29/5/12 – Sean Cunnginham: Jason Voorhees – Friday the 13th, 1980
Researching the death masks and the Halloween masks has also initiated an interest for masks that are used within modern horror films. Films such as Friday the 13th has also invited me to question, why the Hockey mask is associated with a murderous psychotic villain? How has the hockey mask become such a popular representation within the contemporary culture?
Jefferey Sconce suggests that Jason has no specific gender and Sconce also emphasises theorist, Jonathan Lake Crane who believes that the ‘hockey mask’ conceals the killer’s identity. Crane’s interpretations are quite similar to Ankerberg’s, Weldon’s & Burrough’s theories, who theorise ancient pagan beliefs or rituals.
Ankerberg, Weldon and Burrough explain that Halloween masks were also used to protect the participants identiy from spirits who returned on the night of Halloween.
Perhaps Jason’s mask also refers to other traditions, rituals or beliefs such as Halloween. One could argue that Jason’s masculine appearance, broad upper body and the style of clothing encourages the viewer to identify Jason as a male character.
It is still quite challenging to determine why Jason wears a hockey mask and why the mask is such a popular image. Every time I see a hockey mask, I immediately think of Jason Voorhees and Camp Crystal Lake.
Sean Cunningham: Jason X
Will the hockey mask always feature an association with Sean Cunningham’s Friday the 13th? Why does Jason need to wear a mask if he can scare his victims with his rotting face?
I watched the first Friday the 13th expecting a giant, monstrous character to appear with a hockey mask, but Jason did not make an appearance throughout the entire film. One could argue that the camera angle portrays Jason’s perspective, which is quite similar to the first Halloween by John Carpenter.
I also watched Jason X the other day and the narrative was completely ridiculous. Jason is transported to a spaceship where he still manages to kill the passengers on board. It was interesting to see one of the characters remove the mask with a knife, which exposed Jason’s corpse like face, slowly rotting and disintegrating. Towards the end of the film, Jason becomes a robot, although one could argue that the mask features similarities to the image of the skull.
John Ankerberg, John Weldon & Dillon Burroughs. The Facts on Halloween. Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 1996 p.12-17
Sconce, Jeffrey, ed. Sleaze Artists: Cinema at the Margins of Taste, Style, and Politics. United States: Duke University Press, 2007 p.223
Sean. S. Cunningham “Friday the 13th.” 95 Minutes. United States: Dolby Digital, 1980
Sean. S. Cunningham “Jason X.” 91 Minutes. United States: Dolby Digtial, 2001