VHS Revival concludes its countdown of the ten best Jason kills
5. Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood – Judy
Heavily edited by the MPAA, The New Blood was tarnished by a substantial reduction in gore. Heavily dumbed-down, the deaths in this particular picture are of the more implied variety—theoretically as brutal as earlier deaths in the series, but literally dull and uninspired.
There is one death worthy of the franchise, however, and it comes in the form of Judy, another horny teen desperate for a piece of the action. Alone in a tent in the woods and blissfully unaware of her partner Dan’s demise, Judy calls out to him impatiently: ‘Ok you big hunk of a man, come and get me.’
Unfortunately for her, that big hunk arrives in the form of Jason, who quickly proceeds to tear through the tent and drag her away in a sleeping bag, slapping her against a tree so hard it seemingly snaps her in two. The footage in the final cut only shows him swing Judy’s body once, and though the scene was originally much more excessive, I think the MPAA unintentionally got it right here with a kill that is as bluntly portrayed as it ought to be.
4. Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter – Jimmy
It is almost impossible to share an affinity with any of Jason’s victims. Naive, gormless and incredibly conceited, part of you thanks the lord that someone dedicated their time to solely wiping them out. This is true in regards to our next victim, Jimmy, played by none other than Back to the Future‘s George McFly (Crispin Glover), whose notoriously zany dance moves would go down in ‘Friday’ folklore.
Smug after a bout of senseless bonking and revelling in the one-upmanship of a desperately unattractive peer, Jimmy heads to the kitchen where he plans to partake in some celebratory drinking. Finding an unopened bottle he calls out to his lackey, ‘Hey, have you seen the corkscrew?’
Cue Jason, who has come into possession of the article in question, and who is in no mood to use it in the conventional sense, appearing from out of the shadows and jamming it into Jimmy’s hand before hacking into his face with a machete. This is a kill of stark and sudden brutality, and if this truly were George Mcfly, maybe you could be forgiven for feeling just the slightest pang of remorse, but then you remember that Back to the Future is an entire year away, and Jimmy is a self-serving prick who deserves to die in the worst possible fashion.
3. Friday the 13th 3D: Rick
Cashing in on the resurgence of popularity in 3-D cinema, Friday the 13th Part 3 successfully managed to burden the picture with mundane, screen-leaping moments (see yoyo). Having sat through the movie with the requisite specs, I have to admit that the three-dimensional imagery is quite impressive—or at least it would be if the action were not so pointless and inappropriate to the plot.
The saving grace arrives in the savagery of the movie’s kills. Almost the pick of the bunch is that of Rick, boyfriend of surviving protagonist Chris, and for a long time a safe bet to survive the horror himself. But having been snagged by Jason, now complete with iconic hockey mask, his skull is promptly crushed to the point that his eyeball shoots out from his socket. Now that’s more like it!
You might be forgiven for thinking this represents an ideal opportunity to showcase the movie’s new-age special effects. Sadly, they don’t quite pull it off, because with or without your glasses, it still looks exactly the same onscreen. Simply unforgivable!
Friday the 13th 3-D – Andy Beltrami
It’s true that it doesn’t take much to persuade Jason to indulge in homicidal warfare. It is also true that, during his annual killing sprees, he generally doesn’t have to try too hard thanks to the contrivances of his inane and promiscuous cast of victims.
Part 3’s Andy Beltrami perhaps heads that category. After wooing his girlfriend through the ostentatious act of walking on his hands, Andy inexplicably decides to carry on his one-man show as he heads off for a beer. I can only imagine what was going through Jason’s mind when he stumbled upon this circus douchebag, although his next act hints at a certain distaste as his signature machete comes striking down, cutting him clean in half.
What makes the kill so effective—asides from the fact that our victim’s self-indulgent stupidity more than qualified him for the slaughter—is the helplessness of our victim’s predicament, and the complete lack of care of our masked stalker, who seems to relish in this kill more than most.
1. Friday the 13thPart VI: Jason Lives – Allen Hawes
And so we arrive at number one, and my pick for the all-time greatest Jason Kill.
Now, Jason dies in The Final Chapter, replaced by an impostor for subsequent instalment A New Beginning, so a believable premise was necessary for bringing our unlikely hero back from the dead, as well as a valid reason for doing so. Cue Tommy Jarvis, a spade, and that particular character’s inability to rid himself of some rather tragic, Jason-inspired demons.
Seeking closure beyond reason, Tommy recruits the help of buddy Alan, and sets about exhuming Jason’s long-buried corpse. His initial idea for finishing the job is fire, but when a bout of rain puts an end to that idea, an infuriated Tommy reaches for a metal spike, stabbing the corpse repeatedly and embedding the weapon like a conqueror’s flagpole. Unfortunately—and I don’t say that lightly—a life-giving bolt of lightning strikes the conducting article, its powerful surge resuscitating our killer’s corpse.
Reanimated and boasting an even higher level of superhuman strength, a newly resurgent Jason takes poor Alan’s shovel shot in his stride before plunging his hand into his chest and tearing out his still-beating heart. Perhaps not the most creative of kills, but its blatant savagery proved the perfect reminder of what had been missing from A New Beginning, reviving the legendary Voorhees for numerous sequels and redefining him as the omnipotent super killer we all know and love.