Before you run to get kinky with your significant other and spend your entire Valentine’s Day drinking and having sex, remember the greatest abstinence advertisement of all time… JASON FREAKING VOORHEES! No one in the last 30 years has been a better source of birth control than the silent masked man from Camp Crystal Lake. Since 1981’s Friday the 13th Part 2, Jason Voorhees has amassed a whopping 158 kills in the Friday the 13th franchise, more than his horror counterparts Freddy Krueger and Michael Myers combined. Most of these victims were nubile young counselors off for summers filled with — well you guessed it — beer, drugs, and pre-marital sex. In fact, if you include those killed by Mrs. Voorhees in Part 1, ambulance driver Roy Burns (aka “imposter Jason”) in Part 5, and certain protagonists, the 12-film, 30-year-old franchise has amassed over 200 total kills!
So today, to celebrate Friday the 13th for Friday the 13th, with a hint of Valentine’s Day, let’s revisit the 13 best kills in the Friday the 13th film series.
13 Best ‘Friday the 13th’ Kills
13. Spear gun to the eye… in 3D!!! – Friday the 13th Part 3 – 1982 – Richard Brooker as Jason.
Richard Brooker doesn’t get enough credit for being a really great Jason, but he has a lot of great moments and bears the historical significance of being the first portrayer of the slasher to don the signature hockey mask. The very first on-screen kill Jason has in the hockey mask is Vera (Catherine Parks). She’s been set up with loser Shelly and after he jump scares her, takes a walk out on a pier near the barn where Shelly’s gone to hide in shame (little knowing Jason was in there). Out comes Jason wearing Shelly’s hockey mask. As she wades through the water to retrieve a dropped wallet, she looks up and knows something isn’t right. Jason confirms her fear by firing Shelly’s spear gun through her eyeball… in 3D!!! Thus answering the trivia question, what is Jason’s first hockey mask death?
12. Julius gets KO’ed – Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan – 1989 – Kane Hodder as Jason.
Part 8 is in my opinion the easy choice for worst Friday movie. The title doesn’t live up to the hype as they spend only 25 minutes in New York (only really 10 was the actual city), and the cruise ship setting felt like a rip off. Add that they toned down the violence and gore, and you have what some actors have called the “Disney movie” of the franchise. One scene that lives on with fans though is the death of Julius (V.C. Dupree). Julius establishes himself as an alpha-male boxer, so when he’s left alone on a city rooftop with Jason, he tries to outman the monster with brute force. Delivering a staggering number of punches that back Jason all the way across the roof, Julius runs of steam and Jason runs out of patience. He delivers a classic final line, “Go ahead, take your best shot…motherfucker!” Jason does, and with one punch sends Julius’s head flying off into the city night.
11. Post-Coitus Arrow in the Throat – Friday the 13th – 1980 – Mrs. Voorhees.
Despite this kill NOT perpetrated by Jason, this scene from the 1980 original is famous more for WHO dies than WHO commits the act (It was Mrs. Voorhees). The victim would become the franchises’ biggest mainstream star, Mr. Footloose himself, Kevin Bacon. As Jack, he has just finished committing the ultimate Crystal Lake sin, having sex, and so when he relaxes to enjoy an after sex smoke, it’s shocking when a hand comes from under his bed and an arrow forces its way out his throat. In a happy accident, effects maestro Tom Savini said the device to infuse the blood in the scene broke, leaving an assistant to blow into the straw and send the blood shooting out of the wound. The extra blood left its mark and Bacon’s post-film success made this an incredibly celebrated kill.
10. The Backbreaking Sheriff – Friday the 13th Part 6: Jason Lives – 1986 – CJ Graham as Jason.
My personal favorite film in the series is Tom McLoughlin’s half gothic horror half self-referential horr-omedy of Part 6. Coming off the disappointing Jason-less Part 5, McLoughlin went old school and created “Franken-Jason” who, unlike previous Jasons, was a super-strong almost zombie-like monster. The best demonstration of his inhuman power was the death of Sheriff Garris (David Kagen). Garris knows Jason’s not messing around after shooting him point blank with a shotgun multiple times to no avail. When his daughter is in jeopardy, Garris attacks Jason and knocks him to ground and smashes his face with a giant rock. The heroic feeling is short-lived as Jason grabs his arms and forces him backwards AND IN HALF with a loud spine-tingling crunch. The effect looks great and was a unique weaponless kill for Jason.
9. Mrs. Voorhees Decapitation – Friday the 13th – 1980 – Adrienne King as Alice.
The original 1980 slasher was really a who-done-it. We’re left pondering till the last few minutes who the killer is that is stalking and killing these teens at Crystal Lake. When final girl Alice (Adrienne King) meets Mrs. Voorhees (Betsy Palmer), she thinks she’s saved. When the realization that the seemingly nice old lady is actually a vengeance-seeking murderer, the fight is on. The first final fight ends with Alice getting a hold of Mrs. Voorhees’ machete and cutting her head in one huge swing. Tom Savini, in reality, swung the machete and knocked the dummy head off propped toothpicks that were holding it in place. It remains, 35 years later, one of horror’s great endings and greatest decapitations.
8. Handstand Gone Awry – Friday the 13th Part 3 – 1982 – Richard Brooker as Jason.
Another classic example of why you should NEVER have sex in a horror movie, Andy (Jeffrey Rogers) is a goofball who juggles and walks on his hands. Unfortunately he decided to show some moves after a hammock session with his girlfriend, and Jason is waiting in the hallway with his patented machete. Andy looks up right in time to see Jason raise and swing his blade cutting him down and in half. Had the MPAA not “butchered” this scene, it may have ranked higher. But we do get to see Andy’s halved body later and the effects are glorious.
7. Jason gets Hacked – Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter – 1984 – Corey Feldman as Tommy Jarvis.
Imagine a world where Friday the 13th movies stopped in 1984. That was the idea behind the not-so-aptly named The Final Chapter. In order to be a finale, Jason needed to die, and back to the franchise returned Tom Savini with the notion that Jason’s creator should be the one to kill him off. After a wild final chase between Jason (Ted White) and the older sister Trish (Kimberly Beck) end up back in the Jarvis family cabin, Jason’s hockey mask is removed and Tommy (an 11-year-old Corey Feldman) picks up the famed machete and swings it into Jason’s skull. As Jason’s body hits the floor, the machete is driven up through his head which in turn sends Jason face first sliding down the machete blade. Tommy, not satisfied, pick the machete back up and begins hacking away at Jason’s limp body. Had this truly been the “final chapter,” Jason would’ve received a bloody good farewell.
6. Spinal Adjustment – Freddy vs. Jason – 2003 – Ken Kirzinger as Jason.
When the two goliaths of 80s horror finally met on screen in 2003, the storyline was that Freddy was using Jason as his avatar to get the people in Springwood scared again. Jason’s first kill was — you guessed it — right after Trey (Jesse Hutch) finished having sex. The chauvinistic jerk sends his girlfriend off to the shower while he lays there drinking a beer. Jason surprises him by stabbing him repeatedly with his machete. If this wasn’t bad enough, Jason grabs opposite ends of the bed and yanks the upward-bending body of Trey’s in half-backwards. I remember the movie theater crowd yelling audibly in both shock and glee as it was an awesome kill, and Trey was an ass who totally deserved it.
5. Jason Face SMASH! – Jason X – 2002 – Kane Hodder as Jason.
When a horror franchise hits outer space, it usually means they’ve officially jumped the shark. The tenth installment of the Friday franchise took the hockey masked killer 400 years into the future on a space ship filled with science students. When Jason unthaws on the medical table, he surprises young Adrienne (Kristi Angus) and after tossing her around a bit, sends her face first into a vat of liquid nitrogen freezing her mid scream. He then does any other masked psycho killer could do and smashes her frozen face against the counter leaving behind only a frosty red mess. This remains one of the only worthwhile moments in Jason’s space adventure.
4. Corkscrew & Cleaver meet George McFly – Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter – 1984 – Ted White as Jason
If Kevin Bacon is the most famous victim of Jason, Crispin Glover is a close second. One year after participating in Part 4, Glover would star in one of the best films of the 80s, Back to the Future as Michael J. Fox’s loser dad. Here, he’s Jimmy, an insecure guy who is trying desperately to hook up by Crystal Lake. He ends up temporarily successful, scoring one of the twins after some wild dancing. Satisfied at not being a “dead fuck,” he goes downstairs for some drinks but his search for the corkscrew is met by Jason slamming the corkscrew into his hand and then slamming a cleaver into his face. It’s so sudden and violent and again the future star turn for Glover made this an extra special kill for Jason.
3. The Tent Scene, Yes, THAT Tent Scene – Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday – 1993 – Richard Gant as Coroner/Jason.
Jason Goes to Hell is not the worst Friday the 13th entry for two reasons. One is Freddy Krueger’s glove dragging Jason’s hockey mask down to Hell. The only worthwhile moment in the first 88 minutes in the TENT SCENE! So Jason is blown up (yeah, literally) within the first few moments, except the NEW mythology is that Jason’s demonic force can be passed from person to person. When coroner Richard Gant, eats Jason’s heart (yep) he becomes Jason incarnate. Somewhere in the woods, campers are doing what they do in these movies, only this time it’s somehow more graphic, as fully naked actors Michelle Clunie, and Michael B. Silver are going at it in something out of Skin-emax. She’s riding him and the coroner — doing his best Jason impression — impales her with a road sign pole. He then rips the pole up, severing her IN HALF. It’s probably the most graphic and disgusting kill in the series but since its not technically Jason, it’s not number 1.
2. Wheelchair Massacre – Friday the 13th Part 2 – 1981 – Steve Dash as Jason.
This kill is so cruel, so brutal, and so fucking awesome! Tom McBride is Mark, the wheelchair-bound counselor. He is good looking, strong, and about to get some. So while he’s rolling around outside the cabin, it’s a total shock when he’s planted with a machete straight to the face, and sent careening down a long flight of downstairs backwards in an unbelievable scene. Jason became one of, if not the only, killer in horror history to murder a handicapped man and did it in a glorious and gory way.
1. The Sleeping Bag Girl – Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood – 1988 – Kane Hodder as Jason.
The number one all time Jason kill has to go to the one that THE MAN himself, the only man to play Jason multiple times, Kane Hodder, declares his favorite all time kill. It is the kill that signifies who and what Jason is more than anything. It’s the sleeping bag girl. As usual, two virile campers are out in the woods near Crystal Lake. When Jason finds and kills a guy who had been chopping firewood for a campfire go-round, he steals the now-dead guy’s machete (of course). His naked girlfriend waiting in her sleeping bag (“Where are you, you big hunk of man?”), Jason rips into the tent and drags her out still in the bag and proceeds to whip the whole bag into a tree. Despite numerous takes (most cut by MPAA), the one used was just perfect. Jason is a brutal force of nature and this death scene shows that best of all. The scene was SO good, that in Jason X, they basically replay it for fun, with Uber-Jason (also Hodder) being distracted in a virtual reality Camp Crystal Lake. In that film, he uses one girl in the sleeping bag to kill the other. More than any, Part 7’s sleeping bag kill is the series’ best. And that’s out of 158!