Friday the 13th is one of the most iconic and recognizable horror franchises of all time. We were first introduced to Friday the 13th and it’s villain Jason Voorhees in 1980 and since then it has grown to 12 movies, including a crossover event with A Nightmare On Elm Street‘s Freddy Krueger. Through all of the installments, no matter how questionable some of them have been, fans have remained loyal to the hockey masked slasher.
If you have ever wondered what Jason looks like without his mask, you are not alone. Although most of the movies feature some form of a scene that involves him being briefly unmasked, what you see underneath depends on which installment you are watching. The ‘real’ face of Jason Voorhees was never consistent as many different special effects make-up artists were used throughout the franchise and for each one a new version of Jason’s face was born.
Albeit confusing, this is certainly one way to keep people interested in what the killer looks like underneath his signature mask.
So, here I’m going to run through each incarnation of Jason’s face, unmasked.
Friday the 13th (1980)
This was the movie that started it all. It was at the end of Friday the 13th that Jason jumped out of the water behind the unsuspecting Alice and he pulled her down. Of course, it is unclear as to whether this scene was a dream or whether Jason was a zombie at this point, and fans still disagree about it even now.
Either way, it still has a place on this list. The man that created this first face was special effects artist Tom Savini and Ari Lehman was the actor behind it.
Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)
The first sequel shows a truly contrasting version of Jason from the glimpse we get in the first movie. This time he is portrayed as disabled hillbilly, scared and setting traps for his prey (teenagers) and we see him with a full head of hair and beard. The look certainly matches the persona that this movie gave the character. The scene in which we see Jason’s bare face has been questioned by fans as to whether it is also a dream or something else, much like the scene in the first movie. Warrington Gillette played Jason in Part 2 with the help of special effects make-up from Carl Fullerton.
Friday the 13th Part III (1982)
Part III saw the return of hillbilly Jason, but different. Continuing his murders, this is the movie in which we also learn through a flashback that the killer is a rapist, or at the very least attempted it. This look is definitely the most plain incarnation of the character, who was played by Richard Brooker. Although there isn’t much to say about Jason Voorhees unmasked in this installment, it is worth noting that this movie saw the debut of the, now infamous, hockey mask.
Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)
Ted White played this version of Jason in, what turned out to be, not at all the final chapter. Tom Savini is the familiar name behind the special effects prosthetics, though he brought a completely unfamiliar look to the character. This version is certainly worlds away from the young version he created for the original movie. This, for me, was the turning point and origin of Jason’s crazier and more extreme faces.
So, the unmasking in this movie doesn’t reveal a new face for Jason, it reveals that the man behind the mask wasn’t actually Jason to begin with. We find out that Roy, played by Dick Wieand, was the killer in the fifth installment of the franchise. This could probably have been left off of the list given that it doesn’t have anything to do with what Jason looks like without his mask, but for the sake of continuity and because there was an unmasking, I’m keeping it in.
Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI (1986)
This movie doesn’t include an unmasking that is typical to the franchise, as we are shown Jason’s corpse at the beginning. The decaying body of the killer is essentially just a skeleton covered in worms and other gross stuff. Of course, it doesn’t stay that way. A bolt of lightening revives the killer so he can do what he does best. This version was portrayed by C.J Graham.
Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988)
This was arguably the most effective reveal of Jason’s face, paired with one of the best versions of it. The female lead uses her mind powers to tighten his mask to the point where it splits in half. This was the death of the original mask, but underneath it revealed a brilliant version of the killer, worthy of the dramatic reveal. This look includes a hatchet and machete wound from previous instalments, and aptly represents the change in persona for Jason, breaking away from previous personalities.
Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)
Kane Hodder’s Jason Voorhees is undoubtedly the most hilarious version. Jason’s mask is removed due to a face full of toxic waste, which reveals a melty, blue, mess underneath. Although I understand the thought process behind it, I think it could have been done better. It certainly couldn’t have been done any worse.
Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday (1993)
Jason Goes To Hell doesn’t involve any sort of reveal at all, but we do learn that the killer is actually a supernatural entity called a ‘hellbaby.’ Kane Hodder returned to the role.
Jason X (2001)
In Kane Hodder’s final portrayal of the character, we see his face at the beginning of the movie as he appears more like a gooey version of his former, hillbilly self. Of course, this doesn’t last long. After being revived he gets transformed into a robot version of himself, Über-Jason. What else would you expect from a Jason that has been awakened on a 25th century spaceship?
Freddy vs. Jason (2003)
In this epic crossover movie we see two versions of Jason. A young Jason who was played by Spencer Stump and an older Jason played by Ken Kirzinger. Although we get a clear look at the face of young Jason in his human form, all we get in the way of the older Jason is an extremely brief shot where the mask is lifted halfway up his face to reveal only his mouth.
Friday the 13th (2009)
This movie also shows us a young Jason Voorhees before showing us the face of Derek Mears’ Jason. This look takes us back to before all of the crazy robot and zombie faces. This incarnation shares a strong resemblance to that of Part 2 and Part III, when he was still a frightened hillbilly. After all of the extreme, undead versions of Jason’s face this seems a little bit mediocre and a step backward.
So, there you have all of the versions of Jason Voorhees’ bare face to date.
What is your favorite version of Jason? Let us know in the comments!