Jason Voorhees is one of the great icons of horror movies. The hockey mask, the machete: he’s just so imposing and menacing, and most don’t live to tell the tale if they see him. But even hardened killers have their limits, and for Jason it’s dogs.
During the filming of Friday the 13th Part 8: Jason Takes Manhattan, the script had Jason kick a dog. Actor Kane Hodder, who portrayed the monster movie legend in this instalment, refused on the grounds he simply didn’t think Jason would hurt a small animal like that. He made a strong case, because production erred on his judgement and the scene was removed.
This is the version that’s travelled the internet for some time, often trotted out during watch-alongs and the sort. Hodder himself commented on it during a Reddit AMA in 2013. “I filled in something about the fact that I think Jason won’t hurt animals or kids,” he commented. “There was something where they wanted me to kick a dog but I think Jason identifies with animals and kids. It’s the adults that are assholes. I may have built up some of the backstory about that.”
In a way, this fits the established lore of Friday the 13th. Jason was once an isolated boy who nearly drowned at summer camp because of negligent counselors. Deep down, below all the anger and murder in his thriller movies, he’s still that little child who wants some companionship.
As such, he wouldn’t hurt a hair on any dog’s head. Hodder clearly had a deep understanding of Jason psychologically, or at least what wouldn’t spoil the film for horror fans. Impale all the idiots on the street you want, but leave the dogs out of it! Although this was only Hodder’s second appearance in the hockey mask, he’d make two more, in Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday, and the incredible science fiction movie Jason X.