Monday, April 8, 2013

RIP Richard Brooker



Yesterday when I saw the news, I couldn't rightfully write anything about it. I figured that I would give him a day of silence out of respect. Growing up and watching Friday the 13th: Part III on a rented VCR while living on a pig farm in rural South Carolina is among my fondest childhood memories. We had to have watched this film 6 times over the course of the weekend. One viewing I decided to watch the credits and I saw Richard Brooker as Jason in the credits. That name stuck with me because Jason literally scared the hell out of my 9 year old ass. It also made me deathly afraid of the old barn out back!

I remember being in middle school and my friend brought in some issues of Fangoria. One of them had a write-up about the Jasons and had a photo of Richard Brooker and I finally put a face to this name and read the entire article. 

When the internet was in gear, I learned the Brooker had a website and could easily be contacted. So, I chose to buy an autographed photo of him and to this day it was a very special item in my collections. Later on in life I had the chance to attend a small convention that Brooker attended and got to meet the man. That meeting wasn't amazing  since my time with him was merely seconds and he seemed rushed. But it did make me relive my childhood memories of Friday the 13th: Part III.

Death is always a sad thing, but we all do die and so do horror icons. My condolences to his family and those who were closest to him. Everyone knows what a huge fan I am of Part III and Brooker and needless to say, this news really hit me hard. 

His commentary for Friday the 13th: Part III (on the old Manhattan to Crystal Lake box set) is great, so in his honor, please give it a listen.


23 comments:

  1. HisNameWasBrandonApril 8, 2013 at 7:13 PM

    Whoa dude what all happened??? Okay I am off to check the official franchise site as well as his Facebook. This is fucked up!! He was always posting & at conventions 'around the world.

    Bless him for replying to me several times. He was truly the best "Human Jason' regardless of whom all argues with us about it. May he truly RIP & God of Abraham bless him ..

    :(

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    1. Not sure. He was complaining of feeling sick the night before his death which points towards his heart.

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  2. Seriously!? Damn. Just... damn.

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  3. HisNameWasBrandonApril 9, 2013 at 2:52 AM

    A very fine & touching YouTube tribute I found here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIHGGsH6Las

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  4. so sad to hear. real sad.

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  5. Really sad news. Rest in Peace.

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  6. my prayers with the family rip

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  7. I definitely feel you on this loss, Jack. I am absolutely crushed by this news. It's just terrible. Obviously, the men behind the mask had to begin checking out sometime, but Richard was by no means the first one I saw doing it. I had hoped to finally meet Richard one day, as he's always been my favorite Jason. It deeply saddens me to know that can never happen now. What's worst of all is that in my case, I had an opportunity last year, but couldn't make it. I'm so upset by that now I can't even begin to put it into words.

    Like Brandon said, Richard is hands down the absolute greatest Jason there will ever be and the one all others are measured by in my eyes. He may not have been the first "adult" Jason, but his turn in the role really defined the character more than any other IMO. Even Ted White's brilliant take is basically a xerox of Richard's, just amped up to 11, which worked perfectly for the then would-be conclusion to the series. There's just something magical about what Brooker did with Jason that really resonated with so many of us. From his epic walk onto that pier with the spear gun in hand, he owned that character and made it something special that no one else has ever been truly able to match.

    Many clueless folks out there would just spout off "what's the big deal? - he played a masked killer, so what, who cares, blah blah blah." To them I would say NO WAY - he did much more than that. He helped to define a golden age for horror films when they thrived at full steam off of a curious sense of captivation, and through that he also created the true onscreen essence of the most iconic cinematic villain of all time (IMO, though Darth Vader probably bests him in actual popularity). The spark Brooker brought to Jason Voorhees terrified, inspired and influenced a whole generation that grew up on these films - and it still does to this very day. That really does mean something special.

    It's a shame you, Brandon and myself aren't more closely located to one another. I'd love to grab some dinner with you guys and just shoot the shit about Part 3 and Richard's work in it. Of all the fans I've ever had the pleasure of talking to or interacting with, you guys by far seem to be the only ones that truly "get" Part 3 the way that I do. It's just such a sad time for fans of this significant entry in the franchise, and of classic 80's horror in general.

    Tonight I will be watching Part 3 once again in honor of Mr. Brooker. If there's a big spooky barn somewhere up there in the great unknown that lies beyond this world, I hope that he's lurking in it with all the malevolence he can possibly muster. Just the sheer thought of such makes me smile from ear to ear. You're the man, Richard. RIP and you will be sorely missed.

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  8. I am shocked to hear of his untimely death. I have met him a lot of times at conventions and he was always a very nice gentleman.

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  9. HisNameWasBrandonApril 9, 2013 at 3:48 PM

    Damn it!! this page just reloaded after I spent like eleven minutes trying to spell check & to write so much!!

    Danmit! Anyway it is no one elses' fault but my own tie. Anyways like you Bloody her shall ALWAY & FOREVER be the best Human Jason Voorhees actor" out of the bunch as the great Mr. Ted White whom is my second of all time and the pseudo-Jason/Roy Burns imposter of V and others merely copied his weapon movement & all.

    I got to thankfully spoke with him several times via Facebook before he past & I always commented on the L.A. skyline out in his part of Hollywood that he would shoot it from.

    And yes to Bloody, I've grown quite attached to you guys I was gonna say. I am currently in the industrial southern city of Shreveport, Louisiana though I am a Tennessee native, born & raised. I was born in Nashville & was raised mostly in Jackson.

    Mostly I'll always & forever have fond memories of being scared out of my wits by a seemingly human yet industructable Mr. Brooker as I watched the old crummy EP Mode Tapes on VHS that Paramount gave us as I collected them from a Suncoast Video at the shopping center back in the day.

    And yes I too would love to have a get together one of thee days at like a convention or something or a big southern get-together & the like. :) So where are you based now, Bloody_Heroics? I was merely wondering.

    And yeah Part 3D always & forever will hold a very, VERY special place in my heart. Man or man I wish that I had all of those other tribute links that I posted a minute ago but I'll show them all to Jack in a while via e-mail.

    But yes I feel like Jack & you, Bloody: Though I only contacted him online he always & forever will had a WONDERFUL & FABULOUSLY spooky place in my heart, in a wonderful pop-culture/pop-horror way as his iconic kills (Spear through the eye of Vera; machete-down-the-middle bisection of cleaving poor Andy in twin; offscreen throat slashing of Shelly & of course Rick's infamous eyeball-popping moment, ect) as well as his sulking walking & demeanor, shall be VERY hard for what very few future Jason's can ever duplicate.

    I've said it before & I'll say it again: My favorite Jason Voorhees actors/stuntmen of all time are pretty much Mr. Brooker with a follow up to the great legendary okie stuntman/actor Mr. Ted White. The rest are all fairly distant in my aspie-with-Asperger's Syndrome mind tat I have. This is a truly sad last 24 hours indeed. And like many I own both the Frm Crystal Lake to Manhatten boxset with commentary on half of the films a well as the 3-D Deluxe Edition on Blu Ray. I believe I'll give the cast reunion commentary, recorded way back in early '04 a spin & listen tonight, as I make dinner & in general tidy-up around here at my brother Erik's house.

    yet another fabulously written post as per always, Jack---I'm so glad that you got to meet him & it hit very close to home for me ...

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  10. HisNameWasBrandonApril 9, 2013 at 4:02 PM

    Some wonderful videos that I found on YouTube. Please everyone take some time to copy & paste'em and maybe to comment. Let the whole genre film loving & collecting world know that he SHALL BE MISSED, indeed. :(
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onFtxR6QkM4
    &
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3HvgQiOMN8
    &
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIHGGsH6Las
    &
    Fan talk tribute:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DjTMFJFSfWI

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  11. I read about this on shock and it was such a shock for me I didn't kn ow he was in bad health

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  12. @Brandon - I'm right outside of Birmingham, AL. I recently moved after over 20 years, but I'm still only about 45 minutes from where I used to be. Born and raised in AL, and still here to this day.

    It's just so odd how someone you've never met (and in cases like mine now, sadly, never will) can have such a profound and meaningful impact on your life. I suppose it's pretty common, actually - numerous individuals we don't even know (and mostly, never can or will) touch our lives in immeasurable ways each and every single day and we never truly stop to think about how and why that is. We just go on living. That's the thing too, really - the hardest part of someone dying is almost always those left in the wake of the person's passing. Whether it's family, friends or just someone you barely knew or not at all, death holds a strangely potent power over all of us. Whether it's the straight-up fear of it (which gives horror movies their strength, after all) or just what comes after it when it affects you directly or peripherally, it's such a sad, strange state to sort through.

    It still upsets me dearly that I will never be able to shake Richard's hand and simply tell him "thank you." I know that's probably silly and super-cheesy to some, but fuck it, I don't care how it sounds. It really upsets me. I guess because I somehow had it in my head that the day would finally come not too far into the future. He'd do another convention nearby, I'd finally be able to go, and no matter how small or somewhat insignificant the moment itself was of meeting him, it would have happened at last.

    Richard may not have been into horror films himself, but his work ethic clearly showed what a consummate professional and class act he really was when approaching and delivering with the role of Jason. I guess that should be any of us, really - we all take jobs and tasks we don't necessarily feel all that great or enriched about, but we should try and make the best of them and put our heart into them anyway because that's what's right. I may not wanna go out and dig a ditch next week, but I suppose if I have to, I'm gonna dig the best damn ditch I possibly can, ya know what I mean?

    Despite this sad time and Richard's sudden departure, I still feel his mark is absolutely made and that because of the great work this man did in the now legendary role and third installment, the franchise simply couldn't and wouldn't be stopped and would go on to become arguably the biggest one in horror history.

    And yes, while the actors may come and go, each seemingly having given their all to a part that has achieved such tremendous and beloved iconic status among the most devoted horrorphiles around the world, one thing will ALWAYS remain true no matter what ultimately becomes of the men behind the mask - Jason will still be out there, carrying on in the deepest darkest recesses of our fears and imaginations. He's in your woods, and he's in mine. JASON LIVES.

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  13. HisNameWasBrandonApril 10, 2013 at 1:03 PM

    A big thanks for sharing that all with me, Bloody_Heroics; truly.
    ;-)

    And yeah I'm from a nearby state, Tennessee born & mostly raised. Though I am currently in Shreveport, Louisiana like I said near family saving up & earning money as a patent & inventor. However, I do not like it here: The standard of living is a bit too low for my tastes & the racial tension here (I love all colors & creeds---none of that stuff ever meant anything to me even though I'm country, ya know? I love all women & accept all people that I am attracted to) an just lots of cockroaches & crime. I miss my hoe state. I was thinking that if I make enough retirement money I'll retire to the Carolina's of a nice, hill-y country in Virginia. :)

    I just wanna own a nice four bedroom ranch-style hoe and like four-to-six acres of land and have it pest sprayed a few times a year. And I wanna be able to see Germany and four other oof my good/close European friends. And ot have money for nicer department store clothes and to own some land. I've been broke going on three years now & haven't done much in life so I've been prayin' for God to give me a break nightly.

    I've been through Alabama once--it as nice. :) I really don't like the later on installments but as you know the did most of the shooting for Part VII there with many pick up & insert shots back in L.A. n & around Hollywood. Supposedly a lot of the burned out woods that they tried to match Part VII's to look like Part VIs was back in L.A. as the commentary note that there was a freeway overpass off to one side out of frame while they were supposedly "in the woods, like two miles from nowhere". heh heh

    And what all you wrote I beautiful--truly bro. I re-read it and almost teared up. You REALLLY should look into writing for yourself or a website or an eBook in order to get all of your thought out there... No lie, you have some MAJOR talent with words there my good new friend. ;-) I like how you write a lot. VERY heartfelt! :)

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  14. AT monstermainia a few years back me and bro were getting some drinks at the bar when Ken K. put himself next to us and ordered some drinks For Him Richaerd And Dick W. We of course pic up the tab. Looked over at the table Ken went to and gave the Salute. About a min later they were all behind us and bought us a round and pulled of some shots with us. Richard and I both ordered Jameson Bar only had enough for 1 shot so i of course gave it to Richard.
    RIP Kind SIR

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  15. @Higgins - That is one incredibly awesome story man. Thanks so much for sharing it.

    @Brandon - Yeah, I mentioned before about kind of dropping off the internet overall about a month or so ago. Just got fed up with the drama plaguing so much of it, and the egos that drove all that shit. I used to have a blog, but I recently nuked it lol. It may resurface in some form down the road, but I may just let it rest. I wasn't a super-active poster or anything anyway. But when I did decide to write something, I always made it count lol. ;D

    But yeah, I really appreciate the kind words. I'm nothing short of a long-winded SOB, that's for sure lol. Glad to see someone else genuinely appreciates my ramblings though. I think very few ever have. I'm not about short sentences and brief thoughts, that's for sure. I've always had a tendency to write novels about even the simplest of topics lol.

    I also saw your comments on YouTube under BoogeymanBen's tribute to Richard. Very cool man. I'm "goopydroopyeyes" on there. Like the devil himself, I have so many "names." LOL You may have come across my other moniker of "Steak Knife Surprise" as well in your message board travels. I used to be a pretty active member of the Deadpit Radio community under that identity.

    Like I also mentioned many posts back, I'd love to visit the locations down near Mobile, AL where they shot most of The New Blood. I've even got a friend who lives near there in Foley. Eventually I'll get the whole thing organized and actually do it lol. It's all about timing, really. But there's not much left to see anyway. Just the old fire engine and maybe part of the old pier, I think. I'd still just love to wander around the woods where they shot anyway though lol.

    And keep your head up man. Things will improve for you. When everything's looking down, you can only come back up. I got laid off from my job of nearly 7 years back in mid-2009, so I feel exactly where you're coming from. I've managed to make up for it by doing all sorts of things since then, but it can still be hard sometimes. You'll get to where you want to be eventually and find contentment in your life. I think everyone does, given proper time. It's just not always easy to get there. But it will happen. I genuinely hope things work out for you sooner than later though. :)

    Hit me up if you ever catch me logged on to Skype. I'm under this particular name, BloodyHeroics.

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  16. HisNameWasBrandonApril 10, 2013 at 3:45 PM

    A truly beautiful story there, Higgins.

    I need to attend these conventions one of these days. I am not much of a drinker outside of more "girly drinks" such as Daquiris and pina coladas and the like, but that I a truly nice & personal story. Thank you for sharing it. :) Mad respect,

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  17. HisNameWasBrandonApril 11, 2013 at 1:24 AM

    Here is a FABULOUS over seven minute tribute with rare photos, including one of him with the late Steve Susskind behind the scenes of Part 3-D that I have never seen towards the beginning. I've honestly never seen the photo & I have seen most of the Part 3-D behind the scenes pics so far.

    It is probably the best so far of the Brooker tributes that have hit YouTube over the last 72 hours, now:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTDvg8Tz9S4

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  18. HisNameWasBrandonApril 12, 2013 at 9:14 PM

    And hey to Bloody, I just added you with a message on Skype & also added a comment to your YouTube account. NO worries man, as I have my Faith in God & Christ and I AM NOT the depressive type; I was merely more then mildly down of where I am currently at and with all of the more racially divided, negative people around me, ya know?

    I am full of good mental health. I was merely down sometimes as I want this year to get better, and so far, so good as IT HAS. :) I shall explain more at another time as this is more John Voorhees/Early Friday Franchise-centric out of respect for our good buddy Jack and not really for our personal lives.

    But mad respect for your thoughtful & overly kind, respect comment(s) to me, bro! That was super cool 'n nice of ya. Us modern day suburbanite country folk are the best. PEACE. :)

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