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The original movie poster for Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (part 4 in the series) shows Jason's iconic hockey mask on it with a cut on the right side of his mask.

original poster

Jason's hockey mask does not have a cut on the right side. The mask has a cut on the left side above the left eye. Fans of the series are aware that Jason's hockey mask is not authentic unless it has the trademark cut in it above the left eye. The cut occurs in Friday the 13th part 3 when Jason gets an axe to the face above his left eye by Chris.

Jason Friday4

The above picture is a scene from Friday the 13th Part IV, The Final Chapter which clearly shows the cut on the left side of the mask that Jason is wearing throughout the film.

Why does the movie poster show the cut on the wrong side of the mask?

Note: The cover of the DVD that I own also shows the cut on the right side of the mask.

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    Someone thought it would look better for the poster if they flipped the picture over?
    – Mr Lister
    Commented Apr 15, 2018 at 14:26
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    Pretty sure I've seen it on the other side too, but only dvds, earlier than that has it on the right. I think some disconnect between art dept and distributor that no one was bothered to pay for to fix. Commented Oct 12, 2023 at 7:53
  • This question seems more like "I noticed a blooper in a movie" than asking a serious question that's likely to have an answer. You can post bloopers on IDMb or many other sites.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Oct 13, 2023 at 13:50
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    @StuartF A continuity error is not the same as a "blooper". Continuity errors are part of the canon or approved associated materials (such as this poster). Bloopers are not part of the canon and generally are acting mistakes that are left out the final product(s).
    – Skooba
    Commented Oct 13, 2023 at 19:16

4 Answers 4

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The effect is purely psychological. Whoever made the poster went for 'effect' without realising the fan-base would see it as 'wrong'.

The image takes the same space either way round - that is, in & of itself, unimportant [to reference another answer].

However, we [in the west] read left to right. This influences our perception of 'entry' into our field of view. We are far more likely to perceive an entry from the left as 'active' and one from the right as 'passive' or even 'a return'.
The mask is facing into frame from the left - an 'active' pose.

We perceive the actual poster image as 'active' - could jump up any second, the flipped version as 'passive' - almost relaxed, dead, going nowhere.

enter image description here enter image description here

In design terms, they could have turned the mask around before the photo… but then you wouldn't see the cut properly. To keep the symmetry with the dagger would then have brought it too far to foreground. To leave it in the farthest eye would then put too many elements on the same side. They need the cut at the front & the dagger at the back. They also need the mask to lead & the dagger to follow. We visualise left to right. In the second example here, the dagger is far too powerful for the scene.

They set themselves up for a rock/hard place scenario and took the simplest way out to make the poster work.

This also works for staging [theatre acting class 101], the powerful entry is rear stage right [stage terminology is opposite to camera terminology, so this is camera rear left] moving to centre stage. Weaker characters occupy front stage left [camera right] (where our dagger is positioned) & face back towards the powerful character [this is called upstaging.]

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  • Are you sure they didn't do this 'accidentally on purpose' to provoke fan response?
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 17, 2023 at 18:09
  • There's potential in that as a motive, but I think there's more in pure visual impact. He can't be 'back' if he's portrayed following the dagger & in a passive pose. Do we see him with a dagger, or a dagger in him.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Oct 17, 2023 at 18:11
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    While I don't think you're wrong, I'm still wanting to see actual evidence.
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 17, 2023 at 18:24
  • Sure - I didn't actually do this for the bounty, though that's how I found it. It just really seems the obvious reason. It just reads/stages badly the 'correct' way round. btw, I added a bit on theatre staging to round out the argument.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Oct 17, 2023 at 18:27
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+25

As someone who designs posters (not for movies though), Here are some reasons why mistakes like the wrong cut on Jason's mask might happen:

  • Early Design: Posters are created a long time before a movie comes out. Sometimes, the people making the posters don't have all the right information. In this case, the mistake might have happened because they didn't know about the cut in the earlier movie.

  • Artistic Freedom: Making posters is like making art. Artists often change things to make them look better, even if it's not exactly like in the movie.

  • Branding: Sometimes, studios care more about their logo or what people remember than being perfectly right. Jason's mask is very famous, so the studio might want it to look like what people recognize.

  • Human Mistakes: Sometimes, people make mistakes. Maybe the designer didn't notice the error.

Even though fans notice these mistakes, posters are made to get people excited about a movie. They want to make people interested and remember the movie, so they might not always get every detail perfect.

These are some example where other movie posters made similar mistakes:

Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope - In some early promotional posters for this film, the character Luke Skywalker is depicted holding a lightsaber with a blue blade, even though he uses a green lightsaber in the movie.

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers - The promotional poster for this film shows the character Aragorn wielding the broken sword Narsil. However, by this point in the story, Aragorn is already using the reforged sword, Andúril.

These examples illustrate that mistakes or inaccuracies in movie posters can happen for various reasons, such as early design, artistic choices, and sometimes even simple oversights.

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  • Personally I was thinking that this might be 'accidentally on purpose' to provoke fan response.
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 15, 2023 at 6:56
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    I can't seem to find any articles or images about the "Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope" and "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" examples you provided. Can you add images of the posters that illustrate those examples? Commented Oct 17, 2023 at 2:53
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    What you state here about The Two Towers is definitely incorrect. Anduril is given back to Aragorn in the next installment, The Return of the King. I also think the Star Wars example is also incorrect. He uses the light-sabre given to him by Ben Kenobi, which is definitely blue. Where did you get these examples from??
    – iandotkelly
    Commented Nov 2, 2023 at 10:17
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    @iandotkelly I believe the above answer is AI-generated (LLM hallucination). Commented Nov 2, 2023 at 10:21
  • Was an AI chatbot used to generate much of this answer? If so, that may break the site policy, and I would recommend replacing the answer with one written yourself or delete the answer. If it is entirely your own writing, I do suggest that you remove the two incorrect examples and I will reverse my downvotes.
    – iandotkelly
    Commented Nov 3, 2023 at 16:17
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Flipping the mask image, it doesn't seem to make a difference in aesthetics (to me). Perhaps it can be explained by accidentally flipping the negative when making the original artwork

enter image description here

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    This seems to be more of a comment than an answer. Commented Jan 14, 2023 at 21:01
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This was actually done so that the image of the knife balanced out on the poster. Technically inaccurate, yes it is, but when the marketing department for the movie created the image, they realised that had the knife appeared in the left eye with the cut on the other side, the image would have been unbalanced when the text was included.

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    Do you have any evidence for this statement or is this just interpretation?
    – Paulie_D
    Commented May 8, 2018 at 12:24
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    "unbalanced"? How's that? I've compared the two version (original and flipped) and can't see anything unbalanced. Can you please clarify?
    – OldPadawan
    Commented Jan 14, 2023 at 18:33

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