Friday, October 13, 2017

My Top 5 Favorite Jasons in Friday the 13th

I know I haven’t posted in awhile, but how could I not post something on a Friday the 13th?

Jason Voorhees has always been my favorite among the killers and slashers throughout the history of horror cinema. As of this writing, there have been seven actors and countless stunt performers to portray the role of Jason Voorhees. Eight if you count A New Beginning, but that was an imposter.

Ever since I ranked the Friday the 13th movies from worst to best (should have been Best to Best), I wanted to make some kind of list about the Jason character. That being said, I thought I’d make a list of my favorite appearances of Jason.

There are eleven possible candidates for this list. Jason from parts 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, JGTH, X, X-Uber, FvJ, and the Remake. I am not counting Part 5 as it was Roy Burns. (I know you can say that Jason was technically in the movie as an hallucination, but I am not counting that.)

Here are my top 5 favorites...

5. Jason from Friday the 13th Part 3 (in 3D!) played by Richard Brooker.

R.I.P. Richard Brooker

Jason from Part 3 was such a step up from the Jason in Part 2. He became more cold blooded, and menacing, both in nature and visual presence. Jason in Part 3 displays an almost, “I don’t give shit anymore,” attitude; perhaps as a result of being wounded and embarrassed by Ginny at the end of Part 2.

Of course there are sequences in the film where he runs around, genuinely wanting to catch his next victim, but unlike the Jason featured in Part 2, there are scenes where he looks like he just does not care. Like how he walks away after killing Vera with the harpoon gun, as if nothing even happened. To add to that, Jason lurks around unmasked in this movie for quite a while, as if concealing his face isn’t a concern anymore either. Remember, the Jason in Part 2 ran from the police officer. If a scene like that had happened to the Jason portrayed in Part 3, I bet he would have ran toward any cop in front of him and killed them without hesitation, then would have walked away like it was nothing.

And how could I mention Part 3 Jason without saying that this was the first time he put on the hockey mask? Something which would go on to become an iconic aspect of the character. Like a match made in Heaven, er, Hell.

4. Jason from Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives played by C.J. Graham.

Jason Lives is arguably one of the best sequels in the franchise. This portrayal of Jason Voorhees is the version I remember watching the most of as a child. I have probably watched Jason Lives more than any other movie in the series. Therefore, when I think of Jason, his look in Jason Lives is one of the ones that pops in my head first.

The opening scene of Jason Lives is also one of my favorites. Usually Jason’s face isn’t revealed until near the end of the movie, but in Jason Lives, his bare face is on full display right at the beginning. It’s always a cool treat to see Jason’s face, something the more recent films have seemed to ignore, but I love seeing Jason battling Tommy and Hawes with his rotting, maggot and worm covered mug showing. (Maggothead!)

This opening starts the movie just right. Not only did it bring Jason back from the dead, but it showed the audience that the real Jason was back, and possibly stronger, angrier, and badder than ever before. C.J. Graham captured that intensity perfectly in his performance as Jason. With the addition of a utility belt of sorts on the costume, Jason appeared much more tactical than previous versions.

3. Jason from Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood played by Kane Hodder.

I’m not sure the reasoning why any previous actors in the series didn’t come back to portray Jason more than once, but that all changed when Kane Hodder put on the hockey mask. Kane ended up playing Jason in four films; Parts 7, 8, 9 and X. (He played Jason again in the 2017 Friday the 13th video game, providing the mocap for all the Jason’s in the game.)

Out of all the movies Kane Hodder played Jason, his New Blood Jason is my favorite. Although I really love the look of Jason in all the films in one way or another, the costume and makeup for Jason in The New Blood looks so damn cool. Especially Jason’s face, once it’s revealed. The amount of work, thought, and care that went into the details of that costume is something still mesmerizing to this day. I mean, just look at it. I always smile from ear to ear when Jason stands up out of the water towards the beginning of the film and his spine is showing through the back of his clothes.

Then there is the kills. Jason is a damn killing machine in The New Blood. I mean, he’s a killing machine in every movie, but in this movie he really goes all out. Even using new weaponry in his arsenal. (Like some gas powered tree limb cutter thing?) It’s just a shame that the MPAA forced them to cut back most of the kills to achieve an R rating. I know it’s probably impossible at this point, but I always wished there was a way to restore the cut footage and produce a proper Director’s Cut version of The New Blood. (Maybe one day.)

2. Jason from Friday the 13th (2009) played by Derek Mears.

Say what you want about the 2009 remake/reboot of Friday the 13th, but can we all agree that the portrayal of Jason by Derek Mears is one of the best in the franchise? I know that’s a bold statement, but every Jason fan I’ve talked to has never said one bad thing about Jason in the reboot.

After the Frankenstein-like Jason we saw in Freddy vs. Jason, it was nice to see Jason’s quick ferocious power once again. (Don’t get me wrong, I loved Freddy vs. Jason. I just thought Jason could have been played better.) A lot of people hated the fact that Jason ran in the remake, but as a lifelong fan of the franchise and the character, this did not bother me. (Jason did run, be it brief, in Parts 2 and 3.)

The new hockey mask is beautiful, and the new sackhead version of Jason in the beginning of the movie was pulled off brilliantly. It was actually chilling to see him like that once again. Dare I say, scary? The remake has its flaws, but when it comes to Jason, there are none.

1. Jason from Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter played by Ted White.

Jason Voorhees in The Final Chapter is my favorite Jason of them all, and perhaps the best Jason ever to appear on screen. Ted White, the man behind the mask in the fourth installment of the franchise, took what Richard Brooker started in Part 3 and amped it up tremendously. That, “I don’t give shit anymore,” attitude that I mentioned above seemed to be cranked to eleven.

Jason genuinely seems pissed off throughout the entire movie. Some key scenes that I feel demonstrate this are his kills in the morgue, his chase scene with Trish, and when he grabs Tommy through the window. Then, most of all, the scene where Jason bursts through the door near the end (my favorite shot in the movie). Broken wood pieces fly everywhere as he slams through the door. Then, without missing a beat, he throws a hammer at Trish. Although he misses her, the hammer sticks into the wall just inches from her head.

Jason Voorhees was such a badass in The Final Chapter that even when they attempted to kill the character off for good, hence The Final Chapter subtitle, it didn’t work.


Well there is my list. I hope you enjoyed it. In conclusion, Jason Voorhees is and always will be my favorite horror movie character. I love each movies portrayal of him in some way or another. The ones on this list are just my favorites. Here is hoping we see Jason again real soon up on that big screen.

Feel free to leave a comment with your favorites Jasons.

P.S. Making these Jason collages for this post was a lot of fun!