Saturday, January 14, 2012

Church of the Divine Psychopath

As I sat on the couch, watching "Friday the 13th" movies last night, I started to think about some of the other media Jason Voorhees has worked his way into. Mostly, I was thinking a line of books that came out in the mid-2000s based on the franchise.

Publisher Black Flame ran two separate lines in 2003 and 2005, one based on "Jason X" and the other featuring standalone stories within the context of the earthbound films. I only bought one of these books.

"Church of the Divine Psychopath" has our anti-hero being resurrected by a Christian extremist group that believes Jason is the Hand of God, the embodiment of divine vengeance sent to destroy the world's sinners.

Heck of a premise, if you ask me. That's why this was the one book in the series I bought. the others ("Hell Lake," "Hate-Kill-Repeat," "The Jason Strain," and "Carnival of Maniacs") didn't strike me as being as risky. The others were full of the people you'd expect Jason to encounter: other serial killers, islands full of promiscuous teens and carny freaks. Been there, done that.

"Church of the Divine Psychopath," on the other hand, put Jason in league (indirectly) with God. Naturally, it turns out bad for the churchies, because the only person who can tell Jason what to do is his mother. Jason doesn't just kill the physically sinful; Jason destroys those who seek to usurp the power of God to smote whom He wishes. What's interesting is that idea of Jason as righteous vengeance, as opposed to mindless killing machine. The brain cells are ticking inside Jason's soft skull, just not at the same pace as the average human. I've always contended that Jason knows what he's doing. It's not that he kills everyone he meets, it's that most of the people he meets get killed. (For an example of Jason's restraint, see "Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan." He encounters many people he doesn't kill.) The lesson is that trying to harness Jason for your own means will always backfire.

***

As I was thinking about these books, I decided to check Amazon and see if they were available for the Kindle. Not only that, but they are out of print. Black Flame closed down in 2008. What this means for the mass market paperback I own and the other books floating out there is high demand for a low supply. The cheapest used copy of "Church of the Divine Psychopath" on Amazon is $19. Thirty bucks will get you a new copy. The one available new copy of "Hate-Kill-Repeat" is $99.95. The "Jason X" books are  significantly less expensive, but still priced well above the original cover price. I think I paid $7 for my copy of "Church of the Divine Psychopath."

And no, it's not for sale.

Perhaps it is time for someone to buy up Black Flame's back catalog and do some reprints. Get these novels out in ebook form for folks like me who were gifted with a Kindle Fire for Christmas.

Bring Jason back to life once more.

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