Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday
Dir. Adam Marcus (1993)
After Jason is taken down by the FBI, his spirit passes from person to person in an attempt to kill his remaining family members.
This movie has everything: Facehugger Jason, a sting operation by the FBI, Freddy's glove at the end... Man, I swear, the team behind this one just threw every last idea they had at the wall hoping it would stick, and let me tell you, it absolutely did not. The most confusing, insane, and utterly nonsensical film in the series, Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday is the first film in the series that doesn't have Friday the 13th in the title. It's fitting, because this is hardly a Friday the 13th movie; in fact, it's more like a fever dream that some kid had after staying up late and watching one of the films, blending what little he knew about horror into a smorgasbord of police procedural, bounty hunter drama, and weird body snatcher-alien hybrid. But at least we have Leslie Jordan, always a treat for fans of oddly-placed Southern accents.
In the beginning of the film, Jason is lured into a clearing in the woods by a woman who, naturally, takes a shower in a dark abandoned house to get his attention. Waiting for him is the FBI, a group of heavily-armed men who launch into him with machine guns and rocket launchers, blowing him to smithereens and hauling his body off to the morgue. Once there, the coroner becomes possessed by Jason's spirit (or something) and eats his heart, taking into himself the essence of the eternal killer and going on a rampage looking for the remaining members of the Voorhees clan. If this sounds like a confusing beginning of a movie, just you wait, because it certainly doesn't get less confusing from here.
A jumbled mess from start to finish, Jason Goes to Hell is the closest the franchise gets to its Halloween Ends moment, because, no really you guys, the evil has been inside us all along. Rather than keep the evil spread going by forcing possessed victims to eat the heart of the previous "Jason," which makes a certain amount of sense on a mythological level, instead the new "Jason" continually attempts to regurgitate some kind of snake monster into the mouths of his victims in an attempt to claim their bodies. As the current killer gets closer and closer to claiming the souls of his niece and baby grand-niece, the movie introduces a dagger that can kill Jason once and for all, as long as its stabbed in his heart. Information that really could've come in handy 8 movies ago.
There's very little to like here, unless you plan on watching the film with the MST3K gang. The dialogue is laughable but not funny, the gore is minimal and not impressive, and there are so many head-scratching moments that your scalp will start feeling like one of Jason's victims by the time the credits roll. The final image of Freddy's glove pulling Jason's mask into Hell is a nice touch, but it's too little too late, a tiny bit of fan service in a movie that otherwise disrespects those same fans of an already dwindling franchise. The movie is so bizarre that it's almost impossible to truly critique, because there's little-to-no linkage between this one and the rest of the series. Perhaps we're best off if we just pretend it didn't happen. I mean, it's not like they took Jason to space or anything.
Who this movie is for: Fans of movies that aren't Friday the 13th, Body-snatcher film lovers, Dog the Bounty Hunter
Bottom line: Just weird from start to finish and having little relevance to the rest of the franchise, Jason Goes to Hell shouldn't have been the Final Friday: it shouldn't have existed at all. A weird mishmash of alien film and misplaced fan service, this is quite possibly the worst Friday film of them all. And that's saying something. The cover art is straight fire, though, one of the best of the entire series. So that's something, I guess.