I have Peter M. Bracke’s Crystal Lake Memories book as my current bathroom reading; it’s a fascinating and pretty honest look at the making of the Friday the 13th films. I just finished reading the section on The Final Chapter and there’s a story about the stuntman who played Jason in that film, Ted White, demanding that his name be taken off the credits. He apparently thought it was a statement about how unhappy he was with the film, but as the producers say, the only person who cares about Ted White’s credit in that movie is Ted White.
So yeah, who cares who’s playing Jason. Still, it’s neat to see the guy who is going to be the next iteration of the most enduring slasher of them all, and this time the guy is Derek Mears, a ginormous actor and stuntman who is apparently also a big horror geek. Nice casting!
I’m actually sort of stoked about the new Friday the 13th. It’s undeniable that I love this series, but I also understand it – these films are, in the end, cynical exploitationers that exist only to have cool kills. The movies were never a labor of love, as right from the beginning Sean Cunningham was just desperate to get a movie made and had a great idea for a title but nothing else, so he put an ad in Variety with that title, hoping to get bites from financers and did he ever. Plus, this series has been hopelessly destroyed by its own endlessly bizarre continuity, so the idea of not quite rebooting or remaking any of the films but rather setting it in the golden era of F13 - sometime around parts 3 and 4, where Jason has the hockey mask but is not yet a zombie* – appeals to me.
*And yes, I know that there is zero room between 3 and 4 for this, but whatevs.