If there’s one thing that holds true about the Friday the 13th series, this being Friday the 13th itself, is that no matter when the movies are made or what kind of gimmick they employ, there’s always a lot of death. People get the shit killed out of them, most often by the series’ hulking, be-hockey-masked killer, Jason Voorhees. However, Jason’s an equal opportunity lunatic; for all the wanton murder he inflicts, he gets killed himself in every film, some more spectacularly than others. He’s basically Solomon Grundy – his power is that he continually dies and is brought back if only to kill and die again. So, people, on this, the 13th Friday of the year (I know that’s not what it means), to battle my inherent triskaidekaphobia, I’ve compiled the best ways in which Jason Voorhees is dispatched.
#5 – Friday the 13th Part III
Why do I like this one? Because it’s actually fairly tame for this series. After all the different three-dimensional ways Jason offed people in the movie, to simply get an ax to the face seems a bit too easy for him. Even if he does do the grabby hands before he finally keels over, he’s not quite a zombie nightmare creature yet, and, apparently, his newly-procured hockey mask doesn’t give him the kind of protection for which one might hope.
This is the movie wherein Jason actually became just a zombie nightmare creature, and offers some of the sillier murders in the whole series (killing the paintballers, anyone? Killing Arnold Horshack, anyone?). However, when Jason gets taken out, it’s kind of a genius move on the part of the otherwise useless heroes. They lure him out into the middle of Crystal Lake, where they wrap a chain around his neck attached to a big, heavy cinder block. Jason isn’t necessarily dead at the end, but he definitely is incapacitated. Just get the fuck away from that lake is really all you have to do.
Toward the end of the series, the Jason deaths just became kind of dumb. Perhaps the weirdest came when Jason chases the nondescript hero couple into the New York sewers just as horrible toxic waste is about to be dumped. The good guys are able to avoid the sludge, but Jason can’t. His already-gross face slowly begins to melt away until he is suddenly a little boy. Not a little boy who looks anything like he did in the original film, of course, but a little boy nonetheless. Then, the little swimming child’s lifeless body floats away with the rest of the sewage. Okay.
#2 – Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday
In the ’90s, the powers that be decided to kill off both Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees in movies that bore the name of what happened to them. Jason’s swansong is a really stupid movie in which the undead killer’s “soul” inhabits various other people for most of the proceedings, owing to his body being obliterated at the beginning. However, eventually Jason’s got his grotty carcass back, if only to be pulled down into hell by the arms of giant puppets, all while he’s bombarded by light from heaven. What exactly are we saying in this scene? However, there is a cool part at the very, very end when a dog digs up Jason’s mask and it gets dragged back down by Freddy’s needle-gloved hand, setting up the events of Freddy vs. Jason, a movie that gives you exactly what you want.
I always laugh that the fourth movie’s subtitle promises that it’s the final chapter, and then they made seven more films after that. However, of any of them, The Final Chapter is the one most worthy of applause. Jason gives some great deaths, but the most gruesome is probably his own, courtesy of makeup effects maestro Tom Savini. He gets his mask taken off and gets whacked upside the head by young Tommy Jarvis (Corey Feldman), and as he and his older sister embrace, Jason falls and his head slides down the machete slowly but surely. Then, just to be safe, Tommy hacks the shit out of Jason with the machete. Plunging a blade into a horrible evil monster is a very cathartic thing, trust me. I mean, I’d imagine.
And so there we have my five favorite ways Jason Voorhees has bit the big one. But, this guy just takes a licking and keeps on ticking, at least until the obligatory 2009 remake which, as of this writing, has put an end to the gargantuan goalie. Maybe Jason will yet return to die again another day.
What’s your favorite Jason death? What’s your favorite Friday the 13th movie? Do you believe in the unluckiness of the date? Let us know below!