Crispin Glover gives a standout performance as Jimmy in Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter. It’s at least as great as his job in Back To The Future, and has as much intensity as when he nearly kicked David Letterman in the face on national television.
A little background:
When we first meet Jimmy, he is in the back of some car, constantly belittled by his supposed buddy, Ted (AKA “Teddy Bear”). At issue is Jimmy’s supposed terrible luck with the ladies — particularly one affectionately nicknamed (by Ted) “BJ” Betty.
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Jimmy laments, “I treated her right! I treated her right, that’s what’s driving me so crazy. I mean first she would tell me to call because she had something else she needed to do. Then she wouldn’t even take my calls!…”
Ted tells Jimmy he’ll “put this into the ol’ computer,” which is imaginary. After pretending to type in some words, Jimmy is told the computer says he’s a “dead f*ck,” or a lousy lay. Jimmy seems depressed by this revelation, and spends a good chunk of Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter dejected and embarrassed.
During the night, Jimmy gets his groove back, and seduces a female companion with his free form dancing. Surely it’s one of the most incredible mating dances ever captured on film, and reminds us of the vitality of life — even in the face of unknown, lurking death.
After successfully getting with Tina, Jimmy is even told that he was great, which totally defies Ted’s incessant humiliation. When he goes downstairs to retrieve celebratory wine, Jimmy stops to show Ted that he has Tina’s underwear, and urges him to run it through his computer. A proud moment indeed. So great is it that even Ted, who is surely the jealous type, seems proud of Jimmy, and is forced to relent in his criticism.
Poor Jimmy never saw it coming. (Photo: Paramount)
However, all good things must come to an end. As Jimmy asks Ted where the hell a fancy corkscrew is (for the wine), a silently waiting, enraged Jason Voorhees quickly answers his query. The corkscrew is jammed into Jimmy’s hand with great force. Before Jimmy can even scream, Jason finishes him off with a meat cleaver, right into his stunned face.
It is a sad end to be sure, but Jason doesn’t live to make horny young adults happy. He exists to remove them from existence, to avenge the deaths of himself and his mother. Quite simply, there was no way for Jason to see into Jimmy’s world, to understand his renewed sense of triumph. For the most part, Jason just goes around killing people. Similarly, it’s unlikely that Jimmy would have understood Jason. Some things are beyond understanding, as our corpses slump to the ground and the maniacs of the world press on with their goals beyond us.
Jimmy’s life may have been short and bittersweet, but the sweetness overcame the bitterness for at least a moment toward the end. He died while celebrating existence and primal experience, and gave to some a renewed appreciation for uniqueness. If I may speak to him now: You succeeded, Jimmy, and you danced your way into our hearts for the briefest moment. RIP, and run that through your computer.