Everyone knows his name, but its the signature hockey mask which horror fans have come to love and identify over the years. Diving head first into the psyche of a cereal killer can prove to be a complex battle of unanswered questions. So rather than explore why he does what he does, lets just focus on the history of Jason’s iconic mask.
He didn’t have a mask, he didn’t have a machete, he didn’t even have hair on his body. During the first Friday the 13th film Jason was nothing more than a handicapped kid who fell victim to a few horny young camp councilors who had better things to do than keep an eye on kids drowning. However, Jason’s loving mother always found time to keep putting on makeup so she looked presentable whilst murdering teenagers.
After executives ditched the idea to make each of the Friday the 13th films stand on their own as separate stories, they decided to carry on the original story and bring back that beloved little weirdo, Jason. While we did get a look at his ugly mug towards the end of the film, the majority of Jason’s beauty shots were spent with a bag over his head. A lot of people like the bag, but come on, a lame ass bag is not what became such an iconic piece of horror and halloween history for years to come.
The poor lonely nerd with that curly ass hair couldn’t leave well enough alone. He had to stir up trouble by playing practical jokes on all the cool kids who invited him along out of pity. This curly haired fuck did one thing right though. He whipped out a hockey mask as one of his awful disguises, and soon enough Mr Voorhees would find his true calling. Jason was eager to find a replacement for the smelly bag he kept wearing, and he had no trouble taking it from that stupid asshole who would soon be making jokes in hell.
With his fresh new mask and a plethora of new teens to torture, Jason was at the top of his game. At this point the mask was much like an old baseball glove, just starting to get broken in. You’d think a crack in the top corner would cause someone to panic and seek out a replacement. Not Jason. He was convinced it added character, and he was right. The axe mark soon became one of the staples to Jason’s mask collection.
Every murdering ghoul from beyond the grave has to take a break from time to time. That’s why in part five we didn’t actually see Jason, but rather a crude copycat killer. Had I been the one about to get hacked to death, I definitely would have laughed it off. Any true Jason fan could see that this wasn’t his signature mask, and those blue triangles just screamed tacky design.
Jason’s back, and he’s fucking pissed. Two denim clad dickheads were also pissed, and for some reason they felt the need to ensure Mr Voorhees was really dead. Obviously they fucked it all up, and instead woke Jason out of his beauty rest. The poor guy was just calmly laying underground with a maggot face mask to clean his pores, and suddenly gets thrown right back into a killing spree. At least they were kind enough to give him his mask back.
He’s had a tough life, but Jason never expected it to get even more difficult until he faced off against one nasty ass telepathically powered female who really got under his skin. We all know Jason is quite sensitive about showing his face, and this crazy girl uses her crazy powers to crack Jason’s mask open like an egg and reveal his horribly misunderstood face. It’s clear Jason was hiding the fact that not only did he need a new skin cream, but he needed to see a dentist as well.
When Jason visited New York in hopes of finding a good dentist, he got sidetracked by a boat load of stupid young people. Much like part three, he receives his mask here by some jackass trying to play a practical joke. In this case, said jackass impersonates Jason for his girlfriend. As if his chances of getting laid couldn’t get any worse, the real Jason shows up. Jason claims his mask, and leaves the jackass and his girlfriend in a pool of blood. While roaming around NYC Jason actually reveals his newly sculpted face to a few city muggers. They became so shocked at how beautiful Jason’s makeover looks, they ran away screaming to tell all their friends.
By now you’ll start to notice the mask has been getting stubbier. It went from a strong oval shape to now a more rounded profile. In Jason Goes to Hell, we don’t really get much of the mask. Jason has other things on his mind here, the least of which involve his mask. He’s more focused on turning into a demonic worm and possessing random people in the hopes of continuing his killing spree while disguised as a normal everyday lunatic covered in blood.
Fans have a tendency to shit all over this film, as if there has always been a high bar set when it comes to these movies. While it does fall short in comparison to other entries in the series, it does have some of the best kill scenes. Thankfully Jason gets a long overdue space makeover, and ends up even more invincible than he was on Earth. They say when you’re in space nobody can hear you scream, but that only applies when there are no movie cameras around. There are plenty of screams here, but one of the scariest aspects of this movie is the fact that it would be the last time we’d see Kane Hodder don the hockey mask.
Part 11…Kind Of But Not So Much
Okay so it’s not technically a direct or “official” sequel, but it does follow the continuity of Jason’s story from previous movies. This was a real treat for fans, as we finally got to see him go up against the Springwood Slasher. If you ask me it was no contest, and Jason completely owned Freddy. Sure he got tortured a bit in the dream world, but once reality slapped it’s cold hands around Freddy’s neck it was prime time for an ass whoopin. Jason’s mask received a bit of a makeover, and seemed to retain different elements of all the prior masks combined into one. Not bad considering the monstrosity of a mask they gave him while he was in space.
So what have we learned here? A good mask can only get you so far in life. It all boils down to who’s under the mask, and who that person strives to be. Whether you’re a killer who’s aimlessly seeking revenge on camp counselors, or you’re in a metal band named Slipknot, your mask is not what truly defines you.
Unless of course you’re being judged on the surface, which masks actually have a tendency to force people to do right off the bat. So in that case, yes. A good mask is the perfect way to hide from the world, scare the shit out of people, or even look like a complete idiot. Thankfully Jason Voorhees isn’t trying to sell records. He’s just a misunderstood murderer who was tired of wearing a smelly bag over his head.