Ginger Nuts of Horror
Okay, conspiracy theory time.
The Friday the 13th series has plot holes and inconsistencies. Huge ones. Gaping, monumental, baffling, impossible ones. You can write them off as changes in directors from film to film and that Jason Voorhees is too thin a character to begin with so growth and change is necessary to continue making movies, fine. Plus that’s it’s just a slasher series and who cares so long as the blood keeps gushing. For most.
But, since the beginning, Jason had always been a disabled boy who drowned in Crystal Lake. That’s the one point that seems of complete agreement whenever the, uh, *cough* plot comes into play. However, there’s one issue that sticks out, and I mean more than Jason taking Manhattan or finding himself in space or fighting Freddy or becoming an a fast-acting hell-sludge entity that uses bodies like puppets: at the beginning of Friday the 13th Part 2, Jason leaves the lake and tracks down Alice, the final girl from the first movie, and kills her in her home.
But did he?
If so, how did he?
This isn’t his modus operandi, this isn’t his steez, this isn’t how he rolls.
In the summer of 1958, a bunch of counsellors were making whoopee, like all of them, and poor Jason drowned thanks to their debauchery. Some of them even get murdered back then, despite one boy’s argument “We weren’t doing anything. We were just messing ar—.” That’s the story.
The counsellors are heartless, but not all of them. Especially one young man, say his name is Benny. Benny has a brother with down syndrome and Benny has been a bit glum since his parents sent his brother off to a good doctor offering shock treatment or lobotomies or something (remember, 1958). So Benny finally gets laid while at camp, but the handicapped, deformed boy named Jason drowns and ruins Benny’s mood.
The guilt eats at him for years. Benny grows up, gets married and divorced three times because his wives start talking kids and he’s terrified that the kid will be handicapped and that he’ll fail said kid. No babies, no more marriages.
Benny sees Camp Crystal Lake on the news and it stirs all kinds of emotions. There have been murders, but he’s only thinking of his guilt. He waits one month. Then another. A third. He can’t handle it anymore, drunken and stricken with incredible guilt, Benny tours out to the lake.
A machete slashes down against the roof of his El Camino when he arrives. He screams.
Jason rears back, peeking through the eyehole of a burlap sack mask.
Benny screams again, but stops, as in mid-swing, the magical Jason Voorhees becomes a boy for a moment, that same little boy who has, of no fault of his own, ruined Benny’s life, and had also tried to drown Alice at the end of the first movie.
“Jason!” Benny says.
Jason’s swing stalls and he tilts his head like a confused dog.
“I’m so sorry. I’m so, so sorry.”
Jason lowers his arm. On the radio inside the El Camino, Alice’s voice comes on the air. A reporter is asking her about what happened and how she’s coping after these past three months. Jason slams his meaty fist against his meaty thigh, thinking of dead mama and the decapitated head he’s got on display because that horrible young woman.
Benny looks at Jason and then the radio and then back to Jason. He knows how to right the wrong of his guilt.
“Let’s fix this together,” Benny says.
It takes some hand gestures and coaxing, and Jason has to grab something from the shack, but eventually Benny gives Jason a ride to town. We all know what happens then.
Spoiler alert, bye bye Alice.
“Are we good?” Benny says to Jason back at Crystal Lake while still in the car.
Jason swings a kitchen knife stolen from Alice’s house, severing skin and creating a long skull fissure, and yanks Benny’s scalp clean off by his shaggy brown hair and then rams fingers into the grey meat of Benny’s brain, absolving Benny of the guilt. Jason gets out of the car and puts mama’s head back where it belongs because it will become integral to the plot later in the movie. What happens to the El Camino is unimportant.
Friday the 13th is my favorite slasher series, but I love most slashers, and I’m fully willing to ignore plot holes in exchange for trope satisfaction. Really, I’m not even mad at the Friday series for breaking that essential plot point in order to kill off a surviving final girl because this is all a ruse to get attention for a new book I wrote alongside Renee Miller and Mark Allan Gunnells titled Splish, Slash, Takin’ a Bloodbath. It’s out March 6th, you can pre-order the eBook or get the paperback on the release date, either way, I promise a slashery good time.
Bio: Eddie Generous is a coauthor of the slasher collection Splish, Slash, Takin' a Bloodbath (written with Mark Allan Gunnells and Renee Miller) as well as of Dead is Dead, but Not Always (available this spring from Hellbound Books), he runs Unnerving and Unnerving Magazine, and he lives on the Pacific Coast of British Columbia with his wife and their cat overlords.