- Director: Shane Drury, Matthew Drury
- Written by: Shane Drury, Steve Weighill
- Running Time: 51 minutes
- Language: English
- MPAA Rating: UNRATED
- Cast: Shane Drury, Matthew Drury, Steve Weighill, Guy Stroker
Shane Drury is a young filmmaker from the United Kingdom who has produced a half dozen or so films since 2005, under his Elite Films label. The movies range from shorts pieces like “Toolbox Terror” to fan films like “Halloween: The Birth of Michael Myers” and “Jason Nemesis” to at least one feature length film, the obscure and much sought after “Movie Maniacs”.
Having acquired my copy of his “Jason Nemesis” back in 07 through FanFilms.net, I was disheartened to learn that Drury had taken down his website and subsequently removed his films from the net. Happily, in 2008 Drury returned with a creative vengeance, developing an awesome new-look website that carried detailed background information on his films, including how and where to see them. Sadly, he decided to embargo his only feature, “Movie Maniacs”, suggesting that the quality wasn’t up to the standard that he’s currently shooting for. C’mon Shane, all filmmakers have a rough go their first time out of the gate, Kubrick and Tarantino, to name two, and people clamour to see their work. I’m hoping that, over time, he’ll re-consider and let his fans see for themselves, the filmic evolution of this wannabe filmmaker. Not to beat a dead horse here but I know that “Movie Maniacs” is a film that us here at CrankedonCinema.com are dying to see. Anyways, on to review at hand, that of “Jason Nemesis”, a Shane Drury-produced “Friday the 13th” fan film that unabashedly pushes the running time into the rare near-feature length terrain, while offering up plenty of what Friday fans crave – Jason “fucking” Voorhees.
Yessir, if this film has anything its lots and lots of minutes of our machete wielding man-tank running around the deep dark woods in his trademark hockey mask, killing people in all sorts of horrific ways. The story is simplistic to the point of nonexistent, and works as a simple stage set for a bunch of goofy and sometimes ridiculous murder set pieces. I know the folks at the Scabboy Horror Blogspot (an awesome frickin’ site) weren’t all that happy with the finished product, but, alas, as I usually do, I thought the film was both fun and an interesting educational testament to passionate filmmaking at its most inept.
When the teenage sister of a man goes missing weeks earlier in the woods of Camp Crystal Lake (shades of “Friday the 13th 4”), he and his police officer friends, including one particular badass S.W.A.T. member, devise a scheme to actually go and find her. Apparently, the man, Billy Ventura (Steve Weighill), is in a desperate state and chooses to not wait for his friends, electing instead to head out to the Crystal Lake forest a couple of days early. Upon arriving, Billy suspects that his sister has become yet another victim of Jason Voorhees and subsequently turns his attention away from rescuing her, to avenging her. He suddenly begins a strange, half-drunken trek to find the big guy. He doesn’t get very far. With all the exertion one might put into squishing a bug, Jason (also played Steve Weighill) nary breaks a sweat dispatching this loudmouth drunkard in about 2.2 seconds. Shoot forward a day (or at least I think it’s a day), Billy’s two off-duty cop pals arrive on the scene, including the fully-geared, pistol packing S.W.A.T. officer, Bruce Marshall (Shane Drury) and his mean-looking pal Max Willis (Matthew Drury). Simon Batholomew (Guy Stroker), a teenage forest guide, agrees (for money) to take the pair into the woods, but only so far. “The place is cursed,” he tells them. As if hoping to make it easier for Jason, our trio of half-wits eventually opt to split up and head off into the forest in separate directions. Yeah, always a smart move. Needless to say, Jason picks them off one by one in ways that we’ve seen before (and done better) in other entries in the series. Guy Stroker receives a branch through his back, allowing for the film’s most penetrating kill, even if the set-up is beyond lacking. Shane Drury, the film’s director, producer, writer, editor and lead actor, affords himself a blustery slab of screentime, most notably in his full-tier mano-o-mano tiff with a pissed off Jason at film’s end.
Technically, the film isn’t very good. The editing is particularly bad, as sequences are edited in such a way that they appear diced and jumpy, the same way some cheap films in the 1930s looked jumpy. Those films had an excuse though, as they were shot on film and were edited on clunky old cutters. Strangely, this affliction doesn’t apply here, and yet it exists. “Jason Nemesis” was shot on video (cheap video from the looks of things) and was edited on a computer, so why the heck does it look like it was carved out on an old film editing machine? Who knows? The acting is quite ghastly throughout, as well. Steve Weighill, Guy Stroker and Matthew Drury (Shane’s brother) are non-actors and they fill the screen the way a smushed bug fills your line of vision on your car windshield. They have zero personality, stick out for the wrong reasons and can barely recite their dialogue without messing up -- and they have quite a bit of dialogue for a fan film. Shane Drury, the creative force behind the film, on the other hand, is deadly serious in his approach. He’s quite good as a S.W.A.T. cop, but it only stands to reason since this is his cinematic baby.
A few good things I have to say about “Jason Nemesis” include Harry Manfredini’s score, which abounds throughout. A good bulk of the film’s near feature length runtime features Manfredini’s Fair-Use music blasting in the background. It makes some of the long meandering scenes somewhat watchable. Also, as I said, the film is so technically unsound that it can almost certainly be utilized as a 'what-not-to-do' guide for burgeoning filmmakers interested in making their own fan film. Oh, and there's Jason -- lots of him. What else can you really ask for in a Jason film?
Not the greatest fan flick, but not the worst either. Check it out.
Other Friday the 13th fan films available online include;
"Cold Heart of Crystal Lake"
"Horror In Briones"
"Halloween At Crystal Lake"
"Winter at Crystal Lake"
"Leatherface vs Jason"
"Friday the 31st"
"Crystal Lake Resurrection"
"Jason: Return to Camp Blood"
"The Return of Jason"
"Friday the 13th again!"
"Friday the 13th: Legends"
"Freddy vs Jason 2"
Representing at over five hours of Jason Voorhees, how could any "Friday the 13th" movie marathon not be complete without these fan films?