New Line Cinema

Kids just aren’t as scared of summer camp as they used to be. Maybe it’s because they aren’t even going away to summer camp unless forced to by the state.

Still, the nostalgia of summer camp is enough to help us begin our Summer Camp Slasher Series, a tribute to horror movies featuring campers, camp counselors, and the maniacs who murder them.

We continue this summer horror series with Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday.

New Line Cinema

Movie: Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993)

Plot: Jason Voorhees isn’t just an unkillable death machine. Apparently, he is inhabited by some sort of demon snake, and must inhabit the body of a Voorhees descendant in order to be reborn, ripped clothes, hockey mask, machete, and all. Yeah, it’s come to this…

Killer: Jason Voorhees, hopping bodies. how else was he supposed to survive being blown to bits by a direct hit from a mortar round?

Critique: There was a lot of hope for the Friday the 13th franchise when it was picked up by New Line Cinema. You’d figure that a bigger budget production company with the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise in their pocket to go along with a huge catalog of horror could do wonders for new films involving a machete-wielding serial killer that can’t be killed.

And then we get Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday.

We did get much better kill visuals than the previous films. Jason Goes to Hell added lighting to those dark, blurry scenes so there was a chance you may not notice the head rolling on the floor was a prop head. We also got Steven Williams, fresh off his stint on 21 Jump Street, in a featured role. What else would a former police chief do but become a bounty hunter for the deadly undead?

The thing that makes Jason Goes to Hell so bad is the direction it took the Jason Voorhees mythology. After launching Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare a few years before, I guess New Line Cinema thought giving Jason Voorhees a similar demon infestation was something new that could re-invigorate the franchise. The problem is, Freddy Krueger already had a heavy supernatural element. He invaded your dreams, and killed you in them. Freddy’s Dead expanded that theme, but it didn’t rewrite it. Jason Voorhees is the unkillable serial killer that gets resurrected by by lightning at one point. It’s a slasher film that is meant to have some tongue-in-cheek aspects. Having him infested with some sort of demon spirit that resurrects a demon snake after his heart is eaten tries to explain that which has no need to be explained.

New Line Cinema

Scene of Awesomeness: Freddy Krueger’s hand popping out of the ground to take Jason hockey mask into hell was cool. It was an obvious marketing ploy, but still cool. The kills in general were pretty awesome with that New Line Cinema budget that allowed for more prosthetics.

Scene of Ridiculousness: There are just so many, but Jason shaving a cop’s mustache before possessing his body is high on the list.

Body Count: 23

1 stabbing by probe with enough force to mash a face into the grating of an examination table

8 unknown (2 seen, 5 referenced on American Case File)

1 multi-slashing

1 tent stake impalement and body split at orgasm

1 head crushed by car door

1 knife sharpener to the back. Not a knife. A knife sharpener.

4 rapidly decomposing bodes (3 off-screen)

1 office thrown through a knee wall

1 head banged into a locker

1 palm punch up the nose

2 head crushed together 3 Stooges-style (Awesomely Overkill Award)

New Line Cinema

1 arm splintered and then who knows what

2 and a 1/2 pairs of breasts

Actors/Actresses of Note: After managing an undercover police unit posing as teenagers on 21 Jump Street, Steven Williams went on to play bounty hunter Creighton Duke. Oh, and Leslie Jordan plays a cook.

Quote: “I’ll take a Voorhees Burger and a side of Jason Fingers.” – Creighton Duke

Grade: D

By Pat Emmel

Patrick began collecting a library of VHS tapes, DVDs, and CDs when he was young, and continues to build a library that could easily double as a video store and/or a revitalized Tower Records.