Director – Adam Marcus
Cast – John D. LeMay, Kari Keegan, Kane Hodder, Steven Williams, Steven Culp, Erin Gray, Rusty Schwimmer, Richard Gant, Leslie Jordan, Billy Green Bush, Kipp Marcus
Release Year – 1993
Reviewed by John of the Dead
Four years after the mediocre yet cheezy fun events that occurred in Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, we were given what was supposed to be the “last” Friday the 13th film in Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday. As if the idea of Jason slaying young teens in Manhattan wasn’t zany enough, Jason Goes to Hell gave fans the craziest(and maybe silliest) storyline of the series(at that time), and despite awesome kills and good action the film’s story kept it from being anything other than mediocre at best.
After Jason is blown to bits during an FBI sting operation, his supernatural secret is revealed as his soul passes from host to host in his attempt to kill off the only people who can kill him…his last remaining relatives Jessica Kimble and her young daughter. Jessica must now join forces with her estranged ex-boyfriend and popular bounty hunter Creighton Duke in order to kill Jason before he kills her and her daughter and becomes completely indestructible.
Had this really been the final Friday the 13th film I would have been heavily disappointed in Sean S. Cunningham & co. due to how mediocre this film is, and I am being quite generous by referring to this film as “mediocre”. The vast majority of the film’s faults lie in its insane plot, which I found to be quite un–enjoyable overall simply because I did not like that it included very little action from Jason in his true hockey mask-donning form. Instead we are forced to watch others possessed by Jason’s soul carry out his evil bidding, which I found to be quite lame visually, although mentally I thought it was pretty cool to learn the secrets behind his supernatural power. Given that Jason was able to survive numerous electrocutions and other heinous deaths, it was obvious that he had some sort of supernatural force driving his evil, and that force was made apparent in this film, so I will credit it for finally making that apparent to us despite its silly plot overall. Thankfully, we get a final appearance from Jason(portrayed by Kane Hodder; Friday the 13th Part VII/VIII, Jason X, Hatchet, Hatchet II) during the film’s final sequence, which only left me unsatisfied due to how awesome Kane portrayed Jason and how little Jason we were given. Also, this film comes with possibly the most shocking climax in the series, one that lead to the inception and eventual creation of Freddy vs. Jason.
Director Adam Marcus did a mostly positive job with the film’s direction, which came as a surprise to me given this was his first directing effort. While the screenplay he was forced to work with came with many faults, Marcus managed to deliver some awesome kills that came complimented with sweet gore and good live-action FX. His execution regarding the characters involved was so-so at times, but thanks to great performances from Steven Williams and Kane Hodder(even though he was seldom used) the film’s pacing did not suffer too much from the silly antics written in the screenplay.
Overall, Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday suffers many faults thanks to its poor and stupid storyline, but mostly-positive direction resulting in good kills as well as the supernatural revelation behind Jason’s evil make this less-than-favorable flick a bearable watch…but only if you love Jason.