Jason Voorhees is famously unstoppable and always comes back for more, despite multiple grisly ends. But of late, he’s tangling with his fiercest adversary yet: lawyers. The long-running legal saga as to who owns the rights to the original Friday the 13th rumbles on with no end in sight. Back in 2018, a judge ruled that the all concepts within the original screenplay belong to writer Victor Miller. Current rights holders Sean Cunningham and Horror Inc. appealed, but the case appears to be in purgatory as COVID-19 continues to gum up the legal system.
Through adversity comes triumph, though, and fans have stepped up to the plate to unofficially carry on Jason’s rampage. A month ago, we saw the very impressive Never Hike in the Snow by Womp Stomp Films, the sequel to their 2017 effort Never Hike Alone. On Halloween, meanwhile, Wet Paint Pictures released their own take on the franchise, Voorhees, for free on YouTube and it’s already racked up 165 million views.
The 99-minute movie feels about as close to a proper sequel as you can get. The concept is that a group of criminals and their hostages are lying low in the forests near Crystal Lake. This proves to be a bad place to try and hide out, though, with Jason not appreciating anyone on his territory and dispatching the hapless crooks in all manner of imaginative ways.
Friday the 13th fans are loving it, singing the film’s praises in the comments section and deeming it “fun and brutal,” “bloody good” and “mind-blowing.” Some even go so far as to say that Voorhees is better than most of the official movies (though let’s face it, it’s not that hard to make a more enjoyable pic than Jason Takes Manhattan).
Let’s just hope that when (if?) the legal situation surrounding Friday the 13th resolves, whoever’s in control of Jason looks to these excellent fan efforts for inspiration. And hey, if we’re going to get stuff this good for free, then I’m happy for the judge to take his sweet time deciding who’s right.