SLABS OF (DEAD) MEAT: A DEFINITIVE RATING OF THE MEN OF ‘FRIDAY THE 13th’

 

 

For a franchise chock full of over-the-top gore, acting, hairstyles, wardrobes and drug use, one current always runs throughout each and every film – the male gaze on the unclothed female form. The vast majority of the young male adolescents’ gaze upon viewing the entries in FRIDAY THE 13th is focused on seeing the private parts of various female counselors and women in a state of undress, that it’s easy to forget, nay ignore the major part of the franchise viewership — the female audience. I say this can go unaddressed no longer! It’s time to let the women and men get their due! It’s time to focus our gaze on the males! We need a list of the best-looking men that FRIDAY THE 13th can offer. How do we rank them? Well, obviously the good-looking ones will go higher up and the homely ones will get dead last. But, personality is an important factor in these lists too. So, a good-looking guy can have a shit personality and a homelier guy can have a beautiful personality. With those disparities in mind, let’s rate the men* of FRIDAY THE 13th!

 

 

 

FRIDAY THE 13th (1980)

Hapless young folks out of a John Sayles indie work to reopen a closed down summer camp when they begin to fall victim to an unseen (and some would say unearned) mystery killer. Throats will be cut, heads will be hacked and uh … out-of-work porn stars will be stabbed in the gut. The twenty-four-hour nightmare will begin when we rank the men of FRIDAY THE 13th!

 

 

Bill (played by Harry Crosby): Bill’s death reveal provides the best shock in the entire film, chair jumper be damned. It’s so perfect because of the sweetness of his character is contrasted perfectly with the sheer brutality of his demise. Despite the implausibility (how does a middle age woman string him up on a door with only arrows?) and overkill (a slit throat AND shot up with arrows. Did you hate him the most, Pammy?) With his death, one gets the sense that had the screenwriter not been so bloodthirsty, he would’ve been the survivor alongside Alice. Hell, I wish he would’ve been with Alice. They make the perfect couple. He’s the tough guy who leaps to action to protect her from the snake, killing it with the machete.  In a sense, he’s the Burt Reynolds in DELIVERANCE character, with Alice being the Jon Voight. His death ultimately paves the way for Alice to take up the mantle of badass, decapitating final girl, proving that behind every handsome, rugged man, there’s a beautiful, bookish badass woman.

 

Jack (played by Kevin Bacon): Verily, Jack is the pretty boy of the bunch. Jack’s look is reminiscent of sensitive, but dunderheaded teen idol. He’s the kind of fellow who takes thoughtful, introspective woodland photos for his debut album. If you take into consideration that the copy of The Godfather on his truck’s dashboard is his, then you’ve got a good-looking fellow who loves nothing more than a great book. But chances are, that’s Marcie or Ned’s book, so what you’re left with is a guy who’s down to get high, get laid (regardless of his girlfriend’s harrowing dream of blood. Read the room, Jack!), and get killed with an arrow through the neck (how did Mrs. Voorhees even pull this off?). Still, when you look as good as Kevin Bacon, you’re bound to make the ladies swoon.

 

Barry (played by Willie Adams): What does it say about ‘fifties camp counselors from New Jersey that they get horned up during stirring acoustic campfire spirituals? Barry, whom attuned viewers will be able to tell you doesn’t even have his name revealed until the end credits, looks like a cross between an out-of-work Benetton model and a young Kevin Rahm. This sweet, slab of meat is the first person to go in the whole franchise, with zero characterization, other than the fact that it’s clear he’s been off snogging with another counselor before he sets his heavy petting sights on Claudette. Even though he’s clearly been ridden more than Crazy Ralph’s bike, he’s got an in with the ladies and his stab to the stomach is quick and easy, setting a course for the long night at Camp Blood to come.

 

Ned (played by Mark Nelson): Behind every annoying prankster’s outer shell, there’s always a soft, sweet interior. Sure Ned is about as politically correct as your average anime-avatared Twitter user, but there’s a sense of longing and sense of care when he snatches a stray glance of Jack and Marcie along the shoreline. You could see that these pranks (the fake drowning, nearly winging Brenda with an arrow) are really massive compensation for the love-struck boy that he is. Maybe in another world, he would’ve put the pranks and foolishness aside and just went with Brenda (goddamn, Laurie Bartram was a cutie). But alas, he dies with a slit throat (in the creepiest moment in the film), and his corpse is left as the blood-dripping roof to the sheltered lovers seeking solace from the torrential downpour.

 

Enos (played by Rex Everhart): Enos is so believable as a gruff truck driver that I would’ve believed you if you told me Sean Cunningham found an actual truck driver from New Jersey and cast him in a role. I actually believed he was Barry Corbin for the longest time when I was a kid, based on my Constant Exposure to Northern Exposure. Enos is mostly an expository device in the film, telling Annie all about the goings-on at Camp Crystal Lake over the years. He’s also one hell of a creeper, pawing at Annie’s ass when he helps her into the truck and making comments about how cute she is. What’s his endgame, though? He offers to give her a ride to Camp Blood and then, halfway there, tries to talk her out of it? I mean, come on dude. He drops her off and drives out of our lives, continuing on his journey as Enos The Tubby Trucker.

 

Steve Christy (played by Peter Brouwer): What the hell does Alice see in Steve Christy? Sure, he’s supportive of her art, I guess, but he’s the kind of leering creepazoid that gets camps shut down for improper sexual congress. And the goddamn laziness! He leaves his new campers to set up a camp to go and chow down at a diner for hours on end! Okay, maybe he’s a little hunky with that shirtless wood chopping-neckerchief combo, but that mustache only ends up making him look like a stunt performer in a black box version of Debbie Does Blairstown. When you’re downing beers with Steve Christy, you’re swimming in the bottom of the barrel. His death is an iconic moment, but again his dunderheadedness (yeah, okay, a distant family friend is just chilling out in the frigging rain) gets him cut down in his push broom prime.

 

 

FRIDAY THE 13th PART 2 (1981)

 

Mrs. Voorhees is gone. In her stead, comes her son, Jason Voorhees, who dresses up in overalls and begins partakes in some sexy slashing of the counselors in training across the lake from the camp at the Packanack Lodge! He spares no one from wheelchair bound jocks, fluffy dogs and tubby law enforcers! He also meets his match in a psychoanalyzing hottie named Ginny Fields. The body count continues when we rank the men of PART 2!

 

 

Mark (played by Tom McBride): Putting aside the tragic personal life of Tom McBride, let’s talk about Mark’s character in PART TWO. Unfortunately, his major defining characteristic is that he’s in a wheelchair. But, the writers, alongside McBride’s sweet performance allow for Mark to have a little more depth than the stereotypical handicapped kid. He’s charming, smooth, and athletic and skews the usual “pity me” person that you’d normally see in films with a wheelchair-bound character. He has aspirations, to not be stuck in the wheelchair all his life, he has a girl who doesn’t see his being in a wheelchair as a hurdle to engaging in a romantic relationship. His death is perhaps the most chilling in the franchise, implausibility aside, as Jason shows no mercy and no quarter against anyone on his path to vengeance.

 

Scott (played by Russell Todd): Ostensibly, Scott’s the biggest hornball in the early years of the franchise. He’s introduced firing a pebble at the backside of the short-shorts adorned Terri. His main modus operandi throughout the film is being DTF with Terri. That’s mostly it. And he crosses a line when he steals Terri’s clothes away during her moonlight swim. Like, did Paul not think to give the sexual harassment seminar on day one? Though it seems that Russell Todd could and can coast on his ridiculously good looks (I mean, ladies, his charming moment with Muffin definitely makes hearts flutter, no?), he’s meat for the masses, ultimately biting the dust after getting hung in a snare, getting his throat cut with the wrong side of the machete. Come on, Jason. I know it’s your first murder spree, but that’s bush league.

 

 

Paul (played by John Furey): Paul’s the kind of boss you’d want at your job, dalliances with the staff aside. Though come on, dude, do you really need to talk about your female staffer’s menstrual cycle? Get your shit together. Paul’s charming, handsome, and witty and doesn’t just give in to authority when it’s wielded around him, but still boss enough to punish the wrongdoers at the end of the film. He even gets high! He tells a ghost story (iconic as hell, for what it’s worth). He’s a little like that hip college dean on The Simpsons. Unfortunately, he goes down like a sack of potatoes when it comes to going toe to toe with Mr. Voorhees. That’s just what happens when you’ve got a stone-cold warrior like Ginny in your corner. Good looks only get you so far in life, it seems. And to put a button on it, Paul’s not dead. The confusing ending aside, PART THREE shows that Jason never went back to the Packanack Lodge, instead moving on to torment Harold and Edna at the Crystal Lake store in the opening of the next film. He’s not dead!

 

Jeff (played by Bill Randolph): Forming the duology of hornball with Scott, we now have Jeff. He’s your muscle-bound jock with a big truck and … that’s pretty much it. He spends most of the rest of his short existence as a counselor in training, getting henpecked by his girlfriend, getting in trouble with the law and not getting seconds on dessert. He starts out the victim of a prank by his pal Ted, and ends up going out with a bang, giving the series another one of its most iconic moments: the double-spear death scene.

 

 

Deputy Winslow (played by Jack Marks): This fellow is a svelte ninja, capable of sneaking up on young teens with nary a noise made. Hell, he was practically poured into that tan uniform. Sadly, he spends the last hours of his life getting talked down to by a young, upstart counselor and smelling whatever the hell Jason’s been using that toilet for. Also, this guy has the worst peripheral awareness of anyone. He doesn’t see Jason start his run across the road? Really? He gets a hammer to the head (worth noting that 1981 was the year of fat law enforcers getting a claw hammer to the head), sending him out to the cornfield.

 

 

Crazy Ralph (played by Walt Gorney): I often wonder what was Ralph’s life was like before Camp Blood. He was clearly a handsome man in his younger days, but alcoholism and the constant haranguing of passersby have led him down a path that led to his death. Did he work at Camp Crystal Lake? We’ll never know. How does his wife feel about him leaving at all hours of the night, peddling on his bike to spread the gospel of doom? Does she even know? We’ll never know, because his sole purpose in the first two films is to be the specter of fear. Don’t go there, kiddies! And his last moments on earth, he spent as a peeping Tom, before getting a garrote neck wound (again, implausible death here. Notice a trend?) and basically going to sleep, at least that’s how he looks when he dies. Poor Mrs. Crazy Ralph.

 

 

Ted (played by Stuart Charno): Ted, the prankster of the film, is probably the only person in the history of cinema who by drinking at a bar and flagrantly disrespecting his boss’ orders ends up saving his own life. He only approaches a modicum of sincerity when discussing the legend of Camp Blood and Jason. But like most dumbass pranksters, he has to revert to full-on snark mode. He even scares the future murder victims! Sure, he’s got some cheesy jokes for a laugh or two and has electronic games at his disposal, but if ever there was a character that deserved a swipe from an axe, it’s Ted. “Welcome to God’s Country” indeed, you ginger bozo!

 

 

FRIDAY THE 13th PART 3D (1982)

 

 

For this new dimension in terror, FRIDAY THE 13th relocated to California and Jason set his sights upon nubile lovers, expectant mothers, schlubby stoners and grocery store owners all who have the misfortune of living around or visiting the secluded Higgins Haven. But this time, it’s in 3-D!!

 

 

 

Shelly (played by Larry Zerner): Pranksters are goddang annoying in the FRIDAY THE 13th universe. But maybe, I’ll ask you to pour one out for your boy Finklestein. Look, he’s clearly not confident at all. Wouldn’t you be less confident with a guy like Andy as your roommate? Shelly hides his true feelings behind masks and pranks, living vicariously through whatever he has in his box of tricks. He likes Vera, but doesn’t have the true confidence to tell her how he feels. And he’s met with rejection when he tries to get with her. Yeah, he’s shitty when he calls her a bitch. And he’s even shittier when he scares her with his suave scuba gear-hockey mask combo, but like every dumb boy, he thinks messing with his crush will get them to like him. Yeah, feel a pang of joy when he impresses Vera by taking on the biker gang. You want this id to succeed.  None of it works though, and he ends up with a slit throat for his troubles. Saddest of all, he dies on the floor of a kitchen, another victim of Jason. He leaves our mortal coil being another annoyance in the life of The Wild Bunch. God, that’s harsh.

 

Andy (played by Jeffrey Rogers): Dad of the year here. Yeah, he’s got teen idol good looks and adequately fills the role of sexed up bohunk, but it’s a lot less in the pros columns than in the cons. I like that he’s a soft touch with Shelly. It’s clear he likes the kid. This is nice because it doesn’t just make Andy the dickish friend. And his prowess with juggling and yo-yos gives him a thin sketch of something. Most importantly, I’m a sucker for good banter, and Andy and Debbie’s banter feels like real couple’s banter. It’s just too far and few between to matter. But hoo boy, he screws up elsewhere. First off, he tries to feed his pregnant girlfriend weed, offers to get her a beer (which I guess is on her too) and is too focused on his acrobatic prowess to avoid getting a machete in the dick. And how did Jason have enough time to stuff his body above the bed?

 

Rick (played by Paul Kratka): What the hell is Rick’s deal? Sure, he’s a muscled up slab of beef and that’s bound to make knees weak, but good looks does not mean he’s a good person. He negs Chris about her weight, brags about other chicks he could have scored with, and constantly pushes his girlfriend into sex even though she’s clearly still recovering from the psychological trauma afflicted upon her by Jason. He rightfully gets pissy about his car being destroyed, but after comforting his “girlfriend,” he runs off to investigate the fuse box and gets attacked by Jason. He doesn’t treat Chris as soft as he could. Not that she needs it, cause she’s fully capable of taking Jason down. But if he’s to be a good boyfriend to her, he should be more sympathetic to her needs. The only tragic facet of his character is his death. I do love the brilliant staging of his death scene – Chris looking out over the dark property, while mere feet away, Rick is trapped by Jason. Then, in yet another iconic death, Jason squeezes Rick’s head, his eye popping out of his skull and into our faces, thanks to 3-D.

 

Ali (played by Nick Savage): I suppose he’s the de-facto leader of the biker gang. Ali has only a handful of dialogue, mostly profanity, but he fits the smooth, smoldering role of badass biker well enough. The funniest thing is his outsized retribution against Shelly and the gang. Is his plan is to burn down the barn, adjacent house and probably the goddamn forest all because Shelly “Pee-Wee’d” his bikes? I suppose. It makes for a great plot hole fix, getting rid of the gas in the van. Actually, no, the funnier thing is that Jason chops off his arm (implied anyway), and he lays in wait to attack Jason towards the very end of the film, only to lose his other arm and die unceremoniously. His death wasn’t in vain at least. He gave Chris that extra minute to axe Jason a question! Also, worth noting, he was supposed to survive the film, being the first black character (aside from unnamed counselors in PART TWO) to survive a FRIDAY film, but unlike Ken Foree in the later LEATHERFACE: TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE III, Ali hit the cutting room floor in more way than one.

 

Loco (played by Kevin O’Brien): Loco’s one defining trait as a character is that he’s a slicked back smoker. This dumb-dumb smokes around the gas cans. Oh, and he barks like a dog. Ladies and gentlemen, you could do better. He really only has a few lines of note, and it’s mostly to come across as the heavy alongside Ali. His ultimate demise involves taking a roll in the hay in the barn and getting forked by Jason. At least his actor fares better in WARLOCK. He gets to flirt with Julian Sands and gets his tongue bitten out.

 

Chuck (played by David Katims): Do you think Chuck saw UP IN SMOKE? He’s like that guy that sees a movie and it changes his life forever. He worships at the mantle of Cheech and Chong. He dragged Lady Cheech aka Chili, his wife/girlfriend/lover along for the ride, forcing her to essentially cosplay as a comedic stoner. Chuck is the kind of fellow who brings bedbugs in the sheets. Maybe he’s got good grass, but according to Chili, he lacks as a lover. Give her something to scream about, man! This gross hippie also doesn’t wipe his bottom after using the outhouse AND strolls around barefoot in a damp basement. He was in for a shock, getting electrocuted by Jason.

 

 

Harold (played by Steve Susskind): Harold is a sweet, cuddly guy, I’m sure. He loves his rabbits! Edna had to have seen something in him when she met and married him. She clearly saw enough of a future in him to own a store with him. Maybe she thought he was a fixer-upper, and it just wasn’t taking. Thusly, she pivoted to hectoring wife because of Harold’s endless bullshit. Can you blame her? He’s bumbling, always screwing up the clothesline. He’s trashy, always eating and drinking the store’s goods and just putting it back. He’s gross, does he always take a two and not clean himself up afterwards.  And I bet you dollars to donuts, this ain’t the first time he’s drank whiskey on the terlet and forgotten to wipe his butt. I wouldn’t let him in my bed. He’d leave mud butt everywhere! That meat cleaver in the chest by Jason spared him the indignity of dying of a heart attack, or Edna jabbing him in the face with a knitting needle.

 

Abel (played by David Wiley): Abel is part of that tradition that the earlier FRIDAY films felt they needed — a portent of doom. After Abel’s appearance, they wouldn’t go to that well until JASON TAKES MANHATTAN. Abel fits right in with the grimy atmosphere of PART THREE, a dirty old man who has no problems with sleeping in the middle of the road and has no qualms about handling parts of a dead body. Where did that eyeball come from? Or, oh shit, is Abel a Looper and he’s carrying around Rick’s milky eye? Chuck did say he looked like his grandfather…

 

 

 

 

FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE FINAL CHAPTER (1984)

 

 

Rageaholic Jason Voorhees wakes up in a morgue, escapes and begins cutting a violent swath across the Crystal Lake countryside wiping out banana munching hitchhikers, log cabin lodgers and a bunch of partying teens vacationing in a FINAL CHAPTER fuckhouse. The characters are real and nuanced, the kills are more brutal and bloody and hey, a dog commits suicide! Let’s wait no longer – this is the ranking you’ve been screaming for!

 

 

Doug (played by Peter Barton): Doug seems to be spawned from the same pool as Part Two’s Scott. A good looking guy, a little preppy and funny (right before he goes out, he’s cracking a joke about dropping a bar of soap in the shower). What sets Doug apart from Scott though is that he’s a genuine nice guy. His girlfriend Sara is a virgin, and what we see of their relationship is that he’s not the clichéd pushy boyfriend. He cares for her. There’s even a deleted scene where he and Sara have a quiet moment together. He waits for her to consent for them to finally have sex. Peter Barton is a pretty dude, so having Jason just crush his face in the most brutal manner possible is the most apt end for this particular victim.

 

Jimmy (played by Crispin Glover): A lot of Jimmy’s charm can be attributed to Crispin Glover’s manic, twitchy performance. His lack of charisma can be attributed to having a less than supportive friend in Ted. It’s someone who would rather bust his chops than build his confidence. Does BJ Betty even really exist, or is she his “Canadian” girlfriend? Perhaps if Jimmy had a better friend, he would be able to be smoother than he is in the beginning of the film, rather than the clumsy kid with the odd speech cadence. Jimmy gets the girl which is such a sweet moment in the mostly brutal film, and he does so by sheer virtue of being kind. The last moments of his life, he shows a suaveness in how he finally “stands” up to Ted. Unfortunately for him, a well-placed corkscrew and improper use of a meat cleaver sends him pining for the fjords.

 

 

Rob (played by Erich Anderson): Rob’s a rugged hunter who sets out to do the right thing, only to fail miserably. He’s the kind of fellow who acts like he’s cut from the finest concrete, only to fold like a cheap blanket at the first sight of terror. His full arc from tough hunter to screaming victim reminds me a lot of Gregg Henry in JUST BEFORE DAWN. In that film, Henry goes from big-shot wilderness expert to whimpering, wounded victim. Sounds like Rob, eh? Look, his aspirations are noble: seeking revenge for the death of his sister, Sandra in PART 2 (the timing and logistics of this are a nightmare). He’s good with Trish and Tommy. But he bungles it all right at the end, over a stupid knife no less. Take the win, get the girl and get the hell out! Now, he’s raked to death by Jason and used to bust through the Jarvis House window.

 

Axel (played by Bruce Mahler): If there’s one thing I love, it’s screwball banter. Though he seems to grate under the skin of Nurse Morgan, it’s clear she probably likes Axel. I get it; Axel’s not an unattractive guy. He’s nebbishy in his own way. But he’s lousy at his job (check to see that the goddamn morgue drawer is closed, dude AND put the body of the rampaging killer AWAY before trying to make the beast with two backs), he puts on sexy aerobic shows at work, openly brags about being attracted to a corpse (probably Debbie, right?) and nags Nurse Morgan about getting busy. His terrible work/personal ethic aside, he’d probably be a good guy to have. He’s got a steady job and all that. Alas, his death is pretty gruesome, hacksaw to the neck complete with a broken neck finisher, ensuring that Wessex County is probably applying for a less necrophillic coroner in the coming weeks.

 

 

Ted (played by Lawrence Monoson): Ted’s a cute guy, right? He has a little charm to him (the whole Teddy Bear routine he pulls). But the negatives? This butthead is constantly undermining his friend, cruelly insulting him by calling him a dead fuck. He plays skin flicks for the whole group, which I suppose no one had a problem with it, but nothing ruins a party more than old-timey porn. And he awkwardly tries to flirt with Terri (she’s having none of it) and is shut down just as quick. At least he died high as a kite, getting stabbed in the back of the head (how did Jason pull off the messing with the projector and getting behind the screen?). Now who’s the dead fuck?

 

Paul (played by Clyde Hayes): Oh, Paul, the sensitive geek. Not content to party it up to Lion’s badass tune, he has to change it to classical music. See, I think Paul’s the kind of guy who grew up looking homely, and then turned into a swan. He goes on to land the smoking hot girl, and then uses that newfound confidence to try and hook other fish in the lake. It doesn’t go much farther than slow dancing, but it’s enough to hurt his girlfriend and lead her to her death. This shitty behavior is why he lands at the bottom of the list. Okay, he runs after his girlfriend, but it’s too little, too late. He kept thinking with his dick and ends up getting speared in that same bad decision making dick. For once, Jason doles out proportionate retribution.

 

 

FRIDAY THE 13TH: A NEW BEGINNING (1985)

 

 

The raucous inhabitants of a mental institution and the even rowdier residents of Crystal Lake find themselves falling victim to a presumed dead Jason Voorhees. What follows is a whole lot of yelling, hairspray, cocaine and nipples, both male and female. Anyways, let’s start dissecting this murderer’s row of greasy guys, hillbillies and paramedics in A NEW BEGINNING!

 

 

Demon (played by Miguel A. Nunez Jr.): With Demon, the perma-coiffed, perma-resident of the Crystal Lake trailer park, life is good. He’s got a buffet smorgasbord that no one would see outside of a Golden Corral. He’s chilling with his girl, getting high and getting some face time with his brother. He seems like a perfect ten! He keeps people fed and in a state of bliss! And not to put too fine a point on it, but he can belt out a tune. The downside is, you have to deal with the occasional derogatory slur tossed your way if you’re his girlfriend. Also, let’s face it — he’s a downright embarrassment when he staggers to use the bathroom after his damn enchiladas start talking back to him (which makes him the third person to not wipe after pooping. What’s that about, New Jersey?). To die, impaled on a sharp pole in an outhouse is an indignity no one deserves.

 

Victor (played by Mark Venturini): For Victor, chopping wood isn’t a chore — it’s a way of life. Not much is known about him, other than the fact that he’s a muscle bound punk. So, you’d probably be better off staying away from this guy, due to the sudden leaps to rage and homicidal tendencies. But, he does do the world a service by wiping the nattering pest Joey off the face of the earth, by chopping him into pieces. I wonder, what would have happened if Victor had taken that candy bar? Would he have killed Joey if he’d only taken a moment to chew it over with a Snickers?

 

Tommy/Teenager (played by John Shepherd): Tommy Jarvis in A NEW BEGINNING is kind of a drip. I get it, you were traumatized by a horrific event. Your mom was killed, your dog committed suicide and whatever the hell happened to your sister, happened to your sister. But, my dude, you’ve got to speak up and talk like a normal human being. Otherwise, you come off like a sullen brat with kung-fu abilities. Tommy’s a good looking guy, and he’s fit with a washboard, but his tendency to flip on a dime and get angry is probably a turn off. Plus, the reoccurring nightmares and obsession with Jason Voorhees is bound to cause some problems when it comes to rolling in the sheets. Hell, he doesn’t even get a conventional arc in the whole film. There’s no moment where he finally fights back against Jason (even though it’s NOT Jason).  Just limp retribution.

 

Jake (played by Jerry Pavlon): Like the previous film’s Jimmy, Jake is a stuttering mess. They never outright spell out his deal. Maybe there’s some sort of underlying deal with him. They’ll never tell us, because he’s just meat for the grinder. He gets laughed at in his face when he attempts to ask a girl out, he flips out on the hottest girl in the halfway house when she sets the table wrong. Cute, sure, but his lack of confidence is bound to push the ladies away, as we see when Robin rejects him outright. She shows remorse after she laughs in his face, but maybe that’s because she sensed her impending death. My biggest issue with Jake is that he seems to hound all the ladies for some strange. I mean, immediately after getting rejected by Red Robin, he goes to Violet’s room to hook up, or get a sympathetic shoulder. We’ll never know because he gets a meat cleaver to his face (which again, is similar to Jimmy) for his troubles.

 

Dr. Matt (played by Richard Young): Let’s give our thoughts and prayers to stupid, sexy Dr. Matt, truly the most baffling character in this entire film. His good intentions were met with the poorest of executions. What was going through his mind when he formed the Unger Institute? Was it to form an A-Team of kids with varying mental instabilities? A tax write off? Or did he just get on Task Rabbit for these kids? After all they’re doing laundry, cooking and chopping his wood, which leads me to ask, why did Dr. Matt allow Victor Faden to have a frigging axe? Was there no background check? Did he not know that possibly the guy had violent tendencies? I’ll bet he blamed this all on Pam. Oh, well, he gets killed off screen by Roy when he ventures off into the woods to search for Tommy, showing up as a corpse with a knife rammed directly into his forehead (how did Roy pull this off?). RIPD, Dakota St. Croix.

 

Roy (played by Dick Wieand): Roy Burns is another terrible father. He dumped Joey off, probably at the kid’s birth. Then, only after his death he decides to try and pick up his medal for Father of The Year by killing a shitload of people for revenge? No dice, Not Jason. Actually, it’s kind of funny to think that Roy is a gender reversed parallel to Pam Voorhees with a mash-up of Elias Voorhees. After the abandonment (in this case, Elias, if we’re going by Betsy Palmer’s backstory) and death of their respective child(in this example, we’re using mentally disabled or disfigured), they go on a killing spree murdering everyone that WASN’T involved in the death of their child. Sure, he’s an old-fashioned hunk, and you could go for laps in those big, blue swimming pool eyes, but Roy is a killer with piss-poor marksmanship. I’d hate to see this guy try to take a leak while drunk. How do you not kill the ONE person who actually murdered your kid? Not to mention, the outsized retribution and downright brutal retribution. At least you can rationalize that either Barry and Claudette were responsible for Jason’s “drowning.” How did he even get a job with Crystal Lake with all those bottled up psychotic tendencies? Roy ends up dead, killed by Tommy, Reggie and Pam, falling to his death upon a thresher.

 

George (played by Vernon Washington): I feel so awful for poor beleaguered George. First, he has to watch out for his grandson, Reggie, in a situation that’s never really elaborated on. Then, he has to stay on site at Unger twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week – he’s there for breakfast (and seemingly blasé about the whole situation “I don’t think Victor and Joey will be joining us today,” he says with a hearty smile) and he gets roped into helping Dr. Matt go off into the rainy woods to hunt down Tommy. He’s killed by Roy off-screen, getting his eyes gouged out and thrown through a window at his grandson.

 

Eddie (played by John Robert Dixon): Eddie’s like a hot dog casing stuffed with sexy meat. He’s another greasy bohunk ala Andy from PART 3. Eddie’s solely defined by a couple of things that pass as character traits … I guess. He’s the hot guy with an equally hot girl and an overactive sex drive (practically rocket-powered) which gets him committed to a halfway house. I guess this is the ’50s, when people were committed to mental institutions for overactive sex drives, though in those days it was called hysteria. Eddie’s got no respect for others’ property either, which is his character arc. He’s introduced in the film being arrested after humping on Crazy Ethel’s property. He gets his ass whomped by Tommy for messing with his masks. He’s also a germophobe, based on his actions after his forest fling. His death scene is a memorable one (aside from his co-star’s unforgettable attributes). He gets a belt wrapped around his skull and tightened until his skull cracks.

 

Les (played by Curtis Conaway): Did you know that one half of the brainless duo that decides to dig up Jason’s corpse in Tommy’s dream was named Les? And he dresses like Scut Farkus’ little sidekick? And he likes to get his kicks out in the woods digging up the corpses of notorious serial killers? Good luck with that. He ends up dead with a knife in the neck. I can’t tell, and I’m sure most people can’t either. Safe to say, you could pass on this yokel.

 

Neil (played by Todd Bryant): Did you know that one half of the brainless duo that decides to dig up Jason’s corpse in Tommy’s dream was named Neil? And he dresses like Scut Farkus’ little sidekick? And he likes to get his kicks out in the woods digging up the corpses of notorious serial killers? Good luck with that. He ends up dead with a machete in the gut. I can’t tell and I’m sure most people can’t either. Safe to say, you could pass on this yokel. What makes Les rank higher on the attractiveness scale than Neil? It’s simple. L comes before N in the alphabet.

 

Vinnie (played by Anthony Barrile): Vinnie needs to get better friends. He can fix cars, and that probably goes a long way to getting a decent job at a Wessex County auto shop. Instead, he’s stuck riding in the side car to that hoser, Pete, who may or may not be his boyfriend in whatever subtext the actors want you to believe. And now, he ends up dead, with Roy shoving a flare down his throat.

 

Pete (played by Corey Parker): It must be the ’50s in Crystal Lake. There’s no other explanation for the greaser cosplay this dumb-dumb dresses in. He’s not an unattractive dude, but he’s just a slime ball. He calls his prospective dates c***s and constantly heckles his friends. At least he actually uses toilet paper when pooping in the woods. But he gets scared by a rabbit. The tough guy act is a facade, perhaps? Is there a deeper note to this trash mouth Jersey grease ball? The actor portraying Pete intimates that perhaps Pete is gay (because of the hat, which okay, guy who just watch Cruising for the first time) in Crystal Lake Memories. This doesn’t track because Pete uses a derogatory slur for a woman when talking about their prospective dates. Unless that’s also a derogatory slur for a male. Which means … I’m confused? Eh, if he is gay, then A NEW BEGINNING started off the bury-your-gays thing by having Roy slit this guy’s throat in his car.

 

Billy (played by Bob DeSimone): Again, I’m really questioning the less than reputable hiring practices of Crystal Lake. This sleazoid is reading skin mags on the job, making leering gestures at the female staffers and is nursing a cocaine habit. How do you pass the drug test? Let’s also be clear — Lana is dating down by hooking up with Billy. Maybe there’s a different scale on which the women of Crystal Lake choose their dates. Perhaps, Billy is a New Jersey eight or something. He’s probably a Texas two, where I’m from. He gets an axe to the head, ending his longstanding career at the pride of the Unger Institute of Mental Health.

 

Duke (played by Caskey Swaim): There needs to be some sort of sensitivity training for the medical “professionals” in Wessex County. Duke is a bleach-blonde himbo who acts truly discompassionately towards a murder victim’s friends, cracking jokes, snapping gum in his mouth and calling them “pussies.” That’s real nice, Duke. And then, holy cow, how eager is this motherfucker to handle a dead body. The glee in his voice as he prepares to move Joey’s body is approaching levels of sociopathy. I often wonder what the car ride back to the morgue was with Roy and Duke.  “Gee, Roy, you never had problems making light of dead bodies before. Remember that time we scraped those dead kids off the highway on prom night? We were hooting and hollering! What changed?” He’s like the coroner who jokes about necrophilia in Rob Zombie’s HALLOWEEN II. Duke ends up getting killed by Roy, off-screen, with a slit throat marking the only time in the film our hapless killer doles out proportionate retribution.

 

Joey (played by Dominick Brascia): Joey feels like an amalgamation of Shelly and Harold. A sloppy, obnoxious kid who grates on the nerves of everyone around him. If I were a patient of Unger, I would’ve popped Joey in his face for mouthing off to Victor. Dude, get the message. Take the candy bar and piss off. He’s not in with the ladies as well. Are they shaming him for his mental disability, whatever that may be? Or is it that he radiates pervy vibes? Joey reminds me a lot of that bozo Alan from RETURN TO SLEEPAWAY CAMP. Everybody hates him, including his own dad. Maybe if Roy was around, Joey wouldn’t have ended up being as socially awkward as he is. Maybe … but we’ll never know. Cause he gets hacked up in itty-bitty pieces. And then people start to feel sympathy? Yeah, okay. We all saw how you treated him, Violet.

 

Raymond (played by Sonny Shields): This poor, dirty hobo died as he lived — getting machete gut-stabbed while peeping on horny teens. At least he died employed …

 

Junior (played by Ron Sloan): “I ain’t so pretty myself, I know.” From the mouths of babes, and this fella ain’t exactly Teen Beat material. Junior looks like Pigpen from Peanuts. The only thing in life that clearly keeps him going is his bike, his mama, and the slop she feeds him on a regular basis. Junior (and his mother, Ethel) feel like the result of Reagan’s act of de-institutionalizing in the ’80s. Perhaps that’s why there’s such hatred towards Unger. Maybe they were former patients? In any case, this uggo wouldn’t be caught dead in your bed. He loses his mind after getting beaten up by Tommy, and loses his head by virtue of our favorite impostor Jason, getting meat-cleavered while riding his bike.

 

 

FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VI: JASON LIVES (1986)

 

 

Tommy Jarvis foolishly resurrects Jason Voorhees in the most metal goddamn way possible. Now, he’s chopping up paintballers, lost camp counselors and studs that can’t even last through a ten-minute song as he makes his way to the newly named Camp Forest Green. Laugh with us, scream with us, and break the fourth wall – the ranking of the men of JASON LIVES has begun!

 

 

Tommy (played by Thom Mathews): This is the Tommy Jarvis we should’ve gotten in A NEW BEGINNING. He feels like a better continuation of the kid who took down Jason at the end of THE FINAL CHAPTER, and not the mute kid who barely faced off with the monster of his nightmares in the previous film. Thom Matthews plays him as a square-jawed hero who’s handsome, sleek and smart. Okay, there’s a moment where he’s kind of dumb … the opening sequence. He goes to dig up Jason’s corpse, to burn it, which makes sense but why bring the hockey mask? Why bring a friend?  I also love that he’s still deeply traumatized by Jason murdering his mother and killing his neighbors. This at least serves to define Tommy more than the entirety of A NEW BEGINNING did.  It feels like a complete arc when Tommy finally faces off against Jason at the end of the film. We also see that Tommy has a shitload of charisma when it comes to the ladies! It’s definitely a long road from the kid who squealed into his pillow at the sight of bare breasts. This incarnation of Tommy Jarvis is the most iconic non-Jason character there is. There’s a reason why he showed up in the video game. He’s a badass.

 

Cort (played by Tom Fridley): Cort serves mostly as the counselor comedic relief in the film, whether it be his interactions with the kids he’s in charge of, the time spent with the sheriff or his hooking with his girlfriend. I love the “tubular” attitude he has. He’s also mainly there to serve as the eye candy, it’s worth noting that in the sex scene, he’s the one revealing the most skin. And he practices safe sex! At least he’s mostly brave in the moments leading up to his death, actually going outside to investigate the RV’s electricity being disconnected. I like the unabashed crassness towards his girl, because it’s so over-the-top. When he dies, a hunting knife rammed through his skull, he’s going out with a bang (literally) at least, cruising the open road and jamming out to Alice Cooper.

 

Darren (played by Tony Goldwyn): Handsome, athletic, and fit. Check. This guy was going to be head counselor at Forest Green, but gets lost getting back to camp? Not good, Bob. At least he’s got the chest-puffing attitude of a tough guy, getting out to confront Jason with a gun. He gets speared through the chest as a result, but at least he didn’t die a whimpering coward. And he gets an iconic death to boot, his murder footage being used in THE NEW BLOOD‘s opening montage. Also, worth mentioning, Tony Goldwyn’s death and subsequent rise to stardom proves that there’s some sort of penetrating star-power in their murderous implements.

 

Steven (played by Roger Rose): Steven (the second Tony Goldwyn “appearance”) has the best and worst luck. He’s just gotten engaged (which yay for Steven!) and decides to take his girl out for a moonlight soiree out in the Forest Green … erm forest. Like, you couldn’t take her to a lobster dinner? At least he gave her champagne. Then, he almost turns down sex because he worked out (meaning he’s buff, babe) and didn’t want to get dirty? You’re in the woods, champ. It’s full of dirt. THEN he witness an undead killer slaughter a drunk caretaker (a scene which still gives me the creeps to this day). At least he wises up enough to try and haul ass to (Lollapalooza) the police station. But before he can get his bike a-going, he gets the double impalement special, courtesy of a well-placed machete. ‘Just Married?’ Try ‘Just Murdered!’

 

Sheriff Garris (played by David Kagen): Fulfilling the foxy dad quota on this list of men is Sheriff Garris. At first glance, he’s a hectored father who clearly loves his daughter, but doesn’t love to get hassled by young, traumatized punks. His attitude towards Tommy is almost always antagonistic, for reasons that are vague, but I love the arc where he finally realizes that things at the summer camp aren’t passing the sniff test. Seeing him comfort the kids is a nice moment for a tough character. And his verbal linguistics are so hard-boiled 1950s detective, you can’t help but cheer at his dialogue. He’s a hard-nosed cop, but he’s a good father, which makes his death tragic. That it’s prolonged, a slow back-breaking, really grinds it in, that despite characters being likable, their deaths are harder to take.  

 

Hawes (played by Ron Palillo): Hawes should’ve chosen his friends at the hospital better, This poor guy with a clear oral fixation breaks out of a hospital with his much better looking friend, to do something so crazy that it’s clear they should’ve been locked up tighter. This Horshackian dude is another schlub of the highest order. Like, he waits until they get to the graveyard to give Tommy pushback? He probably told you what he was going to do. Fortunately, his cowardly behavior gives way to a braver soul. He fights back against Jason, clocking the supernatural giant with a shovel. It gets him killed, but at least he tried. Gold star for effort. Hawes gets his heart punched out by Jason, making it the second humiliating beating Ron Palillo has received on camera. At least this time, it wasn’t at the hands of amateur adult film star Dustin Diamond.

 

Roy (played by Whitney Rydbeck): This poor dead-meat dweeb. He couldn’t find his ass with a map. And yet, they take him to play paintball. This Don Knotts MF? At least he actually fights back against Jason, shooting him with a paintball. My only theory on why Roy was involved in the games was because in the event that a wild animal crossed the paintballers’ path, they needed a slow meal to feed the beast and okay, he’s an employee too. His death scene, running for his life from Jason, genuinely makes me sad too. Jason chops him to hell off-screen. And good lord, the scene of his massacred body is so upsetting.

 

Martin (played by Bob Larkin): The town drunk, a la Crazy Ralph. Some of JASON LIVES‘ best material comes from this fourth wall breaking boozehound. Especially the “some folks have a strange idea of entertainment” line. At least you can buy that Crystal Lake would hire a drunk to toil away in the graveyard. No one gives a shit about the dead. Adding further that Martin had a bigger place in the mythology of Jason that Jason’s father hired Martin to tend to the graves of his son and wife. Martin is a barely functioning alcoholic. He drinks on the job, gets so drunk he can barely find his way home and at least as some sort of sobering realization before his death that booze, inadvertently, will be the death of him. And he’s right. Jason breaks a bottle and stabs him with it, before hacking him up with a machete.

 

Deputy Rick (played by Vincent Gustaferro): Deputy Rick thinks he’s a big swinging dick. An NRA hobby-horse who buys mail order scopes in a catalogue. He’s a good-looking cop, sure, but he’s a dick to Tommy in almost every scene they’re in together which … is the extent of his arc. Oh, and his weird manner of treating the Sheriff’s daughter, Megan, like his girlfriend. I like that he’s locked away in the jail, sparing him a violent death, because most lazy screenwriters would’ve given him a nasty demise at Jason’s hands, a punishment reserved for the nastiest of characters. Plus, he’s one of the rare characters to get to namedrop the title “Friday the 13th” in the films. Come to think of it, it was a cop in the first film too!

 

Larry (played by Alan Blumenfeld): Larry’s character trait is that he’s always hungry. So that makes him like a camouflaged Winnie the Pooh. Instead of getting his head stuck in a beehive, he gets it lopped off in one-third of a triple decapitation. Food is the least of his concerns going forward.

 

Stan (played by Matthew Faison): Stan is atypical of the high-powered, shitheel executive. Like all men in a position of power, he thinks a woman shouldn’t be included in their activities, in this case paintballing. And like all men in a position of power, they’re dicking around while a woman takes charge and wipes the floor with their asses. The best part is this misogynistic dillweed gets to die being bested by a woman and with a dumb look on his face, getting his head cut off in one fell swoop alongside Larry’s.

 

Burt (played by Wallace Merck): Burt’s the stereotypical tough guy. This asswipe is at least responsible for a) giving Jason his weapons, which means he might be the second most economical kill the franchise, behind Shelly bequeathing the hockey mask to Jason and b) one of the most iconic images in JASON LIVES, a one-armed hillbilly smashing tooth-first into a smiley face. No one will weep for this misogynistic trash heap. Maybe Mrs. Burt?

 

 

*Generally speaking, I’m avoiding ranking EVERY male in the FRIDAY THE 13th lexicon. The Jasons will not be ranked, other than Roy and the proto-JASON GOES TO HELL. but if we’re being honest, PART 2 could be the best looking Jason – a hunky mutated Jeremiah Johnson type. I’m only speaking of counselors, and plot adjacent folks. It’s gets harder when we get to JASON GOES TO HELL, JASON X, and so forth, so that will include MOST males.

 

 

CLICK THROUGH TO READ PART TWO OF THIS EPIC ACCOUNTING!

 

 

 

 

Nathan Smith

Nathan Smith

Nathan Smith is a Dallas-based writer of both films and of Internet goings-on. He's also in a movie on Netflix, but won't tell you the title, for fear of transmitting a RINGU-type curse into your home. He can be found on Twitter as @madmanmarz81.
Nathan Smith

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