the child campers finds Jason's bloody machete in Friday the 13th Part 6: Jason Lives
“We’re also going to add a class on how not to leave fingerprints on murder weapons in tomorrow’s agenda.”

At the sheriff’s office, Megan begs her father to check out Tommy’s claims but he refuses. Garris then gets a call alerting him to Cort and Nikki’s death and once again blames Tommy. Megan asks when the murders happened and says it couldn’t have been Tommy as he was with her at that time. Despite this Garris orders Rick to put Tommy in a cell and watch him, as well as demanding Megan not leave the office while he goes out to the scene.

Unable to find Cort and Sissy, Paula puts the young girl to bed and doesn’t see Jason watching her from the window. On her way to her cabin, Paula gets freaked out and runs to her cabin where she realizes the machete is gone. Unsurprisingly Jason appears and kills her.

Back at the station, Megan devises a plan to free Tommy and instructs him to start an argument with her. Megan approaches the cell and the two kiss between the bars causing Deputy Rick to forcibly separate them. As Rick pushes Tommy away, Megan grabs Rick’s gun and points it at him, demanding he release Tommy.

As Tommy and Megan drive off, he reveals the only way to stop Jason now is to bring him back to his original resting place; the waters of Crystal Lake. At the camp, Jason enters the cabin full of children and approaches one of them, but stops when he hears several police cars arriving at the camp entrance. 

The sheriff and two cops split up and search the area. Garris immediately finds Paula’s cabin covered in blood and that’s never a good sign. One of the cops checks the pier at the lake and spots Jason standing near the brush. Unfortunately, Jason has already sent a throwing knife express-air to the cop’s forehead, killing him instantly. Honestly, after being dead and buried for so long you gotta respect Jason’s pinpoint accuracy.

Garris runs to the cabin to check on the children and discovers one child, the young girl from earlier, missing. Meanwhile, the young girl finds the other cop and warns him of the scary man, but it’s not necessary as Jason appears behind him. Is this little girl working for Jason?

The girl runs away as the cop shoots Jason multiple times but it does nothing. Jason grabs the cop and crushes his head. 

Jason crushes the skull of one of the cops in Friday the 13th Part 6: Jason Lives
Never trust random children running around alone in the woods

Garris grabs his shotgun from his police car and runs into the young girl. He instructs her and all of the other children in the camp to get into one cabin and hide under the beds. After confirming they’re safe, or as safe as you can be in a camp with a supernatural killer running around, Garris goes out to look for the other cops.

He quickly finds the cop with his head crushed but also finds Jason. After a brief staredown, Garris shoots Jason with his shotgun and then his handgun but none of the shots take out Jason. Forced to run, Garris hides out in the woods as Tommy and Megan arrive at the camp. 

Tommy heads to the lake with a chain and a bag of other items and prepares for Jason while Megan calls out to her father. I’m sure none of this is traumatizing to the children hiding in the cabins. 

Out in the woods, Jason and Garris hear Megan’s cries and Jason decides to head back to the camp. Seeing this, Garris tackles Jason knocking him to the ground.

Sheriff Garris attacks Jason to save Megan in Friday the 13th Part 6: Jason Lives
I’m sure this is a well-thought-out plan

Garris kicks Jason a few times and grabs a large rock, smashing it onto Jason’s face multiple times. Apparently, the mask is now made of some kind of steel because it doesn’t even crack. Jason grabs Garris and folds him in half the wrong way, instantly killing him.

At the pier, Megan and Tommy place a large boulder onto a boat, tie the chain around it, and fashion the other end into a noose. Meanwhile, Jason smashes through the door of the children’s cabin causing Megan to run back when she hears their screams.

As Megan arrives, Jason smashes out of the cabin and grabs Megan’s head but Tommy calls out to Jason, taunting him to come after him instead. Jason sees Tommy out in the lake and lets go of Megan, pushing her away.

Jason walks into the lake sinking to the bottom, because bitch can’t even swim, but this causes Tommy to lose track of him. After pouring gasoline into the water around the boat, Tommy lights the water creating a ring of fire around him. Jason then lunges out of the water and grabs him.

The two struggle and Jason catches on fire but Tommy is eventually able to get the chain around Jason’s neck. Jason jumps atop the boat causing it to break in half, dropping himself, Tommy, and the boulder into the water. As the boulder sinks to the bottom, it pulls Jason down with it and traps him.

Unfortunately, Tommy isn’t the fastest swimmer and Jason is able to grab him. The two struggle and Jason gets the upper hand, strangling Tommy.

Believing Tommy to be dead, Jason releases his body which floats to the top of the lake. Seeing this, Megan swims to Tommy and grabs his body. Jason then shows he has unbelievable reach when he grabs Megan and attempts to pull her down into the water. 

But Megan ain’t going out like a punk and she is able to reach the part of the boat with the motor attached. Starting it, she maneuvers the blades to chop up Jason’s neck, killing him. Now free from Jason, Megan grabs Tommy and brings him onto land where she applies CPR. 

After a few tries, Tommy wakes up and declares Jason dead which is the opposite of what I was promised in the title of this movie. The following morning we pan over to Crystal Lane and the film ends as we see Jason’s body trapped underwater with his eye open, implying he’s still alive.

Jason is trapped under water in Friday the 13th Part 6: Jason Lives
“This is some bullshit.”

Friday the 13th 6: Jason Lives Spoiler Review:

Friday the 13th 6: Jason Lives is great as Friday the 13th movie, as of now it’s probably my favorite. If you’re not a fan of Friday the 13th movies, this one is still good as a supernatural slasher film that doesn’t take itself too seriously. It felt like this film was testing the waters to see how meta and comedic it could get while still staying to the Jason formula and it finds an almost perfect balance.

The acting and dialogue were good with a few hammed-up moments that don’t entirely distract from what’s going on. Those moments are also regulated mainly to the characters that show up for a few minutes before they’re killed in some interesting ways.

The story and characterization of the main characters was the best part of the film. Instead of main characters who find themselves in Jason’s path and have to get lucky to survive, we have Tommy who is trying to face Jason head-on and comes equipped with a plan. You also have Megan who steps up and is willing to face Jason in order to help Tommy, she then ends up being extremely integral to stopping Jason.

This movie also has some tense scenes that really only work because of what Jason is now and the characterization of some characters. For example the children in the cabin, from the moment the children arrive at camp, you have to wonder if you’re going to see Jason kill kids. In part 4 Jason appeared willing to kill Tommy but wasn’t able to so you know he might not have an issue. Now that he seems to be a killing machine, can he be stopped?

There’s also Garris facing down Jason. We’ve seen how much Garris cares about Megan and the moment Jason and Garris hear Megan calling out, you know Garris is going to have to sacrifice himself. He then puts up a somewhat good fight and you’re wondering if maybe he’s going to survive. It’s little scenes like this that help bring tense moments into the film.

Overall I highly recommend Friday the 13th Part 6: Jason Lives to anyone looking for a horror movie with some slight comedy in it.


Stuff to Ignore

Rotten Tomatoes – 50%

Metacritic – 30

Comments are closed.

Up ↑