I’ve kind of always liked horror movies, especially slashers, and while I’m not sure I can pinpoint exactly where it started, I sure as hell can tell you where I was certain that people getting hacked up on screen was my kind of entertainment.

For seven-year-old me there was nothing like a Friday the 13th Marathon on AMC or TNT’s MonsterVision with Joe Bob Briggs. This was before there was a Jason Goes to Hell. So the most recent Jason movies around were Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan and Part VII: The New Blood.

The seventh entry into the hockey masked murderer’s series is where I fell in love with slashers. Jason’s mask is iconic, but the look in Part VII was the absolute best. Gnarled from years in Crystal Lake, bones, rotted flesh, the chopped up mask.

This was also Kane Hodder’s first outing as Jason Voorhees and the size and brutality he brought to the character was everything to me as a kid. I even tried to make my first Jason costume around that same time for Halloween.

Fast forward to now and Part VII is still one of my most favorite entries in the series. I’m a bit more of a traditionalist with my actual top favorites, Part I – IV in no particular order, followed by VI and VII.

But there will always be something special about The New Blood.

The look, the awful side characters, Dr. Crews (Terry Kaiser) being one of the most satisfying deaths in the entire series. The absurdity and desperation of tying to keep pace with other slashers by going undead killer (in Part VI) and having him battle a telekinetic girl with emotional problems, Tina (Lar Park Lincoln), in Part VII. All of it made it one of the best for me. So much so that it re-inspired me to put together slasher costumes again as an adult, including this one which I even got to take a picture wearing with Hodder at the Mile High Horror Film Festival in 2015.

It was also my last true favorite until the 2009 remake/reboot/retread, which I liked, a lot.

When Hodder’s Jason came out of the water after being resurrected, again, I knew slashers were for me. Happy 30th to torn, tattered, slimy, undead Jason.