It’s Monday the 13th! I don’t know why that’s not a thing – Monday are way scarier than Fridays. Anyway, after last week’s Freddy Kreuger post I thought I should go back to the 80’s OG boogeyman, Jason from Friday the 13th .
While Halloween and Michael Myers may have launched the slasher genre in earnest, Friday the 13th really stripped the genre down to its essentials. Pretty teenagers to teenager stuff and an unseen killer hacks their way through the cast until a single girl remains who finally puts the killer down. Never for good, though, as they always seem to come back.
The early 80’s in particular were a golden age for slasher films. You can talk about gialli and proto slashers like Black Christmas and you can talk post-modern slasher films like Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer, but it’s the early 80’s that saw hundreds, if not thousands, of teenagers murdered at drive-ins and movie screens across America by dozens of randos with some kinda mask or gimmick. Some of those movies were pretty good, like My Bloody Valentine or The House on Sorority Row, and some were just awful, like Splatter University or Don’t Go in the Woods. (Caveat: I kinda liked even the bad ones.)
The kings of the slashers, though, the franchises that stood out, were Halloween and Friday the 13th. They put the butts in the seats and the reason they did that was pretty obvious – Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees. It’s the same reason Freddy would come along and eat their lunch later in the decade – make a good monster and people will keep coming back through all the corpses you wanna pile up. While Michal was first, Jason was always my favorite.
For this illo I decided to do Jason as he appears in my three favorites of the series: Friday the 13th Part 2 (also known as Sack-Head Jason), Friday the 13th Part 4: The Final (yeah right) Chapter and Friday the 13th Part 6: Jason Lives. I’m not actually a huge fan of Jason’s look in Part 2 – it reminds me too much of the killer from The Town That Dreaded Sundown – but it was my first Friday movie, and also has my favorite Final Girl in Ginny.
I don’t really know why Jason was my favorite of the slasher antagonists, but l think it has something to do with his inevitability. He’s a freight train of death. He doesn’t take the time to lock the doors, like Michael Myers in the first Halloween. He just gets to choppin’ and stabbin’. He’s the blue collar worker of slashers, and for Jason it’s always chop-o-clock.
He was also one of the staples of horror films in the 1980s, and it’s 80’s Month at ScreenAge Wasteland! So which Jason was your favorite, if any? (While I love Jason X, I hate that mask.)