The Summer of 1986 was a hell of a season for horror movies, delivering Aliens, David Cronenberg’s The Fly, and Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives, the latter of which was released on August 1st.
Within the larger Friday the 13th franchise, fans recognize an unofficial “Tommy Jarvis Trilogy” comprised of Friday the 13th Part IV: The Final Chapter, Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning, and the film we’re highlighting today, Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives.
While no one loved Friday the 13th Part V at the time of its release, this era nonetheless represents a high-point for the franchise as a whole. If it’s been a while, or if you’ve yet to explore Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives, give the trailer and synopsis a look-see below.
Years ago, Tommy Jarvis (Thom Mathews) killed infamous hockey-masked murderer Jason Voorhees (C.J. Graham), and the intensity of the experience has landed him in a mental institution. To end his torment and achieve a level of closure, Tommy escapes from the hospital and heads to the graveyard where Jason is buried, intending to dig up the body and cremate it. But, before this total annihilation can occur, a freak electrical accident resurrects Jason from the dead, and the terror begins anew.
Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives was written and directed by Tom McLoughlin.
Director Tom McLoughlin took home some props from the film, including Jason’s tombstone – which sits outside his house, made to look like Jason is buried in his yard – and his casket, which sits in his garage. The DVD box set includes a scene in which he shows off these props at his home and tells of how a city employee refused to enter his yard to read the meter because he thought a body was really buried there. (Source)
Years after the release of this film Kevin Williamson told director Tom McLoughlin that this film had a huge influence on him growing up and helped inspire him to write his blockbuster slasher film Scream (1996). (Source)
After becoming a born again Christian, John Shepherd, who starred as Tommy in Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985) did not want to reprise the role, and it went to Thom Mathews instead. (Source)
The original script contained material that alluded to Jason’s father, which, to date, remains the closest the series has ever come to shedding some light on the mysterious character. In the script, Pamela’s headstone is next to Jason’s, a reference to the fact that someone paid to have Jason buried, explaining why he was not cremated as the Mayor said in Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985). As well as this, there is a final scene in which Jason’s father visits his son’s grave, seemingly aware of the fact that Jason is not inside it. These scenes were never filmed, but made it into the film’s novelization. The 2009 Deluxe Edition DVD uses storyboard art and voiceover work to complete the scene. (Source)
Are you a fan of Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram! You can also carry on the convo with me personally on Twitter @josh_millican.