Of course most of us Friday The 13th fans know him as an actor who played Jason in the infamous window crash scene in Friday The 13th Part II. Unfortunately for people none the wiser may call him Jason II, and rightfully so- he was indeed credited as Jason Voorhees, right? It's a very common misconception since day one and for the people who frequented the Guts & Gory forum a handful of years back sort of know where I am going with this. Around 2003, at the height of the Friday The 13th website craze a lot of actors from the franchise came out to do interviews, attend conventions and meet fans. Around 2003/2004 Warrington Gillette was asked to do some conventions and he kindly obliged. He attended a lot of conventions and even had his own forum at Guts & Gory as well as his own website www.jason2kills.com.
Gillette sold signed scripts, signed photos and raffle tickets for $50.00 on his website to own a portion of his upcoming slasher film Bloody Social. Bloody Social was supposed to be an 80's throwback style slasher film which would explain the death of his father and the circumstances around it- a lot of us bought raffle tickets and to this date the movie has never been made. To this day his online store is still open and most fans know to stay away from it, however I am sure a lot unsuspecting people purchase things they will never get. His website has not been updated since 2004 and his store still sells a long out of print Jason II mask. I guess some people can just say that he no longer updates it, or it's a defunct website, but someone has to be paying for the domain and the hosting service to keep it up since 2004!
So, fast forward to around 2005, a guy named Steve Daskawisz (also know as Steve Dash) was notified about Gillette taking sole credit as Jason II, completely ignoring the fact that 3 other actors had played Jason in the film including Steve Dash himself who played the majority of the movie. As it turns out, Gillette was fired very early in production of the film for his inability to perform the stunt in the window crash scene, which was filmed first. The scene was supposed to take a couple takes, however stunt coordinator Cliff Cudney explains that it took 6-7 takes for Gillette to perform the stunt and only when he had to be belted to a pendulum and swung through- Gillette denied that:
Listen here PIT there was NO rigging at all. I made the jump about 10 times so I clearly remember it. There was a platform built outside the window of the house that allowed three steps and a blast through. Steve Dash has no idea what he's talking about and he was not there. I don't remember Cliff Cudney being there so I have no idea what he talking about.
If you look closely at the movie you can tell by his trajectory through the window that he was indeed swung through. He also denied that Cudney was even there, when he clearly was. Cliff Cudney explains:
First of all, this was a low budget film, there is no way they would have made up ten (10) balsa wood and candy glass windows for you to jump through, much less have taken the time to clear the debris, reset the windows, relight (while the rest of the cast and crew stood around), and redo the shot TEN times. How many days would this have taken, and why would they have to do it TEN times, unless you screwed up nine times?This wasn't my fight, but you brought it to me when you demeaned what I do. I take a great deal of pride in my work. I have never asked for the "glory", but I will NOT have my work discredited. I was hired to supervise the lesser stunts, and design, build the rigs to accomplish, and execute the major stunts in Part 2, e.g. the snare trap, the wheelchair down the stairs backwards, Warrington though the window, etc,.
I would expound on exactly what happened prior to the "rig" shot, but my purpose here is not to embarrass you.By the way, over the years I have collected a great deal of "memorabilia", or junk from many films, most of which is still in a barn in Northwest New Jersey. Included in this "collection" are things from FRIDAY THE 13th PartII, like the wheelchair, one of the machetes that Steve wore in his shoulder, AND the pendulum rig that put you through the window! The next time I travel back North, I will be sure to get some pictures of it for your scrapbook.
So, Gillette was fired and Ellen Lutter and Jerry Wallace took over as Jason until actor/stuntman Steve Daskawisz was hired to play Jason, which he did for the rest of the movie. Unfortunately in movies credits are generally expressed in contracts and since Gillette's window crash scene could not be re-shot due to budgetary conflicts, Gillette's contract demanded that he be credited as Jason since he was indeed still in the movie. Steve Daskawisz had to then be credited as his stunt double, Jerry Wallace as "The Prowler" and Ellen Lutter was uncredited as Jason. If you watch the credits of Friday The 13th Part III you will notice that the archive footage of Jason from Part II Daskawisz is indeed credited.
So, the movie was shot and 25 years later Gillette had been attending conventions, selling merchandise, had an action figure made of himself, shot interviews on documentaries and was making money on his character. I, myself, admit that I have never heard Gillette talk about shooting any scene other than the window crash scene, but at the same time he has never denied playing Jason for the entire movie even when fans talked to him about it. He would casually play along with it, perhaps in fear of letting that fan down. I personally think that Gillette let greed take him over and in turn he profited on the fact that people thought he was Jason for the entire movie. Later on Steve Dash was alerted about Gillette taking sole credit and he understandably came out of the woodwork furious. It seems like Dash had went on with his life and had put the role as Jason behind him. When he was told that someone was discrediting him he felt obligated to let the fans know who Jason really was.
The confrontation came to a head at the 2005 Necrocomicon convention in Los Angeles where Gillette was selling signed photos of a scene that Dash filmed claiming it was him. Dash invited Gillette to a corner and asked him to stop. After that confrontation everyone on the Guts & Gory board discussed it and all were let down of Gillette's lie- we had all been deceived. Gillette came on the board and discussed it with us, first calling Dash a liar and eventually confessing he had lied and asked for forgiveness. Here's Dash's own words:
You are an outright liar Warrngton. How dare you say I am in for the money, you sleaze ball. You have been taking money from the fans selling raffles for your phony movie. You took money from a fan signing your name on my picture and refuse to give her the money back when she found out that the picture was of me and not you. You sucked up to my table with no one around and said you meant no harm and even gave me that bullshit story about having a skiing accident and losing your memory so you cant remember what you did on the film. You have the nerve to say you did not use a swing to go through the window!! Your a liar a downright liar.
|Warrington Gillette (Left) with stunt coordinator Cliff Cudney|
Before Gillette had confessed stunt coordinator Cliff Cudney also discussed Gillette's role in the movie, and calling him a liar. Gillette had denied even meeting Cliff, that's when Cliff had submitted a photo of them together. It was clear that Gillette had lied and was not back-peddling to save face with fans. Cudney was understandably pissed off and here are his own words:
You sir, are either a habitual liar, or have the worst memory in the world! I might be able to understand you not remembering me personally (I am the guy in the picture with you), but I find it difficult to believe you forgot the man who tried to help you overcome your ineptitude as a stuntman, which you lied to Steve Miner, and Dennis Murphy (the producer) about. And the guy who finally had to build a rig, strap you into it, and with the help of Webster Whinery (another stuntman) push you through the window and hold you in the "up" position to accomplish the shot.
Shortly after all of that happened Gillette's forum was removed and he basically dropped out of the mainstream convention radar. Now it was very clear who Gillette was- he was just another actor who played Jason and only due to his credit was he THE face of Jason- he never eve donned the infamous sack. Everything seemed to be straightened out until it had been revealed that his publicity agent (Timothy Beal) had been logging into forums, YouTube and other boards calling Dash a liar, saying he only played a scene or two in the movie and that Gillette himself played 85% of the movie- this after Gillette had confessed! Should we blame Gillette for this? I think so since Gillette has never said anything about it, nor has he confronted the fact that his publicity agent (at the time) was just trying to turn fans against Steve Dash.
Facts remain, most of the cast agree that Steve Dash played Jason for the majority of the movie; Russell Todd, Amy Steel, John Furey, Lauren-Marie Taylor have all backed Dash and Cudney's accusations against Gillette. It should be an open and shit case, but it is not. Gillette has taken a lot of money from fans and still owes a lot of people who bought his $50.00 raffle tickets for a movie that will probably never see the light of day. I personally think that Gillette should confront this situation like a man and apologize, otherwise his signature won't be worth the photo it's signed on in my eyes.
Here's Gillette's denial:
And then his admittance and apology:Steve lies and tells people I was fired which is a cruel joke. He tries to put me down to build himself up ! Yes, Steve Dash does deserve some credit for doing some stunt double work in the epic Friday the 13th II movie. But now he wants to take all the credit after 24 years, which is absurd and try and destroy me ! That is pathetic from a jealous man. I was cast as the original JASON and Steve was cast as a " stunt double". PERIOD ! NOTHING MORE TO DISCUSS. Obviously I was extremely young at the time, because I am young now. I didn't have vast stunt experience so there were some stunts better suited for a bigger man with more experience than myself. Steve's comments about the window scene are a joke. We built a platform outside the house and I performed the stunt and blasted through the window with no pads and no protective eyeware. Steve makes up shit by saying there was a rigging that enabled me to smash through window and that he would have done it like I actually did it. Where does he come up with this crap to discredit me? Now, why after 24 years does this man come out of nowhere making false claims! For what reason ? None other than jealously. There is no money so why ? In closing I am not going to reduce myself to his level of jealousy over a part we played many years ago. I am not that proud of walking around slashing and killing kids at a camp with no lines or display of acting ability. I am looking forward to doing some new work that I can be proud of as an actor.
PIT, FANS and STEVE;I do acknowledge the work of Steve Dash. I am sorry for all the confusion, over the years it really escalated out of control, I hope everyone understands.
Yes I give credit to Steve Dash for his work in the film.
I was young and lucky when I had the privilege to be a JASON, I only wish I had done more. Yes it was brief but I was happy to have been involved at all.
Keep in mind when I was informed by the Director they no longer needed me, after my famous scene through the window, I politely and sadly departed. Since I was not there I had no idea what transpired for the remainder of the shoot and never knew who did what.
Obviously the director never called me and explained how he finished the movie.
I had a party for the premiere of the movie in New York and no one that worked on the movie came.After that moment I forgot about JASON for 20 years while the franchise kept getting bigger.From the end of the shoot I never saw or spoke to anyone from the film until I ran into a few cast members at Fangoria in 2004. Subsequent to that John Gray asked me if I would participate in a web site which I was happy to cooperate.
I never heard of Steve Dash's name or involvement until Necrocomcion in LA on Friday the 13th 2005.
Throughout the years the media contacted me , I merely went along with everything they did. I was personable and would go with the flow. Why object when they were so nice to me? It was all in fun anyway, no one really took it seriously with a photo shoot with a simulated head on a platter. We all would just laugh and move on.
When asked about the movie in interviews I only discussed what I did and I always responded by saying I had no idea who did most of the stunts because I wasn't there. I only assumed Carl Fullerton or the Director did them. Since I knew Carl I would keep giving credit to him.If someone had contacted me once in 24 years and let me know what was going on then I would of course mentioned it. I was not told I was replaced by a more experienced stunt man. They said nothing to me!
No once did I discuss any kill scenes that I supposedly did when in reality someone else or Steve did them. I do apologize for all the confusion and yes I give credit to Steve Dash for his work.I am trying to move forward with my life and do something to be remembered for all my own within my own abilities. Please give me the respect for trying. Hopefully I get there and we'll all one day laugh at this moment.
Who is lying? You be the judge!When I say lets all meet in Hell obviously it was a joke consistent with the outlandish humor on this board. Hopefully we will not meet in hell and hopefully ascend to higher more divine resting places.Thank you all for the support and recognition that you have given me for the small role I did play in this crazy franchise and please everyone and Steve accept my apologies in debacle.ThanksWG