Dissecting Jason Voorhees!

Last Updated on July 22, 2021



Okay friendos, let's hear about it…how was your Friday the 13th? You still tipsy or what? Did you have any sinister black-cat encounters or suffer any ill-fated superstitions of some kind? Or better yet, did you make some much deserved, celebratory time for Mr. FRIDAY THE 13TH himself, Jason Voorhees? If not, why the f*ck not? If so, how much baleful bloodshed did you witness Voorhees incur over the course of the day? Did you chalk-up the kills and tally them all up in the end, as you damn well should? You better have! And if you failed this ever-so essential task, fret not boys and girls, you'll get a chance to rectify such an unthinkable crime next month when yet another Friday the 13th graces the calendar (and once more in November).

But let’s not put the cart before the horse…or the blackened heart before the rotten corpse if you will. Today we honor Jason Voorhees in the most reverential way possible…by utterly excoriating his fetid 35 year-old rotting frame of puss-ridden flesh. That’s right y’all, it’s high time we peel back the mask and give ol’ Voorhees a taste of his own treatment. You game? Good! Let’s Dissect this big mute motherf*cker once and for all!


Due to the sheer breadth and profligacy of his three decades of unbridled carnage, we've decided to breakdown Voorhees' best work into three factions: best films, best kills and best actors. Got it? Groovy!

BEST FILM: Subjectively speaking, we all have our favorite Friday the 13th films. Allow me to enumerate, quite selfishly, how I think the franchise stacks up, before taking a closer look at what, by most accounts, holds the top spot. Putting the original aside, or above all, as we'd never be able to rank the sequels without the progenitor, here's my favored order of FRIDAY THE 13TH flicks: PART IV: THE FINAL CHAPTER, PART 3 (3D), PART 2, PART VI: JASON LIVES, PART VII: THE NEW BLOOD, PART V: THE NEW BEGINNING, PART VIII: JASON TAKES MANHATTAN, JASON X, JASON GOES TO HELL, FREDDY VS. JASON.

Feel free to disagree with said order, but here's why THE FINAL CHAPTER still ranks supreme. Let's start with the cast. A pre-GOONIES and STAND BY ME Corey Feldman? A pre-McFly Crispen Glover? Hilly from WEIRD SCIENCE? The sad titular LAST AMERICAN VIRGIN? Those fine-ass twin teen hotties? Un-f*cking-beatable! Now consider the director, Joseph Zito, hot off the slasher masterstroke THE PROWLER. Talk about the perfect man for the job! We get a great pace, sense of humor, soundtrack, amount of nudity and of course, Jason at his absolute apogee of unremitting butchery. Seriously, Voorhees wields the hacksaw, hunting knife, meat clever, cutting shears, corkscrew, hatchet, machete, window pane, bare hand and more to kill and spill the blood of a baker's dozen victims. Not only that, the brutally graphic nature of these death scenes benefitted from the being made in 1984, during the most fecund time for slasher flicks to be as sick and icky as possible. Really, I could go on and on about the merits of THE FINAL CHAPTER – the shock of the mother's death, the red-herring of Rob the "bear hunter" as potential killer, the fantastic slow-mo finale of Tommy Jarvis going postal, etc. – but we already know it's simply the best!

BEST KILLS: Again, opinions are sure to differ here, but that's okay. And in the name of spreading love across the swath of Jason's 30 year murder-spree, we're feting one major fatality from roughly each flick in the franchise. Read 'em and weep!


BEST ACTOR: It's no secret that we here AITH have a bit of a bromance with the immortal Kane Hodder…the man who played Jason Voorhees in FRIDAY THE 13TH VII: THE NEW BLOOD, FRIDAY THE 13TH VIII: JASON TAKES MANHATTAN and JASON GOES TO HELL. And why not, dude's a pimp! The consistency alone proves he's the right man for job, as no other actor played the role of Jason more than once. Moreover, if you take a close look, never before has Jason been asked to do such physical performance than in parts 7, 8 and 9. Of course, Hodder's longtime background in stunt-work paid huge dividends in this regard, giving him the lateral range to give an imposing physical performance. Only Ted White from THE FINAL CHAPTER and CJ Graham from JASON LIVES even came close to being as visually threatening as Hodder. You hear that Platinum Dunes…Kane motherf*cking Hodder!


There are many ways in which to consider Jason's weaker moments onscreen, though none of them are really his fault per se. I mean, how could they be?! Nope, Jason's filmic nadirs are either the result of poor scripting, lame direction, MPAA neutering, and of course, the actor chosen to play (or not play) the brutally mute murderer. For instance, we easily can cite FRIDAY THE 13TH V: A NEW BEGINNING for being an inferior product just by virtue of Voorhees' absence. Remember, that flick featured a copycat killer, with the real Voorhees entombed 6-feet deep in a cemetery somewhere. But then again, if it wasn't really Jason in the film, can it truly be construed as his worst work, especially when the film itself is actually pretty decent as a standalone effort? Same with JASON GOES TO HELL, which features very little of what we know love about Jason, instead a malefic shape-shifting spirit of his reigns supreme. Certainly not his finest hour, but the worst?

Or hell, how about we skip back to FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VII: THE NEW BLOOD, where, by virtue of a stringent Reagan-era MPAA crackdown, the flick amounted to a practically bloodless one. All the carnage was of the cutaway variety…all blue-balls and no money shot. Could that equate to Voorhees' lowest moment? Hard to say that when, in that same flick, Jason mowed old Bernie Lomax (Terry Kiser) down with a brush-hog and pulverized that poor girl in a sleeping bag to death upside a tree!

Nope. All things considered, how can we say anything other than the insipid 2009 remake is and perhaps always will be Jason's most embarrassing stint? Has to be! Far more of a desperate money-making attempt to play the best-hits album – not to mention far too slick, glossy and gormless for a Voorhees flick – nothing remotely new or exciting was attached to Jason's much anticipated return to the big screen. Actually, one thing was new, but felt so contrived and unlike Voorhees that all it did was inspire a whole lot of hemming and hawing from true F13 lifers. I'm talking about hostage taking. I'm talking about weed growing. Running electricity. Shite Voorhees never has, wanted or needed to do in the past. Unbelievably bogus at best, a disgraceful face-palm at worst!


Just as his varied body count, there's no shortage of trends in Voorhees' murderous modus operandi. Let us cut, carve and slice the ways…

First off, the easily identifiable appearance! Evolving (or devolving if you wish) from a hideously deformed man-child into the cloaked cycloptic burlap-sack, to the now infamously iconographic hockey mask, Voorhees' striking visage cannot be confused with another. His look is legendary. The bulk, the girth, the hulking frame, the dearth of speech, the lumbering pace…all of it. Tether this with the grim and grimy, eternally tattered duds my man sports throughout his three-decade reign of terror – dirty flannel, dusty work-threads, soiled coveralls, etc. – and no doubt about it, all of it mesh to form a formidably (un)fashionable foe. A dark star is born!

Beyond that, come on now, it’s all about the long-bladed machete…Jason’s trusty murder weapon of choice! Granted, my man has employed every killing tool, blade, blunt object and sharp instrument under the sun, but when push comes to shove, there's no question, Voorhees is gripping the Danny Trejo. Machete time! Remember, it's the machete he first finds in FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 2, in which he makes his series introduction. The trusty blade reappears in damn near every sequel since, with major play coming in FRIDAY THE 13TH PART IV: THE FINAL CHAPTER when young Tommy Jarvis (Corey Feldman) wields the machete to hack Jason's twitchy moribund body to gory pieces. Then, in Voorhees' next appearance, resurrected in JASON LIVES (PART VI), Voorhees usurps the power of the long-blade once more when lifting a pristine machete from a brush-clearing paint-baller. Of course, he proceeds to shred, bled and dead a whole raft of mofos immediately thereafter. Hell, you need another example? What about the way he bludgeons that Montel Williams looking biker dude from FRIDAY THE 13TH 3D? Shit's vicious!


Look, when you've notched more than a hundred dead bodies under your bloody belt…doing so in the most vile and violent ways over the course of about a dozen movies…no doubt, you're going to have some unvarnished jewels tucked away somewhere. Mr. Voorhees certainly fits that bill, doesn't he? Now we could get microscopic and appraise such smaller gems with a jeweler's eye, saluting kill by kill, but that'd take eons. So instead, since I've banged the drum long, loud and hard for JASON LIVES in the past, I'm now about to go WHIPLASH on your asses. F*ck Jake, call me JK!

Like, love or loathe it…FRIDAY THE 13TH VI: JASON LIVES has to be the most underrated franchise entry. If for no other reason, just peep the death toll! My man Voorhees kicks so much ass in the movie, making his return from the grave after a maddening absence in PART V, and right from the jump after being hilariously resurrected via lightning bolt. With 18…check it, 18 motherf*cking slain bodies, Voorhees slaughters more people in JASON LIVES than in any other FRIDAY THE 13TH sequel before and after it, with the lone exception of the exorbitantly cartoonish JASON X (many kills in which comes via a virtual reality gaming sequence). Now granted, the number in JASON LIVES is partially inflated due to the triple-decollation my man Jason incurs on those three paint-ballers. But sill, 18! That's no f*cking joke!

In addition to the profuse bloodshed, JASON LIVES also features a storyline involving small children that is not only suspenseful, but truly pretty terrifying, at least in a way we've never seen before in FRIDAY flick. The stakes have risen, and while it would have been even gnarlier had he gone through with it, the mere mystery of whether or not Voorhees massacred the entire cabin of little tykes (the gore-splattered empty cabin we see) added a level of tension I always marvel at. Hell, there's even a shot where Voorhees frighteningly looms over a young girl's bed, yet oddly and uncharacteristically, showed restraint and walked away. Not the most gorily satiating decision, but certainly an original one.


After five years of dormancy following the critically lambasted yet financially profitable FRIDAY THE 13TH remake – more an ersatz best-of to be more accurate – talks of yet another FRIDAY THE 13TH flick began to boil-up again in 2014. A lot of hearsay and conjecture has been spouted in the last 10 months or so, but we'll do our absolute best below to give you the most accurate update on the flick as of now. Let's roll…

Bumped from an originally slated November 13, 2015 release, it has been confirmed that the new FRIDAY THE 13TH will be released May 13 2016. Platinum Dunes is producing under the watchful eye of Bryan Fuller, and as of now, THE SIGNAL and VHS filmmaker David Bruckner has gone from rumored to expected director of the high-profile rehash. Beyond that, we know for certain that Jason Voorhees will be featured prominently in the film, perhaps even exploring his heretofore never-addressed immortality. We also know the flick will be set in the 1980s and will likely feature a newly woven Pamela Voorhees (mama) storyline.

Expounding on such a thread, here are producer Brad Fuller's own words on the matter:

There’s always been this supernatural aspect to these movies. It defies logic that, you see Jason get killed in every movie, including ours, the 2009 one. And then he comes back and no one’s ever really investigated what that is. So that’s something that I think about a little bit. Like it is supernatural, but what is he? Those are the things that we’re toying with. Nothing has been decided. But those type of things: How does he always come back?”

Crediting Bruckner for story inspiration, Fuller continued:

People traditionally want to understand exactly how and why things happen, and yet something so odd happens at the end of these movies and no one seems to question it. So people come to the movie with the expectation that the real villain will be killed and come back. And yet we never toyed with that notion.”

We shall see how it all plays out in about 15 months or so. A lot to be ironed out between now and then, among the most crucial is casting. Let's hope that, if they don't bring back Derek Mears to play Jason, our favorite, Kane Hodder, scores at least some kind of cameo. Our man deserves it!



As we've thoroughly enjoyed witnessing over the last 35 years, Jason Voorhees is nothing shy of a first ballot horror-hall-of-famer. A legend. An absolute paragon of horror villainy. A goddamned role model! And if we're talking about 25% of the horror Mt. Rushmore – along with Freddy, Michael and maybe Leatherface – not sure about you, but Voorhees is my personal favorite. I f*cking love this monstrous man-child, and do my very best to revisit his homicidal handy-work during each and every real-life Friday the 13th. It's a traditional must! Cheers Mr. Voorhees, here's to another 35 years!

Source: AITH

About the Author

5371 Articles Published

Jake Dee is one of JoBlo’s most valued script writers, having written extensive, deep dives as a writer on WTF Happened to this Movie and it’s spin-off, WTF Really Happened to This Movie.