Entertainment Magazine

13 Things You May Not Know About Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter

Posted on the 22 February 2014 by Weminoredinfilm.com @WeMinoredInFilm

In response to Paramount’s announcement of a 2015 release for what will be the 13th Friday the 13th film we’ve been looking back at the prior films in the franchise to dig up trivia as well as answers to questions which have plagued us for years. You can see what we found out about Friday the 13thPart 2, and Part 3Here are 13 things we discovered about…

THE FILM: Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984), aka, the one where they had a very loose definition of “Final Chapter,” Crispin Glover showed off his insane dance skills, and beast of a man Jason was bested by an 11-year-old Corey Feldman.


By 1983, the slasher boom of 1980-1982 was over, and audiences were officially burnt out.  In fact, only Psycho 2 and House on Sorority Row represented the slasher genre on the list of the top 100 domestic grossing filmsof 1983.  The Friday the 13th franchise simply took 1983 off, marking the first year in the ’80s in which a new Friday the 13th movie had not come out.  With the slasher genre seemingly on the decline and Part 3 having killed off Jason via an axe to the head (and just after he’d finally obtained that wicked sweet hockey mask), all involved parties could have simply walked away.  After all, the people who made Part 3 meant for it to be the last one; they just forgot to tell anyone since they were too busy hyping the 3D part.  What if they actually made one and sold it as being the official end of Jason’s story?  That’s marketing gold.  However, for one key individual it was no gimmick – The Final Chapter really was supposed to be the final chapter. 

1. Did Paramount really decide to end the franchise because they found the films embarrassing?  


Rumors used to suggest that by 1983 Paramount had become embarrassed by their association with Friday the 13th, thus preferring to end things for good with Part 4.  However, despite how hard Siskel & Ebert tried at the time to will this into reality it’s mostly untrue.  As far as Paramount was concerned, The Final Chapter was simply a good marketing strategy, but it wasn’t even their idea.  That came from someone who did legitimately want to kill the franchise for good – Frank Mancuso, Jr., producer of Parts 3 and 4.

Mancuso was eager to produce different types of films, but the only projects Hollywood sent his way were carbon copies of Friday the 13th.  How dare they!  Well, he’d show them – he’d kill Jason for good, thus The Final Chapter.  His boss, Phil Scuderi (who was the money and often ideas guy behind all of the films), backed his play because it was a good marketing angle, but of course they’d make another one if The Final Chapter hit big (which it did).

2. Joseph Zito was supposed to write & direct but instead hired a screenwriter of his own he paid out of his own salary

Part 2 and 3 director Steve Miner opted not to return for Final Chapter, ending up directing both House and the horrific C. Thomas Howell in black face comedy Soul Man in 1986.  So, they hired Joseph Zito, based on his work directing The Prowler (1981).  They wanted him to both write AND direct.  He said, “But I’m not a writer,” to which they said, “Here’s a contract paying you double to write and direct,” and then he responded, “Yeah, I’m totally a writer.”  Zito used part of his salary from the film to hire Barney Cohen to write the script (yes, these movies did actually have scripts).  Their process entailed Zito taking nightly one-hour phone calls with Phil Scuderi to discuss the story and script for Final Chapter.  The next day Zito would meet Cohen in an apartment in New York to relay what notes and ideas Scuderi had offered, which they would then turn into new script pages to be sent later that day to Scuderi in Boston to be discussed again over the phone that night.

If that doesn’t sound 100% on the up-and-up to you then you’d be right, or at least the Writer’s Guild of America (WGA) thought so.  Zito describes the trouble they all got into with the WGA as “a giant disaster,” but the end result is Cohen was the sole recipient of a writing credit for Final Chapter.  

3. Amy Steel talked Peter Barton into doing the film


Peter Barton playing the mansel in distress in The Final Chapter

Peter Barton?  Which one was he again?  The guy who gets his skull crushed by Jason in a shower.  Were it not for Amy Steel that could have been some other pretty boy having a very bad shower day.


Amy Steel and Peter Barton in The Powers of Matthew Star

Barton had been something of a teenage heartthrob, and he had co-starred with Friday the 13th Part 2 heroine Amy Steel in the short-lived sitcom The Powers of Matthew Star, which TVGuide has since declared the 22nd worst TV show of all time.  By the time the offer for Final Chapter came around Matthew Star was off the air, but Barton wanted no part of horror films after a bad experience making Hell Night in 1981.  Amy Steel somehow talked him into it, perhaps selling him on the notoriety to be had from getting to star in what everyone was saying would be the final Friday the 13th film.  I wonder what Amy Steel said to Barton after Paramount rushed Part 5 out less than a year after The Final Chapter.  ”My bad”?  

4. They really did just cast those twins because, well, did I mention “twins”?


Camilla More and Carey Moore played Tina and Terri in Final Chapter. I have no idea which one is Tina and which is Terri in this picture.

When Camilla More auditioned for a role in The Final Chapter she was  interrupted and asked, “Hang on a minute.  We’re looking at your resume.  Do you have a twin sister?”  In fact, she did have a twin sister named Carey, and the two had appeared together in the famous Doublemint gum commercials which primarily featured twins.  On top of that, the More sisters would ultimately be amenable to appearing topless in Final Chapter.  So, don’t worry if Jason kills one of the hot, topless girls, God gave us a twin spare, who also ends up being killed by Jason by the end.  They were so swayed by the idea of twins Carey’s audition was to read one line.  That line?  ”I don’t know.”

5. The timeline makes no sense

There used to be something so cool to me as a kid about how the early Friday the 13th films would all pick up right where the last one left off, forming one big continuous movie stretched across Parts 2, 3, and 4.  Here’s one reason their timeline across the films makes no sense, though:


Kimberly Beck and Corey Feldman pick up a hitchhiker with a continuity-shattering backstory in The Final Chapter

In a plot which would later be re-purposed for the 2009 Friday the 13th re-boot, The Final Chapter features a character, Rob Dier (Erich Anderson), whose sister was a Camp Crystal Lake counselor killed by Jason.  Unfortunately, his sister is supposed to be Sandra (Marta Kober) from Part 2, who was one half of the infamous double impalement death scene.  The problem is Part 2, Part 3, and The Final Chapter take place over the course of Friday the 13th through Tuesday the 17th in July of 1984.  So, in their timeline Sandra would have only been dead for around 2 or 3 days by the time Rob pops up in Final Chapter to hunt Jason down in a quest for vengeance, a quest we are given every indication he’s been pursuing for quite some time.  While he’s off on his quest are his parents back home still preparing his sister’s funeral arrangements?   If so, they’ll have to plan another one toot sweet since Rob doesn’t survive The Final Chapter.  

6. Why make a little kid a central character?

The prior Friday films had favored attractive, young women as the sole remaining combatant in the battle with Jason, yet The Final Chapter gave its final girl (Trish Jarvis, played by Kimberly Beck) a little brother who is ultimately the one to deliver the kill shot to Jason.  Why?


Kimberly Beck and Corey Feldman as sister-and-brother Trish and Tommy Jarvis

They didn’t think it had been done in a slasher film before, and they wanted to create characters audiences wouldn’t want to see harmed.  By including the Jarvis family (divorced mother, teenage daughter, pre-teen son) opposite the more typical cabin of horny teenagers they could create more human drama and resonant tragedy, such as the moment Jason is implied to have killed Tommy and Trish’s mother.  It remains debatable how intentional the parallels between Jason and Tommy (both ostracized outsiders as kids, mothers murdered) were, but everyone acknowledges that Tommy’s love for props and masks and the macabre were all homages to Tom Savini.

7. Corey Feldman – Not a boy, not yet a man

It is played for humor throughout Final Chapter that young Tommy Jarvis (Feldman) is suddenly surrounded by horny teenagers renting a cabin he can see into from his own house.  However, the reality of the situation is that those actresses were indeed very or partially naked, and Corey Feldman was only 11 or 12-years-old, just entering puberty.  Feldman was still young enough that Erich Anderson and Kimberly Beck took him trick-or-treating the first day of filming since it happened to be October 31, 1983.  So, they shielded Feldman from most of the bad stuff, using tricky editing to make it appear as if he is peeping on Judie Aronson’s character as she changes when in fact Feldman was nowhere near set when Aronson filmed her nudity-heavy half of the scene.  What they could not control, however, was the power of a low-cut top sans bra underneath.  According to Feldman, in the scene where Aronson’s character bends over to greet his dog unbeknownst to anyone but Feldman he could see down her low-cut top.

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And in that moment Corey Feldman became a man

So, as pervy as it sounds excluding his mother that was the first time Feldman had seen female breasts.

8. Crispin Glover was exactly as weird as you’d expect

If you only know Crispin Glover for his adorable turn as George McFly in Back to the Future get hip to his extreme weirdness below:

In the The Final Chapter, he committed one of the most memorably weird dances in film history:

Not surprisingly, that was 100% Crispin Glover, based on the way he actually danced at clubs at the time (although others say he just made it up on the spot).  On the set, he was dancing to “Back in Black” by AC/DC, as the scene was filmed. In the film, an edited version of “Love is a Lie” by Lion was dubbed into the scene.  His dance partner in the scene, Carey More, had this to say:

“I am supposed to be this shy demure, kind of like wallflower, and he’s dancing so crazily, and I was watching him, alarmed.  I think I pretty much acted exactly how I was feeling, which was like, ‘What the flip is going on here?’”

As you’d expect, there are plenty of other “Crispin was so crazy” stories from the set, such as the time he forced a shut down in filming until his toy yellow submarine could be retrieved from the lake, or when he declined a request to rehearse by observing, “You know, I’m in a rain mood.  Not gonna rehearse now.”  Shine on, you rain mood-having, crazy diamond.

9. Corey Feldman was legitimately terrified during the window shot


Corey Feldman quite possibly genuinely crapping his pants

As per series tradition, Jason was played by yet another stuntman in The Final Chapter, this time Ted White, a seasoned veteran of 40 years who had doubled for John Wayne and Clark Cable.  He did not like Corey Feldman, calling him the “meanest goddamn little kid I ever dealt with.  I wanted to just brag him and kick his ass so many times.”  So, when it came time to film the famous scene near the end when Jason reaches through a broken window to pull Tommy out of a house White got to act out his frustration.  They had worked out the timing of when White would grab Feldman beforehand, but during filming White waited a couple of beats to the point that Feldman assumed the stunt had gone wrong.  So, just as he let his guard down White grabbed him exactly as you see in the film, meaning Feldman’s screams of horror were completely authentic.

10. Method acting gone too far


High Times with Lawrence Monoson

It’s a simple formula, these Friday the 13th films: you have sex, you die; you do drugs, you die.  What happens, though, if one of the actors pretending to take drugs actually went full-on method?  Nothing good, or at least that’s what Lawrence Monoson discovered when he decided to actually smoke pot when his character, Ted, is supposed to be smoking pot prior to this death.  Instead of helping him get into the character, the pot mostly rendered Monoson incapable of concentrating on his scene as he became paranoid and freaked out on set.

11. Wilding and “He’s killing me!”


Rob yelling out “He’s killing me!” just in case we weren’t clear what Jason was doing to him

Rob’s death scene is one of the most unintentionally hilarious in series history, as his response to Jason’s knife repeatedly entering his body is to scream, “He’s killing me!  He’s killing me!” as Trish continues fleeing.  Who would really respond like that?  Well, as it turns out that was inspired by a newspaper article Joseph Zito read about a stabbing incident on a New York City street in which the victim screamed, “Please stop hurting me, please stop killing me!” yet no one nearby intervened or called the police.  The idea was for Rob’s screams to highlight how merciless Jason was, killing a rather noble character who not only sought justified vengeance but was also the love interest for Trish.  Thus, Trish can hear exactly what is happening and either rush to Rob’s aid or flee, but instead she initially runs away only to return due to overwhelming guilt.  It was all supposed to be so gut-wrenching, but instead audiences simply roared with laughter, perhaps thinking the Friday the 13th series would now feature the victims all providing the play-by-play on just how Jason was killing them.

12. Alternate endings

The actual ending of Final Chapter closes with an appropriately brutal death for Jason, as his head slowly descends down an upturned blade.  However, series tradition dictated they needed a fake-out dream sequence conclusion.  They filmed one, and then scrapped it, thus meaning the official version of Final Chapter never does reveal what became of Trish and Tommy’s mother, whose death is implied but never depicted.  Thanks to the recent efforts of documentarian Daniel Farrands and Joseph Zito, this original ending has been restored as much as possible.  Here it is, with director and actors providing commentary since not all of the original audio could be recovered:

They were probably right to cut it.

13. 6-week post-production

Final Chapter wrapped production in January 1984, 6 weeks over-schedule.  However, that was okay because their release date wasn’t until October.  That is until Paramount studio head Frank Mancuso, Sr. loved the early footage, and called Joseph Zito to ask, “Could you possibly finish editing in time to make a new release date of Friday the 13th in April?”  They suddenly had around only 6 weeks to finish post-production.  Zito was going to need help.  So, in one of the only times Paramount ever assisted with production of a Friday the 13th film they rented a house in Malibu for Zito, his team of editors and their assistants, and Frank Mancuso, Jr. to live in.  You remember the all-night computer coding sessions from The Social Network?  Imagine something like that, just with a bunch of guys editing film, having their food brought in for them by Paramount, and barbers having to shave them while they edited together gruesome kill scenes.  They just barely made the release date, but the end result is plenty of footage was hastily cut out only to later end up re-inserted for TV showings of Final Chapter.

The final damage for Final Chapter?

  • Body Count: 13
  • Box Office: $32.9 million domestic (like $81.9 million at 2014 ticket prices) on $1.8 million budget.  In adjusted dollars, that makes Final Chapter the 4th highest domestic grossing Friday the 13th of all time.  The only proper Friday the 13th sequel that made more was Part 3, and even then just barely.  At the time, The Final Chapter‘s opening weekend of $11.2 million was the biggest in the history of Paramount.

Next Friday, we’ll tell you why on Earth they thought it was a good idea to do a Part 5 with a copycat killer instead of the real Jason Voorhees.

Sources: Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th documentary and the companion coffee table book of the same name

Siskel & Ebert Review Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter:

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