Well, here we are again, in Jason-Land, with Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday...and by "final", they mean "we still made 3 more sequels after this, so, not so much". This one continues the trend started in the 7th film, of having Jason in a film that tries to change up his formula with a silly gimmick...in this case, body-hopping. It's like Freaky Friday the 13th!! Get ready for SPOILERS, as always!
Our story begins with an attractive women driving out to a rustic cabin at Crystal Lake. In record time, she manages to blow out a light fixture, and decides to prowl around in the dark to fix it. She follows this up by heading to the can, where she keeps turning away from the bathroom mirror, teasing us with the potential for a cheap scare that doesn't materialize. Clearly, the writers know the cliches and want to have some fun with us. Goody for us.
Luckily, we get to have some fun as well. She decides to take a bath, and we get to see what kind of body money bought in 1993. Stripperella barely has time to get wet, though: the power goes out. If I took a drink every time a slasher-flick cliche came up, I'd be in a coma by now!
Our damsel goes exploring, and Jason pops up out of the shadows and flings her over a banister. She gets up and runs outside to the woods, with Jason close behind. When she thinks that she outran him and stops to look around, Jason again appears behind her with his machete raised high for the killing blow.
Oops! Jason was outsmarted...numerous searchlights surround him, and dozens of Feds fire on him. Heck, they even fire explosives at the guy, blowing him to bits! THE END
Oh. Nope, the movie didn't end yet, sorry. As the law enforcement guys all celebrate dismembering the killer, a mysterious figure watches from a distance in disbelief. This is Creighton Duke; more about him later. The Feds gather up the body parts(which include a still-beating heart), and transport Jason to a morgue in Ohio. Why Ohio? Don't know. Don't care.
The medical examiner does a pretty funny exam while the opening credits roll. He places all of the different charred remains on his table, and makes several wisecracks about Jason's condition. My personal favorite is, "In my professional opinion, this guy's deader than shit!" Pretty funny stuff, for a Friday the 13th film.
When he gets to Jason's heart, he finds it full of a black liquid. It starts beating again, and he gets mesmerized, to the point of picking up the heart and taking a big bite out of it! Yum. The medical examiner then begins to vomit blood, and a series of red orbs circle him and pass through his body.
Right outside the lab, a lab assistant is chatting with the guys guarding the room. He brings a pizza into the lab, oblivious to the change in his boss's demeanor. The assistant starts to make fun of Jason's remains, and Jason, now in "Phil"(the medical examiner) kills him with a sharp metal probe. As Phil walks toward the exit, we can see in the reflective surface of a steel cabinet that it's definitely Jason in Phil's body, guiding him like a puppet.
In the corridor, Jason/Phil starts to walk by the two armed guards...until one of them makes a crack about how easy it was to kill Jason. In a television news magazine, we see the two guards dead on the floor. Hilariously, the host of the show claims that the 2 guards shown are from photos, even though we can clearly see that it's a video being shown. Geniuses wrote and filmed this script, I can tell.
The host of the show, Robert Campbell, sees the Jason legend as his ticket to fame. His show, "American Case File", is like a cross between "Inside Edition" and "America's Most Wanted". According to Campbell's report, Jason was born in 1946 to Pam and Elias Voorhees(nice bit of continuity there, referencing the dad's name from the sixth chapter of the series), and he was 11 when he supposedly drowned.
Campbell interviews Creighton Duke, and the conversation is delightfully batshit. Duke's theory about Jason is that the real Jason is long dead, and his soul is just jumping from body to body on an endless killing spree. Campbell reveals that 5 more murders were committed by Jason after he escaped the lab, and he publicly offers Creighton Duke half a million dollars to hunt Jason and provide proof of his existence, for all the world to see.
The television gets switched off by the still-lovely '80's hottie, Erin Gray. She plays Diana, a waitress at Crystal Lake's local greasy spoon. Diana has an unsettling conversation with Creighton Duke, because he believes that she and her daughter can help him find the killer. As his theories start to frighten her, the sheriff steps in to arrest Duke. Sharp-eyed viewers might have also spotted that the patch on the sheriff's uniform proclaims him to be the sheriff of "Cunningham County", a nice nod to franchise creator Sean Cunningham. Gotta love Easter Eggs!
Anyway, after Deputy Randy takes Duke away, Diana reveals to her daughter's ex, Steven, that there is a deep, dark secret that she needs to tell him. He agrees to meet her that evening, and hear her secret. Ooooooh, I wonder what it could be? Oh, and Steven is played by John D. Lemay, who co-starred in the tv series spin-off of this franchise. Cool! Is Robey in this as well? And is she still hot??
On his way to the house, Steven meets a trio of young campers that need a ride to Camp Crystal Lake. He unsettles them with a quick crack about all the activities that'll get them killed, but they all laugh it off. Before Steven leaves them at the camp, one of the girls(a cute redhead) tries to get him to join them, but he drives away, even after she gives him a quick peck on the cheek. Oh boy, I would have made a VERY different movie with her...after spending quality time with the Fed from the opening scene, of course.
Anyway, after Stevie-boy drives away, the young trio start hiking to the area where the camp used to be, and set up their tent. Faster than you can say "brutal slaughter", they shed their clothes and go skinny-dipping. The redhead warms up at the campfire afterwards, and the couple decide to have a romp in the tent.
The redhead gets up during the night to pee. Jason/Phil attacks her with a scalpel, and slashes her several times until she falls. Inside the tent, the couple debate using a condom, and the girl passes by her friend's corpse without ever seeing it when she leaves the tent to grab a condom.
Back in the tent, "Debby" and her boyfriend resume the sexcapades, and Jason decides to make his move. He impales Deb, then splits her apart when he drives his weapon up through her body. It's pretty brutal in the unrated version. The boyfriend presumably dies as well, but we just see the possessed M.E. marching away into the night.
Back at the cafe in Crystal Lake, Diana closes up for the night, and gives some leftover scraps to a stray cat in the alley behind the diner. One of the deputies scares the bejesus out of her while offering to escort her safely home. She declines. His girlfriend drives up, but before they can leave, Phil attacks!
He drags the deputy to a house, strips him naked, ties him down to a table, then shaves the frightened naked man. Why? Beats me. When the deputy starts swearing at him, Phil leans over his face, and the scene fades to black. Pretty bizarre. Did someone at Netflix replace my slasher flick with gay porn?
Diana gets a call from her daughter just as she arrives home. The daughter tells her that she has a new boyfriend, and it just so happens to be Robert Campbell, the television crime show host we saw earlier interviewing Duke. Diana tells her daughter about Steve coming back to town, and we discover that her daughter and Steve had a baby together. The possessed cop, Josh, attacks Diana from behind and makes her drop the phone. She panics and grabs a pistol from a nearby drawer, shooting the possessed officer in the head.
While Josh is on the floor, Diana creeps past his body to escape. He isn't dead, of course, and he manages to grab her and make her fall to the floor. He forces her mouth open, and tries to make her ingest a large sluglike creature that exits his own mouth. At that exact moment, Steven arrives. He and Josh scuffle, and when Steven manages to knock the possessed man down, he tries to help Diana escape. Sadly, she gets between Josh and Steve, and takes the impact of a knife that is flung across the room.
As Diana dies, Deputy Josh grabs Steve in an attempt to finish him off. He catches a glimpse of himself in a mirror, and stops cold when he sees Jason reflected back at him. That momentary hesitation allows Steven to stab him from behind, then push him out of a window. Steven rushes to check on Diana, who begs him to keep her daughter Jessica safe right before she dies.
The sheriff rushes in, and immediately assumes that Steven murdered Diana. When Steven insists that it was Josh who committed the murder, he discovers that the body of the deputy is no longer on the front lawn. Stevie Blunder is cuffed and arrested on the spot.
At the police station, Steven's old friend Randy, who is also a deputy, promises to help Steven clear his name. He takes Steven to a holding cell, right next to Creighton Duke's cell. Duke tells Steven that he knows everything about Jason, and will pass that information along... for a price.
The "price" turns out to be 2 broken fingers. Creighton Duke tells Steven that Diana was Jason's sister, which makes her daughter, Jessica, Jason's niece. Duke also tells him that only a blood relative can kill Jason permanently, by destroying his heart. He then encourages Steven to look for evidence of Jason's family tree at the Voorhees house, to convince Jessica that she and the baby, Stephanie, are unsafe.
Oh, and Jessica herself arrives home just in time to see her mother's blood being scrubbed off the floor. It's a nice way to say, "Welcome home!" Jessica reunites with her old friend Vicky, who offers to babysit while she takes care of her mother's funeral arrangements. Boy, there sure are a lot of potential victims to keep track of! Does this movie come with a scorecard?
Steven calls out for help, and Randy rushes to the rescue. He sees the broken fingers Creighton Duke left Steven with, and tries to help, but Steven steals his keys and gun. The staff at the restaurant hear about his escape, just after Vicky shows up with Stephanie. Joey B., who runs the cafe, lets Vicky keep the baby in the storeroom, but makes a big deal out of it. *YAWWWWN* Oh, and Steven just happens to be hiding in that very storeroom. Joey's son, Ward, finds him, but gives him the keys to his car.
Steven makes a beeline for the old Voorhees house, which is in ruins. While searching for a way to stop Jason, Steven finds the Necronomicon from the Evil Deadfranchise. Weird. He hears someone outside and hides in a closet, but the floor collapses, trapping him.
The intruder is Robert Campbell. He reveals that he stole Diana's body from the morgue as a ratings stunt. While he laughs about it on his phone, Josh leaps out of nowhere and attacks the sleazy reporter. The demon-slug gets transferred into Campbell, then Deputy Josh melts into a pile of bloody goo. Jason, now in the body of the reporter, gets up to resume his killing spree.
In the next scene, Jessica takes a shower. Yay! The power goes out, and she decides to walk around in the dark house half-naked. Double Yay! She makes her way to the garage, grabs a hammer as a weapon, then gets in the car. Robert/Jason sneaks up to the car and grabs her when she gets out again. Before he can pass the demon-slug into her, Steven shows up and rescues Jessica. As they drive away, Steven hits Robert/Jason with Ward's car.
A short distance down the road, Steven pulls the car over to try to explain what's happening to Jessica. She pretends to listen, then forces him out of the car. Jessica speeds away, leaving Steven stranded. Boy, I hope that this version of Jason isn't the teleporting kind. Steven, sprawled out on the road, passes out.
Jessica gets to the sheriff, and tells him that Steven killed Robert. When the cops need a better description of where she left him, Jessica tells them that Steven is near "the Myers place". Holy Shnikes!! MICHAEL MYERS is involved now??? This monstrosity might stop sucking for a scene or two! Deputy Randy swings by to pick up Steven. The 2 men brawl, then pull guns on each other. When Steven hears that Jessica is safe at the police station, he decides to let Randy arrest him after all.
Meanwhile, Jason/Robert shows up at the police station. He kills his way past the front desk, but never once utters the phrase, "I'll be back." Damn. Why do I always have to be the one to come up with brilliant ideas? Anyway, while the sheriff is on the phone in his office, we see Jason/Robert killing all of his cops in the background(it sounds impressive, until you realize that "all of his cops" consist of 1 female extra). By the time Sheriff Oblivious DOES notice what's happening, Robert is in the process of making Jessica swallow Jason. Maybe it's just me, but that last sentence sounds dirty.
The sheriff tries to pull Robert/Jason off of Jessica, but he gets a facepalm for his effort. The killer then pursues Jessica down a corridor, which turns out to be the same hallway Randy and Steven are walking down. Small world. Steven jumps over the handcuffs, aims a pistol, then shoots Robert/Jason right in the forehead.
A trio of cops check on Robert/Jason, and 2 of them get killed. The 3rd guy is knocked out cold by Creighton Duke, who then grabs the cop's keys and frees himself. Creighton straightens out his cowboy hat and grins, while Jason/Robert leaves the station.
At the diner, Joey pulls a pistol on Steven and Jessica. As she tries to make a citizen's arrest, Joey asks Ward to check out what's happening at the police station. The minute he leaves, there's a struggle in the diner, and a stray bullet knocks out the lights. Jessica knocks out Joey, and Jason/Robert kills Ward outside at the same time.
The zombie enters the cafe, kills a patron, and is shot several times. He dunks Joey B.'s husband face-first into some boiling-hot cooking oil, and hits Joey so hard that she swallows her dentures. He then tries to strangle Jessica, but Vicky springs up, armed with a shotgun. After she fires at him several times, the killer impales Vicky.
Jessica finds a note, but no baby. She takes off in Ward's car, and Steven reads the note she dropped: Creighton Duke took baby Stephanie to the old Voorhees house, and told her to arrive alone. At the house, Jessica and Creighton have a tense standoff. She gets her baby back, and Creighton tells her about the idea that only a relative can kill Jason permanently. To prove his point, he makes her pick up the dagger, and it glows in her hand.
Duke falls through the floor, just as the sheriff staggers in. Creighton tries to convince her that it's really Jason, but she hesitates. Then Randy walks in, and things get REALLY confusing for poor Jess! The sheriff is killed, but the possessed man turns out to be Randy after all. Steven waits for his former friend to put the baby down, then kills him.
The slug-demon crawls out of Randy, and chaos ensues. The knife has rolled away, the slug attacks Steven, and he throws it off of him. As Jessica and Steven try to pull Creighton Duke up out of the basement, the demon-slug sees Diana's corpse as a potential new body. Oh, and in a hilariously random bit, her corpse is next to The Crate from Creepshow. this movie has more cameos from horror movie creatures than "The Love Boat" had appearances by Charo! The demon enters her body through her, ahem, Velvet Underground.
The dagger is in a pile of gore, and no one wants to retrieve it. At that point, Steven's the one who realizes that Jason has found his new permanent body, and that's when Jason flies up from the basement in all of his masked, decomposing glory. FINALLY!! After an hour and 20 minutes, we finally get Jason in the film. Sheesh.
As Jason goes after Jessica and the baby, Creighton orders Steven to grab the dagger. Jason kills Creighton Duke with a bear hug, after Creighton delivers some mumbo-jumbo about having fought him before. Jason then throws Steven around a bit, and proceeds to smack him around with a rake that Steven had tried to stab him with before.
Jason grabs Steven by the head and throws him into a jungle gym, just as Jessica arrives. She leaps onto the killer, stabs him with the dagger, and watches him flail around while sparkly lights exit his body. Death by Tinkerbell.
The dagger isn't quite in far enough, so Jessica delivers a quick kick to the chest. The ground opens up, as Jason is dragged into Hell by giant, rubbery hands. He tries to take Steven with him, but to no avail. Hell swallows up Jason, and the 2 lovebirds walk off into the sunset. As the iconic hockey mask resurfaces in the dirt, a certain knife-fingered glove rises out of the dirt and snatches it, followed by a chuckle. THE END
Ay yi yi...Where do I begin? First off, I'm glad that I watched the unrated version, as the gory effects were a definite plus. But still...Jason has a supporting role in his own movie? Demonic worms take over human hosts in a blatant Invasion of the Body Snatchers ripoff? Jason TALKS??? (Well, okay, a human possessed by the worm talked, but still....) 1 lousy killer tree out of 5, for the nudity and gore.
And what have I learned after watching Jason Goes To Hell?
-Hell is filled with slugs. Slugs that look suspiciously like puppets.
-FBI agents look like pornstars.
-Jason has a homoerotic shaving fetish. Wow.
Next up is Valentine, the slasher flick starring Denise Richards and David Boreanaz. Watch it with someone you love....or, you know, just watch it when I do. Either way. TTFN!