His Name Was Jason: 30 Years of Friday the 13th
USA, 2008, 90 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Documentary, Educational, History, Horror
First Jason (Friday The 13th) Ari Lehman and other guests will be IN-PERSON
When it comes to a comprehensive body—make that corpse—of work in the horror genre, there may be none quite like the Friday the 13th series. Spanning nearly three decades and eleven slashers (twelve with next year’s installment), the legend of Jason Voorhees has evolved from a ghost story that oversexed camp counselors tell around the bonfire into a full-blown Hollywood institution that’s literally a cut above its imitators.
Hosted by special-effects master Tom Savini (Creepshow, Dawn of the Dead), His Name Was Jason takes a definitive look at the history and pop-cultural impact of the titular boogeyman on his deadly path from Crystal Lake to Manhattan, hell, outer space, and back again. Chiming in with commentary is every actor who ever wore the iconic hockey mask (or sack, in the case of one chapter); there’s more to inhabiting Jason’s psyche, they explain, than swinging a machete with conviction. The actresses cast as the so-called final girls—the lone levelheaded female leads who live to tell about it—likewise describe their experiences on the set, as do Friday’s many directors and other notables (some eighty interviewees in all) who consider Jason’s endurance a credit to the genre. Meanwhile, the franchise’s evergreen (or, rather, ever-blood-red) formula for success gets dissected as carefully as the body parts that, along with nubile knuckleheads and creepy backdrops, constitute its central components.
His Name Was Jason is a treat for fans who have been clamoring for just such a complete behind-the-scenes package. Filled with rare clips as well as interviews, it truly answers everything you ever wanted to know about Jason but were really, really afraid to ask.
DIRECTOR: Daniel Farrands
Producer: Thommy Hutson, Anthony Masi
Editor: Monica Daniel, Andrew Kasch
Screenwriter: Thommy Hutson, Anthony Masi
Principal Cast: Tom Savini, Sean S. Cunningham, Adrienne King, Betsy Palmer, Kane Hodder