Saturday, October 24, 2020

31 Days of Horror: Ranking the Kills - Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter

    Even back in 1984, and before we saw it, my friends and I knew that the fourth Friday the 13th movie was not the last. And it didn't matter to us. We watched it and waited for news of the fifth. We also compared kills. Some things never change. 

    Revisiting this, I realize that this is the first film to give us Jason in (almost) all of his full glory. He's not just killing people, he's flat out brutal about it. He seems to be letting his victims know this is personal.  Only one person gets it offscreen, among his franchise-high (to this point) 13 victims. 13, get it? And I couldn't be happier. Let's rank 'em.

    Sigh, you know the routine...



What gets Tina's death the last spot is that I'm not so sure she should be dead. It plays out dramatically. Jason punches through a window, grabs her, and throws her out of said window. She thuds against the roof of the car below hard enough to cause all the windows to explode (hmmm), and slides off never to be heard from again. Granted, it was a second floor window and that impact was amazing, but when I saw it I was waiting on him to come down and finish her off. Nope. That's it.



On a list like this, Terri's demise has to be near the bottom. She takes a spear in the back, but we only see her and Jason's shadows. However, in that personal way that this iteration of Jason has, we do see her slam against the side of the cabin after he dismisses her by flinging her away.


Nurse Morgan

Nurse Morgan is a character that could not exist today, and for good reason. She spends most of her screen time fending off the advances of a male character who shows up much higher on the list. The problem is all of a sudden, and for no reason whatsoever, she changes her mind and starts preparing to do the do with him. In the morgue. Next to a dead body. Now, screenwriters would kill her off. Here, Jason handles the job with a scalpel to the gut. All over her gut.



Every one of these movies have at least one character we REALLY hope dies. Ted is it for this installment. He is watching a bunch of really old stag films he found somewhere. Anyhoo, he gets it through the back of the head with a knife. It's the obvious impact on his skull (even though we don't see the knife entering) and the subsequent bloody slide down a tearing screen that gets him into the top 10. 


The Hitch Hiker

This is a cool kill, but honestly I have to knock it down a bit because of context. She shows up mid-movie and is dead literally in a couple minutes having done nothing to earn it. 



This is one of the most abrupt deaths in the franchise. It's also indicative of how strong Jason is. Sara is running towards the front door of the cabin, thinking she's getting away when an axe comes flying through it and buries itself in her chest.



Jimmy's best/worst moment actually comes while he's alive. It's his spastic dancing that's become an iconic meme. It doesn't hurt that Jimmy is played by Crispin Glover, arguably the second biggest actor to be involved in the franchise. For his death, Jimmy takes a corkscrew in the hand causing him to look up at the meat clever that hits him the face.



This is a great example of the brutality this Jason possesses. Doug is the guy Sara was doing it with. In true series fashion, after the deed is done she goes off to get killed while Doug takes a shower. Usually, it's the guy that goes walking, but whatever. When Doug gets it, it's by Jason's bare hand pressing against his face until his head is crushed. And this takes a little time so we can feel the intent.



Paul sneaks off to meet Samantha, whom we'll talk about soon. He swims out to the raft where he sees her, but of course, she's dead. While trying to swim back to shore, Jason comes beneath him and gives him a spear to through the balls...and beyond. This is the one kill that hurts me. Physically. Sorry about the pic. That's the best one I could find. Not sorry.



And here we are talking about Samantha. She does something else lady campers often do in this series - sneaks off alone at night to go skinny dipping. She swims out to a raft and lies there, presumably waiting on Paul, whose name she says whenever she hears a noise. Jason goes for the familiar gigantic knife from below. What makes this one more visceral than the others is that she and Jason are staring each other in the eye while he's holding her in place and digging around her innards. This gives it an extra layer of coldness. 



From a visual standpoint, this should be near the bottom of the list. It's Jason stabbing a guy with most of it obscured by darkness. Watching this as a kid didn't register the same way it does as an old(er) man. While he's dying, there is another character nearby. Rob is imploring her to run. Pain eventually gets the best of him and he screams out "He's killing me! He's killing me!" Unsettling. 



Axel is the creepy dude that keeps hitting on Nurse Morgan in that early scene. So yeah, his death is well-earned. Jason, fresh off the coroner's table, slits Axel's throat with a surgical hacksaw. Not quite done with his victim yet, Jason turns the guy's head 180 degrees. Ouch!



Yes, the top death in The Final Chapter is that of Jason, himself. Normally, I wouldn't even count him. However, this really was supposed to be the last movie in the franchise when it was released. On top of that, it's a spectacular death. Jason gets his own machete through his. We then watch his head slide down the blade. That's followed by none other than Corey Feldman picking up said machete and...well...slasher movie history.

Jimmy approves...


  1. Tina and Terri were fine! Axel's death is the best.

  2. I would say it was the best but Jimmy's was definitely my favourite death in this one. By the way, I admire you so much because I could never bring myself to rewatch this franchise.

    1. Thanks, but don't. I'm a lifelong fan. I remember it didn't suit you so much.

  3. Well...this is as far in the series as I ever got. I should probably correct that.

    1. Only if you like the ones you've seen. But you already knew that.

  4. Knife kills galore by guys who can’t seem to die.