With the release of a
new Friday the 13th this Friday February 13th mixed with the (third,
maybe) rerelease of the first three films in new DVDs, I figured now is
as good a time as any to reprint this classic series from a couple of
years back, where I sat down and watched all 10 Friday the 13th films
as well as Freddy vs Jason. To make this something more than a simple
reprint series, I’m also reviewing the new DVDs on each of the relevant
entries. Which I guess makes just the last 8 nothing more than a
reprint series, but since this was a pretty fun series I don’t see the
harm in that. This new edition of CHUD Goes to Camp Crystal Lake will
culminate with my review of the new Friday the 13th, but it’s unlikely
that it will be in the same format as the rest of the series. I’ll save
that for my review of the DVD in four months.
Special thanks to Litmus Configuration for the amazing image above!
24 (two offscreen presumed meltings, one autopsy probe to the neck
followed by a face melt through a metal grating, three offscreen and
uncertain, one razor slashing, one bisecting with a pole, one totally
gooey onscreen melting, one pole through the back, one head smash to a
locker, two heads knocked together, one death by – apparently –
compound arm fracture, one crushed, one fryolation, one face punched
in, one accidental shooting, one impalement followed by head smooshing,
one dumb sherriff impaling himself on a mystical dagger, one cut in
half and expunged of a slimy puppet, one bear hug to the finish.)
A girl is giving her boyfriend the ride of his life when a pole pops
out of her stomach – and then rips upward, tearing her in half. Poor
dude never got to nut.
Sex, Drugs and Rock n’ Roll:
An FBI lure gets naked. Three kids go to the woods to smoke pot, skinny
dip and have unsafe sex. One guy steals his girlfriend’s mother’s
corpse and boasts about it on a huge cellphone.
The Comeuppance: Stabbed by a magic dagger, huge Ben Grimm hands drag Jason to hell.
The Movie: After Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan,
federal agents raided Paramount’s Hollywood lot and rescued the
hideously tortured franchise. Well-meaning authorities tried to find
the series a suitable home, but as is too often the case in abusive
situations, Jason Voorhees was placed with a studio that would continue
to make him do completely unnatural things.
Here’s the sticky thing about Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday:
taken on its own, it’s not the worst movie I’ve ever seen. But taken as
part of the franchise it’s a complete disaster. I have to wonder if
this wasn’t a script intended for the A Nightmare on Elm Street or Halloween
(which had already begun devolving into mumbo jumbo at this point)
franchises – it has a scary old Voorhees house with trap doors, a
magical dagger, a bounty hunter who knows about some mystical Voorhees
curse, and Jason jumping from body to body as a disembodied spirit.
This is some seriously dumb shit, even in a series whose main character
is an unstoppable retarded zombie.
took to viewing this movie as an alternate reality take on Jason
Voorhees, although since he only appears for maybe less than ten
minutes in the whole film, it’s easy to just view this movie as part of
a franchise all its own. Ignoring the end of Part VIII
(and pretty much every other goddamned movie in the series), Jason Goes
to Hell opens with a lone girl coming to Camp Crystal Lake and getting
naked. Jason pops out and she leads him on a chase, but it’s a sting!
The feds are laying in wait for Voorhees and, after pumping him full of
hundreds of bullets, destroy him with an airstrike. I kind of love that; I actually love the whole opening. It’s a great idea, but it’s the
sort of idea that leaves you nowhere to go except with a hypnotizing
Jason’s exploded remains are taken to a morgue, where his heart begins
beating again and hypnotizes the coroner. It hypnotizes him into eating
it. Kids, never eat a beating heart unless you’re under the supervision
of Joe Rogan. Anyway, the heart transfers Jason’s little balls of
reddish orange light to the coroner, who begins a rampage that will
bring him back to Crystal Lake.
Voorhees is big news, as is the disappearance of the coroner and the
subsequent massacre at the morgue. A tabloid news show is excited to
cover the mystery, and they bring on bounty hunter Creighton Duke,
known for taking down serial killers, to explain why Jason Voorhees
isn’t dead and what it will take to kill him. Jason Goes to Hell is
unique among Friday films in that it actually has a number of actors
that you’ll easily recognize from other work (and weirdly stars Billy
Green Bush, who I just saw as Zipper in Electra Glide in Blue. Still in police work!), and this scene puts two of my faves against each other: Steven Culp, aka RFK in Thirteen Days and Rex on Desperate Housewives, interviews Steven Williams, X from X-Files and Captain Fuller from 21 Jump Street! Erin Gray’s in this movie as well, and she later gets a monster in her pussy, but let’s not jump ahead.
Duke explains that Jason Voorhees can only be killed by a Voorhees, but
that he can also be reborn through a Voorhees. This is stupid in the
extreme – he was just a retard who couldn’t swim back in 1980! But it
is what it is. It turns out that Erin Gray is Jason’s long-lost
half-sister, that she has a daughter and that her daughter in turn has
a child. They’re the reason why Jason is returning to Crystal Lake – to
either kill them or be reborn through them.
did this never bother Jason before? Hey look, the coroner arrives in
Crystal Lake and slices a naked girl graphically in twain! I can hear
the filmmakers sighing in relief that tits and gore have taken your
mind off the movie’s absurd plot, but not even Caligula-level
debauchery could keep us from pondering the sheer idiocy that is yet to
come. Jason begins body hopping seemingly at random, and it isn’t
eating a heart that does it anymore – he pukes a snake into your mouth
to take you over. By the time that Jason takes over Steven Culp (who is
schtupping Jason’s niece, conveniently enough), I began to think that
maybe the toxic waste in Part VIII
had sent Jason on some kind of crazy psychedelic trip and this was all
in his head and maybe… hey, wait, the guy who used to be Jason is now
melting in extremely yucky detail! What was I just wondering about?
Voorhees now begins stalking Jason’s niece and her ex and baby daddy,
some 30 year old dweeb in a letter jacket (whose insane costuming
choice was this?) and follows them first to a police station and then
to a diner, where some excellent carnage takes place – say what you
will about how silly this movie is, and it’s pretty fucking silly, the
unrated cut on DVD delivers the violence. It doesn’t deliver the logic,
plot or tension, but the violence is all right there.
final showdown takes place in the old Voorhees house (I’m still too
annoyed at the idea that, in their attempt to shove every fucking
horror series into this movie the filmmakers took the house from Psycho).
It’s Letter Jacket Dweeb, Jason’s Niece and Steven Williams. They have
a magic dagger (don’t ask where it came from. No, really, I have no
fucking clue, the movie just presents it. Maybe this dagger was
introduced in an earlier Friday film in whatever alternate universe Jason Goes to Hell takes place in. Maybe it was Friday the 13th Part V: Jason Takes Mordor)
and Jason’s Niece needs to stab the current Jason body with it. The
film, which had been previously ignoring series continuity now ignores
its own – the newest Jason host can talk! Anyway, they cut him in half
but a little Ghoulie crawls out, finds Erin Gray’s corpse (long story,
not worth telling) and climbs into her pussy.
slow down a moment and drink all of this in. I was sort of grooving
with the movie before now; sure, it’s awful and it has the production
values of a Sci Fi Original movie and it’s maybe just a little too
tongue-in-cheek for its own good (I have long complained that modern B
movies are too self-aware, and that the old B movies we love are the
ones that actually try to be movies), but it was agreeably insane, and
the lack of anyone walking around in a hockey mask allowed me to sort
of just enjoy it on its own goofy merits. But all of a sudden a human
body is cleaved and a stupid slimy puppet crawls out of it, scampers
around, gets into a very fakey looking fight with Letter Jacket Dweeb
(although I do love puppet vs actor battles where the actor is
obviously just shaking the puppet) and then SLITHERS INTO KATE SUMMER
STRATTON’S CUNT. The puppet enters the vagina of Wilma Deering. I don’t
think even Buck Rogers pulled that stunt off.
If Jason Goes to Hell
is Jason’s toxin-induced acid trip, here comes the peak: once the
monster is snuggled in a Voorhees vag, Jason gets reborn – in a hockey
mask and in the same raggedy outfit he had on at the beginning of the
film. Oh, and still as a zombie. Does this really count as being
reborn? This is so stupid that you realize what “Don’t Give A Shit At
All” filmmaking looks like. This is some avant garde stuff here.
finale keeps spiraling into lunacy: once stabbed with magic dagger,
Jason is pinned down by a light from heaven. At this point in the movie
I felt like the lone drunk at the beginning of an old monster movie –
you know, the first guy to see the monster, who then looks at his
bottle of booze and says something like “I’m done with this!” and
tosses it aside. I sat on my couch in actual disbelief when the
heavenly light hit Jason, but that isn’t even the best part. Giant
fucking rubber hands come out of the dirt and drag Jason to hell. All
that’s left is the hockey mask… which the hand of Freddy Krueger
snatches at the very end of the film.
Jason Goes to Hell actually outdoes the misleading title of Jason Takes Manhattan
by having Jason only go to hell in the last 90 seconds of the movie.
With that logic it should come as no surprise that the original title
of Jason X, the one that sees Jason in outer space, was originally Jason On the Road to Zanzibar.
don’t know how much New Line paid for the rights to this character (but
obviously not the title). Whatever it was, it was too much, since they
barely use anything that is recognizable from the previous films. The
whole deal was obviously to set up the Freddy vs Jason
movie, but then why bother making this weird conglomeration of badness?
Was there an exec at New Line who honestly believed the fans needed a
whole movie to explain why Jason would be in hell, or wherever it is
that Freddy found him (confession: I have not ever seen that movie. I
am still deciding whether to do it as a bonus film for this series, but
to be frank these last few movies have made me feel like I’ve done a
couple of rounds of rooftop boxing with a guy in hockey mask myself)?
If so, the answer was not to make a movie that just ignores all
previous continuity (such at is in this series). Jason Goes to Hell is a weird anomaly in the series, a Friday entry that feels more like it would belong on the same named TV show. Even Jason X has Voorhees running around as Voorhees and doing his usual slasher gags… albeit in fucking space.
Still, Jason Goes to Hell has the best opening in the series (well, except for the Jason Bond bit in Jason Lives), and unlike earlier, tepid installments (I am so looking at you, Part II),
it’s never quite boring. Annoying, yeah, but rarely dull. In fact, if
the movie had just left out some of that magic garbage at the end, I
might actually be able to like it in an almost non-ironic way.
Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday scores:
Two Retard Jasons out of four.
Next: Jason kills David Cronenberg and then goes to space. You can’t accuse New Line of just remaking the same film again and again.