So last week I discussed in great detail the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. It is without question my favorite horror franchise. Since my apparent bloodlust remained unquenched so I decided to rock my way through all ten Friday the 13th films and follow it up with His Name Was Jason. I liked these films more than I ever remembered but Jason will never replace Freddy as my go to guy.
Throughout the documentary His Name Was Jason (which is 20 minutes of recap, 10 minutes of interesting stories, 30 minutes of discussion and a 30 minute advertisement for the 2009 remake) they try to make Jason out to be a sympathetic character. Look I'm sad you drowned and your mom died, but I can't feel sympathy for someone who murdered close 100 people. At least Freddy is pure evil. This is how I prefer to see Jason as well.
I will say this much, the franchise does a better job following a continuity than even the Nightmare franchise. With the exception of Jason Goes to Hell & Jason X we find Jason at the beginning of one film where we left him at the end of the previous film.
I do enjoy the over-all mythology (even in the bad films). For those of you who know of Jason but never watched the movies here's a quick timeline.
Part 1 - Jason Drowns, Camp Counselors are slaughtered the next year, camp reopens, counselors slaughtered again, turns out it's Jason's mother seeking revenge, Jason Jumps out of the water at the end.
Part 2 - A few years later the camp is reopened yet again. This time it's Jason. He is injured by not killed.
Part 3 - The Following Day (not to be confused with the actual film Saturday the 14th) Jason continues his murderous spree, he's not killed still.
Part 4 - It's the day after Part 3 and Jason's murder spree is continuing. Thankfully the young Tommy kills him.
Part 5 - Tommy is emotionally fucked up and lives with other crazy kids. One kid kills another and suddenly Jason starts popping up killing kids. Turns out it's not Jason just a copycat (It's a long story). We're left thinking that Tommy will take over where Jason left off
Part 6 - Tommy doesn't take off where Jason left off (mostly due to people hating Part 5). Instead Tommy can't accept that Jason is dead. He digs up Jason's grave to make sure he's dead and accidentally revives him with lightening (so now he's a zombie). Jason is chained to the bottom of the lake (still very alive)
Part 7 - The Telekinetic Tina accidentally frees Jason. However she defeats Jason with help of her dead father who pulls him underwater where he belongs.
Part 8 - An Achor brings Jason to life where he's later killed by Toxic Waste in the New York sewer
Part 9 - Jason is unexplainably back however is quickly blown to pieces. The rest of the movie is his evil spirit being passed between different hosts. Jason finally returns and his pulled to hell.
Part 10 - Jason is back again. It seems unexplainable in theory but if you consider Freddy Vs. Jason takes place before this than it's not that unexplainable.
As with any franchise some are better than others. I love the original and parts 2-4 are lots of fun but my favorite is Part 6: Jason Lives. It's fun and has it's tongue planted firmly in cheek. It also had the most deaths in any movie (until he went balls to the wall crazy in Jason X). I used to hate Part 5 but I've learned to love it for it's little charms (the breakdancing, singing in a portapotty, the rednecks) and I even have a place in my heart for Jason Takes Manhattan (even though it's typically one of the two least liked by fans) due to it being the first film in the series I saw (same day that I saw Freddy's Dead).
There are two elements of fan opinion where I completely differ. I typically read about fans LOVING Part 7 (The New Blood) and hating part 9 (Jason goes to Hell). For me it's a complete flip flop. I hate New Blood and despite my love of how over the top Jason's decay is by the end of the movie I can't stand the movie in general. Meanwhile I love the Jason-less Jason Goes to Hell. It doesn't take itself too seriously and is full of excellent gore effects.
I also took the time to rewatch all of the Child's Play films but I think that's enough of these franchise breakdowns (however I've been working my way through all my teen flicks so who knows what the future holds).