In their quest to pepper this horror sequel with self-reflexive humor, fright-flick in-jokes, and obscure references, the producers of Friday the 13th, Part VI: Jason Lives don't eliminate the tedium of a tired formula so much as distract their audience from the pointlessness of their enterprise. It's possible to make it all the way to the final reel of this retread without paying too much attention to the mechanics of plot or character. From the amusingly exaggerated titles sequence to the Alice Cooper theme song, this film celebrates the ubiquity and instant familiarity of its source material. The result is a deeply cynical exercise, but one that's far more enjoyable than the installments that bookend it. True, the once-interesting Tommy Jarvis -- now two actors past his best incarnation (as played by Corey Feldman) -- has become an interchangeable teen protagonist. But that's because the filmmakers wisely realize that any further attempts at psychological acuity would distract from the gleeful mayhem at hand. Later installments, particularly the leaden seventh and 11th entries, would attempt to wrest pathos and drama from the material. But Friday the 13th, Part VI: Jason Lives represents the first flowering of the parodic impulse that would power the superior ninth and tenth episodes in the franchise.