Halloween is on Sunday, so that would normally mean that today will be my last review for Halloween Horror Month, but since I missed Monday due to computer problems, I’ll have one more review for Halloween Day. In the meantime, it may be Friday the 29th, but I’m still busting out NECA’s most recent Jason Voorhees release for today’s review! Because of limited space, I’ve been pulling way back on my NECA purchases these days. But, I’m always ready to go back to Camp Crystal Lake, and the Jason I’m checking out today is extra special! Not only is it the first NECA Jason release since the licensing issues back in 2019, but it also happens to be Jason as he appeared in my favorite of all the Friday the 13th films! Yup, this may be my SEVENTH Jason figure from NECA, but never have I been more excited!
There’s nothing new about the packaging. You get what seems like an enclosed box with a J-hook, but the front flap opens to reveal a window. There are a lot of photos of the figure on the packaging and the front features the movie poster! I love this poster, as it’s not only a cool depiction of Jason versus his new adversary, but it also features the same model Buck hunting knife that I’ve had in my possession since I was a teenager! Anyway, The New Blood is my favorite flick in the franchise because it sees Jason finally meeting his match inTina, an ESPer-fueled avenging angel, making her a very interesting Final Girl!
The more zombified Jason gets the better I like it! By this flick, he’d already been killed, electrocuted back to life, and then trapped underwater and left to die again. Some folks seem to misremember his head getting destroyed by a boat motor, but that’s just mass hysteria. It never happened! If it did they would have included it in the recap at the beginning of this film, right? RIGHT??? This Jason is, however, quite messed up for having been down in that water for so long, and that’s why he’s my favorite design. His shredded clothing and badly decayed body gave NECA quite the canvas on which to work! Peeking through the holes in his wardrobe are patches of nasty old skin and even bones. The layering of soft plastic over sculpt creates a wonderful sense of depth and really sells it. There’s so much worth of praise here, but I think my favorite bit are the exposed bones displayed on his back! But really everything about this figure looks phenomenal! I love that they also included the broken length of chain still around his neck.
Jason comes with two heads and two hockey masks. The regular head has the mask held in place with rubbery straps, just like most of the previous releases. The lower left half of the mask has been chipped away to reveal a glimpse of the grim visage that hides behind it. The mask also has a chip in the top and some light scuffing, but otherwise it’s held together pretty well. It’s got a slightly glossy finish to it, which I dig a lot. The straps hold it nice and snug to the head, and the eye holes line up perfectly.
One of my favorite things about watching Friday the 13th films for the first time was always wondering what Jason was going to look like when he inevitably gets de-masked. And boy, this one did not disappoint! Like his body, Jason’s noggin is just some remnants of flesh hanging onto his partially revealed skull. He’s got one eye set deep into the right socket and he’s otherwise just a mess of teeth and beef jerky. It’s worth noting that this movie saw the debut of Kane Hodder as the Crystal Lake Slasher, and despite all that makeup, he got to do some wonderful emoting during his showdown with Tina. I just love the scenes where he is visibly pissed off and sick of her shit.
The second head and mask captures the moment of the big reveal, and holy shit it does it well. Tina uses her powers to tighten the straps of Jason’s mask until it cracks in half in what is easily the best Jason face reveal of the whole franchise. The mask accessory is cracked into two halves and held together by the strap, which pegs into the back of the head. The resulting effect is that it looks like it’s capturing the moment it splits apart and reveals Jason’s pissed off mug under it. The head sculpt shows Jason’s mouth agape in rage. I think my only nitpick about either of these heads is that the right eye should have been a tad more prominent, but otherwise, this is just an epic display! OK, you know the drill. Time to look at the killing implements, and as usual I’m going to take them in chronological order of their appearance. It’s worth noting that this film has a lot of weaponless deaths, which makes me wonder why Jason bothers arming himself anymore. I guess it’s just more fun that way!
Tent Spike! It was not only a makeshift weapon, but also part of Dr. Crews’ sick mind games with Tina. Jason makes a gift of the spike to Jane right through her head and then javelins it into Mikey as he’s running away. It’s a simple but bloody accessory!
Machete! Gotta have it… it’s Jason’s signature weapon! Jason picks up a machete from a couple of campers, but doesn’t even use it to kill them. The dude just gets a fist through the chest and his girlfriend gets bashed against a tree while still in her sleeping bag. I guess he does use it to cut his way into the tent. The machete makes another appearance later when he puts it right into David’s neck.
Wood Ax! I don’t even remember where Jason gets it, but he makes good use of it… twice! First, Russell gets ax to the face while his girlfriend is skinny dipping in the lake. Later, bitchy priss Melissa gets the same treatment right before the final showdown with Tina. NECA did a great job on this one. I dig how the wooden shaft gets bloodstained close to the blade. The blade itself also has a nice patina.
Sickle! Jason picks this up off the wall when he’s stalking Maddie in the barn. I think it was a barn. Maybe it was just a big toolshed. Either way, you probably don’t wanna hide from Jason in a room with a whole wall of killing implements. This was the only kill that really bothered me, because Maddie was one of the few likeable teens in this whole flick.
Butcher Knife! Jason borrows this from the kitchen when the reefer-fiend David is raiding the fridge.
Pole-Ax! I don’t know what else to call this thing, but I’m pretty sure I’ve seen them hanging in the aisles at Home Depot. It looks like it’s for cutting back trees or some shit. Either way, this kill is great, because Dr. Crews is literally clutching Tina’s Mom and holding her in place when Jason skewers her with this bad boy! And yes, that was Susan Blu, beloved cartoon voice actress that makes me scream, “ARCEE… NO!!!!” every time I see her get killed.
And last, but certainly not least… Motorized Trimmer! This is basically a circular saw at the end of a pole with a chainsaw motor on the other end. Egads, I love this scene! Dr. Crews is just leaning on a tree when he hears the weed-cutter motor turn over and there’s Jason ready to get busy with some yard work! Yeah, the kill itself was a bit anti-climactic, but the lead up was great. It’s worth noting that most of the kills in this flick are set up great, but pretty tame when it comes to the gore. It’s not until the bodies are found that we really see anything good. It’ll always be my one main gripe with this installment, but not enough to keep it from being in my top slot.
The marriage of NECA and Jason Voorhees continues to be one of my greatest joys of collecting. I want to go back in time and tell teenage me, watching these flicks on VHS late at night, that in the future Target will have a whole section devoted to 80’s Slasher action figures, and that I have eight incarnations of Jason standing proudly on my shelf. This version gave NECA a lot to work with and they totally hit it out of the park. Indeed, there’s just one issue I have with this release, and I don’t know how NECA dropped the ball on it. WHERE’S THE PARTY HORN THAT JASON STUCK IN KAREN’S EYEBALL??? Yeah, it would have been fun to get that in the box too, but all is forgiven! There’s still one of NECA’s Jason figures that I don’t have and that’s from the 2009 remake. I’ve only seen that movie once, but I remember actually liking it, so I’ll get to picking up that figure eventually.
Catch you folks on Halloween Day!