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Film / Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives

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"I went to go cremate Jason but I fucked up!"
Tommy Jarvis

Jason Lives is the sixth film in the Friday the 13th film franchise, released in 1986.

Sick and tired of mass murderer Jason Voorhees haunting his dreams and memories, Tommy Jarvis decides to destroy the killer's remains to purge Jason from his mind. Tommy and his buddy Hawes drive to the Eternal Peace Cemetery in Crystal Lake (now known as Forest Green), dig up Jason's rotting corpse, and prepare to burn the remains — but after Tommy stabs Jason in the chest with a giant metal rod, the unexpected happens: two lightning bolts strike the corpse and bring Jason back to life.

While Jason terrorizes Forest Green on his way back "home", Tommy searches for another way to put an end to the nightmare once and for all.

This film has examples of:

  • The Alcoholic: Martin, the cemetery caretaker always drinks a bottle of whiskey as he looks after the cemetery and even when he's working.
  • And I Must Scream: When Jason gets chained to the bottom of Crystal Lake, his neck gets rudely introduced to a boat propeller in the process. The final shot of the film is on his moving eye, as he's barely able to move anything else.
  • And Show It to You: Hawes dies when Jason punches through him, grabbing his heart in the process.
  • Answer Cut: When Martin scoffs at Tommy's screams of reopening Jason's grave, which he had just covered up, he wonders if he thinks he's a farthead. The film then cuts to a group of children yelling "Yes!" in unison.
  • An Arm and a Leg: As Jason ambushes Burt, he not only steals his machete but also his arm as well. We get a pretty good gag of the ripped-off arm being raised up alongside the machete it was gripping with Jason looking at it as well.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Normally Jason does quick kills to intruders at Camp Crystal Lake. Even when someone shoots him he shrugs it off. However, he was especially pissed when Roy shot him in the chest with a paintball gun. He even takes a moment, to stare at the stain before chasing him. Later on we find out that Roy was found torn apart limb from limb.
  • Artistic License – Gun Safety: Someone comes running into the police station shouting and Sheriff Garris immediately pulls his gun on him. He even tells Tommy later that he nearly shot him. There are many reasons someone might come running into a sheriff's office, and immediate violence is an appropriate response to very few of them.
  • Asshole Victim: Downplayed for Sheriff Mike Garris, who is a dick towards Tommy and would have qualified as the most cathartic victim on Jason's body count, but his final actions before his death were Pet the Dog moments which shows he is a Friend to All Children and he did go out trying to stop Jason with his death doubling as a Heroic Sacrifice and a Dying Moment of Awesome. Unlike most characters who bordered on this trope in the films, Garris is so far considered the least terrible due to him being overall a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
  • Auto Erotica: Nikki has some fun with Cort in her stepfather's SUV.
  • Axe Before Entering: Jason busts through the door to the children's cabin before he is lured into the lake by Tommy.
  • Back from the Dead: Jason, of course.
  • Badass Boast: When Stan and Larry argue about the seriousness of the paintball, Stan notes that it's only a game and Larry is just an insurance man. "Death is my business," answers Larry.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Jason walks into a cabin with sleeping children in it. He does no harm...but one little girl is awake and sees him and lets out a whimper, making him turn to face her. And when he leans in closer, she makes a quiet prayer before Jason hears the police and walks away. She is still terrified when she sees he's gone.
  • Battle Amongst the Flames: The climax manages to have this in the middle of a lake; when luring Jason into it, Tommy pours gasoline into the water and sets it aflame to increase his chances of success.
  • Big Good: Despite being opposed to The Hero Tommy, Sheriff Garris ironically is the closest that the sixth installment has with his beating of Jason before being added to the body count to definitely back that up.
  • Blood Is Squicker in Water: Jason's face getting propelled underwater sends blood and little pieces of him to the surface.
  • Bloody Hilarious: Given the movie ventures into Self-Parody, most of Jason's kills are Death as Comedy. One even has a guy bloodying a "Have a Nice Day" Smile!
  • Bond Gun Barrel: Parodied in the title sequence after Jason puts his mask on.
  • Book Ends: Jason's story began with him drowning in Crystal Lake. Here, he's defeated when Tommy chains him to a boulder and traps him in the lake.
  • Bowdlerize: Compared to a lot of other horror movies of the era, this one actually got off pretty lightly, as director Tom McLoughlin felt the previous sequels had relied too much on gore and nudity, and so deliberately de-emphasized those aspects here. The only major cut was to Sheriff Garris's death scene, which was originally much more graphic.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Martin chides the audience for their Bile Fascination.
    Martin: Why'd they have to go and dig up Jason? Some folks have a strange idea of entertainment.
    • In the film's infamous case of What Could Have Been, there was to be an after-credit moment where Jason's long lost father, Elias Voorhees was to visit the grave site of Jason and Pamela Voorhees, sending Martin the Caretaker (who was originally slated to survive the movie) away. Sensing that something's amiss with Jason's grave, as if knowing that he isn't under there, Elias glares at the camera, giving a wicked smile, knowing the audience knows the truth. It was remade for the 2009 re-release DVD of the film as a bonus feature using original storyboards and Martin's actor reprising his role, so now viewers can see what was originally planned.
  • Came Back Strong: Jason is revived by lightning, making him all but immortal and granting him superpowers.
  • Car Chase: Megan and Tommy are involved in a short one with sheriff's deputies.
  • Cassandra Truth: Tommy's past life in institutions is an obstruction to anyone believing his claims of Jason's recent revival.
  • Clueless Deputy: The deputies under Garris' command, in particular Rick Cologne and Pappas.
  • CPR: Clean, Pretty, Reliable: Used in the end when Megan revives the seemingly dead Tommy.
  • Cut Phone Lines: Jason cuts Camp Forest Green's phone lines when he arrives there.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Megan and her father; like father, like daughter.
  • Death by Irony: "Darling, you're gonna be the death of me. Yeah, but what a way to go!" says Martin to his empty whisky bottle. Then he throws it away, Jason grabs it, breaks it and stabs him with it.
  • Destination Defenestration: Jason's killing blow sends Paula through a window. He then grabs her again to mutilate her.
  • Disney Death: Tommy and Megan manage to successfully chain Jason below the camp's waters, but Jason manages to drown Tommy in the process. After a very touch-and-go period, Megan manages to resuscitate Tommy with CPR.
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength: Jason is visibly surprised when he accidentally rips off Burt's arm when he throws him into a tree branch.
  • Dramatic Thunder: Thunder rolls as Tommy finds Jason's tombstone in the graveyard.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Sure he was a giant pain in the ass to Tommy for the majority of the film, but Sheriff Garris' beatdown on Jason was pretty cool to watch, even if it wasn't enough to keep him from becoming another casualty.
  • Eye Awaken: When Jason's corpse is struck by lightning, the audience gets a close-up of his eye-opening.
  • Facial Horror: Nikki gets her face slammed through a bathroom mirror hard enough that she makes an imprint through the RV's side. And if she wasn't already dead, when Jason kills Cort the RV crashes on the bathroom's side and skids across the road for several feet. By then her head had to be reduced to a skidmark.
  • Failed a Spot Check:
    • The first two victims were killed when Tommy was in police custody, even the most inept coroner would’ve found that out during the autopsy. However their bodies weren't found until much later and autopsies take time.
    • Even a cursory examination of Jason's grave would have revealed that the ground was freshly disturbed, which, even if it didn't necessarily prove Tommy's story, would have at least proved that someone was digging at Jason's grave, despite him having been dead and buried for years.
  • Fair Cop: Officer Pappas, to a point of being somewhat vain about it.
  • Flashback Echo: When Tommy sees Jason's corpse in his open grave, he flashbacks to the events of The Final Chapter, grabs a pole and starts impaling Jason in rage.
  • For Doom the Bell Tolls: Used on the teaser trailer.
  • Friend to All Children: Megan, her friends, Officer Pappas and even Garris of all people are all this towards the camp's children.
  • Genre Savvy: Lizabeth, upon seeing Jason in the middle of a road:
    Lizabeth: I've seen enough horror movies to know any weirdo wearing a mask is never friendly!
  • Genre Shift: The first five movies were cases of Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane that mostly sided with the mundane, as each film toyed with the idea of Jason being a supernatural killer returning from the grave only to settle for Doing In the Wizard by the finale and reveal either that he was just a very determined human killer, or have a twist that he wasn't even the killer at all. This film, Part VI, is the first time Jason is unquestionably an undead demonic monster, and all subsequent movies in the franchise would portray him as such and even make it explicit that when he isn't terrorising the living he is literally residing in Hell.
  • Grave Robbing: Oh Tommy, you really should have let the dead rest in peace.
  • Gross-Up Close-Up: When Tommy opens Jason's coffin, the audience is treated to multiple close-ups of Jason's rotting, maggot-infested face.
  • Hard-to-Light Fire: Tommy's attempt to light newly-reanimated Jason ablaze fails when having doused the walking corpse in gasoline, he can't get a match to stay lit in the rain.
  • Hate Sink: For most of his screen time until the end despite his ultimate role as the sixth film's Big Good Tritagonist and actually being the least terrible in comparison to other holders of this trope in the films, Sheriff Garris.
  • Head Crushing: While investigating Crystal Lake, Officer Pappas encounters Jason and attempts to shoot him, but the bullets have no effect and Jason kills Pappas by crushing his skull. Pappas' efforts did buy enough time for one of the young children at the camp to flee, however.
  • Hero of Another Story: Sheriff Garris turned out to be The Vietnam Vet and his collection of medals in his office indicates he's a War Hero.
  • Horror Doesn't Settle for Simple Tuesday: Once again, it's Friday the 13th. Lampshaded by Deputy Rick.
  • Hostile Weather: There's thunder and lightning in the opening, which gives way to torrential rain that prevents Tommy from immolating the newly revived Jason.
  • I Shall Taunt You: Tommy resorts to schoolyard insults to try and lure Jason into Crystal Lake to enact his plan.
  • Improvised Weapon:
    • As per usual, Jason arms himself and kills people with anything that he can use to cause bloody bodily harm.
    • Ironically, his first weapon is a wrought iron fence spear that Tommy previously used to impale his corpse at the start of the film.
    • As Jason tries to bring Jason and Megan down with him at the bottom of Crystal Lake, Megan quickly uses the outboard motor of the broken boat to knock Jason out and free themselves.
  • Instant Thunder: During the opening sequence, thunder resounds with every flash of lightning, foreshadowing the rain that ultimately spoils Tommy's plan to destroy Jason's body.
  • Ironic Echo: Rick, while aiming at Tommy with his laser scope, tells him that "wherever the red dot goes, ya-bang". Later, when Megan is aiming at him with the same gun to break Tommy out of his cell, Tommy returns those words.
  • Ironic Echo Cut: Pappas, one of Sheriff Garris' deputies, spots Megan, the Sheriff's daughter, zooming away from their roadblock in her red Camaro. When he asks Garris how they should proceed:
    Garris: With extreme care, asshole! If that kid is with her, there's every good chance he'll do something crazy!
    (cut to inside Megan's car, with Tommy's head down in Megan's lap to avoid being seen)
    Tommy: Please, don't do anything crazy.
  • Jack the Ripoff: When Jason's killings are discovered, Sheriff Garris believes that Tommy is behind them to prove Jason's return.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Sure, Sheriff Garris is a Rabid Cop jerk to Tommy, but he deeply cares for his daughter and is shown to be friendly and gentle to children at the camp.
  • Karma Houdini: Sheriff Garris' Number Two Deputy Rick Cologne, who was being a Jerkass Rabid Cop to Tommy throughout most of the movie like Garris is last seen being locked in a jail cell, which unwittingly saves him from becoming one of Jason’s victims. After Garris' death at the hands of Jason, it can be assumed that Rick took over the vacated occupation as Sheriff.
  • The Klutz: Roy, the stumbling member of the paintball players.
  • Large Ham: Sheriff Garris and Deputy Rick Cologne are maybe Jerkass Rabid Cops, but are nonetheless obnoxiously amusing with their tongue-in-the-cheek zingers. Both their actors acting class Cool Teacher David Kagan and Vincent Guastaferro are having a blast in their roles. Also, the paintball players Stan and Burt.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: After Martin covers up Jason's unearthed grave to cover for his own negligence, he ends up being killed by the revived Jason.
  • Laser Sight: Sheriff Garris's top deputy Rick Cologne has an old laser scope mounted on the revolver.
    Rick: Wherever the red dot goes, ya-bang!
  • Lighter and Softer: Part VI is a little less mean-spirited and more of an Affectionate Parody of the series and slasher films in general. It is also the only film in the series not to have any nudity. Also, Garris who fulfills the installment's role as the resident Jerkass and seemingly an Asshole Victim of Jason's body count actually come across as the least terrible compared to others in the film series due to his own redeeming qualities, his mostly justified reasons behind his attitude and bias, also simultaneously fulfilling the installment's role as the Big Good and actually being one of the film's protagonists next to Tommy and his daughter Megan.
  • Lightning Can Do Anything: Including reviving a long-dead and rotten Jason.
  • Neck Snap:
    • Sissy dies when Jason grabs her through an open window and twists her head around so much that it comes off.
    • Later Jason gets his neck snapped when Megan gives him a faceful of motorboat propeller.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Tommy was only trying to cremate Jason's body, but losing his shit and skewering him with a metal rod attracted the lightning bolt that brought him back. In Tommy's defense, he had no possible way of knowing this would or even could happen, and the producers would have found some way to bring back Jason whether or not he was involved.
    • In fact, Tommy is more or less responsible for every kill Jason racks up for the rest of the series, as prior to his unfortunate intervention, Jason was very much mortal (though admittedly Made of Iron), and was quite dead before Tommy dug him up. Tommy's interference turns Jason into the zombie we know and love.
  • Noisy Nature: A Red-tailed Hawk cry can be heard twice when Paula steps outside one of the cabins, at night.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: What did Jason do to Paula that would leave a room covered in blood?
  • Novelization: By Simon Hawke, which included the original ending which had Jason's father Elias visiting the graves of his wife and son.
  • Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep: Paula tells little Nancy to say a prayer if she feels scared at night. When she sees Jason later on, she uses this.
  • Off with His Head!: Once Jason gets himself a new machete, he puts it to good use by giving a trio of paintballers a triple decapitation.
  • Paintball Episode: Jason runs into a bunch of office workers playing paintball in the woods. He kills them.
  • Papa Wolf: Sheriff Garris goes into this mode when Jason threatens his daughter, Megan, pounding Jason's head with a rock while shouting "NOT HER!".
  • Pedal-to-the-Metal Shot: Cort slams the pedal down on Nikki's stepdad's RV. Impressed with how the RV drives, he fails to realize he's bouncing Nikki around in the back, or that Jason's in the RV ready to kill them both.
  • Pet the Dog: Sure, Garris is a Rabid Cop, but he does have a soft spot for children as shown in the climax.
  • Police Are Useless: When Tommy tries to warn the police of Jason's return, they ignore him due to his past institutionalization. When Sheriff Garris discovers the bodies of the paintballers Jason had previously killed, he decides that Tommy did so while acting out a delusion of Jason's return, dismissing Megan's insistence that Tommy was with her during the killings and thus could not possibly have done it. It's only when they chase Tommy and Megan to Camp Crystal Lake/Forest Green and see Jason with their own eyes that they're forced to acknowledge the truth, and they all die trying to stop him.
  • Product Placement: Played with, when Lizbeth is impaled by Jason early in the film. What was supposed to be an American Express card falls from her hand as she dies, as the camera lingers on the card it actually reads "American Excess".
  • Quizzical Tilt: Done by Jason when he encounters Cort and his girlfriend "rocking" inside her dad's SUV.
  • Rabid Cop: Sheriff Mike Garris and his adjutant Rick Cologne are this towards Tommy. This is somewhat justified as Tommy is not doing himself any favors with the way he acts.
  • Retcon: The previous film had the sheriff claim that Jason's body had been cremated. Here, we see that he was buried. Ironically, it's Tommy's attempt to cremate Jason that revives him.
  • Sarcasm Mode: Lizbeth's response after Darren tries to scare Jason off the road with their car.
    Lizabeth: Yeah, that really scared the shit out of him.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Tommy manages to imprison Jason at the bottom of Crystal Lake by chaining him to a boulder. While Jason is still alive, he's trapped and unable to free himself.
  • Sean Connery Is About to Shoot You: Parodied in the opening sequence which is heavily based on the James Bond films
  • Sequel Hook: The film ends on a closeup of Jason's eye, showing that he's still alive.
  • Sequel: The Original Title: Both the poster and opening credits invert the film title and subtitle, so "Jason Lives" comes first.
  • Sex Signals Death:
    • Cort and Nikki.
    • Subverted with Megan and Paula, as the sexually active Megan is one of the only survivors while the virginal Paula gets the most gruesome death of the movie.
  • Skewed Priorities: Subverted. When Steve and Annette try to flee after seeing Jason kill Martin, Annette tries to collect their picnic hamper, but Steve convinces her to leave it. Not that it does them much good.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The opening of the film is an obvious parody of the Bond Gun Barrel, replacing the gun barrel with an eye and Jason replacing James. At least the eye bleeding makes a bit more sense compared to the gun barrel bleeding.
    • The film has a lot of references to other Horror films and the figures behind them:
    • Jason kills Cort with Rambo's black Bowie knife from Rambo: First Blood Part II.
  • Shovel Strike: Hawes attacks Jason with a shovel after his resurrection, to no avail.
  • Staggered Zoom: Used when Jason puts on his mask, and we get a closeup on his one good eye.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: Burt's feelings towards Katie's involvement in the game of paintball, invoked by name.
  • Summer Campy: This film marks the only time in the franchise that Camp Crystal Lake managed to successfully re-open. Even here, it lasts all of one day before Jason comes calling.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: The reason why the Sheriff is so hard on Tommy is because the boy has a past of mental illness from his earlier encounters with Jason and the first thing Tommy did was yell that he somehow resurrected a deceased serial killer and then attempts to steal a gun when the police refuse to listen to him, getting himself arrested. Later, when Sheriff decides to just kick Tommy out of town instead of imprisoning him, Tommy plows through a graveyard in an attempt to show the police that Jason's gone. We all know what's going on, but to the police, they're dealing with a possibly schizophrenic nut job who's having a breakdown and is going to get somebody hurt.
  • Take That, Audience!: When Martin refills Jason's grave, he looks straight into the camera and remarks "Some people have a strange idea of entertainment," echoing the sentiments of the Moral Guardians.
  • Trauma Button: The mere sight of Jason's corpse at the beginning of the film triggers Tommy's traumatic memories of killing him back during The Final Chapter, causing him to Freak Out, grab a piece of cemetery fence, and ram it into the corpse's heart in a fit of rage. Sadly, this fence post provides the perfect conductor for the lightning strike that brings Jason back to life.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Despite Jason's menacing presence and him twice giving non-verbal warnings for Darren and Lizabeth to just leave (which is a lot more than most of Jason's victims ever get), Darren keeps trying to intimidate him into moving, which leads to both Darren and Lizabeth being killed.
  • Unbuilt Trope: In terms of its Affectionate Parody of slasher cliches, this was Scream ten years before Scream, to the point that its writer Kevin Williamson cited it as an influence.
  • Uptight Loves Wild: Tommy is a serious person looking to fix his mistake. Megan is a wild girl who has no problem of breaking the law and disobeying her father... who is the sheriff.
  • Villain Song: "He's Back (The Man Behind the Mask)", sung by Alice Cooper over the end credits and played on the radio as the counselors unload supplies from a vehicle.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Jason Voorhees, of all people. Even though he kills several people over the course of the film, including the camp counselors, when he's in a cabin filled with sleeping kids, he doesn't lift a finger or harm them in any way, even the one who actually wakes up and sees him. This conflicts with Friday the 13th Pt. 4, when Jason attacks a young Tommy.
    • Word of God claims that the director decided that Jason would not harm a child out of sympathy for the plight of children generated by his childhood drowning.


Video Example(s):


Jason Voorhees

The one and only man behind the mask himself. Jason Voorhees was a deformed and mentally challenged boy who was thought to have been drowned in the Crystal Lake in the 50s. He re-emerged over two decades later note after his mother died, her death triggering unrelenting hate within him. In current times, Jason is a nigh-unstoppable juggernaut of a monster who roams about the confines of Crystal Lake, indiscriminately slaughtering those on the his turf and racking up one of, if not the largest body counts of all horror icons.

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