Interviewed by Royce Freeman
1. Why was it not established in the beginning how Jason actually came back
to life from the end of Jason Takes Manhattan? There was talk that it was in an
It was never in an early draft. A decision had been made before I was even
allowed to write the first treatment for Sean that we were only going to
consider F13 Part 1 & 2. The only element I was allowed to consider
from Part 3 was the hockey mask. Outside of the aforementioned elements I
was to disregard the rest of the series, especially Part 8. The reason
behind this is that Sean had nothing to do, creatively, with the sequels.
The sequels were money makers, that's it. With Jason Goes To Hell we
really wanted to try to take a creative stab (forgive the pun) at making a F13.
Part 8 just wasn't a good film. I was vocal about that when JGTH came out
and I took a bunch of flack over it from fans of Part 8. And I do respect
that the fans of F13 Part 8 care about that film. I feel if a film touches
you in any way then it did it's job as far as that viewer is concerned and
that's excellent. However, for me, I just felt that Jason taking Manhattan
was a great idea and then I watched Jason Taking a Boat Ride. It was the
same old formula instead of a movie about the baddest guy in the baddest city.
Part 7, while formulaic, still took creative risks. That's cool. It
was Jason vs. Carrie and that's an excellent idea.
2. Why were some of the character scenes cut out of the film, for instance
when Duke is arrested from stealing Diana's body, and the extended opening diner
Those scenes were cut for several reasons. The first, less important
reason is that the film was a little too long. A film that's ninety
minutes makes more money than a film that's a hundred minutes. You get one
more showtime per day. The other and more important reason is that those
scenes slowed things down. It was too much explanation. The audience
would have gotten bored and confused. I hope New Line reconstitutes the
scenes for the DVD. The scenes are fun, but the film works better as a
whole without them. The diner scene is really fun with the extra footage & any chance to watch
Steven Williams work is a real pleasure.
3. Where all the scenes of Sheriff Landis interrogating Steven about Diana's
death and mentioning the miscarriage filmed, and if so, why was it cut? Jason
Takes Manhattan was 100minutes long, you could've gotten another ten minutes on
top of the 89 for the theatrical cut.
Again, there was a deep need to keep things moving. Look, I liked all the
character stuff. It made the film more mature, but it did slow the whole
film down. We wanted to keep things exciting. It was shot and then
cut. Again, let's hope for a comprehensive DVD.
4. I know directors never really wanna date their films, but it was clearly
stated the F13th part one was 1979 based on a tombstone of Mrs Voorhees in part
4. So, roughly what year was Part 9 supposed to take place.
Well, that was a mistake in part 2. Mrs. Vorhees died on Friday, June
13th, 1980. That's the day F13 Part 1 takes place on. So the
timeline according to part 2 is defunct.
As far as what year does JGTH take place on: I would say we were trying to play
it around the mid-ninties. The logic for that decision for this came from
inner-office logic. Again you must remember we were not adhering to the
logic presented in several of the previous F13s.
As you stated quite knowledgeably in your question, director's don't like to
date their own work. You're right and here's why; Movies are fantasies. Unless
your recounting real events or making a documentary or a period piece, when a
film takes place shouldn't matter. Films are stories. And if you
look at Greek or Elizabethan or Modern storytelling the ideas remain pretty much
the same. I'm not trying to equate JGTH with classic literature, but I am
saying that story telling doesn't have to be tied down to a date or time period unless that helps move the story along.
5. Can you tell me if this logic has any bearing on when part 9 takes place
according to you and Sean. I would assume around 1999 based on this logic: part
1 was 1979, part 2,3,4 (which are all the same week in story time) are 5 years
later 1984 and in part 4 Tommy is 12, part 5 is when tommy is like 16 so it is 1988, part 6 is a year later
1989, part 7 is ten years after part 6 so it is 1999 in early winter like
February, then part 8 is may/June of 1999, so part 9 is August of 1999.
I think your timeline is interesting but as I stated in the last answer, we
didn't adhere to the logic of most of the other films. JGTH happened after
the other films. That's all you really need to know in order to enjoy the
6. It is common knowledge that the town of Crystal Lake is supposed to be in
Connecticut. Since you guys went to lengths to get CT license plates and that
road sign with Westport and Fairfield why not openly mention it in dialogue in
passing to make it concrete? I mean they say where Haddonfield is in Halloween,
Illinois. And they mention where Springwood is in Nightmare on Elm Street, Ohio.
Because it is better film making to tell a story visually than with bad
expositious dialogue. We went out of our way to be sure to treat our
audience as the sophisticated crowd that they truly are. Did you see signs
for Westport and Fairfield? Did you see license plates that said
Connecticut? Did Sean & I grow up in Connecticut? Yes! So
why say anything. Don't you prefer movies that treat you like you don't
need to be spoon fed. What we did takes more thought, time & energy.
Sure we could have written a bad line for Sheriff Landis like, "We don't
stand for that kind of nonsense here in Connecticut" but would that have
made it a better movie. I think not.
7. I saw a workprint of Jason Goes to Hell and Diana's relation to Jason was
originally not his sister, established in the scene where Robert Campbell is
taking on cellphone in Voorhees house, and when Steven talks to Duke in jail.
But the footage looks the same,
was it dubbed over or refilmed with the new family relation. Also why was it
decided to change it?
First off, how did you see a workprint of the movie. It amazes me how that
stuff gets out there. I mean, does someone at the lab sneak it out or is
it some unscrupulous P.A. who delivers dailies (I never trusted that guy)... Anyway,
we did change some stuff in those scenes. We re-shot some of the dialogue
to make it clearer. The exposition was so convoluted, we didn't even get
it. So we shot new info and spliced it in. It makes it a whole lot
cleaner and easier to follow. The cool thing is it illustrates how amazing
film making can be. Those inserted moments were shot 6 months later on a
soundstage with none of the original sets. We had only three days to do
additionals, that includes the whole CAMPERS IN THE WOODS SECTION!!! And
it is really hard to tell when the new stuff pops in. One spot I always
notice, is in the jail scene. Steven has a slightly different hair cut and
he's less laid back in his performance. But for the most part the new
stuff is seamless.
8. When JGTH went to video and you assembled the director's cut, I know all it
basically was was the final cut of the movie before it trimmed the gore out. But
why didn't you assemble the longer director's cut with the scenes and the gore
for video since some of
those scenes you actually wanted in the film according to your Fangoria
Okay, here's a note about the term Director's Cut. It rarely ever means
what it states. Director's Cut usually means Producer's Cut or Studio's
Cut. On JGTH the term had rarely ever been used as a selling point but
this was the early nineties when the MPAA was on the rampage about film violence
and Blockbuster Video was run by the Christian right. I would have loved
to go in and do a Director's cut but I was never allowed to assemble the movie I
wanted to assemble.
The director's cut of JGTH was assembled by marketers who knew that making two
versions of the film would sell twice as much. Instead of just buying the
film that came out in the theaters, video stores would be compelled to buy the
unrated and rated cuts. The funny thing is, who would rent a F13 film and
not want to see all the gore. Another bit of craziness is that Blockbuster
ordered the UNRATED box art but only rents the RATED cut. I would say
that's pretty blatant false advertising.
I sure hope that the DVD includes all the good stuff and even some of the bad
stuff. That's what's great about the DVD format, it allows the audience to
see that film making is finding your movie through re-shoots, and script
problems and all the stuff that happens as you all try to get it right.
New Line usually does an amazing job on their DVDs so let's keep our fingers
9. There was a country sounding song in the diner scene of part 9 and I was
wondering who performed that song and where it can be found.
This a question that would be better answered by Harry the Man but I do know
it's from a musical that Sean, Harry and Jay Hugley have been working on for
over a decade. Harry is a pretty amazing composer and he writes tunes all
the time. I don't know who the performer was because Harry just brought in
the piece. The country sound seemed to give the diner a good feel so it
went into the picture. So ask Harry and he'll give you the whole scoop.
10. I heard that they originally wanted Duke to be Tommy Jarvis and have Tommy
be the one who has obsessed himself over Jason for years.
No. That's not the case. There was never talk of Tommy Jarvis being
in JGTH. Duke was a creation of Dean Lorey and was only inspired by Dean's
very warped imagination. I think Duke is, besides Jason, the best
character in the F13 series. He is the flip side of the Jason coin.
A sadistic psychotic who happens to be sort of a hero or at least an enemy of
Jason. There was a great (but kind of silly) monologue that Duke had at
the end of the film when
he's alone with Jessica in the Vorhees house. He talks about how when he
was a young man he was out on Crystal Lake with his sweetheart and Jason
attacked their dingy and dragged his girlfriend to her death. That's why
he's been obsessed all these years. Fun but really dumb. We shot it
and maybe it will make it's way to the DVD.
Again, Duke was never Tommy Jarvis. He wasn't even inspired by Tommy
11. Why was there no flashback sequences with Jason's childhood or past or
anything in part 9? I heard some were written.
I wrote a great deal of Flashback stuff. It was really violent and scary
and extra creepy... and then we changed the plot. Jason's backstory made
less sense then. We just didn't need it and when you're on a low budget
picture you can't just shoot stuff cause you think it might be neat! The
flashback stuff was cool and maybe it will make it's way into a different film
12. Did you help Todd Farmer and Noel Cunningham come up with any of the story
for Jason X?
Absolutely not. We called the last movie the final Friday. Jason and
Freddy were supposed to be kickin' the crap out of each other by now.
Instead, they've shot him into space. Go figure.
13. Have you heard anything about part 9 going to dvd? I heard that it is
being assembled and that since it is NewLineCinema it will have deleted scenes
and director/actor commentary over the movie and stuff. If you could talk to
Sean about it and let him know that the fans are dying to see all the stuff that
was cut out, not necessarily in the movie, but as deleted scene tracks on the
disc. And having an audio commentary by director/actors for this would be kewl
since Paramount has only released F13th 1 and 2 and they probably will never put
a commentary on any f13th movie, so this is NewLine's chance to beef up the
upcoming F13th discs, JGTH, JasonX and FvsJ.
What I know is this, New Line is planning a DVD release of JGTH to
coincide with the release of Jason X. My agent is talking with the people at New
Line Video about a commentary track. I hope they assemble extra footage and the
like on the disc but who knows. I think it's a shame that Paramount didn't
choose to put extras on the F13 - F13 Final Chapter discs. But not many people
have given any of these movies much validation except the fans. Let's hope New
Line is more interested in being good to the fans. I'm pretty sure they are.
14. Why was it decided to film in LA as opposed to CT or Toronto or Alabama
like the other films had done or hell, even New Jersey where Crystal Lake
Low budget. I would have loved to have gone back east to shoot the film.
Hell, that's where I'm from. But the money we had, was best spent close to the
film capitol. Back then, Canada was not the booming film meca it has become. Had
it been we probably would have shot there like Jason X.
15. What are some funny anecdotes of things which happened on the set of
filming JGTH between you and Sean or cast members. I already interviewed Kane so
i know about him scaring visitors on the set.
Well, let's see... When we blew up Jason at the top of the film I got
knocked on my ass by the power of the explosion. - Then there was the scene
where Dean Lorey played the Coroner's Assistant. We had written a really simple
little scene. But when Dean got to set he and I were having so much fun we
decided to improv the whole scene. What you see in the film is Dean thinking on
his feet. I think it's pretty funny stuff. - During that same scene a jar of
eyeballs, real one broke. We had to clear the set because the formaldehyde in
the jar was really old and toxic. Lost half a day of shooting. Funny now, not so
funny then - In the opening of the picture, when Agent Marcus is driving her car
up to the Vorhees house, I got hit by one of our electric trucks while directing
her. I was about to pass out but my Production Manager, Debbie Cass, told me
that if I went to the hospital the cops would shut us down. So I had my first AD
stand by me for the next few hours so I had someone to hold onto so I wouldn't
Ah, the joy of low budget filmmaking. - In the scene where the cops
(Mark & Brian) get there heads smashed together, my brother Kipp Marcus, who
played Randy, had just been knocked out by John Lemay. He was supposed to be at
the end of the hall. We did the effect and it went great. Everything was covered
in blood. Then I realized that Kipp had not been placed in the background. We
had to redress everything. It's probably the only time I had a hissy-fit while
shooting the film. - In the scene where I am playing Officer Bish and I get
thrown over the counter in the police station by Steven Culp I had to do seven
takes because my DP kept missing me in the shot. I had done stunt work before
but by the fifth take I was feelin' like a punching bag. On the last take, the
one that's in the film, I missed the mat completely and was black and blue for
the rest of the shoot. There's a few stories. I'll save the rest for the DVD
16. Was there any footage of the tent sex scene which once filmed proved to
be too much so it wasn't due to the fact that the MPAA could cut it anyway?
Yeah, it all got pretty extreme. It was a bloodbath and sexually, let just
say it was intense. Great scene though, ain't it? Those actors are as
professional as they come. Michelle and Michael are just great people and they
are terrific actors. I was lucky to have them in the movie.
17. Were there any things about JGTH that you wished you had done differenly
or things you wished you could've put into the movie that you didn't?
Yeah, sure. But I don't know a filmmaker who wouldn't do things
differently if given the chance. The first script was really great. There were
some extreme things and some cool character things that I wish had made it.
Things like Steven Freeman being a doctor who had turned his back on his
profession. Steven making a bet with everyone in the diner and hanging from the
Neon sign from a fraying cord. Jason's brother was in an early draft and he was
far more evil that Jason. We also had a flashback to Jason and his brother as
kids with their parents. And guess what Mom was the sane one. Really cool stuff.
18. What is your favorite F13th movie, besides JGTH and part 1? Can you list
the films from parts 1-9 in the order you like them from best to least.
1. Part one is the best. No two ways about it. 2. Then I really do like
JGTH. 3. Part 2 (is there a cooler death than the wheelchair death. I don't
think so) 4. Part 6 (Great sense of humor), 5. Part 4 (Final Chapter my ass) 6.
Part 7 (Great idea: Carrie Vs. Jason) 7. Part 3 (3-D stuff was fun, especially
the eye-ball) 8. Part 8 (should have been about Jason in New York, not Jason
taking a boat ride) 9. and then the movie that isn't really a F-13 film Part 5.
19. What is your favorite horror film, or some of your favorites?
There are so many, but here's just a few; "The Exorcist"! An
amazing film. Didn't need all that new footage but still the champ. Friedkin's
commentary on the splintering of the American Family Unit is almost as
frightening as anything else in the picture. Immaculate script, direction,
effects and most of all acting. The last horror movie to prove that deliberate
pacing is the way to create true terror. "Jaws"! This is a horror film
and don't let anyone tell you different. It's a monster movie. The best monster
movie. I think this is the best directed movie of all time. I watch Jaws just
before I direct anything. "Rosemary's Baby"! Again, deliberate pacing
and creepiness win the day. "Repulsion"! I'm a huge Polanski fan. And
I think this is his best. Truly scary! "Near Dark"! Great film. The
Bonnie and Clyde of Horror. It's so cool to see a director with such self
assuredness that they can make a Vampire film with no fangs and no references to
the word Vampire. "Halloween"! The granddaddy of all slasher. Never
been outdone. Poetic and real. "Evil Dead"! Scary. Creepy. Truly
Independent. Cool, cool, cool. "Night of the Living Dead" &
"Day of the Dead"! Where would we be without them. No one does zombies
like the master. There are hundreds of others but these are the ones that came
to mind the quickest. 20. Would you ever director another F13th if asked? Maybe.
Only if Dean Lorey and I could write it and we could go back and explore Jason's
childhood. Otherwise there isn't much more to explore with the character.
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