Friday, June 28, 2013

The Camp Crystal Lake Novels (Jason Voorhees . . . Young Adult Horror Fiction Star?)

 As I mentioned a few times in the past on this blog I love me some old school "Young Adult Horror Fiction"!  Besides my undying love for R. L. Stine's "Goosebumps" series (and to a lesser extent some of his "Fear Street" books), I couldn't get enough of any and all the campy horror tales that took up space at the local Waldenbooks! Today I am going to feature a not so well known series of y.a. horror fiction  that also came out in the early 90s, that series being the "Camp Crystal Lake Novels"!  As you can probably guess from the title, these books are based off everybody's favorite hockey mask wearing killer Jason Voorhees . . . well kinda (more on that later!)
With New Line's "Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday" killing Jason off until they could get a Freddy vs Jason movie project going, they found themselves with not much to do with their newly acquired franchise. But a year after that film the legend of Jason Voorhees found his way back to people's hearts, but this time it wasn't a new movie but four books that were released in the Summer of 1994!

Book one was titled "Mother's Day", the second book was named "Jason's Curse", the third was "The Carnival" and finale book of the series to be released was called "Road Trip". All four books were penned by author Eric Morse and each book clocks in under 200 pages, so they are extremely fast reads! I been looking for these for awhile now and was able to find all 4 of them on Ebay recently for about $7-10 each, not bad when you factor in that they are close to be 20 years old now. So just what are these books about and how do they relate to the "Friday the 13" franchise . . . interestingly enough Jason is not the killer in any of these stories, but his hockey mask possess whom ever puts it on into becoming a unstoppable Jason-like killer. In turn these are all supernatural stories and they turnout like a mix between "Friday The 13th Part V: A New Beginning" and the in name only tv show "Friday the 13th: The Series"!

"Mother's Day" the first in the series follows a group of teens heading to the long Abandoned Camp Crystal Lake for a weekend of camping. It just so happens that a Hunter who was hunting on the same camp grounds comes across the cursed mask he transforms into the son of Mrs. Voorhees! The Hunter (who's name is "Joe") starts hearing the voice of Pamela Voorhees throughout the story as he takes out his new prey of the stupid teens. The leader of this group and the one who set the trip up is Billy Boone (a motorcycle driving bad boy), other characters include Carly (Virgin/The Final Girl), Paul (Alpha Male/Jock) Albert (Out of Shape Nerd), Monique (Hot French Foreign Exchange Student) and Kyle/Suzanne, a Hippie couple who get stoned a lot. This all plays out like a Friday film save for sex is only alluded too and 99% of the deaths & violence is off screen . . . or is that off page? Yeap since this was written for a younger market the story is annoyingly toned down, almost to the point where it gets confusing whether or not a character got offed or they were just harmed by NotJason!

The second book "Jason's Curse" is a direct sequel to "Mother's Day" and follows "Kelly Boone" trying to avenge the death of her brother "Billy". I liked this book a lot more compared to the first book cause of that revenge plot and the surprisingly downer of an ending!

"The Carnival" introduces us to a brand new group of potential victims when a group of carnies set up a traveling Carnival on the former Camp Crystal Lake Campground!
For one it so freaking silly to believe that anyone would set up a carnival any where near the old "Camp Blood" especially when the first two books go into detail about how Crystal Lake and it's surrounding area's have become a ghost town of sorts because of the "Voorees Legend" and those who remain are dirt poor and couldn't afford to move away. So I doubt anyone would really show up to this Carnival or even know it was going on. Gotta Love It!

"Road Trip" the final book in the series is also the most interesting one in my opinion, it's "Jason" versus a school bus full of Football Players! I wonder if they got that idea from the infamous deleted scene from Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2? The end of this book finally gets the mask far away from the Camp ground but sadly we never got a follow up . . . I'd love a Twin Peaks like approach in the story telling, where all the stories took place in or nearby Crystal Lake but didn't always have to feature Jason or his cursed hockey mask! Hell maybe even a story that takes place in the time frame before Pamela's Death! If that was the case maybe this series would have been more well known and could have kept going for awhile!

Well that concludes this post on the "Camp Crystal Lake" novels, I would recommend hunting them down if you're in the mood for some cheesy teen oriented scares, they are noway as good as the movie they are based on, but are perfect for some light reading and something to bring with you to the Beach this Summer. I'm glad that i finally got a chance to read them and add them to my paperback collection.

For another look at how Jason kept himself busy before he was resurrected in "Jason X" check out this post I wrote a couple years back where Jason took on Leatherface and the rest of the Sawyer Family!
(Click HERE!)

- Tom


  1. Great write up. I've reviewed Mother's Day on my site and really enjoyed it. I just finished Jason's Curse the other day.

    Once again, great article.

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