Friday the 13th: Jason rose again in Part IX Jason X

Producer Sean S Cunningham discusses the saga of Friday the Thirteenth and how Jason, the Hockey-masked killer, lives on and on...

A Shivers interview by Alan Jones   Selected from Shivers #75

He has been in 3-D, had new blood, a new beginning, taken Manhattan, gone to Hell and had more final chapters than Barbara Cartland. Now everyone’s favourite hockey-masked maniac is going into deep space with Jason X or, as it should be known in the general scheme of things, Friday the 13th Part 10.

Filming on the Top Secret project started last September but only now has producer Sean S Cunningham gone public with details about the latest blood-soaked adventure for his calendar Horror brainchild which he invented in desperation to pay the electricity bill.

Small and Intimate

Cunningham talked exclusively to Shivers in New York about his new twist on the stalk-and-slash icon, the basis for one of the most successful franchises in Horror history.

“The Friday the 13th notion grew out of basic things that would scare us as little kids. For instance, you’re sure there’s somebody lurking under the bed and you’re afraid to move. Finally your mother would come in, turn on the lights, and tell you to stop being silly. ‘See, there’s nothing there,’ she would say. But when she left there would be! We tried to find as many similar moments in the back of our psyche and that’s how the scene with Kevin Bacon and the arrow coming through his neck occurred to us. Friday the 13th was a miracle. I had no idea it would be as big as it was and I had even less of an idea it would turn into a series with such longevity. No one expected it.”

Leaps and Bounds

No one was expecting the sudden announcement of Jason X either. Cunningham remarked, “Well, it has been 7 years since Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday. Audiences are ready for a new adventure after such a respectful distance. Jason X is a very different take on the material. It keeps the core content of the experience which is to say it’s still very scary and psychologically valid. The plot isn’t just a remake of the same story we did 20 years ago either. Story-telling techniques and special effects have advanced in leaps and bounds over the past few years and it’s time for Jason to take advantage of them. The audience will get to the same scary place but with an even greater intensity than before”.

So what’s the story? “Earth 400 years in the future has become a desolate wasteland. What used to be a gleaming, glittering presence in the galaxy has become a toxic dump with poisonous seas and violent storms. A group of young alien explorers arrive to study the environment - not to live there as Earth no longer tolerates habitation. They wind up falling into a cavern that turns into a hallway which eventually reveals a cryogenic chamber.

"In one of the glass pods they find a beautifully preserved young woman. In another they also find a beautifully preserved hulking presence wearing a hockey mask.... The scientists mistakenly think they have made the find of the century and decide to take both specimens back to their home planet. So the mystery woman and Jason are put on their spaceship where they ultimately thaw out and all hell breaks loose.”

In space it seems, no one can hear you whisper ‘kill, kill, kill, kill’!

Alan Jones

Sean S Cunningham also talked to Shivers about Last House on the Left, and the non-event of Freddy vs. Jason. For the full version of this feature, get Shivers #75

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Images © New Line • Feature © Visual Imagination Ltd 2000. Not for reproduction