99.9 % of all horror fans are very familiar with 'Friday the 13th' & they all know about Jason Voorhees...Almost everyone who considers themselves a fan of the series recalls Jason before the ski mask and even Jason before adulthood. And if that's how they remember him you can be sure they are recalling Ari Lehman. You can see him can't you? Ari played Jason, the drowned boy (looking hideous thanks to makeup guru Tom Savini) who rises from Crystal Lake up to pull Adrienne King out of the canoe at the end of the 1980 scare classic. Well, Ari is all grown up now but the Voorhees notoriety remains. He currently fronts a horror-punk band with the name FIRSTJASON & is a frequent guest on the horror convention circuit...he even makes an occasional horror flicks such as 'ThanXgiving' and 'Tattoo Terror'. Oh yeah, and he does interviews as well. He's here for an exclusive Racks and Razors interview telling us what he's been doing since he leapt from that cold water and also sharing some of his Camp Crystal Lake memories.

Why not start us off with a visual and describe the room where you are answering these questions?

Room?...It's more of a lair, in a cavern. I live in a cavern of cold stone, deep, deep under the icy waters of Crystal Lake, far from the harsh light of human misunderstanding, beneath several layers of murk and muck. As I cast my dread gaze over the heaps of carcasses, cadavers, bloody weaponry, torture devices, offal and filth, I wonder if the cavern floor was always stained this dark black-red, or if it just got that way over the years. Wow...The Boy Jason -- in the rotted cyber flesh.

I guess first off I want to hear about what the role of "young Jason" looked like on paper -- in the script?

On paper? There was nothing on the paper! They even gave me the wrong script at first, Kevin Bacon's script. But then Sean says, "No - you are going to play the monster! Can you swim?" "Yes." I said. "Fine" says Sean, "You got the part". When I saw that Jason had no lines, I became determined to create a detailed background story in my mind, so that his actions would reflect a true inner motivation through body language and facial gesture.

So tell me about the make-up process that genius Tom Savini did on you for those scenes?

Once they cast me, handed me over to Tom and his assistant, Taso Stavrakos. Being at Tom's studio was like walking into Merlyn's Workshop, everywhere you looked there were relistic replicas of decapitated heads, severed limbs, disemboweled torsos, as well as busts of all the great Horror actors including Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney, Boris Karloff, and Christopher Lee. We worked for weeks on the first mask, casting the teeth, eye, and head itself. One time, when my entire head was completely covered in plaster, Tom put on Jim Morrison and The Doors' "Strange Days", it was the first time I heard music like that, and I was impressed...Strange Days, Indeed! After we did the first prosthetic and filmed the drowning scene, a second one was required for the final scene, so I went back to the studio for that one, which was created to look more scary. They wanted Jason to be both repelling and pitiable at the same time, so Tom fashioned a new version which I wore in the final scene. Of course we also covered the mask and myself if muck and vegetation that Tom asked us to scrape from the bottom of Sand Pond the night before. Tom also applied additional latex, which he allowed to dry, and then peeled back to look like decaying flesh. Nice!

What was your overriding memory of the filming process?

I was really trying hard to make Jason as scary as possible, even though he was only onscreen for a moment. I wanted to get way into character, so, before filming, while in makeup, I would stare into the waters of Sand Pond, trying to imagine what I would feel like if I went through what Jason went through. One day, Kevin Bacon was on the set and he saw me doing this. So, he comes over and asks me what am I doing? "Getting into character", I told him, as seriously as I could. Man, he just about fell over laughing! He even called over Harry Crosby to tell him about it. That was funny...!

Was it fun to drag Adrienne King into Sand Pond (aka Crystal Lake)?

The best part was her reaction. Tom had instructed me to stay away from Adrienne while in makeup, so she did not know what the mask really looked like right up until the shoot. When I jumped out of the water, she was truly frightened. She practically jumped right out of the boat! I was really impressed when we did the second take, because Adrienne's composure did not reveal that she knew that I am about to jump out at any moment.

So you were what - 14 or 15 when you filmed this. Were your folks cool with it? I know you'd previously done 'Manny's Orphans' for Sean Cunningham so was it more a "working with Sean" situation rather than the type of film per se?

Yes, they were happy to see that Sean had hired me once again, and I think any parent is glad to see their offspring get decent pay for their efforts.

Everyone knows the horror and especially Friday the 13th fans can be a tad fanatical (who us?) about their dedication...Gotta know, what is the strangest or most unusual request a fan has ever made of you?

At Horrorfind Arizona, I played the piano at the actual wedding of two very dedicated Horror fans. The great Bill Moseley was the best man, and the fine actor Doug Bradley, who is ordained, acted as minister, delivering a firy sermon that could have been straight out of Hellraiser!

Speaaking of that, since the filming of the movie you've been mainly involved in music. I am really excited to hear your horror-rock band FIRST JASON. Tell me a bit about that and I love the fact that 'You'd Better Run' is written from the "Voorhees perspective".

Destruction has a new middle name: FIRSTJASON! FIRSTJASON is a progressive Horror-Punk band, fronted by none other than the First Jason Voorhees, Ari Lehman, himself. Please visit to hear our unique message and sound which has done enough damage to get us featured in BLENDER Magazine, on BBC-Radio and as a frequent guest on ManCow's Morning MadHouse. We now play cover songs by bands like Danzig, The Misfits, and the Dead Kennedys as well as our own original songs forged in Punk and Metal. In fact, there is an event coming up here in Chicago which may interest you your Racks and Razors readers: I did the soundtrack for VAMPIRA:THE MOVIE, a documentary about that legendary Horror Vixen, and on Saturday, February 24th, I will be hosting the release party here in Chicago at MEMORIES, on Montrose at Cicero. FIRSTJASON will perform, alongside local Punk Greats Johnny Vomit, and The Massacres. There will also be a costume contest for best dressed Vampirette sponsored by VAMPRA:THE MOVIE. For more information, see the "Calendar" page at VAMPIRA:THE MOVIE will be screened that same weekend at FANGORIA'S WEEKEND OF HORRORS. FIRSTJASON will also be touring this Summer alongside FREAK13, as a collaborative effort called "Creatures Of Cystal Lake Tour 2007". Please visit for more information.

And what should fans do who want to buy or check out the CD?

I completely reformed the band late in 2006, and we are becoming a kickass unit, practicing, writing, and peforming. Officially there is STILL no FIRSTJASON CD out, but it will be available at once it is.

Tell me about your recent return to the horror fold and your role in 2005's 'Tattoo Terror'.

Tattoo Terror was a great deal of fun to work on. The filmmakers are still finishing High School, so we can expect a lot from them in the future. I recently portrayed the character "Delbert Eaton" in the independent Horror movie "ThanXgiving". Delbert is a backwoods weirdo who speaks with a West Virginia twang. I even got to shoot a real shotgun in the film, and I did my own stunts, falling from a small cliff onto a concealed mattress. Working on "ThanXgiving" really inspired me to get back into acting when I'm not touring around singing. The cast and crew are like a big family, located in the St. Louis area. Being on the set there was similar to "Friday the 13th" because it was shot out in the woods too. "ThanXgiving" is scheduled to be screened at FANGORIA WOH 2007 in Chicago. Please visit for more information.

Okay Ari - we're pulling the car into the Ari Lehman Drive-In. What three of your favorite horror flicks are on the triple bill and what goodies are they serving up at the concession stand?

SILENT HORROR NACHT DER GOLEM Dir. Paul Wegener NOSFERATU Dir. F.W. Murnau FAUST Dir. F.W. Murnau Tofu Hot Dogs with Saurkraut and German Beer. HOUSE OF HORROR NIGHT HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL Starring Vincent Price HORROR HOTEL Starring Christopher Lee THEATRE OF BLOOD Starring Vincent Price Vegan Fish and Chips and English Ale. DARIO ARGENTO NIGHT DEEP RED Dir. Dario Argento SUSPIRA Dir. Dario Argento PHENOMENA Dir. Dario Argento Assorted Fried Ravioli with Chianti Wine.

So which is scarier to you and why --- drowning or way overprotective mothers?

Wow, you're going deep there! To me it would be drowning, but my Mom was great, not overprotecting. Was Pamela guilty of being neglectful? Well the stoty goes that she was working in the kitchen when Jason drowned, working to feed Jason and herself, so, I feel that she is blameless. The real question at hand here is how do we forgive ourselves after needless loss? Pamela's inablity to forgive herself is what truly drove her to kill.

What's something in real life that turns you into an absolute psycho?

Well, when I see young people going to fight a needless war in absolutely hellish conditions, and dying in greater numbers everyday, and the people around them becoming the victims of sectarian violence, sometimes I feel that an army of Jasons should be assembeled to set the whole world straight. Jason is evil because he goes too far in his self-righteous destruction, never knowing when to stop, like a child trapped in a monster's body. What a good analogy for humankind to consider today!