Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Friday the 13th - Jason Goes to Hell

In the afterlife
You could be headed for the serious strife
Now you make the scene all day
But tomorrow there'll be Hell to pay
 - Squirrel Nut Zippers

Before I started this experiment, I started a thread in the Horror section of IMDB and asked F13 fans which was their favorite of the series and which was the least favorite. Nearly all the responders said that Jason Goes to Hell was definitely the worst of the series.

Now I finally watched it and I see what they mean.

It's not that it's badly acted, there are certainly some Friday movies that were far worse in that department. It's not that the production values were terrible. It beats the production in Jason Takes Manhattan by a country mile. So what was wrong? The reason why this movie seemed to piss so many people off was that fact that it is NOT a Friday the 13th movie. I don't know what it is, but of this I am sure. This is NOT a F13 film.

This time we start out with a woman (actually an FBI agent) luring out Jason by getting all nekkid and stuff. He follows her out into a clearing in the woods where he is immediately shot to death by waiting snipers. During Jason's autopsy, his "evil" or something takes over the coroner who eats Jason's heart (did Jason have one?) turning the man effectively into Jason. And now Jason must travel from host to host to find his sister (Erin Gray of Buck Rogers fame) and remaining relatives because they're the only ones who can kill him. And he also has to find them because it's his sister's daughter's baby who has the power to make Jason whole again. Oh but there is also a mystical magical dagger that must be used to kill him. Oh and then....

Sound confusing? Oh, but I haven't even gotten into how Jason's evil travels through slug type thing, the crazy bounty hunter in search of Jason (even though everybody saw Jason get shot up real good), the dweebie guy who is the biological father of the Jason's sister's daughter's baby and how he kidnaps his baby in order to protect it after he breaks out of jail because they think he killed Jason's sister and then...

Yeah, I'm going to stop now. It just goes on like this.

This is a movie where there is a lot of stuff happening and yet nothing really happens at all. It's almost like the writers (who proclaim to be F13 fans) had never seen a Jason movie and just came up with a plot right out of other horror movies. Jason has a sister like Michael Myers has a sister. Jason needs to be reborn like Chucky (or even Freddy). Jason disrobes an old fat guy, ties him up and shaves his mustache like...

Wait. WHAT?

Yes, in one scene the coroner/Jason decides it's time for a new host. So he kidnaps a cop, ties him up naked (in front of a romantic roaring fire no less) and gently shaves off the man's mustache, using a strap razor and shaving cream(!) in order to transfer Jason's soul orally in the man. My thought was....well...JASON WOULDN'T DO THIS! ON WHAT PLANET WOULD JASON DO THIS? WTF? Okay, rant over but seriously? Jason was never sexual. Let's be honest, he hates sex of all kinds, so that kink stuff is way out there. But that's far from being the film's only problem. Let's talk about the "hosts" for example. None and I mean none of the people that Jason jumps into act like Jason at all. There's no movement, no action, no inkling that what they are is anything other than a person acting crazy and doing bad things. Heck, none of them even had a solid Jason walk.

Oh but the movie annoys on so many other levels too. The whole sister thing is unbelievable, unnecessary and stupid. The "hosts" don't have any purpose. The bounty hunter scenario is useless. And someone should have told the music composer that incidental music should only be used incidentally. Here it's used in every scene for no apparent reason. Imagine if your 5 year old cousin got a hold of a Casio keyboard and decided to pound the heck out of it at 5 second intervals. He could have composed the score of this movie.

So they tried to do something new. That can work sometimes, I'm all of a change-up. But when you do something new, you can't disregard everything that made the old great. So congrats JGTH, you have earned your special place in Hell as the worst F13 ever made. Now let's never speak of this again.

Favorite Moments (may contain spoilers):
  • Jason's death by firing range and the agents' "whoo hoo!" reaction afterwards.
  • The shaving scene. Seriously. What the hell was that all about?
  • Jason finally being dragged to hell at the end in the most ill-named F13 since "Jason Takes Manhattan."
  • The very end scene when Freddy's claw comes out to drag Jason's mask into the ground. Okay I have to admit. That was kind of clever.
Fun Facts Kids!
  • Look for Kane Hodder as the security guard in the beginning who calls Jason a "pussy."
  • The two actors that played the doomed sex-having campers were ex-boyfriend and girlfriend in real life. They had actually split up a few months prior to shooting and neither one knew the other was going to be in the movie.
  • Many of the props were taken from other (better) horror movies, including the Necronomicon from Evil Dead, a jungle gym from The Birds, and a crate from Creepshow.
  • John D. LeMay (Stephen Freeman) also starred in Friday the 13th: The Series which had nothing to do with the movies.
  • O.J. Simpson was originally considered for the role of Creighton Duke.

Agree? Disagree? Or just have a random string of curse words you'd like to share? Comment!

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