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Jason The Undead: A Look At The French Marketing Of 'Jason Lives: Friday The 13th Part VI'

In the world of exploitation cinema, retitling a film is a common practice. From the point of view of a distributor in the 1970s and 80s, the entire point of genre titles is to maximize box office revenues from a niche audience. To that end, it was normal operating procedure for horror movies’ titles to undergo facelifts in different territories. An infamous example if Lucio Fulci’s Zombi 2, which has been released as Zombie, Zombie Flesh Eaters, Sanguella, Zombie: The Dead Walk Among Us, The Island of the Living Dead, Gli Ultimi Zombi, Woodoo, and Nightmare Island. In many cases, a direct translation of the original title does not carry the same connotation.

Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI (…which has had official video releases with the main and subtitle reversed, Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives…) was released in France and Quebec as Jason le Mort-Vivant. Translation: Jason The Undead. “Friday the 13th” was not used on most promotional materials, nor the chapter number. Since the French language release occurred a full four months after the American debut, it’s possible that the rebranding was influenced by the lukewarm US box office results.

In any case, the actual marketing campaign remained very close to Paramount original plan.  Below you’ll find a rare French door poster for Jason le Mort-Vivant. Translated, the tag line reads “Such a demonic being never dies”, very close to the original “Nothing this evil ever dies.”

Did it work? Probably not. It grossed 100.320$FRF during its French run (about $17,000 US), a steep drop from the 176.873$FRF that A New Beginning brought in a year earlier.


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