There’s a lot in a name. Michael Myers, Freddy Kreuger, Leatherface, are all synonymous with dead teenagers, fresh arterial spray, and sharp objects being put places you don’t want a sharp object. One horror movie icon, though, almost had a different name entirely, and we’re not sure how to feel about it.
Jason Voorhees, the serial killing revenant who stalks Camp Crystal Lake in the Friday the 13th movies, was nearly called Josh (per MovieWeb). According to writer Victor Miller in the initial drafts for Friday the 13th – when it was called Long Night at Camp Blood – he knew his creepy killer’s name was Pam Voorhees, but he didn’t know the name of her ‘dead’ son.
While writing, he hit upon the name Josh but quickly decided that it was ‘too nice’ a name and quickly changed it to Jason? Why is Josh a nice name and Jason an evil name? Well, Miller chose Jason because it was the name of his old high school bully. We can’t help but think if Jason had stayed, Josh, the machete-wielding maniac, would have struggled to lead the franchise. Josh takes Manhattan? Josh X? Freddy versus Josh? Yeah, that’s not going to work.
You might be wondering why they dropped the title Long Night at Blood Camp, though? Well, besides the fact that the title sounds like a Goosebump’s book, we have director Sean S. Cunningham to thank for that.
Cunningham had come up with the title Friday the 13th years before he set out to make a slasher, believing it to be a cool title. He was so confident in it working for Camp Blood that he took out an ad in Variety that declared Friday the 13th the most “terrifying film ever made” before he even had a finished script.