September 29, 2010

What Movie Villains Do On Their Days Off: Jason Voorhees

This is the first in what will be yet another recurring series where we peer into the lighter side of some of film's most evil, dastardly, probably-going-to-be-thrown-off-a-cliff-at-the-end villains.

This Week's WMVDOTDO Feature:  Friday the 13th's Jason Voorhees

It's not an easy gig being an undead serial killer these days.

Long past his box office-topping prime, Jason Voorhees is suffering through the dregs of the post-Bush era recession like any other red-blooded American.  (Well, no-blooded American in his case.  Or something.)  During the 80s, it was a different story.  Jason was at the top of his game, headlining multimillion dollar opening weekend movies, going to the hottest clubs, and doing blow with Corey Feldman and Rick James.

Nowadays, though, it's not the pampered life of a celebrity for Jason.  With audiences already lining up to see zombie actors like Megan Fox and Keanu Reeves, it's hard out there for an actual zombie, even if he is a silver screen legend.

The lack of cinematic appeal aside, Jason also suffers from a sort of reverse-school teacher work scarcity situation.  Whereas teachers thrive and work during the school year and have to find things to do and ways to make money over the summer, Jason's workload peaks during the warm weather months and shuts tight like one of his always-escaping virgins once the leaves start to change.  George W. Bush didn't even get as much vacation time as is forced upon Jason.  When summer camps are in full swing and drunken, horny teenage camp counselors are ripe for the picking, stabbing, decapitating, et al, the man has more work than time to do it in.  But when the kids go back home, Jason is a man without direction.

So, faced with mouths to feed at home and a desire to not embarrass himself by stalking after squirrels and bullfrogs after Camp Crystal Lake had emptied (especially because movie deals depicting such things weren't exactly rolling in), Jason sought out a regular paycheck in the barren American job market.

His experience working at a lakeside campground seemed to make him a natural fit to serve as a lifeguard at a local public swimming pool.  The position proved to be short-lasting, however, as his indifference toward the safety of swimming children quickly became a problem with many parents.

His lack of proper English-speaking skills (and of any speaking skills at all, really) led the people of Wal-Mart to believe that he was some sort of massive immigrant and was therefore hired on the spot at a wage of $3.65 an hour.  This, again, proved to be short-lived, as many of the elderly shoppers were creeped out by the undead behemoth serving as their greeter.

Eventually, he was able to find a job that utilized his handiness with a knife, his work ethic, and his unparalleled ability to inhumanly absorb the rants of old Jewish ladies who "wanted thin-sliced ham, not paper thin-sliced ham, young man!"  As it turned out, Jason was a natural at his local deli.

Sure, he misses the limelight and the place on the Mt. Rushmore of current scary movie villains.  Every time he happens to hear a kid rave about how scared he was at Saw V or The Ring 2 (or heaven forbid, one of those goddamned Twilight movies), a single tear rolls down his filthy hockey masked face and into the pimento loaf that he's carving.

The temptation to throw off his apron and hairnet, stab his manager, and make another run at stardom is palpable.  Last year he even tried to come back in a franchise-reboot movie with a hip, new, run-after-the-teens-instead-of-walking-after-them schtick designed to get the kids back on his side, but the flick pretty much sucked, almost as bad as Jason Takes Manhattan (oh, the horror...).  Luckily, his manager at the deli showed some compassion and let him have his old job back.

So yes, the stardom is behind him, but Jason seems fine with that these days.  Carving up a hunk of gouda might not be nearly as fun as chopping into a topless cheerleader, but it's a living, and the health insurance is pretty sweet.  And besides, he's got kids to look after.

Let's see those little Twilight assholes pull off being a single dad on a meat cutter's salary.

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