By: Todd Gilchrist
Members of the cast and crew of Friday the 13th Parts VII and VIII sat down with a small crowd of genre press to discuss their experiences on the films and delve into the extras on both films' forthcoming DVDs. Vincent Craig "VC" Dupree, who played Julius in Jason Takes Manhattan, said he was amazed people still had so much affection for his death in the film, in which Jason literally knocks his block off. "People just have a lot of love for that particular kill," Dupree said at a press event Wednesday on the Paramount lot in Los Angeles. "As Kane and I were just talking about, the fact that I'm one of the only black guys who's like made it towards the end of the movie [is significant], so the response from it is really cool. More recently I started doing these conventions, and I didn't realize how much love people had out there for that kill."
Kane Hodder, who played Jason in the film, corroborated the fans' love for that particular scene. "It's one of the kills that I'd done that fans talked about the most," he revealed. "In fact, I was just in Atlanta at DragonCon and a guy came up and was talking about that kill. He says, 'do you know how many times he punched you before you knocked his head off?' I said no. 'Sixty-six!' The guy knew that. Then I was looking at them and it was hard to count because he was throwing body punches really fast. I'm not kidding – he was hitting me. I had a catcher's pad on."
Dupree explained that he and Hodder really threw themselves – and each other - into the scene. "I was asking Kane, so are we going for this? And he's just like, what are you going to do? And in New York, I don't know how many people it was, but out of the apartment buildings that were adjacent to the rooftop, [it was like] those Where's Waldo books; you would literally see curtains and heads, and the director was like, get down! It was just the energy of all those people, and then just realizing what we were actually doing."
Ironically, Dupree said he didn't even know he was making a Friday the 13th film when he signed onto the picture. "I think the first script I read was [called] Burial At Sea, or Ashes To Ashes. It was going to be one of my first leads in a film, it was going to be shot out of town, they were paying me, and I was going to fight this monster. I guess they had the name changed from Jason Voorhees to Ethan Deerborn; Crystal Lake was changed to something else, just so you could plug the letters in there."
"As I said on the DVD, I was in the lounge area just before you board, and this actress, Kelly Hu, came in and was like 'oh my Gosh, I'm so excited,'" he remembered. "'Me too, girl, me too.' 'Oh, a Friday the 13th,' and I'm like, 'well, we must not be shooting the same movie. I'm going up here to shoot Ashes To Ashes.' And then, slowly two and two came together and I was like, wow, okay, this is a little different. So I found out on my way up to Vancouver what we were doing."
Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood and Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan will be released by Paramount Home Entertainment on September 15, 2009.