You'd be hard pressed to find a serious Friday the 13th fan who considers Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday the best chapter of the franchise. In fact, it usually ranks close to the bottom along with the infamously shitty Jason Takes Manhattan and Jason X (the one where he goes to space). Still, Jason Goes to Hell is arguably the most creative, outside-the-box chapter in the series. While no one seemed to embrace the body-jumping spirit of Jason, everyone loved the choice Easter Eggs, specifically the Book of the Dead (aka The Necronomicon) and the Kandarian dagger, both of which were the actual props used in Sam Raimi's The Evil Dead.
Fans caught the nods and ran with them, imagining a scenario in which Mrs. Voorhees baby boy and Raimi's Sumerian spooks inhabited a shared universe. A theory soon emerged, one that suggested Jason himself is actually a Deadite. The theory exploded last November when Jason Goes to Hell director and co-writer Adam Marcus told the folks at Horror Geek Life that the Easter Eggs weren't merely a shout-out to Raimi and company, but a canonical connection. Here's what he said:
"She [Pamela Voorhees] makes a deal with the devil by reading from the Necronomicon to bring back her son. This is why Jason isn't Jason. He's Jason plus The Evil Dead, and now I can believe that he can go from a little boy that lives in a lake, to a full-grown man in a couple of months, to Zombie Jason, to never being able to kill this guy. That, to me, is way more interesting as a mashup, and Raimi loved it! It's not like I could tell New Line my plan to include The Evil Dead, because they don't own The Evil Dead. So it had to be an Easter egg, and I did focus on it...there's a whole scene that includes the book, and I hoped people would get it and could figure out that's what I'm up to. So yes, in my opinion, Jason Voorhees is a Deadite. He's one of The Evil Dead. It absolutely is canon."
Marcus delved deeper in a recent interview with Syfy during which he explained that the Evil Dead connection came out of the filmmaker's efforts to make sense of Jason's backstory and existence.
"[Co-writer] Dean Lorey and I thought everything had to come from a place of logic. In the first movie Jason is a little boy, thirty years dead and trapped at the bottom of a lake. By Part Two it's only two weeks later, and this kid has grown two feet. So that's the logic I have to build off of? "When we were pre-producing the movie, Bob Kurtzman and the guys at KNB said we're gonna do the effects on the movie. So I got to go on Sam Raimi's set for Army of Darkness. I asked Bob if Sam would lend me the Necronomicon for Jason Goes To Hell. I let Bob in on my secret plan and knew I couldn't say Deadite or Evil Dead in the movie because Universal owned the rights. If I just take that prop and put it in the Voorhees house, and use the Kandarian dagger as the thing that kills Jason, what I'm doing is setting up a mythology that Jason's mom wanted her son back so badly that she made a deal with the darkness. So she reads from the Necronomicon and brings about the resurrection of her son,"
Not everyone is sold on the canonical connection between Jason Voorhees and the Evil Dead franchise (including yours truly). It's not that I can't imagine the two series coexisting in a shared universe, one teeming with ghouls and specters, I just never bought the idea that Jason is a Deadite. We've never seen Deadites live underwater or age years in a short period of time; we've never seen the Necronomicon used to resurrect the dead. Most importantly (at least to me) Jason doesn't look or act like a Deadite: Jason is a mute, humorless brute whereas Deadites are shrieking, mischievous, self-mutilators. It's always seemed like too much of a stretch, but horror fans love their theories, and who am I to stand in the way of all this fun hypothesizing? Marcus's recent comments regarding Jason Goes to Hell came our way via Syfy.