Kane Hodder (Jason Voorhees; Friday The 13th Part VII: The New Blood, Friday The 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday, Jason X)

Interviews May 22nd, 2008

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Fellow GoreZone writer Robin Pierce interviewed Friday the 13th legend Kane Hodder some time back to coincide with the UK release of his latest flick Hatchet. Robin has kindly allowed us to publish the interview in full. While it mainly deals with his recent work, and not so much on the Friday the 13th series, this is still a must for Hodder fans. Enjoy!

Your latest film “Hatchet” was recently shown in London’s “Frightfest” and the word of mouth is very good. What can you tell us about your involvement in the film?
Well, Hatchet is the best horror movie I’ve ever done. It’s a horror comedy, but the comedy doesn’t take away from the scariness. I play both the character and his father in flashbacks, so that’s kind of new for me, playing both father and son. I get to do some good kills.”

Is your character Victor Crowley going to be another franchise character? Is there an opening for a sequel?
“There is DEFINITELY an opening for a sequel, and I would bet almost anything that they will do a sequel. It IS the next franchise and we definitely will do it.”

I was talking to Hatchet star Joel Moore a few weeks ago, and he told me about a prank you pulled on him involving a hatchet. Any comments?
“Was this when I threw the hatchet at him?”

Yes, it was. He thought it was the real axe, but you’d substituted it for a rubber one.
(Laughs) “I’m happy I did it. It helped with his performance. I threw it right at him, he was running, and the expression on his face, he really believed it. I believe it was Adam (director Adam Green)’s idea though. But it WAS something I’d have come up with.”

He told me that he still wakes up at night in a cold sweat, feeling that axe hit his leg. You’ve traumatised him!
(Laughs)

I felt sorry for him.
(still laughing) “Me too.”

I gather you still have a tendency to freak people out on set with your preparation routine prior to a take? How does that work ? Is it an adrenaline thing?
“Yeah, on AND off the set. I do my thing, you know - growling, screaming, stuff like that. It works for me to get in to character, and if the rest of the cast see me, it works particularly well to get a better performance out of them.”

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Because they’re already scared of you?
“Yeah, they see me getting into character and they’re thinking “maybe this guy’s taking his role a little too seriously” and they’re wary.”

Joel told me that during the filming of “Hatchet” some of the female members of the cast were crying with terror when the cameras were rolling.
“Yeah, I made sure that they didn’t see me with my make-up .. the take, so they had no idea what I looked like, no idea at all. So, during the take, I’d be standing behind them and they’d turn around and see me in make-up for the first time. It worked. It was pretty effective. They were really scared.”

Do you do that preparation, the screaming grunting thing just for horror movies or is it a general thing?
“I don’t do it as much for smaller roles.”

You’ve also played Ed Gein in a film pretty recently in Ed Gein: The Butcher of Plainfield. How differently did you approach performing Ed Gein who was a real, actual person to a fictional, indestructible zombie killer like Jason Voorhees?
“It has to be a more subtle approach. I’ve actually also played the BTK Killer in a picture called “BTK” for the same director, Michael Feifer, as that Ed Gein film.”

The BTK Killer?
“Yeah, he was a real person, a mass murderer, Dennis Rader out here in Wichita.. They called him the BTK Killer because he used to leave notes, and that’s how he’d sign off. BTK meant “bind, torture, kill”.

Do you research the non fictional characters before filming?
“Well, my preferred reading is true crime and biographies of past serial killers. So, I knew what they were really like. BTK, for example was a church president and a boy scout leader. He was really respectable and loved in his community. So, I have to be really likeable for half the movie and a cold killer for the rest.”

I’ve got to ask. In the photos I’ve seen of Ed Gein, he’s this small, skinny, elderly frail looking guy and…..
Did you ever see The Wild, Wild West on TV”

Yes
“Well, on the series James West was a short white guy, in the movie he was a tall black guy. (Laughs) If audiences can accept that, they can accept anything.”

Fair enough.
“In fact, in another movie I’ve just done called Born, I’m dressed for part of the film as a Cardinal (laughs)….now if you can accept THAT….actually, I play a demon from hell as a Catholic Cardinal.”

Do you still have the cool but evil looking beard in the role?
“A bit, yes.”

Can I assume though that you won’t be showing the “Kill” tattoo on your inner bottom lip in that role.
(laughs) “You assume correctly.”

My God Kane, didn’t that hurt?
“It stung quite a bit but it healed incredibly quickly. It was healed in about a day and a half.”

There seems to be a resurgence of maniac killer on the loose movies going on, a remake of Wes Craven’s Shocker has been announced, can you tell me a little about that? Rumour has it you’re involved.
“If you believe the internet, I am. But nobody’s spoken to me about it. I don’t know how the rumour got started, but I haven’t spoken to Wes. I would like to play that character, but I haven’t heard anything.”

You’re the definitive screen Jason you’ve even played Freddy you’ve also played Leatherface - any horror icon you’d like to play but haven’t as yet?
“That’s totally accurate, I played Freddy’s gloved hand at the end of Jason Goes To Hell and in Leatherface the third of the original Chainsaw movies, I actually was Leatherface for half the picture. I’d like to have played Michael Myers for Rob Zombie to round off my horror icon resume.”

That’s interesting. What would be the difference in playing Michael Myers to playing Jason Voorhees? I mean, both are pretty similar aren’t they?
“Yeah, there are definite similarities. You know, no speaking, moving real slowly. I think Michael’s more subtle than Jason. I’d play him differently. Michael’s more low key…until the violence. Then, he lets it rip.”

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How come you never got your chance with Rob Zombie’s remake?
“Rob wanted someone really big.”

But you’re what, around 6′3?
“Yeah. Tyler Mane, who got the part is around 6′9. Considerably taller than me. But, I worked with Rob as stunt co-ordinator on The Devil’s Rejects.”

What was he like to work with?
“Zombie has a personality like me - pretty fucked up - so we got along great.”

Being an icon of slasher movies, with your f13 involvement, they got plenty of bad press because of violence in their day, what’s your take on the so-called torture porn movies of today Do they go too far? Are they more FX driven than character driven?
“They are more FX driven, but I don’t have a problem with them. I’ve got nothing against those types of movies or those versions of you know, horrible people. Saying it’s over the top is ridiculous. People like that really exist. There are some really horrible people out there and they do really horrible things, so it’s not over the top when things like that can actually happen. Jason is over the top, but it’s fun. In the Jason movies people are actually cheering for the killer. You know, my all time favourite Jason “kill” is the sleeping bag scene from Friday the 13th Pt. 7 (Jason swings a girl victim in a sleeping bag against a tree, killing her instantly) and when people saw that, their reaction was they cheered, they high fived. In spirit, Hatchet is the same as that kill.”

Just as an aside, have you ever kept a running total of the number of people you’ve killed on screen?
(Laughs) “No, I haven’t actually but I’ll guarantee that someone, somewhere knows exactly how many people I’ve killed, what their names are and in what order and what film I did it.”

Yeah, your fans like to keep score. It’ll be on the internet somewhere. There’s even a rock band named after you isn’t there?
“That’s right. The band is called “Hodder Rocks”. That’s quite a tribute. I’m flattered.”

Yeah, and I understand that fans of the group and yourself collectively call themselves Hodderheads.
“Really? (Laughs) I didn’t know that.”

Yeah, so I guess you have the Trekkies, the X-Philes and the Hodderheads.
(Laughs)

Do you ever see your stunt co-odinator role winding down in favour of more acting?
“It’s possible. Ideally though, if I’m leading, I like to co-ordinate as well. It gives me more creative control. If I can, I like to co-ordinate. I wouldn’t purposely like to stop. That’s not to say that if they’ve already hired a stunt co-ordintator I wouldn’t take the role.”

How do you feel about the use of CGI these days, will it eventually mean the end of stunt work as we know it? Why risk the life of a stuntman with a burn, dive or an elaborate car stunt when you can do it on the computer?
“It certainly has had an impact, and it will continue to impact upon the stunt business. We’ll lose less stunt people. but I don’t think it’ll put us out of business. You know, there’ll always be fights and car chases. 90% of stunt people are not qualified to fall more than 200 feet, even the specialists. But audiences always want more, they’ll want to see a 300 feet dive. It’s a way of getting it done. But safely.

Speaking of stunt specialisations, what’s yours?
“Fire. It almost took my life in my first year in the business. I have a “burn” in Hatchet as a matter of fact.”

I understand you also work on a voluntary basis with children in a Burns Unit. It that because of the injuries you sustained?
“That’s right. You don’t know how it feels unless you’ve been burnt. There’s a lot of emotional stuff going on, and no couselling is better than from a former burn survivor. So I know what it feels like, I know what they’re going through… and Jason is a great ice breaker with the kids, so I do what I can.”

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What’s your best experience working on a picture?
“Well, I’d say Hatchet because it was such a fun movie to do. Everything you hear about the fun we had making that one is not bullshit. It was fun. Other than that, my first Jason movie, Friday the 13th Pt. 7. I’d seen the others and it was a part I never thought I’d play, then seeing myself in the role…..”

Not “Darkwolf”?
(laughs) “You saw that?”

Yes, I’m afraid so.
“My first nude scene?”

Yep!
“That wasn’t me. That wasn’t my ass.” (laughs)

The fact that your body double was about 100lb lighter gave the game away.
“They even put burn scarring makeup on his back….” (laughs)

Okay so what was the worst experience you’ve had on a picture?
“Actors! I can’t name ‘em. But some of the actors I’ve done fight scenes with are real assholes. They go full contact to show how macho they are. It doesn’t happen very often though.”

And your most embarrassing experience on a picture?
“Jason Takes Manhattan. I’m on a cruise liner and I have to rip the radio antennae off so they’re out of contact.”

I remember the scene.
“Well, I’m up high and there’d been some steps built that I can walk up to break the antennae off. I was trying to be scary and ominous and when I was stepping on them, I wasn’t looking where I was going, so I fell down, and I was all slick and wet so I slid along the deck on my ass. I was trying to look scary, but I ended up stumbling around like an old man.”

Would you like to reprise the role of Jason?
“I would do it in a second because of my love for the character. You know I got screwed on Freddy V Jason right?”

Yeah, as far as I’m concerned that last film didn’t count.

“Good. Let’s keep it that way.”

What’s your favourite horror movie?
“It’s still The Exorcist. Y’know, I’m old enough to have seen it at the theatres when it was first released and it’s the only one that ever made me scared. It was such a taboo subject at the time as well.”

What’s up next for you Kane?
“Death More killing, much more killing, but with some more dramatic scenes in between.”

Not a bad way to make a living.
“No, and I’ve gotten so good at killing.”

Not a bad legacy.
“Nope…. not bad at all.”

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7 Responses to “Kane Hodder (Jason Voorhees; Friday The 13th Part VII: The New Blood, Friday The 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday, Jason X)”

  1. DAN CORDERO Says:

    I STILL SAY KANE SHOULD PLAY JAJON IN EVERY NEW MOVIE HE IS JAJON F—-G VOORHEES FOR CRYING OUT LOUD

  2. MurderInTheWoods Says:

    Hey guys, it\’s MurderInTheWoods! It\’s been a long time. I definately had to post when I seen this article. To me Kane kinda sounds bitter, and everytime F13th gets mentioned he kinda plays it off. I dunno just my viewpoint. how\’s it been everyone?

  3. Christian Sellers Says:

    Kane was kickass as the character, but so was Richard Brooker and C. J. Graham, so I’m looking forward to seeing what Derek Mears does with it

  4. A-kila Says:

    Kane was boss as jason no lie bout that.

  5. Calvin Says:

    He did great in the films, wonder how Derek Mears will do.

  6. Eric Miller Says:

    Personally, CJ Graham was the best Jason Vorhees. I would put Kane 2nd.

  7. RobC Says:

    i would say every jason was a great jason, exept part 5 since there was no jason!

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