I’m not crazy, okay? Just… don’t forget that as we go on here.
I mean, I’m nuts for Jason Movies, but that’s allowable, right? They are good-to-great movies! Well… okay-to-great. All right, they are sucky-to-great. I know, I know. Jason Goes To Hell still exists. More on that one later, though, because it’s about to be my Exception-That-Proves-The-Rule movie.
(I have actually always hated that saying. “The exception that proves the rule”? That makes no sense! If it’s an exception, it can’t be fortifying the rule it is excepting! That said… it IS fun to say)
The point is, I love the Friday The 13th franchise, as devotees of this series and my website will no doubt realize. Many movies in that franchise are very sneakily among my most watched of all time. Hell, I watched Friday The 13th Part 6: Jason Lives three times in one week just last year, so it’s gotta be way up there. If I had some counter over my head that kept track of these things, my top ten most watched movies of all time would be littered with Halloweens and Jasons, man.
But when you watch the Friday The 13th movies as often as I have, you begin to notice some things. And, honestly, you just think way too hard about a lot of shit since you brain is already anticipating everything that’s about to happen on screen. But, I mean… what is there to think about? It’s a series of movies about a serial killer named Jason Voorhees.
Well, as you can guess, I have random and completely-for-fun speculation in regards to these films, and I’d like to take you along my demented thought process on why the Friday the 13th canonical series actually has MANY masked killers… and none of them are the boy who drowned in Camp Crystal Lake back in 1958!
Let’s start off at the beginning: 1980’s Friday The 13th [Part 1]. As many people know, thanks to the 1990’s hit Scream if for no other reason, the killer in this movie is NOT Jason, but his mother, Pamela Voorhees. Taking place in either June or July 1979 (and it depends on whether you A. believe these movies exist in a fictional timeline, or B. believe the tombstone we see later on has a typo or not), Mama Voorhees returns to the summer camp where her son drowned as a child to exact revenge on more teenage counselors.
But is she the ONLY killer on the loose?
See, I don’t believe she is.
(And so it begins)
There is one scene that throws me all the way off here. One counselor is picked up by someone driving a truck and driven past the exit for the camp. When the counselor freaks out that she is being abducted, the driver murders her without so much as saying a word.
BUT YET, when Pamela makes her big reveal later on to attack the final girl, Alice, Mrs. Voorhees CAN’T FUCKING SHUT UP for two seconds about why she is doing what she is doing. She wants people to know how she was wronged and her son was murdered. And she is clearly crazy and constantly talking to herself while pursuing Alice. So why was she so talkative with Alice, but not with the hitchhiking counselor?
Because in the latter instance, “she” wasn’t Pamela Voorhees at all!
So there are two ways to interpret this: either Jason’s mommy had an accomplice… or there was just a rando second killer loose around Crystal Lake that fateful Friday the 13th. For argument’s sake, let’s ASSUME it is the former since the latter is just less fun and kind of hurts what I think might be going on in Part 2! After all, it makes sense that Pamela didn’t kill all these folks by herself, especially given how incompetent she appears when one-on-one with Alice.
So Mrs. Voorhees kills some kids with the aid of a silent assistant. She eventually runs afoul of Alice, though, and loses her head (Hyuck. Hyuck). Alice survives, randomly takes a boat ride out to the middle of the lake, foppishly waves her hand in the water, and is (?) attacked by the drowned corpse of the actual Jason Voorhees right when the cops show up! The cops pull her out of the water, though, and explain they didn’t see a boy’s body.
(Actually, this is less important than I am letting on; but it CAN be manipulated to be useful!)
But who cares, right? It happened; it didn’t happen. No matter. We know Jason is the killer of the next movie, right?
Here’s what we definitively know about the killer in Friday the 13th part 2:
-First, he doesn’t talk.
-Second, he wears a god damn excellent satchel with ONE EYE HOLE cut out over his head.
-Third, he is kind of a putz.
-Fourth, he seems to live in as dilapidated shack in the woods, wherein there is a shrine to Pamela Voorhees.
-Fifth! This movie takes place five years after Part 1 (so assuming you buy the aforementioned tombstone typo theory, July 1984).
-Sixthly, he has long, red hair.
And here is what we can say we absolutely DON’T know about him with any certainty:
-That he is god damn Jason Voorhees, the boy who drowned in the lake in 1958!
The would-be counselors in this movie CALL the killer Jason, but that’s only because they are all wound up from a campfire horror story told by Paul early in the movie. He tells them a story he knows isn’t true about Jason still being out there just to scare them. He’s not reporting it as fact; he’s just messing with them.
And then a killer shows up, and Ginny is all “Whelp, I guess this must be Jason”.
But what sense does that make? This Jason is just a guy. An ugly mute guy, but… just a dude. He’s not a waterlogged corpse, and if what Alice saw in Part One wasn’t a dream, he’s way more than 5 years older than the thing that attacked her!
Hmm! A mute killer with a relationship to Pamela Voorhees? Why does THAT sound familiar?
Yep! Baghead Jason is just Mrs. Voorhees’ truck-driving accomplice from the original! NOT her son, but actually a grown-ass man who has a physical deformity and severe mental health issues. He was unable to save Pamela five years prior, and he has been living in the woods with her head ever since. He is clearly not a very learned individual and is obsessed with Mrs. Voorhees’ head, but nothing about that screams “Reanimated boy who drowned 26 years ago!”.
Friday Part 2 ends with an unbagged Jason lunging through a window to get one last scare in as he attacks Ginny and Paul. But… that could be a dream sequence, right? After all, the ending to part one may have been a dream, and the ending to part three definitely is. So who’s to say the ending to part two wasn’t dream?
Me. I mean… me. I am to say. It’s my article.
And here’s why!
Friday the 13th part 3 takes place the day after Part 2. And early on in Part 3 we overhear a news broadcast report that there was only ONE survivor from the night before, so we know Ginny lived, but Paul must not have. So the Jason who came through the window MUST have happened(, or Paul just randomly died in his sleep over night, which is too boring to consider).
And the Jason that came through the window had long hair.
The Jason from part 3–let’s call him Hockey Mask Jason, Finally–is god damn bald.
I mean, he’s also CLEARLY taller and built different, but I’m not even holding that against him. That can be hand-waved away by “we weren’t paying attention during casting”, but the hair? Come on! That HAS to be intentional!
Also, we actually see a flashback to this Jason from Chris’ memory of two years prior. And HE WAS BALD THEN, TOO. So what? He was bald, then grew some hair for last night, then shaved it clean off since then? Unlikely!
So nope, I see through you, bald, taller Jason. You are NOT Baghead. We don’t actually know what became of Baghead, but he ain’t you. I figure Baghead fled and died of his injuries shortly after the murder of Paul. Because he was not an undead child!
Neither is this guy, by the way. He actually has very clean, healthy looking skin, honestly. This Jason moisturizes. He didn’t spend twenty-two years underwater and then somehow age twenty years in the last five.
(This is an interesting theory, though, because the flashback then implies that Baghead and Hockey Mask, Finally had to have been co-existing in the New Jersey lake-and-camping region for YEARS, with Baghead obsessing over the dead Pamela Voorhees and eating dogs in his shack, while Hockey Mask Finally was trying to abscond with teenage girls to rape in the barn in which he was clearly living)
HOLY SHIT I’m 1500 words in and have only discussed the first three flicks! Are you still with me? I hope so, but I understand if you are already in the comments calling me an idiot.
If I wanted to be obnoxious… if I really, really wanted to… I could argue that Part 4 Jason is actually not the same as Part 3 Jason.
I mean… here’s what we see: Hockey Mask Finally gets taken to the morgue and put away. Then, one of the bodies in the morgue comes to and attacks some hospital workers before heading off to the lake.
I COULD argue we have no proof that it is the same body, and he could have just grabbed the mask.
But nah, I won’t. He’s wearing the same clothes, man. And he has the same basic appearance. So no, I’ll relent. This is also Hockey Mask Finally.
Skipping part five for obvious reasons, we move on to part 6. Part 6 opens with a grown Tommy (the kid from part 4) finding the grave purported to belong to Jason, digging him up, and accidentally bringing him back to life with with lightning (as you do).
Now… is there enough evidence here that Zombie Jason is not Hockey Mask Finally? It’s all speculative, but that’s still fun, so let’s pour over it.
We get to know the cemetery caretaker here for where Zombie Jason is buried, and we see he is a hopeless alcoholic and bumbling idiot. Is it entirely impossible he didn’t mix up the bodies or put the wrong tombstone on the wrong gravesite? I think not. He can’t even keep people from digging up bodies at their leisure!
And there’s something that always bothered me: how did this notorious serial killer get a fancy ass tombstone and casket in a regular cemetery?! Who paid for that? Do famous murderers with no money and family often get full-on tombstones and gravesites in public cemeteries? What if this is ANOTHER bloke named “Jason Voorhees” from suburban New Jersey?
Also, all we know is that Tommy says this is Jason, but he’s clearly badly traumatized and crazy. He’s so obsessed with burning Jason’s corpse, is it impossible to believe he got things a little mixed up?
Also, while this Jason has somewhat similar clothes to what HMF wore… they aren’t quite the same. And he has a badass utility belt!
So yeah, this one is a stretch. But there is just enough mitigating evidence between Tommy’s crazy zealotry and the caretaker being worthless that… if I combine it with the fact that this body has a tombstone and a proper, public burial? I want to go ahead and assume that Tommy just brought some other dude back to life! So Zombie Jason is NOT Hockey Mask, Finally Jason!
Also, “Multiple Jason Theory” sounds better than, say, “Two Jasons Theory”. So just GO WITH ME.
We are going to snap back to reality with this next bit, though: Zombie Jason clearly returns in parts 7 and 8. Sorry, gang; even I can’t reason away how there would be multiple different people under Crystal Lake, similarly chained around the neck and wearing a consistently damaged mask.
(ACTUALLY, the Jason in part 8 doesn’t have a mask underwater; picks one up later. BUT STILL…)
Let’s blow past part 7 (which is fabulous and you should watch all the time!) and cut straight to Jason Taking Manhattan (which is… not so much). While the killer here is the same ol’ Zombie Jason, there’s still something interesting of note, and it takes place in the Jason timeline.
Now, the Jason Timeline is not set in stone, and different sites have different ideas on it, but they are all relatively the same within a few years. I did my own research, combined it with theirs, and this is what I have come up with:
So JTM takes place in, about, 2004. 2004-ish.
And in JTM, the main character is Rennie, a high school senior, so let’s say she is 18.
She has a flashback to when she was a little girl (maybe 6, 7, 8?) at Crystal Lake. Which would put her there sometime in the early 1990’s. While there, she was thrown into the lake and encountered…
DROWNED CHILD JASON.
Just like Alice saw in the lake back in god damn 1979. HOLY SHIT, it took 8 movies, but they finally confirmed that WASN’T a dream!
Why does this matter? Because it proves two things: First, Jason Voorhees never escaped his fate. He drowned in the lake, and his tormented spirit haunts it still. And hence, that he has not become a fully grown dude machete-ing people from behind a hockey mask since the mid-80’s!
(or from behind an awesome sack that one time)
None of these killers is the boy who drowned in the lake! Jason Voorhees is a red (dead?) herring!
But if that is all true… what about Jason Goes To Hell, which is entirely about Jason being a Voorhees and all the Ancient Cursed Blades and what not that comes along with that?
JASON GOES TO HELL DOESN’T COUNT!
See, up until JGTH, the Friday movies have told a consistent narrative, with each movie being directly related to the ones that precede it. But JGTH throws that out the window and never bothers to address how Jason overcame getting de-aged in the Manhattan sewers. It’s just… Jason at Crystal Lake right to start.
It’s also not a “Friday The 13th” movie in a very legal sense.
So Jason canon ends with Manhattan. Everything thereafter is Elseworlds Jason! So the Jason who Goes To Hell? Sure, THAT can be Jason Voorhees, drowning victim. Who cares? It’s a made up story!
(I mean… they are all made up stories; these movies are not documentaries, and events did not occur in real time)
You know how Batman Forever is just a movie about Batman WITHIN the movie universe of Batman 1989 and Batman Returns? (It is)
Jason Goes To Hell is a movie about Jason WITHIN the Friday the 13th universe! Somewhere the character of Tommy is watching JGTH in theaters and being traumatized all over again. He probably is digging up a random corpse somewhere in New York City to accidentally bring IT back to life, too! Idiot.
But within the Friday The 13th universe, they made a movie about the legend of the Camp Crystal Lake Killer, who everyone just takes as gospel was Jason Voorhees based on Ginny’s rambling to the press back in 1984.
Holy crap, it really IS an exception that ended up proving the rule!
I haven’t put too much thought into these movies; YOU put too much thought into these movies! I have put the exact right amount of thought into these movies!
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this. I’ve been working on it for MONTHS in preparation for this Friday the 13th. Oh, by the way, Happy Jason Day (or Not Jason Day, if you will). Either way, it’s all in fun, and I’m not truly trying to besmirch your thoughts on these [sometimes] fantastic movies. We can all appreciate them however we want; my appreciation has just turned into, you know, lunacy.
I promise to get some help with that.
Until next time… take care!