One of the greatest strengths of the installments in the Friday the 13th series was the unpredictability, featuring a variety of killers and how Jason Voorhees appeared as an unstoppable killing machine. Later entries in the saga featured a repetitive story structure that destroyed a lot of Jason’s qualities, but the director of the 9th film, Jason Goes to Hell, revealed a subtle way he cemented the killer.
After the 5th Friday the 13th movie and the attempt to shift this story away from Jason, the killer had been resurrected with a lightning bolt and this turned him into a living undead. No matter what injuries this monster incurred, they slowed him down and rendered a possibility of destroying this character nonexistent.
While the Evil Dead movies are lumped into the zombie subgenre of movies, creatures that terrorize Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell) are possessed by evil.
While speaking to Horror Geek Life, Jason Goes to Hell director Adam Marcus had detailed how he collaborated with Evil Dead creator to confirm Voorhees was a “Deadite.”
“He’s Jason plus The Evil Dead…”
In the original Friday the 13th, Jason’s mother is responsible for killing teenagers where her son died from neglect. A hockey mask-wearing killer is an iconic image from this franchise, but people unfamiliar with this movie overlook this key element.
“She [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,” Marcus confirmed. “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 [Sam] Raimi loved it!”
The Necronomicon plays a crucial role in The Evil Dead, as it was after accidentally reading a passage from that had caused an evil force to descend upon Ash. Pamela Voorhees did not care about the repercussions of the deal, as she stopped at nothing to bring her boy back.
“Jason Voorhees is a Deadite. He’s one of The Evil Dead.”
“It’s not like I could tell New Line [Cinema] my plan to include The Evil Dead, because they don’t own The Evil Dead,” Marcus admitted. “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.”
Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday had been poised to be the final chapter in this saga, using the finale sequence to pay homage to a lot of other horror properties. There is a crate that reads “Arctic Expedition Julia Carpenter Horlicks University,” which is a reference to George Romero’s Creepshow.
At one point in the movie, the “Myers’ House” is referenced in a dialogue, a reference to Halloween’s Michael Myers.
“It absolutely is canon.”
New Line Cinema’s lack of ownership over The Evil Dead had prevented a licensed crossover, but Jason Goes to Hell’s biggest reference to a horror series came in the movie’s final moments.
After Jason had been defeated, the hockey mask laid upon the dirt, for Freddy Krueger from A Nightmare on Elm Street.
The next Friday the 13th film, Jason X, jumped years into the future. 2003 had seen the release of Freddy vs. Jason fulfilling the brawl that had been teased in Jason Goes to Hell’s final moments.
The problem of multiple studios may prohibit a legal connection between the franchises, but Marcus claims, “It absolutely is canon.”
Considering the weird places that the Friday the 13th franchise has veered into, the explanation makes more sense than many theories explaining Jason’s characteristics.