By Jay Hunter – Friday the 13th: Part VI was released 30 years ago today. The movie in which Tommy Jarvis goes to the graveyard to get rid of Jason Voorhees’ body once and for all, but inadvertently brings him back to life instead. Although the movie is met with mixed reviews from horror fans, it’s still an important entry into the much loved slasher franchise.
With that being said, we take a look at thirteen things that you might not know about the Friday the 13th: Part VI!
1. After becoming a born again Christian, John Shepherd, who starred as Tommy in Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985) did not want to reprise the role, and it went to Thom Mathews instead.
2. This film marks the only time in the series, other than prologues and flashbacks, that there are actually children at the summer camp.
3. The first and only film in the series – including New Line Cinema’s three “Jason” films and the 2009 remake – to feature absolutely no nudity, although there is a sex scene.
4. Jason murders 18 people, which was the highest body count of all the films, until Jason X (2001) topped it with 28 kills.
5. The film made $19,472,057 with a budget of $3,000,000, marking the first time that a “Friday the 13th” installment did not gross over $20,000,000 and beginning the general decline in box office returns.
6. The only time in cinematic history that a recurring protagonist (Tommy) is played by a different actor in three consecutive films, in consecutive years (1984-86) all three times.
7. The original actor to play Jason was fired for being to fat. They recast the part with C.J. Graham, a restaurant manager with no stunt experience but a military background as an Army soldier. That made him the perfect soldier-type to take orders and execute stunts with military precision. Bradley’s paintball stuff was not re-shot meaning he does play Jason for a very brief part of the film. Otherwise, it’s all C.J. Graham.
8. McLoughlin was actually offered the chance to direct Scream in the mid-90s, the gig Wes Craven eventually accepted. He declined, but during that process he met Kevin Williamson, who admitted that the fantastically self-aware Part VI was an influential film for him on his path to eventually writing Scream.
9. The scenes where Jason’s neck is sliced by the propeller were shot in the director’s parents’ swimming pool.
10. At 6’3 C.J. Graham is the 3rd tallest Jason 2nd is ted white who’s 6’4, 1st is Ken Kirzinger at 6’5
11. Director Tom McLoughlin took home some props from the film, including Jason’s tombstone – which sits outside his house, made to look like Jason is buried in his yard – and his casket, which sits in his garage. The DVD box set includes a scene in which he shows off these props at his home, and tells of how a city employee refused to enter his yard to read the meter because he thought a body was really buried there.
12. The original script contained material that alluded to Jason’s father, which, to date, remains the closest the series has ever come to shedding some light on the mysterious character. In the script, Pamela’s headstone is next to Jason’s, a reference to the fact that someone paid to have Jason buried, explaining why he was not cremated as the Mayor said in Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985). As well as this, there is a final scene in which Jason’s father visits his son’s grave, seemingly aware of the fact that Jason is not inside it. These scenes were never filmed, but made it into the film’s novelization. The 2009 Deluxe Edition DVD uses storyboard art and voiceover work to complete the scene.
13. The little girl who keeps having nightmares is called Nancy, which has been interpreted by many fans as a nod to the name of the protagonist in A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), played by Heather Langenkamp. However, director Tom McLoughlin actually named the little girl after his wife, Nancy McLoughlin, who plays Lizbeth in this film.