Written by:Brent R. Oliver
As I lovingly eye-hump my collection of Friday the 13th movies, I realize that Jason Voorhees has always been my favorite on-screen killer.The guy is just a cool motherfucker and I don’t think anyone else compares.I love Jason just like a father of three knows exactly which kid is his favorite. Unlike that father, however, I feel no compunction about publicly stating my preference.
While Halloween might (MIGHT) be a better film than any entry in the F13 franchise, I still find Jason a more magnificent murderer than Michael Myers.He has a subtle personality and verve that Michael lacks.Freddy Krueger can be scary but all too often he’s a lame,quipping, frat boy, douche machine.Sometimes you just have to shut up and kill a shitload of people, which no one does better than Jason.
There’s a vast galaxy of American slashers out there but let’s be honest: Jason, Michael, and Freddy are the Holy Trinity. And for my money, Jason Voorhees is the king. He displays a level of extemporaneous genius that is unmatched in horror cinema. Whatever’s lying around the soon-to-be crime scene, Jason can use it to murder teenagers.Even if nothing interesting is at hand, Jason will find a way. We’ve all had a great time watching this happen over the years and I’ve compiled a list of his top thirteen career kills. I’ve managed to get at least one from each movie where Jason is actually doing the slaughtering, with the exception of the reboot, because ain’t nobody got time for that. Here they are in order from “not bad” to “murder hard-on.”
- Sandra and Jeff–Friday the 13th Part 2
This one is a twofer. Straight up more bang for your buck. Sandra and Jeff, a couple of horror-movie horny teenagers, have just finished making the beast with two backs. As they enjoy a post-coital cuddle in the missionary position, we can’t help but fear for their safety. Mostly because we’ve seen Jason grab a spear and head up the stairs toward their room. They don’t know this, of course. They never know.
Jason sidles in, spear at the ready.Although to be fair, if Jason is holding a spear, it’s pretty much always at the ready.Sandra, lying underneath her boyfriend, missed the violin screech when he opened the door but she sees her fate coming at the last second. Blissful Jeff dies without a single moment of fear because Sandra doesn’t even have time to warn him. His last thought was probably “Sweet. Five more minutes and I can have sex again.”
Then Jason’s spear has sex with both of them.Murder sex.The spear penetrates the couple, through Jeff’s back, out his chest, through Sandra’s chest, out her back, and then through the bed as well.It’s a teen-ka-bob.Just in case there was any doubt about Jason’s follow through, the camera cuts to under the bed where we see the tip of the spear bury itself in the wooden floor.
This is a fantastic kill. The only reason it wasn’t honored with a higher place in the rankings is because there’s some controversy surrounding it. Mario Bava’s Twitch of the Death Nerve featured an almost identical murder ten years earlier. No one involved with F13 P2 has owned up to the thievery but it’d be a pretty big damn coincidence.
- Hawes –Friday the 13th Part 6: Jason Lives
This one is a little mundane but it makes the list because it occurs just after Jason becomes a truly supernatural being. Tommy, who arguably killed him for good in Part 4, tracks down Jason’s grave with his good buddy, Hawes. Which brings up a practical question: who the fuck buried Jason Voorhees in a regular-ass cemetery within walking distance of Camp Crystal Lake?Good thinking.
Tommy and Hawes don’t have much trouble finding Jason’s temporary resting place. They dig it upand crack open the casket. Tommy is understandably moved at seeing Jason’s corpse. In a fit of angst, he yanks a long piece of metal loose from the cemetery fence and stabs it into Jason’s motionless chest. Jesus sends a bolt of lightning down from the heavens,which hits the pole in Jason’s chest and reanimates him as an officially unstoppable killing machine.Duh.
Hawes elects to run at Jason and smack him in the head with a shovel. The technique, while enthusiastic, is catastrophically unsuccessful.Jason spins around and punches his fist through Hawes’ chest, which pops out his back clutching his heart for good measure. Hawes does not survive this. In fact, he dies so hard that he flies into the open grave and lands in Jason’s recently-vacated coffin,the lid of which slams shut with an undeniable finality.
Tommy runs. Jason calmly puts his hockey mask on and it’s back to business.
- Adrienne – Jason X
Jason X is so mind-booglingly absurd, so perfectly,amazingly, gigantically far-fetched that it actually starts to make sense.It also boasts three kill scenes on this list.
So Jason is cryogenically frozen in 2010 because people who apparently haven’t tried very hard can’t come up with any way to execute him. Cut to the future because the details aren’t important. Jason is no longer on ice and a hot blonde scientist named Adrienne is doing something sciency to his “corpse.” While her back is turned he wakes up. This is honestly so commonplace for Jason,he just gets off the table and starts doing the last thing he remembers, which is the only thing he ever does, which is murder.
He grabs Adrienne and tosses her around the room a few times to limber up. He’s been frozen for over 400 years so he could really injure himself if he doesn’t loosen all the massacre muscles first. When he feels good and ready,he dunks Adrienne’s face into a vat of liquid nitrogen. We see it from the bottom of the vat looking up at her which, frankly, is the only way to view something like this. Her screaming face freezes in about 1.2 seconds. Jason pulls it out of the vat, takes a quick glance to verify he’s still got the skills, and then slams her chilled mug down on the counter.It shatters exactly like you’d expect a frozen face to.
- Nikki –Friday the 13th Part 6: Jason Lives
In addition to making Jason a supernatural killer, Part 6 was also the first installment to really become self-aware. There’s plenty of comedy to go along with the gore and this kill is a perfect example. Even though it lacks blood and guts, its brutality is over the top. It’s obviously meant to demonstrate Jason’s vicious new strength while also gently reminding the watcher that, hey…this shit isn’t very serious.
Nikki and Cort have been having sex in an RV in the middle of the woods near Crystal Lake because why the fuck wouldn’t they be? When they get spooked by various and sundry circumstances, they decide to leave the creepy forest that’s been stalked by two well-publicized serial killers over the years.
Alas, it’s too late. It’s usually too late. While Cort drives the RV like OJ, Nikki discovers Jason is onboard. He drags her into the bathroom and pile drives her face into the mirror. Rather than the expected treat of watching the glass shatter and tear her to confetti, we get something more. The camera switches to the exterior of the RV and we see outline of her face push through the metal wall of the vehicle.
- Julius –Friday the 13th Part 8:Jason Takes Manhattan
Jason Takes Manhattan is iguana-shit stupid and I love every second of it. It makes less sense than a piñata stuffed with cancer and it doesn’t even notice. For every glorious second of the self-aware, jocular Part 6, this installment mirrors it with clumsy plot devices and a dearth of levity that, naturally, makes it hilarious.
Even though it isn’t the final murder, the death of Julius is certainly the culmination of the mishandled, disjointed mayhem this movie vomited out. Let me lay the groundwork for this scene: Jason gets into a boxing match with a guy on the roof of a building. There you go. That’s probably more detailed than the actual script.
Technically, Julius is the only boxer up there. Jason apparently doesn’t know shit about boxing. Or, at least, he knows as much as Rocky Balboa because he spends the first bit of the fight getting punched over and over. And, just like inRocky 4, the strategy works. Julius eventually gets exhausted from kicking Jason’s ass. His hands are bloody because boxers so seldom spar with guys in hockey masks and he’s too winded to continue.Julius lets down his guard and says “Take your best shot, motherfucker.”
And Jason punches his head off. It flies fromthe roof and lands in a dumpster. I think that’s a TKO.
- Deborah – Jason Goes To Hell
This one makes about as much sense as Jason Takes Manhattan but it’s infinitely more enjoyable. It’s got an exuberance that just can’t be denied, not to mention the best opening sequence of any F13 movie. It throws all the rules out the window and starts over with a premise that must have originated when everyone involved collectively said “I don’t care what happens anymore.”
In that spirit, the best murder in Jason Goes to Hell is derivative of the best murder in Part 2, which was itself probably ripped off of Mario Bava. Since the movie starts with the assumption that Jason is finally dead, some teenagers head to Crystal Lake to have celebratory sex.Really, there’s no other choice. It’s the only fitting way to mark Jason’s demise.
Deborah is on top of her boyfriend, grinding away at what will no doubt be a rapturous orgasm, made even more sublime by the knowledge that the maniac who usually roams these woods offing promiscuous teens has been blown to bits.
Not surprisingly, Deborah is killed in the midst of all this and I think it’s fair to wonder if she actually had that orgasm. And if she did, was it intensified by death?Because her death was intense.As she’s riding her man, Jason shoves a long spike through her back which emerges just below her tits. He then rips it skyward in one smooth move that splits her torso in two.Her boyfriend doesn’t handle it well.
7. Judy –Friday the 13th Part 7: The New Blood
This scene is famous. It’s so famous,it was spoofed later in Jason X.The only problem is that, depending on which version of the film you see, it’s been edited.
Judy isn’t even a real character in this movie. She and her boyfriend Dan are just camping out and happen to be in Jason’s path. Granted, they’re camping near Crystal Lake which makes you wonder whether they even want to live in the first place.
Jason kills Dan and takes hismachete,because of course Dan had a machete. Jason uses it to slice his way into the tent where Judy is waiting in her sleeping bag. Waiting for Dan, Imean. Although, seriously; anyone who’s camping at Crystal Lake is essentially waiting for Jason.
Despite having just created his own tent entrance with a perfectly decent machete, Jason decides to express his creativity rather than rely on the same old tools. He drags Judy (still sealed up in her bag) out of the tent and over to a handy tree. In the theatrical version – and in most of the released DVD versions – he slams the bag against the tree once. This results in the fairly quick, though still spectacular, death of Judy. In the uncut version, however, he gets medieval on her ass.
The MPAA was not happy with this scene at all, which is why it was originally truncated. Jason isn’t a one-and-done kind of guy. The first pop against the tree was just batting practice. He went on to swing Judy’s bag against that tree five more fucking times before he was satisfied. The bright yellow bag was covered in blood and gore when he was done and Judy was more than just dead. She was goddamnextinct.
- Andy the Acrobat – Friday the 13th Part 3
Oh, Andy. You die like a jackass. A lot of people have died in a lot of ways in the F13 universe. They’ve died fighting, fucking, running, hiding, crawling and about 132 other ways.But you, Andy, dielike a moron. The only redeeming thing about your death was that Jason carried it out like a consummate pro at the top of his form. He saw an amazing opportunity with you and he took it with no hesitation.
Andy’s girlfriend is in the shower because, when you rent a house at Crystal Lake, someone has to shower until someone else dies.Andy is walking around on his hands because that’s his thing. It doesn’t really seem to impress anyone but he does it anyway.
TO BE CONTINUED!!