He’s Back (The Man Behind The Mask) by Alice Cooper
In 1984, Paramount Pictutres made way too much money on Friday The 13th Part 4: The Final Chapter to let that truly be Jason’s final chapter.
So they set upon quickly churning out a part 5. Only Jason was dead now,…for good,…right? What’s a greedy production company to do?
So in 1985, Paramount quickly proceed to fuck right up. They essentially took the exact same model, delivered a by the numbers Friday installment, with Jason in a hockey mask and called it A New Beginning. Only they pulled the old Kansas City Shuffle. It wasn’t actually Jason. Fans were pissed.
Roy? Who the fuck is Roy? Seriously? This dude’s name is Roy?
Fans didn’t cotton to old Roy here.
“But why?” You may ask. “There’s a guy in a hockey mask brutally murdering teenagers at a summer camp. Isn’t that the point? Fuck, Roy kills 18 people for Christ’s sake! Jason ain’t puttin’ up those kinda numbers yet. Who cares who’s under the mask? It’s been a different actor, sometimes in the same damn movie, since part 2. Is it that important it be Jason Voorhees?
I’d say it’s a least somewhat important, if only to keep Friday the 13th from turning into a running Scooby-Doo gag. “Why it’s old man Burns, the guy who run’s that haunted ambulance!”
Plus, we always get a peak at Jason, and it’s usually fucking horrifying. Observe…
Maybe it’s a little important. No?
So, Paramount quickly swung in on a jungle vine for some damage control. In 1986 they unleashed Jason Lives and changed the entire franchise forever.
No more is Jason a mere mortal stalking the woods of Crystal Lake. He’s now a full fledged supernatural, unstoppable zombie killing machine.
No longer is the series a straight faced stalk-n-slash either. Tinges of satire, self parody and silliness have entered the Friday landscape.
Additionally this installment, while producing a sizable body count, is suspiciously lacking in the gore department. It’s also the only entry to feature no nudity. Fo reals?
But more importantly pop icons appear.
Enter Alice Cooper and his single He’s Back (The Man Behind the Mask) blatantly reassuring all the Friday Freaks that yes, he’s back. Yes, the man behind the mask, Jason. Don’t worry, we even put his name first in the title to placate all the doubters and haters that may not come to suckle from our money cow’s teat.
Jason goes for a full blown team-up. Music videos, multiple songs, Fangoria spreads which give us such awesome images as this.
Thankfully, Jason didn’t take too many cues from Freddy, and remained silent. I don’t know if I could have handled a wisecracking Voorhees.
Despite its lighter tone and generalized Skynet-like self-awareness, Jason is still pretty menacing, and there are some good kills, however neutered they may appear. It’s certainly not the poorest entry and it has a lot of style. It may just be one of the more entertaining of Jason’s outings, but that’s all up for debate, as that sort of assessment depends largely on your temperament and what kind of Friday you prefer.
It remains perhaps my favorite of the post zombie half of the series. It’s all downhill from 6, by degrees. I gotta a lotta love for aspects of 7 though, so there’s some wiggle room with that declaration.
Pulling Jason Voorhees clear in the the mid-80’s, here’s Alice Cooper’s He’s Back (The Man Behind the Mask)