FRIDAY THE 13TH Special: The Hockey Mask in Films and Other Media!
Friday the 13th may be the film series that springs to mind when you think hockey mask, but there are actually a few films out there that had a killer or menacing bad guy wearing a hockey mask before Jason Voorhees donned it in the 1983 film Friday the 13th Part III. However, it seems Jason made the mask popular, as there are way more films that came out after that gave a little nod (or directly ripped off in some cases) to the masked Crystal Lake killer. Below is a list of films in the order they released. See if you can figure out which ones are trying to bank on the popularity of the Friday the 13th series.
Rape Squad aka Act of Vengeance (1974)
Synopsis:Linda gets raped by a man in a hockey mask. She finds that a few other women have had the same treatment. Together they form a squad that starts looking for the man and also changes the mind of would-be rapists.
This pre-Friday the 13th film focuses on one rapist wearing a (very cheap-looking) hockey mask to hide his face while he rapes women. Think this is a slasher? Think again! These women learn karate and kick some rapist ass. This is one of those rape-revenge films, and despite looking pretty damn sleazy, it’s also equally hilarious. And you’re in luck – Scorpion Releasing just put this out on Blu-ray last week (though if you’re in the US, you can’t order it until October)!
Night School (1981)
Synopsis:Who’s been decapitating the innocent girls at a local night school? The police are baffled.
In the rather unknown slasher from 1981, Night School, a familiar-looking mask is seen sitting on a dresser. Just below it is a hockey stick and because this is pre-Jason Mask and no other horror film that we know of had this mask in it at the time, it’s basically a reference to hockey. Also, check out all that nudity on the wall! A serial killer den if there ever was one!
Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)
Synopsis:In the post-apocalyptic Australian wasteland, a cynical drifter agrees to help a small, gasoline rich community escape a horde of bandits.
Lord Humungus, a post-apocalyptic badass, sports the hockey mask in Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, probably just to protect his sensitive face from sun and dust exposure. In this scene there’s also a pretty epic boomerang scene, because it’s Australia.
Alone in the Dark (1982-a few months after F13th Part III)
Synopsis:A quartet of murderous psychopaths break out of a mental hospital during a power blackout and lay siege to their doctor’s house.
Alone in the Dark has four killers, and you’d think those four killers might wear masks of some sort to fit into the recent slate of mask-wearing slashers. But instead, the film features one very quick scene where one of the murderers – named The Bleeder who hates to show his face – dons a hockey mask after he breaks out of the mental hospital before murdering a looter during a mass blackout. It doesn’t appear again, but it’s a pretty effective sequence that’s surprising in its haste.
Synopsis:Eight people are invited to their old high school for their ten-year reunion where a fellow former student, disfigured from a prank gone wrong, is out to seek revenge.
Slaughter High inserts a quick nod to Jason Voorhees due to the fact that Harry Manfredini composes the music for the film. Listen for the stinger from Friday the 13th.
Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987)
Synopsis:The misfit Police Academy (1984) graduates now are assigned to train a group of civilian volunteers to fight crime once again plaguing the streets.
Much like a later Christmas Vacation scene, the hockey mask makes an appearance along with a chainsaw in Police Academy 4 – why does every movie pair the hockey mask with the chainsaw? It’s completely wrong!
Synopsis:Angela, supposedly reformed and living under an assumed surname, is working at a summer camp. However, when the campers start misbehaving, she soon reverts to her old ways.
Sleepaway Camp II makes reference to A Nightmare on Elm Street, the Friday the 13th series, and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre in a fun sequence where two campers are killed by Angela with a chainsaw. The dude wearing the hockey mask technically has the full helmet, unlike just the face mask that’s used most of the time in homage.
Yet another fucking chainsaw with a hockey mask! This time it comes from the theater movie playing in a scene during The Blob called “Garden Tool Massacre,” which is actually a pretty great name and I’m surprised someone hasn’t actually made this movie yet.
The Violence Movie (1988) & The Violence Movie 2 (1989)
THE VIOLENCE MOVIE:When a deranged killer (David E. Wilkinson, ”Jersey Girl”… but as a lame extra in a scene with Ben Affleck… still counts!) escapes from prison, he inexplicably invades the home of Joey Hammond (Joseph Shaugnessy) who must fight for his life in order to stay alive.
THE VIOLENCE MOVIE 2:Was it real or was it a dream? For some unexplained reason Joey Hammond (Joseph Shaughnessy) returns in this action packed sequel. This time the crazed serial killer (David Wilkinson) is relentless in his pursuit of the innocent Joey with 2 times the action, 2 times the gore, 2 times the body count, and 2 times the fun (well, not really)! It’s the sequel in which you will keep asking yourself, ”Why?”
Honestly, these films are pretty terrible – but they’re basically just full-length references to Friday the 13th.
Synopsis:The Griswold family’s plans for a big family Christmas predictably turn into a big disaster.
This hilarious scene from Christmas Vacation takes place after a series of mishaps on Christmas Eve cause Clark to lose his mind. Their Christmas tree burns to the ground after Uncle Louis lights it on fire attempting to smoke one of his stogies, and as an alternative, Clark decides to go out and cut down one of his own trees in the yard to replace it. He dons the iconic hockey mask and uses a chainsaw in two odes – one to Friday the 13th, one to The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.
Synopsis:A blind beauty (Fiona Evans) befriends a hockey-masked slasher (Gregory Cox) celebrated in horror movies.
In a much better, more celebrated parody of Friday the 13th and other slashers, Unmasked Part 25 features a modified hockey mask that is part Jason, part Leatherface – and the dude’s name is Jackson. Look for this one in Vinegar Syndrome’s October 2019 Blu-ray releases.
Waxwork II: Lost in Time (1992)
Synopsis:In this sequel, a couple must use a portal through time to defeat evil.
There’s a pretty quick reference to Friday the 13th in Waxwork II – again, it’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment with a shot of a bloody hockey mask. Notice how almost every one of the hockey masks differs significantly from Jason’s design, because $$$.
Synopsis:A group of professional bank robbers start to feel the heat from police when they unknowingly leave a clue at their latest heist.
Heat utilizes the hockey mask exactly like you’d expect – during the heist, it’s a face covering so that no one knows who they fucking are and they don’t get arrested. Seems pretty obvious.
Asylum of Terror (1998)
Synopsis:A haunted house on the site of a death row prison sounds like the perfect place to attract crowds looking for a scare, until one of its former residents decides to come home.
Oof. This is a pretty rough VHS film but it does feature an exceptionally-cheap looking hockey mask on its killer, who offs people attending a haunted house. It rips off lots of slashers as well, and there’s even a… Sting mask?
Synopsis:Laurie Strode, now the dean of a Northern California private school with an assumed name, must battle the Shape one last time, as the life of her own son hangs in the balance.
Halloween: H20 is all about the meta thanks to writer Kevin Williamson (and it’s basically a Scream film in Michael Myers disguise), and so it does throw in a nice homage to its slasher brethren with this quick scene at the beginning of the film. Yep, that’s Joseph Gordon-Levitt underneath the mask.
Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday the 13th (2000)
Synopsis: A reporter investigates a series of murders, dubbed the Spring Break Massacre, which leads to further mayhem.
One of the classic parodies of the early 2000s, released in the same year as Scary Movie but in production before it. All kinds of horror references are made in this one, but you can see in the image above the mashup of both Friday the 13th and Scream at play for the killer.
Bloody Murder (2000)
Synopsis:Plans for a summer filled with fun and romance turn to terror for a group of young counselors.
Another exceptionally bad film with a hockey mask-wearing, chainsaw-sporting killer, this one is a straight-up ripoff of those films not intended as homage but just blatant cashing in on the ideas.