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Fangoria #86Jason's Journal
Fangoria #86
By Kane Hodder

Since the first Friday The 13th sequel, the Jason actors have been purposefully kept in the shadows and hidden underneath their hockey masks by a publicity shy studio. Mostly stuntmen, the Voorhees thespians faded back into relative obscurity following their body count and box offices tallies. Unlike the monster actor associations of the past (Boris Karloff's Frankenstein Monster, Bela Lugosi's Dracula, etc.) and even the present (Robert Englund's Freddy Krueger), no actor has yet to claim Jason as his own, mostly because no one has played him twice.  Until Kane Hodder.  With the release of Friday The 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, actor/stuntman Kane Hodder returns as the master of slaughter. Now, Kane Hodder is Jason.

As all Crystal Lake historians recall, Hodder first portrayed Jason in 1988's Friday The 13th Part VII: The New Blood.  John Buechler, the film's director, had met Hodder on the above average Empire productions Prison and Ghost Town, in which Hodder supplied stunts. Hodder's acting skills were also evident in both films; in Prison he plays the vengeful spirit of a wrongly executed man, and in Ghost Town, he's a henchman of lead nasty Devin. Impressed with his work, Buechler hired the 6-foot-3inch, Hodder in an effort to give the character a frightening new presence and personality.

Prior to Jason Takes Manhattan, Hodder coordinated stunts on the Sean Cunningham productions Deepstar Six and The Horror Show. Filming commenced on the seven-and-a-half-week Friday The 13th Part VIII shoot on March 13 in Vancouver, British  Columbia and wrapped on May 4 in Manhattan's Times Square. Additional splatter pickup shots were completed in Los Angeles in mid-June.

As the story of Friday The 13th Part VIII opens, the graduating class of Crystal Lake High School (if you can believe there are any students left) embark on an evening cruise to Manhattan. The trouble starts when Rennie begins having hallucinations of a drowning boy. Pretty soon, a stowaway named Jason drops by to ruin the graduation festivities. Rennie and main squeeze Sean escape the doomed ship in a lifeboat, landing on Liberty Island. Jason follows the survivors and proceeds to take a bloody bite out of the Big Apple...

Kane Hodder kept a location diary during the making of the eight Friday The 13th and decided to share it with Fangoria. Unfortunately, due to our lead time and the fact that this film was still in production, Hodder could only tear a few excerpts out of his much longer work in progress. But if you like what follows, let us know and we'll run more.

Jason's Journal

Friday April 21 (Day 28)
Location: Subway and alley
The most enjoyable day of shooting so far! We start with the alley scenes.  My first scene of the night consists of crashing though some boxes and garbage cans, interrupting Scott and Jensen's tender reunion.  During the shot's rehearsal, I didn't actually kick any cans or raise a ruckus, because it wasn't necessary.  So when we shot it I ended up scaring the hell out of my poor co-stars, who were not expecting Jason's noisy entrance.  These authentic moments of suprise will hopefully make the audience jump out of their skins, too.

When I made "Part 7" I didn't encounter that many fans on the set, by virtue of being out in the middle of the Georgia woods.  Not so in downtown Vancouver.  Tonight, people are lining the streets at both ends of the alley and surrounding  the subway station entrance.  Cars stop, while onlookers see me standing here and start hitting each other, yelling, "Jason" (Even in the middle of a shot). I sign almost as many autographs as I did at the last Fango "Weekend of Horrors" I wear the hockey mask at all times to add to Jason's mystique.

Just before lunch, we have to get the shot where Jensen and Scott run into the subway entrance and open the glass doors.  Likewise, I enter though these same doors, but without opening them.  This is a first for me, I literally crashed through a real glass door! I hope it looks as good in the screen as it felt.

At lunch, the director, Rob Hedden, tells me that he really likes what we are doing. I hope I am lucky enough to continue working with directors such as Rob Hedden and John Buechler.  After chow, we move the interior of the subway station and onto the train itself. We do a shot where I'm chasing Jensen and Scott though the crowded moving subway car. In an attempt to get away the heroes pull the emergency card to suddenly stop the train.  The conductor hits the brakes and I go flying backwards. Being totally covered with slime when I hit the floor, I slide about 15 feet down the subway car.  I'm told it looks great.

Next up: a shot where I'm walking through the train. One of the extras sticks his head out in the aisle to glance at Jensen and Scott running by.  Well, I'm coming up behind him and his head is still in the way. We all know that Jason wouldn't avoid killing someone, right?  Right. So I club this guy's noggin with my own as I stop by.  Afterwards, the fellow admits he had done it on purpose in order to stand out from the other extras. Clever dude, huh?

On a break, I return to my trailer, and a cop asks me if we could pose for a picture together. Wait till he develops his film--I did that rabbit-ear thing behind his head as a joke.  Who says Jason doesn't have a sense of humor?

The nights final scene consists of me coming down the escalator and ramming into people. The last person I get to is the lot AD (Assistant Director) on the show, so I grab his face and slam him backwards, he's a good sport about it.  Wrap at dawn.

Wednesday, April 26 (Day 31)
Location: Studio Sewer Set
We fly to New York next week to shoot Times Square. I can't wait. I truly enjoy playing this character.  Anybody who remembers the fact that I once put live worms in my mouth for a scene in Prison would not be suprised at today's fun.  The shot calls for water to come gushing out of my mouth. Well, ever since I was a little kid, I've had the ability to vomit fluids on cue!  Consequently, I drank two full pitchers of water, and when the scene comes on the screen you will know that it is not a special effect. It's for real.

Later, a drenching of another sort transpires. In this scene, a flood comes rushing down the sewer and crashes into me.  Martin Becker, the special FX guy, built a terrific system for dumping water into the set. We complete the stunt twice.  The second time, however, knocks the wind out of me. Over 2,000 gallons slam into me in one gush from six feet away.  As the water topples me over, my leg gets caught in a pipe, and for a second I think " Uh-oh" But I breathlessly manage to slip away and the whole stunt works perfectly. At the end of the night I have to go to the bathroom and vomit again because of all the water still left in my stomach. I hope it was worth it. Wrap at midnight.

Friday April 28 (Day 33)
Location: Studio Sewer Set
Last day of shooting in Vancouver before we fly to New York. We do the water dumping stunt again to make sure we have the coverage we need.  This time, Marty heats the water to make it more comfortable. Its like getting blasted by a maniacal jacuzzi! At dinner break, director Rob Hedden gives the entire cast and crew "F-13 Part 8" sweatshirts. Pretty nice gesture. slime slowly dips off the mask. Yeah! We wrap at 7:30am.
By the time I get back to the hotel It is 8:30am. Saturday.  My face is still green from the slime, my hair is matted, I have makeup on, and I've been up all night working . I arrive at the hotel and sneak through the back doors of the restaurant area to avoid talking to anyone. I'm tired and I need a shower. Badly. When I walk through the doors I end up right in the middle of a Woman's Club breakfast function! I'm shocked. I stop and realize that everyone in the room is staring at me. Dumbstruck.  Fortunately the hostess immediately explains who I am and the reason for my sorry shape. The ladies breath a sigh of relief. In fact I get some autograph picture requests from several of those very same women.

That's it! We are finished shooting in Vancouver.
Look out New York, here comes Jason.

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