Tag Archives: Jason

Kane Hodder Finally Has His Tommy Jarvis

I don’t want to scare anyone, but I’m gonna give it to you straight about Jason. Well, one of them. Come to think of it, the path may be more meandering than straight but we’ll get there, just stick with me.

To many, Kane Hodder is the definitive Jason Voorhees. From his spine-tingling introduction from the icy depths of Crystal Lake to his heaving breaths to what Robert Englund described as “his bulk,” Hodder incomprehensibly set the standard for a character that had already existed for six films when he first donned the hock in FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VII: THE NEW BLOOD (1988).

Which was why Friday fans simply could not fathom that Hodder wasn’t asked to return opposite Englund for what had been the most highly anticipated film of the franchise, FREDDY VS. JASON (2003). After playing the masked maniac for 4 installments, the Kane era unceremoniously (and inexplicably) came to a close.

What’s worse, the Tommy Jarvis trilogy wrapped just before Hodder assumed the role, which meant that despite four takes, what many felt had been the finest portrayal of Jason never got to square off with his chief rival.

But that’s where a kinda-sorta Friday the 13th gift entered the fray.

Five years after JASON X (2001), an upstart filmmaker from Holliston, Massachusetts offered Hodder the role of another woods-roaming, crazed killer–and Victor Crowley was born.

While Adam Green had a trilogy in mind when production began on HATCHET (2006), he couldn’t have known that the villain he’d conjured at the age of eight (from stories about a hatchet-faced killer told by, ironically enough, camp counselors) would achieve icon status, no more than he was unaware that one of his original casting decisions would become what he has come to describe as his “secret weapon.”

Enter Parry Shen.

A consummate professional and on-set leader, Shen would go on to appear in a pair of Green’s Halloween shorts [THE TIVO (2008) and FAIRY TALE POLICE (2009)], and an episode of HOLLISTON, to say nothing of his roles in each installment of the HATCHET series, where Green has identified Shen as the true final girl of Honey Island Swamp.

Like Hodder in the Friday franchise, Shen has appeared in four HATCHET flicks, though it’s been more Shemping-but-not-really, because I, Survivor has played three different characters: Shawn, the hustling faux-boat tour guide in the original, his brother Justin in the sequel, and finally Andrew Yong, the paramedic turned wanna-be author in HATCHET III (2013) and VICTORY CROWLEY (2017), respectively.

Nestled betwixt the gore and the giggles, however, is the gift. See, with three characters over four films Shen is not the final girl of the series, but rather its Tommy Jarvis.

Let’s break it down. Hodder never got to square off with Jason’s nemesis, so Green gave him one. Just because the intent didn’t necessarily exist doesn’t make it any less true. In fact, on numerous occasions, Kane has commented that Shen is someone he just can’t kill off for good. Why does that sound familiar? To steal one from ROUNDERS’ Teddy KGB, “kid’s got alligator blood. Can’t get rid of him.” I mean, Louisiana. Swamps. Gators. It works, just let it be.

Look, three different actors played Jason’s frequent foe, so who cares if one actor has played three characters that Crowley just can’t dispose of?

I get it, Jarvis never died. But he did suffer a couple of wounds in A NEW BEGINNING (1985), and Jason did kinda-sorta drown him in JASON LIVES (1986), So, while Shen’s Shawn and Justin were both, shall we say, dispatched in the first two HATCHET pictures, with Yong, Shen now has a character who has narrowly escaped (twice) and like Jarvis been overwhelmed with trauma and fear.

It wouldn’t be surprising for Yong to be approaching Thom Mathews levels of vengeful should we get a fifth chapter of HATCHET because at some point you just have to assume that he believes Crowley belongs in hell and wants to see that he gets there. But then there’s that whole issue with Shen’s character being a bit of frightened bunny coupled with the mid-end credits glimpse of Marybeth Dustan (Danielle Harris) waiting in the wings.

Yong wasn’t the one who resurrected Crowley, but he was dragged back to the swamp against his will, so Jarvis-like similarities aren’t really a reach. Perhaps we’ll see a pair of final girls team to take down the Bayou Butcher, but the Honey Island version of Mathews and Jennifer Cooke just sounds better, doesn’t it?

Regardless, it’s sure to be a hell of a ride.

Ted White had Corey Feldman, Tom Morga was blessed with John Shepherd, and C.J. Graham battled Mathews, but Hodder never got his shot.

Until he wandered from a lake to a swamp. And found Parry Shen.

Jason and Halloween

When it comes to Halloween and horror icons Michael Myers readily (and rightly so) comes to mind. The impact Myers holds over both the genre and the holiday as a whole now spans the gulf of generations, and, if his 2018 successful return to the silver screen is any indication, will go on to do so way after you and I are finally laid to rest. Michael Myers is as timeless as Halloween itself.

image via Screen Rant

It’s safe to say he is the Halloween Slasher.

There is the expectation for me though. Not to downcast the legacy of Michael Myers but I was introduced to another slasher icon on Halloween and it left an enormous imprint on my (back then) young mind.

It was the night of Halloween and trick-or-treating was in full effect. We ran door to door to glean the sweet goodies friendly neighbors had to give us greedy monsters. We wound up at a friend of my parents’ house and during my boredom of waiting for the adults to shut up so we could rush back out in the twilight to fill my bag with more (so much more) candy my wandering eyes stole a glance at the TV.

image courtesy of Paramount

It was a forbidden thing and out of the warm guilt of taboo a face rose prominently to forever fascinate the darkest regions of my imagination.

Given the title of this, you’re sure to have guessed who I saw on the glowing screen. Jason’s rampage across the TV held me rooted in place, absolutely transfixed on the crimson spectacle before me. I had not seen a single Jason film up to that point, and always managed to admire the covers whenever I was at a video store, but in those brief little moments of viewing, I was enthralled. Given the chance to stay and finish the movie or got forth to trick-or-treat more I probably would have stayed behind. I wanted to see it end! I wanted to see Jason slaughter more!

To me sequels meant nothing. I wasn’t even sure which part I was watching. Plot wasn’t important. To me, there was only Jason and his wrath. That mask was burned into my memory.

image courtesy of Paramount

Back then there was still a whole world of horror movies left in the wild for me to go and discover. Some I saw overseas while living in Russia, some over here, and a few I saw in Finland. It’s been an international adventure for me.

Thanks to VHS, DVD, and Blu-ray I’ve collected most of these series along the way. Like everyone else I have my favorites to watch every Halloween. And still, after all these years later and no matter where I’ve found myself in the world the haunting mask of Jason will be seen in my home come Halloween.

image courtesy of Paramount

Jason is by far my favorite slasher icon. Maybe because I saw him in such a secret way because I damn well knew my folks wouldn’t want me to watch a Friday the 13th picture, believe me, every time I went to the movie store I tried to rent them!

image courtesy of Paramount

Or maybe I just connect with the character in some scary way. But we all have that one evil monster out there that we love and root for.

From all of us at Nightmare Nostalgia to you who help keep horror alive, have a Happy Halloween! And please share with us your Halloween memories and favorite horror icons to watch this time of year.