If you think Ed Gein had jacked up mommy issues, you haven't met Jason Voorhees, the deformed joy assassin of Camp Crystal Lake.
The sole progeny of Elias and Pamela Voorhees, Jason made his non-violent debut in the summer of 1946: the same year that gave us the uber-sexy bikini and the considerably less sexy Bikini Atoll nuclear weapons tests. Papa Elias, correctly assuming that three was a crowd, was quick to pull a Claude Rains, leaving mother and son alone. By the age of 11, young Voorhees was ready to blaze trails as the most popular kid at a happening summer camp.
Where are all the bitches at, yo??
Pair these youthful good looks with the fact that mom is the resident camp cook, and you've got an infallible formula for coolness, right? Much to the chagrin of Young Jeezy, this was not the case. While the girls DID come a-running, they did so only to help chase the non-swimming simpleton into the lake. Had fate intervened at this point, camp counselors would have pulled Voorhees from the water, leaving him with a simple scarred psyche to match his tragically mangled face. Said counselors, finding nothing about rescuing the cook's waterhead offspring in their job description, opted instead to disrobe in a cabin and pursue one of the few leisure activities available in rural New Jersey. After a few minutes of desperately hilarious struggling, Jason was pulled under the surface of Crystal Lake, spawning an Oedipal clusterfuck not seen since...well...Oedipus.
Following the demise of her only child, Mrs. Pamela Voorhees was understandably perturbed, and Camp Crystal Lake soon found itself short one cook. Meanwhile, the summer haven continued to thrive, albeit without Mrs. Voorhees' superb tater tot casserole recipe. The following year, two camp counselors were found butchered after ditching campfire karaoke in order to...who knew that teenagers got their freak on so regularly in the 1950s?
"Golly, Kate. I sure can't wait to plow your backyard after the sockhop."
This finally took the wind out of Crystal Lake's sails, and the campground was effectively closed. Cue 1980: A ragtag gang of teenage girls and boys (in homo-length cutoffs) arrives at the ill-fated campsite, ready to begin a summer of half-assed child supervision and countryside shenanigans.
Formally trained in CPR, First Aid and not giving a shit when your kid drowns in a lake
Not long into the campsite revival, the counselors are methodically isolated and slaughtered. Left behind is Alice Hardy, a poor man's Kristy McNichol whose unfuckability is the likely reason behind her survival in the film. Fleeing for help after a humorous carom through her dead friends, she stumbles upon Pamela Voorhees. It is quickly revealed that Alice is not among friends as Mrs. Voorhees dives into a monologue about her son's death at the hands of negligent teenagers. Because camp chef dollars weren't enough to snag an attorney to take legal action against Camp Crystal Lake, Jason's doting mama opted to dole out her own brand of cable knit-sweatered justice.
Her "Dangers of Camp Crystal Lake" awareness campaign had gone swimmingly (yes, we absolutely had to go there) for more than 20 years, only to meet its end via Alice of the Ambiguous 70s Bowl Cut. As it turns out, teenage sexual repression has advantages - in the case of Alice, the advantage was enough pent-up aggression to lop off the head of a psychotic mother hen...with a fucking MACHETE.
Coming from this level of insanity, one begins to see just why Jason had such issues during adulthood. Wait...adulthood? Yes! By some unlikely (and never adequately explained) miracle, young JV survived his horrific water incident. This probably should have been something he let his mom in on before she began killing people in order to re-close Camp Crystal Lake....a place she considered "unsafe" after Jason's disappearance. True, her logic may have been twisted, but it has to be said that fewer mothers have gone to such great lengths in the name of a cause.
Suck it, Mothers Against Drunk Driving!!
Though Jason didn't find it necessary to find his mom and have that whole "It's really great that I didn't drown after all and you don't have to go kill Kevin Bacon and a bunch of other people" moment, seeing her get the machete slapchop did something to his waterlogged psyche. He naturally offed Alice for revenge (after unnaturally leaving his mom's head in her fridge as a pre-murder prank),
Soda, OJ, Purple Stuff and....WHAT THE FUCK????
and decided that he had found his niche. His murder spree spanned a multitude of films. The driving force behind this bloodbath?
A) Carrying on the work of his late mother
B) Hardwired hatred toward those who remind him of his childhood camp experience
C) General dislike toward anyone who has what he does not (namely sex and friends)
ANSWER: Who The Fuck Cares?? Jason Voorhees is a killing machine: Silent, methodical, and best of all...inventive. Best of all, he realized that silent, methodical killing is even scarier when you don't look like William Shatner.
"Maybe. But I know where to get cheaper airfare!!"
Just a few highlights of Jason doing what he does best: Killing the holy hell out of people:
1. Folding Bed Stabfest:
Why it's so fantastic: It's a relatively safe bet that the relentless machete punching would've done the trick alone. On the other hand, the backwards V would've done the job as well. Jason did both just to be a dick.
2. Smiting of the Handi-capable
Why it's so fantastic: It's definitive proof that Jason Voorhees is an equal-opportunity killer. The only thing that could have made it any better is a chase scene.
Why it's so fantastic: Not since the time the chemistry teacher made vanilla ice cream for everyone has liquid nitrogen been used in such an awesome way!!
4. Sleeping Bag (AKA Best Jason Voorhees Kill)
Why it's so fantastic: Were you not paying attention just now? Watch that shit again!
While Jason Voorhees is most known for the machete, he is actually an opportunistic killer who has murdered the crap out of people using the following items: ice pick, party blower, barbed wire garrote, spear, hammer, knitting needle, pitchfork, hacksaw, tent spike, bottle, electric guitar, syringe, sauna rock, mining drill.
Mr. Voorhees has also been known to tap into his inner Steven Seagal on several occasions, using his brute strength to snap necks, smash faces and crush skulls.
In this context, wishing for Jason to have a machete makes sense
Little is known about the genetic workings of the Voorhees family tree. Even less is known about the chemical components of Crystal Lake. Viewers are left to assume that one or both of these factors are behind Jason's remarkable staying power. Whatever the reason, the fact is simple: Jason Voorhees flat out sucks at dying and can never be counted on to do it permanently. Not only is JV a tenacious fucker, he happens to have some of the best luck ever bestowed upon a murderous being. No matter what tragic end his hijinks lead him to, there is always some jerkass waiting to unwittingly resurrect him - as we will see in the Jason Voorhees life/death/life/jump a shark/death/who the hell is still watching this series?/ timeline:
Friday the 13th Part 2: Jason's final encounter in the film is with Ginny, who stumbles upon his cabin and learns that: a) Jason's relationship with his mom is slightly out of the normal range and b) Jason's home decor leaves a bit to be desired.
He usually dusts her off if he knows people are coming over
Their confrontation ends after Ginny assumes she has banished evil by hitting it with a machete. Once. In the shoulder. She is rumored to be a graduate of the Laurie Strode Survival Academy.
Friday the 13th 3-D: Those who saw this when it first premiered in theaters will remember that this is the movie where Jason first dons the infamous hockey mask. They will also remember walking out halfway through the film because the crappy projectionist couldn't get the film lined up properly. This chapter ends with the hero, Chris Higgins, giving Jason some savory axe-to-the-cranium action. When he's seen again, it is in the morgue at the beginning of...
Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (The 7 Following Films Will Just Be Called Sub-Chapters): ...where Jason decides that he will once again rebel against the whole death thing, killing the morgue attendant and heading back to the lake. Yadda yadda...Crispin Glover...yadda yadda 12-year-old Corey Feldman shaves his head and looks like a creepy, pre-teen Billy Corgan
...but wait: Feldman (aka Tommy Jarvis) shouldn't get the yadda yadda here, being that he is the one who uses Jason's own machete to hack him into a mound of paste. This is done at the cost of his own sanity; a concept further explored in...
Friday the 13th: A New Beginning: Jason Voorhees fans felt a bit duped on this one, as Jason decided to do very little living and/or dying in this picture. He opted instead to go on a machete paste hiatus and leave the killing to a copycat named Roy Burns. Which brings us to the point where the proverbial Fonz strapped on the water skis and got ready for action - otherwise known as...
Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives: When Tommy Jarvis is (PREMATURELY) released from his mental institution home, he immediately decides that he needs to check on Jason's uncremated remains. Deciding that Jason is not dead enough,
Admittedly, he looks seconds away from fucking some shit up
and hit with a sudden re-surge of insanity, Tommy proceeds to attack the crusty corpse with a fence spike. When the metal is hit by lightning, Jason is not only resurrected, but also endowed with POWERS. Though happy to no longer be a dusty corpse in the ground, even Jason is wondering where Tommy's loyalties lie at this point. These apprehensions are put to bed at the end of the movie when Tommy offs Jason, Mafia-Style, by chaining him to a rock at the bottom of Crystal Lake...
Deja friggin vu
Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood: ...where he is unchained, years later, by a goddamn telekinetic!! Her misguided powers find Jason as she searches the waters for her dead father - an example of what happens when awesome psychic powers fall into the hands of teenage blondes. By the end of this awesome cinematic experience, Tina's father does emerge to drag Jason down into the depths of Crystal Lake. Again.
Aw, come the hell ON!!!!
Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan: Science has proven that electricity will kill you. In a similar fashion, electricity will unkill you if you happen to be dead when it hits you...and that is pretty much all anyone needs to know about Jason coming back to life in Part VIII. After a few boat kills and a quick romp through the streets of New York, Jason is hit by a tidal wave of toxic waste while in the sewers. A lesser known sidenote to the "electricity will unkill you" principle involves toxic waste turning a person back into a small child because...seriously, who even continued caring this late in the game?
Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday: Picking up on the fact that the world had stopped giving a flying fuck, this movie had NO resurrection backstory whatsoever. Jason's simply back at Crystal Lake, doing his thing. Only this time, the FBI is watching him (apparently the government won't stand for a series of localized, predictable slayings after a few decades). After a tardfest involving the eating of Jason's heart and Jason gaining the ability to move through host bodies via creepy snake demon, it becomes all too apparent that New Line Cinema got their grubby mitts on this chapter of the franchise. Jason meets his end via mystical dagger (it had to happen at SOME point) and he is dragged to hell. But oh no! He left his mask behind! Oh wait...Freddy Kreuger got it for him...say whaaa?
Freddy Vs. Jason: While Jason X is the next sequential chapter, Freddy Vs. Jason is presumed to have taken place after Jason Goes to Hell and Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare. The highly-anticipated crossover was released 15 years after the intended release date of 1987. Eager fans were treated to a cinematic abortion that would not be paralleled until 2 years later when Alien Vs Predator made its debut. But back to the subject: the feud is won by...Jason? No, Freddy. Both? Neither? One thing is certain: Kane Hodder should be thankful that the torch was passed along to Ken Kirzinger for this POS.
Caution: Objects in movie less epic than they appear
Jason X: In 2008, the top brains at the Crystal Lake Research Facility determine that Jason Voorhees is really fucking hard to kill (your hard-earned tax dollars at work). He is therefore cryogenically frozen and found in the year 2455. Once aboard a scientific space vessel, he thaws out and begins doing what he's done for years. Only, y'know, in space this time, meaning that there are now fun additions like androids and holodecks. During one fight scene, he is conveniently knocked into a nanomachine medical station and rebuilt to emerge as Cyborg Jason.
Kane Hodder is officially relieved to not be recognized out of costume
He is eventually hurtled back toward Earth where, presumably, he is killed during re-entry.
And within this timeline resides the proof that Jason Voorhees is as hard to get rid of as Tyler Perry movies. For this we should be thankful. Without the Voorhees legacy, we'd be left without:
And the gamers of the day would have been deprived of:
We here could not imagine such a world.