every friday the 13th kill

At my count, 181 people are killed during the course of the Friday the 13th movie series.

I know this because I’ve spent the past week or so revisiting this iconic slasher horror series, which stars Jason Voorhees, the unstoppable hillbilly serial killer who usually wears a hockey mask, is sometimes a zombie, and always leaves a trail of corpses wherever he goes. A Friday the 13th movie is only as good as its kills – we watch these movies to see just how many bizarre, bloody and creative ways this lumbering monster can take down his victims. Naturally, some kills are better than others.

And that is why I’m going to rank them from worst to best.

This list is a sequel of sorts sorts to an article I wrote at ScreenCrush a few years ago where I ranked all of Freddy Krueger’s kills throughout the A Nightmare on Elm Street series. That was easy enough – over the course of seven movies and one remake, Freddy claimed 34 victims, a totally reasonable, easy-to-comprehend number.

But Jason Voorhees? He’s something else. He sometimes kills close to 34 victims in a single movie. He’s a machine. And unlike Freddy, who transforms each of his kills into a piece of surreal and deranged performance art that acts as a bonafide special effects set piece, Jason is a more workmanlike killer. He seemingly takes no pleasure in his murder sprees, generally taking down his victims as quickly and efficiently as possible before moving on to the next pot-smoking, sex-having teen. While Freddy’s kills all stand out and stand alone (for better and worse), many of Jason’s victims blend together after awhile. Keep that in mind as you peruse through the back half of this list, with its more tired, more bland kills.

No list can be completed without a few rules and regulations, so this list was completed by following these criteria:

  • It only counts as a kill if the chief antagonist of the movie was the one behind it. That means the 181 murders that qualified for this list were committed by Pamela Voorhees (the killer is the first movie), Roy Burns (the killer in the fifth movie), or Jason Voorhees himself. There are more than a few heroic suicides and accidental murders by desperate victims strewn throughout this series, but they will not be counted.
  • Every movie featuring Jason Voorhees and his associated cast of characters, including the 2009 remake, was eligible for this list. That means I’m counting kills from Friday the 13th (1980), Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981), Friday the 13th Part III (1982), Friday the 13th Part IV: The Final Chapter (1984), Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning (1985), Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986), Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988), Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989), Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993), Jason X (2001), Freddy vs. Jason (2003), and Friday the 13th (2009).
  • The quality of the movies themselves is not taken into account for the ranking. Some of the best movies have poor kills and some of the worst movies have great kills.
  • The final ranking of a kill is decided by a variety of factors: Is it scary? Is it funny? Is it shocking? Is it silly? Is the make-up effect good? There is no specific formula I followed, but each of those questions contributed to an overall gut feeling of a kill’s worth.

And now…it begins. Where possible, I’ve included video embeds of the various kills, so feel free to play along at home. Oh, and it should go without saying that this post is very, very NSFW.

181-178. Death by Demonic Jason Possession

The Film: Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday

The Victims: Coroner Phil, Deputy Josh, Robert the news anchor, and Officer Randy

The Gory Details: I struggled with whether or not to include these victims on the list for two reasons. First, Jason doesn’t directly kill them – his demonic presence leaps from his obliterated corpse and takes over a host of new bodies to continue his rampage. Second, they represent the single worst decision made throughout the entire series, the nadir in a franchise with many valleys. After eight previous movies, the retconning of Jason into a mystical, supernatural force that can take over new bodies is downright insulting. But since him possessing these four ultimately leads to their bodies breaking down and melting, I decided to include them, albeit in dead last.

177. Under Unknown Circumstances…

The Film: Friday the 13th Part 2

The Victim: Terry

The Gory Details: Terry stumbles across the dead body of her jerk boyfriend and dies offscreen, only for her seemingly untouched corpse to pop up a little later. The “delayed reveal of a victim” is a common trope throughout these movies, but this one feels pretty uninspired.

176. A Close (Unseen) Shave

The Film: Friday the 13th

The Victim: Ned

The Gory Details: Goofy Ned wanders away from everyone else, only for his dead body to end up in the top bunk with a cut throat while his buddies get it on in the same room. All offscreen deaths in this series have to directly compete with onscreen deaths and this one is just…insert shrugging emoticon.

175. The Shocking Death of What’s-His-Face

The Film: Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning

The Victim: Duke

The Gory Details: You know you have a problem when your heroes stumble across a dead body and the camera zooms in on his lifeless face and your first reaction is “Wait, who’s that guy?”

174. Here’s to You, Mrs. Jarvis

The Film: Friday the 13th Part IV: The Final Chapter

The Victim: Mrs. Jarvis

The Gory Details: We don’t see Mrs. Jarvis die and we don’t even see her corpse. But since she seems like an awfully nice lady doing a fine job of raising two kids alone, maybe it’s a good thing that the film doesn’t dwell on her untimely demise.

173. The Incomprehensible Diner Death

The Film: Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday

The Victim: Vicki

The Gory Details: I’d like to tell you exactly how Jason kills Vicki, a waitress who happens to be at the diner when Jason busts in and rampages, but I have no idea. It’s that poorly lit and that incomprehensible and I don’t have the energy to dwell on one of the worst kills in the worst movie in the series.

172. Handy With a Scalpel

The Film: Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday

The Victim: Alexis

The Gory Details: Slashed to death by Coroner Phil, who has been possessed by the evil spirit of Jason. Ugh. Moving on.

171. Locker Room Bully

The Film: Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday

The Victim: Officer Ryan

The Gory Details: Jason flings Officer Ryan against a locker in the police station, leaving a quick blood stain. Uninspired!

170. Machete Throat Cut

The Film: Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning

The Victim: Pete

The Gory Details: This is the first “throat slashed by machete” we get in this ranking and it will not be the last. But this one is the least inspired and least effective machete throat cut we get in the entire series, a tension-free, nearly blood-free affair that makes you wonder if the make-up department simply ran out of money when it was time to film this kill.

169. The Port-a-Potty Massacre

The Film: Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning

The Victim: Anita

The Gory Details: After tormenting her boyfriend as he attempts to take care of some personal business, Anita’s throat is swiftly cut. Zzzzz.

168. JoJo Lets Off Some Steam

The Film: Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan

The Victim: JoJo

The Gory Details: With some of the weaker Friday the 13th deaths, you can’t help but wonder if the victim is actually dead at all. Gang member JoJo getting flung into a steaming pipe in a New York City back alley sure looks like it hurts, but it also looks perfectly survivable. This will not do!

167-166. Put Your Heads Together

The Film: Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday

The Victims: Officer Mark and Officer Bryan

The Gory Details: Jason smashes Officer Mark and Officer Bryan’s heads together, killing both of them instantly. It sounds fun, but the bloodless execution is lacking.

165. Machete Head Chop

The Film: Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning

The Victim: Jake

The Gory Details: Oh, we will soon lose count of the number of people who are ended by a swift machete chop to the head. This is one of them.

164. Tent Spike Impalement

The Film: Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood

The Victim: Jane

The Gory Details: After being stabbed with a tent spike, Jane is impaled on a nearby tree. We’ve seen this before, we’ll see it again, and almost every other iteration of this kill is done better.

163. Violet Violence

The Film: Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning

The Victim: Violet

The Gory Details: Although noteworthy for just how long we watch Violet dance around her room before her sudden demise, this kill is too brief and too simple to linger in the mind. That’s the problem with many of the murders committed by Jason imposter Roy Burns (henceforth known as Faux-Jason) in Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning: he racks up one hell of a body count while often lacking the pizzazz of his predecessor.

162. How to Die When Your Girlfriend is Dead

The Film: Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday

The Victim: Luke

The Gory Details: Luke does offscreen after his girlfriend dies the best death in Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday. Her death is nutty enough to drag his unseen death up a few spots.

161. Taking a Shortcut

The Film: Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood

The Victim: Robin

The Gory Details: This is not the first time Jason has killed someone by flinging them out the second story window, but it is certainly the weakest of them.

160. Got a Crush On You

The Film: Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood

The Victim: Ben

The Gory Details: Jason Voorhees crushes many heads with his bare hands during the course of these movies. This is the least interesting of the head crushes.

159. Over Here, Officer

The Film: Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan

The Victim: Police Officer

The Gory Details: A significant portion of this list involves small town police officers underestimating the situation at hand and getting killed for it. This applies to New York City cops, as this ill-rated policeman is dragged offscreen by Jason.

158. Fun With Spears

The Film: Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan

The Victim: Suzi

The Gory Details: The worst actress in the entire series (which is really saying something) gets stabbed with a spear after Jason stalks her boyfriend’s yacht.

157. Creighton Duke’s Big Wet Fart

The Film: Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday

The Victim: Creighton Duke

The Gory Details: After building him up to be Jason’s greatest human adversary yet, Creighton Duke, bounty hunter and macho man and Jason Voorhees expert, is killed with a lame, back-breaking bear hug.

156. Trimming the Red Herrings

The Film: Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning

The Victim: Raymond

The Gory Details: Another one of part five’s all-too-fast, all-too-uninspired deaths. Then again, this one gets points for killing a character randomly introduced five minutes earlier, a humorous gotcha to anyone thinking we had just met a potential Jason imposter suspect.

155. It’s Not Your Party

The Film: Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood

The Victim: Eddie

The Gory Details: Eddie opens his dead friend’s birthday presents. Eddie gets chopped in the neck with a machete. There’s possibly a lesson to be learned here.

154. All About Those Bed Stabs

The Film: Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning

The Victim: Robin

The Gory Details: Take a drink every time Jason Voorhees (or in this case, a guy pretending to be Jason Voorhees) stabs a victim through their bed. Then proceed to alcohol poisoning.

153. Last Second Exposition

The Film: Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday

The Victim: Diana

The Gory Details: I guess it’s kind of unique that Diana dies by having a knife sharpener rather than an actual knife thrown into her back? Anyway, her death is really about allowing her to gasp out some mystical mumbo jumbo about demon Jason with her final breaths. This freaking movie.

152. Don’t You Hate It When You’re Right?

The Film: Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan

The Victim: Deckhand

The Gory Details: This morose, unnamed deckhand spends the bulk of his movie walking around the cruise ship, telling everyone in his path that they’re doomed and that everyone is going to die. He’s awesome! He’s hilarious! And then he wanders into the frame with an axe in his back and dies without much fanfare.

151. The Wrong Kind of Snack

The Film: Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood

The Victim: David

The Gory Details: David wanders downstairs for a midnight snack and gets a butcher knife in the belly instead. There’s almost a visual pun here, but it’s not enough.

150. No, Not the Music Publication…

The Film: Friday the 13th Part III

The Victim: Loco

The Gory Details: Hey, it’s our first pitchfork death! And it’s kind of boring?

149. Someone Going to Get That Door?

The Film: Freddy vs. Jason

The Victim: Security Guard

The Gory Details: The brave security guard moves down the corridor, gun drawn, steely determination in his eyes. The next time we see him, he’s a lifeless corpse, smoothed under the big metal door Jason just knocked down on top of him.

148. You Won’t Be Alright Tonight

The Film: Friday the 13th (2009)

The Victim: Wade

The Gory Details: Wade wanders the woods, blasting “Sister Christian” on his iPod. He takes a machete to the head, making him the first victim of the newly rebooted Jason Voorhees.

147-146. You Think I’m Funny?

The Film: Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday

The Victims: Two unnamed FBI agents

The Gory Details: Thinking that Jason is officially dead and gone, these two guys mock the undead redneck serial killer being examined in the neighboring room. Unfortunately, they mock him in front of the coroner, whose body has been taken over by Jason’s demonic spirit. Smash cut to a news report…and their butchered corpses.

145. The Crane Game

The Film: Jason X

The Victim: Briggs

The Gory Details: One of many space marines to be taken out during Jason’s brief tenure on board a spaceship in the distant future, Briggs is found impaled on a crane by his fellow soldiers.

144. Down With the Ship

The Film: Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan

The Victim: Admiral Robertson

The Gory Details: Why is this shitty cruise liner being captained by a guy in full Navy regalia? We are not given an answer before Jason cuts his throat with a machete and stands his corpse up at the wheel of the ship.

143. The Human Shield

The Film: Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood

The Victim: Amanda

The Gory Details: Like many of the kills in Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood, Amanda’s death is blood-free and boring, the result of the MPAA going to town on the film. However, this one is unique: it’s the only time in twelve movies that a victim dies because someone else uses them as a human shield to save themselves from Jason. Specifically, the cowardly Dr. Crews puts her between himself and a spear-wielding Jason.

142. The Usefulness of Tent Spikes

The Film: Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood

The Victim: Michael

The Gory Details: Jason flings a tent spike into Michael’s back and then picks him up by said tent spike. It sounds great, but the execution (badum-tsh) is lacking.

141. Deep Fried and Crispy

The Film: Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday

The Victim: Shelby

The Gory Details: The owner of the local diner is drowned in his own deep fryer and his corpse tossed on the nearby grill. It sounds nastier than it is, since the whole thing is lit so poorly. But give them some points for doing something a little bit different.

Continue Reading Every Friday the 13th Kill Ranked: 140-101 >>

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