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Final Girls: 'Friday the 13th'

The Final Four faces off against Jason Voorhees!

Tommy Jarvis take a seat because this list is for the pioneering ladies of the macabre. In honor of Women in Horror Month, this article honors those resourceful Final Girls who have all thwarted the evil Jason or Pamela Voorhees in their own unique ways.


Yes, it took much more than feminine wiles for these brainy beauties to survive the wrath of Momma Voorhees and her serial killer son. Jason really got the short end of the stick though as he had to duel with both a super-powered telekinetic and a female Terminator.


Now, here are the Most Formidable Final Girls of the "Friday" Franchise.


Ginny (Friday the 13th Part 2)

Actress Amy Steel’s child psychology-studying Ginny holds the honor of being the first Final Girl to face off against the nefarious Jason Voorhees (Warrington Gillette) in Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981). Sure, Jason is wearing a potato sack on his head, but it’s all about form over fashion.


But that morsel of hilarity does not take away from Jason’s blood-thirsty compulsion for retribution and carnage. Trapped in Jason’s inhospitable shack from hell, which is complete with a heinous trophy room sporting several corpses and Pamela Voorhees’ (Betsy Palmer) severed head, Ginny dons Mrs. Voorhees’ bloody sweater to confuse her attacker.


Ginny uses some child psychology, and she pretends to be Mrs. Voorhees.


While her beau Paul (John Furey) wrestles with Jason, Ginny takes the machete and delivers the death blow to the maniac which saves the day. The ending is very confusing though, and Ginny is loaded into an ambulance all by herself.


Where did Paul go?


But regardless of how you look at it, Ginny survives Jason’s original scourge on Crystal Lake with or without Paul.


Ginny 1, Jason 0.


ALICE (FRIDAY THE 13TH)

Meet the first Final Girl to survive a Friday the 13th film: Alice (Adrienne King). In filmmaker Sean S. Cunningham’s seminal horror flick Friday the 13th (1980), former Crystal Lake cook Pamela Voorhees is pissed off beyond belief and for good reason. Her young son Jason (Ari Lehman) drowns while the negligent camp counselors, who are supposed to be watching the children, are having sex. And what a crazy domino effect it has on those who dare to set foot on Crystal Lake’s campgrounds afterward.


After several murders, and subsequent attempts to shut down the venue, Steve Christy (Peter Bouwer) has the inspired idea to open the summer camp back up anyway. Wait, what? But what about the blood and the body count that’s mounting?


Nah, it’s probably safe, Mr. Christy. Do your thing.


Surprisingly, all the new employees systematically succumb to Momma Voorhees’ blind rage. Go figure. The victims include a young Kevin Bacon in one of his earliest film roles and Harry Crosby who is the son of classic crooner Bing Crosby.


Alice makes it to the film’s conclusion where she faces off against Mrs. Voorhees. After an impassioned battle, Alice grabs the machete and goes all “off with her head” on Mrs. Voorhees. Alice severs Pamela’s head before boarding a boat and drifting onto the lake for an unexpected swim with Jason (Ari Lehman). Fortunately, the tussle with Jason is only a dream, and Alice survives the massacre.


However, Alice’s luck runs out in the first sequence of Friday the 13th Part 2. Surprisingly, Jason has amassed enough cleverness to track down Alice. He can also make crank phone calls and sneak into her little dwelling and drive a screwdriver through her skull. Who knew Jason was so intelligent? It must have been all those years of living alone in the woods!


And if the unrealistic nature of Alice's death wasn’t bad enough, realism definitely took the rest of the day off, too. Let’s all address the fact Jason is suddenly an adult just a few months after the events of Part 1. There are some glaring holes in Friday the 13th franchise, but Alice’s legacy lives on even if she was offed in the first few minutes of the sequel.


KAY-EM 14 (JASON X)

Jason X (2001) is arguably one of the worst horror movies of all time, but fanboys and girls everywhere got to see their favorite hockey-masked serial killer mix it up with a female Terminator. In the future, Jason Voorhees (Kane Hodder) ends up in space. Yes, somewhere in the world – presumably California – a room full of executives green-lit this ludicrous idea.


However, one of the bright spots of the film is Jason’s battles with the android known as Kay-Em 14 (Lisa Ryder). During their first fight, Kay-Em plays possum when Jason hurls his machete into the android. Jason thinks she dead and is stunned when Kay-Em unloads her futuristic machine gun on the normally unstoppable Mr. Voorhees.


After a few rounds from her space pistols, Kay-Em goes all Jason Statham on Voorhees. Following another salvo of her machine pistols, which tears off Jason’s right arm, Kay-Em pulls out a machine gun even Arnold Schwarzenegger would have trouble carrying.


And Kay-Em blows off half of Jason’s face! The android has won! Or has she?


Unfortunately, Voorhees later upgrades to Uber Jason when the computers malfunction and rebuild his broken body. The rematch is short-lived between the now steroid-induced Jason and poor Kay-Em. Jason knocks her block off, literally! All Kay-Em has left in the end is her head, but she still survives the film. In her case though, Kay-Em wouldn’t be back. Thankfully, there was never another Friday the 13th meets 2001. What a waste of a cool character, though.


TINA (FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VII)

1988 was supposed to be the year Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) faced off against Jason Voorhees (Kane Hodder). Due to disputes between which company would distribute the film (Paramount Pictures or New Line Cinema) the motion picture didn’t happen immediately. In fact, it took Paramount losing their rights to the "Friday the 13th" property for New Line Cinema to finally released Freddy vs. Jason (2003) fifteen years later.


So, in 1988, Paramount still needed a powerful foe to face Jason, and that’s exactly what happened. In Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood, Jason essentially faces off against Stephen King’s Carrie.


Tina Shepard (Lar Park-Lincoln) has the same abilities as Carrie White – telekinesis – and she spends the last 10 to 15 minutes of Part VII beating the crap out of Jason with her superpowers. Tina finds herself face to face with Mr. Hockey Mask after he murders her mother (Susan Blu), and Tina electrocutes Jason, smacks him with a couch, drops a roof on him and sets him on fire in response.


Yes, she is a little pissed off, but Tina still doesn’t stop the Crystal Lake cutthroat. As Jason closes in for the kill, a wounded Tina resurrects her dead father – whom she accidentally killed as a child – with her telekinetic powers.


Don’t worry, it only sounds stupid because it is.


How can Tina bring her father back to life? And would he really have looked the same coming up out of the water? Mr. Shepard (John Otrin) would have decomposed after all those years, right? At any rate, Tina thwarts Jason’s plans to rid Crystal Lake of its teenage infestation.


Despite the cheesy resolution, of an otherwise superb sequel, Tina is by far and away the strongest threat Jason Voorhees ever faced. She definitely gave him more trouble than any other Friday the 13th Final Girl. It’s too bad filmmakers didn’t bring the character of Tina back.


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