Saturday, 12 July 2008

Voorhees a Jolly Good Fellow - Part 3

Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993)

After the dismal reception of Part VIII, the rights to the character of Jason Voorhees were sold to New Line films. Not, however, the rights to the title Friday the 13th, which is why the ninth film is titled Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday. Yeah right, like we believe that after The Final Chapter. Jason is blown to pieces in an F.B.I. sting operation, but manages to survive by possessing the coroner. Subsequently he tries to get hold of his hitertho unmentioned sister and niece so he can regain possession of his original body. Although I applaud the attempt to take the series in a new direction, I found this one pretty hit and miss. I liked some of the touches, such as how Crystal Lake has become something of a tourist trap, selling Jason Voorhees themed hamburgers and t-shirts. Anyway, due to the possession, the true Jason isn't seen very much at all except at the very beginning and end, and what we see sure differs from the previous films. His head is malformed, bloated and bloody and it looks like the flesh is growing around the mask, like it's an organic part of his body. The mask itself shiny, almost metallic, and we never see what lies underneath. Interesting idea, but I think it looks kind of stupid. He also has some long stringy hair, not seen since Part 2. His outfit hearkens back to the days of Part 3-5, a tattered blue jumpsuit and workboots. Is it just me, or does he look a bit fat?

Jason X (2002)

By 2002 both the Leprechaun and Hellraiser series had jettisoned their main characters into space for a bit of sci-fi horror. Not wanting to be left behind in the horror space race, Jason Voorhees followed suit with Jason X. It's in this film that Jason's seeming immortality is explained away by a mysterious regenerative ability. For most of the movie he gets around in a blue shirt and pants, this time with a tattered brown coat over the top. It's a good look, I think. His mask features the axe damage from Part III and he's even got some patchy hair. He is seen briefly without his mask, and he looks swollen and rubbery, almost like a cartoon character, but still recognisably human. He has some wiry tufts of hair and in some scenes it even looks a little grey. I guess Jason is starting to show his age. Towards the end of the film he gets his much-ballyhooed upgrade and becomes Jason 2.0. Some of his limbs are replaced with robotic prosthetics and his mask becomes a shiny chrome skull-like affair. Jason 2.0 gets two thumbs down from me.

Freddy vs Jason (2003)

In a rather shameless grab for cash, New Line properties Freddy and Jason team up in the imaginatively titled Freddy vs Jason to produce a film that's way more entertaining that it needed to be. Freddy resurrects Jason in an attempt to bring fear back to Springwood and consequently bring back Freddy's power. Unfortunately for Freddy, Jason cannot be controlled so easily. Apparently Springwood is walking distance from Crystal Lake. Who knew? Jason goes for a slightly different look this time. Dark pants and shirt with a torn blue jumper, gloves and workboots, all topped off with a ragged brown coat. Apparently Jason's decided to rug up for cold weather this time. Nevertheless, it's a good look for him, the coat gives it a bit of contrast, brings the whole outfit together. Throughout the film his outfit gets more and more tattered until it's just a pile of scorched rags. His mask doesn't feature any battle-damage nods to continuity, but the markings more closely resemble those of the original mask in Part 3. Maybe it's just me, but it looks a little larger. You don't get a good look under the mask, the closest you get is a look at his horrific dental hygeine. He is looking pretty black and rotten, but not as much as in Part VI or VII.

Friday the 13th (2009)

So, uh, this film is produced by Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes company, the same group behind the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Amityville and Hitcher remakes. Hmm, now that's worrying. They got the mask right (not that that's everything, look at the Halloween remake) and apparently he wears a combination of a hunting jacket and a military jacket, with a ragged t-shirt and combat boots. He is also a hunchback(!) and noticably leaner than previous incarnations. I'm glad that he's not built like a wrestler this time around, that got pretty silly towards the end when he was supposed to be a rotted corpse. Apparently the film is going to compress the events of the first three films into one film (kids today get bored with things like "suspense" and "tension"), which means bag-head Jason is going to make an appearance! I don't have high hopes for this film but I don't really care a great deal since Friday the 13th was/is a considerably lower pedigree than horror classics like Texas Chainsaw Massacre or Halloween.

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