How Friday The 13th Part 6's Original Ending Would've Changed The Franchise

"Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives" is considered one of the better sequels in the "Friday the 13th" franchise — /Film's own Jacob Hall even put it at the top of the list when he ranked the entire series. This blatantly ignores Crispin Glover's sweet moves, the gnarly kills, and the all-around gelling of Jason Voorhees as we know him today in "Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter," but to each their own. The film's legacy as a successful horror-comedy is credited to writer-director Tom McLoughlin, previously known for initiation-gone-wrong 1983 horror film "One Dark Night" (featuring a baby-faced Jennifer Tilly). He leaned so hard into the comedy, in fact, that he told Mick Garris on the latter's Post Mortem podcast that we almost got Cheech & Chong vs. Jason before producer Frank Mancuso Jr. nixed the idea. 

McLoughlin's absurdist streak infused a lightning bolt of meta humor into the franchise, but an ominous alternate ending, via un-filmed storyboards, could have changed the game for the slasher film series.

He's Back (The Man Behind The Mask)

Considering the 12 feature films in the extensive franchise (not even counting the TV series' three-season run, plus the novelizations, comic books, video games, and tie‑in merch), you'd be forgiven for not recalling the ending of it's middle-most entry. To jog the memory: Tommy Jarvis (Thom Matthews) of "Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter," (the fourth one, wherein Jarvis is played by Corey Feldman) and "Friday the 13th: A New Beginning" (the fifth one, also with Feldman and John Shepherd playing the childhood and teenage versions of the role, respectively) takes a boat out, sets the water aflame, and, after considerable struggle, chains the un-killable Jason to the bottom of Crystal Lake — now rebranded Forest Green — just before the hockey masked killer (played by C. J. Graham this time around) catches a face full of motor propeller. It seems like a done deal for the serial killer, but as they say in another lil' horror franchise: you can't kill the boogeyman. From underwater, Jason's eye opens, indicating that another sequel is already on the way.

And that takes us to the original ending. Remember Martin (played by Bob Larkin), the hooch-hounding grave-keeper at Eternal Peace Cemetery in the same film? He was dispatched with a broken bottle as Jason's 43rd victim, but it was kind of his fault: he did say to his empty booze bottle, "Darlin, you're going to be the death of me, but what a way to go." 

However, storyboards for the original "Jason Lives" conclusion has a more sober Martin startled by, then greeting, a shadowy figure he calls, "Mr. Voorhees." "Haven't seen you in Cryst- er, Forest Green in quite some time," Martin stammers. "I-I've been taking real good care of your wife and son's graves," he says, referring to the final resting places of Jason and his mother Pamela Voorhees. A roll of bills exchanges hands, indicating that Elias Voorhees had funded the burial (rather than cremation) of his son, knows of his resurrection, and has come searching for him. At first, the lone widower and parent shuts his eyes in grief, before clenching his fist and serving a wild-eyed stare. At the lake, Jason's mask surfaces from his watery grave. 

Check out the images below.

Jason Lives Again (Pending Legal Outcome)

The sequence doesn't give a clear motivation (Elias is mute throughout, and was never seen in the franchise before) but had these storyboards come to fruition, Mr. Voorhees surely would have either taken up the baton (or machete) for his dearly departed wife and child, acted as a guardian of sorts for his Large Deadly Adult Son, or resolved to stop Jason's rampage once and for all. Despite Paramount handing out more creative control to McLoughlin, the production was still subject to studio intervention, and the Mr. Voorhees trajectory was axed (one reason being the continuity error of sparing Martin's life). It's a shame that the producers couldn't let the filmmaker do the ending he wanted, considering that there wouldn't be another solid "Friday the 13th" film until Platinum Dunes and Crystal Lake Entertainment came together for Marcus Nispel's energetic 2009 remake (please send all hate mail to my editor).

It's unclear how well any of these scenarios would have played out at the box office; in 1985, "A New Beginning" was panned for putting someone other than Jason under the hockey mask. Roy Burns (Dick Wieand) was a paramedic who responded to his own son's murder with a spree of vengeance — and his son wasn't even killed by Jason. Everyone wants in on the Crystal Lake saga; at one point, LeBron James was in talks to reboot the franchise, and Jason Blum threw his hat into the ring amid Blumhouse's "Halloween" resurrected success. But original "Friday the 13th" screenwriter Victor Miller just scored a huge W in court over franchise rights, so now we can finally hold out hope that a thirteenth "Friday the 13th" film can happen.