To celebrate Friday the 13th, we round up the finest slayings perpetrated by the monster that is Jason Voorhees.
Watch your backs, people. It’s Friday 13th, and that can only mean one thing: terrible savagery committed by enormous beast in a battered old hockey mask.
Lauded by true horror fans and derided by fools – I’m right, you’re wrong, shut up – the Friday the 13th movie franchise has delivered some of the finest scenes of horrifying violence and over-complicated murder ever seen on the silver screen. The original series lasted for 10 films, finally capitulating in the unfortunate Jason X of 2001, before receiving an amusing kick up the arse from Freddy Krueger a couple of years later and suffering the inevitably dire reboot in 2009. Allegedly, it’s back again next year.
And on this most excellent day of machete mayhem, here are the finest ten killings perpetrated by the monstrous hero that is Jason Voorhees. Hero, that is, unless you’re a promiscuous American teenager frolicking by a balefully calm lake.
10. Mark (Friday the 13th Part 2)
Say what you like about Jason Voorhees, but he’s certainly an equal-opportunities killer. Black, white, gay, straight, male, female, athlete or nerd, he’s happy to accommodate all, as proven by his merciless machete-ing of poor wheelchair-bound Mark in Friday the 13th Part 2. Note the final shot from this scene, which was paid a loving tribute by OJ Simpson at the end of the first Naked Gun movie seven years later.
9. Chelsea (Friday the 13th )
Nudity, and in particular nubile female breasts, are an important part of the Friday the 13th canon. By the time of the 2009 reboot, horror film fans had become so used to seeing a jiggling pair of tits on a fleeing, screaming will-be victim that Chelsea’s demise was seen as more of a homage to boobs gone by than as an actual thrill for teenage boys. And she doesn’t half look surprised when she gets a machete through the top of her head, as she has every right to be.
8. Eddie (Friday the 13th: A New Beginning)
He was a dashing young lad was Eddie, all six-pack and solid, all-American chiselled features. He’d also just had sex with Tina, which was a sure-fire way to ensure both he and poor Tina met an untimely end at the hands of young Master Voorhees. What makes this pair special and worthy of a place in our list is that it’s a fine example of how Jason occasionally likes to make his killings complicated just for the fun of it. Tina has her eyes pushed in by a pair of garden shears, before Jason finds a leather belt to strap around a tree, Eddie’s head and, well, ouch.
7. Jack (Friday the 13th )
The Friday the 13th series has included early performances from plenty of people, including a few genuinely famous actors, and Corey Feldman. Perhaps the biggest star to be impaled by Jason’s weapon is Kevin Bacon, who as Jack met his comeuppance thanks to an inexplicable arrow to the neck, from behind, through a mattress, slowly. Though as anyone who has seen this film or Scream will know, the killer in the first film is actually Pamela Voorhees, Jason’s mum.
6. Adrienne (Jason X)
Jason’s machete is as important a part of his attire as his famous hockey mask, but his acolytes do yearn for a new mode of murder from time to time. Thankfully, by setting the film some 400 years in the future, the people behind Jason X were able to concoct a bunch of new ways to end folk. To put the above scene in context, Jason is in the process of waking up from being cryogenically frozen for a few centuries. What’s waking him up? A couple of people shagging in a cabin nearby. Jason really, really hates shagging. Sorry Adrienne.
5. Suzy (Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan)
This killing offers an interesting insight into the mind of Jason Voorhees. It’s different from most other slayings in that, rather than suddenly appearing and wrecking someone’s face with swift brutality, Jason here takes his time to slowly spear poor, wriggling Suzy with a harpoon. It’s actually quite nasty, unlike the almost-comedy violence of most of the series. And then actor Kane Hodder goes and breaks the spell by seeming to briefly nod at a job well done, as he closes the boat hatch at the end of the scene, hilariously.
4. Stan, Katie and Larry (Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives)
Killing so many people must take it out of poor Jason; if only there was a quicker, more efficient way of getting the job done. Thankfully, in Part VI, three desperately irritating paintballers stand as close together as they can in order to be decapitated with one swish of the ever-faithful machete. The subsequent shooting of Jason with a paintball by the final remaining paintball enthusiast is a well-judged comedy moment. Jason’s not happy. You can probably work out what happens to Roy.
3. Condor (Jason X)
Where precisely the boundary between horror and comedy lies is made ever more complicated by films like Romero’s Living Dead series, and of course Shaun of the Dead. Friday the 13th continually straddles that line, as demonstrated by the demise of military grunt Condor in Jason X. This man’s horrible, spinning fate is made even funnier by the “everything’s under control” man afterwards, and the facial expressions all round. Except Jason’s, obviously. He’s in a mask.
2. Julius (Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan)
Rarely across all these films do we root more for a man than Julius. Oh hell does he give it his all, boxing Jason to the edge of a Manhattan roof with the power and grace of a welterweight champion, before uttering his fateful “Take your best shot, motherfucker”. His becomes the latest in a long line of oddly neat decapitations in the series, his head falling into a handy receptacle like the chuckling bonce of Anne Boleyn.
1. Judy (Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood)
We had to wait until the seventh instalment of the series for what probably has to be its most classic death. Judy’s struggling sleeping-bag submission is a near-perfect Voorhees atrocity, so inspired that we’re willing to ignore that it’s probably her feet he’s whacking against the tree. This death was so well received it was even recreated in Jason X 14 years later, when our hero is conned into thinking he’s back by Crystal Lake.
Thank you Jason. For everything.
Featured image: Paramount