Friday the 13th Evil Dead

Ever wonder why Jason Voorhees, the hockey-masked killer at the center of the Friday the 13th films, seems to be immortal and unstoppable? Jason Goes to Hell director Adam Marcus just provided an interesting answer that ties the franchise into the Evil Dead series. Whether or not you want to take this as canonical is up to you!

In 1993, Jason Goes to Hell attempted to bump-off everyone’s favorite goalie-masked murder in what was purported to be the final Friday the 13th film. Of course, Jason would eventually return for both Jason X, which took the character into space, and Freddy vs. Jason, which pitted him against A Nightmare on Elm Street‘s Freddy Krueger. Until those films arrived, however, Jason Goes to Hell went to extreme lengths to destroy the slasher fans had come to know and love, creating an extremely strange movie that had Jason’s evil soul jumping out of his traditional body and into other people. As a result, the classic Jason – the bulky guy in the hockey mask – barely even appears at all in the film. Fans were not happy.

In one Jason Goes to Hell scene, a character discovers both a large ornate knife and a tattered book. Casual movie goers might not have given these items a second glance, but horror fans recognized these items instantly: they were both featured in Sam Raimi’s original Evil Dead films. The knife is known as the Kandarian Dagger, and the book is the Necronomicon, aka the book of the dead that can summon up evil demons known as Deadites. While most viewers – like myself – assumed these items were just placed in the film to pay homage to Evil Dead without any real meaning, Jason Goes to Hell director Adam Marcus has just set the record straight.

Jason-Goes-to-Hell-Steven-Finds-the-Necronomicon

In an interview with Horror Geek Life (via Screen Rant), Marcus claims that he included these items in the film for a very specific reason. In case you’re unaware of the Friday the 13th backstory, here’s a quick recap: young Jason Voorhees drowned at the summer camp Camp Crystal Lake. Jason’s death was the result of some neglectful camp counselors, who would rather flirt with each other than pay attention to the kids in their charge. Jason’s mother, Pamela Voorhees, was driven insane by this, and in the first Friday the 13th film she set about bumping-off the new camp counselors who set up shop at the camp. After Pamela was killed, however, Jason returned from the grave and spent several sequels killing any hapless teens who crossed his path. Most fans have just come to accept that Jason was some sort of vengeful zombie, but director Marcus says the truth is that Jason is a Deadite from Evil Dead, summoned by Pamela Voorhees:

“[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!”

First thing’s first: the Necromonicon has nothing to do with the devil, so the horror nerd in me is instantly bugged by that. That said, this isn’t such a terrible idea, and it’s a neat little crossover. As to why Marcus wasn’t more overt with his crossover idea, there’s a good answer for that: Jason Goes to Hell was released by New Line Cinema, and New Line doesn’t own the rights to the Evil Dead franchise:

“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.”

Needless to say, Marcus making these claims doesn’t make them part of the Friday the 13th cannon. It’s up to you, the viewer: do you want Jason to actually be a Deadite? Then by all means, assume that’s the case! If you’d prefer him to just be a very determined zombie, however, you can stick with that.

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