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Adam Marcus
John D. LeMay, Kari Keegan, Kane Hodder, Steven Williams, Steven Culp, Erin Gray, Rusty Schwimmer
Writing Credits:
Adam Marcus (story), Dean Lorey, Jay Huguely (and screenplay)

Evil has finally found a home.

Serial killer Jason Voorhees' supernatural origins are revealed.

Box Office:
$2.5 million.
Opening Weekend
$9.777 million on 1355 screens.
Domestic Gross
$15.935 million.

Rated R

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
German Dolby Digital Stereo
Latin Spanish Dolby Digital Stereo
Latin Spanish
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 87 min.
Price: $129.95
Release Date: 9/13/2013

Available Only as Part of “Friday the 13th: The Complete Collection

• TV Version Alternate Scenes
• Theatrical Trailer


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


Jason Goes To Hell [Blu-Ray] (1993)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (December 30, 2015)

When released in 1993, did anyone actually believe that Jason Goes to Hell would fulfill its subtitle as “The Final Friday”? After all, the series already attempted that ruse with 1984’s Friday the 13th Part IV: The Final Friday, so it seems unlikely many thought Hell would come as the series’ finale.

And that skepticism proved correct, though it took awhile; we didn’t get another entry until 2001’s Jason X. Since then, we received 2003’s Freddy Vs. Jason and a 2009 franchise reboot.

Those films are the subjects of separate discussions, so here we’ll stick with 1993’s Hell. When last seen in Jason Takes Manhattan, our lead ended up in a sewer covered with toxic waste. Of course, that doesn’t stop him.

A comely lass goes to decrepit Camp Crystal Lake and attempts a shower but gets interrupted by crazed serial killer Jason Voorhees (Kane Hodder). He chases her out of the cabin and into a trap.

It turns out the woman – FBI Agent Elizabeth Marcus (Julie Michaels) – acted as bait to draw out Jason. A well-armed team opens fire on Jason and seems to nail him, decapitated head and all.

And that ends the movie after eight minutes, right? Uh, no. Jason’s remains go to a federal morgue in Ohio where a coroner (Richard Gant) examines them.

In the middle of this, Jason’s heart starts to beat. Overwhelmed by an uncontrollable urge, the coroner eats it. This launches a supernatural transformation during which Jason overtakes the coroner’s body and sends the physician on a killing spree.

This opens up the possibility that Jason remains out and about and leads us to Creighton Duke (Steven Williams), an elite bounty hunter who believes Jason can take over others’ bodies – and that for the sum of $500,000, he can end the nightmare once and for all. American Case File TV host Robert Campbell (Steven Culp) will pay that sum if Duke can prove that he really did the deed.

Duke heads to Crystal Lake and encounters Diana Kimble (Erin Gray), a woman with a mysterious past connected to Jason. We follow the pursuit of Jason and the connection to Diana as well as the inevitable mayhem the seemingly unkillable body-changing monster brings along the way.

Because I’ve not seen the first eight Friday flicks in a while, I don’t recall how much effort they invested in explanations of their existence. Virtually every Friday ends with the apparent demise of Jason, so the next one needs to tell us how he returned; I just can’t remember how much info those follow-ups offered to tell us how Jason came back from the dead.

Like I mentioned at the start of my synopsis, Manhattan finished with Jason covered in a sewer covered with toxic waste. (Actually, we saw a child version of Jason; fans appear to debate whether we were meant to take this as literal or figurative imagery. I opt for “figurative”.)

So what the heck happened between films? Does Hell just expect us to forget that Jason was pretty melted at the finish of Manhattan? Do this one’s producers want to pretend it never existed? Should we just accept that Jason came back to life and not worry about how this happened?

I guess we’re forced into the latter position, but it feels lazy that the filmmakers don’t even bother with the slightest connection to Manhattan. Sure, four years elapsed between movies, but that doesn’t mean that fans forgot Manhattan and wouldn’t wonder what led to Jason’s umpteenth resurrection.

Even with a clear connection to Manhattan, I doubt it would’ve made much of a difference in this tired, overwrought gore-fest. I will give Hell some credit for its attempt to grow the franchise, as the “body-shifting” conceit adds some intrigue. Granted, it can feel like a cheap tactic but after so many films that stick with a lumbering big guy, it’s vaguely exciting to see different-looking baddies for once, even if they all act like the same old Jason.

Unfortunately, this narrative innovation usually feels like little more than an excuse to save on the film’s hockey mask budget. The body-shifting concept adds next to nothing to the story other than to make it feel less like Friday the 13th and more like some sci-fi escapade. Like it or not, Friday equals Jason, so a movie without his iconic look becomes a flawed Friday.

The body-shifting idea seems especially pointless because Hell’s main gimmick revolves around its claim that only a Voorhees can kill Jason, so we focus on attempts to keep his relative Jessica Kimble (Kari Keegan) alive until she can accomplish this deed. Could this not occur with “traditional Jason” as the target? I see no reason we need “body-shifting Jason” other than as a cheap tease; that concept doesn’t contribute to the drama.

This leaves Hell as little more than the same-old blood and gore. Maybe fans feel differently, but I think Hell provides fairly uncreative kills. As the series progressed, some of the “fun” came from the kooky ways Jason would off his targets, but that side of things flops here. Nothing especially impressive or memorable occurs, so the deaths feel perfunctory and dull.

Maybe it was too much to expect anything creative from the ninth entry in the Friday the 13th series, but I had some hopes for it. After all, I kind of liked the eighth film, so I saw no reason number nine couldn’t provide at least minor pleasures. Unfortunately, it seems mostly uninspired and forgettable.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B-/ Audio B/ Bonus D+

Jason Goes to Hell appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This wasn’t an attractive image but it seemed to adequately represent the source.

Sharpness seemed decent to good. A little softness occasionally appeared, but most of the movie showed pretty positive clarity and accuracy. I saw no issues with jaggies or shimmering, but light edge haloes popped up at times. Grain seemed appropriate, and I noticed no specks, marks or other print flaws.

Colors tended to look bland. The film went with a fairly natural palette but couldn’t bring much life to the hues, so they remained flat. Blacks were okay; they showed acceptable depth but never became especially impressive. Shadows were more of an issue and seemed a bit too dense. I suspect these concerns were simply a reflection of the original photography, though; while I felt the result looked too bland for a grade above a “B-“, I also believed the Blu-ray presented an image that was about as good as it could be.

Music dominated the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundfield, as the side and surround channels offered active presentation of the score. This could be a bit too much at times – I don’t think we needed so much music from the back speakers –but I figured the imaging worked fine most of the time.

Effects didn’t have a ton to do here – at least not on a consistent basis. Occasional action scenes used the back/side speakers more actively, though, and showed fairly good localization and music. This was a more than adequate soundscape.

Audio quality seemed positive. Music offered nice range and punch, while dialogue was generally natural and concise. Effects showed positive clarity and impact. This ended up as a solid “B” soundtrack.

How did the Blu-ray compare to the 2002 DVD? Audio came across as a bit more dynamic and full, while the visuals appeared more concise, accurate and clean. No one will use this as a demo piece, but it provided a pretty representative translation of the film.

Unfortunately, the Blu-ray drops some of the DVD’s extras. In addition to the film’s trailer, nine TV version alternate scenes run a total of 12 minutes, 31 seconds. One might expect these to simply provide sanitized versions of existing sequences, and that’s true at times.

However, they often elongate different segments and given us material not found in the theatrical version. That makes them kinda sorta deleted scenes – and more interesting than I’d normally expect.

What does the Blu-ray lose from the DVD? It lacks a gimmicky “Jump to a Death” chapter search, and I don’t miss it. However, it omits an excellent audio commentary and also only features the movie’s theatrical version; the DVD also provided a longer unrated cut.

After a four-year break, the Friday the 13th franchise returned with a whimper via the sub-mediocre Jason Goes to Hell. It might not be the worst in the series, but it’s closer to the bottom than to the top, as its minor innovation doesn’t offer enough creativity to overcome its multiple weaknesses. The Blu-ray delivers adequate picture and audio but lacks many supplements. It’s a shame the DVD’s informative commentary fails to reappear here, but the Blu-ray provides the more impressive presentation of the film itself.

Note that as of December 2015, this Blu-ray version of Jason Goes to Hell appears only as part of a 12-film set called “Friday the 13th: The Complete Collection”. This includes films 1 through 8 as well as Jason Goes to Hell, Jason X, Freddy Vs. Jason and the 2009 reboot. It also throws in a bonus DVD and some other non-disc-based materials.

To rate this film, visit the DVD review of JASON GOES TO HELL

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