Tommy Jarvis

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Tommy Jarvis
Friday the 13th character
Thom Mathews as Tommy Jarvis.png
First appearance The Final Chapter (1984)
Last appearance Friday the 13th: The Game (2017)
Created by Bruce Hidemi Sakow
Portrayed by Corey Feldman
John Shepherd
Thom Mathews
Chris Niosi[1]

Tommy Jarvis is a fictional character from the Friday the 13th franchise, portrayed by Corey Feldman (1984-1985), John Shepherd (1985), and Thom Mathews (1986; 2017). He appears in four of the twelve Friday the 13th films, making his debut in Joseph Zito's Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984) as a child that disguises himself as a young Jason before killing him. He subsequently has a supporting role in Danny Steinmann's Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985), a main role in Tom McLoughlin's Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986), and appears in a flashback scene in John Carl Buechler's Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988). Tommy is one of three Friday the 13th protagonists, the others being Ginny Field and Alice Hardy, to appear in more than one film.[2] Originally, the ending for A New Beginning was intended to have Tommy become the antagonist in subsequent films. Outside of the films, he is a main character in the comic book adaptions and novels. He is a playable character in the video game Friday the 13th: The Game (2017) with Mathews reprising his role.[3]

Appearances[edit]

In film[edit]

In Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, Tommy debuts as a young boy with an affinity for making his own masks and make-up effects. When Jason Voorhees appears and begins his killing spree, Tommy is forced to fight for his life along with his sister. In an attempt to trick Jason, Tommy shaves his head to make himself appear as Jason was when he himself was young. Ultimately, Tommy kills Jason, by slamming a machete into the one side of his head in which splits his head upon falling down on the blade, and when Jason's fingers slowly move he begins to hack away completely at his body.

In Friday the 13th: A New Beginning, the events from the previous film have put an effect on Tommy's mind where he is put in an institution. He is then put in a halfway house, but unfortunately, at this time, a series of murders begin nearby with Jason Voorhees being tied to the killings. Tommy's mind continues to slip again, seeing images of Jason haunting him. Tommy manages to confront the hockey masked murderer, believing him to be another hallucination. But he is real and attacks Tommy, finally forcing him to take his life - only for it to turn out that the killer was a copycat named Roy Burns. But it's too late for Tommy, as the last wall of sanity has fallen with the ghost of Jason fading before his eyes. Keeping the killer's hockey mask, he puts it on and attempts to assume Jason's mantle, but he is apparently stopped and treated before things go too far.[4]

In Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives, a more stable Tommy, with a friend from the institution, is ready to confront his demons - or rather the demon that is Jason. Wanting to see Jason's decayed body himself, he also wants to make sure that Jason will never rise again and attempts to cremate him. But his memories of his encounter with Jason still linger heavily and he madly attacks the body with a metal fence pole when the coffin is opened. Before Tommy can cremate Jason, the pole winds up attracting bolts of lightning that reawaken Jason and gives him a more powerful lease on life; he is now immortal even to being shot at point-blank range with a shotgun, although he still feels the impact of the bullets, and possesses supernaturally powerful strength upon his victims. Trying to make amends for his mistake, Tommy warns the sheriff who, being familiar with Jarvis, locks him up thinking he's had another mental breakdown. The piles of bodies Jason racks up only convinces the sheriff that the killer is Tommy. Time is running short as Jason makes his way to the renamed campgrounds. With a plan in mind, and aided by the sheriff's daughter Megan, Tommy lures Jason into the very same lake from which the Voorhees legend started. Chained to the bottom of the lake by a large stone, encircled in fire, and having part of his face chewed by the boat's propeller blades.[5] Although almost nearly dying from Jason's attacks during the struggle, Megan rescues him from the waters and revives him with CPR much to her and the camp's children's joy; as he embraces, he finally exclaims "It's over, it's finally over... Jason's home." as the two stare off at the lake where Jason remains trapped.

Thom Matthews also reprised the role of Tommy in the Friday the 13th fan film Never Hike Alone released in 2017.[6]

In literature[edit]

In the novelization of Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives, it is revealed what happened between Tommy and Pam at the end of Friday the 13th: A New Beginning; the book explains that Pam had managed to return Tommy to his senses and, when Tommy was put back in a mental institution, she helped him recover. The novel Friday the 13th: Carnival of Maniacs references Tommy, revealing he has written at least six books about Jason and Crystal Lake, with the title of one them being mentioned as My Life of Hell: One Man's Fight Against Jason Voorhees, which is described as a "whiny piece of garbage" by a character. In the mockumentary called "The Crystal Lake Massacres Revisited" (included on the 2009 DVD extra) it is mentioned that Tommy was thought to be the killer in "Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives" by the local town folk. It also talks about Tommy's stay at the state mental hospital, and how due to overcrowding was sent to Pinehurst. Tommy faces Jason again in the comic miniseries Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash: Nightmare Warriors. When Jason attacks Dr. Maggie Borrough's group for those who have survived Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger, Tommy intervenes and reveals his intent to finish Jason off, ultimately decapitating him with the help of Jason's great-niece, Stephanie. After both Freddy and Jason are defeated, Tommy is appointed leader of the Nightmare Warriors by Ash Williams.

In video games[edit]

Tommy is a playable character in the video game Friday the 13th: The Game, making him one of five playable characters from the films, Jason Voorhees, Roy Burns, Fox, and Sheldon "Shelly" Finkelstein (both Fox and Shelly are from Part III) being the others. Thom Mathews, who portrayed Tommy Jarvis in Part VI, reprised his role.[7]

The game also features collectible cassette tapes known as the "Tommy Tapes" written by filmmaker Adam Green and starring voice actor and animator Chris Niosi as Tommy Jarvis[8] which featured audio recordings of Tommy from the events just after Part 4 through to after Part 6, filling in some of the gaps between the films. It provides an explanation for Part 5's ending where Tommy states that he dreamed he killed Pam. Tommy is sent to several mental institutions, including Glen Echo, New Orleans Pysichiatric, and Smith’s Grove, before finally being committed to Springwood Mental Institution and is lacerating himself in his sleep, paranoid the authorities are trying to cover up Jason’s existence.[9]

Development[edit]

Originally, Joseph Zito planned for Tommy to become the antagonist and "new Jason" in any subsequent Friday the 13th films created after the fourth.[10] The ending of Friday the 13th: A New Beginning leads up to this, although due to the negative reaction to that film, the idea was dropped.[11] The producers of the 2009 Friday the 13th reboot considered using the Tommy character,[12] but decided not to because they wanted to create their own mythology.[13]

Casting[edit]

In an interview, Thom Mathews[14] discussed his preparation for the role, stating:

"...I didn’t really feel a lot of pressure. I really liked the script a lot, Tom (McLoughlin) did a great job and it spoke to me. I knew what I wanted to do. It was probably the closest character that I’ve played to myself. I had a great experience and going to just outside of Atlanta and shooting for six weeks. It was a blast."
"When I saw Part V, I wasn’t thrilled and I was kind of scared. After I was hired, I started to do research and I looked at Part V and thought…oh no. I spoke to Tom and he told me what he wanted to do and everything was a lot better. In Part V, there was no lighting and the story was kind of weak. Maybe I should go back and look at it again. Maybe I’d have a different opinion of it now. But it scared the hell out of me."

Reception[edit]

Tommy has received considerably positive reviews from critics. In Horror Films of the 1980s, Volume 1, John Kenneth Muir[15] praised the character, stating:

"It's a natural development that Corey Feldman's Tommy Jarvis, a pre-pubescent boy who loves horror movies and even makes monster masks himself, plays such a critical role in Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter. After all, kids Tommy's age had been hearing from older siblings since 1980 about the "Friday the 13th" movies, and in 1984 were just discovering them through the expanding market of home video. A slightly younger fan base was developing, and would keep the series strong through the decade, one represented by kids in Tommy Jarvis's age bracket. So it makes sense that the filmmakers would adjust tactics slightly in this case, switching focus from a final girl to a resourceful younger brother."

He also notes the popularity of the fourth film being because of it being Tommy's debut in the series, noting:

"Many fans like this Friday the 13th installment the best, because it introduces the Jarvis character (a surrogate for the male viewers), and because it features a memorable coup de grâce for Jason. Tommy slices Jason's head (ouch!) and then - in a slow-motion shot echoing Alice's mad dash with the machete at the end of the first film - chops off his head."

In Legacy of Blood: A Comprehensive Guide to Slasher Movies, Jim Harper was rather mixed in terms of the character's performances. He criticized Corey Feldman's performance as Tommy in The Final Chapter stating, "Only Corey Feldman disappoints, since his character is highly annoying and doesn't really fit into the picture." However he praised Thom Mathews' performance in Jason Lives, calling him a "great character".[16]

Merchandise[edit]

Mezco Toyz has released a statuette of both Tommy and Jason Voorhees, depicting the scene of the two battling each other underwater from Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives.[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://twitter.com/Kirbopher/status/981786837801816064
  2. ^ Weinstock, Jeffrey (2014). The Ashgate Encyclopedia of Literary and Cinematic Monsters. Literary Criticism. ISBN 1317044266. 
  3. ^ "Friday the 13th: The Game delayed to 2017". Nerd Reactor. 
  4. ^ "Review: 'Friday the 13th – A New Beginning'". Variety. December 31, 1985. Retrieved September 7, 2017. 
  5. ^ "Review: 'Jason Lives – Friday the 13th Part VI'". Variety. December 31, 1985. Retrieved September 7, 2017. 
  6. ^ http://bloody-disgusting.com/videos/3464960/iconic-franchise-actor-returns-must-watch-50-minute-friday-fan-film-never-hike-alone/
  7. ^ "Friday the 13th: The Game trailer sees the return of Tommy Jarvis". Flickering Myth. Retrieved September 7, 2017. 
  8. ^ https://twitter.com/Kirbopher/status/981786837801816064
  9. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9txxxBO1RIo
  10. ^ "Joseph Zito Interviewed by Royce Freeman". Pit of Horror. Retrieved 2017-09-07. 
  11. ^ Bracke, Peter (2006-10-11). Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th. Titan Books. pp. 146–148. ISBN 1-84576-343-2. 
  12. ^ Devin Faraci (2007-01-08). "Exclusive: Paging Tommy Jarvis?". CHUD. Archived from the original on 2017-09-07. Retrieved 2017-09-07. 
  13. ^ Ryan Stewart (November 28, 2008). "Friday the 13th: The Producers". SuicideGirls.com. Retrieved 2017-09-07. 
  14. ^ Hannon, Melissa (January 13, 2017). "Thom Mathews Talks Tommy Jarvis' Return in 'Friday the 13th: The Game'". HORROR GEEK LIFE. Retrieved September 7, 2017. 
  15. ^ Muir, John (2012). Horror Films of the 1980s, Volume 1. McFarland. ISBN 0786455012. 
  16. ^ Harper, Jim (2004). Legacy of Blood: A Comprehensive Guide to Slasher Movies. Performing Arts. ISBN 1900486393. 
  17. ^ Squires, John (November 23, 2015). "Mezco's Screen Grabs Brought Iconic Horror Scenes to Toy Collections". blumhouse.com. Retrieved September 7, 2017.