"I'll just get my gear."

Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday

“I don’t think so.”

In the early ’90s, FRIDAY-THE-13TH-part-I-only director Sean S. Cunningham found himself stuck again. More than a decade after intentionally not sticking around to make FRIDAY sequels (instead directing movies including THE NEW KIDS and DEEPSTAR SIX and producing HOUSE I-IV) the director-turned-honcho was moving the chess pieces around to set up his dream of a FRIDAY THE 13TH / A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET crossover. But New Line wasn’t ready to play yet, so in the mean time he was gonna have to keep Jason in shape.

A couple of problems: the audience seemed kind of sick of Jason. And Cunningham (who had only really worked with Jason’s mom) had never really liked him anyway. So he hired 23-year-old recent film school graduate Adam Marcus, who did like Jason, but was excited to do a drastically different chapter – easily the least FRIDAY THE 13THy of any FRIDAY THE 13TH movie. Marcus has often claimed that Cunningham asked him to get rid of the hockey mask (an allegation Cunningham denies). Whatever the truth of it, the movie manages to have mask-wearing Jason in the opening and closing, but for most of the movie he body hops between ordinary non-scary-looking people wearing ties and stuff. Instead of working like the other FRIDAY THE 13THs, it’s sort of a re-enactment of THE HIDDEN with considerably less momentum, tension, style, production value, atmosphere, characterization, story, entertainment value or creature FX. But 100% more some parts with Jason.

It does boast probly the cleverest opening of the series (reportedly written by HOUSE IV director/DEEPSTAR SIX writer/TITANIC actor Lewis Abernathy, uncredited). A woman (Julie Michaels, a.k.a. Denise from ROAD HOUSE and “Freight Train” from POINT BREAK!) arrives at a remote Crystal Lake cabin at night, where various familiar creepiness happens: the lights go out and she has to fix them, she drops something in front of the bathroom mirror and when she stands back up you expect to see a reflection behind her, she takes a shower and the lights go out again and she hears a sound that spooks her, she investigates wearing only a towel.

Then of course she’s attacked by Jason (Kane Hodder, BEST OF THE BEST II) and flees into the woods. It seems a little goofy how well she runs and jumps over obstacles, especially with bare feet. Then a bank of floodlights come on and she leaps into a gratuitous somersault and a SWAT team rappels in to fill Jason full of lead. They detonate a bomb that blows his whole body into chunks with the intact head flying up in the air and landing on the ground next to his still pumping heart.

It’s a genuinely funny and surprising scene that’s either marred or given an exclamation point (depending on your point of view) by the addition of a mysterious man in a cowboy hat (Steven Williams, BETTER OFF DEAD, STAKE LAND II, BIRDS OF PREY) watching from the woods saying to himself, “I don’t think so.”

(This leads to the title, which is not worthy of the earlier FRIDAY THE 13THs but at least not as shameful as JASON TAKES MANHATTAN, since there is fire in the letters and it’s underlined by a slash of blood.)

Some of the many questions we have about the guy in the woods are answered a little later when he’s interviewed at his “private training compound” on “a very special episode of American Case File.” Who the fuck is this guy? Creighton Duke, a bounty hunter famous for capturing six serial killers. Not random ones, either – “the country’s most reviled” ones. How did he know that blowing Jason into a million pieces would be useless? I have no fucking idea. And there’s a whole lot of “no fucking idea” in whatever made it to the screen from the script written first by Jay Huguely (Magnum P.I.; singer of the novelty trucker song “White Knight”) from Marcus’s ideas, then completely rewritten by Dean Lorey (a friend of Marcus who had written Cunningham’s recent production MY BOYFRIEND’S BACK) in four days, with an uncredited quickie polish by Leslie Bohem (THE HORROR SHOW, A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 5: THE DREAM CHILD, NOWHERE TO RUN; also one time bass player for Sparks).

It’s arguably admirable that Marcus wanted to mix things up and expand the mythology, but it has so little that is recognizable as Jason and so much that seems completely out of nowhere, but presented as if we’re supposed to have known all along, that it really plays like a totally unrelated script with a few names haphazardly switched out with “Jason” and “Voorhees” at the last minute. (Or “Vorhees,” as it’s spelled on the family mailbox for some reason.)

Yes, there is a Vorhees mailbox because there’s a Voorhees house. It’s functionally the same as the Myers house in the HALLOWEEN series, but they act like this is a thing we know about. Oh yes, of course, the house that is still intact and unclaimed 13 years after its owner’s mass murder career ended in decapitation and while everyone in the area is terrorized by her son’s “83 confirmed murders and speculated scores of others.” And that Jason knows to go to even though he’s been living in the woods as a feral ghost zombie or whatever since he lived there as a little boy.

And there’s the Voorhees family. As we have all known but just never discussed previously, Jason has a half sister named Diana Kimble (Erin Gray, Silver Spoons) who has a daughter named Jessica (Kari Keegan, THE PRINCE OF PENNSYLVANIA) and baby granddaughter, and of course, obviously, it goes without saying that they are all in danger because if a little boy drowns but doesn’t drown and lives in the woods and is killed and brought back to life by electricity several times and then gets blown up by cops, obviously his oversized black heart will then turn into a slug that crawls into orifices and takes over other bodies, transferring from person to person looking for “a Voorhees woman,” since then of course he could be “reborn” back into his original rotting and horribly mutilated corpse body. And only Creighton Duke knows that in that situation “only a Voorhees” can kill Jason, and only with a particular magic dagger he knows is in the Voorhees house, but in retrospect that should’ve been as plain as day. It’s as natural as that vampires can be staked in the heart, or that Freddy made a deal with dream demons and can only be killed while wearing 3D glasses.

I failed to mention how the body jumping starts, which is admittedly a cool part. As in PART III and some other slasher series’, we get to see our supposedly dead unkillable killer at the coroner’s office late at night, as we wait for him to come back. We learn from the coroner (Richard Gant, KRUSH GROOVE, COLLISION COURSE, ROCKY V, STONE COLD, CB4, POSSE) that this “large male, Caucasian” has “well over 100 bullet wounds,” and that his heart is twice the size of a normal one and filled with “black, viscous fluid” that is not blood.

And the heart starts beating. Which is weird. He stares at it for a bit. Then shrugs. Then starts chowing down on it. I mean, shit, why not, right? There are some unusual-for-this-series visual effects of evil glowing power or whatever transferring to the coroner, and then he becomes a gross zombie who goes around killing people sort of the way Jason would.

Meanwhile, Jason’s half sister Diana works as a gingham-clad waitress at a diner, where Creighton Duke arrives to regular harass + sexually harass her, and gets arrested by the sheriff (Billy Green Bush, the warden from THE JERICHO MILE). The sheriff is named Ed Landis, which is weird because Max Landis was only 8 years old, how did they know to name a character after him?

Though they set out to make a very different FRIDAY THE 13TH, they eventually realized that fans might be annoyed by a lack of FRIDAY-THE-13TH-esque content, so in reshoots they added a scene where Jason-in-the-coroner’s-body kills some campers who are having sex near Camp Crystal Lake. And they tied it in by having the guy who it seems like is supposed to be the main character pick up the victims while they’re hitchhiking. Steven Freeman (John D. LeMay, THE FREEWAY MANIAC, Friday the 13th: The Series) was Jessica’s boyfriend, but she left him before having their baby. He’s on his way to go talk to his ex’s mom (she told him to meet her) when he picks up the hitchhikers, Alexis (Kathryn Atwood, S.F.W., CYBER-TRACKER 2), Deborah (Michelle Clunie, sketch artist in THE USUAL SUSPECTS) and Luke (Michael B. Silver, “Undercover Cop,” VIRTUOSITY). The movie shows that it’s in on the joke by having them discuss smoking dope, having specifically premarital sex and skinny-dipping at Camp Crystal Lake in celebration of Jason’s reported death. For extra horniness, Alexis tries to convince Steven to come with them and even kisses him on the cheek.

I wish he had, because this guy is such a wet noodle. The actor was 30 but he wears a letterman’s jacket for the whole movie so it’s possible he’s playing a teen? I have no idea. It’s never clear why we should be following this guy who I can only assume Jessica dumped for good reason. We’d all be better off if he’d listened to his boner, tried to get laid and got impaled on a tree so the movie could follow someone else.

Anyway, this scene is all set up for arguably the most gruesome and over-the-top kills in the series when Coroner-Jason impales naked-mounting-Luke-Deborah as she’s orgasming and then lifts the blade up, splitting her torso in two. It’s not pleasant to look at but I admit there is a “holy shit, I can’t believe they did that” thrill to such a horrible image being executed with such technical skill. (Unlike the last installment, all the graphic gore did make it into the movie via an unrated cut.)

As is tradition, this scene has an “I’ll be right back” where the person actually does come right back as promised but then is killed after at least some good sex. There’s also a joke that he steps on an unopened condom that they decided against using. The joke is that you should practice safe sex, I assume, but in this case obviously it didn’t really matter so if they enjoyed it more it was the right decision.

From that classically FRIDAY THE 13TH sequence we go to an is-this-even-the-same-movie one where Coroner Jason kidnaps a philandering sheriff’s deputy named Josh (Andrew Bloch, HARD TO KILL), straps him to a plank at the Voorhees house and shaves his beard (?) before transferring Jason’s soul to him via a slug. (For how long has Jason actually been a slug controlling human bodies like a mech? Since not drowning? Since his first adult resurrection? Since the toxic waste?)

Jason-in-Josh goes to Diana’s house and kills her (she sees that he’s Jason in the reflection of a mirror and calls him “You motherfucker!”) but not before deadbeat ex-son-in-law-or-whatever Steven arrives, so Diana is able to tell him to protect Jessica. (Apparently she also knows the magic rules.) Of course, now it looks like Steven murdered his ex’s mom, so he’s locked up in the cell next to sexual harasser Creighton Duke, who flirts with him by breaking some of his fingers and telling him the magic rules. (To Steven’s credit, he never complains about or seems slowed down by the lack of working fingers for the rest of the movie.)

To reward us for sitting through all this, there’s a cool FX sequence where Josh melts into a pile of goo after the slug transfers to Robert.

Meanwhile, Steven finally gets to his ex and “rescues” her, which basically is kidnapping her. They go to the diner where Marcus shows some action movie fandom with lots of shooting and posing and slo-mo. A waitress named Vicki (Allison Smith, TERROR TRACT) suddenly turns action hero, deftly handling a shot gun and flipping up a rebar to spear Jason with (but immediately gets her skull crushed).

By the way, Jessica’s boyfriend Robert (Steven Culp, “Party Guest #1,” DEAD AGAIN, SPARTAN) is the interviewer from American Case File. Small world. And Robert stole Diana’s body and hid it in the Voorhees basement to “discover” during a live broadcast. (In those days it seemed satirical and timely to have a sleazy tabloid TV show person in a movie, the way they did with reality show producers for many years, and now true crime podcasters.) Unfortunately the Jason slug enters Diana’s corpse, presumably through means we don’t want to think about (and that Gray felt violated by when she saw it at the premiere), and is reborn into the Jason we all know and love, including clothes and mask and all of the damage not including that caused by the SWAT team. Because that’s how it works.

At this point we should address the mysterious continuity following JASON TAKES MANHATTAN. I have read that they wanted to just ignore MANHATTAN, which is why they don’t explain how he got unmelted from toxic waste (in a child’s body?) or whatever. But what is the reason for his new look? His head is all swollen and lumpy like The Toxic Avenger, with growths actually forming around the straps on the mask, like it’s becoming a part of him. Doesn’t it seem like that’s supposed to be the result of the toxic waste? I don’t know. But I gotta give credit to KNB Effects Group. Jason looks good, the kills look great, and though not on the level of an ELM STREET movie the couple of creatures and the melty guy make it more varied and imaginative than other FRIDAYs.

As soon as Jason returns, Duke handcuffs him and says, “Son of a bitch, you remember me?” And what is the implication even supposed to be there? “Remember me? I’m one of the numerous people who have been absolutely no obstacle to you at any point, in my case during events that happened in between movies and that no one else felt were worthy of mentioning”? Jason bear hugs him to death while Jessica for some reason can’t straighten out her elbow enough to grab the knife/dagger that is very visibly within her reach. (And then she knocks it down a hole.)

(In a part when she has the dagger the sheriff tells her to “put the knife down,” which is sure different from the Seattle cops who like to kill mentally ill people and describe whatever they’re holding as “a sword.”)

The movie gets a little more fun now that Jason is back. He throws Steven onto a jungle gym and it tips over. I wish he would bend the jungle gym into a ball around him and roll him down a hill. When Jessica finally stabs Jason with the magic dagger, balls of light shoot out of him, looking and sounding kind of like a roman candle. I don’t know if this supposed to be the souls of the people he killed, like in the Freddy movies. But there’s a cool effect where Steven repeatedly punches him in the face and orange sparks of light pop out of the holes of his mask.

I’ve always gotten a kick out of this finale because when “Jason goes to Hell” all that means is that some big Muppety looking hands come out of the ground and pull him into the dirt. It’s kind of adorable. There are photos where he’s surrounded by monster puppets and apparently they did some stop motion too, but as far as I can tell that must be among the stuff that Marcus thought looked too cheesy and cut out.

When that’s all settled we come to the whole reason Cunningham wanted to do the movie. As Jessica and Steven walk off into the sunrise (poor choice on Jessica’s part) some pretty music plays and the camera examines the dirt where Jason got sucked down. A dog comes over for some reason and digs and finds his mask just under the surface. Then, suddenly, Freddy’s glove comes out of the ground and grabs the mask. Or it looks like Freddy’s glove, but the cackle sounds like some other dude, so I believe it’s actually one of the bootleg Freddys. From the design of the glove and sweater I believe we can rule out Sharp Hand Joe and confirm that this is Nightmare Feddy, setting up a FEDDY VS. JASON that we are unfortunately still waiting for.

I’ve occasionally heard this epilogue discussed as one of those great moviegoing experiences, an unexpected twist or appearance that had the audience gasping, cheering, leaving the theater pumped. I remember that sort of reaction when Sean Connery showed up as the king at the end of ROBIN HOOD: PRINCE OF THIEVES, and when Commissioner Gordon produced the Joker card at the end of BATMAN BEGINS. But I did not experience it when I saw JASON GOES TO HELL at a suburban multiplex in 1993. If there was an audible response it wasn’t enough to make an impression, and personally I thought it was about the dorkiest thing I’d ever seen.

I was way more of a Freddy guy, so maybe it seemed presumptuous for a Jason movie to feel it was on the same level. At the time I did not think that putting them in the same world was even remotely cool or appealing. And I thought it was laughable that they appeared to be fighting while buried under a few inches of dirt. For years when people discussed a potential crossover I honestly didn’t think they were really trying to make one. I just assumed that professional makers of movies agreed with me that it was embarrassing to even contemplate.

(By the time they actually did make it, of course, I had grown into the type of person who could enjoy that type of horse shit. And it was just exciting to see Freddy almost a decade after the end of his series.)

The JASON GOES TO HELL chapter in Crystal Lake Memories is a fun one because it makes it sound like everyone was having a great time until suddenly things turn to chaos at the end. First, Marcus and Keegan got into such a fight about her injuring her neck in a stunt and him trying to get her to do the shower scene nude that she refused to work with him and Cunningham had to take over for the last two days of filming. Second, Cunningham claims what had been shot was so terrible that he only used about 45-50 minutes of it and reshot everything else. But for me the best detail is that Cunningham had a theory that actors do everything too slow so he made Marcus shoot the movie at 22 frames a second and lower the sound by an octave so their voices didn’t sound weird. No joke!

JASON GOES TO HELL was a real changing of the guard situation in the history of franchise horror. Not only was Cunningham reclaiming the reins, not only was he moving over to New Line, but having a 23 year old director meant having a director who was 10 years old when the original FRIDAY THE 13TH came out. He’s only a year older than Corey Feldman! So for the first time we did not have a journeyman trying to make something the teens would like, but one of the kids who grew up on these movies trying to make a movie for people like himself. It was his idea to put that Freddy bullshit in there, and the crate from CREEPSHOW, and to borrow the actual Necronomicon from Sam Raimi, who was filming ARMY OF DARKNESS at the same time. Yes, the Necronomicon is in the Voorhees house, and not just as an easter egg – Steven stops and flips through it. As with the Nightmare Feddy cameo, I always took that as a corny in-joke, but in new interviews on the Scream Factory blu-ray Marcus says in apparent sincerity that Pamela Voorhees used the Necronomicon to resurrect Jason and he is a straight up Deadite. Which I would not think was cool as fan fiction and I think it’s even less cool as the official thing that happened in this series. But such is life.

JASON GOES TO HELL did make a little more money than JASON TAKES MANHATTAN, but was still the second worst performer of the series. Probly didn’t matter to New Line too much, though – they just needed Jason for that other thing. In my estimation the movie was poorly received by fans, though over the years it has definitely gained some appreciation for being such an outlier.

At the time I thought it was terrible, but I was more a teenager who goes to whatever horror movies come out than a dedicated fan of the series. In the years since I have become the latter, and have gone back and forth on how much I like this one, but not by that much. The opening is obviously great, the other little Jason parts are fun, and sometimes I admire the reckless abandon of taking a long-running series and turning it into something totally different that obviously nobody wanted. And, I mean, the guy eating the heart, that was cool. There is some good stuff. It lacks the filmatistic competence of the first 4 films, but you can see Marcus and cinematographer Bill Dill (THE FIVE HEARTBEATS, M.A.N.T.I.S., Murder Was the Case: The Movie) trying to Raimi it up a little with a few showy camera moves, a bullet P.O.V., some slo-mo. I appreciate the signs of youthful enthusiasm.

But most of the time when I watch it, including this time, it’s just not very fun to sit through, and I get too mad about how uncool all the mythology is. It wouldn’t matter that it’s so ludicrously out of nowhere – that might even make it extra fun – if they had come up with something cool. But a relative has to use a magic knife? That’s not even good enough for a placeholder.

After such an early start, Marcus didn’t get to direct for another 6 years, and then it was a teen comedy called LET IT SNOW. He later did a 2008 Val Kilmer movie called CONSPIRACY before returning to the world of notable franchise horror in 2013, when he and his partner Debra Sullivan wrote the ridiculous/fun TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D. He also did a 2018 Christmas horror thing called SECRET SANTA. Huguely subsequently wrote Hal Needham’s BANDIT: BANDIT’S SILVER ANGEL (1994) starring Brian Bloom, and two episodes of Silk Stalkings. But I think Lorey has had the most interesting arc of the three. His next movie was MAJOR PAYNE starring Damon Wayans, which led to him writing and directing for Wayans’ show My Wife and Kids. He wrote episodes of Arrested Development and iZombie and is creator, executive producer and voice director of the really funny Harley Quinn animated series, soon to be in its third season. That’s legitimately impressive!


WORM ON A HOOK NOTES:

I always loved JASON GOES TO HELL’S opening scene, and I can’t deny that my premise of a final girl with a secret Seagalian background and revenge mission is similar to/related to/possibly inspired by this great idea of a seemingly typical Jason victim who turns out to be an undercover FBI agent. She’s offering herself as bait, as is Florence, hence my title. In my version though she does the ass-kicking herself (not a SWAT team) and becomes the main character, whereas this one is barely a character at all. Still, when I finished writing the book I thought about the similarity and panic rewatched the scene in fear I had ripped it off too much. I don’t think I did, but I must acknowledge a debt.

In retrospect the character of Hardwoood may fancy himself a Creighton Duke type. I definitely picture him dressing kind of like that. But my idea with him was to make fun of DELIVER US FROM EVIL’s exorcist cop and establish that there’s nothing supernatural about Stoneback, so he can’t be stopped with spells and rituals.

This entry was posted on Monday, October 18th, 2021 at 6:59 am and is filed under Horror, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

24 Responses to “Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday”

  1. This is the film that gave us Creighton Duke and brought back George Washington Duke, who was always a coroner but had gone extra-deep cover as a flamboyant boxing promoter to study the effects of boxing on human organs.

    Never a fan of weird, matted-hair, husky, lumpy-bumpy-head, actually a snake-thing Jason, but, as wih any Jason film, there is lots to enjoy and admire here, and I particularly commend Marcus et al. on going for something different.

    I look forward to catching up with the review!

  2. This is definitely FAN THEORIES: THE MOTION PICTURE, with all the flop sweat and grasping at straws that entails, and as such I barely even recognized its right to exist for a decade or two. But somewhere along the way I realized that a movie with that incredible opening scene and that amazing nekkid torso bisection cannot be fully discounted. I appreciate the enthusiasm these talentless nerds put into their idiotic idea of what would make a cool Jason movie, but at some point the adults in the room really ought to have taken away their Pixie Sticks and put them to bed so they could wake up early tomorrow and write the real script. One that’s not the dumbest fucking thing you’ve ever heard of in your life.

  3. One thing that I do appreciate is how any summery of the film’s plot is just the wildest sounding nonsense you’ve ever heard. I saved the Wikipedia summary to my computer a few years back because it was a combination of buck wild and poorly written that elevated it to high comedy

  4. If this had stayed an unfilmed draft or treatment, probably one that isn’t really out there like the Peter Jackson draft of FREDDY’S DEAD or maybe a better example I can’t think of right now, and they’d have instead made an underwhelming JASON RE-TAKES CRYSTAL LAKE or PAMELA LIVES or whatever we’d probably think it sounds interesting and wish they’d have made it, but on screen I think this is a disaster. I don’t know if it’s the direction, performances, the awful Full Moon-esque cheap keyboard score and cheesy sound effects (OK, that’s definitely part of it) or that the script actually just wasn’t any good but this lands with a dull thud, it’s only substantial merit being the makeup and effects. I don’t even like the opening that much, which I think is better to remembered than watch and like certain moments of JASON LIVES probably seemed fresher and wittier at the time.

    Sadder still, this was the biggest horror film of the year even with its weak $15mil gross; #90 for the year, just above NEEDFUL THINGS. The next couple of years were only better if you’re willing to embrace INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE and WOLF. Easy to forget how far below fighting weight the genre was in the pre-SCREAM years.

    Adam Marcus makes the NEW BLOOD writer guy seem grounded, but seems slightly more endearing. He’s had a Kickstarter-backed documentary on the true story of JASON GOES TO HELL in the works for the last couple of year, I’ll check it out if and when it comes out, but given how these things seem to progress I wouldn’t necessarily expect it in time for the 30th Anniversary.

  5. That poster was all over what felt like every comic book around this time, and in my feverish imagination, I assumed the movie would be about Jason wrestling Satan for control of Hell or something infernally bombastic like that. Alas, when I finally watched it years later, I discovered Jason spends almost as much time onscreen in Hell as he did in Manhattan.

    It sounds like Marcus was a big fan of The Hidden, and also Evil Dead 2– which has the Necronomicon, a magic knife, a relative, and demonic possession.

    Meanwhile, the demon slug-snake that possesses people got another role in 1996’s Doctor Who TV movie, in which he possess Eric Roberts, but the parts dried up after that.

  6. I’ve never seen any of the 13th Friday movies, but this review was really funny. Thanks, Vern.

  7. In many ways, I feel that this film suffers from the same flaws as the series finale of a beloved television show. It needs to be “bigger,” “definitive,” and “about something.” It needs to “answer all your questions,” deepen and resolve the “mythology,” and above all, “send off” our villain “with a bang.” The problem is that this tends to result in a film that feels and behaves nothing like the entries you most love. This film is so busy excavating (or creating by the seat of its pants) a mythology that makes Jason more and bigger than you thought that you end up with little Jason, and what Jason you have is nothing like the Jason you love. It’s some total other thing. It truly is a situation where “not my Friday the 13th” is a 100% valid reaction vs. just being defensive and change-averse. Now is not the time to be trotting out and then going all-in on series-unprecedented ridiculous, left-field shit. Now is the time to go a little bigger and bolder but to stay true to the essence of what people love — up the stakes, some new stuff, but don’t forget the ethos and characterst that people loved in the first place — THE DARK KNIGHT RISES and ROCKY BALBOA are master classes in this. More generally, JASON X and FREDDY VS JASON are examples of how you can be bold and different while staying true to what people love in your world/character. This is an interesting failure. I do love the diner scene and the two aforementioned Dukes.

  8. My God, you’re right. This is the SEINFELD finale of slasher movies.

  9. SECRET SANTA was kinda fun but also kinda dumb as hell – just like this one!
    Worth a watch this yuletide…

  10. I will use this opportunity to link to one of my finest writing achievements:

    https://boxd.it/1p2fJx

  11. I’ve mentioned before that I binge watched all the friday movies while drinking one weekend with a house mate and it lead to me struggling to remember wich bits were real and wich were kinda jokes me and my mate had and let me tell you. THIS movie coming at the end strip of a day full of drinking when we were kinda tired and delirious was… mystifying. We had no idea what was going on and thought we were watching the wrong movie many times during it.

  12. I do wonder though, if we ever got a new Friday the 13th, would you guys want it to carry on from all this weird mythology or just keep on from the reboot? I’d kinda love to see this stuff get expanded on in like, a better movie. (Since I assume they would never really carry on from the end of Jason X)

  13. I’d like a legacy sequel like with HALLOWEEN that just picks up from FREDDY VS. JASON and go from there. I don’t even see a need to retcon anything before this one. Zombie Jason is fine. Demon Worm Jason not so much even though I still like this for what it was. Especially as a fan of the TV series.

  14. Ben (the other one)

    October 18th, 2021 at 7:54 pm

    This is a great review. I only saw this once back when it was first released and I remember being distracted by Jason having relatives in town, and his ability to possess people, and the magic knife and all that shit that didn’t fit at all. Your take down of all that here is so light, agile and funny it’s a real pleasure. What a weird movie this was.

    I never saw Jason X, so I have no idea if that retconned this one, ignored it or what. Can’t wait to read about it.

  15. I could go either way on whether it’s zombie or pre-zombie Jason. I say do a clean restart, setting it sometime in the 80s or even before. I need the hockey mask, and I prefer there to be at least some Crystal Lake connection, and I don’t want the tone to be too serious (no Platinum Dunes Jason, thank you much) or too-too silly. The film should have a sense of humor, but should go easy on it, so that Jason can be actually menacing and deliver some jump scares and gore. I don’t think any of the last three original Jason films (9, X, or FVJ) were particularly respectful of the immediate prior entries. I think you can just start up a new series of Jason stories and completely ignore any prior continuity. I’m not even sure if you need to get into his mom or the drowning. I mean you could, but the main thing is that it’s an 80s or earlier period vibe, there is some restrained humor, and Jason has a hockey mask on and is stalking. I’m ope to more exotic, high-concept sequels, but I’m fairly skeptical about their prospects for working. It’s been awhile, so, Jason has to re-earn our trust.

    Also, do something a little weird, like give him a dog or make it so there’s one person he likes and doesn’t want to hurt or one victim he keeps at his little hut, or something. I think you could give him a little bit of a weird inner life that is just hinted at, but he could still mostly just be slashing away.

  16. I saw it in theaters in 1993 too. I can’t really remember the reaction the glove got. I want to say it was an audible groan. I thought it was a cute wink after a weird movie that didn’t measure up to Freddy’s also not final Nightmare.

  17. I don’t have the contempt for “the original” many do, but I’d like to see JASON REALLY TAKES MANHATTAN WHATEVER THAT MEANS AND SPENDS LITTLE TO NO TIME ON A BOAT OR OTHER VEHICLE (Title negotiable). Obviously a quasi-remake would be the easiest way to go, but I think there are ways to make a sequel following on from VIII that wouldn’t restrict it to a wanky fans-only thing. I’m thinking either;

    a) Jason comes out of the sewers, fully formed once again as part of his weird growth cycles, on New Year’s Eve 1989 to cause some havoc on a new group of victime. This way we can double and triple down on all the silly 80s tropes that we wanted more of in the “original”. Personally I’d set it in 1990, but if we do that people will say “guh, that stuff is from the 80s not the 90s you idiots!”, but if we set it on the very last day of the 80s we can have people dress like Nick Rhodes on the cover of the first Duran Duran album walking locked in arm with someone dressed like Martika and people will go “yes, that’s what it was like in 1989 alright”.

    b) Jason comes out of the sewers in 1995 to cause some havoc on a new group of victims during the great “clean up” of New York City. This way Jason represents New York’s violent past coming to the surface from within the thin veneer which never quite covered it. If we want to get good reviews we’ll have a character say “don’t you get it, Jason represents New York’s violent past coming to the surface from the thin veneer which never quite covered it!”. and they’ll say it’s “smart” and not mention anything about whether it’s well made or actually enjoyable to watch. If we want to go pure we’ll keep it as subtext, and no one will comment on it until the next reboot comes along and some writer will make an article titled “JASON REALLY TAKES MANHATTAN is overlooked” and its reputation will grow from there, probably beyond where it deserves.

  18. I saw this one in theaters and would’ve been 15, I guess, and I don’t have a good autobiographical memory at all, but I’m pretty sure I loved the Freddy glove part precisely because I was more of a Freddy guy, and because I had absolutely no taste and would pretty much love even the shittiest entry in either franchise, just because I was geeked that there was another one, and because I was at the movies watching it. Truly an abusive relationship that I couldn’t get out of, lol.

    I can’t say I remember the audience reaction. I know that I was having trouble getting on board with pretty much everything about how Jason was realized in this film but probably in heavy denial about how shitty it was, and I think the Freddy glove part was more reassuring than anything. “So, they are doing FVJ, and this isn’t really the end, it’s just the fake end, and we’ll keep going like it was in the 80s with another one (or maybe one of each) every year. Yeah, let the good times role, etc.”

    Then they did NEW NIGHTMARE, which was cool, too, and way better than this or FREDDY’S DEAD imho, and then they just futzed around for like 7-8 years, which might as well have been a major geological period’s worth of time to a then-teenager who was accustomed to getting one a year and maybe even one of each a year. In the space of that time, SCREAM became a thing, it was okay, and then by the time another Freddy or Jason came out, I was a full-fledged (married!, college graduate!) early 20s adult. So, when JASON X came out, it was pretty much a lark, throwback, and I did see that theatrically (I was one of the four), and I had a blast, but it was definitely kind of a ship-has-sailed thing.

    As for new ones, I really don’t think the HALLOWEEN David Gordon Green model works, becuase I don’t want to try to take Jason seriously, whereas there was a time where you could take the Shape seriously, and Jamie Lee Curtis has the gravitas that she can set an “it’s time to take this franchise seriously again” (or she could do RESURRECTION with Busta Rhymes and Tyra Banks — she’s versatile!). I actually thought Platinum Dunes Jason was a decent Jason, but the story and look and kids was too “WB grimdark” (patent pending), and it took it self too seriously (and it felt weirdly too long, whether it was or not).

    I like PacMan’s ideas, especially staying in a pre-2000s period and being a little goofy. Jason is the straight man. You could do these for cheap and make them profitable in the long run, I have to think. I think there are lots of interesting things you could probably do, but I would prefer to start with a clean reboot that doesn’t necessarily pick up any specific original series timeline but that picks up at about part 4 or part 6 Jason and milieu. And the thing is, it’s not really constrained, as JASON X showed. You could do a zombie Jason and then do a prequel to zombie Jason with non-zombie Jason. You can have Jason’s body make its way anywhere in the continental U.S. or overseas, or you could have it jump through time, and then you could do the next one like that never happened or just ignoring it. That’s the beauty of all of these classic slashers now (except maybe Chucky): Their timelines are so fucked, and we’re so used to it, that all you really have to do is get a win on the board, and then you can be as direct sequel-y or sideways as you want thereafter.

  19. I watched this last night and it’s still an entertainingly daft movie in that overlit Full Moon kinda way, but Christ does this Marcus guy get even fuckin’ dumber and more deluded by the year. My new favorite dumbfuck thing about this outrageously dumbfuck script is how its entire plot revolves around this idea that Jason can only be reborn “from a Voorhees woman.” But then the narration in the HARD COPY parody says Jason’s parents are “Elias and Pamela Voorhees,” meaning Pamela was only a Voorhees by marriage. Then this Marcus numbnuts decides that the backstory of Jason’s sister is that Pamela had her out of wedlock—meaning she’s not a Voorhees at all! Meaning neither is her daughter or her granddaughter. None of these characters are Voorheeses! You’ve negated the entire premise of your own stupid fucking plot, you moron! Talk about an unforced error. But yeah, you’re right, bro, the only reason anybody dislikes the movie is because the mask isn’t in it enough. Not that what you replaced the mask with is some of the stupidest shit anybody has ever thought of. That’s not getting into the fact that this entire plot should have gone back to the drawing board once they got to the climax and realized that Jason would have to emerge fully clothed and masked from Erin Gray’s womb (or possibly they were planning some kind of primitive morph?). Who in the fuck looks at that and thinks any audience will buy it? Marcus was just an idiot fanboy so he could be forgiven for being drunk on his newfound and completely u earned power, but Cunningham, the adult in the room, has no excuse. To me, it kinda shows how little respect he had for the F13 audience at the time. “I mean, it sounds like some horseshit to me, but this fuckin’ dunce next-door neighbor kid my son hangs out with seems to think the mouthbreathers will buy it so what the fuck do I know? He’s the kind of dude who starts every sentence with either ‘Listen,’ ‘Again,’ or ‘Here’s the thing’ so obviously he can’t just be talking out of his ass.”

    Also it’s hilarious to watch the movie knowing they shot it at 22 FPS to save film (10% off total processing costs, according to Cunningham) and so the entire movie is slightly Benny Hilled. Once you notice it, you can’t unsee it.

    A true idiot masterwork on every level, with just enough bursts of genuine inspiration to make you understand why somebody at some point might have thought it would work. We won’t see its like again. On that level, I just can’t hate it.

  20. It’s funny how he complains that fans don’t like JASON GOES TO HELL for the lack of Jason but love Part V, missing that a) Part V is still one of the 2 or 3 least loved entries in the series, while it’s true that its fanbase has grown a little in recent years it’s hardly got an apologist army on a HALLOWEEN III* scale and b) Part V is still about a hockey mask-clad killer terrorising younglings with a machete. I mean obviously he’s 100% right that the reason we’re not jumping for joy at this sub-HOUSE III bullshit is because we can’t handle the dearth of bags and\or masks, just pointing out a little inconsistency.

    *One might think that a completely off topic film like HALLOWEEN III developing a significant following where JASON GOES TO HELL has not might say something but…nah

    (P.S. I now have a weird feeling Adam Marcus is going to show up here at some point)

  21. Oh, I forgot how the numbnuts also decided that what gave Jason his powers was that Pamela used the Necronomicon to bring him back to life. Was this before or after she got herself killed doing a massacre to avenge his death? Because if it’s before, why is she getting revenge in the first place? And if it’s after…we’ll, it’s not, because she’s a head in a fridge.

    Considering the two best parts of GOES TO HELL (the opening scene and the tent murder) were somebody else’s ideas, I think it’s safe to say this waterbrain never had a good idea in his life.

  22. If Marcus does show up, I’m gonna feel bad for insulting him so viciously, because he seems like a nice guy who’d be fun to shoot the shit with, like any number of genial but clueless nerds. Somebody needs to sit him down and get him to stop lying to himself about the movie he made but that should be a loved one and not some asshole on the internet.

  23. I’m just pleased to add the verb form of “Benny Hill” to my vocab, so, this movie is a win on that front. Silver linings!

    Honestly, though, Marcus is right that not having enough actual Jason in the mask is a huge part of the problem, he’s just wrong in the implication that this reflects poorly on the audience when it just reflects poorly on his own filmatic accomplishments and grasp of his audience. It would be convenient to retcon the JGTH’s poor reception as an early sign of toxic man-baby fanboy culture, but it’s not. Big swings are fine, but they are by definition high stakes. You swing and miss, that’s on you.

  24. All I can say is that I love Dean Lorey’s cameo as the Coroner’s Assisstant. “I’d love to take a crap right on your mask. A big old mango-sized crap.” And then he dies.

    I liked Steven, the main guy. I just assume he’s in arrested development, having done anything of note since high school, and that’s why he’s still wearing his letterman jacket. But this movie asks you to take a whole metric shit-ton of stuff on faith, and that’s just the least of it. I still like it tho, even if it’s mos def in the lowest tier of F13 movies.

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