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On June 13, 1946, Pamela Voorhees gave birth to a bouncing baby boy - just a shame that boy turned out to be a prolific serial killer. So, what do you get Jason Voorhees for his birthday? Some machete polish? A new hockey mask? Some sexy teenager campers? Well, get thinking, because it is the official birthday of Camp Crystal Lake's most famous resident. Whilst we leave the gifts to Mrs. Voorhees, let's check out 13 of Jason's best pop culture references to celebrate the horror icon's 70th birthday.
The Arsenio Hall Show
When you refer to your guest as a "deranged sociopath", you know this is going to be no Michael Parkinson interview. In 1989, Kane Hodder popped by The Arsenio Hall Show (in full Jason) to promote Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan. Turns out that Jason is as rubbish a guest as you would expect; maybe he was miffed about the reference of being cut from the high school hockey team. Despite Hall suggesting future franchise hits like When Jason Met Sally, the Crystal Lake killer's mind is clearly elsewhere, moving only to shake the interviewer's hand. The interview is high on comedy value, as the audience whoop and holler; by this point the films had started to slip into self-parody, but even that doesn't explain giving Jason and MTV award...does it?
Talking of which, back when MTV wasn't just re-runs of 16 and Pregnant, the channel used to have some pretty cool ideas. The MTV Movie Awards ran their tongue-in-cheek 'MTV Lifetime Achievement Award' from 1992-1998. The first winner was none other than Mr. Voorhees himself. Set to "Nothing Compares 2 U" and Sinatra's "My Way", we were treated to a montage of Jason's achievements on film. The segment would have been perfect, if not for the final reveal that it is Jon Lovitz under the mask - somewhere Kane Hodder is sharpening a machete! Jason may have been the first winner, but he was soon followed by the likes of Godzilla and Chewbacca. I guess you could call him a pioneer of the genre.
Would you have been Barrymored? The inclusion of the E.T. star in all the promo material for 1996's Scream lulled us into a false sense of security that Drew Barrymore's Casey Becker would be the franchise's Sidney Prescott. Wes Craven pulled the rug from underneath us as she got sliced and diced in the film's opening. Jason plays a part during everyone's favourite quiz, "What's Your Favourite Scary Movie?", when Becker incorrectly identifies Jason as the killer in the first Friday the 13th. Kevin Williamson included the nod to Friday the 13th when he was the only one to correctly get the answer in a pub quiz, winning himself not only a drink, but the admiration of his teammates. Fools, everyone knows Pamela Voorhees is the killer in the first film - back to horror school for you Drew.
Watching the Griswold family camp it up on screen for 97 minutes is sure to pack in the odd belly laugh during National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, but who remembers when Jason popped up? Chevy Chase took it old-school for a Jason reference, coming out of the garage in full hockey mask and sporting a Leatherface chainsaw. A little R-rated for the classic family christmas romp, but one sweet addition anyway. Let's stick with this original and pretend that National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie's Island Adventure never happened!
The premiere episode of this YouTube channel saw Jason take on Terminator's Sarah Connor, why these two? We will never know! The video gets an 'expert' to explain that Sarah's military combat knowledge may give her the edge, but at the end of the day she is only human. Sure, we see Ellen Ripley take on Xenomorphs on a daily basis, but I wouldn't pit her against Jason. Taking it one step further, we then get some appalling acting and dialogue as the cast act out their own version of what the film could look like. Maybe New Line cinema somehow missed this one? Sorry Slash/Up, I would still rather see Jason take on Bruce Campbell, which leads us onto...
Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash
It was rumoured for a while that 2003's Freddy vs. Jason would get a follow-up film, but the gods that be decided against it. Luckily the idea of Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash did make its way onto comic book shelves. For six issues we get the ultimate horror crossover, based on Jeff Katz's original idea for a FvJ sequel film. Set five years after the events of Freddy vs. Jason, and 16 years after Army of Darkness, Ash Williams is called to the Crystal Lake S-Mart to inspire some new slacking employees. Someone over at Wildstorm Comics must have liked the idea, because in 2009 we got another six issues, in the form of Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash: The Nightmare Warriors. Whilst it is unlikely we will ever get to see this on film, the cameos from all three franchises makes for great Easter egg reading.
Hey...Michael A. Simpson, you owe us our money back! The cover-art for Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers has Jason's mask, Freddy's glove AND a Leatherface chainsaw. Wow, that must mean these guys have a hell of a lot of screen time in the sequel film about a transgender killer? Wrong! The VHS cover was somewhat misleading on whether the iconic horror killers would appear in the film, but the Blu-Ray is a full-on Jason-fest! We can't be too mad though, the hockey masked-killer does get a namecheck. Two campers, Anthony and Judd, dress as Freddy and Jason to scare maniac Angela. Their plan backfires and she slashes Anthony's throat and chainsaws Judd to death. Guess that answers the question on who would win in Freddy vs. Jason vs. Leatherface - patent pending.
Jason has a long lineage with video games, starting in 1985 with the Commodore 64 game. There are still rumours that you can find Jason lurking in Grand Theft Auto V, but there is one game you can most definitely find him! Horror aficionados lost their s**t when it was announced that Jason would be a downloadable bonus character in Mortal Kombat X. You can check all of the fatalities above, accompanied by classic Jason sound effects, so this should tide you over until the release of Friday the 13th: The Game.
All credit to Marshall Mathers and his Jason-esque hockey mask stage, but the man behind the mask has influenced more than just Eminem. If you are Ari Lehman (the boy who played Jason in the original film), then Jason is quite literally your life! Lehman appeared (uncredited) in footage during Friday the 13th Part II and Part III, so realising he was unlikely to play a big part in the franchise, turned his hand to music. In 2004 Lehman founded his band FIRSTJASON, calling themselves 'horror punk'. They have had some success with hits like "Jason is Watching", as well as developing a cult following. A quote on their website about their official merchandise states:
That's a very cool looking shirt, shame I hate Friday the 13th" - A Horror Fan (about Sons of Voorhees First Jason T-Shirt).
High praise indeed!
We all love a good hidden camera scare; from Japanese mirror ghost, to clown in car park, we have seen them all. YouTubers PrankBros took to the web with a prank inspired by the Crystal Lake horror icon and his stomping ground. Watch as members of the general public are happily enjoying a lakeside stroll, then to be confronted by a machete-wielding maniac...and you thought Camp Crystal Lake was fictional. Hats off to the lady in pink who takes an unexpected dip in the water, we would be pretty pissed too.
Self-proclaimed "America's Finest News Source", The Onion published one of their typical 'true' articles linking the White House to Friday the 13th. In 2004 The Onion ran an article that states:
Vice-President Dick Cheney has returned to terrorize the counselors at Camp Crystal Lake.
Apparently reports of a shadowy figure lurking in the trees meant that after his tenure as V.P., Dick Cheney had descended on the tormented camp. The article does state that the reappearance of Cheney had nothing to do with a recent spate of grisly murders, but we aren't so convinced.
Family Guy, Robot Chicken, South Park, they all have Jason, but for this entry we turn to America's longest-running sitcom. Apart from the obligatory 'couch gag', Jason has appeared numerous times over The Simpsons's 27 seasons, even as recently as last year's "Halloween of Horror". He has been blown up by a helicopter (Season 18), killed in Bart's imagination (also Season 18), and we can even hear the iconic Ki Ki Ma Ma sound during one episode of Season 5. Jason's creator, Tom Savini, also gets a credit during a visit to Comic Book Guy's shop in the episode "Worst Episode Ever". However, my favourite Jason reference can be found in the superb horror episode "Cape Feare", whilst the family are on the run from Sideshow Bob. Homer bursts into Bart's room with chainsaw in tow, wearing...you guessed it, THAT hockey mask!
Finally, with the most watched adverts in the world, Super Bowl is the perfect place to get yourself noticed. In 2014, Radio Shack did just that...with a little help from Jason of course. During the one minute slot, Radio Shack showcased their brand new 3D printer and all the uses it could have. Clearly still intent on murder, Jason makes himself a 3D copy of the clerk's keys and quietly slips off into the night. Whilst Radio Shack may have just increased the home invasion crime statistics, it was pretty cool to have Jason and the Super Bowl merged together. The string of adverts used other '80s icons like ALF, Chucky and Teen Wolf, but even this couldn't help the failing brand. Less than a year after the Jason commercial, Radio Shack went bust - bummer!
So, there we have it, from MTV to the Super Bowl, our little killer has grown up to be quite the popular guy. If only someone had bought Jason some swimming lessons for his birthday. Oh well, live and learn, eh?! Happy birthday to the world's most brutal septuagenarian.