Jason Voorhees, the living, breathing essence of evil, is back for one fierce, final fling! Tracked down and blown to bits by a special FBI task force, everyone now assumes that he's finally dead. But everybody assumes wrong. Jason has been reborn with the bone-chilling ability to assume the identity of anyone he touches. The terrifying truth is that he could be anywhere, or anybody. In this shocking, blood-soaked finale to Jason's carnage-ridden reign of terror, the horrible secret of his unstoppable killing instinct is finally revealed.
The second film touted to be the "Final" _Friday the 13th_ movie, and the second one to lie. Being honest, right out of the gate, I don't particularly like _Jason Goes to Hell_, and not only because of the negative sense-memory I have after playing a drinking game to it with straight Jack Daniels. But at least it tried some different things. Different tone, different look, different direction, different... Production company? It's still really not good, but it does sort of break up the marathon a bit by being something that no other _Friday the 13th_ quite is. _Final rating:★★ - Had some things that appeal to me, but a poor finished product._
***Great intro & first act, but kinda distasteful and convoluted with a cartoony last act*** Released in 1993, "Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday," aka Part IX, is the oddest entry in the series, along with the next one. But this isn't much of a surprise since three of the previous four installments were departures from the typical Friday formula -- Part V, VII (which features a Carrie-like character) and especially VIII (which switches the setting from Crystal Lake to a cruise ship and the big city). The prologue shows Jason back at Crystal Lake. How'd he get back there after the events in Part VIII? The ending of that movie didn't show Jason completely destroyed, so we must assume that he made it out of the sewers of Manhattan and simply gravitated back to his familiar stomping grounds, which is only about 75 miles away. Anyway, the opening is excellent and highlighted by the most stunning female in the entire series, Julie Michaels as Agent Marcus (which is saying a lot in light of the series having the best line of women of ANY movie franchise). Jason’s corpse winds up in the morgue in Youngstown, Ohio, and the film takes an interesting twist reminiscent of the 80's cult film "The Hidden." Other bizarre additions to the Jason Voohees mythos include a magic blade, a strange "Jason-Finder General" character and the disclosure of the only way the infernal monster can be killed and resurrected. I don't mind these revelations as the series was hackneyed after 8 films in 10 years from 1980-89, albeit still entertaining. Besides, there are enough typical Friday-isms to please fans of the series, for instance the entire camp sequence and the prologue, not to mention the return of an iconic character in the finale. Some fans object to the main revelation on the grounds that Jason is supposedly a misunderstood man-child and this movie changes that. Actually the only films fitting this model are Parts II, XI and the 2009 remake. Parts I, V, VI, VII, and VIII were more in line with the idea of Jason as a force of darkness & evil, the curse on Crystal Lake or whatever. And Parts III and IV had him killing a pregnant girl, psychologically torturing the heroine, and attempting to kill a boy after slaying his mother, so he wasn't exactly Lenny from "Of Mice and Men" as these critics maintain. Face it, although Jason may have been an innocent deformed child at one time, the seed of evil (possibly a demonic spirit) entered into his heart at some point and he increasingly became a hideous hellish monster and you have to give this entry credit for trying to fill in the bones with corpse flesh, whether you accept these surprises or not. Unfortunately, there’s a distasteful element to the proceedings, which is offset by the black humor a bit, and the final act goes so over-the-top with the action and horror shenanigans that the movie becomes cartoonish and laughable. A good example is the campy fight between the deputy and Steven. As such, "Jason Goes to Hell" is one of my least favorite in the series, along with Parts III and VII. Nevertheless, it’s entertaining enough and gets extra points for trying something fresh and interesting. Besides the awe-inspiring Agent Marcus in the prologue, we get a couple of cute campers, Deborah and Alexis, with Deborah (Michelle Clunie) particularly shining. There's also Jessica, who turns out to be the main protagonist, her mom (the goddess Erin Gray from "Buck Rogers") and Vicki from the restaurant. Needless to say, great job on the female front, but they coulda done more with Jessica. For those who care (I don't) this entry seriously ups the ante in the horrific gore factor. As far as locations go, this installment goes back to Southern California in the tradition of Parts III, IV and V; specifically the Los Angeles area: West Hills and Thousand Oaks. BOTTOM LINE: "Jason Goes to Hell" gets props for its radical departure from the Friday formula, even while containing “Friday” staples: youths, babes, Crystal Lake, slayings and so on. But there’s a disagreeable air despite the amusement and the final act spins out of control with quasi-horror zaniness. Still, any movie that features Agent Marcus and Deborah can't be all bad. The film runs 87 minutes (rated) and 90 minutes (unrated). GRADE: C+/B-