Tag Archives: Craig Thomas

Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988, John Carl Buechler)

Let’s take Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood at face value and not assume it’s a soulless corporate production with no ambition other than to separate the 18–24 year old demographic from some cash on Friday night of pay day.

With that consideration in mind, the film is about this evil psychiatrist (Terry Kiser) who brings this girl with telekinetic powers (Lar Park-Lincoln) out to the woods in order to develop her powers. Why isn’t important. In the woods, Park-Lincoln releases this monster who apparently thinks he’s in charge of maintaining the forest and the way to get plants to grow is with human sacrifice and decorating trees and other plants with the corpses.

Kind of gross, but far more interesting than the utter laziness of New Blood. Park-Lincoln’s terrible; director Buechler seems entirely unfamiliar with Kiser as an actor and wastes him as a non-comedic weasel. The only performances of note are Kevin Spirtas as the male lead (just because he’s not atrocious) and maybe Kane Hodder as Jason, only because he’s got so much to do physically. Just not as a character.

Buechler’s approach to New Blood is to turn the monster into the audience’s entry into the film. Not for empathetic reasons, of course–Buechler uses it to give the audience wish fulfillment with the graphic murders. It’d be disturbing if it weren’t all so ineptly done.

Atrocious production design from Richard Lawrence makes every scene somewhat unpleasant.

Lousy stuff.



Directed by John Carl Buechler; written by Daryl Haney and Manuel Fidello; director of photography, Paul Elliot; edited by Maureen O’Connell, Martin Jay Sadoff and Barry Zetlin; music by Harry Manfredini and Fred Mollin; production designer, Richard Lawrence; produced by Iain Paterson; released by Paramount Pictures.

Starring Lar Park-Lincoln (Tina Shepard), Kevin Spirtas (Nick), Susan Blu (Mrs. Amanda Shepard), Terry Kiser (Dr. Crews), Susan Jennifer Sullivan (Melissa), Elizabeth Kaitan (Robin), Jon Renfield (David), Jeff Bennett (Eddie), Heidi Kozak (Sandra), Diana Barrows (Maddy), Larry Cox (Russell), Craig Thomas (Ben) and Kane Hodder (Jason Voorhee).


Firefox (1982, Clint Eastwood)

Firefox has three distinct phases. First, there's retired Air Force pilot Clint Eastwood getting recruited into an espionage mission. This part of the film barely takes any time at all–there's three missing months–Eastwood, as the director, does not like montage sequences. Even the opening exposition setting up the movie is cut together quickly; Ron Spang and Ferris Webster's editing is fantastic throughout. The opening sequence just introduces them as an essential component to the film.

The second phase is the espionage phase. Eastwood heads to Russia, where he meets up with dissident Warren Clarke who's going to help him. This part of the film is the most impressive. It's constant action as Eastwood is on the run from the KGB; the script's a little strange–it never lets Eastwood be in control during this section. He's always a few steps behind. Clarke's great.

The final phase is the extended fighter jet sequence. Most of the film before this sequence–except the opening–is either inside or takes place at night. The flight sequences are effects galore and Bruce Surtees shows off how startling he can make some of the shots. It's not a particularly exciting sequence; it takes over thirty minutes. It's practically its own movie, only it eventually forgets about Klaus Löwitsch as the general tasked with tracking Eastwood down while Stefan Schnabel's bureaucrat harasses him.

It's a missed opportunity, narratively speaking, but some glorious filmmaking.

Actually, that description sums up Firefox overall. The espionage stuff is strong, but the flying's gorgeous.



Produced and directed by Clint Eastwood; screenplay by Alex Lasker and Wendell Wellman, based on the novel by Craig Thomas; director of photography, Bruce Surtees; edited by Ron Spang and Ferris Webster; music by Maurice Jarre; released by Warner Bros.

Starring Clint Eastwood (Mitchell Gant), Freddie Jones (Kenneth Aubrey), David Huffman (Captain Buckholz), Warren Clarke (Pavel Upenskoy), Ronald Lacey (Semelovsky), Kenneth Colley (Colonel Kontarsky), Klaus Löwitsch (General Vladimirov), Nigel Hawthorne (Pyotr Baranovich) and Stefan Schnabel (First Secretary).