Friday the 13th: The final chapter shows Tommy Jarvis stabbing Jason with a machete, but the killer’s original death was much more definitive.
Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter it was billed as the last entry, and Jason’s original disappearance would have made the slasher’s return impossible in future sequels. Despite its huge box office success, Paramount always felt a bit embarrassed by the Friday the 13th movies and planned for the fourth movie to end the series forever. This involved giving Jason a suitably gruesome death, the details of which constantly evolved throughout production.
Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter It also featured series favorite Tommy Jarvis, a young man who is forced to face the killer in the finale. Young Tommy is shown to have a talent for amateur special effects, and before the showdown he cuts his hair and puts on makeup to look like young Jason. This allows him to get close enough to land a fatal blow with the slasher’s own machete, including the memorable image of Jason’s impaled head sliding horribly down the blade. However, Jason’s original death would have made his resurrection in Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives Almost impossible.
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In the 2013 documentary Memories of Crystal Lake, Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter Director Joseph Zito recalled the numerous ways the crew thought about killing Jason. Most of these ideas were put forward by Tom Savini and his effects team, but Zito felt that many of them were too complex or “smart” just for the sake of doing it. Savini himself recalled that serious consideration saw Tommy shove a handmade contraption into Jason’s head and fry it with a strong electric current until his head exploded.
Zito confirmed that this concept was taken very seriously for a while by the producers, but was eventually scrapped. Instead, the director decided that it would be poetic for Jason to dispose of himself with his own weapon, which is the way he Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter now it ends. It is also noteworthy that initially, Jason’s head was going to split diagonally from top to jaw, but the study requested that this not be done. At this point, some team members suspected that the study might be leaving a door open for another sequel.
Ultimately the end of Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter is one of the most memorable in the series, and the sight of Jason sliding down his machete made audiences cheer in 1984. Of course, the huge success of the “final” movie prompted Paramount to make another one. Friday the 13th: A New Beginning featured a copycat killer in place of Jason; the ending also strongly implied that Tommy would become the next killer in the franchise. The fifth film was another success, but after a backlash to the copycat reveal, Jason lives he fulfilled his title by bringing the murderer back to life. In this case, the studio probably rejoiced in its call not to blow up Jason’s head.
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