If the first film in this series was “respectable schlock” this one was just pure schlock, and the series itself was still in the midst of finding its niche.
Friday the 13th Part 2 is as straight of a by the numbers slasher flick as you could imagine. The introduction of the Jason Voorhees character (in unexplained grown up form) is the most historically relevant aspect of this movie, and of course, it is another direct rip-off from Halloween, perhaps even more direct this time out because adult Jason is, aside from a pillow sack instead of a spray painted Shatner mask, a perfect stand in for The Shape.
Steve Miner is no Sean Cunningham, but he did a good enough imitation behind the lense. The teenagers this time around are mostly forgettable, with the exception of the Ginny character (Amy Steele, the second heroine of the series after Adrienne King) that shows some signs of life—her other half, “Paul” pretty much fades into the background scenery though.
That said there are some well constructed scenes and great gory cinematography here (which unfortunately was heavily chopped by the MPAA), such as the campfire scene in which the Jason myth is first explained, a gruesome wheelchair kill on a flight of stairs that was strikingly shot, and the big finale where the main characters have their big showdown with the pillow sack (no goalie mask yet) sporting Jason and his dear old mommy’s decapitated head.
This movie is a direct copy of the first one, only with a different killer, and with less care and thought given to some cinematic subtleties. These teenage characters are not presented as naturally as in the first movie.
The women’s breasts and butts get more camera time than their face (not that anyone minded back then), and to quote Townes Van Zandt everyone is basically just waitin’ around to die.
Friday The 13th Part 2 gets a two out of five: DECENT.