It’s pretty safe to say that by 1993, the FRIDAY THE 13TH series had run out of ideas. They had followed the Michael Myers-free lead of HALLOWEEN III by not having Jason Voorhees appear in FRIDAY THE 13TH PART V, and like HALLOWEEN III, the fans weren’t too keen on watching a film that didn’t feature the series’ mainstay. Voorhees was resurrected in JASON LIVES, pitted against a psychic in THE NEW BLOOD, and sent to New York in JASON TAKES MANHATTAN . Following yet another franchise, the producers decided to kill Jason off in the same vein as FREDDY’S DEAD, with what they called “The Final Friday”, JASON GOES TO HELL…and like FREDDY’S DEAD, the results were not very pretty.
Directed by Adam Marcus, who would eventually go on to write another franchise sequel, 2013’s TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D (..yeah), JASON GOES TO HELL is by far one of the weirdest entries into a horror franchise around. When showing the movie to a friend earlier this year, the only thing he could say after it was over was “wait..did this go theatrical?”. It’s an entertaining snafu, akin to seeing someone on a bike get hit by a car. You know that it’s a tragedy and a disaster and very wrong to see but you JUST CAN’T LOOK AWAY. So, without further ado, here’s A LOOK BACK AT: JASON GOES TO HELL!
The film begins with the typical FRIDAY THE 13TH setup: a woman heads into a cabin, undresses and takes a shower, before the lights suddenly go out (I wonder who did that?). In less time than you can say “uh..I thought Jason was a toxic little boy again at the end of the previous movie?”, big bad Kane Hodder-Jason shows up, attempting to slash the woman to death, but she makes a run for it. Jason obviously goes after her, and just when he’s about to kill the woman, she leaps into the air, HUGE flood lights come on and a whole massive amount of SWAT Team members appear, blasting the hell out of Jason (uh..wait..in a FRIDAY THE 13TH movie? Yes folks, it really happens).
What happens next is what I consider the beginning of the end for this film. Just in case the woman ending up being a special agent/SWAT TEAM/etc wasn’t ridiculous enough, Marcus and Co. decides to give a great big “FUCK YOU” to fans and let you know that they don’t care one bit about the series by having a SWAT member pull out a grenade launcher and BLOW JASON UP. Yes, they blow Jason Voorhees to pieces. Wow. Just as the team celebrates their victory, along with our misery of paying money to see this in the theaters, Creighton Duke, a mysterious cowboy looking figure, says to himself “I don’t think so”, and BAM!, title card: JASON GOES TO HELL.
Now that our attention is strangely on the film, it picks back up with the blown up remains of Jason being taken to a morgue, where a coroner sorts through the mess and notices Jason’s BLACK heart, which as the coroner reports, is twice the size of a normal heart. The heart begins to beat again, and the coroner does what any normal person would do: he eats it. Do they not have a good cafeteria there? Seriously, feed this guy regularly, because I’m sure a Voorhees heart isn’t all that tasty. So, the heart is ravaged by the coroner, who is then possessed by Jason (yes guys and gals, this is really how the movie is). He leaves a bloody mess of his assistant, a couple of SWAT members (one of which is played by Mr. Voorhees, Kane effin Hodder), and is on his way to Crystal Lake.
While the now possessed by Jason coroner is wreaking havoc elsewhere on various folks (including a group of campers ready for a good time getting one of the coolest deaths in the series), we’re introduced to Diana, a waitress with a secret, that works at a restaurant featuring Jason-themed hamburgers. Creighton Duke appears, and begins to tell Diana that he knows who she really is, spooking her out. We’re also introduced to Steven, who is the father of Diana’s grandchild. Diana’s daughter, Jessica is dating an expose’ type reporter who is more concerned with getting famous for reporting on Jason than with Jessica, and Jessica hasn’t seen Steven in a long time (thought their love child in barely an infant, plot-holes galore folks). Steven tells Diana that he misses Jessica and she tells him to meet her later at her house, that she needs to tell him something.
What happens before that meeting though, is something that twenty years later still makes me confused as hell. The possessed coroner kidnaps, strips and proceeds to shave Josh, a cop. It’s by far the strangest scene in the whole series, hell, any series for that matter. After shaving the naked Josh, the coroner passes a parasite-looking creature into the cop, which kills the coroner, but possesses Josh with the spirit of Jason.
While waiting for Steven to show up, Diana is killed, when Josh shows up and kills her, but not before Steven shows up and stabs him with a fire-poker. Josh escapes, Diana dies, and Steven is arrested for her death. While in his cell, Creighton Duke, also in jail, tells Steven that he knows the secret, but will only tell Steven if he breaks some of his own fingers. There is literally no point to this, other than to let viewers know that Creighton is a weirdo to say the least..because if Jason Voorhees was walking around possessing people, what I would want to do is focus on trying to get people to break their own fingers before telling them how to stop him..it’s weird.
Steven obliges, and Creighton tells him that Diana was Jason’s half-sister, and that Jessica and her baby are Jason’s only living relatives. He also tells Steven, after he breaks more fingers, that only a Voorhees relative can kill Jason. This is where I get frustrated. It seems like EVERY horror franchise used the family angle when they ran out of ideas. HALLOWEEN (1978) was scary as hell, but the series went downhill in my opinion, when they went with Michael trying to kill family members, a plot addition that hurt the series. The same could be said with the Elm Street series. It was scary when Freddy was just trying to prey on the kids of Elm Street, before FREDDY’S DEAD told us that it was basically revenge for them taking his daughter away. The addition of Jason’s half sister, niece and great niece just adds even MORE unnecessary subplots to a film that doesn’t really make much sense to begin with.
Jessica’s boyfriend Robert heads to the Voorhees house and is on the phone talking about using Jessica’s lineage to gain ratings and that he stole Diana’s body from the morgue, when Josh runs in, passing the parasite into Robert, then proceeding to melt. Steven, escaping from jail, makes his way to rescue Jessica from Robert, which ends with them hitting Robert with a car. Steven tells Jessica all about the Jason connection, but still thinking that he killed her mother, Jessica kicks Steven out of the car, and head to the police station, where all hell eventually breaks out when Robert shows up, murdering everyone. Steven, having turned himself in, in order to get to Jessica, saves her, and they make a run for it, to the restaurant where their baby is being taken care of (so they think).
Once they arrive at the restaurant, They’re held at gunpoint by Joey B., the loudmouth woman who runs the joint, as she’s unaware that Steven isn’t the murderer of Diana. Jessica sees that the baby is gone and there is a note from Creighton saying that he has the baby and wants her to meet him at the Voorhees house alone, to get her back. The possessed Robert shows up, quickly (and very gruesomely) killing Joey B., and the entire staff before getting impaled on a skewer and seemingly dying. Jessica heads to the Voorhees house, meeting Creighton and giving us even MORE odd twists.
While at the house, Duke gives Jessica the dagger that must kill Jason, which also happens to be the exact dagger from EVIL DEAD 2, which would be odd if there wasn’t THE NECRONOMICON JUST CHILLING ON A TABLE NEARBY…..what the hell? So anyways, Creighton falls and gets stuck in between floorboards, and two cops show up, one of which was possessed by Robert before he died. After the typical “no it’s him, not me!” exchange, it’s revealed to be Randy, a cop friend of Steven’s that is the possessed one, and he tries to pass the Voorhees parasite into Jessica. Steven shows up, slicing Randy’s neck wide open, which lets the parasite out. The parasite heads into the basement, and well…into the vagina of Diana’s dead body (I can’t even make this stuff up).
Jessica and Steven help Creighton up, and just when they think all is well, BAM! Jason Voorhees bursts through the floors, fully dressed in typical Jason attire. I’m talking hockey mask, work clothes, for some odd reason, going to into the vagina of his dead sister suddenly brought him back wearing what he had on when he died. Jessica and Steven rush to find the dagger, and Creighton attempts to keep Jason away from them, but Jason has other plans so he gives Creighton a big ol’ bearhug, crushing his back and killing him. Steven tackles Jason, sending both of them through a window, and into the outside dirt. Jason then proceeds to beat the living hell out of Steven, smacking him around, and even throwing him into the exact jungle gym from Alfred Hitchcock’s THE BIRDS (there are so many random props from previous films in this movie). Jason goes in for the kill, but Jessica runs up and shoves the dagger right into Jason’s heart, causing spirits to leave him nonstop, and a group of demonic hands burst out of the ground, pulling Jason down. Jason grabs Steven’s leg, attempting to take him along for the trip, but Jessica saves Steven, and all is well. They walk off with their baby, and as the sun rises, Jason’s hockey mask is all that’s left on the ground…until THE CLAW OF FREDDY KRUEGER APPEARS, pulling the mask down, as the screen goes to black.
There ya have it, a setup for FREDDY VS. JASON, a film that wouldn’t come for another decade. The end of JASON GOES TO HELL makes as much sense as the rest of the film, which is none. With that being said, and with all of my jabs scattered throughout this article, I’d be lying if I said it’s not an interesting film. While it’s filled to the absolute brim with what can be described as an incoherent mess, it’s still a semi-entertaining ride of a film, one of the most interestingly bad films that you HAVE to experience at least once in your life. Is it faithful to the earlier films in the series, HELL NO. Every series has one of these types of films, Michael Myers had HALLOWEEN 6, Freddy had FREDDY’S DEAD, and Jason has this one. It’s worth a watch, hell maybe you’ll like it. Until next time, have a good one!