Saturday, September 8, 2012
Jason Goes To Hell (1993)
Some woman heads to Camp Crystal Lake to take a shower and clean up. Jason shows up, chases the woman out into the woods, and then is blown to fucking pieces by the SWAT team. Jason's remains are taken to the morgue to be examined. The mortician notices that Jason's heart begins to bizarrely beat faster and faster. For some unknown fucking reason, the mortician begins to chow down on Jason's heart as if it were a frickin' Big Mack from Mickey D's. This somehow possesses the mortician with Jason's soul (WHAT?). Jason begins to kill and possess people around Crystal Lake. He kills a waitress named Diana. Diana's daughter Jessica's ex boyfriend Steven is blamed for the murder and locked up. In jail, Steven meets a bounty hunter who has been on Jason's trail for a long time named Creighton Duke. Duke tells Steven that the only way to kill Jason for good is for a blood relative to kill him. It turns out that Diana was Jason's blood sister (again with the killer/victim siblingship!). The only way for Jason to get his real image back is to possess a blood relative as well, which leaves Jessica and their baby daughter in danger. Steven must convince Jessica about her dark family history so that she can stop Jason permanently: by sending him straight to Hell!
In 1989, Paramount Pictures released the eighth installment in their popular Friday The 13th franchise titled Friday The 13th: Jason Takes Manhattan. The movie was a huge disappointment to fans and to Paramount Pictures as well at the box office. In 1990, Paramount decided that they no longer wanted to produce any more Friday The 13th films and sold the rights back to Sean S. Cunningham, who produced/directed the original. Cunningham had connections with some executives at New Line Cinema (the home of Freddy Krueger and back then Leatherface as well) and sold the rights to them. Realizing that both Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger were now under the same company, talk arose again for a Freddy VS. Jason film. It just seemed like a great opportunity. New Line decided to make a movie for both franchises where the two icons would end up in Hell together. In 1991, New Line released Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare that sent Freddy back to Hell. In 1993, New Line released the ninth installment in the Friday The 13th franchise titled Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday.
The problem was that Paramount Pictures still owned some of the rights like the title "Friday The 13th" as well as all of the events that occurred in the first eight films. New Line only got the rights to the characters Jason Voorhees and Pamela Voorhees, Camp Crystal Lake, and of course the trade mark hockey mask. This caused New Line to have to come up with something totally different for Jason Goes To Hell rather than the same old same old that we have seen in eight movies. So, they decided to add in a B-Movie/creature feature of sorts and bring in some more supernatural elements to Jason. This outraged lots of fans back in 1993 and still has people hating this film even today. I don't hate Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday by any means. In fact, I find this film to be highly entertaining, funny, very gory, and lots of fun. Sue me.
I'm not denying how ridiculous the narrative to this movie is. But, for me, that's the appeal of it. I'm not a snobby movie goer like a lot of the world's population can be including some of my own friends and family. I'm fair and see in between. It's always good to look at things outside of the box, which most movie goers won't dare do. We all have different kinds of movies we like. This movie just so happens to be different from the Jason movies that we're used to seeing, which is why this film gets so much hate. I respect Adam Marcus for having the balls to go this direction knowing how pissed off a lot of hardcore fans would get at him. He wanted to do something completely different with the franchise and he certainly did. It may not be perfect and definitely has some flaws, but that doesn't stop the movie from being highly entertaining.
The screenplay written by Jay Huguely and Dean Lorey is alright. Jason Goes To Hell is basically if you took a little section from Night of the Creeps and turned it into a slasher flick. Jason's soul is in the form of this slimy slug sorta thing that crawls into peoples' mouths and controls them. Also, when someone is possessed by Jason, their reflection in the mirror is the image of Jason. While, this concept is VERY strange and bizarre, I kinda liked it because it was something NEW. This wasn't just a slasher flick anymore. It went into a little bit of a demonic creature feature theme and I was cool with that. The narrative did have some major problems though, which I will discuss in a few minutes. I pretty much enjoyed most of the characters. Steven was a guy I truly felt bad for. All he wants is to see his daughter who he didn't even know he had. Everyone thinks that he is a psychopathic murderer for most of the movie. Can't this guy ever get a break? Jessica was decent as the heroine of the film. Not the best, but a hell of a lot better than Rennie from the last movie. Her mother Diana was okay too. We don't get to know her well though since she gets killed by her "brother" Jason early on. Creighton Duke was kinda annoying. All he basically did was provide the new back story for Jason. The news guy Robert Campbell was a total douche bag. He doesn't last long though since Jason possesses him. The woman Joey B. who is the manager at the diner REALLY annoyed me. She said the word "FUCK" like it was the only word she knew. This lady probably grew up in the trailer park. Definitely the kinda character that we would see in any of Rob Zombie's movies. YEASH! I hated this woman and her death was absolutely hilarious. Everyone else was just part of the body count.
And now for the best part of any Jason movie: the kills! The kills in Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday are fucking awesome! My personal favorite is when Jason rams some kinda tent post through this chick while she is hopping up and down on her boyfriend's cock like it's a goddamn Pogo stick, then lifts up causing the girl to split in half as blood sprays into the boyfriend's face while he is STILL fucking her! Necrophilia anyone? A guy's face melts off after Jason hops out of his body. It's really cool because the dude's entire lower jaw just falls to the floor oozing with blood and the teeth still attached. We also get a nice arm bone popped through the skin. I loved the death of Joey B. Just fucking hilarious. The blowing up of Jason at the beginning was also really cool looking. All in all, great gore thanks to Nicotero and Berger.
I do have some issues with the film though. I hated that they changed Jason's back story on us. It's said that only a blood relative can defeat him and only a blood relative can bring him back. Now, I didn't mind the body jumping ordeal even though it was highly silly, but I do take issue with changing the mythology of Jason. It didn't help that New Line didn't have the rights to most of what happened in the first eight films that Paramount produced, but that doesn't mean changing who Jason is. Also, what is up with Jason having a sister? Wrong horror icon guys. That is Michael Myers from the Halloween franchise who wants to kill his blood kin. Not Jason. Jason wants to kill any and everyone who comes to his woods of Crystal Lake to have premarital sex, drinking, and doing drugs. As simple as that. These relative stories usually make horror icons problematic in the end. Look at the Halloween series, which has had way more misses than hits. They even tried a relative story with Freddy Krueger in Freddy's Dead by having the main character turn out to be his daughter. That didn't work so hot either. Lose the relative stories because they always seem to put a curse on the icon rather than progress the character. Why the hell did Jason strip the Police Officer fully naked, chain him to the table in a weird S&M/Bondage fashion, and shave the man's mustache? Are you trying to tell me that Jason may be a homosexual? Just because a guy likes to live alone and has a fucked up looking face doesn't mean he likes dick in the mouth. Are you sure that this mortician is possessed by Jason Voorhees? It seems like he is more likely possessed by Jesse from A Nightmare On Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge! That joke was kinda mean. If you are gay/lesbian, I'm sorry if I just sounded like a complete homophobe. I'm really not, I just found it VERY oddly that Jason would do that. That's all. And what's up with the Book of the Dead from the Evil Dead movies being inside the Voorhees house? I take it that this film was highly inspired by the work of Sam Raimi and it definitely shows.
I'm personally not a fan of the new design of Jason in this movie. It's not bad, but I prefer the look from the previous Jason movies. The finale of this movie was fucking awesome unlike the last installment. No toxic waste or Muppet face Jason here. I loved it when all of the demonic hands came out and pulled Jason into Hell. I truly miss claymation FX. Those were the good old days! The best part is when Freddy's glove pops up out of the ground and grabs the hockey mask as Freddy laughs. This of course set it up for Freddy VS. Jason to be the next installment.
The direction by Adam Marcus was pretty good. All I ask in a Jason movie is to be entertained and Marcus definitely delivered there.
Harry Manfredini returned with another cool music score.
The acting was pretty decent for this kinda movie. I really liked John D. LeMay and Kari Keegan as the leads, Steven and Jessica. Steven Culp played a real dick as Robert Campbell. Erin Grey was okay as Diana at the beginning of the film. Steven Williams was okay as Creighton Duke, but didn't really do much for the film aside from providing a false Jason legend. And Kane Hodder was awesome as always as Jason Voorhees, well the few times Jason was Jason. Hodder also had a cameo as a security guard. I find it funny that he killed himself, literally spoken. Hodder also briefly played as Freddy's glove. Damn, technically the guy tackled two icons. That's a first. Sadly, the next installment will be Kane Hodder's last portrayal of Jason. All in all, pretty decent acting.
Overall, Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday can be a very fun and enjoyable film as long as you don't take it seriously. It definitely has its problems, but I still find it to be entertaining as Hell.