Happy Friday the 13th, Kiddies! In honor of this random, supernatural psuedo-holiday (okay, so only in my mind, is it a supernatural psuedo-holiday.....but hey it's MY blog, so I can take that liberty!) I've decided to share a bit of awesome-ness and bad-assed-ness with you.....
Yes indeed, I am in fact referring to the classick cut from Alice Cooper's 1986 album Constrictor......He's Back (The Man Behind The Mask). HBTMBTM (that's a fun acronym, ain't it?) is basically a four minute promo for Friday the 13th Park VI: Jason Lives!, which in my opinion is on of the best Friday movies in the series and one of my absolute favorite movies!
See, not only is it the return of Jason after he was absent from Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning, and not only is is the conclusion of the Tommy Jarvis Trilogy in the series, but it also marks the beginning of Jason being portrayed not just as an un-killable death machine, but as a 100% Certified Zombie Wraith From Hell!!! Gone is the deformed hillbilly mongoloid machete weilding madman from films past.....he is now a maggot infested hell spawn with the same penchant for sharp pointy objects.
The scene in which Jason is re-animated is one of my favorite as well. He gets the complete Frankenstein treatment when Tommy Jarvis digs up his grave, intending to completely destroy his corpse. Once Jason's grave is open, Tommy flips out, having flashbacks to Jason's attacks on him in Part IV and then tears a piece of wrought iron from the crumbling cemetery fence and starts to stab Jason in the chest repeatedly. Well, being a horror film and all, naturally it's gotta start to rain, thunder and lightening. Well as luck would have it as Tommy scrambles to light Jason's corpse on fire (wrought iron fence piece still in his chest), lightening strikes the iron and sends life-giving energy through Jason's system. Fucking awesome. It's pure 80's cheese at it's best. Yes, it's dumb. It's supposed to be. That's why I love it.
The song itself is pure 80's awesomeness. It's got a pretty great spooky vibe and makes great use of Jason's trademark "ch ch ch....." which makes it a great song to jam out during the Halloween season. It's also extremely catchy and you WILL find yourself singing it constantly at any time of year. Just ask my wife how many times I start singing it around the house. Drives the poor woman mad, I'm sure. It's combination of synth and electric guitar grooves makes this a truly epic and quintessential piece of 80's rock. Listen for yourself and enjoy the video!
See? Pure awesome-sauce smeared on a rack of radical rib-roast. Mmmm...which reminds me, I'm hungry. HUNGRY FOR MORE FRIDAY THE 13TH!
As an added bonus, you can bone up on your Friday the 13th films with a one stop shop collection of trailers from all the films!
Friday the 13th - The one that started them all. This is the film that would forever influence the horror genre, whether it liked it or not! This was not the first masked killer film by a long shot....not even the first body count film....but it was influential none the less. Don't believe me? Ask anyone born after 1980 the first thing they think of when they see a hockey mask......well okay this statement isn't entirely true because the hockey mask didn't appear until 1982 when Jason acquired it in Part III.
Friday the 13th: Part II - Okay so this film has some absolutely GLARING issues and completely ignores reason all together in the first 10 minutes.....but that's okay....because it's still friggin' awesome! Long haired hillbilly Jason is a freaky mofo to be sure.....especially with that burlap sack, with the single eye-hole!
Friday the 13th: Part III in 3D - This is the film in which Jason finally gets his iconic mask from poor, goofy Shelly, the joker in the film. Jason also apparently has either undergone chemotherapy or has learned how to use hair clippers cause he be bald in this one. It's actually a pretty bad ass look for him. The mask just wouldn't look the same if long red hair was sprouting out around it! This film ends what I like to call the "Classick Trilogy". See what I did there, misspelling classic like that? Clever, I know.
Friday the 13th Part IV: The Final Chapter - The beginning of the Tommy Jarvis Trilogy. I don't know why but this one is further down my list of favorite Friday films. Don't get me wrong, it's a good film (well as far as 80's slasher films go), but it just seems to be missing that certain something. Now having said that....this film is pretty fantastic because Corey Feldman plays Tommy Jarvis and George McFly himself is on the fodder list! Yep. Crispin "Hellion" Glover has a great scene where he does this completely bonkers dance during a house party, which I'm sure you're seen if you're reading this blog. What you may NOT know is that on set he wasn't spazzing out to whatever 80's filler music they were using. Nope. He was getting down to AC/DC's Back in Black. Jason gets himself pretty fucked up at the end of this film thanks to our new protagonist.....
Friday The 13th Part V: A New Beginning - This is the film that kind breaks the series in half, so to speak. It is the second film in the Tommy Jarvis Trilogy and it also does not have Jason Vorhees anywhere in sight. Yep. The killer slashing up the kids at a halfway house that a teenage Jarvis is staying at is an IMPOSTER! I really don't think that this film deserves the backlash that it gets from a lot of critics. There are some cool kills and ya can't help but love Reggie, one of the younger kids at the house. He's just so cute. Really! Plus his brother is played by Miguel A Nunez, who played Spider in Return of the Living Dead AND made an appearance in my favorite short lived 80's sci-fi cop show, Automan! He was the Valet Parking Attendant in the episode Murder MTV. What can I say, Miguel is THE MAN!
Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives! - The reason that you're reading this article! The inspiration for the song! Okay, well actually, I'm sure it was really more like someone offering Alice a butt load of money to write a song for the film......but either way! This film is also significant for a couple of reasons. This film ends the Tommy Jarvis Trilogy and begins the Zombie Trilogy of films. (No, I don't count the rest of the films as Zombie Jason, for reasons I'll explain in each respective film's write up.) This is the only film that ends one trilogy and begins another at the same time. (Also please read the explanation of the "Trilogies" after the trailers....)
Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood - The best of the Zombie Jason films. They really perfected his look as a murderous rotting corpse. He looks like something straight out of E.C. Comics in this one. Exposed spine, ribs, fibula, ulna, you name it and the bone is probably poking through somewhere! The best part of this film is also it's weakness. Jason is up against a telepathic teen, Tina, who's doctor is forcing her to confront her past (she accidentally killed her abusive father when she was a kid, drowning him with her telekinetic powers after he slapped her mother around.) at Crystal Lake. That's just ridonkulous! But it also makes for one hell of a showdown when Tina uses her telekinesis to kick Jason's ass! The best part being when she starts to crush his head with his own hockey mask until if finally snaps under the pressure and reveals Zombie Jason in all his glory! Fuck yeah! Part VII is also important because it was the first time that Jason was portrayed by fan favorite Kane Hodder. Kane played the role in Parts VII - X and has become synonymous with the role.
Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan - The final film in the Zombie Jason Trilogy and the last time that a Friday movie would be officially fully titled with a roman numeral part number. This is where the series REALLY started to get a bit ridiculous. Jason climbs aboard a cruise ship full of graduating high school seniors bound for New York City. How the hell did a cruise ship get from Crystal Lake to the Atlantic Ocean you ask? Beats the shit out of me! Just go with it.....Anyway....Jason wrecks some major havoc aboard the ship and the few survivors left from THAT massacre board a life boat and head into the Big Apple to try and escape Mr. Vorhees. Silly kids. Jason stalks them all through the slums of New York killing them in the usual Jason fashion. The end of this one is really messed up and I don't think I'll ever totally understand it. Something about toxic waste and Jason drowning and then becoming a ghost child of his former self......I dunno. There's no figuring it out. Believe me, I tried.
Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday - I guess they just didn't like the moniker Friday the 13th Part IX: The Final Friday. I personally find that the more awesome title....but I'm old school. What can I say about this one? It's even more unorthodox than Part V was with the imposter Jason, because now we have the REAL Jason, but he gets blown to bits in the first 10 minutes and then his parts are shipped to the coroner who then apparently has the overwhelming urge to eat Jason's black goopy heart. Yum. Well this apparently transfers Jason's soul into the coroner and he begins his killings anew using his new body. Jason body jumps from person to person, leaving a trail of corpses in his wake. There's some new hoopla about "only a Vorhees can kill Jason" and such with a bounty hunter possessing some mystical artifact that will send Jason to Hell once and for all. It's a friggin mess......but it has it's moments! Jason spends most of the film in this demonic spirit state.....there-by negating this as a Zombie Jason film.
Jason X - This title really drives me absolutely bonkers. I honestly think I would have preferred Friday The 13th Part X: Jason in Space. Seriously. Jason X? What the hell? I think that you should always stay with the roman numerals. I went over this in a previous article that you can read HERE! Oh well. Aside from the horrible title, the film itself is actually a pretty cool concept. Jason (no longer a zombie, but now back to his un-killable freak of nature status). Because of military brass wanting to study him, instead of being destroyed, Jason gets cryogenically frozen after killing a shit ton of soldiers. Fast forward 400 some-odd years. The world forgets all about the Crystal Lake Research Facility and the cryogenicly frozen Jason (along with Rowan...the woman who froze him and was wounded by Jason and frozen as well) is uncovered by a 25th Century group of students that have come back to the barren planet of Earth to do a little archeological digging. Jason revives on their space ship bound for Earth 2 with predictable results. This is a really fun film especially when Jason gets completely eradicated by the hot android chic Kay-Em 14. The ships nanobot computers don't know any better and rebuild Jason with stuff lying around....such as metal and machinery. Meet Uber-Jason. He's pretty bad ass and was last seen hurdling through the atmosphere of Earth 2......and you know what....I would love to see Jason slashing up kids on a new planet!
Freddy vs Jason - This film, as far as I'm concerned, takes place in an alternate universe. Some may argue that Jason is back to Zombie status in this film, and yes he does rise from his grave to begin killing again (with a little prompting from Freddy disguised as Mrs. Vorhees), but he really doesn't have that zombie vibe. He's just more or less undead with a nasty skin color palette. He is pretty damn vicious in this film though.....he has to be to go toe to toe with the Son of a Thousand Maniacs! People construe the ending of this film in either one of two ways.....that Jason won, or Freddy won....depending on who their favorite killer is. Me? I call it a draw, since you can never really kill either of them. This is a fun monster mash up and it wasn't nearly as bad as a lot of people say it was. Of course this is coming from a guy who thinks that Invasion of the Blood Farmers is a fun film to watch.....
Friday the 13th, 2009 - A worthy remake that owns a very strange place in my mind. The film itself is well executed and feels like a Friday film, which is fantastic....it's got some great gory kills and it doesn't take itself too seriously either, making plenty of references to the series that came before it. It was a return to the glory of unrated 80's slashers......blood, gore and full on nudity. Everything a horror hound could want! Now, why does this film hold a strange place for me? Because I went to see this film on a Friday afternoon on day in in March 2009. It was playing at a second run theater near my house so I decided to take my last chance to see it on the big screen. As I was sitting in the theater waiting for the movie to start, I suffered a crippling anxiety attack that has forever changed my life. I thought I was about to die. For no explicable reason. I was too frightened to leave the theater and get in my car. Irrational fear told me that if I just sat in my seat and watched the film, I would be okay....but I shouldn't get up and move. I sat there in the darkness. I was the only person at that showing. I found it impossible to enjoy the film because of the intense fear that surged through my very core. After the film I sat for a good while in my seat before venturing out into the late afternoon. I don't know what happened to me that day, but it has forever altered my life. I now take medication and see a psychiatrist to help make sense of the crippling fear that overtakes me now and then. Is it from a life-time of horror films? I'm happy to say "No, it isn't". Horror films are cathartic for me. They actually help me to cope with my condition....because though I may become frantically anxious for no reason....at least I'm not hanging from the business end of a machete!
Well there you have it. I'll bet you weren't expecting that, were you? You were just expecting to watch a music video and have a good time. Instead, you got a slew of trailers and your old pal The Wizard opened up a bit to you.
I don't wanna leave you on a downer, so I've decided to add Weird Al Yankovic's track Nature Trail To Hell....in 3D! Which kinda lampoons Cooper's song, but more than anything satires the slasher genre, with strong nods to Friday the 13th. Enjoy my friends.
HAPPY FRIDAY THE 13TH!
Okay on a FINAL note....if you were wondering what in the hell I was blubbering about when I kept referring to different trilogies within the film series, I long ago broke up the films like this:
Friday the 13th, Part II & Part III are the Classic Trilogy. The first two films set up the Jason mythos. The third film has nothing to do with the first two films. However, this is the film in which Jason first dons his iconic mask, thereby completely the iconography that is Jason Vorhees.
Part IV, Part V & Part VI are the Tommy Jarvis Trilogy. Quite simply, these three films follow Tommy from his first encounter with Jason as a child to his final fight with him in a boat on Crystal Lake.
Part VI, VII, VIII are the Zombie Trilogy. Again, the reasoning is quite simple. In Part VI, Jason is re-animated into the walking (and killing) dead. Parts VII & VIII continue the zombie carnage....although the end of Part VIII kinda destroys that.
Now what about Part IX, X and Freddy vs Jason? Well like I said before, I don't consider Jason to be in zombie status in these films. I suppose if you really wanted to, you could put these films together as non-cannon films. Not that the other films had any real continuity. Or perhaps I will suffice to say that Parts IX, X & FvJ are the Final Trilogy.....simply meaning they were the final three films before the reboot in 2009. Still.....that's a pretty far stretch and I don't really think of them as a trilogy in any way shape or form.
I hope that the 2009 reboot gives rise to a new trilogy. It was be fantastic to add a "New Millenium Trilogy" to the series!