As I’m still in a pleasant Friday the 13th afterglow, I thought I’d do something a bit different and celebrate the elusive, but few in number, final boys of the 12 films. Anyone who doesn’t zone out when I’m talking knows Amy Steel is my hands-down favourite final girl, but what about the 8 spunky males who survived Jason Voorhees’ rages of terror?
FB#1: THE TOMMYS
Tommy Jarvis was the first non-girl to encounter JV and make it out alive. In all fairness, he was only 12 and we know Jase doesn’t kill kids (somewhat unfortunately). Tommy was first played by a pre-Gremlins, pre-Goonies, pre-drug Corey Feldman to good effect and hacked up the masked one with machete at the end of The Final Chapter.
In the fifth movie, Feldman returned for a cameo and then grew up into John Shepard, uttered precisely 22 words in 87 minutes and looked like he was going to become the killer for the rest of the franchise. Pretty dull, but a nicely sculpted torso, one must say!
In Jason Lives, Tommy came back for the last time and was played by the best looking of the trio, Thom Mathews, in a nice comedic way. Thom wins extra points for having the same name as his character. Unless it’s pronounced like, y’know, Fom.
Poz: about the only recurring character outside of Jason. Slightly mental.
Neg: Shepard was boring and the actors all looked too different.
Little Reggie is, so far, the only black character to have survived a Friday (unless you want to be picky and point out some background characters), although he technically didn’t escape from Jason, just some schmuck playing the role.
Diff’rent Strokes actor Shavar Ross was a highlight of A New Beginning, the film most people love to hate but I love to love. It’s sleazy as hell but a tidal wave of murders, toplessness, and little Reggie’s quips make it somewhat of a guilty pleasure.
Poz: ethnic diversity; girly screaming moment; running “Jason” down with a tractor. Says “solid” to mean cool.
Neg: Michael Jackson-esque sibling; red hoodie.
I don’t mind saying I find Kevin Blair (or Spirtas) intensely attractive. He was the pin-up type in 88′s The New Blood, where he supposedly didn’t gel with final girl Lar Park Lincoln so well, but still managed to get away relatively unscathed.
Nick’s the nice bloke in the group of party-hard kids vacationing at Crystal Lake for his cousin’s birthday. Said cousin is totally dead early on and Nick defends Lar against bitchy Melissa whilst trying to find dead-cuz and save the day.
Poz: was the male lead in The Hills Have Eyes Part II (the old one), appears in soaps n’ stuff.
Neg: beyond my geographical reach; didn’t have a lot to do besides follow Lar around.
Shaun is kinda Nick Mk. II, the sensitive guy who is nice to heroine Rennie (Jensen Daggett) in one of the least interesting of the series as they all head to New York on a cruiseship. Instead of a dead cousin, Shaun’s dad gets it in the neck here and so he’s as damaged as Rennie, allowing them – and a dog – to emerge as the only survivors.
Scott Reeves replaced an anonymous actor for the part, who was allegedly ‘too gay’.
Poz: all-American good looks and niceness.
Neg: again, a little dull. But that’s the problem with most of the characters in Jason Takes Manhattan.
Crystal Lake resident Steven is the ex of Jason’s long lost sister’s daughter and thus the father of her child: Jason’s great-niece. They don’t get along, then they do, then they don’t. His fingers get broken, he nearly gets dragged into hell.
Poz: John D. LeMay had starred in the Friday the 13th TV series.
Neg: Dorky and a bit annoying. He’s like the prankster kid we wish would die.
Tsunaron (Chuck Campbell) is a sciencey guy who looks after the android Kay-Em in Jason X. Admittedly I don’t watch this entry much and it’s probably my least favourite of the series, but he was okay as I recall. Donned the usual nice-bloke role but was largely overshadowed by the girls. And Uber-Jason.
Poz: also appeared as scary film-in-film guy in the fab Urban Legends: Final Cut.
Neg: I thought he was Bruce Campbell’s brother. But he isn’t.
FB #7: WILL
Will (Jason Ritter) is a Springwood kid in an institute because he is still knowledgeable about Freddy Krueger. He was put there by his girlfriend’s (Monica Keena) doctor dad and manages to escape after Freddy resurrects Jason to do his bidding on Elm Street blah-de-blah blah.
Son of the late John Ritter, he didn’t have a whole lot of depth to his Freddy vs Jason character.
Poz: virtuous knowledge-base for inperilled (?) teens. Real name is Jason.
Neg: Forgettable when Jason and Freddy are present.
Clay is in Crystal Lake looking for lost little sister Whitney, who has been captured and imprisoned by Jason due to her resemblance to a young Mrs Voorhees. He accepts help from final girl elect Jenna and they do most of the running and screaming.
Jared Padalecki is probably the most famous final boy here, thanks to his lead role in Supernatural.
Poz: plays the archetypal nice guy and tall enough to give Jason a run for his money when they go into combat. Got turned into a mannequin in House of Wax.
Neg: Wayward teen past and overhanging I-am-responsible-for-her righteousness.
It’s Blair/Spirtas for me – he doesn’t get in the way too much to be annoying and has his own mini-background that doesn’t deflect from the awesomeness of the final girl’s psychic ability and subsequent problems. Plus he’s hot!