a Primal Root review
Jason just took a trip to Manhattan where he was melted into a little boy and was then sold by his handlers at Paramount to New Line Cinema…now what can we do with him? Let’s send that Mama’s boy straight to Hell!
Our man in Crystal Lake had been pulverising teenagers for well over a decade by the time Jason Goes to Hell was released in 1993. He’d been on countless misadventures, he’s battled telekentic teenagers, taken a trip to Manhatten, battled Corey Feldman and even been killed and brought back to life several times! Jason Goes to Hell is the 9th story of Jason Voorhees, and let’s face it, things had gotten a little tired. Four years had passed since Paramount’s strange choice of a franchise swan song, Jason Takes Manhattan, was released and now New Line wanted a shot at making some cash off this monster and bring the audience something different.
And holy shit, they made something different all right. The film features Jason being killed within the first 15 minutes when a swat team goes undercover, draws him out and then sprays him wth automatic fire power and drops two nukes on him. No, it’s not a short film. Jason’s meaty chunks are collected and sent to a coroner who makes some wise cracks about how many bullets he’s been hit with and how dead as shit Jason is.
Then it gets weird.
Jason’s over sized heart (awww) starts beating, hypnotizes the coroner who then decides it would be a great idea to chow down on this goopy purplish black mass of nasty. Once finished, some fairy sparkles shoot out of Jason’s chunks and into the coroner leaving him possessed by the evil spirit of Jason…or, something like that.
Possessing a new meat suit Jason heads back to the Crystal Lake area to find some relatives so he can be reborn. But this time, there’s a reward on his head offered up by a sleazy Inside Edition style show, and there’s one of the greatest badass characters to ever grace the series who answers the call. Mr. Creighton Duke (Steven Williams).
This guy is the epitome of cool. He’s a bounty hunter who’s been chasing Jason for years. I imagine, from the shadows, because we’ve never known about this guy till this 9th Jason film. Still, Duke is an imposing, powerful character and is one of touted as being one of the greatest professional bounty hunters of all time. He knows everything about Jason Voorhees– what he is, what drives his evil, and most importantly, how to stop the madness once and for all. This is hinted at as he gives a Quint from JAWS inspired speech on TV. “I’ll get you the mask, the machete, the whole damn thing.” This guy is fucking cool as ice cold.
Jason Goes to Hell is one of the most complex, confusing and rule heavy films ever made within the slasher sub genre. In this movie Jason may only be reborn through a Voorhees. He may only be killed by a Voorhees. But not just any Voorhees, one using the super magic dagger…um, and Jason’s gotta keep hoping from body to body until he gets to a Voorhees because only Voorhees bodies can withstand that kind of evil very long without melting into what looks like liquidy pools of Hubba-Bubba bubble gum.
It’s all kind of ridiculous and overly complicated but I do give the young team of filmmakers who put Jason Goes to Hell together kudos for having the brass balls to make something so drastically different from the rest of the series that it was almost destined to be universally loathed by fans. I mean, you take Jason out of the movie, you introduce a ton of rules and mythology that was never even whispered about before along with Voorhees family blood lines that no one knew even existed and what do you expect?
But for me, I like those aspects.
The film, in it’s unrated form, has some of the most gruesome deaths the franchise has ever witnessed and some much appreciated extended gratuitous nudity…which of course, leads to a brutal blood caked gut crunching death scene. As Jason stalks the abandoned woods of Crystal Lake he comes up a trio of campers two of which are enjoying some unprotected sex in their tent. As our cowgirl reaches her climax Jason stakes her all the way through her back, out the solar plexus and then rips her in half in and lengthwise with his spike. It’s a Ménage à trois Jason style! It’s one death scene that delivers and then some.
It has the feel of a high budget fan made sequel where someone came up with some of their own answers as to why Jason is who he is. Sure, Jason Goes to Hell isn’t a very well made film but it’s by far and away the most unique and original entry in the series. No one can argue that statement. It’s like nothing that came before and it’s like nothing that comes afterwards. It’s reviled by many of the franchise devotees and appreciated by some of us. Taking a chance with something so popular takes courage and I cannot help but find that admirable. Jason Goes to Hell might not be among the best the series has to offer but it’s definitely one of most interesting.