Unmasked part 25 (1989)

I wonder, quite often, why hasn’t there been a new Friday the 13th for nearly 9 years? Then I watched every single one of the films, back to back to back (and back) and I can tell you that they’re endless repetitive movies that ended up relying on gimmicks to get by. Is there a new idea that can make them fresh (yes, there is Hollywood, comment right here to get my ideas)? Has anyone even asked Jason Vorhees if he even wants to come back?

Unmasked part 25 is all about Jackson, a serial killing maniac with a hockey mask who is tired of killing. He can’t even remember why he started killing, other than a horrible childhood that he feels absolves himself of all guilt. Nothing makes sense until he meets Shelly, a blind girl who makes him see that there can be more to life than ripping out peoples’ hearts.

The world knows so much about Jackson’s life that his murders have been filmed in a series of films called Unmasked (or Hand of Death, if you’re watching the film’s other title. This makes no sense when we get to the marquee at the end, but I doubt they had the budget to film that scene twice.). His father was a killer too, one who could have been the world’s greatest if only he had the heart to kill his wife and son. Instead, they moved to America, where Jackson was believed dead after drowning at a summer camp (if you didn’t get the reference, this is so not the film for you). Now, he lives with his drunkard of a father who constantly laments the days when he was a killing machine and how bad of a son he has.

Shelly offers an escape — as a blind woman, she can’t see his scarred face. She even understands his need to wear a mask at all times. In fact, she blindly — pardon the pun — understands everything that Jackson throws at her.

Unmasked part 25 is a wildly uneven film to say the least and perhaps that’s part of its charm. At times, like when Shelly is trying to introduce Jackson (clad in red boxers with “bad boy” written on the ass) to BDSM, it’s played like a broad comedy. At other times, such as when he reads her Byron or talks about how everyone wearing a mask at Halloween angers him, it reaches a grimy paw at the heartstrings. And there are also moments — like when Jackson literally tears a man’s face off (played by Christian Brando, whose ill-fated life could have been a horror movie) — it’s a straight-up slasher movie with more than decent special effects.

Once Jackson learns that Shelly is pregnant with his child and that the more time he spends around normal people, the more he wants to kill. As the film spirals to its downbeat ending, the masked killer learns that he can never walk away from his fate, not when there’s an Unmasked part 26 on the marquee.

Unmasked part 25 has some moments that made me cringe — the BDSM scene is played for laughs and Jackson can’t understand why his partner would enjoy sex and roughness together, yet he can only be aroused after killing. It’s an oversimplification of a much more complicated mindset, but then again, you don’t watch gore movies for subtext, right? But it’s also way better than you’d expect, attempting to tie the murders of a masked maniac to the real world. It’s also never been released on DVD, so if you want it, you’re going to have to search iOffer or eBay.

UPDATE: If any label was goign to get this on blu ray, it was going to be Vinegar Syndrome. Run to your internet device and order this NOW!

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