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FRIDAY THE 13TH: VENGEANCE Fan Film (2019)

Directed by Jeremy W. Brown, Dustin Montierth
Written by T.C. De Witt, Mike Meade
Starring C.J. Graham, Steve Dash, Kelly Tappan, Tom McLoughlin, Levy Menn, Jenny Porter, Caleb Ryden, Bri Patin, Sanae Loutsis, Jon A. Ravenholt, Diana Prince, Dan Feldmeier, Landon Scruggs Harrar, Julia Valenti, Steve Daskawisz, Mike DeBock, Joy Curtis, Luke Schuck, Lindsey Ferrari, Ray Hopper, Veronica Ricci, Dani May Reid, Brandon Wilson, Calvin Morie McCarthy, Laura Ellen Wilson, Ian T. Segears, Greg Kleciak, Marcee Mickelle, Carl Covington, Joe Wilson, Christian Sullivan, Natalie Schnelle, Tabitha Bastien, Donald Schell, Bradley Olson, Chalet Lizette Brannan, Reagan Heller, La Toyia Williams, Ellen Smith, Peter Anthony, Nick Roberts, Tommy Lee Driver, Geevenson Shively, Cameron Lee Price, Dexter Morgenstern, Raymond Power, Asta Wylie, Rachael Christenson, Chris McNeil, Drew Tacher, Tyler Garris, Emily Aron, Brayden Daher, Ruby Graham, Lance Caver, TJ Bowser, Alina Chop, Cory Coffman, Nicolas Coleman, Ryan Czaplinski, David Darbin, Amy DiLorenzo, Carson Duda, Brian Hargrave, Morgen Johnson, Angel Martinez, Lowen Morrison, Aria Rey, Jason Reynolds, Russ Richards, Mandi Wickline, & Jason Brooks as Jason Voorhees!
Find out more about this film here

Like many F13 fans, I am chomping at the bit for Victor Miller and Sean Cunningham’s litigation for the rights to the franchise to come to a close. Thankfully, there are some fans who just won’t wait and have decided to make their own films. FRIDAY THE 13TH: VENGEANCE is such a film, set within the series as a sequel to one of my favorite entries into the franchise, FRIDAY THE 13TH: JASON LIVES. In my opinion, this is the point in the franchise that occurs right before the whole train went off the rails, so I was very interested in what co-directors Jeremy W. Brown and Dustin Montierth had to offer with VENGEANCE.

The renamed township of Forest Green still suffers from the curse of Camp Blood long after its killer Jason Voorhees was trapped in the lake that claimed his life all those years ago chained to a large boulder. But when a trenchcoated man arrives at the cemetery where Jason’s body has been buried, it is clear the curse is far from over. The man is Elias Voorhees (C.J. Graham) and he is on a quest to find his lost son, Jason. Meanwhile, competing camping groups are attempting to profit from the murders giving horror tours. And after arriving at her father’s home, Angelica Jarvis (Kelly Tappan) notes that her father Tommy Jarvis (the only man to kill Jason twice) is missing, which can only mean one thing…Jason is back!

This film hinges on the stinger ending to FRIDAY THE 13TH: JASON LIVES that was never made, but documented in many interviews and the novelization of the movie. This was a twist I would have loved to have seen played out and for years I wondered what would have happened. The filmmakers attempt to fill in those blank spaces between PARTS 6 & 7. If you’re looking for Jason killing a large amount of people with various killing tools (which is pretty much what the series boiled down to by the end of its run), this film delivers just that. The kill count is high and the means with which Jason does it is quite varied. Seen on a surface level, this film is up to the task.

Technically, though, there are a lot of problems with VENGEANCE. It is a low budgeter, but since the original F13 films weren’t Shakespeare, it doesn’t bother me that much. For a Fan Film, and there are a ton out there, it’s not a bad entry. Still, even the worst F13 had decent filmmaking behind it and when there are multiple issues of muffled to no sound and some rough edits, it does serve as a detriment to enjoying the film. Here’s hoping the filmmakers next film gets a better sound person to take care of these problems. There are also a few flubs in edits and framing, where some scenes could have been quite effective had it been shot from a more dynamic or suspenseful angle. Again, I attribute this to inexperience.

The other thing that proved to be a detriment to the film is the fact that the cast is enormous. This makes for a high kill count and surface level thrill, but it leaves character at the doorway. Many characters are introduced simply to be offed a minute later. It makes the kills less impactful and ultimately forgettable. Honestly, save for a few kills that are similar to other kills from other movies, I can’t remember hardly any of them. A smaller cast and a longer time to get to know the characters would have helped this film immensely. That said, the gore effects are pretty amazing for the budget.

While this film takes place after F13 PART 6, it utilizes elements from my least favorite entry into the franchise, PART 9: JASON GOES TO HELL. Specifically, the Necromonicon from the EVIL DEAD movies is used in a flashback. I’ll go on record that I hate mixing my franchises like this. Making Jason a Deadite dilutes the character and makes him one of many rather than the Godfather of Slaughter that he is. It is quizzical to me why the filmmakers chose to add this element into the entry. I know some folks love the connection between the franchises, but consider me not a fan.

The filmmakers attempt to fill in the gaps of who Elias Voorhees is and how Jason survived the drowning. I know these are questions many a fan has asked, but the answers in VENGEANCE didn’t blow me away. In the end, I am still foggy as to what Elias Voorhees’ motivation is. Former Jason C.J. Graham does a decent job with the role of Elias, giving him an ominous presence throughout. That’s not the only former Jason to appear in this film. VENGEANCE is also the final film of Steve Dash who played Jason in FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 2. Dash is one of the strongest of the actors in this film as a sheriff bound to keep a lid on this whole Jason business.

Still, the film is bound to fill that jones of wanting to see some Voorhees slaughter while their poppas work things out in court. I don’t want to be too harsh on VENGEANCE, it offers up a lot of surface level thrills, some groovy gore, some nudity, and a high body count. To many, that’s all the F13 series is. Personally, I feel FRIDAY THE 13TH could be a whole lot more than just that, so I felt the film to be a bit vacant. I know I may be in a minority, but the best FRIDAY THE 13TH film has yet to be made. VENGEANCE is a cohesive and entertaining film, which is more than I can say for a lot of the F13 Fan Films out there. For a fun WHAT IF? Style deviation from the series timeline, the VENGEANCE Fan Film will get you the basics you’d expect from a F13 film.

You can see the full film for yourself on YouTube here for FREE!