Who better to teach kids about “stranger danger” than the ultimate dangerous stranger himself, Jason Voorhees?
It’s funny to think about now, but back in the ’80s it was not all that uncommon for the brutal murderers of the big screen – who were dominating the box office at the time – to be repurposed for various other money-making outlets which were aimed at the youth of the day. Michael Myers was in a video game, Leatherface popped up in Daffy Duck movies, and Freddy Krueger – hell, when it came to kids, Freddy was more popular than the Easter Bunny (and about just as scary).
And that big ol’ water-logged mama’s boy, Jason Voorhees? He was no stranger to family friendly fare, either.
In 1988, the same year Friday the 13th VII: The New Blood came out, Triaminic (the company that makes cold medicine for kids) released a home video entitled Kid Safe: The Video. The 30-minute video, which was written and directed by body horror maestro Stuart Gordon and stars SCTV alums Andrea Martin and Joe Flaherty (acting as host, as his Count Floyd character), was intended to teach kids about what to do (and what not to do) in case they’re ever left home alone. Stuff like don’t drink your parents booze, don’t stick metal items in a toaster, and only call 911 in an emergency – y’know, the basics. Martin plays the little girl who’s left home alone, and throughout the video she breaks every single rule – only to immediately learn her lesson each time. By the end she’s completely reformed; an upstanding, rule-obeying kid who has learned to think before she acts. So when a stranger comes knocking at her door towards the end of the video, she smiles knowingly and proudly ignores it without a second thought.
So who was the stranger knocking at her door? Why, Jason Voorhees, of course! As the camera shows us the view from the front porch, we see Mr. Voorhees, who’s happens to be joined by a martian, a werewolf, a mummy, and a witch. Upon being denied entry, Jason shrugs and says, “Ah, well…”, and the crew saunters off to parts unknown.
The role of Jason was played by Daniel Welk – his only credit to date. And yes, that’s the late (and irreplaceable) Meshach Taylor playing the fireman. If anything, the video is a reminder of a bygone era when horror’s biggest icons were treated more like mascots than they were murderers.
So remember: if someone knocks at your door this Friday the 13th, be sure to ask who it is before you open it!
Thanks to Youtuber Taz D. for uploading and preserving this piece of weirdo video history.