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WTF Moments: The heart-eating scene in Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday
Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993) starts off in stereotypical slasher-horror fashion: a beautiful blonde woman takes refuge at a wooden house near the infamous Camp Crystal Lake, takes a shower and then has to go fix the circuit breaker when the lights go out. All of a sudden, Jason appears to fulfill his part in the slasher-horror bargain and murder the poor, helpless and naked-under-the-towel blonde woman.
Par for the course, the blonde girl in towel sprints away, trips over absolutely nothing while looking back at her pursuer, and eventually gets knocked to the ground by Jason. But just when we think she's doomed, the movie throws the whole trope for a twist. Turns out, the blonde was actually an FBI officer planted as bait, and her colleagues from the bureau have Jason surrounded. The blonde gets up and does a Cammy command-roll behind her fellow agents, who proceed to pump Jason full of lead until his body blows apart.
Mission Accomplished, right?
While Phil the FBI coroner (Richard Gant) examines Jason’s heart, it begins to beat in a hypnotic two-beat rhythm, as if it’s literally saying, “Eat me. Eat me. EAT ME. EAT ME.” The coroner tries to resist, but Jason’s heart beats faster, pushing its evil will on poor Phil until, because these are Jason movies, he bites into the raw, still-pumping vital organ.
The first bite was the most difficult for Phil, but apparently, it got easier (or looked like it did), just like biting down on a delicious mutton chop. The cannibalistic fun ends there, because after the coroner ingests enough of Jason’s heart, the spirit of Jason shuffles loose from his old corpse and possesses him. By the time Phil’s co-worker comes back from getting lunch, Jason Voorhees has taken control.
Now, this scene is effectively gross for a couple of reasons. For one thing, the prop of the evil heart just looks disgusting enough; it’s about triple the size of a normal human heart, with black ooze for blood and rotten pockets of disease. It also helped that Gant was absolutely disgusted in real life; reports from the set indicated that he was so disgusted by the prop heart that he nearly threw up on set during the take. Once Jason is fully settled in, Phil stops munching on the heart and black sludge (in reality, fruit cocktail mixed with black dye) just explodes from his mouth.
This sets up the movie’s plot, with Jason now being a body-snatching parasite that looks like an amalgamation of Jason’s face and a snake strung out on crack, jumping from body to body to survive until he can find the right body — the physical essence of a blood relative — through which he can be fully reborn.
The idea for this horrifying moment came from writer/director Adam Marcus and may have been connected to his announcement that Jason is actually a Deadite, which in turn came from his desire to combine the Friday the 13th and Evil Dead franchises. In fact, Evil Dead series creator and director Sam Raimi allowed Marcus to use the Necronomicon prop in Jason Goes to Hell as a means to explain how Jason always comes back.
Of all the ways in which Jason has come back to life, I would say that this way is definitely the grossest of his resurrections. And the one that had me, at 13, turning on every single light in the house until I got to my room, ran and shut them off again, locked my room door, checked under my bed and behind any and every crevice to make sure no evil cracked-out parasites were out there and dying to get in my mouth.