The Jason Voorhees Marathon: Part IX
This series has gotten dumb. What started as a brutal couple of films about a psychotic killer is now about a cartoon maniac with rapidly changing lore. This final entry promises that Jason with go to hell, but past films have promised the ‘final chapter’ and ‘taking Manhattan’.
Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday
Director: Adam Marcus
Cast: Kane Hodder, John D. LeMay, Kari Keegan, Steven Williams, Allison Smith, Erin Gray, Steven Culp, Rusty Schwimmer
Plot: After been blown apart by a government agency Jason starts possessing new bodies in a bit to continue his killing spree.
What the hell is going on?
At the end of the previous film Jason was melted in toxic sludge. It seems that he shook that off without much bother and it back to haunting Crystal Lake. A girl arrives and is attacked by Jason, but it’s an ambush set by the FBI who blows Jason into bits. It’s a bit odd that the FBI dedicated a tactical response unit to deal with an urban legend. Maybe someone did look at him in New York after all.
During his autopsy the mortician suddenly feels compelled to take a bite out of Jason’s heart, which allows Jason to possess him and use him to kill people. This is when it gets a bit bonkers, so try and follow along.
We get introduced to a bounty hunter dude who explains to a TV host that Jason can jump from body to body, and his body isn’t really him. Spiritual yes, but what makes this insane is that this has never happened or been mentioned in the series up until this point and this guy is talking like it’s common knowledge. Then he goes and talks to some waitress and how she’s so important to catching Jason like we know who she is and what her connection to Jason is. It’s all very confusing and it’s not until late in the film that they explain all these new rules.
Let me break it down. Jason’s soul can possess other people, but his reflection always reveals his true identity. The waitress is Jason previously unmentioned half-sister, maker her and her daughter and her grandson Jason’s living blood relatives. If Jason possesses one of them he gets his original body back. Conversely they’re the only ones who can truly kill him. They can do this with a magic knife the bounty hunter happened to have laying around. Oh, I almost forgot…there’s also a scene where Jason’s heart comes to life and runs around as a little demon thing and then…um…I’ll just quote from Wikipedia here:
discovers Diana’s body and slithers up her vagina, allowing him to be reborn.
Why? Shut up, that’s why. How there’s all this prophesy and stuff around someone who was a human at first then got made into a zombie by lightning is not explained. In one bizarre scene they go to the Voorhess house and find the Necronomicon from Evil Dead sitting there. Perhaps we’re supposed to assume this was the cause of it all.
Once again this feels like a totally different script that got Jason plonked into the middle of it.
But…and he’s the rub…it’s quite good fun. The production values are better than the average Friday the 13th film. It doesn’t look as bland as previous films, there’s some experimentation with camera work, editing and colours. Most of it looks crummy, but it’s more visually interesting that the last three. The characters are bonkers level over-the-top with Creighton Duke (Steven Williams) being especially ridiculous.
The main character isn’t any of the people Jason is possessing, the awesome bounty hunter or the relatives of Jason. It’s the father of the waitresses grandson. Steven Freeman could make for an engaging lead, being out to protect his loved ones but ultimately unable to do anything to stop it. The problem is that Steven (LeMay) is kinda creepy. He looks like a creep and acts like one for the bulk of the movie. He’s not very engaging as a protaganist. Who looks like he should be playing a sex creep neighbour, not the hero of the people and defender of families.
There’s a lot of garbage in this movie, most notably the complete rewriting of the lore. And the terrible acting. And the terrible CGI effects. And the awful characters. And the lunatic writing. But it still ranks pretty high in terms of the series as a whole. There’s plenty of fun there. Plus an extra star for Creighton Duke, that crazy bastard.
Rating: SIX out of TEN
Jason’s Best Kill: Technically a possession, but it’s so bizarre. Jason captures a cop to use as his next host and in a pointless and unexplained sequence he straps him to a workbench and carefully shaves him. Just…why?