Horror fans everywhere are counting the days until the release of Entertainment Factory’s Death House, but a recent interview with the highly anticipated film’s writer and director Harrison Smith touched on a teaser that got this writer’s wheels spinning.
Before we go any further, it should be stressed that none of what follows was stated in any way by Mr. Smith. Rather it is pure conjecture based on what the filmmaker hinted at in the interview coupled with an open letter that Smith wrote to New Line Cinema in the latter part of 2015 where he outlined the fact that he had attended a meeting where he would have been asked to write a first script if the film every came to be but the rights were so “parceled” and “convoluted” between New Line and Paramount, it was dead in the water.
Smith also pointed out the ways that reuniting Jason Voorhees and Tommy Jarvis would be a “moneymaker” because it would be tantamount to a “spinoff without the stigma of a remake” and not “about hunting Jason,” but rather “exploring Tommy and his world.”
With that said, let’s start delving, shall we?
In an interview with HorrorGeekLife the day after Thanksgiving, Smith was asked whether Death House held a “surprise or two up (its) sleeve” with regard to film appearances that hadn’t been announced. Fans already know about Kane Hodder and Tony Todd and Dee Wallace, but for a film featuring a veritable who’s who of the genre, surely there might be a cast member or two whom the audience would not be expecting but would get the blood flowing so to speak.
Smith’s response was intriguing to say the least.
You are on to something very solid there, yes. There are so many surprises in this in that way that you’re talking about and then, in addition, if you watch the credits at the end, there is a mid-credit sequence, not a post-credit, a mid-credit sequence that, all I can tell you is the cameo of the performer, since you’re a Friday the 13th fan and what he brings into the scene, you will flip because you’re going to know exactly what it is.
Note that Smith said “he.”
Now, Hodder is Death House’s star, and seeing as the definitive Jason is already playing a separate character, it seems too obvious (and cheesy) that Hodder would simply stumble upon a hock. Walt Gorney passed many years ago and for as glorious as it would be for Ted White to make an appearance of any kind, he’s probably a bit too old old to have anything to do with the masked maniac at this point.
However, when one takes Smith’s letter to New Line into consideration, things begin to make sense.
Smith stressed that continuous rehashing has damaged the Friday the 13th franchise, but also that beyond Jason and Pamela Voorhees, Tommy Jarvis was the only memorable character of the series, and specifically pointed to Corey Feldman’s original performance from The Final Chapter.
Taken a step further, Smith stated that Jarvis provided a “formidable nemesis” with a dark side who would have been haunted by his experience in 1984 and not convinced that Jason was truly eradicated. Smith referred to the idea as a “spin-off” that could and should willfully ignore the films and events post-Final Chapter ala Halloween: H20 and breathe new life into the saga while sparing fans yet another facsimile.
Friday fans would tend to agree.
Once again, Hodder is the star of Smith’s Death House, knows Feldman (who has been pitching the idea of his return as Jarvis for years), and Hodder would appear to have already been down with Smith’s vision.
In an “HBC B-Movie” interview with Hodder in 2013, this writer touched on the idea of Hodder’s return as the Camp Crystal Lake marauder in a film where he would be reunited with Feldman to pick up the Jarvis story line, to which Hodder replied:
I know Corey from doing appearances together and as a horror fan, I think it would be cool as hell to have a Friday the 13th movie, bring me back and Corey Feldman back. Now, how the story is written, it has to be pretty creative and everything but just stepping out of the fact that I played Jason, I think it would be cool as hell to see me come back and Corey come back.
To Smith’s letter and Hodder’s existing belief in the concept we now add the revelation that Death House will boast of a mid-credits sequence with a cameo sure to make Friday fans flip.
Once again, this has nothing to do with anything Harrison Smith said, it is very much a theory, but this writer is leaning toward Death House’s mid-credits surprise being Corey Feldman reprising his role as Tommy Jarvis.
Whether it’s Feldman at the facility or simply a car making its way into the country where Feldman emerges to reveal of shot of a camp and / or cabin, it would indeed drive Friday fans wild. Of course, licensing and copyright always enter the equation, but there are plenty of ways to portray a scenario without getting into specifics while the audience completely comprehends what the film is attempting to communicate.
What’s more, such a mid-credit sequence would take Smith’s open letter to another level by providing tangible evidence that Smith’s perception with regard to the Jason / Jarvis story line has legs. Friday fans would flip, the internet buzz would be insane and the clamoring to bring such a concept to fruition could potentially (on a smaller scale) rival the demand for Machete following its faux trailer from Grindhouse.
One last time, none of the preceding came from Harrison Smith, it is simply the rambling theory of this writer. However, the more one ponders, the more cold, Crystal Lake water it seems to hold.