Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday Fan Poster/Movie Review

image_jason_goes_to_hell

Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday Movie Review

(Director: Adam Marcus, Producer: Sean S. Cunningham, Music: Harry Manfredini, Jason: Kane Hodder)

This film opens with flavors from the older films: we’re back at Crystal Lake with a half-naked woman on her own wandering the woods, with classical Friday music cues stirring the tension.

While controversial, I really like the look of Jason Voorhees in this movie: loose strands of hair reminiscent of our first look at Jason unmasked in Part II, his mask rotting into his face, his skin and clothes bearing the scars of past battles. In the crystal moonlight, he looks creepy as hell.

Then, the FBI comes in and blows him and the whole movie to bits. Okay, I get it, it’s about time the government came onto the scene as Jason Voorhees has killed 120 people by now, and perhaps countless others off-screen.

The credits feel fresh, and seeing Sean S. Cunninham and Harry Manfredini both return to “finish” the series is exciting for fans!

And then the coroner eats Jason’s still-beating heart. WTF?!

That’s really the only sane reaction to have watching this movie, as everything just goes off the deep end at this point. Fortunately, Creighton Duke the Bounty Hunter explains it all! Oh, Jason is some evil devil thing that “uses bodies like we use a suit.” Right… so Jason as we know it was really just a starter suit?

We do get some scantily clad campers, a very gratuitous sex scene, and some brutal kills but the whole movie breaks so entirely from the formula that it feels like one big con: instead of a slasher we get a haunted house, demonic possession, the Necronimicon, body snatching, themes of Halloween and imagery right out of Hellraiser. Cunningham threw every trope he could think of at this movie, and still it stinks worse than Jason’s charred corpse.

Sure, there’s action and some creative kills but why the hell is Joey’s Diner stocked like an armory? What’s with the strange whimpering sounds in the Voorhees house? And magic daggers?! And then, finally, Jason is revealed as some weird alien-baby-demon thing… and at last, Jason reborn (why didn’t he do this at the very beginning of the film?!) as a hulking dummy who gets dragged down to hell by Rockbiters from the Neverending Story.

Jason Goes to Hell? More like What the Hell?

This movie follows a similar off-the-wall formula used for Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (notice the similar title?) and intentionally sets up a Freddy Versus Jason concept at the very end, which I guess was exciting had they made that movie any time in the next decade and a half. Ahh New Line… no wonder the Rockbiters dragged you down too.

Trivia:

  • The Necronomicon seen in the Voorhees house is the very one in the same prop used in Army of Darkness, as there were mutual fans of both series working on the films
  • In an awkward twist of fate, the young mostly-nude camping couple with the gratuitous sex scene had actually been dating each other right up until the movie shoot. They broke up, not knowing they were to work on the same film and then had to act as a couple on-screen.
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