His Name Was Jason: A Second Look.

Directed by Daniel Farrands
Anchor Bay Entertainment
Review by Louis Fowler

Smartly released to coincide with the upcoming big-budget re-imagining of the classic slasher film FRIDAY THE 13TH, the extensive documentary HIS NAME WAS JASON is the complete history of the former drowned mongoloid child and current zombified iconic killer Jason Voorhees. Without a doubt, it's the ultimate guide to the FRIDAY films and is seminal for both old fans who need a refresher course and new ones who need a primer fast.

As far as my own personal love of Jason goes, I have to admit, and I know this will ruffle a few horror-nerd feathers, but I am not the biggest fan of parts one through five. They are entertaining, don't get me wrong, and yes, the original is a classic, but I've seen them a handful of times and really, that was enough for me. They are kind of one-note and, with the exception of the admittedly creative kills, offer very little for me. Don't be mad--I feel the same way about the first two original HALLOWEENs.

But, then came FRIDAY THE 13TH: JASON LIVES and the series got silly, and it got humor and, best of all, it got interesting. Killer zombie Jason mingled with psychics, went to New York, turned into a demon worm monster, fought Freddy and, best of all, went into space and became a FUCKING CYBORG. That, my friends, is pure entertainment. To me, the earlier ones were just kids getting killed in the woods. Big whoop.

Regardless, the story behind each flick, from the way Paramount hated them to the accidental finger-slicings, is always incredibly listenable, and, in that respect, HIS NAME WAS JASON delivers in spades. And axes. And machetes. The affable and paycheck-loving Tom Savini hosts the cheesy wraparounds, with over 80 talking heads spilling their guts in segments broken down into recaps of each movie, behind the scenes tales, studies of the movies' legacy, including the final girls, as well as the franchise's future with quick interviews of the pretty, hip young things starring in the upcoming glossy remake. It's everything you could want to know about Jason, past, present and future, good and bad.

One thing that I did notice that director Daniel Farrands doesn't do here, and he should really get an Academy Award for it, is that he doesn't cut in a segment that was shot at conventions and features one-second quips of Jason-fans screaming into the camera. So many of these horror retrospectives do that and it is so fucking, well, horrifying. To see these jackasses embarrass themselves, and, in a way, us, on-screen, it makes you want to hide any and all love of horror that you have, just so no one associates them with you.

There are usually two types of these overly-excited horror-fanatics: the extremely overweight guy in a 5-XL ZOMBIE 2 shirt with a shaved head, proudly displaying his hockey mask tattoo and bellowing “Jason's fucking the best, bro! FRIDAY is number one!!” and, the other one, being the skinny, flat-chested Goth chick who shows up at these conventions in their best Hot Topic schoolgirl outfit and only get on camera because they show some panty and coo to the camera that they think Freddy is “hot”.

(Umm...he's a child molester, you know...)

And if that wasn't enough of an added bonus, this two-disc “Splatter Edition” comes complete with two tangible bonus treats: a HIS NAME WAS JASON poster and, best of all, a movie-money coupon, good towards admission to the new movie. Now I actually will see it! Talk about slashing prices!



Louis Fowler is a pop culture critic who is a frequent contributor to Bookgasm, Exploitation Retrospect, Bloody Good Horror, Paracinema Magazine, Carbon 14, Pop Syndicate and The Hungover Gourmet. He's also had pieces featured in mags like Hitch, Scars, Okay Magazine, Eyeball and Microcinema Scene. He has written for such newspapers as the Fort Collins NOW, Rocky Mountain Chronicle, Rocky Mountain Bullhorn and the Colorado Springs Independent.

He's also the award-winning host of DAMAGED Hearing, Tuesdays at 1 PM, MST, on 88.9 KRFC-FM in Fort Collins, CO.

He wears husky jeans.