With Thanksgiving successfully in the books and November coming to a close this week. It’s time to bid adieu to our Horror Icons segment for the month. It took me some time to decide my choice for what I thought ‘my’ Horror Icon was. The figure I ultimately decided upon, made a huge impression on me growing up. This character helped create my macabre and demented love of Horror films that is still growing stronger every day. I am talking about the disfigured mama’s boy turned masked serial killer Jason Voorhees.
The character of Jason Voorhees has been a staple in the horror movie community. He first appeared in 1980 with Friday the 13th. Over the last 36 years, Jason has been portrayed in some form on screen by 11 different actors or stuntmen. Beginning with Ari Lehman who portrayed the scared and disfigured boy who drowned in Crystal Lake. With his mother, Pamela Voorhees murdered at the conclusion of the original film, producers had to decide on a new antagonist. So, they ultimately decided to make Jason all grown up.
Friday the 13th Part II had two men dawn the one-eyed sack hood. One being Warrington Gillette. But the man who filmed almost all the stunts and grunt work was Steve (Dash) Daskewisz. Next brought us Richard Brooker in Part 3D. Brooker will forever be known as the first ‘Jason’ to wear the now infamous hockey mask, sadly Brooker passed away in 2013. Next, Ted White played Jason in my personal favorite Friday film, Part IV: The Final Chapter. Since The Final Chapter wasn’t truly final, Part V: A New Beginning once again had two men play ‘Jason Voorhees’. Tom Morga was Voorhees in the flashbacks and was also the stunt double to Dick Wieand who was eventually revealed to be a Jason copy-cat killer named Roy Burns.
Next we see Voorhees’ body resurrected by a bolt of lightning. Part VI: Jason Lives begins what I like to call the ‘Zombie Jason’ era. Where we see a vast difference in Jason’s physical demeanor. Moving slower, much stronger and seemingly un-killable. Jason’s new demeanor was created and perfectly performed by C.J. Graham. The look of we now know and love of Voorhees today is due in part, to Graham.
Moving on, we now come to the ‘Kane Hodder Era’. Hodder dawned the hockey mask through four films. Part VII through Jason X. Kane is my favorite Jason. But don’t get me wrong, all actors brought something great to the table for the character. Hodder was always trying to up the ante and kill count from the previous films. Always brain-storming the perfect kill scenes. My favorite kill would be in his last film to wear the hockey mask, Jason X. Where he dunks a woman’s head into liquid nitrogen. Pulling her flash frozen head out and immediately forcing her head onto the counter, smashing it into hundreds of pieces. Fucking fantastic!
A couple years later, New Line Cinema would bring together two of the most popular Horror movie icons. Voorhees and Freddy Krueger, with Freddy vs. Jason. Producers went in another direction from Hodder, who filmed the last four Friday films, casting Ken Kirzinger. Fast forward another five years, it’s finally time for a Friday re-boot. This time Derek Mears is casted to be the feeble-minded killing machine. Which brings us to the present. With a new re-boot of the franchise tentatively looming in 2017. Who will wear the mask next?
Now that we’ve covered the men behind the masks, let run over the impact Jason Voorhees has had in pop culture. Voorhees has appeared in music videos, comic books and was even a guest on the Arsenio Hall show, promoting Jason Takes Manhattan. Not to mention, all of the collectible toy merchandise and Halloween costumes over the years. His Halloween costume has become a staple yearly and is so popular, you can easily find it at your local drug store.
Those of us that grew up in the 1980’s, may remember Friday the 13th: The Video Game on the Nintendo Entertainment System. If you remember the game, you remember how frustratingly hard it was. Thankfully, Lord Kayoss’ channel on YouTube has filmed a full walk through, making a tough game beatable FINALLY. Check out the walk through here. Also, 2017 will bring us a new and badass-looking Friday the 13th game on all current consoles. WE CAN’T WAIT!
In closing, you can now get an idea of why this fictional character means so much to me and to the world. These reasons and many others are why Jason Voorhees will always be a HORROR ICON.
Lastly, check out the trailer for the brand new Friday the 13th video game due out 2017!
IF YOU DARE!
THANKS FOR READING BOILS AND GHOULS!!!!