Scoring hundreds of meaningless deaths, the Friday the 13th series is one of the most universally recognized horror franchises in film history. Set around a machete wielding masked villain terrorizing campers, the deaths increased in creativity and quantity as the sequel numbers got higher and higher.
When faced with the daunting task of selecting only 10 to mention for inclusion, I spent several hours watching and researching all of the deaths this cheerful series has to offer. Needless to say, this list would have been impossible to create were it not for other horror movie fanatics out there who also enjoy sharing their opinions. Thank you, YouTube users and HorrorFilmWiki contributors for making this slightly less challenging than it had to be!
The first thing you will notice about this list is that Jason is responsible for all, but one, of the entries. There is an entire movie (Friday the 13th: A New Beginning) in the franchise that is led by a copycat killer. I am very pro-keeping a series alive, but I am not pro-replacing the villain.
I feel for Friday the 13th: A New Beginning what I feel for Halloween 3: Season of the Witch, which is that it was an honest attempt, but really does nothing to add to the intensity of our killer simply because it has nothing to do with our killer. The very mortal Mrs. Voorhees being replaced by the seemingly immortal Jason is okay in my book. But Jason taking a hiatus from the series so that someone else can slaughter people for one movie? No thanks. Especially not if Jason will return in the next six movies.
That doesn’t mean, however, that I was going to completely ignore the deaths contributed by other characters! Come on, now! There is a little something I like to call the “honorable mentions” list, that I hope I am totally allowed to compile outside of the 10 I was asked to select. Have some faith!
On a final note, I understand that we horror fans all have different tastes. Whether it be blood and gore or resourcefulness with weapons, our opinions will differ. I have tried to encompass all that we love, though, about mindless violence here in this article. I urge you to please include your favorite Friday the 13th kill in the comments below should it not make my final cut!
With that being said… let the bloodbath countdown begin!
To start off, let’s revisit some of the kills that didn’t make the list…
- Mrs. Voorhees – Friday the 13th
- Jason Voorhees – Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter
- Jeff and Sandra – Friday the 13th Part II
- Stan, Katie, and Larry – Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives
- Julius – Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan
In Friday the 13th, Alice, the lone counselor, manages to evade Mrs. Voorhees and beheads her with the very machete she used on several victims earlier on. It was a great sensation of relief and pride seeing the frail blonde overcome the beast of Camp Crystal Lake. What really takes the cake with this kill, though, is Mrs. Voorhees and her dramatic hand grasps once her head has been severed. It is a frightening sight to see someone lose their head, but to see the absolutely human response of their limbs reaching for their missing appendage is something absolutely gut wrenching.
Jason’s death was epic simply because it took a child to finally lay the ogre-ish villain to rest. Tommy, played by a very young Cory Feldmen, went as far as to shave his own head to resemble a younger version of Jason Voorhees himself in order to subdue Jason’s maniacal rampage and finally take him out. In, quite possibly, the most disgusting death ever, Jason undergoes several slashes with his own weapon before getting the machete directly into the skull, taking a fall, and slowly sliding face first down the blade. Good triumphs over evil in this conclusion and the power comes from a very surprising source.
Jeff and Sandra’s deaths in Part II were part of an ever infamous two for one special. While the two are enjoying some post-coital snuggling, poor Sandra witnesses our masked avenger sneaking into the room with a spear in tow. Before she can rustle Jeff from her breast, the spear is shot straight through Jeff’s back, into and out of Sandra, and hits the floor beneath the bed, making one large, but very unappetizing human kebab.
Stan, Katie, and Larry were out enjoying a fun game of paintball in the woods in Friday the 13th Part VI until they ran into a very strong, angry Jason Voorhees. Armed with the most industrial machete to have appeared in the series yet, Jason takes one swift chop and watches as all three heads fall to the ground. This death shows just how strong Jason has become through all of the films thus far. It also marks the moment where the deaths have started to go from terrifying to almost comical.
The last on our honorable mentions list goes to Julius in the eighth installment of Friday the 13th. In a vain attempt to beat Jason Voorhees with his bare hands on top of a building, Julius wears himself thin and sweaty. In a classic challenge of tough guy persona, Julius asks Jason to “take his best shot.” Never one to leave his victims unsatisfied, Jason takes a hold of Julius’ lapel and winds up one huge punch that decapitates our heroic victim, sending his disembodied head screaming down the side of the building, landing with a large thump into an empty dumpster, adding insult to injury. Oh Jason, you devil.
This article was first posted on April 10, 2013