Jason Voorhees is not a wholly original creation. The idea of the silent stalker had already been covered with Halloween, and the bag head version owes quite a bit to the Town That Dreaded Sundown. But, the character has completely come into its own, and is probably the cinema’s most iconic killer.
Because of that, there’s been plenty of film villains who take a good deal of inspiration from the Crystal Lake slasher. And, while some of them are obvious tips of the hats, the others often tip into total parody.
Probably the most well known on this list, Victor Crowley is the star of the Hatchet series of films. The fact that his story begins with a deformed young boy who would later grow up to be a gruesome killer is only one of the similarities that he shares with Jason. He’s also fiercely territorial. Like Voorhees and Crystal Lake, he only kills those who wander into his turf. Throw in his penchant for oversized power tools, massive strength, and the fact that he’s portrayed by Kane Hodder, and you’ve got a very clear nod to Jason.
The Final Girls is one, long homage to the Friday the 13th series, from the 1980’s setting to the summer camp backdrop. It features a film within a film, entitled Camp Bloodbath, that owes a lot to the formula of the Friday films. The villain is Billy Murphy, a masked killer with several similarities to Jason. His face was burned and deformed during a prank gone wrong, He covers his deformity with a mask which straps on to the front of his face, like a hockey mask, and his size and clothing styles make him a great analog for Jason.
The demon logger from Lumberjack man has quite a bit of originality behind him. He’s a logger who was murdered for his maple syrup recipe, and now he has returned from the grave for revenge, using the blood of his victims on his large cart of pancakes. It’s as odd as it sounds. The setting, however, is pure Friday the 13th. The Lumberjack Man’s main attack ground is a summer camp, although this one is a bible camp, and his prime targets are the sexually overcharged counselors. Like Jason, he can’t really be killed by normal means and wears the requisite mask to cover his face. Unlike Jason, he has one huge weakness: maple syrup. Pour it on him and he dies. I mean, I did say it was odd, right?
The villain of Charlie’s Farm doesn’t bother with a mask, but that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t owe a debt of inspiration to Jason. He starts his story as a young, mentally handicapped boy who witnesses his parents being killed in front of him. After he grows up into a massive, hulking, unstoppable killing machine, he proceeds to murder anyone who happens to set foot on his farm. The filmmakers seemingly acknowledge the inspiration by having Charlie face off against Kane Hodder, who tries to fight Charlie man to man.
Decampitated is not one of the most well-known Troma films, but it’s still a lot of fun. Clearly an intended spoof of the Friday films, it tells of a group of teens at a cabin the woods. There’s the standard story around a campfire, telling the local legend of a killer in the woods, and soon, Miles Decamp shows up to kill them off. His look seems fairly inspired by Jason’s part 2 look, with the flannel shirt and face cover, as well as his love of archery equipment. Come to think of it, why didn’t Jason follow up on his use of the bow and arrow, especially with how much he seemed to enjoy them in the earlier entries?
Come on. Look at that picture. Is there any question whatsoever that the killer from Bloody Murder is a total knock-off of Jason Voorhees? I mean, I guess it’s a full head hockey mask, instead of the standard face mask. I guess it’s MOORE-house, and not VOOR-hees. I guess it’s Camp Placid Pines, and not Camp Crystal Lake. On the other side of things, I guess he’s using a chainsaw. Jason never used a chainsaw, so it’s clearly not a knock-off. At least for the sequel, they altered the mask to look a lot less derivative.
Memorial Day Killer
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Several teens go to a cabin the woods. Several years ago, something horrible happened there, and now a mysterious killer is taking them out. The stalker’s mask is clearly inspired by Jason, although it kinda appears to be constructed out of paper mache, in an effort to make it look generic enough to avoid a lawsuit.
The Tripper is stretching the limits of the theme of this article, as it doesn’t share too many direct similarities to the Friday series, but it’s still difficult to not see it as inspired by them. Instead of summer camp, we’re given a hippie lovefest, in which a slasher appears and knocks off anyone who wanders too far away from the crowds. The killer wears a Ronald Reagan mask and uses an assortment of power tools to dispatch his victims.
The Undertow borrows pretty heavily from the bag-head version of Jason, straight down to his choice of coveralls. Thrown in a deformed, mentally handicapped backstory and you have the Boy, the villain of the film. He’s different than Jason in the notion that he’s not a mindless killer, and is actually under the control of the town mayor, although he shared Jason’s territorial nature in that he kills anyone on his home turf that they mayor disapproves of. He also shares a massive form and almost superhuman strength, but did I really have to say anything except for bag head and coveralls?
Like the Final Girls, Unmasked Part 25 is a pretty obvious spoof of the Friday the 13th films. This one tells the story of Jackson, a hockey mask wearing killer who is horribly deformed and murders pretty much anyone he comes across. The film takes a massive right turn when he falls in love with one of his blind victims. Jackson is very different to Jason in that he can talk, and speaks in an English accent and quotes poetry. There’s some great meta commentary on the film series, and things take several more turns into dark territory for some great fun.
I’m sure there’s plenty more Jason inspired killers out there. Are they any that we missed?