To many horror movie fans, Kane Hodder is Jason Voorhees. Having played the Camp Crystal Lake killer in four Friday the 13th films, Hodder was Gun Media's go-to choice to play Jason in Friday the 13th: The Game. With eight days remaining in the game's Kickstarter campaign (and over $620,000 raised so far), Daily Dead caught up with Hodder to discuss preparing to play Jason once again, memorable moments on the sets of the Friday the 13th films, and much more.
Thank you very much for taking the time to answer some questions for us, Kane. Can you tell us how you got involved with Friday the 13th: The Game?
Kane Hodder: Wes Keltner contacted me about being involved with a game called Summer Camp. He wanted me to do the motion capture for the killer. Obviously, I love playing a character like that, so I was very interested. He told me that Tom Savini and Harry Manfredini were already on board and I readily agreed. There was only one crucial piece missing, and I hoped more than anything that it would become the iconic name. It did, and I couldn't be happier.
Fans have wanted to see you put the hockey mask back on since Jason X. What was your initial reaction to getting another opportunity to play Jason Voorhees?
Kane Hodder: Considering that I never wanted to stop playing Jason, this opportunity fills a void in my life that has existed for a while. That sounds pretty dramatic, but it is true. I loved playing the character, and I'm very happy to be back. In a different form, but just as violent!
Gun Media has assembled a great group of people connected to the Friday the 13th franchise, including Sean S. Cunningham, Tom Savini, and Harry Manfredini. What’s it been like to be a part of such a talented team with ties to Crystal Lake?
Kane Hodder: The fact that Wes and Ronnie [Hobbs] were able to get all four of us together for this is unprecedented. We have all known each other for years, and we have worked on projects with each other in different combinations, but this is the first project that all four of us are on together. Hard to believe, but true. I couldn't be happier.
There hasn’t been a Friday the 13th video game since 1989, and Gun Media is looking to really give Jason his due this time around. What elements of this new game are you the most excited for the fan base to experience?
Kane Hodder: People always ask me how it feels to be Jason. Now people will get a little taste of exactly that. You can play as Jason in this game. That is one of the most exciting things for me. Add to that the incredibly real animation that we have, the intricate story lines, and of course a lot of "Easter eggs" within the game itself, and you have a horror fan's/gamer's dream come true.
You’ve had an effectively imposing presence as Jason in four Friday the 13th films. Have you started getting back into that Jason mindset and practicing his movements again, or do his traits come to you as naturally as breathing?
Kane Hodder: Hopefully, it won't make me sound like too much of a psychopath myself, but some of my personal favorite things that I did as the character were things I just did naturally. Just things I would have done if I were in that position. And no, I haven't ever really killed someone. Choked unconscious, yes, killed, no.
You’ll be playing Jason via motion capture technology. Have you had prior experiences in that area and do you think it will be a bit more challenging or fun to play Jason that way?
Kane Hodder: I actually did the motion capture for a killer in a similar game about 12 years ago, but then the game was shelved. It is a little different process, but it is still fun. I will bring stunt people with me, so I can really be "realistic" with the violence. I may look different while doing it, but it will still be Jason!
Are there any types of kills that you never got to do on film that you’d love to do in the video game?
Kane Hodder: I'm working on some ideas for some of the kills, but I would rather surprise the player with that information. Besides, if I told you now, I'd have to kill you. Creatively, of course.
You played Jason in a wide variety of settings—space, woods, houses, etc. Looking back on shooting those scenes, is there a favorite or funny memory that stands out to you from being on those sets?
Kane Hodder: So many favorite moments over the years, but here is one example from each film:
Part 7 - Scaring the hell out of the local sheriff one night when he came to visit the set in Alabama. Ran into him on a path in the woods, and I just stopped and stared. He got nervous, I lunged and he took off!
Part 8 - Being in Times Square in full costume. The most amazing night I ever spent shooting a Friday movie.
Jason Goes to Hell - Playing a second character in the movie, and technically being killed by Jason.
Jason X - Pretending to be a Jason "dummy" when a young student class visited the set. I almost felt guilty the way I scared those kids. Almost.
Many horror fans see you as the ultimate Jason. Having played him in four films, how much improv did you do as Jason to add your own personal flavor to the character?
Kane Hodder: Sometimes, I did exactly that: improv. I wouldn't think too much about what I would do in a certain shot. I would just do what came naturally. No way it can look "rehearsed," if I didn't even know exactly what I was going to do. I'd have to say that my portrayal of Jason has quite a bit of that Kane flavor. That sounds weird. Accurate, though.
Are you a big fan of video games? Are there any other characters you’ve portrayed that you think would be fun to play in a video game?
Kane Hodder: I always loved video games and I think about how much fun this will be for me to try to defeat Jason. Never thought I would experience that!
I'd love to see a Hatchet game featuring Victor Crowley in the swamp. Jason fighting Victor? Hmmm...
Should it reach its $700,000 fundraising goal, Friday the 13th: The Game will feature a seven player experience in which one person plays Jason Voorhees and the other six take on the roles of camp counselors. If it becomes fully funded, the game is expected to come out in October of 2016 for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
"Friday the 13th: The Game is a third-person, asymmetrical multiplayer title where one player controls Jason Voorhees while the remaining seven control camp counselors trying to survive the night.That's right...1v7 multiplayer set in the semi-open world of Camp Crystal Lake! It's a classic horror fan's dream, no shaky cam, no found footage. We want you to know we're revitalizing the golden era of slashers, and putting you at the controls of each horrific, blood-splattered moment.
Friday the 13th is the definition of horror to the millions of fans around the world. A masked killer going after the young and vulnerable; it grabs our attention, it frightens us, and yet we all come back for more. Friday the 13th: The Game will give you the feeling of horror and dread that you expect from Jason Voorhees. This will be the ultimate asymmetrical horror experience unlike anything you’ve seen - a title we’re proud to introduce that is worthy of the name ‘Friday the 13th’."