Today marks the 22nd anniversary of the release of New Line Cinema’s 1993 Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday, Adam Marcus’ awful, yet seminal sequel in the Friday the 13th franchise that set the stage for Freddy vs Jason.
While Jason Goes to Hell was an abomination of a sequel, it was a huge moment for horror fans as it was the first time that New Line publicly tipped their hat to the notion that Jason would eventually battle budding slasher Freddy Krueger on screen.
Jason Goes to Hell was the first Friday the 13th since the 1980 debut by Sean Cunningham that turned its focus away from Jason Voorhees (noting that the Jason in A New Beginning was a copycat murderer). The film has a jarring opening sequence in which a SWAT team blasts a hail of bullets into Jason, eventually blowing him to smithereens. It sets the stage for a Jason-less sequel that’s clearly one of the biggest mistakes in the history of horror cinema.
Yet, after putting fans through their own personal hell, the filmmakers shocked audiences with an epilogue for the ages. This is where A Nightmare On Elm Street‘s Freddy Krueger makes a brief appearance. After Jason is pulled into the pits of Hell by a handful of demons, the camera zooms in on his infamous hockey mask… that’s when Freddy’s gloved hand comes bursting through, grabbing the mask, and pulling it down to Hell as well.
You see, in 1991 New Line Cinema released Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare, which ended Freddy’s reign of terror and left him in the pits of Hell. That’s when they begun strategizing pitting Freddy against Jason, which would enter years of development hell.
Thanks partially to this on-screen tease, New Line remained committed to bringing the two slasher titans on screen together, only it would take a decade to bring into fruition. I say it was worth it, you?