FRIDAY, THE 13TH, PART 2 -- At the Carrollton, Crofton Cinema, Hampton Mall Jerry Lewis Cinema, K-B Bethesda, K-B Cerberus, K-B Studio, Lincoln, NTI Arlington, NTI White Flint, Showcase Turnpike, Springfield Mall and 301 Drive-In.
A sort of apprentice's horror movie, "Friday the 13th, Part 2" runs briefly through the last two or three years' worth of successful screen-screams, in addition to those of it own predecessor. Experienced followers of The Cinema, Division of Mutilated Bodies should have no trouble identifying which films originated each of the segments presented here for delight and disgust.
So much for the thrill of suspense.
It would be ironic that the chief such treat is copied from "The Elephant Man," a story intended to erase the horror from physical disfigurement and to expose the beauty of the soul beneath -- except that the film version of "The Elephant Man" itself utilitzes horror-film techniques, such as tingly music shadowy corridors and sickened spectators (On the stage, the opposite approach was taken, with the Elephant Man played by normally formed man who only enacted the disfigurement, unaided by trick makeup.)
Yet given the general acceptance of the horror film, this one has a curious, perhaps stunted, innocence. There is little sense of viciousness or sadism -- just icky messiness. Even the cutting of throats hardly seem more perverse than the Escoffier cookbook directions for making turtle stock, first bleeding the tortoise.
The true interest may be in the state of the technology -- the use of plastics to feed an appetite that is not for human destruction so much as for special movie effects, the work as an eighth-grade teacher put it, of former "boys who spent a lot of time alone in the rooms." The complicated monsters they design may not anyone with loathing an horror, but if they can produce an "Eeeev gross!" in a viewer, they are counted as successful.
The inexperience required to summon amazement for this pastiche advances several decades for the vulgar naivete of the scenes between blood lettings. Only a dirty old cameraman could supply quite those sniggering views of teen-age girls at bikini panty level; and the belief that adolescent mate like rabbits, with neither preliminaries nor embarrassment, is held by the middle-aged.