“Why’d they have to go and dig up Jason? Some folks have a strange idea of entertainment.”- Marvin (Friday the 13th Part VI)
I miss a “killable” Jason.
What I mean when I say that is that someone with no weaknesses is boring; I mean, even Superman had kryptonite and Aquaman had… land, I suppose. Beginning with Chapter VI, Jason became an unstoppable force of nature, and the mythology of Book I was largely forgotten.
In fact, the only reference to Book 1 comes from the idea that that the only way to kill Jason is to “return him to his original resting place.” I guess that would be the bottom of Crystal Lake; at least that is what Tommy Jarvis, all grown up, tells us Chapter VI. But Jason didn’t die there- he lived large in those woods as a frightened retard, remember? His original resting place would be the very grave that Tommy dug up earlier in Chapter VI and lightning bolted Jason back to life! It’s the neglect of the mythology that sinks Book 2, and it all begins with Chapter VI.
But OK, we’ll go with the fact that the bottom of Crystal Lake is kryptonite to Jason. He certainly isn’t afraid of water anymore, as he doesn’t even pause when he charges into the water after Tommy or swims to New York City. Jason’s fear of water is canon- whether or not he drowned is beside the point. Anyone who is paying attention should have a problem with the fact that Jason now has as much fear of H2O as Costner in Waterworld. I liked his style though- everyone knows that the best way to get used to cold water is just to jump in. You know Jason is truly a zombie now, as he doesn’t even wince when the water hits penis level.
To gain any enjoyment out of Book 2 at all, one must buy into the fact that Jason is now more Terminator than hillbilly psycho. Dan in Chapter VII even gives his girlfriend an “I’ll be back” in Schwarzeneggerian style to let the viewer in on the joke. At least Chapter VII acknowledges the fact that he is still made of flesh and bone and is subject to decomposition. It is a nice touch that you can see his spine and ribs through his tattered clothes in this one. It should have been acknowledged how bad Jason would smell by this point. Forget the fact that he hasn’t rubbed some deodorant on for at least fifty years or so, he has also been buried for twenty years and submerged in lake water for a year or so. I can’t even take a quick dip in a lake without smelling like iron deposits and lily pads. Shouldn’t some of these would-be victims be able to smell Jason coming, especially if they are downwind?
Jason’s indestructibility reaches comic levels in Chapter VII, when he faces off against Tina, a girl with telekinetic powers. I guess that when you introduce the concept of telekinesis into a story, you have to surrender some desire of realism. Here is a case where less is more: In his battle with Tina, Jason is tripped up by vines, electrocuted, hit with a couch and a planter, has a porch collapsed on top of him, hit in the face with a swinging ceiling lamp, has the bands of his mask psychically squeezed until pus comes out of his head, hung from an electrical fixture, dropped into a basement, has nails thrown into him, is covered with gas, set on fire, and is finally blown up. Gone are the halcyon days of watching him just simply hit in the forehead with an axe. Simpler times, I suppose.
In Chapter VI, Jason is brought back from the dead by electricity and is “killed” by being sent to the bottom of Crystal Lake. In Chapter VII, he is brought to life by Tina’s telekinesis and is “killed” by Tina’s father, who was drowned by Tina earlier in life. (This has to be the shittiest Jason death of any of the chapters. A guy with a Tom Wopat haircut emerges from the briny deep and pulls him under? Weak.) And he is again brought back in Chapter VIII by the electricity from a buried power line. The message? Telekinesis and electricity are all you need to raise Jason from the dead. To me, this was always a bit short on imagination. Electricity? Come on, Mary Shelley exhausted that in the early 1800’s. I prefer there to be no rhyme or reason as to why Jason comes back. In Chapter IV, he is declared dead by a medical professional, and then inexplicably rises from the dead with not even a headache.
And that is good enough for me.