Over decades of FRIDAY THE 13TH films, Jason Voorhees has become the modern equivalent of a Dracula, Wolf Man or Mummy. While those legendary monsters will never be usurped as the masterful creations they are, we still need to recognize that Universal monsters aren’t the talk of contemporary times; those honors go to the likes of Voorhees and his fellow slasher villains Freddy Krueger and Michael Myers.
So today let’s start with Jason, and take a look back at the very best screen kills at the hands or machete (or other handy tools) of the menacing Mr. Voorhees! Oh… for the record, these aren’t listed in any particular order, because, well, they’re all equally bad-ass!
FRIDAY THE 13th PART III — Don’t Forget Your Safety Goggles
This was an important death for three key reasons: First, Vera was a multilayered personality with a streak coursing through her that hinted at the potential of being the Final Girl. Second, the death — by harpoon to the eye — is gory as all hell, and this was one of the only scenes that actually looked successful in 3D back when the third installment hit the big screen. Finally, this is also the very first time we see Jason tag a victim while sporting his trademark hockey mask.
FRIDAY THE 13th PART VII — Sleeping Bag Bashing
This has always been a huge winner for me, since it’s a very raw exhibit of Voorhees’ otherworldly strength. Poor Judy… stark naked, wrapped in a sleeping bag waiting for her studly boyfriend to return. But her boyfriend is already good and dead, and when Jason hoists this dame into the air, still wrapped in that sleeping bag, he swings for the fences. Scratch that — he swings for the trees, bashing this beauty to death. Gotta love Jason’s moments of grisly creativity.
FRIDAY THE 13th PART VIII: JASON TAKES MANHATTAN — Toe-to-Toe, Head-to-Severed-Head Combat
If there was one amazingly awesome sequence in JASON TAKES MANHATTAN (though still not enough to redeem the film), it was the no-holds-barred brawl between Voorhees and the brash Julius. Keep in mind, Julius was the tough guy of the film — and to his credit, it wasn’t all talk. The man had a large enough pair on him to actually engage Jason in a one-on-one fist fight… even if he did lose the battle via MORTAL KOMBAT decapitation.
Fun fact: Kane Hodder, in an attempt to make this scene appear as real as possible, insisted Julius performer Vincent Craig Dupree punch him with all his power. Hodder really took a few hard bombs to the hockey mask… not that it phased the seasoned stuntman in the slightest.
FRIDAY THE 13TH — Skewered Bacon
Okay, so technically we’re cheating here, as Jason Voorhees didn’t do any killing in the inaugural F13 film — that was all Mommy dearest’s doing. Regardless, it doesn’t change the fact that Kevin Bacon’s character Jack suffered one of the more brutal and shocking deaths in the series, as he has an arrow shoved through his throat while lounging on his comfy little cot. One of the stronger and more memorable slasher kills, this one simply had to be included.
JASON GOES TO HELL: THE FINAL FRIDAY — Split Person… ality?
Signposts can be damn dangerous, as Deborah found out firsthand in the earlier portions of the ninth installment in the FRIDAY THE 13TH franchise. She’s doing her slutty business in a tent, riding her boyfriend like she’s running a placement trial for the PRCA, but as luck would have it, she wasn’t… cut out (I had to do it) for the rodeo. Rather, she’s split in two — right down the center — by that blasted signpost. Bloody, and glorious!
JASON X — Now That’s a Cold-Blooded Kill
Poor Adrienne; the looker that she was, needed a makeover… at least according to Jason, who snatched her up by the back of the head and forced that pretty little face into a sink full of liquid nitrogen. Freezing her face just wasn’t enough for good old Jason, though. No, he had to make sure the job was as gory as possible — so he smashes her frozen face to bits on the counter next to the sink. 10 franchise installments in, and Jason is still coming up with wildly inventive means of murder.
FREDDY VS. JASON — Karma’s a Bitch, Trey
FREDDY VS JASON actually featured some pretty damn cool death scenes, but none as satisfying as his horrendous attack on super-dick Trey, Gibb’s obnoxious boyfriend. This asshole gets himself folded in half before a plethora of savage stabs finishes the job. The greatest part? Trey’s death was more of a favor to viewers than the heartbreaking loss of a beloved character. You can’t be too upset when the tool of the film gets treated to some savage contortions prior to being shredded by a razor-sharp blade.
FRIDAY THE 13th PART 2 — Mark’s Football Career is Cut Short
Maybe it’s because Mark was confined to a wheelchair, or maybe because he was one of the very few likable characters in the second FRIDAY film, but whatever the reason, it was heartbreaking to see this decent fellow take a machete right to the face before plummeting — still in the wheelchair — down a long flight of steps. In the end, while this particular death felt troubling, it was admittedly bad-ass, and the scene itself has become somewhat iconic over the years. At least he left a lasting impression, right?
FRIDAY THE 13th PART VI — Who Knew Paintball Could Be So Dangerous?
A few goofy paintball enthusiasts are unfortunate enough to run into a bloodthirsty Jason Voorhees while meandering about the woods… and one of those players finds himself on the receiving end of one of Jason’s most over-the-top attacks: he gets his face plowed into a tree, and when what’s left of that battered visage slides away and the man’s body collapses we see an awesome blood red happy face embedded in the wood. It’s absurd, but you have to appreciate that kind of ingenuity.
FRIDAY THE 13TH: A NEW BEGINNING — They’re Not Just for Gardening Anymore
Okay, this one is also a little bit of a cheat — as we all know that it isn’t actually Jason slaughtering kids in the fifth film. That doesn’t take away how amazing it was watching the promiscuous Tina have a pair of garden shears stuffed into her eye sockets. That was just plain brutal — and to think, it happened to an actress named Deborah Voorhees. I mean, shouldn’t she have gotten a survivor pass for being a possible family relation?