Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Friday the 13th Part IX: Jason Goes To Hell

By the time the eighth Friday the 13th movie had been released, Paramount believed they were in a cycle of diminishing returns, and decided not to proceed further with the series. Instead New Line acquired from them the rights to make subsequent Friday the 13ths. New Line’s master plan was to eventually pair Jason Voorhees with New Line’s own horror icon, Freddy Krueger. A variety of difficulties, mostly revolving around the script, prevented this from happening for more than ten years. But in the meantime, New Line decided to proceed with a movie that would set up the eventual showdown, 1993’s Jason Goes to Hell, the ninth installment in the series.

It had become traditional to begin these movies with Jason right where we left him at the end of the previous one, and come up with a plot device to revive him. Unfortunately, at the end of Jason Takes Manhattan, he was a dead little boy covered in sewage, which presented some real obstacles. So they did the right thing: They ignored it. (There is supposedly a comic book that bridges the gap between the two films, but I haven’t seen it.)

We open with a young woman at a cabin in the woods. She takes a shower, and we know the hang-up Jason has about boobies. Jason attacks and she runs for her life – at which point lights come on, and soldiers come from everywhere (even rappelling out of trees for no good reason) and start shooting Jason repeatedly. It was all a trap. They blow Jason into little pieces, and the series finally comes to an end. Fantastically enough, this movie was less than eight minutes long, so it’s perfect for those with short attention spans.

But wait! It continues. The soldiers carry the Jason chunks to the morgue for an autopsy. During the autopsy, the coroner stares at Jason’s barbequed heart. Mmmm tasty, he thinks, and before you can say WTF, he is eating the heart. This apparently allows Jason to jump into his body, and our hero has acquired a brand new supernatural ability. The coroner, by the way, is black, so Jason is now a brother. This is justice, when you consider how many African-Americans have been dispatched by the original in the course of the series. The new Jason goes on a, you guessed it, killing spree, making his way to Crystal Lake.

Apparently Jason still has a sister living in the old hometown, and he needs her. Although he can jump into new bodies, the new bodies wear out fast. Only by jumping into the body of another Voorhees can he be truly reborn. The flipside is only a Voorhees can truly kill him. There is a bounty hunter hanging around to explain these things, fortunately. Oh yeah, when Jason is in another body, mirrors reveal who he really is, which makes it the reverse of vampires, I suppose.

Anyway, Jason needs to get into the body of his sister (played by Erin Gray, now estranged from Buck Rogers), her daughter, or granddaughter. Much carnage ensues.

One of the notable things about the movie for horror fans is the number of in-jokes related to other horror movies can be seen. A character looks through the Necronomicon from the Evil Dead movies, in the cellar we see the crate from Creepshow, and most famously, at the end, Jason’s mask is swept underground by the razor-bladed glove of Freddy Krueger.

The biggest problem with the movie is how little we actually see Jason himself, since he is busy jumpng from one body to another. This is a shame, since Kane Hodder has nailed the character, he should be used much more.

And just for trivia’s sake, Jason Goes To Hell was very profitable, and Paramount almost immediately regretted their decision to let the franchise go.


John Hornor Jacobs said...

Does Hell actually come into play. Devils and pitchforks?

I hate to admit, I watched the first of these movies when I was a kid and none of the others, though I did catch a few minutes of the one set in space on cable late at night. I quickly changed the channel.

KentAllard said...

You have to wait for the next one to get a glimpse of hell. I always figures Jason would feel at home there, probably get a good job.

dilcomention said...

There are lot of horror movies made but very little like Friday the 13th 2009 do you still remember the movie. Free movies is where I have read about the new remake. Still the revenge of mom continues as I saw, it will be entertaining movie yet again. Some have think it have left the interest but I don’t feel like that, for me it was still in a remaking position