Jason’s Backward, Upside-down Weapons

Historically, snakes and spiders have posed a big threat to us humans, ever since our days as small rodent-like mammals. I’ve read that most people are born with a natural fear of these creatures because it was coded into our DNA a long time ago to avoid them. The info just passes down generation to generation. Instinct, essentially. Pretty cool, huh?

If there’s any truth to that, then my grandchildren will most likely have nightmares involving giant masked men overlooking cityscapes, and silhouettes jabbing knives through their shower curtains, with no idea why, or what to do about it. Sorry, not sorry, Dvdbin III.

I grew up on the Friday the 13th movies. There were nine of them when I was a kid, and I watched them a lot. A lot. As I’ve mentioned before, they were doubly terrifying for me because my hometown had a “Crystal Lake” of its own. At five/six/seven years old, there was a real possibility that Jason would climb out of the water and knock on my door, having seen me from the other side of the TV. I was scared of, yet fascinated by him. Liked him, yet hated him. He was a babysitter and a boogeyman rolled into one. The covers of the VHS tapes, which all feature his mask, or an outline of a killer, are imprinted into my memory, intertwined with the musty basement smells of the video stores that I rented them from.

An aspect of the series that always stuck with me was the opening sequence of Part 2, where Alice is re-introduced and disposed of like nothing. I consider it really well done. It serves two important purposes by tying into & recapping the first film, and also illustrating that anything can and will happen. Getting rid of the last entry’s hero means ALL BETS ARE OFF BABY.

Credit: Paramount DVD

I went years without watching the series. Maybe ten. Sometime in high school I picked up the DVD box set From Crystal Lake to Manhattan, which includes the first eight, the Paramount productions. It was fun to run through it and relive my childhood. I’m a sucker for nostalgia. When I re-watched Part 2, the opening sequence was more or less the same as the version I’d stored in my brain. I was impressed by how well it held up.

But I also noticed something new that I’ve never been able to make heads or tails of, something I don’t remember being talked about in the “killer extras” contained on the bonus disc, or in the retrospective documentary His Name Was Jason (2009)… or anywhere that I’ve been to online, for that matter: Jason’s backward, upside-down weapons. You can spot them during the massacre at Packanack Lodge.

It starts halfway through the movie. Terry goes skinny-dipping. Pervert Scott steals her clothes. He runs away, but gets trapped in a rope snare.

At 50:35, Jason walks up and slashes Scott’s throat with the blunt side of his trusty machete. How does that work? You might not be able to tell from this screenshot, but the actual bladed edge doesn’t even come close to touching Scott’s skin.

Credit: Paramount DVD

At the sixty-one-minute mark, Mark — the jock in the wheelchair — is knocked off quite brutally. Jason utilizes the blunt side of his favorite weapon again by embedding it into Mark’s face with such force that it sends him rolling backward, bouncing down a flight of steps, like the baby carriage in Battleship Potemkin. Makes me laugh every time.

Credit: Paramount DVD

Four minutes later, Vickie strolls in wearing shiny brown panties, looking for Mark for some bow-chicka-wow-wow. Jason springs up from under a sheet and stabs her right thigh. Vickie backs into a corner, then cowers in fear as Jason moves closer with an upside-down knife. One jab is all it takes.

Credit: Paramount DVD

So, in a span of about fifteen minutes, we’re shown three shots of Jason holding backward and/or upside-down weapons. In my opinion, that’s two shots too many to be a coincidence. This was clearly done on purpose to symbolize something — but what? Have you noticed this? Do you have any theories? Leave a comment below, and let me know what your favorite part of this sequel is.