Film and TV

Jason Voorhees: Dark Christ Figure?

Last week was Friday the 13th, and I spent it the way I have spent always spent that most unlucky of days since I was a kid... watching Friday the 13th marathons. Of the big slasher franchises the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre is my favorite film, while Nightmare on Elm Street is my favorite series because of the grand overall arc of the stories.

Jason is my favorite killer, though. Always has been. The iconic mask, his empty eyes, the tragedy that birthed him, the innovative brutality, the ninja-like stealth, and let's face it, his flicks have always had the best boobs in them. There's just something almost epic about him, as if he was the personification of some primal force.

It's damn near Biblical... in fact, that's what I've come to realize about Jason as a person. He is meant to represent a dark mirror of Jesus Christ. Now, this is a little nuts, so bear with me.

See also: The Last Ranking of Friday The 13th Movies You'll Ever Need...Until the Next One

Much of this has to do with the concept of Christ as part of a trinity. He is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, separate but equally all three at all times. Jason himself is also part of a constant trinity. As the drowned boy he is the son, the innocent and the victim who overcomes his death. As the hulking masked killer he is the embodiment of his mother's murderous will, the creator and the wrath from above.

Finally, he is an Unholy Spirit, the demonic center that powers both other forms seen in Jason Goes to Hell That spirit is represented by a strange snake-like creature, a serpent that can temp others through possession to carry out his rampages.

That's not the only parallel trinity either. Christ is portrayed in the Bible as three ages, infant, young child, and grown man. Jason as well appears exactly in these three ages in his blood Gospels. We see him as a young boy both mentally, and at times physically, such as the ending of Jason Takes Manhattan. His most constant form, and his most prolific as with Christ is as an adult.

Then there's that demonic creature from the ninth film again, sometimes referred to as the Hellbaby. The true nature of Jason's conception and birth are hard to pin down, and it's never really been established in the films definitively. Some say Elias Voorhees, a drunken abusive descendant of black magicians was Jason's father, while others claim that Pamela conceived Jason through her own witchcraft. Regardless, the Hellbaby form possesses the ability to re-enter a woman of his bloodline, living or dead, to birth himself in a twisted parody of the Virgin Birth.

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If you know nothing else of Christ you know that he died for the sins of man. He allowed himself to be crucified to pay the debt for humanity's errors that they may find salvation.

Jason as well died for the sins of man, but was an unwilling victim of them. Rut and neglect led directly to his death by drowning. An attempt to purge sinners by his mother, through murder instead of forgiveness, not only led to her own death (Remember, Jason's mother is also part of the trinity), but the constant unending resurrections of her son to continue the work of wiping away the sins of the world as she saw them.

You have to remember that Jason has almost never been seen attacking children on screen, and even in expanded comics and books it's very rare. Actor Kane Hodder, the most famous portrayer of the character, even nixed a scene where Voorhees kicks a dog as something that the killer would not do. There's a reason for that.

See also: Friday The 13th: The Best Kills

Jason as an entity is defined by two emotions, one obvious and one subtle. The first is rage. Never-ending rage, but why is he so angry? Over his own death certainly, but there is more than that.

Why did his mother go on her killing spree? It was because a new group of horny camp counselors were once again in charge of yet another group of kids, and she had no desire to see them end up like her son. Her desire for vengeance was the catalyst for her methodology, but her overall intent was still the saving of children from the wages of what she considered sin... a desire shared by her son, though both continued to be warped by the never ending demonic source of both their power's.

In the end, Jason's mask hides more than his deformed scarred face and his repetitious risings from the grave are more than horror movie schlock. Jason represents something closer to an almighty with a birth defect, a salvation that missed the mark and did arrive with a bloody sword... or machete in this case. That's my theory at any rate.

Jef has a new story, a tale of headless strippers and The Rolling Stones, available now in Broken Mirrors, Fractured Minds. You can also connect with him on Facebook.

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Jef Rouner is a contributing writer who covers politics, pop culture, social justice, video games, and online behavior. He is often a professional annoyance to the ignorant and hurtful.
Contact: Jef Rouner