review for Friday the 13th, Part 2 on AllMovie

Friday the 13th, Part 2 (1981)
by Brian J. Dillard review

Although it borrows a page or three from Psycho in attempting to provide believable motivation for its misshapen antihero, this so-so horror sequel is notable mostly for the novelty of its money shots: a hunk in a wheelchair flying backwards down rickety steps with a carving knife embedded in his face; Crazy Ralph (Walter Gorney), the old coot from the first film, learning too late the truth of his own doomsday prophecies; and the obligatory post-coital killing, this time a two-for-one impalement with a rather savage-looking spear. First-time feature director Steve Miner -- who would go on to direct the next installment as well as such varied fare as Forever Young, Lake Placid, and Halloween: H20 -- here seems hampered by inexperience, low production values, and MPAA cuts. Ron Kurz's script is interesting for its deft recasting of the original film's concept into a mythology capable of spawning a franchise. The collegiate leads, however, seem interchangeable despite an admirable attempt at diversity; Miner's subsequent addition to the series would feature far more interesting characters in far less politically correct combinations.