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Jason Voorhees
Classification: Mass murderer
Signature weapon: Machete
Location: Camp Crystal Lake
Race: Caucasian
Creators: Victor Miller
Ron Kurz
Sean S. Cunningham
Tom Savini
Portrayed by: Ari Lehman (child)
Warrington Gillette & Steve Daskewisz
Richard Brooker
Ted White
Tom Morga
C.J. Graham & Dan Bradley
Kane Hodder
Timothy Burr Mirkovich (child)
Ken Kirzinger & Spencer Stump (child)
















Facts on Jason Voorhess
 

FORENAME(S):

SURNAME:

HEIGHT (APPROX.):

WEIGHT (APPROX.):

D.O.B:

P.O.B:

PRESENT AGE:

FATHER:

MOTHER:

SIBLINGS:

PLACE OF DEATH:

CAUSE OF DEATH:

LAST SIGHTING:

JASON

VOORHEES

6 FT. 3 INCHES

240 Ibs

13th June 1946

WESSEX COUNTY

54 years old

Elias--Todd--Voorhees

Pamela--Sue--Voorhees

Diane Voorhees

Crystal Lake Summer Camp

Drowning

Crystal Lake Area

 

Jason Voorhees is a fictional character from the Friday the 13th series of slasher films. He first appeared in Friday the 13th (1980) as Mrs. Voorhees' son, portrayed by Ari Lehman. Created in combination by Victor Miller, Ron Kurz, Sean S. Cunningham and Tom Savini, he was never intended to carry the series as the main villain. Jason Voorhees has also been represented in numerous novels, comic books, and a cross-over film with another horror legend, Freddy Krueger.

The character has primarily been an antagonist in the films, whether by stalking and killing the characters, or acting as a psychological threat to the lead character, as is the case in Friday the 13th: A New Beginning. Since Lehman's portrayal, the character has been represented by numerous actors and stuntmen, sometimes by more than one at a time; this has caused some controversy as to who should receive credit for the portrayal. Kane Hodder is the most well known of the stuntmen to portray Jason Voorhees, having played the character in four consecutive films.

The character's physical appearance has gone through many transformations, with various special makeup effects artists making their mark on the character's design, including makeup artist Stan Winston. Tom Savini's initial design has been the basis for many of the later incarnations. The trademark hockey mask did not appear until Friday the 13th Part 3. Since Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives, filmmakers have given Jason superhuman strength, and near invulnerability. He has been seen as a sympathetic character, albeit one whose motivation for killing has been cited as driven by the immoral actions of his victims.

Jason Voorhees has been featured in many humor magazines, referenced in feature films, parodied in television shows, and been the inspiration for a horror punk band. Several toy lines have been released based on various versions of the character from the Friday the 13th films. Jason Voorhees was awarded the MTV Lifetime Achievement Award in 1992, and his hockey mask is one of the most recognizable images in popular culture.

Appearances

Jason is a minor character in the original Friday the 13th, where he appears as a hallucination of the main character Alice Hardy; he went on to become the main antagonist of the series. Only in Friday the 13th: A New Beginning does Jason reappear as a hallucination. The silver screen is not the only place Jason has appeared; there have been literary sources that have either expanded the universe of Jason, or been based on a minor aspect of him.

 Films

Jason made his first appearance in the original Friday the 13th (1980), not as the film's killer, but as a memory of his mother, Mrs. Voorhees (Betsy Palmer), and a hallucination of Alice's (Adrienne King). Though the character is never truly seen, he is the subject of the plot of the film, as Mrs. Voorhees seeks revenge for the death of her boy which she sees as the fault of the counselors. Jason's second appearance was in the sequel, Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981). Jason's death as a boy is retconned in this film, and he gets his revenge on the girl who decapitated his mother. Jason (Steve Daskewisz) returns to Crystal Lake, guarding it from all intruders. Five years later, a group of teenagers comes to Crystal Lake to set up a new camp, only to get murdered one by one by Jason. Ginny Field (Amy Steel), the lone survivor, finds a cabin in the woods with a shrine built around the severed head of Mrs. Voorhees, and surrounded by mutilated corpses. Ginny fights back, and slams a machete through Jason's shoulder. Jason is left for dead as Ginny is taken away in an ambulance. In Friday the 13th Part 3 (1982), Jason (Richard Brooker) escapes to a nearby lake resort, Higgins Haven, to rest from his wounds. At the same time, Chris Higgins (Dana Kimmell) returns to the property with some friends. An unmasked and reclusive Jason kills anyone who wanders into the barn where he is hiding. Taking a hockey mask from a victim to hide his face, he leaves the barn to kill the rest of the group. Chris fends off Jason by sending an axe into his head, but the night's events drive her into hysteria as the police take her away.

Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984) continues the story, with Jason (Ted White) found by the police and taken to the morgue. Once delivered to the Wessex County morgue, Jason awakens and kills an attendant and nurse, and then makes his way back to Crystal Lake. A group of friends rent a house on Crystal Lake and fall victim to Jason's rampage. After killing all of the teens next door, Jason seeks out Trish and Tommy Jarvis (Corey Feldman). While distracted by Trish, Jason is attacked and killed by Tommy. His appearance in Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985) was short lived. Tommy Jarvis (John Shepherd) was committed to a mental hospital after the events of The Final Chapter, and has grown up constantly afraid that Jason (Tom Morga) will return. Jason's body was supposedly cremated after Tommy killed him. Roy Burns (Dick Wieand) uses Jason's persona to become a copycat killer at the halfway home to which Tommy was moved. The only moments of Jason's appearance are through the hallucinations and dreams of Tommy. Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986) had Tommy (Thom Mathews) visiting Jason's grave after having been released from a mental institution. It is revealed that Jason's body was never actually cremated, but buried in Forest Green cemetery (formerly Crystal Lake cemetery). Tommy inadvertently resurrects Jason (C.J. Graham), via a piece of cemetery fence which acts as a lightning rod. Jason returns to Forest Green, still believing it is Crystal Lake. Tommy finally manages to get Jason back to the lake that supposedly caused his death as boy. Tied to a boulder at the bottom of the lake, Jason is left to die.

Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988) begins an undisclosed amount of time after Jason Lives. Jason (Kane Hodder) is resurrected again, this time by the telekinetic Tina Shepard (Lar Park Lincoln), who was trying to resurrect her father. Jason begins killing those who occupy Crystal Lake, and after a battle with Tina, Jason is returned to the bottom of the lake. Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989) sees Jason return from the grave, brought back to life via an underwater electrical cable. He follows a group of students on their senior class trip to Manhattan, boarding the Lazarus to wreak havoc. Upon reaching Manhattan, Jason kills the rest of the survivors, with the exception of Rennie and Sean; he chases the final two into the sewers, where Jason is caught and melted away by toxic waste.

Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993) marked the second time Jason was killed off. Jason, through unexplained resurrection, returns to Crystal Lake, where he is being hunted by the F.B.I.. The F.B.I. sets up a sting to kill Jason, which proves successful. Through possession, Jason manages to survive by passing his demon-infested black heart from one being to the next. Though Jason is hardly seen throughout the film, it is learned that he has a sister and niece, and that he needs them to get his body back. After resurrecting his own body, Jason is finally killed by his niece and dragged to Hell.

Jason X (2002) marked Kane Hodder's last performance as Jason to date. The film takes place in the future, where Jason has again been resurrected, though it is not explained how. He is being held and experimented upon in a research facility. It is determined that he has regenerative capabilities, and that cryonic suspension is the only possible solution to stop him since he cannot be killed. Jason breaks out of captivity and manages to slice through the cryo-chamber, spilling the cryonics into the room freezing the only other survivor, Rowan (Lexa Doig). Four hundred and forty-five years later, Jason's body is discovered by a team of students studying Earth. Upon being thawed by the team, he proceeds to murder everyone aboard the spacecraft, before finally being blown into space, and landing on Earth 2. Jason's most recent appearance was in Freddy vs. Jason (2003), set in the present. Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) has grown weak, as people in Springwood, his home, have suppressed their fear of him. Freddy, who is impersonating Pamela Voorhees, sends Jason (Ken Kirzinger) to Springwood to cause panic and fear. Jason accomplishes this, but refuses to stop killing. A battle ensues in both the dream-world and Crystal Lake. The winner is left ambiguous, as Jason surfaces from the lake holding Freddy's severed head, which winks and laughs.

 Literature

Jason first appeared outside of film in the 1982 novelization of Friday the 13th Part 3 by Michael Avallone. Avallone chose to use an alternate ending, which was filmed for Part 3 but never used, as the ending for his 1982 adaptation. In the alternate film ending, Chris, who is in the canoe, hears Rick's voice and immediately rushes back to the house. When she opens the door, Jason is standing there with a machete, and he proceeds to decapitate her. Jason would not appear in literature again, until the 1986 novelization of Jason Lives by Simon Hawke, who also adapted the first three films in 1987 and 1988. Jason Lives specifically introduced Elias Voorhees, Jason's father, who was slated to appear in the film but was cut by the studio. In the novel, instead of being cremated, Elias has Jason buried after his death.

Jason vs. Leatherface and Friday the 13th:  Hate-Kill-Repeat released in 1995 and 2005 (respectively), expanded on Jason Voorhees
Jason vs. Leatherface and Friday the 13th: Hate-Kill-Repeat released in 1995 and 2005 (respectively), expanded on Jason Voorhees

Jason made his comic book debut in the 1993 adaptation of Jason Goes to Hell, written by Andy Mangels. The three-issue series was a condensed version of the film, with a few added scenes that were never shot. Jason also made his first appearance outside of the direct adaptations in Satan's Six #4, published in 1993, which is a continuation of the events of Jason Goes to Hell. In 1995, Nancy A. Collins wrote a 3 issue, non-canonical miniseries involving a crossover between Jason and Leatherface. The story involves Jason stowing away aboard a train, after being released from Crystal Lake when the area is drained due to heavy toxic waste dumping. Jason meets Leatherface, who adopts him into his family after the two become friends. Eventually, they turn on each other. In 1994, four young adult novels were released under the title of Friday the 13th. They did not feature Jason explicitly, but revolve around people becoming possessed by Jason once they put on his mask.

In 2003 and 2005, Black Flame published novelizations of Freddy vs. Jason and Jason X respectively. In 2005, they began publishing a new series of novels; one set was published under the Jason X title, while the second set utilized the Friday the 13th title. The Jason X series consisted of four sequels to the novelization of the film. Jason X: The Experiment was the first published. In this novel, Jason is being used by the government, who are trying to use his indestructibility to create their own army of "super soldiers". Planet of the Beast follows the efforts of Dr. Bardox and his crew as they try to clone the body of a comatose Jason, and their efforts to stay alive when Jason wakes from his coma. Death Moon revolves around Jason crash-landing at Moon Camp Americana. Jason's body is discovered below a prison site, and unknowingly resurrected in To The Third Power.

On May 13, 2005, Avatar Press began releasing new Friday the 13th comics. The first, titled Friday the 13th, was written by Brian Pulido and illustrated by Mike Wolfer and Greg Waller. The story takes place after the events of Freddy vs. Jason, where siblings Miles and Laura Upland have inherited Camp Crystal Lake. Knowing that Jason caused the recent destruction, Laura, unknown to her brother, sets out to kill Jason using a paramilitary group, so that she and her brother can sell the property. A three-issue mini series titled Friday the 13th: Bloodbath was released in September 2005. Written by Brian Pulido and illustrated by Mike Wolfer and Andrew Dalhouse. the story involves a group of teenagers who come Camp Tomorrow, a camp that sits on Crystal Lake, for work and a "party-filled weekend". The teenagers begin to discover they share common family backgrounds, and soon awaken Jason who proceeds to hunt them. Brian Pulido returned for a third time in October 2005 to write Jason X. Picking up after the events of the Jason X film, Über-Jason is now on Earth II where a biological-engineer, Kristen, attempts to subdue Jason, in hopes that she can use his regenerative tissue to save her own life and the life of those she loves. In February 2006, Avatar published Friday the 13th: Jason vs. Jason X. Written and illustrated by Mike Wolfer, the story takes place after the events of the film Jason X, where a salvage team discovers the spaceship Grendel and awakens a regenerated Jason Voorhees. The "original" Jason and Über-Jason are drawn to each other resulting in a battle to the death.

The Friday the 13th novella storyline was not connected to the Jason X series, and did not continue the stories set forth by the films, but furthered the character of Jason in its own way. Friday the 13th: Church of the Divine Psychopath has Jason resurrected by a religious cult. Jason is stuck in Hell, when recently executed serial killer Wayne Sanchez persuades Jason to help him return to the real world in Friday the 13th: Hell Lake. In Hate-Kill-Repeat, two religious serial killers attempt to find Jason at Crystal Lake, believing that the three of them share the same contempt for those that break the moral code. The Jason Strain puts Jason on an island with a group of convicts, placed there by television executives running a reality game show. The character of Pamela Voorhees returns from the grave in Carnival of Maniacs. Pamela is in search of Jason, who is now part of a traveling sideshow and about to be auctioned off to the highest bidder.

In December 2006, DC Comics imprint Wildstorm began publishing new comic books about Jason Voorhees under the Friday the 13th moniker. The first set was a six-issue miniseries. The miniseries involves Jason's return to Crystal Lake, a lone survivor's tale of the murder of her friends by a monster, a new revelation about the evil surrounding Crystal Lake and the truth of what Jason really embodies. On July 11 and August 15, 2007, Wildstorm published a two part special entitled Friday the 13th: Pamela's Tale. The two issue comic book covers Pamela Voorhees' journey to Camp Crystal Lake and the story of her pregnancy with Jason as she recounts it to hitchhiker Annie, the camp counselor who was killed in the original film. Wildstorm released another two-part special, entitled Friday the 13th: How I Spent My Summer Vacation, that were released on September 12 and October 10, 2007. The comic book provides new insight into the psychology of Jason Voorhees, as he befriends a boy born with a skull deformity. Wildstorm has planned a six issue series called Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash, starring the two killers and Ash from the Evil Dead series. The story focuses on Freddy using the Necronomicon, which is in the Voorhees' basement, to escape from Jason's subconscious and "gain powers unlike anything he’s had before". Freddy attempts to use Jason to retrieve the book, stating it will make him a real boy. Ash, who is working at the local S-Mart in Crystal Lake, learns of the books existence and sets out to destroy it once and for all.

Creating a monster

Tom Savini applies make-up to Ari Lehman, creating his vision of Jason Voorhees
Tom Savini applies make-up to Ari Lehman, creating his vision of Jason Voorhees

Initially created by Victor Miller, Jason's final design was a combined effort by Miller, Ron Kurz, and Tom Savini. The name "Jason" is a combination of "Josh" and "Ian", Miller's two sons, and "Voorhees" was inspired by a girl that Miller knew at high school, whose last name was Van Voorhees. Miller felt it was a "creepy-sounding name," which was perfect for his character. Miller initially wrote Jason as a normal looking child, but the crew behind the film decided he needed to be deformed. Victor Miller explained Jason wasn't meant to be a creature from the "Black Lagoon" in his script, and scripted Jason as a mentally disabled young boy; it was Savini who made Jason deformed. Ron Kurz confirmed that Miller's version of Jason was that of a normal child, but claims that it was his idea to turn Jason into a "mongoloid creature," and have him "jump out of the lake at the end of the film." Miller later agreed the ending would not have been as good if he looked like "Betsy Palmer at eight years old." Miller wrote a scene where Alice is attacked in a canoe by Jason, and then she wakes up in a hospital bed. Miller's intention was to get as close to Carrie's ending as possible. Savini believed having Jason pop out of the lake would be psychologically disturbing to the audience, and since Alice is supposed to be dreaming, the crew could get away with adding anything they wanted.

When it came time to cast the role of Jason, Ari Lehman, who had received a part in Sean Cunningham's Manny's Orphans, arrived to read for the character of Jack. Before he could get started, Cunningham walked in and handed him a new part. Without having read a single word, Cunningham just looked at Ari and said "you're the right size, you've got it." In the original Friday the 13th, Ari Lehman is seen only in a brief flashback as the surprise ending. He is not the only actor to portray a young Jason, Timothy Burr Mirkovich played the same part in Jason Takes Manhattan, and Spencer Stump in Freddy vs. Jason, but Lehman was the first. The adult role of Jason Voorhees has been played by various actors, some not credited, others taking great pride in their parts. Due to the physical demands the adult character requires, and the lack of emotional depth depicted, many of the actors since have been stuntmen. The most well known among them is Kane Hodder, who is cited as the best to take up the role.

Many ideas were suggested for the sequel to Friday the 13th, including making the title part of a serialized franchise, where each succeeding film would be its own story and not related to any previous film under the Friday the 13th moniker. It was Phil Scuderi, one of the producers for the original film, which suggested bringing Jason back for the sequel. The director Steve Miner felt it was the obvious direction to take the series, as he felt the audience wanted to know more about the child who attacked Alice in the lake. Miner decided to pretend as if Alice did not see the "real Jason" in her dream, and Jason had survived his drowning as a boy and grown up. After killing Jason in The Final Chapter, it was the director Joseph Zito's intention to leave the door open for the studio to make more films with Tommy Jarvis as the main antagonist. Screenwriter Barney Cohen felt Jarvis would become a substitute for Jason, but the idea was never fully developed in A New Beginning. Director and co-screenwriter Danny Steinmann disliked the idea of Jason not being the killer, but decided to use Tommy's fear of Jason as the primary story. This idea was immediately abandoned in Jason Lives, when A New Beginning did not spark the "creative success" the studio was looking for. Executive producer Frank Mancuso, Jr. wanted to bring Jason back, and he did not care how it was achieved. Since A New Beginning, no sequel has attempted to replace Jason as the main antagonist. Miller, who has not seen any of the sequels, took issue with all of them because they made Jason the villain. Miller believes the best part of his screenplay was that it was about a mother avenging the senseless death of her son. Miller stated, "Jason was dead from the very beginning; he was a victim, not a villain."

 Men behind the mask

Jason Voorhees went from deceased child to full grown man for Friday the 13th Part 2, and Warrington Gillette was hired to play the role. Gillette auditioned for the role of Paul; the role eventually went to John Furey. Under the belief that he had attended the Hollywood Stuntman's School, Gillette was offered the role of Jason Voorhees. Initially Gillette was unsure about the character, but the idea of starring in his first movie grew on Gillette, and he also thought the role was amusing. It became apparent Gillette could not perform the stunts necessary, so the stunt coordinator Cliff Cudney brought in Steve Daskawisz. Daskawisz filmed all of the scenes except the opening sequence, and the unmasking shot at the end; Gillette returned for the unmasking scenes. Gillette received the credit for playing Jason, while Daskawisz was given credit as the stunt double. When Part 3 was released the following year, Daskawisz was credited as Jason for the reused footage from the climax of the film Initially, Daskawisz was asked to return to the role for Part 3, but it would have required him to pay for his own transportation and housing during filming. Having secured a part on Guiding Light, Daskawisz passed on the role.

Now wanting a "bigger and stronger-looking" Jason, one that was also "more athletic and powerful," Steve Miner hired former trapeze artist Richard Brooker. After a simple conversation, Miner decided he was the right person for the job. Being new to the country, Brooker believed that "playing a psychopathic killer" was the best way into the movie business. Brooker became the first actor to wear Jason's now signature hockey mask. According to Brooker, "It felt great with the mask on. It just felt like I really was Jason because I didn't have anything to wear before that."

For The Final Chapter, Joseph Zito brought his own spin to the character, one that required a "real hardcore stuntman;" Ted White was hired to perform the role. White, who only took the job for the money, did "get into the Jason psychology" when he arrived on the set. White went so far as to not speak to any of the other actors for long stretches. As filming continued, White's experience was not pleasant, and in one instance, he went to battle for co-star Judie Aronson, who played Samantha, when the director kept her naked in the lake for extended periods of time. Displeased with his experience from filming, White removed his name from the credits.

As with Friday the 13th Part 2, there was confusion over who performed the role in A New Beginning, partly due to the fact that Jason is not the literal antagonist in the film. When Ted White turned down the opportunity to return, Dick Wieand was cast. Wieand is credited as Roy Burns, the film's actual murderer, but it was stuntman Tom Morga who performed in the few flashes of Jason, as well as portraying Roy in almost all of the masked scenes. Wieand has been outspoken about his lack of enthusiasm over his role in the film. Feeling alienated during the shoot, Wieand spent most of his time in his trailer. By comparison, Morga enjoyed his time as Jason, making sure he "really got into the character."

A nightclub manager in Glendale, C.J. Graham went into interview for the role of Jason in Jason Lives, but was initially passed over because he had no experience as a stuntman. Dan Bradley was hired, but Paramount executives felt Bradley did not have the right physique to play the role, and Graham was hired to replace him.[68] Although Bradley was replaced early during filming, he can still be seen in the paintball sequence of the film.[23] Graham opted to perform most of his own stunts, including the scene where Jason is caught on fire while battling Tommy in the lake.[68] The rest of the cast spoke highly of Graham, remarking that he never complained during all the uncomfortable situations he was placed in.[67] Graham had no intention of being an actor, or a stuntman, but the idea of playing the "bad guy," who gets to wear prosthetics, intrigued him. Graham was not brought back to reprise the role, but has often been cited as speaking highly of his time in the part.

Kane Hodder took over the role in The New Blood which he carried consecutively for a total of four films. He previously worked alongside John Carl Buechler, the director, on a film called Prison. Based on his experience working with Hodder, Buechler petitioned Frank Mancuso Jr. to hire him, but Mancuso was apprehensive about Hodder's limited size. Knowing he planned to use full body prosthetics, Buechler scheduled a test screening, the first in Friday the 13th history for the character, and Mancuso immediately gave Hodder approval upon seeing him. It is Buechler's contention that Hodder gave Jason his first true personality, based on the emotions, namely the rage, that Hodder would emit while acting the part. According to Hodder, he wanted to "get in touch with Jason's thirst for revenge," and try to better understand his motivation to kill. For the character's movements, Hodder decided, after viewing the previous films, that he would approach Jason as a more "quick and agile" individual than he had seen in the previous sequels. John Carl Buechler felt that Kane had "natural affinity for the role," so much that Kane's appearance, when wearing the mask, would often terrify the cast, crew, and in one incident a lone stranger that he came across on his walk back to his trailer. Initially, Frank Mancuso Jr. and Barbara Sachs planned to use a Canadian stuntman for Jason Takes Manhattan. Hodder acted as his own voice, calling and requesting that he be allowed to reprise the role; the ultimate decision was left to Rob Hedden, the director, who had every intention of using Hodder, because he felt Hodder knew the lore of the series. With Sean Cunningham's return as producer for Jason Goes to Hell, Hodder felt his chances of reprising the role were even better. Hodder had worked as Cunningham's stunt coordinator for years, not to mention having already played the character in the previous two films. Regardless, Adam Marcus, the director for Jason Goes to Hell, always had the intention of hiring Hodder for the role. Jason X would mark Hodder's last performance as Jason, to date. Todd Farmer, who wrote the screenplay for Jason X, knew Hodder would play Jason from the beginning. Jim Isaac was a fan of Hodder's work on the previous films, so hiring him came easy.

New Line believed Freddy vs. Jason needed a fresh start, and decided to go with a different actor for Jason. Cunningham disagreed with their decision, believing that Hodder was the best choice for the role. Hodder did receive the script for Freddy vs. Jason, and had a meeting with Ronny Yu, the director, and other New Line executives. Matthew Barry and Ronny Yu felt the role should be recast to fit Yu's image of Jason. According to Hodder, New Line didn't provide him with a reason for the recasting, and it's his belief no one could play the role the way he could. Yu has explained he wanted a slower, more deliberate Jason, and less of the aggressive movements that Hodder had used in the previous films. Ronny Yu, and Development Executive Jeff Katz, recognized the outcry among fans over the replacement of Hodder as Jason, but believe they made the right choice in recasting. The role eventually went to Ken Kirzinger, a Canadian stuntman who worked on Jason Takes Manhattan. There were conflicting reports over the reason Kirzinger was cast. According to Yu, Kirzinger was hired because he was taller than Robert Englund, the actor who portrays Freddy Krueger. Kirzinger stands 6' 5", compared to the 6' 3" of Kane Hodder, and Ronny Yu wanted a much larger actor to tower over Englund who stands 5' 10". Kirzinger thinks his experience on Part VIII helped him land the part, as Kirzinger doubled for Hodder on two scenes for the film, but also believes he was simply sized up and handed the job. Although he was hired by the crew, New Line had not given Kirzinger the official "okay"; the studio wanted to see him on film first. Kirzinger's first scene was Jason walking down Elm Street. New Line wanted a specific movement in Jason's walk; Kirzinger met their expectations and signed a contract with the studio.

 Design

The physical design of Jason Voorhees has gone through many subtle or radical changes. For Friday the 13th, the task of coming up with Jason's appearance was the responsibility of Tom Savini, whose design for Jason was inspired by someone Savini knew as a child, whose eyes and ears did not line up straight. The original design called for Jason to have hair, but Savini and his crew opted to make him bald, so he would look like a "hydrocephalic, mongoloid pinhead," with a dome shaped head. Savini created a plaster mold of Ari Lehman's head, and used that to create prosthetics for his face. Lehman personally added mud, from the bottom of the lake, all over his body to make himself appear "really slimy."

For Part 2, Steve Miner asked Carl Fullerton, the make-up effects supervisor, to stick to Savini's original design, but Fullerton only had a day to design and sculpt a new head. Fullerton drew a rough sketch of what he believed Jason should look like, and had it approved by Miner. Fullerton added long hair to the character. Gillette had to spend hours in a chair as they applied rubber forms all over his face, keeping one eye closed while the "droopy eye" application was in place. Gillette's eye was closed for twelve hours at a time while he was filming the final scenes of the film. False teeth, created by a local dentist, were used to distort Gillette's face. Much of the basic concept of Fullerton's design went away with Part 3. Miner wanted to use a combination of the designs from Tom Savini and Carl Fullerton, but as work progressed it began to lean more and more toward Savini's concept. Stan Winston was hired to create a design for Jason's head, but the eyes were level and Doug White, the make-up artist for Part 3, needed a droopy right eye. White did keep Winston's design for the back of the head, because the crew didn't have the time to design an entirely new head for Jason. The process of creating Jason's look was hard work for the White, who had to constantly make alterations to Richard Brooker's face, even up to the last day of filming.

Jason's hockey mask — molded from a 1950s Detroit Red Wings hockey mask — became a staple for the character for the rest of the series
Jason's hockey mask — molded from a 1950s Detroit Red Wings hockey mask — became a staple for the character for the rest of the series

The script for Part 3 called for Jason to wear a mask to cover his face, having worn a bag over his head in Part 2; what no one knew at the time was the mask chosen would become a trademark for the character, and one instantly recognizable in popular culture in the years to come. During production, Steve Miner called for a lighting check, but none of the effects crew wanted to apply any make-up for the light check, so they decided to just throw a mask on Brooker. Martin Jay Sadoff kept a bag with him full of hockey gear, as he was a hockey fan, and he pulled out a Detroit Red Wings goalie mask for the test. Miner loved the mask, but during test shots it was too small. Using a substance called VacuForm, Doug White enlarged the mask and created a new mold to work with. After White finished the molds, Terry Ballard placed the new red triangles on the mask to give it a unique appearance. Holes would be punched into the mask, and the markings were altered, making it different from Sadoff's mask. There were two prosthetic face masks created for Richard Brooker to wear underneath the hockey mask. One mask was composed of approximately 11 different appliances, and took about 6 hours to apply to Brooker's face; this mask was used for scenes where the hockey mask was removed. In the scenes where the hockey mask is over the face, a simple head mask was created. This once piece mask would simply slip on over Brooker's head, exposing his face but not the rest of his head.

Tom Savini returned to make-up duties, for The Final Chapter. He agreed to return because he felt he should be the one to bring Jason full circle in terms of his look from child to man. Savini used his design from the original Friday the 13th, with the same practice of application as before, just molded from Ted White's face. Since Jason is not the actual killer in A New Beginning, it wasn't necessary to do any major designing for Jason's look. Only a head mask to cover the top and back of the head, like the one Brooker wore while wearing the hockey mask, was needed for the film. Make-up artist Louis Lazzara, who cites A New Beginning as almost a direct sequel to The Final Chapter, did base his head-mask on Tom Savini's design for The Final Chapter.

Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood sought to make Jason more of a "classic monster along the lines of Frankenstein." From the beginning, Buechler tried to tie the previous films together by having Jason's appearance reflect that of the damage he received in the previous installments. Buechler wanted the motor boat damage from Jason Lives, and the axe and machete cuts Jason received in Part 3 and Part 4 to part of the design for The New Blood. Since Jason had been submerged under water in the previous entry, the effects team wanted Jason to appear "rotted," with bones and ribs showing, and for Jason's features to have a more defined feel to them. Howard Berger was inspired by Carl Fullerton's design in The New Blood, and wanted to incorporate the exposed flesh concept more into his model for Jason Goes to Hell. Berger designed Jason's skin to overlap with the mask, to make it appear as if they had fused and he could no longer remove his mask. Gregory Nicotero and Berger sculpted a full-body, foam latex suit to be worn under the costume by Kane Hodder. The idea was to reveal as much of Jason's skin as possible, because Nicotero and Berger knew the physical character would not be seen for most of the film.

Original concept drawings for "Über-Jason", by makeup effects supervisor Stephan Dupuis, took months to plan. Dupuis sculpted a small-scale version of the new design to show off to the filmmakers, before finally taking mold castings of Kane Hodder.
Original concept drawings for "Über-Jason", by makeup effects supervisor Stephan Dupuis, took months to plan. Dupuis sculpted a small-scale version of the new design to show off to the filmmakers, before finally taking mold castings of Kane Hodder.[73]

Stephen Dupuis was given the task of redesigning Jason for the tenth Friday the 13th film. One concept brought into the film was Jason's regenerative abilities. Dupuis gave the character more hair, and more of a natural flesh appearance, to illustrate the constant regeneration the character goes through; Dupuis wanted a more "gothic" design for Jason, so he added chains and shackles, and made the hockey mask more angular. Jim Isaac, and the rest of his crew, wanted to create an entirely new Jason at some point in the film. The idea was for the teens to completely destroy Jason's body, allowing the futuristic technology to bring him back to life. What was referred to as Über-Jason was designed to have chunks of metal growing from his body, bonded by tendrils that grew into the metal, all pushing through a leather suit. The metal was created from VacuForm, the same material used to increase the size of the original hockey mask, and was attached by Velcro. The tendrils were made from silicone. All of the pieces were crafted onto one suit, including an entire head piece, which Hodder wore. The make-up effects team added zippers along the side of the suit, which allowed Hodder to enter and exit the suit within 15 minutes.

By the time Freddy vs. Jason entered production there had been ten previous Friday the 13th films. Make-up effects artist Terezakis wanted his own mark on Jason's look. Terezakis wanted Jason to be less rotted and decomposed, and more defined so that the audience would see a new Jason, but still recognized the face. Terezakis tried to keep continuity with the previous films, but recognized that had he followed them too literally, then "Jason would have been reduced to a pile of goo." Ronny Yu wanted everything surrounding the hockey mask to act as a "frame,” making the mask the focal point of each shot. To achieve this, Terezakis created a "pooled-blood look" for the character, by painting the skin black, based on the idea the blood had pooled in the back of his head, because he had been lying on his back for a long time. As with other make-up artists before him, Terezakis followed Savini's original skull design, and aged it appropriately.

 Characteristics

In his original appearance, Jason was scripted as a mentally disabled young boy. Since Friday the 13th, Jason Voorhees has been depicted as a non-verbal, indestructible, machete-wielding mass murderer. With exception to flashbacks of Jason drowning as a child, the character has never spoken in any of the sequels to the original Friday the 13th. Online magazine Salon's Andrew O'Hehir describes Jason as a "silent, expressionless...blank slate." When discussing Jason psychologically, Sean S. Cunningham stated, "...he doesn't have any personality. He's like a great white shark. You can't really defeat him. All you can hope for is to survive." Since Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives, Jason has been a "virtually indestructible" being. Tom McLoughlin, the film's director, felt it was silly that Jason had previously been just another guy in a mask, who would kill people left and right, but get "beaten up and knocked down by the heroine at the end." McLoughlin wanted Jason to be more of a "formidable, unstoppable monster."

Many have given suggestions as Jason's motivation for killing. Ken Kirzinger refers to Jason as a "psychotic mama's boy gone horribly awry...Very resilient. You can't kill him, but he feels pain, just not like everyone else." Kirzinger goes on to say to Jason is a "psycho-savant," and believes his actions are based on pleasing his mother, and not anything personal. Andrew O'Hehir has stated, "Coursing hormones act, of course, as smelling salts to prudish Jason, that ever-vigilant enforcer of William Bennett-style values." Todd Farmer, writer for Jason X, wrote the scene where Jason wakes from cryonic hibernation just as two of the teenagers are having sex. Farmer liked the idea that sex acts triggered Jason back to life. Whatever his motivations, Kane Hodder believes there is a limit to what he will do. According to Hodder, Jason might violently murder any person he comes across, but when Jason Takes Manhattan called for Hodder to kick the lead character's dog, Hodder refused. When it comes to hurting a dog, Hodder believes Jason would not act with disregard.

In an early draft of Freddy vs. Jason, it was decided that one of the villains needed a redeemable factor. Ronald D. Moore, co-writer of the first draft, explained that Jason was the easiest to make redeemable, because no one had ventured into the psychology surrounding the character prior. Moore saw the character as a "blank slate," and felt he was a character the audience could really root for. Another draft, penned by Mark Protosevich, followed Moore's idea of Jason having a redeemable quality. In the draft, Jason protects a student named Rachel Daniels and her unborn child. Protosevich explained, "It gets into this whole idea of there being two kinds of monsters. Freddy is a figure of actual pure evil and Jason is more like a figure of vengeance who punishes people he feels don't deserve to live. Ultimately, the two on them clash and Jason becomes an honorable monster." Writers Damian Shannon and Mark Swift, who wrote the final draft of the film, disagreed about making Jason a hero; although they drew comparisons between the fact that Freddy was a victimizer and Jason was a victim. They stated, "We did not want to make Jason any less scary. He's still a brutal killer... We never wanted to put them in a situation where Jason is a hero... They're both villains to be equally feared." Brenna O'Brien, co-founder of Fridaythe13thfilms.com, saw the character as having sympathetic qualities. She stated, "[Jason] was a deformed child who almost drowned and then spent the rest of his childhood growing up alone in the woods. He saw his mother get murdered by a camp counselor in the first Friday the 13th, and so now he exacts his revenge on anyone who returns to Camp Crystal Lake. Teenage fans can identify with that sense of rejection and isolation, which you can't really get from other killers like Freddy Krueger and Michael Myers."

A study was conducted by California State University's Media Psychology Lab, on the psychological appeal of movie monsters, which surveyed 1,166 people nationwide (United States), with ages ranging from 16 to 91. It was published in the Journal of Media Psychology. Many of the characteristics associated with Jason Voorhees were appealing to the participants. In the survey, Jason was considered to be an "unstoppable killing machine." Participants were impressed by the "cornicopic feats of slicing and dicing a seemingly endless number of adolescents and the occasional adult." Out of the ten monsters used in the survey — which included Vampires, Freddy Krueger, Frankenstein's monster, Michael Myers, Godzilla, Chucky, Hannibal Lecter, King Kong, and the Alien — Jason scored the highest in all the categories involving killing variables. Further characteristics that appealed to the participants included Jason's "immortality, his apparent enjoyment of killing and... his superhuman strength."

 In popular culture

In 1988, Screamin' toys introduced the build-it yourself Jason figure
In 1988, Screamin' toys introduced the build-it yourself Jason figure

Jason Voorhees has been established as one of the leading cultural icons of American popular culture. In 1992, Jason was awarded the MTV Lifetime Achievement Award. He was the first of only three completely fictional characters to be given the award. Godzilla, in 1996, and Chewbacca, in 1997, are the other two. Jason was named #26 in Wizard's 100 greatest villains of all time. Universal Studios theme parks, in collaboration with New Line Cinema, used the character for their Halloween Horror Nights event.

The character has been produced and marketed under various merchandizes over the years. In 1988, Screamin' toys produced a model kit where you could build your own Jason statuette. The kit required the owner to cut and paint various parts in order to assemble the figure. Six years later, Screamin' toys issued a new model kit for Jason Goes to Hell. Both kits are now out of production. McFarlane Toys released two toy lines, one in 1998 and the other in 2002. The first was a figure of Jason from Jason Goes to Hell, and the other was of Über-Jason from Jason X. Since McFarlane's last line in 2002, there has been a steady production of action figures, dolls, and statuettes. Some of the more recent merchandise has tied in with the latest film, Freddy vs. Jason. Jason has made an appearance in two video games. His first appearance was in 1989, when LJN, an American game company known for its games based on popular movies in the 80's and early 90's, released Friday the 13th on the Nintendo Entertainment System. The premise involved the gamer, who picks one of six camp counselors as their player, trying to save the campers from Jason, while battling various enemies throughout the game. On October 13, 2006, a Friday the 13th game was released for mobile phones. The game puts the user in the persona of Jason as he battles the undead.

The character has been referenced, or made cameo appearances in various entertainment mediums. Outside of literature sources based on the character, Jason has been featured in a variety of magazines and comic strips. Cracked magazine has released several issues featuring parodies of Jason, as well as being featured on two of their covers. Mad magazine has featured the character in almost a dozen stories. He's appeared twice in the comic strip Mother Goose and Grimm. Inspired by his own experience, Ari Lehman founded his own band called FIRSTJASON. Lehman's band is classified as horror punk, being influenced by the sounds of the Dead Kennedys and The Misfits. The band's name pays homage to Lehman's portrayal of Jason Voorhees in the original Friday the 13th. One of the band's songs is entitled, "Jason is watching".

Trevor Fisher, with the Illinois Entertainer, called the band, "... an unapologetic tribute to not only the character [Lehman] played but also to the genre, and culture, of horror movies." In 1986, coinciding with the release of Jason Lives, Alice Cooper released "He's Back (The Man Behind the Mask)" from his album Constrictor. The song was written to "signal Jason's big return" to the cinema, having been almost entirely absent in the previous film. Rapper Eminem has referenced Jason in several of his songs. The song "Criminal", from the album The Marshall Mathers LP, mentions Jason specifically, while songs "Amityville" and "Off the Wall" — the latter featured fellow rapper Redman — contain Harry Manfredini's music "ki,ki,ki...ma,ma,ma" from the film series. Eminem will sometimes wear a hockey mask during concerts. Other notable bands that have referenced Jason include Good Charlotte and Gorillaz. VH1 issued an advertisement for their Vogue Fashion Awards which was labeled "Friday the 20th", and featured Jason's mask created out of rhinestone.

Jason has been referenced or parodied in films and television shows. In the film Scream, directed by Freddy Krueger creator Wes Craven, actress Drew Barrymore is being stalked by a killer, who calls her on her home phone. In order to survive, she must answer the man's trivia questions. One question is, "name the killer in Friday the 13th." She incorrectly guesses Jason, who did not become the killer for the franchise until Part 2. Writer Kevin Williamson claimed his inspiration for this scene came when he asked this question in a bar while a group was playing a movie trivia quiz game. He received a free drink, because nobody could get the answer right. In another Wes Craven film, Cursed, a wax sculpture of Jason, from Jason Goes to Hell, can be seen in a wax museum.

The stop motion animated television show Robot Chicken features Jason in two of its comedy sketches. In episode seventeen, "Operation: Rich in Spirit", the mystery-solving teenagers from Scooby-Doo arrive at Camp Crystal Lake to investigate the Jason Voorhees murders, and are killed off one-by-one. Velma is the only survivor, and in typical Scooby-Doo fashion, rips off Jason's mask to reveal his true identity: Old Man Phillips. In episode nineteen, "That Hurts Me", Jason reappears, this time a housemate of "Horror Movie Big Brother", alongside other famous slasher movie killers such as Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger, and Leatherface, Pinhead and Ghostface.

Jason is spoofed in the season five episode of Family Guy entitled "It Takes a Village Idiot, and I Married One". The so-called "Mr. Voorhees" explains to Asian reporter Trisha Takanawa how happy he is to see local wildlife return following the cleanup and rejuvenation of Lake Quahog by the actions of Lois Griffin, who became mayor of Quahog. He reappears later in the episode as the manager of the "Britches and Hose" clothing store. As opposed to his monstrous and oafish personality in the films, Jason is depicted here as polite and articulate, albeit still a psychopath; murdering random swimmers and threatening to kill his employee for screwing up. In an episode of The Simpsons, Jason appears in a Halloween episode sitting on the couch with Freddy Krueger waiting for the family to arrive. After being asked where they are by Freddy, Jason responds, "Ehh, whaddya gonna do?" and turns the TV on. A later episode of The Simpsons entitled "G.I. (Annoyed Grunt)" features Jason being blown up by a helicopter in an overzealous army recruitment video.  He has also appears in The Simpsons episode "Stop, or My Dog Will Shoot!", alongside Pinhead, menacing Bart in a fantasy sequence. The South Park episode "Imaginationland Episode II" features Jason among an assortment of other villains and monsters as an inhabitant of the "bad side" of Imaginationland, a world populated by fictional characters. He is portrayed as having an effeminate voice, describing the removal of Strawberry Shortcake's eyeball as "super hardcore". He appears in the concluding episode of the story, which shows him being taken out in battle by Tron.

Eric Kripke, creator of The CW's Supernatural, stated in an interview that the studio had recently been given permission to use Jason Voorhees in the third season of Supernatural. Jason is expected to appear in the tenth episode of the season, but he will not be the "real" Jason. Kripke explained that there will be a "twist" to how brothers Sam and Dean meet the Friday the 13th character. John Shiban later clarified that, because of copyright issues, the character will not be identified as "Jason", although will be an aesthetically similar character in a dream sequence.