The Changing Face of Jason Voorhees: All Masks & Faces 1980 – 2009


Jason Voorhees. Mass serial killer. Genius at Police lineups. You’d never identify this bastard twice in a row. If you thought Michael Myers had a fixation with facial reinvention, then you ain’t seen nothing yet. Jason Voorhees is to horror what Joan Rivers was to TV – a confused attempt to understand how this face can possibly belong to the same person after all these years. As Johnny Carson would say; get the fuck on with it (PS the excellent image above is from Xamoel).

Friday the 13th (1980) – Ari Lehman aka El Primera Retard Jason

Ari Lehman F13 1980

Back then little Jason was just a bulbous headed bald child that only a mother could love. Bad head day aside, the little tyke had one eye (the left eye – wink, wink) lower than the other, a bald nogging, and teeth badly in need of braces. Why the fuck would any teenager pick on someone like that? Fucking fiction.

Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981) – Warrington Gillette and Steve Dash aka El Cara Hillbilly Jengibre Jason

Warrington Gillette F13 1981

Warrington Gillette? The man sounds like the heir to a cheese and razor blade empire. Good for him (rich asshole). So here we are, the first adult Jason and he’s a burlap sack wearing ginger. Unmasked, when Steve Dash takes over, the left eye is still gippy and there’s some general head elephantiasis. The hillbilly look does make logical sense given that Jason has supposedly spent the last 26 years living in the wilds. Gillette could have leant Dash one of his razors for that redneck beard.

Friday the 13th Part 3D (1982) – Richard Brooker aka El Cara de Cerdo Jason

Richard Brooker Jason F13 1982

Now I realise that continuity in the 80s wasn’t really important to ANYONE. But. How on earth did we move from full ginger haired hillbilly to bald as a baby pig-face in just one night – yes, for story purposes, this carries straight on from the previous movie. This is an entirely different person! On the plus side, the burlap sack is replaced with the now iconic hockey mask, a cleft lip appears, the left eye remains gammy, and that axe in the forehead will become very important.

Friday the 13th Part 4 (1983) – Ted White aka El Saco Bola Arrugada Jason

Ted White Jason F13 1984

It gets more and more confusing. Jason now looks more like Freddy Krueger’s ball sack. But at least the axe wound (sorry) is a bread crumb of continuity lost in a sea of “why isn’t anyone noticing this?“. The hockey mask is pretty much like-for-like (thank science) with the axe-wound over the right eye carried on from Part 3. The gippy left eye continuity continues. Bernie Burn Face  Jason’s complexion would get even worse when a young Corey Feldman would samurai machete his face, almost in half, during the finale. But seriously, what were they asking us to believe here? That Jason undertook acid waterboarding between parts 3 and 4?

Friday the 13th Part 5 (1985) – Dick Weiland aka El Quién carajo es Roy Jason.

Dick Wieand Roy Jason F13 1985

Roy. Really? Roy. Not funny. Not clever. Any keen eyed F13 fan was onto those blue stripes on the hockey mask from get go. Good on the filmmakers for having at least minimal continuity respect to acknowledge the fact that the real Jason had red stripes and an axe mark. Anyway, this is all academic as, SPOILER ALERT, it isn’t fucking Jason anyway, the entire movie is a con because Roy, yes horror icon Roy, is passing himself off as Jason. For decades we’ve talked about Roy in the same breath as Michael Myers, Pinhead, Leatherface.., Oh no, we didn’t, because it’s bullshit. Fuck Roy.

Friday the 13th Part 6 (1986) – CJ Graham aka El Muerto Caminando Jason

C.J. Graham Jason F13 1986

Actually one of the best 80’s Jason’s because at least it made a modicum of sense. Jason is dead (because he died in part 4 and Roy is a lying ball-bag) so now he’s the walking dead zombie Jason. There’s some thought there. Fuck off Roy. Anyway, he looks good, the hockey mask is back, complete with continuity axe mark, but the red stripes along the mask’s nose are dropped. Aside from that the face itself is barely shown in full view. Safe to say the message here was that his face has begun rotting away into a dark blue putrid posthumous colour. Good stuff.

Friday the 13th Part 7 (1988) – Kane Hodder aka El Kane Hodder es Pyscho Pitbull

Kane Hodder Jason F13 1988

With the arrival of the Kane Hodder era (Jason for the next four movies) came a much more powerful and aggressive Jason. The mask continuity continues on a surprisingly steady path with the red nose stripes still missing. This movie would give us our first full facial look at zombie-Jason. His skin has changed from dark blue to purple and the no-nose gives off a distinct Pitbull vibe. But where’s that huge face wound from Part 4 ? If that’s continuity taking a vacation then the gippy eye switching from right to left is just taking the piss.

Friday the 13th Part 8 (1989) – Kane Hodder aka El Exfoliación Química Jason

Kane Hodder Jason 1989

Kane Hodder returns, and so does the hulking physical presence. Oddly, Jason’s skin colour has reverted back from the blues and purples of parts 6 and 7 to straight up caucasian the likes only seen in Sweden. The mask and axe wound all maintain continuity, with the minor change of the returning red stripes along the mask’s nose. The face however is a tricky beast in this one. Technically we don’t see Jason sans mask until after he’s been dipped in gallons of New York’s (see Vancouver) very best multi-purpose sewer cleanser. The resulting chemical bath leaves poor Jason looking like a nazi that’s just gazed into the Ark of the Covenant. That fucking eye is on the wrong side again, and I don’t care how much cleaning fluid he’s just ingested, why the hell would his mouth be so big? Muppet.

Jason Goes to Hell (1993) – Kane Hodder aka Pues el verdadero Slim Shady, Por favor párese, por favor párese Jason. 

Kane Hodder Jason Goes to Hell

Kane Hodder returns for outing three, and Jason goes all 90s revisionist. Jason’s actually barely in the movie as his soul switches bodies on multiple occasions via a gigantic soul-slug that enters your vagina, or if your lucky, your mouth. Jason’s mask by this point (sans red stripes along the nose again) has actually become part of his face. Either just a design feature, or a cool comment on how iconic the mask had become in defining the character (it’s literally part of him now). There isn’t an un-masked revelation. Safe to say his head had become all manner of bulbous and tumour ridden. Oh, and he’s white again. The only unmasked images available are from Kane Hodder’s prosthetics application (image from the fantastic Friday the 13th Franchise website), which suggest the gippy eye has switched back to the left. Were it should be.

Jason X (2001) – Kane Hodder aka Puto Robocop en el Espacio Jason. 

Kane Hodder Jason X

Right up front here I’m not acknowledging the retarded metallic Space Jason, and that’s that. Kane Hodder’s fourth and final outing as Jason would see a return to a more classical approach. Gone are the zombie traits of parts 6, 7, and 8, and gone are the all encompassing deformities of part 9. It’s a kind of wipe the slate clean effort, with an acknowledgement that he’s not exactly human. The mask is grubby, but cool, it almost looks like Hodder is frowning. The red nose stripes remain absent but the axe wound is amazingly still there, now the only remaining constant. The gippy eye has inexplicably jumped back to the right again (how hard is that to keep track of?). This is a badass looking Jason though, and under the mask his apperence acknowledges the previous elements of rotting, diseased, and deformed features. Great effort. Except for that fucking eye.

Freddy vs Jason (2003) – Ken Kirzinger aka El Espere .., No es Kane Hodder Jason. 

Ken Kirzinger Freddy vs Jason

I like this Jason a lot. It does a great job of acknowledging all previous versions into one design: Rotting dark blue skin from zombie Jason, wispy hair from hillbilly Jason, the classic red nose stripes return to the mask, and the gippy eye  is back on the left. So it’s continuity perfection isn’t it? The one and only time that they got it all right? Nope, of course not, It’s Friday the 13th. The axe wound which has been in situ for seven movies in a row (excluding Part 5 and fucking Roy) has magically vanished. Bollocks. Oddly though, in footage that didn’t make the final cut,  Jason is seen unmasked and the gash in his forehead from said axe is present and correct, there’s even a hint of the huge impalement down the centre of the face from Feldman. So they were acknowledging it after all. That unmasked face is pretty cool too, all battle scared rather than overtly monstrous. Love it.

Friday the 13th (2009) – Derek Mears aka El Michael Bay prefiere rubias Jason

Derek Mears Jason 2009

With the reset button pushed we’re back to Camp Crystal lake and back to hulking human Jason. Gone are the undead motifs, gone are the sci-fi elements. With this being a remake the axe wound on the mask is no longer cannon, so that’s gone. The gippy eye however is thankfully back on the left. Other than that it’s a pretty basic design. The blonde hair is a new feature for the franchise, and the mask, while given a worn look, reinstates the red-nose stripes. Under the mask we’re looking at fairly basic deformities, again without sci-fi elements. Like a lot of blondes you’d pick up on a Friday night, the makeup and accessories are better left on.

So what’s the best one? Let’s take a look at some of the defining elements that make the Jason Voorhees we’ve come to know.

Best Hockey Mask: It’s a toss-up between Part 4 and the Remake. So let’s go with F13 Part 4.

Best Under-Mask Face: It wasn’t seen in the final movie, but it has to be the Freddy vs Jason face.

Best Jason performer: There’s been a few very strong performances. But it has to be Kane Hodder’s force of nature.

Best Skin Type: You can’t ignore the corpse skin as he’s been technically dead more often than not. But the blue/purple skin is just too cartoony. So let’s go with the Jason-X, pre-Robocop, skin.

Best Outfit: He’s more of a beast when he looses the dress shirt/dress pants look of parts 3-6. So Let’s go with the overcoat-look of the 2009 Remake.

Best Hair. Easy, the wispy Freddy vs Jason look.

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One thought on “The Changing Face of Jason Voorhees: All Masks & Faces 1980 – 2009

  1. Natalye says:

    great post! it’s crazy how many times they’ve changed Jason’s appearance.

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