‘Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI’ Cast and Crew Reunite for 35th Anniversary [Video]

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When writer-director Tom McLoughlin grabbed the wheel of the Friday the 13th franchise, he took it in a completely new direction. Five sequels in — and particularly following the polarizing reception to 1985’s Friday the 13th: A New Beginning — he knew the slasher series needed a fresh take. Something that could recalibrate the Jason Voorhees legend. What came to fruition was 1986’s Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI.

From the get-go, the film makes it clear this isn’t your run-of-the-mill sequel. It’s self-aware of itself. It’s funny. It’s meta before meta became a crutch for comedy. From the 007-inspired opening to the tongue-in-cheek references to horror movie lore, McLoughlin completely flipped the script, proving you could still make a scary movie, while also poking fun at yourself in the process. Wes Craven took that lesson to the box office a decade later.

Today marks the 35th anniversary of the game-changing sequel, and to celebrate, the Halloweenies reunited the cast and crew for a roundtable chat over Zoom. Specifically, writer-director Tom McLoughlin, Thom Mathews (“Tommy Jarvis”), CJ Graham (“Jason Voorhees”), Vincent Guastaferro (“Deputy Rick Cologne”), Cynthia Kania (“Annette Edwards”), Tom Fridley (“Carter ‘Cort’ Andrews”), Nancy McLoughlin (“Lizbeth Mott”), Whitney Rydbeck (“Roy”), Tom Nowell (“Tyen”), and a hilarious surprise guest.

For over an hour and some change, Halloweenies host Justin Gerber takes them all back to Forest Green — ahem, Crystal Lake — for one hell of a homecoming. Together, they share stories from the set, discuss the legacy of the underdog sequel, wax nostalgic over the iconic wardrobes (i.e. the great Jarvis jean jacket), and meditate on the future of the franchise.

Watch the full discussion below or stream the audio above at your leisure shortly after — your choice. It should be noted, however, that this was conversation was originally recorded for last year’s Salem Horror Fest. So, keep that context in mind when they discuss anything topical — and, well, joke around that it’s the 34th anniversary. Hey, we got to 35 eventually.

New to the Halloweenies? Catch up with the gang by revisiting their essential episodes on past franchises such as Halloween, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and Friday the 13th via iTunes/Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, RadioPublic, Acast, Google Podcasts, and RSS. You can also become a member of their Patreon for hilarious commentaries and one-off episodes.

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