Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Jason Voorhees' Most Innovative Kills

With the release of Friday the 13th (2009) looming on the horizon, I thought it best to make a "Friday" themed list. This isn't the "best" kills, this isn't the "coolest" kills. This, my friends, is a list of Jason's most innovative, and in some cases most convoluted, kills in the Friday the 13th franchise.

In writing this list I needed to put some rules on myself, so only Jason Voorhees proper counts. No kills by anyone else in any of the films, such as Pamela Voorhees From Friday the 13th (1980) or the Roy/Jason from Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning. That's not due to hate for Part V. I actually love that film and consider it in my top three of the series. The title is Jason Voorhees' kills, however, so Roy just doesn't count. Also, you won't see any of the Jason-inhabited victims in Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday because it only counts if it's the man himself, and well... fuck Jason Goes To Hell.

5. Sheriff Garris (Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives)
Jason Lives is the father of the Zombie Jason half of the Friday the 13th films, and what would become the "Jason" films when the series hit New Line Cinema. At the time a lot of people thought that the series was dead in the water (chuckle), but director Tom McLoughlin was brought in and given pretty fair reign to bring Jason back in a whole new way.


McLoughlin is known as a Universal horror buff, so he thought that bringing back Jason like a monster out of the 30s was a great idea, and in a lot of ways it was. I'm more of a fan of the real, live Jason (sort of) from Parts 2 - 4, but that's a thing of preference.

Anyway, in bringing back Jason, McLoughlin also brought back a meaner, more shark-like Jason (C.J. Graham). Now that he's been dead and buried for so long, he came back with an attitude, and no other kill in Jason Lives shows this moreso than the death of Sheriff Garris (David Kagen). The wise-cracking, kick ass Sheriff of Forest Green (formerly Crystal Lake) gets his at the (bare) hands of Jason Voorhees when he folds the man in half... backwards.

Although Jason has had some interesting kills, this is one of my favourite that he's done with nothing but his mitts. In fact it was so loved that it was mimicked in Freddy Vs. Jason when Jason (Ken Kirzinger) stabs Trey (Jesse Hutch) with his machete and proceeds to fold him up in his bed, again, backwards. That shit is for real.

4. Dr. Crews (Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood)
Although, like many of the films on this list, not one of my favourites, The New Blood is a very original entry into the series. It also introduced Kane Hodder to the role of Jason, one that he would reprise in the next three Friday/Jason films.

The director of the film, John Carl Buechler, is a well-practiced special effects designer, and as a result, brought a different kind of flare to the film. Although heavily edited by the MPAA (come on Paramount, we need an uncut!) this film is still known for it's special effects in both the look of Jason, as well as the many innovative kills.

It's like Jason walked into some crazy gardener's tool shed in this flick... actually, that's exactly what happens.

As each kill continues to top the last, one of my favourites is when Jason is chasing Dr. Crews (Terry Kiser - Bernie from Weekend at Bernie's!). You wanted this prick to get it the whole movie, and finally when Jason finds Crews blundering through the woods, we hear the crank of a motor and find Jason holding none other than a tree-trimmer. What a moment.

He proceeds to stalk Crews as only Jason (and possibly Michael Myers) can and then finally buries the tree-trimmer into Crews belly. Someday we'll get to see it in all it's uncut glory. Someday...

3.Adrienne (Jason X)
Considered by many to be the nail in the coffin for the Friday the 13th/Jason franchise, Jason X is the film where New Line felt the need to jettison Jason into space. It's been rumoured, and somewhat confirmed (by Todd Farmer in His Name Was Jason) that this was so that no one could screw with the timeline before Freddy Vs. Jason (like timeline ever mattered anyway). Whatever the case is, this film has it's moments.

A lot of people complain about it being too "Canadian" and most everyone hates Uber-Jason at the end of the film. I certainly don't hate the film, although I rarely watch it (maybe because I'm a Kraft Dinner loving, milk-bag drinking, Canadian) and I actually love the look of Jason (Kane Hodder) in the opening sequence before he becomes Uber-Jason. I don't know what it is; the new shape of the mask, the fact that you can sort of see Hodder's face, I just like it. Whatever.

Anyway, the film houses one of the best kills in the series. Jason, after being just woken up after a cryogenic freeze of many, many years, awakens to find himself in the presence of a young woman, Adrienne (Kristi Angus). A possible nod to Adrienne King, the original heroine in Friday the 13th? I think so. She, however, gets one of Jason's more brutal kills.

First he proceeds to manhandle the poor woman, beating her around the futuristic emergency room. Then, he dips her head in some form of nitrogen (it appears to be liquid - whatever it is, it does the trick). This freezes Adrienne's face. Just when you thought that was enough, he drags her face out of the freeze bath and then bashes it to hundreds of pieces off of the counter.

2. Kate (Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood)
Easily one of the most forgettable characters in the whole franchise (although she did show up in the documentary, His Name Was Jason) Kate (Diane Almeida) has one of the more shocking and hilarious deaths in the series.

In a scene around the middle of the film, Kate and her boyfriend are spending some "alone time" in a van while they await the birthday boy, Michael (William Butler) who is mysteriously missing (oh, if they only knew). When her boyfriend, Ben (Craig Thomas), thinks he hears Michael outside he grabs the nearest noise maker before stepping out to check and see if his buddy has finally arrived at the weekend birthday extravaganza. Ben then gets it by one of Jason's most preferred methods, the skull crush.

Kate waits a few minutes, wondering where her boyfriend could be, and then probingly ventures out of the van, only to get the noisemaker, a horn, right through her eye, presumably into the brain.

I'm sure that this scene was, as well, heavily cut, and I can only hope that there was more horn noises while Kate slowly succumbed to Jason's vicious hate for parties.

1. Judy (Friday the 13th Part VII: The New
I hate to admit it, but none of my favourite Jason films made it into my list. I wanted to go for innovative, and I guess it was the later films in the series that really had to take it up a notch.

That being said, one of my favourite kills in the series did make it onto this list, and no less at number 1. You might think I'm biased, but read on.

The kill in question is on poor Judy (Deborah Kessler) from The New Blood (I told you it was an original entry). While awaiting her boyfriend, Dan (Michael Schroeder), she attempts to keep warm in their tent. Dan has, predictably, already been dispatched by Jason, via machete.

I don't know if it's the sight of the tent that brings Jason's rage out, or the fact that she was suiting up (or down?) for a little semi-outdoor sex, but he puts a hurt on this poor woman like no one else.

Jason goes to the tent, drags little Judy out, still in her sleeping bag, scoops her up in the sleeping bag, and proceeds to hammer her off the nearest tree.

Again, this scene is heavily edited by the MPAA. In any version of the film you'll see Jason bash Judy off of the tree once. If you were to, however, I don't know... search on YouTube, you might come across a scene that shows Jason bashing her off of the tree until he bloody well gets tired. I believe this is also featured in the "killer cuts" on the DVD box set from Paramount (Friday the 13th: From Crystal Lake to Manhattan). Although I believe Buechler is often quoted as saying that Jason only hitting the young woman off of the tree once has more "impact" (easy with the puns, John, that's my job) I think once you see Jason run out of breath while smashing this chick off of a tree half a dozen times, you'll be of the opinion that would've been way better.


Shane said...

Man, oh man, I gotta watch The New Blood again. The sleeping bag scene is ridiculous and hilarious.

Also, folding a person in half in not used enough in horror movies as far as I'm concerned.

Cole D'Arc said...

I didn't know you held Part V in such high regard. I sure as hell don't. Oddly enough, Part VII is one my favourites and it dominates this list. Unfortunately, my least favourite in the series by far was the followup, Part VII - it's horrible.

Cole D'Arc said...

duh, part VIII, i meant, obviously. Manhattan. whatever. it sucks.