Following on directly from the events of the first movie, this sequel gets things going with a very, very long pre-credits sequence and then we find out that we’ve progressed forward in time, five years after the last load of horny folk to stay at Camp Crystal Lake were killed off. The legend of Jason Voorhees has grown in that time but braincells certainly haven’t as more folk take themselves to the lake and start setting themselves up to be potential slasher movie fodder.
Directed by Steve Miner, and written by Ron Kurz, this sequel follows the rules set out by the first movie and starts to expand the mythos of Jason. He wanders around here with weapons in hand and a cloth sack on his head (the hockey mask wasn’t picked up until the next movie) while Harry Manfredini’s music accompanies his every move.
Unfortunately, without the mystery element of the first movie the attempts to draw out tension this time around simply leave the movie feeling dull and slow in places, building up to a decent finale that can’t really do enough to make up for the general inertia of the preceding sixty minutes.
The cast are all eminently forgettable but Kirsten Baker provides some pleasant gratuitous nudity, Amy Steel plays a good potential leading lady, Walt Gorney pops up once again as Crazy Ralph and there are enough little character touches to help you keep track of people, even if some of them are so annoying that you just want Jason to get to them ASAP (a factor that would become more and more common in slasher movies throughout the years because, let’s face it, who wants to watch a film featuring people they actually like being killed off?).
Steve Miner doesn’t do too badly as the director but he would go on to do much better later in his career when not hampered by such drab material. In fact, his direction of the next movie in the series would show an immediate rise in quality.
This sequel has many fans and the way in which it starts to sketch out Jason’s character, and the long shadow of his mother, is satisfying but in many other respects this is one of the weakest outings in the whole series.
DIRECTOR: STEVE MINER
STARS: AMY STEEL, JOHN FUREY, KIRSTEN BAKER, ADRIENNE KING, STUART CHARNO, BETSY PALMER
RUNTIME: 87 MINS APPROX