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Friday the 13th Celebration, Part 2 (or Parts 5 through 11, technically)
Well, it's that time again. Friday the 13th is, as a few of you already know, one of my favorite holidays. Hell, I wish there were more cool holidays that always happened just before the weekend began. Even though this Friday the 13th falls in October, the spookiest month of months, Halloween, the actual day of horror and too much candy, falls on a freaking Tuesday. It breaks the heart somehow. But I digress. What you're about to dive into is a brief look at all the Friday the 13th films I didn't talk about last time the magic day materialized on my calendar. So, in the spirit fairness to the new folks that might be stumbling upon this article, click HERE to start with the very first Friday the 13th film. By the end of that article, you'll be ready for the crap that's lurking below. Oh and let me repeat my disclaimer:
Warning: This article contains pictures of goofy special effects that, if in a movie, require it to be rated R. They're mostly goofy-looking taken out of context, but if you're not comfortable with latex violence you might not want to continue.
That out of the way, let's submerge ourselves deeply into the 2nd film in the Friday the 13th series to not feature Jason Voorhees.
Friday the 13th Part 5 (1985)
Man, can any character really stay dead if there's money to be made in yet another sequel? Part Four was sold as the "Final Friday," where Jason Voorhees dies something horrible. Now, we all know better, but at least they tried to respect that with the next flick. This is a lot better than the original Frankenstein. We all remember him burning to death in the windmill, right? Well, that didn't stop Universal from making a slew of sequels and spin-offs. This is sort of like that, as something popular never really dies. Sure, they'll say it's dead, but in a couple of years (or months) he'll be back good as new, just like that time Superman died. That's a whole other issue, so let's get back to the not-Jason.
I mean, it sure looks like Jason, doesn't it? This film's premise is that anyone can put on a hockey mask and start hacking people to bits. That's not much of a premise, but it's more than a lot of horror films out there.
Despite being known for not featuring Jason, this film actually picks up about ten years after the Part 4. Tommy, now a grown up version of Corey Feldman and played by John Sheperd, has been pretty screwed up since he killed the drooling retard Jason in the previous film. He's this brooding psycho for most of the film that's pretty much a red herring. He's having these creepy hallucinations feature the evil goalie that sort of make you want to think he's going to start slashing folks left and right any second. You see, this film is sort of an attempt at a "mystery" in the Friday the 13th series. Unlike most of the films, where you either already know or have no way of figuring out who's killing everyone, this one tries to make figure it out. You've got multiple violent psychos, people with criminal records, scary lone drifters...lots of people COULD be the killer. All we know is that it's not Jason and to a hardcore Friday the 13th fan, that's enough. I'll quit talking about who's not in the film and get to the weirdness that IS in the film. While this isn't my favorite of the series, this one has my favorite "boring plot stuff". Because the "normal" stuff is completely insane. Check this out:
At the beginning of the film, Tommy is being sent to a extremely progressive psychiatric treatment clinic. There's no locks on the doors and all the patients (who are all young sexy teens with a few exceptions) are free to do what they want. They even have alternative medicine....if you consider giving giving an ax to an angry mental patient some long-lost branch of homeopathic medicine.
Yep. They have "psycho with an ax" therapy. This is really the obvious mistake of the institution and why modern alienists are only given Nerf weaponry now.
Meet Tubby. Tubby's the annoying fat character. You know, the one you really want to see die?
Always the crowd pleaser, Tubby does exactly what you want. "Go play with the maniac with the ax, fatty!" And so he does.
...with predictable results.
This murder ends up getting the film started. People start dying left and right until finally it's time for the hockey mask to come off. Instead of me walking through the plot (which really isn't there, to be honest), let me just walk you through the lesson's I've learned by watching Part Five.
Lesson 1: Do not let your children play with mental patients.
This is Reggie. Reggie's the housekeeper's son. He apparently lives with all the psychos. By the end of the film, he's going to find almost everyone dead and pretty much be traumatized for life. Dear Lord, as if just running around a free-range asylum wasn't dangerous enough, Reggie likes to jump out and scare/torment the other patients. Man, I hate the whole "don't kill children" rule of modern films. If anyone deserved to die, it would be Reggie. Mostly because he's annoying and partially because it'd teach someone a lesson in bad parenting. Super Nanny, my ass. Send a man into a naughty child's home with a machete and trust me: People WILL start behaving.
Lesson 2: Poop Kills (as do enchiladas that make you poop).
Now, last time I talked about these movies I pointed out that going to the bathroom is just as deadly as having sex in a horror film. If you have to go pee or "do your business", you will be stabbed something fierce. Usually this is kind of subtle. This is NOT the case with Part Five.
This is the orgasmic face of a man emptying his bowels of enchiladas. :shudder: Thank you, movie, for the extreme close-up. Seeing him shudder in pleasant release was everything I thought it could be. Bastards. And true to form:
He gets stabbed. Something fierce. On the toilet. Curse you enchiladas, curse you all.
Lesson 3: Always check your bed before crawling into it.
"Hello Breasts. I'm so glad we're alone so that I can get a good look at you before going to bed. Me taking off my clothes isn't gratuitous at all. It's not like there's anyone watching, and this was only thrown in to spice up the film a bit. I mean, those other two kids had sex and her boobs were flopping all over the place. It's not like they'd make Friday the 13th: Tits Galore, right? I'm glade we had this little chat, breasts. Let's get to bed."
"Huh. I'm sure glad I got into bed without looking at it. I'm sure my tiny bunk bed is too small for anything gruesome to behidden. And hey! I'm topless. That means I'm extra safe. Wait, what's that 150 pound lump next to me."
"Oh, Will, you'll do anything to get in bed with me, won't you?"
So girl finds the dead body of the boy she cockteased and then she dies. That might not be that interesting, but it does make me want to bring up a personal story as to why I examine my bed every time I go to sleep. When I was growing up we had this cat named Charlie. Charlie worshipped me in this weird cat way that pretty much meant he'd catch birds, squirrels, and frogs and bring them to me. If he couldn't find me, he'd crawl under my bed sheets and leave it there. You have no idea how horrible it is to be lying in bed only to start discovering animal carcasses. Sort of explains a lot about how I turned out, really. But I digress.
Lesson 4: Not everyone in the 1980's dressed like a total dork, or, "Yes, there were Goths."
The problem with being a little too young to really have enjoyed the 1980's beyond Transformers and He-man figures (alright fine, Jem & the Holograms and She-ra figures...you can go to hell), I don't remember a lot of it. So while a lot of goth-type people want to to tell me how dark and moody the 80's were for some people, I can only rely on movies and music from the period. As far as I can tell, Goth apparently started sometime in the early 90's, since until then everyone in movies had big poofy hair and dressed like a character from The Facts of Life or some other such bit of dated sitcomorama. Obviously this isn't true, as Part Five features what could only be referred to as a proto-Goth of the Pre-Reznorian era. So what's my point? My point is that Holy crap, there's actually a cool character in a Friday the 13th film? The hell?
Where have you been all my life? We even dance the same way to the very same melancholy...wait. What are you dancing to? Dear Lord, you're dancing to Pseudo Echo, the people who brought us "Can you take me to Funky Town?" At least the song's about knives and being murdered. So, um, you want to smoke black cigarettes and write in each other's Live Journal's later? Maybe put each other in our "Top 8" on myspace? <3 <3 <3
Oh, I see how it is. You're dating someone.
Tiffany's boyfriend ends up being Not-Jason, and boy does he like it rough. Of course, all the slashers do, don't they? This ends up being their undoing, as they'll eventually find someone who actually has the will to fight back.
Lesson 5: Never leave the keys to the Bulldozer in the ignition, or, You can't see anything while wearing that mask.
Our heroine is on the ground. Not-Jason stands over her, ready to finish the kill. And suddenly there's a noise. It's Reggie, to the rescue....in a bulldozer.
Jason's reaction is pretty classic too. He pretty much just stands there like he can't see what the hell is running up to him and raises his blade as if to slay the bulldozer dragon. It's almost mythic.
The deaths in this one aren't particularly inspired, though we do get to see a guy killed by bondage and another raped in the mouth with a signal flare (both pictured above). We're still a couple pictures away from creative death smorgasbord, but let's tally up Part Five's score.
Deaths: 2 Dream Stabbings by the "actual" Jason, 1 ax blade to the fatty, 1 ax to the brainpan, 1 ax to the stomach, 1 flare to the throat, 1 death by S&M, 1 stabbed in the head with hedge clippers, 1 "on the toilet" penetration, 1 decapitation, 2 throats cut, 2 hillbilly slayings, 1 stabbed paramedic, 1 spike to the head, 2 simple slashings, 1 hot goth choked and poked, and 1 grandfather's corpse thrown through window. Total: 20. Grand Total: 68. I think.
Remember, these numbers don't matter much as everybody counts certain things while NOT counting others. I don't accept dream murders, for example. In other words: Don't judge my numbers, Jason-Fanatics. That out of the way, let's take a look at Jason 5.0, behind the mask:
You're no Voorhees, but I've said that many, many times by now. The murderer ends up being "Roy the paramedic", also known as "Roy who was the father of the fatty killed with the ax at the very beginning of the film who also went crazy and decided to kill everyone." The only other goofy thing is how Roy actually bought latex to wrap around his head so that he would actually look like Jason Voorhees instead of, you know, just a guy in a hockey mask. It's that attention to detail that you don't see in most copycat killers. By the way, there's also a Jason 5.1 in this film, though it's more part of the surprise ending. Remember Tommy, the crazy guy from the last movie? At the film's conclusion he wakes up in the hospital. Tommy's feeling extra crazy. As such...
...he decides to dress up like Jason and murder his girlfriend. The end. While I personally think this is just a weird hallucination like all those times Tommy saw Jason, Tommy pretty much is, by the film's conclusion, set up to be the next Jason. The film studio would have a better idea. A wonderful idea. An idea that introduces us to the Jason Voorhees as we think of him today. The creature of unstoppable doom and that spooky cha-cha-cha-cha sound effect. Jason's coming back from the grave. This is what we've been waiting for.
Friday the 13th Part 6 (1986)
So here we are. The first "real" Jason movie. This is the film where Jason Voorhees is officially and undeniably a zombie monster that you just can't kill. Not everyone appreciates the later Jason films, but you've got to remember that until Part 6, Jason was just a drooling retard with a knife who lived in the woods. Jason's also the thing they won't stop making money off of, so zombie Voorhees is definitely going to be sticking around for a while. When they made this movie, they decided to shift things into a slightly faster gear. Even though the deaths are rather mundane, there's a style to this one that we haven't seen in the old ones. We've go Alice Cooper doing a lot of the music, and other gimmick-type stuff is all over the place. Take the film's opening for example. Remember how all those James Bond movies start with James walking out of the darkness and then shooting the camera? In Part Six they do the same thing...only with Jason and a shade brighter blood.
Jason Voorhees IS James Bond. Well, maybe not. But the whole 007 opening amuses me something fierce. So what's the story with this one? As you might recall, Jason met a horrible death at the hands of Corey Feldman in Part Four. Tommy (grown up Corey Feldman, remember) apparently has spent the time since the last sequel in a mental institution. He's finally free and needs to dig up Jason's body to make sure he's really dead. This ends up being the exact reason he's NOT dead anymore....Tommy goes apeshit on the corpse (which was kindly buried with a hockey mask) sticking a big iron rod through it. It never fails that these kinds of things go down on a dark and stormy night so you shouldn't be surprised when Mr. Voorhees is brought back to life all Frankenstein-style. And oh, man. Is he ever back.
Zombie Jason forever folks. There's no going back. I'll talk more about Jason 6.0 later but for now let's dance through some highlights.
Holy crap! The movie takes place at a summer camp and there's actual children there? What is going on? This is indeed one of the first Jason movies at Camp Crystal Lake that actually has campers, not just horny camp counselors. In the end though, the kids all survive as 1986 didn't strike anyone as the best time to introduce child-slaying into mainstream entertainment.
This may be the dumbest sign in the world. Instead of telling me the speed limit, it's actually trying to open a dialogue with me. Please tell me this isn't a real sign.
Since close-up shots of breasts and lovely lady lumps is all part of the Friday the 13th tradition, I really should not have been surprised to see the INSANE SUPER-WIDE ZOOM-IN SHOT of the heroine's vacuum-sealed in denim crotch. Man, is that ever classy. Gah.
Let's talk about deaths. Almost three years ago I also slightly reviewed this film and had something to say on the topic:
"I was sad to notice that there were absolutely no "interesting" deaths in this film. Its a bit...repetitive. It makes me wonder about the script writer talking to a producer:
Producer: So it says here Jason has the girl trapped in the elevator. Then...
Writer: Jason stabs her.
Producer: Ok...So what happens to the guy tied to the tractor?
Writer: Jason stabs him.
Producer: And the smart girl that's hiding in the garbage compactor?
Writer: Jason stabs her.
I might have typed that a while back, but I'll stand by it until the very end. Jason may truly be a zombie, but the deaths in this one aren't as insane as before. There's no "spear to the crotch" or "death by lack of wheelchair accessible ramp". Instead, it's a lot of stabbin' and slashin'. There is one exception, though it's more of a screwed up commercial than anything else. Jason corners a poor woman who obviously hasn't heard of Mr. Voorhees before. She tries to bribe him, offering him cash and credit cards. As she dies, her hand drops and we're blessed with a rather special image.
Jason Voorhees might kill teenagers indiscriminately but he doesn't take American Express. Best commercial ever.
Alright, stop the presses. I'm about to do the Death total for this bad boy and I really wanted to share something I found while hunting about. Below you'll find a watercolor painting by Andrew Robbins, who was kind enough to give me permission to post it here for the article you're reading right now. You can find his site by clicking the image and I encourage you to do so. Besides having a lot of stuff I know you'll like, he's also got all the deaths from Parts 1 through 5 painted too. It's good stuff and I'm happy to share his Friday the 13th stuff with you. Check out all the Deaths from Part 6:
Deaths: 1 fist through chest, 2 deaths by pole stabbing, 1 smashed against a tree, 3 decapitations in one stroke, 2 stabbings in one stroke, 1 knife to the head, 1 head twisted off, 1 hacking to bits, 1 stabbing by broken bottle, 1 death by bathroom wall (smashed against) 1 screwdriver/dart to the brain, 1 head smashed with the bare hands, 1 generic slashing, and 1 sheriff broken in half. In other words, lots of smashing and stabbing. Total: 18. Grand Total: 86
Ah. Jason 6.0...we couldn't call you anything except a zombie that's been hitting the gym too much. I like the look...mostly because it's somehow more interesting than that lumpy-headed tard you used to be when you were alive.
This is also the first movie where Jason's undoing is specifically linked to a watery grave. Apparently, the only way to make him rest is to chain him to a big rock and throw him into the middle of Crystal Lake. I don't think there's really too much mysticism to this, as even my killing spree would come to an end if you did this to me (which is why I don't slay anywhere near a large body of water). Keep in mind that Jason's not afraid of water or anything...it just seems his unliving metabolism treats being dumped in H2O as super-Nyquil or something. I don't know either.
So, are you ready for my favorite of all the Friday the 13th movies? Originally conceived and scripted to be "Freddy vs. Jason", Part 7 had to be rewritten because Paramount and New Line couldn't agree on anything. (They never did and the only reason we actually have a Freddy vs. Jason movie is due to New Line buying the rights to Jason from Paramount). So, what did they do? Check it out.
Friday the 13th Part 7 (1988)
Meet Jason's adversary in this one. Tina is pretty much a traumatized girl who can move things...with her mind. It's sort of like Carrie (the Stephen King story, not the dove from American Idol) because she can only do crazy things when she's upset. So, no, she can't open that beer can for you but she can pop your head like a grape if you tell her it's her turn to do the dishes. She's traumatized because when she was younger she went to Crystal Lake, had a fight with her Dad, and used her psychic powers to drown the heck out of him. That'll come back later so make a note of it. Years later (when this film takes place), she "senses" her father at the bottom of the lake and tries to bring him back. Of course it's not her father down there and she sets Mr. "I'm one of the living dead now" Voorhees loose for yet another sequel.
While we don't have any extreme close-ups of lady's junk and lumps (lovely lady variety), the director here decided to just get a girl naked and film her flailing. From underneath her. I can just imagine how that went on the set.
"Hey Sandra, take off your damn clothes so we can get a good shot of your naked body but don't have to see your face."
"How does that help me convey the character I'm playing?"
"It doesn't. Now shake your dinners."
I'm sure it didn't go exactly like that, but in the past you at least could pretend the actress doesn't know the cameraman's doing a super zoom shot of her jubblies. Here? Not unless she was really drunk. But enough moralizing.
The deaths definitely got upgraded from the last film. Instead of seeing a lot of machete-stabbing action, we get to see Jason mix it up a little. This'll pick up even more in the next film, but this is definitely the first one where Jason knows he doesn't HAVE to use a knife to murder people. Hell, there's death by "party favor" in this one. Oh and this is the Jason movie where he discovers something new and special:
Jason Voorhees was born to wield power tools, such as this tree-trimming buzzsaw. You and I both know it's true. This is as close as we'll get to seeing him use a chainsaw, so savor it folks.
Deaths: 7 stabbings, 1 ax to the face, 1 horrible death by buzzsaw, 1 thrown through window, 1 guy bent in half, 1 woman beaten against a tree while still in a sleeping bag, 1 head crushed, 1 throat sliced, 1 party horn to the head, and 1 skinny-dipping drowning. Total: 16. Grand Total: 102.
It's time to show why I like this movie. Now, think about how Jason must see these things. He's playing a video game and he's stuck in God Mode. Unless he totally screws himself, they can't take him down or even hurt him. Suddenly, the game entirely changes and we get to see a severely angry and confused Jason Voorhees running around with something new on his mind: Revenge. Sure, he's been avenging his mother for years but now he's met someone who actually has the ability to kick him in the crotch and make it count. Sure, it doesn't really stop him in the long run, but an angry Jason that has a PERSONAL reason to kill someone is awesome to behold. Unfortunately, this confrontation doesn't happen until the film's almost over, much like most "battle-hyped" narratives. Still, I'll take what I can get. Tina's telekinetic powers are used for all sorts of Jason-thwarting mayhem.
For example...Tina causes tree roots to entangle Jason...
Which pretty much confuses the crap out of him. It's like a one-eyed kid trying to decipher a Magic Eye painting...He'd stand there for hours if you let him.
Of course then she breaks a power cable and electrocutes the bejesus out of him. The root thing would have kept him busy and confused. But no, she had to go and piss him off. In the upcoming minutes, she'll drop a porch on him, throw a sofa at him, set him on fire, shove nails into his skull, lynch him, and a few other things that aren't pleasant but are pretty useless against a zombie on steroids. In her desperation to get anything to work, she does something that may live on forever in the halls of super silly awesome.
Here, she finds the still-warm head of her decapitated friend resting at the base of a potted plant.
And here we find Jason Voorhess being knock to the ground by a severed head + potted plant thrown with the power of Tina's mind. Dear Lord, how awesome is it when you start throwing parts of your dead friends around to stay alive? The answer: Very.
In the end, the ghost of her dead father dressed as a pirate rises from the lake and drags Jason back to the watery depths. Of all the ways that Jason gets defeated, this has to be one of the funniest. Old Guy, to the rescue!
Now it's time to talk about Jason 7.0. Jason 7.0 took the zombie/horror image a little further than what we've seen previously and further than it'll be taken after this. All the other Jason Voorhees are "more human" than the one we get here, with the exception of Jason 9.0, where he's revealed to be a worm that lives into dead bodies. We'll get to that later, but this version is pretty hardcore.
It's still the Jason we know and love...and the chain necklace is a nice accessory. That's not too special though.
What is special is the new and improved "battle damage" Jason. If you look at that picture, you can see most of Jason's freaking SPINE. Hell, if you scroll back up to the "dead friend's head attack" picture, you can see the guy's ribs. This Jason has one of the best costumes as they went to serious lengths to make it look like he was both very big but still missing lots of flesh, a hard thing to balance. But no matter what I say, it always comes down to seeing the poor guy's face at the end of the film.
Tina uses her telekinetic powers on Jason's hockey mask, making it shrink and tighten around his head. It's got to hurt, because she does it so hard that the mask breaks off on his face. She did this to get his attention so he didn't kill her boyfriend. The problem is, now she has his attention.
Yeah, Jason 7.0 is freaky scary when it comes to unmasked slashers from the Friday the 13th series. Note the nose isn't gone, it's just shriveled a little and hanging to the right (much like myself). Even better, this isn't a static latex mask like the one in Part Four...we've got a responsive effect that lets Kane Hodder (the man in the Voorhees suit) actually express emotions. Of course the range of those emotions is pretty limited to "I'm going to pull your skull out of your mouth", "That nail to my brain didn't hurt at all", "Bitch, you better not set me on fire", and "Who the hell is this middle-aged pirate and why is he pulling me to the bottom of the lake?" This isn't going to be the last unmasked Jason we're going to see, but I truly wish it was.
Friday the 13th Part 8 (1989)
To be fair, this film is only about twenty minutes of Jason in NYC. For the rest of it, the film's title is pretty much "Jason takes The Love Boat". You see, the film's hype is all about Jason Voorhees in New York City but it take a long ass time (1 ass = 3 craploads) for him to get there. Apparently, Crystal Lake has a river that's somewhere in the North East that is within about a thirty minute cruise from downtown Manhattan. Don't question movie geography, ever. You're not supposed to.
Jason ends up being brought back to life Frankenstein-style when a boat's anchor severs a power cable and rejuvenates him with the magic only AC/DC can provide (Electricity, not the band). He ends up sneaking aboard a "Happy Graduation" cruise ship, where the entire graduating class (which is populated by only about 8 students) is celebrating their way to NYC. So we've got naughty teens trapped on a boat with Jason. One of the girls is sort of psychic, but that only means she have visions of Jason as a child asking her to not let him drown. It's all very touching until the next scene where our favorite bad guy disembowels someone with a spear gun. There's lots of fun stuff in this film, most of which is about why New York City is a terrible place with or without Jason Voorhees. That'll all get it's due in a moment, but let's talk about the homicide for a moment.
If the last film had Jason Voorhees mixing it up flipmode style, then Part 8 features Jason Unplugged. Jason does not pick up his usual array of weapons (knife, ax, icepick) as he normally would. In fact, he pretty much runs around completely unarmed, confident that when he does need to kill someone the tool will present itself. Jason is a child of the universe, no less than the trees, and knows the Earth will provide.
The vain girl slashed with a shard of mirror. Sweet, sweet poetry. Or really stupid irony.
Burned to Death by a hot lava rock in a sauna. Jason's moving on up, it would seem.
Disemboweled by spear gun. As promised.
Yes, there is a film geek in this movie and YES that is a picture of his crotch catching fire as he's electrocuted. Think nothing of it.
I'm glad that I now know that if I'm ever in New York, I'll be able to find huge barrels of toxic waste to drown people in all over the place. What New York City is this? This isn't the Manhattan that I know. Did the cast accidentally show up in New Jersey or is this some sort of bizarro "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" version of New York that I've heard so much about.
This is J.J. She likes to rock out. Here hobbies include enlarging her hair, getting trashy tattoos, sleeping with groupies, and playing the guitar. With her face.
Deaths: 1 stabbed with spear gun (minus spear), 1 stabbing with actual spear, 1 disco choking, 1 guitar lesson, 1 immolation by lava rock, 1 electrocution, 1 stabbing by mirror shard, 1 death by flag, 1 harpooning, 1 throat slashed, 1 ax to the back, 1 heroin needle through the body, 1 head smashing, 1 one-punch decapitation, 1 cop strangled with his radio, 1 drowned in New York sewage, 1 thrown patron, and 1 bludgeoning with a wrench. Total: 18. Grand total: 120.
The weird thing about Jason's trip through NYC is how he doesn't really kill that many people. I mean, the guy was raised in the woods where people really only come to visit in extremely small groups. Suddenly he's got potential victims all over the place and all he can do is focus on those damn kids that are trying to get away. The lesson here is that if you see someone asking for help in NYC, ignore them. If you get involved, chances are the zombie maniac chasing them will go after you as well.
I don't know if the makers of this film have actually been to New York or they just had a very bad time when they did got, but this film has to be the most destructive thing to NY tourism ever. Within 60 seconds of arriving in the city, the cast is mugged by gangsters and one of the girls is kidnapped and given drugs so the criminals can rape her silly. Toxic waste lies all over the place and, in fact, courses through the city's sewers every night like poisoned veins. I guess my point is that despite the fact that this film was shot on location in NYC, the film is actually about super-terrible stereotypical New York. Were the people are rude and don't care, all the cops are Irish, and no one's bothered by a giant zombie walking through Times Square. The only thing missing from this film is hookers....though I'm pretty sure they're in there somewhere, and I just missed them.
Jason 8.0 is a much sadder thing. That talks. Now, I have to say that it's probably some weird psychic thing or maybe just the director trying to be artsy. That doesn't change the fact that Jason Voorhees cries out "Mommy, don't let me drown. Mommy?" before being washed away in the daily flood of acid that roars through NYC's sewers every evening. This isn't a complete voice over. That rubber dried apple head of his actually mouths the words. So while I'm sure it isn't what it looks like, you do get to see Jason talk. Apparently inside that rotten zombie exterior is a little boy who just wants to be loved. Oh, and when he dies (this time) thanks to an acid bath, the Statue of Liberty gets struck my lightning. I'm not sure if the two are connected, but the director sure wanted you to think so.
So, now it's official. Jason's jumped the shark and they need to pull off one last big slasher blast to put this puppy to sleep. I don't know what I'm talking about either. What I meant to say is that it's time to kill Jason Voorhees. Again.
Jason goes to hell: The Final Friday (1993)
If you've actually gone to the trouble of reading this entire article starting from the very, very beginning, you probably notice what's funny about the full title. Technically it should read: Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday, again. You'd think you couldn't have multiple "final" things, but Paramount (and Squaresoft, makers of the dozen or so "Final Fantasy" games) continue to prove me wrong. Of course, this film has about as much to do with the Jason Voorhees we know and love as, say, a jewish ninja has to do with the capital of Idaho. Sure, they could be related, but it sort of hurts the brain. Then again, maybe I'm reading too much into this film. So, what's the plot?
Apparently the government hired the above woman as bait for Jason. They've got a trap and a bajillion soldiers waiting outside...but they needed Secret Agent "Super-Thong" to lure Jason into it. Her orders seem to have included wearing a thong, taking a bath, and running around in her lingerie. Apparently, women can be all they can be in the Army. Gah. So the trap works, Jason Voorhees gets blown up by soldiers, and his remaining body parts are delivered to the morgue. Things get weird from there as the coroner is magically inspired with the notion to eat Jason's rotting heart. And, as we all know, this means that he's now possessed with the spirit of Jason Voorhees. The rest of the film is about Jason trying to find his last living blood relative so that he can be reborn. Like all good "final" movies, they try to explain everything by bringing crap out of nowhere and hoping some of it sticks. The sad thing is that this film is really about the TRUE nature of Jason Voorhees. Thank you New Line Cinema. They're the people who just bought the rights to Jason Voorhees. This might also explain why ever since they did, no Jason movie has been titled "Friday the 13th". Did they buy the character but not the franchise name? Weird, but it sounds right. Anyway, they've given us a character who knows the answer to our questions. Someone to unravel the mystery. So who knew our little mutant zombie slasher was an evil demon sent from beyond this whole time?
Say hello to Steven Williams. He's an old school TV actor that's played in everything from T.J. Hooker to 21 Jump Street to The A Team to "Hangin' with Mr. Cooper". In Jason goes to Hell, he plays an official "Jason Voorhees Hunter" which means he knows what the plot's about even if we don't. He's very moody and dramatic and is the closet thing we get to an intriguing hero that's not a scared girl with magic powers. It's a damn shame he has nothing good to say. What do I mean? Well, here's the plot as he tells it: Jason is an evil demon that's been around a very long time but has to live in the flesh of the Voorhees family. They've got an evil mansion that hasn't been mentioned in any of the films before, raising the question why Jason lived in that crap shed for so long. Anyway, Jason is an evil demon that must find one of his descendants to possess so that he can live forever.
Oh, and how do you kill him?
With the magic knife wielded by The Chosen One. Dear Lord, who wrote this? Apparently Jason can only be killed by someone of his own blood and only by being stabbed in the heart with a glowing blade of grasping at straws mysticism. In case you weren't thinking it already, this doesn't sound like a Friday the 13th movie. This sounds like a bad episode of Tales from the Darkside or something. But whatever. This is a Friday the 13th movie. Jason's still in it, so I'll survive. Let's take a look at Jason.
Wait, who are these guys? You're looking at two of the bodies that Jason possesses and then uses to kill everyone. So instead of Kane Hodder in a hockey mask, we get rather normal looking guys turning into zombies because they swallowed the Voorhees worm. Jesus, is there anything else you guys could do to NOT make this a Jason movie?
Oh, Jason has to kiss other men to possess their bodies. Screw you, movie. Screw you plenty.
Still, there are some...unique deaths in this one.
Watch in amazement as white collar worker possessed by Jason deepfries a midget!
See the spectacular woman punched horribly in the face! Bring the kids!
Come on. You knew they couldn't officially end the film series without a sex scene gone wrong, right?
Just to make my job of counting the deaths harder, whenever the "Jason Worm" leaves a host body, the old one apparently melts into chocolate pudding or something. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I don't know either. Don't look at me.
Deaths: 1 probe to the brain, 2 orgasmic stabbings, 2 slaughtered guards killed mysteriously, 1 random patron shows up dead, 1 throat slashing, 1 generic knife stab, 1 crushed by door, 2 neck splats, 2 guys smashed against each other like coconuts, 5 generic smashed against...stuff, 1 deep-fried midget, 1 smashed in mouth, 1 crushed Steven Williams, 1 melting man, and 2 possessed victims (3 counting melting man). I've no idea if I got everything, but I can hope. There's a lot or crap in this one and so much of it is implied. And I'm not watching this one in slow motion to double-check everything. Total: 24. Grand Total: 144.
What the hell are you looking at? I'm sure you were worried about it so be assured knowing that the Jason Worm did indeed find a body to call his own. Here he is climbing inside his distant relatives dead body...via her crotch. I'm sure now you'd like to see what Jason 9.0 looks like. You know, the worm.
I really don't know if I feel comfortable calling that Jason 9.0. Still, that's Jason's "true" form in this picture, for better or for worse. The problem is that when they unmask Jason in this film (the possessed bodies being the figurative mask, if you will) this is what you get. That said, let me show you the closest thing that passes as Jason Voorhees in this film.
He might only be in the film at the very end and the very beginning, but there's my boy. The mask doesn't come off as "demon Jason" apparently has a tentacle face that's absorbing the mask into his oh-so-meaty head. I also like to call this "Stay Puft" Voorhees, mostly because, well, that's a big fat head you got there, boy. In the end, Jason (the worm in the body of the dead relative that's been magically transformed to look like Jason again) gets stabbed with the magic dagger and giant muppet arms drag him off to hell. The end. Sort of.
At the very end, you get to see Freddy Krueger's hand reach up and drag Jason's mask into the ground. While the director says that there wasn't a plan to make a Freddy vs. Jason film despite the fact that both characters were now owned by the same company, we know better. Not only did they do it in 2003, but they originally tried to do it back in 1988. There's also another film series referenced in this movie. It sort of explains some of the crazy fan theories I've run across over the years and I just noticed it for the first time last week.
Why didn't anyone tell me that the Necronomicon from the Evil Dead series was in this movie? While Ash from Army of Darkness might be owned by Universal, this totally explains all the psychotic "Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash" craziness people bring up from time to time. And despite the fact that the director says it was just the recycling of a prop (which is retarded), the Evil Dead series can now officially be linked to Jason Voorhees. What the hell. Then again...
...that's the crate from Creepshow that contained the killer monkey. This movie may just be about using as many old movie props as possible. That sort of makes sense as well. Damn it. For a moment I felt the rush of excitement that could only be brought on by Bruce Campbell with a chainsaw for a hand telling Jason to come "get some." :sigh:
Years ago, when I first heard they were making this movie, I totally thought it was a joke. It had to be a joke but it's true. So, what is Jason X about?
JASON IN SPACE JASON IN SPACE JASON IN SPACE JASON IN SPACE WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON IT'S JASON IN SPAAAAAAAAAAACE.
Whew. Sorry. But that was my first reaction to how very WRONG this movie was. I'm not here to judge, so let's run through this bad boy. Mostly because I'm sick of typing about Jason Voorhees and this article has become WAY too long.
In case you didn't figure it out by the "in space" comment, this is the first Jason movie that's really a science fiction film. The film starts with Jason being held in a military facility. His "amazing regenerative ability" is being studied so they plan on moving him. Well, "they" might not be specific enough. In particular, he's being moved by David Cronenberg.
Man, David Cronenberg doesn't act in many things...and it's nice to see him come out to play the evil military bastard that gets killed by Jason about 60 seconds after you meet him. Oh, I'm jumping ahead. Of COURSE Jason escapes and kills everyone. He does get lured into a trap...
...and cryogenically frozen in a giant washing machine.
Jason, and a female scientist that was too close to the damaged cryo-tank, are recovered still frozen hundreds of years later and thawed out on a space ship. You know it's the future because (besides there being space ships everywhere) because of two things:
In the future, kinky people use surgical salad tongs when having kinky sex and...
...men have deep conversations about why their robot's nipples keep falling off. I'm serious. If you want to see a film where a girl's nipples fall off, this is the one for you.
Besides one girl having her face frozen and then shattered, the whole "future" aspect is really neglected when it comes to the death held within Jason X.
Deaths: 1 implied head wound, 1 bludgeoning, 1 strangled, 1 choked by chained, 1 impaled Cronenberg, 1 smashed by door, 1 bayonet wounding, 2 stabbed (in space), 1 broken face, 1 bad case of frozen face, 1 spine snapping, 1 neck breaking, 1 drill spiking, 1 cut in half, 1 spiked on anchor, 1 neck cutting, 1 electrocution, 2 implied deaths, 1 sucked into the vacuum of space, 1 sacrificial explosion, 1 bad case of homoeroticism and 1 very poor attempt at diplomacy involving giving Jason his machete back. Total: 24. Grand Total: 168.
If you blink, you'll totally miss seeing Jason X (sounds better than Jason 10.0) without his mask. It's no horrible zombie, but at least it's better than Mr. Droopy from Part 8. Jason X ends up waking up (apparently because teenagers are having sex, if the parallel editing is to be believed) and after killing a few people (in Spaaaaaace), he gets totally destroyed/killed by a robot with a lot of really big guns. The ship has an accident activating medical nanotechnology, and Jason X becomes, according to the makes of this film, "Uber-Jason". Say hello to cyborg Jason Voorhees.
He's big, he's bad, he's bulletproof. At least he doesn't have to kiss people to put his worm in them. (Err..forget that last sentence.) Point is, now we've got a crazy robotic Jason on the loose and he's punching holes in the ship and, well, is pretty unstoppable. You know, as opposed to the regular easy-to-kill Jason Voorhees. I wish it was more interesting than that, but the whole "cyber-Jason" really is the film's gimmick.
Don't forget to pay attention to the "1980's Virtual Reality Simulation", where topless girls ask Jason if he wants to smoke pot with them and have premarital sex. He bludgeons the crap out of them...with each other. Not bad, Uber-Jason. Tell me, do you play mp3's as well?
Are your ready for the finale? The answer is no. The actual finale is a reference to an old John Carpenter film called Dark Star which you probably haven't seen as it came out about five years before I was born. I hope it's a reference to that, because otherwise this ending has some rather....unique visuals.
Uber-Jason escapes the exploding space station and is rapidly flying towards the escape pod. Since we know he can now live in the vacuum of space and punch through steel, the survivors are all very dead unless someone does something cool.
Enter the battle-weary space marine, who put on a space suit earlier to battle Uber-Jason.
Space marine grabs Uber-Jason (don't ask me about the physics involved here...this is a movie about a zombie retard robot in space anyway) pulling him away from the escape pod. The rest of the cast will live. But what does he do with Jason?
He mounts him like a cheap hooker and rides him into re-entry. Now, this is either very homoerotic, as Jason gets straddled by a large black man OR this is a reference to the ending of Dark Star, were the hero rides a surfboard into the lower atmosphere. Sadly, I doubt the Dark Star reference. So yeah. Jason in Space ends with Jason being ridden like a dirty filly until they both burst into flame due to re-entry. The planet is Earth-2 and Jason's scarred mask lands in a lake on the planet, thereby giving us the chance to see more killer robot zombie movies. It's actually kind of nice, if only because it sort of brings all the films full circle. You know, start in the lake, end in the lake. Well, maybe not, but I have to get the image of Jason being RIDDEN out of my brain.
Freddy Vs. Jason (2003)
Well, it took them long enough to make it, right? But hey, at least they made it. If you've read my Freddy Krueger article, then you already know my feelings on Freddy vs. Jason. I'll recap, because not much has changed. If you haven't seen the film, here's the run down:
Freddy Krueger can't come back and kill people if no one remembers him. Jason Voorhees can never die. Freddy makes Jason wake up and kill some kids on Elm Street to remind people of Freddy. Jason kills one of the kids that Freddy wanted to and the two start seriously messing each other up. This film actually rather artistically introduces a new and sort of screwed up/stupid thing. While Freddy Krueger apparently has issue with fire (being that he was burned to death and all), it seems that Jason now has an issue with water (being that he was supposedly drowned, but didn't...or actually drowned if this movie ignores the first four Friday the 13th films where Jason was still alive). I'll accept the logic in that. But if Jason Voorhees fears water, then why the heck does he haunt Camp Crystal Lake? I like the fact that they seem to finally have given Jason a obvious weakness, I just wish it didn't mean you could escape him by running through a sprinkler. But I digress.
Jason X.1 is pretty much your classic Jason. He's a zombie but still human enough that he doesn't have chunks of bone sticking out of him like he did in Part 7. Man, I wasn't this geeky about Jason when I sat down to write this article. I need to stop typing before my head implodes in geek shame.
You might be wondering who wins in "Freddy vs. Jason." At the film's end, both seem to have survived so they obvious couldn't beat each other...so we've got to come up with an alternative grading system. The problem is that Jason Voorhees always kills more people than Freddy, so numbers don't matter much.
Then again, Jason kills well over twenty people. How many does Freddy Krueger, of Nightmare on Elm Street fame, send to the grave? One. If you count "flashback deaths," that number turns to....two. Maybe three. I'm not going to say that Freddy didn't do his voodoo that he does so well, I'm just saying that Jason Voorhees is infinitely more deadly. Hell, Freddy keeps killing kids on the same street. If the two switched places, the kids, parents, and anything that lived on Elm Street would be dead in about 24 hours. Back on topic, there is one particular amazing thing that Jason does that is worth sharing:
Jason. On fire. Killing teenagers. While on FIRE.
I don't know about you, but if I was being chased by a guy who was on fire but didn't seem to care about it, I'd probably give up right then. And with that, I end this bitch of an article and tally up some bodies for you and the kids at home.
Deaths: 9 stabbings, 1 crushed by door, 1 twisted neck, 1 decapitation, 1 electrocution, 3 impalements, 1 chopped in half, and 1 flaming machete through the chest. Total: 18. Grand Total: 186.
There will be another, if not more, Jason movie. I don't know if they'll be able to call a "Friday the 13th" film, but I do know Freddy vs. Jason wasn't the last we've seen of little Jason Voorhees.
Thanks for actually reading the whole thing. Few have made it this far. you should be proud. Also, if you didn't know much about Friday the 13th and its hockey-masked brainchild, I think it's safe to assume you've just been given a thorough education. I'm so, so terribly sorry about that.
copyright 2005 Jared von Hindman, except for the images which are property of their respectful owners. The images are used for review purposes, except for that guitar animation. That just makes me happy.
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