I don’t consider myself a prude and I don’t feel easily offended. Still, as I get older, I find myself getting that “too soon” vibe more often after a flippant remark is made about recent tragedies. So, how long do you have to wait before some terrible event is fair game for a little levity? Of course there’s going to some subjectivity and you also have to consider the era. For better or worse, we’re a little more PC sensitive now than we were in the 80s.
I bring this up because of a curious remark that the main protagonists’ mother makes in Friday the 13th The Final Chapter. She mentions to her young son that he left the front door to their cabin open again. He reminds her that their in the country. She counters this logic by asking what would happen if a psycho wanders in.
This is where I have to interrupt. I can see how joking about someone slaughtering your whole family would be funny under normal circumstances, but this time there actually is a psycho slaughtering people. Even if they are inclined to believe that Jason is in fact dead, the events of parts two and three happened in the last few days. Call me a prude if you want to, but I’m not sure that this can be funny yet. I refuse to believe that news travels so slowly in Crystal Lake that it hasn’t gotten around to the Jarvis family that 20+ people that had been murdered in their neighborhood. It’s just one of those things that gets noticed.
Now the sister gets involved and suggests that the preteen boy would probably challenge the psycho to a game of Zaxxon. I’m guessing the sister’s age is at least supposed to be 17, so, in addition to the bloodbath from earlier that week, she should have been old enough to remember the massacre that occurred on the same lake 5 years before. Are they so desensitized to grizzly violence that they start joking about it immediately after it happens? Maybe writer Barney Cohen brought more of a critical subtext to Crystal Lake than he’s given credit for. Maybe he’s just holding a mirror up to society and society doesn’t like its reflection.
Or, maybe local murders are just really funny and the humor has been going right over my head all these years. This is probably the case. I should start working on material now. I’m not usually feeling all that funny after a tragedy, but I’m determined to nail this.