Things I didn't notice about Jason Goes to Hell until just now!

As a matter of course I watch the same movies over and over again while writing, allowing them to act as soothing background noise while I work. One of those movies is Jason Goes to Hell which, until being added to my roster of 'work movies' was the original Jason film I'd seen the least. Perhaps it's my relative unfamiliarity with the film that caused me to fixate on it, while I've grown overly familiar with the rest of the franchise, but whatever the cause, I've been noticing weird little things about the movie in recent months, things that I'd missed during my dozen previous viewings.

Now, let's take a look!

1 - Mapping the Movie

Across eight previous films the Friday the 13th series had always been coy about just where Crystal Lake (and its associated camp) were located. The first movie had been filmed in New Jersey, but subsequent features were filmed in California, Alabma - really all across the country. I read an interview with Victor Miller, writer of Friday the 13th, in which he claimed that he'd never had a specific location in mind for the camp, but imagined that it was on one of the small lakes you can find in Connecticut.

Perhaps taking his comments to heart, Jason Goes to Hell finally decided to, once and for all, establish the locus of the franchise with a single prop placed on the side of the road in California where the scene was filmed:

It was a little difficult to figure out exactly what this sign means - the towns of Fairfield and Westport are like two miles apart, rather than ten, after all. There is, however, a town that is 29 miles from one and 39 from the other, identifying it as the most likely hypothetical location of Crystal Lake. That town? Roxbury, CT:

One problem with that, however - Roxbury is nowhere near a lake, crystal or otherwise.

Or then again, maybe that isn't a problem-

2 - That being said, where's the lake?

The Friday the 13th franchise is the most rigid franchise when it comes to setting. The refusal for the series to leave the environs of Crystal Lake has caused many wags to question why anyone still lives around it, but it has also provided a strong point of identification for the films. While average filmgoers outside of the horror community may not have heard of Springwood, Haddonfield, or even Woodsboro, there's a fairly good chance that they'll understand the significance of Camp Crystal Lake.

With the exception of part 5, which was pointedly set in a halfway house away from Crystal Lake, every film in the series has featured a scene set at the actual Crystal Lake. While Part 3-D takes place entirely on a family's private property, it did have that shallow, muddy, inlet representing the lake. Even Jason X had the holodeck lake.

Jason Goes to Hell is unique in that, unlike every other film in the series set around Crystal Lake and its environs, it doesn't feature the lake at all.

This still 47 seconds into the movie is the only hint that we get that Crystal Lake even exists. The one scene set near the lake-

In which sexy teens return from going swimming in it, features no actual footage of the lake. Pointedly, this is the only scene in the film where the existence of the lake is mentioned - and when you consider the fact that scene is famously a reshoot designed to add some nudity and violence to the movie, that means Jason Goes to Hell was the only Friday the 13th film to be set in Crystal Lake that did not actually feature Crystal Lake.

3 - That's not how electricity works

When the FBI Agent acting as bait heads into the cabin to wait for Jason, the first thing she does is flip on a lightbulb. The result?

That happens. The lightbulb bubbles outwards while blackening. You know, I've changed dozens of lightbulbs in my lifetime, perhaps even hundreds (the consequence of being the tallest member of a family...) and I've never seen anything like that.

Perhaps because light bulbs tend not to be made out of wax or cellophane.

4 - The FBI manicure

Maybe this absurdly long hair for an FBI agent was key to planning the sting:

And perhaps even her absurd choice in underwear:

Made her better bait. There's no, explanation, however, for these nails-

I don't care how undercover she may be, there's no excuse to be wearing nails that would make it basically impossible to use a gun in her own self-defense, let alone in normal execution of her duties.

5 - A list of the FBI's strengths would not include 'planning'

As I understand it, here was the FBI's plan for entrapping Jason.

“Okay, we want you to go where crime lives and get naked”

“Then, after getting naked, wait for a crazed murderer to try and crime you up”

“Now somehow run half a kilometer, barefoot through the woods”

“While hoping that the crazed murderer doesn't notice the atmospheric spotlights we set up next to the crime house”

I know I'm armchair quarterbacking a movie made 18 years ago, but how much better would it have been to have Jason come running out the front door of the house and find himself facing three spotlights and fifty assault rifles? Then they'd open fire, blasting the cabin to pieces until it crumbles, Jason crawls out of the wreckage, followed by a 'BOOM' from the mortar.

Wouldn't that have been far more plausible and satisfying?

Although, in defense of their strategy-

During certain shots, she was wearing shoes while running through the woods.

6 - Um… how does he eat?

This isn't something I recently noticed, everyone always comments on it. Seriously, though... how does he eat if that mask is part of his face?

8 - Aren't you forgetting something?

In the aftermath of their battle with Jason, the two main characters walk off into the early morning sunset-

Raising the question: where's their baby? The one they spent the movie trying to keep Jason away from? Three arms are accounted for in the image, both of the woman's and one of the man's.

But hey, that's fine, right? He's got another arm, doesn't he? No reason he couldn't be holding the baby in his left hand, is there?

Oh, wait - Steven Williams broke two fingers on that hand.

Which means he's carrying his young child, supported only by a single horribly injured hand.

(It's possible that you've noticed #7 on this list is missing. That's because the item isn't visible on the DVD, just on the video version, and I've got to dig the videocasette out and get a screenhot. So it may be a while.)

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