One common thread among many memorable horror movie killers is the fact that they tend to wear masks while doing their grisly work, sometimes to hide their identity, and other times simply to cover their own deformed faces. In the former category sit killers like Scream’s Ghostface, My Bloody Valentine’s Harry Warden, or Jigsaw’s various apprentices in the Saw series. In the latter category are villains such as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’s Leatherface, and yes, Friday the 13th’s legendary “Crystal Lake killer” Jason Voorhees.
Even casual horror fans are likely well aware of the fact that Jason actually wasn’t the killer in the original Friday the 13th movie, as it was Jason’s apparent death as a small child that led mom Pamela Voorhees to pick up a machete and start swinging. Jason made his debut in Part 2, complete with full head of long hair and rather odd looking burlap sack covering his face. It wasn’t until 1982’s Friday the 13th Part 3 that Jason finally acquired what would become his signature headgear: a hockey mask, obtained from one of his unfortunate victims.
While those less versed in Friday the 13th lore might be inclined to think that Jason’s mask has remained unchanged ever since, that’s actually not the case, as each subsequent film has made changes to the mask’s overall look. These changes include battle damage to reflect injuries from prior films, altering of the placement and coloring of the chevron markings, or even almost fusing the thing to Jason’s skin in Jason Goes to Hell. According to a new report, producers of Platinum Dunes’ upcoming Friday the 13th reboot have decided to go back to basics, enlisting an FX company to create a mask for Jason that mirrors the original design from Part 3.
With so much chatter coming out of the Platinum Dunes camp in recent months about wanting to craft a hard-R Friday the 13th movie that retold Jason’s origins in a way designed to please both old and new fans, this kind of a move makes perfect sense, as the Jason diehards out there are likely to both notice and appreciate such a specific nod toward the character’s history.
For reference, the images included in this post are taken from Part 3, when Jason was portrayed by now deceased actor Richard Brooker. The glaring continuity gaffe of Jason suddenly going from having long hair to completely bald notwithstanding — Part 3 takes place mere hours after Part 2 — many consider Brooker’s Jason to be one of the better variations on the killer in the entire soon-to-be 13-film franchise. Here’s hoping that some of that old 80s magic returns along with the old mask design. The world is long overdue for another good Jason entry.