‘Evil has finally found a home.’
Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday is a 1993 American slasher horror feature film directed by Adam Marcus (Secret Santa; co-writer of Texas Chainsaw 3D) from a screenplay written by Dean Lorey and Jay Huguely, based on a storyline by the latter and Marcus. It was produced by Sean S. Cunningham, director of the first Friday the 13th in 1980.
The film is the ninth instalment of the Friday the 13th franchise and the first to be distributed by New Line Cinema rather than Paramount Pictures. New Line intended the film to be the last in the Friday series, thus the subtitle of the movie and to set up Freddy vs. Jason, hence the inclusion of the final scene.
Due to major development issues over several years, New Line Cinema wasn’t sure if Freddy vs. Jason would ever get made. To tide over fans they made Jason X in 2001. Since this film was subtitled the The Final Friday, they decided against a repeat of the Friday the 13th title, and set it in the future so as to avoid continuity problems with a possible Freddy vs. Jason film. The latter was eventually released ten years after this film, in 2003.
A lone woman is staying at a rundown cabin on Crystal Lake. After a shower, she encounters Jason in a hallway. As he is about to slash her, she dodges him and falls over a railing to the floor below.
A chase ensues throughout the forest with Jason hunting the woman. She comes to a clearing, turns around to see Jason. She jumps aside, someone yells ‘Now!’, and huge floodlights are flashed upon Jason. We see a government task force begin to repeatedly shoot Jason hundreds of times, with no effect on him. They launch a grenade that blows his body apart into several pieces, scattering around the area.
We discover that the woman in question was undercover FBI agent Elizabeth Marcus, as the FBI set a trap to stop Jason once and for all. The agents are celebrating the victory, and we cut to a mysterious figure in the forest questioning what the government just did saying “I don’t think so”.
Jason’s remains are sent to a morgue. The coroner is processing the autopsy making various notes, including the heart being twice the size of a normal human heart. As he brings a scalpel to the heart, it begins to beat slowly, then faster and faster. The coroner becomes hypnotized by Jason’s beating heart and is compelled to eat it.
This causes spirits to emanate from Jason’s scarred body parts, and the coroner becomes possessed by the ‘spirit’ of Jason. We see this as the reflection of newly hosted coroner is that of Jason’s original form.
The now possessed coroner begins a killing spree in route to Crystal Lake. Along the way he kills hospital guards (one being actor Kane Hodder – who portrays the ‘masked’ Jason character in this and the previous two films), along with several teenagers…
“All told, I rather suspect that had this movie simply been billed as a non-series horror flick in the vein of Shocker or The First Power, it would probably have been much better received by the fans. Indeed, it is when it operates most visibly within traditional Friday the 13th territory that Jason Goes to Hell is at its weakest.” 1000 Misspent Hours and Counting
” …as a movie that has nothing to do with the Friday the 13th film, this is an ok action/horror opus with lots of gore and nudity. But as a Friday the 13th sequel, this one misses the boat, betraying the die hard fans and straying too far from it’s source. He’s wearing a hockey mask, has a machete but he’s not the Jason I know.” Arrow in the Head
“As a film, Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday is well made – it is one of the few films in the Friday the 13th series that could be said to be directed with style and suspense rather than only being a catalogue of novelty deaths. It also the only Friday the 13th film in which a character can be seen crying over the slaughter of one of the victims.” Moria
“I’ve read quite a few reviews that have argued that Jason Goes To Hell is the worst installment in the franchise but I disagree. It’s close, but it’s marginally better than both Part 3 and Jason Takes Manhattan. It’s saved from being a total disaster by that clever opening and likable performances from John LeMary and Kari Keegan.” Through the Shattered Lens
” …it’s pretty much the same old same old verging on self-parody, except for the plot elements blatantly stolen from The Hidden and a pervasive casual sadism.” Mike Mayo, Videohound’s Horror Show
“The unrated version contains some of the series’ most unrestrained gore FX, provided by KNB, as well as some of the most interesting nude scenes in the history of the franchise. […] The magic dagger stuff is still really silly and has no place in the franchise, series composer Harry Manfredini’s musical score is purely laughable, and Jason himself is only in the film for around 10-15 minutes, tops.” DVD Drive-In
“Jason Goes to Hell is an unconventional sequel that expands the mythology of Friday the 13th and – like it or not – set the stage for the blockbuster Freddy vs Jason. But I’m not saying that if you don’t like it, you don’t “get it”. It ain’t philosophy. It’s just a gory-as-hell thrill ride with lots of titties and a classic villain.” Oh, the Horror!
“On the whole Jason Goes to Hell is a pretty good effort, with a decent B-movie cast and some nice (if not entirely original) ideas. But it’s not really a Friday the 13th film. Hockey-masked Jason is on screen for less than half the running time, and there isn’t much teenage slaughter, although there’s a fair amount of nudity and more gore than the last instalment.” Jim Harper, Legacy of Blood: A Comprehensive Guide to Slasher Movies
” …the opening seven or eight minutes – really recaptures the stalk n’ slash ambience of the 80s movies. After that, it’s downhill fast, although during this re-watch, I noticed the subtle (and not so) homoerotic nuances lurking beneath a few scenes; Adam Marcus allegedly ‘made up’ for the girls-only nudity rule of the previous eight movies with more naked guys and the very obscure shaving scene.” Vegan Voorhees
“The big thing that takes away from the film, and really the series as a whole is the body jumping plot. It’s bad enough that there is a distinct absence of our main goalie mask wearing monster Jason but to add in the weird borderline sci-fi plot, heavily borrowed from the film The Hidden, is just mind boggling […] It does have its high points, such as a large body count, nudity and some brutal kills, however.” Ronnie Angel, Slashed Dreams: The Ultimate Guide to Slasher Films
“Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday is the worst of the series by a long way. Yes, it’s good to see a series try and reinvent itself and try something new (Halloween III: Season of the Witch anyone?) but when it’s executed as poorly and sloppily as this, it’s not worth the effort. Skip the film and just watch the Freddy bit on Youtube.” Popcorn Pictures
Cast and characters:
- John D. LeMay as Steven Freeman
- Kari Keegan as Jessica Kimble
- Steven Williams as Creighton Duke
- Allison Smith as Vicki
- Erin Gray as Diana Kimble
- Steven Culp as Robert Campbell
- Rusty Schwimmer as Joey B.
- Leslie Jordan as Shelby
- Billy “Green” Bush as Sheriff Landis
- Kane Hodder as Jason Voorhees/FBI Guard/Freddy Krueger’s claw
- Andrew Bloch as Deputy Josh
- Kipp Marcus as Randy Parker
- Richard Gant as Phil the Coroner
- Adam Cranner as Ward
- Julie Michaels as Elizabeth Marcus
- James Gleason as Agent Abernathy
- Dean Lorey as Eric Pope
- Adam Marcus as Officer Bish
- Mark Thompson as Officer Mark
- Brian Phelps as Officer Brian
- Blake Conway as Officer Andell
- Madelon Curtis as Officer Ryan
- Paul Devine as Paul
- Michelle Clunie as Deborah
- Michael B. Silver as Luke
- Kathryn Atwood as Alexis
- Jonathan Penner as David
- Brooke Scher as Stephanie Kimble
A three-issue comic adaptation of Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday written by Andy Mangels was published by Topps Comics. As the comics are based upon the original shooting script of the film, elements that were left out of the film are used in them. Topps also released a series of trading cards for the film.
In November of 2017, Adam Marcus, the film’s director revealed that an apparently overlooked plot-point of the movie is that Jason Voorhees is actually connected to the Evil Dead franchise. The filmmaker told Horror Geek Life:
“[Pamela Voorhees] makes a deal with the devil by reading from the Necronomicon to bring back her son. This is why Jason isn’t Jason. He’s Jason plus The Evil Dead, and now I can believe that he can go from a little boy that lives in a lake, to a full-grown man in a couple of months, to Zombie Jason, to never being able to kill this guy. That, to me, is way more interesting as a mashup, and Raimi loved it!
It’s not like I could tell New Line my plan to include The Evil Dead, because they don’t own The Evil Dead. So it had to be an Easter egg, and I did focus on it…there’s a whole scene that includes the book, and I hoped people would get it and could figure out that’s what I’m up to. So yes, in my opinion, Jason Voorhees is a Deadite. He’s one of The Evil Dead.”