I’m always wary when a sequel takes it as its mission to explain away any sense of mystery that is prevalent in a movie. The part of Halloween that completely strikes a nerve with me is that Michael stalks Laurie for so long because of a chance encounter. That sort of fragile mental state is unsettling. As much as I enjoy some of the sequels, the motive given to Michael takes a bit of wind out of the movies’ collective sails.
That said, sometimes an explained motive is so awesome that all can be easily forgiven. In this case, I’m talking about Jason Voorhees. Now, of course his motive seems reasonably cut and dry. His mother was killing camp counselors in the original in order to avenge the accidental drowning of her son. Beginning with part 2, Jason is killing people to avenge the intentional beheading of his mother.
Of course, he accomplishes this in the opening scenes of the first sequel, so why does he keep killing? It can be assumed that he’s blaming all horny teenagers and everyone associated with them for his mother’s death and that he’s determined to keep everyone away from Crystal Lake. That may be part of it, but the primary motive wasn’t revealed for years.
It started when Alice Cooper became involved in the soundtrack for part 6. He has three songs in the movie, and the main theme, He’s Back (The Man Behind the Mask), may be the coolest song every written. A demo version of that song was also included on his 1999 box set. Normally demo versions of songs are nothing more than mild curiosity pieces for me. I’ll listen to them once or twice, and then file them away. This one is different though. It’s set to the music from another song on Constrictor, Trick Bag. It also delves into Jason’s motive a bit. Take a look at the chorus:
The man behind the mask
And he’s out of control
The man behind the mask
He crawled out of his hole
Just to rock and roll
I assume that the song had to be rewritten to preserve some of the sense of mystery and that this led to the version that we all know and love. I also assume that, for similar reasons, all scenes of Jason actually rocking and rolling were deleted from the final film. This leads me to the unavoidable conclusion that Jason was primarily interested in rocking before he was put in the hole as well.
Check out the demo version here: