Actress Kerry Noonan later went on to audition for a film entitled "Birthday Bash", in which serial killer, "Ethan", goes against a girl with telekinetic powers. While auditioning, she asked the producers: "Hey, is this Friday the 13th? I was already in one of these!" She was correct, "Birthday Bash" being the fake working title for Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988), and "Ethan" the pseudonym given to Jason in the scripts in order to protect the film from the press during pre-production.
Director Tom McLoughlin took home some props from the film, including Jason's tombstone - which sits outside his house, made to look like Jason is buried in his yard - and his casket, which sits in his garage. The DVD box set includes a scene in which he shows off these props at his home, and tells of how a city employee refused to enter his yard to read the meter because he thought a body was really buried there.
The original script contained material that alluded to Jason's father, which, to date, remains the closest the series has ever come to shedding some light on the mysterious character. In the script, Pamela's headstone is next to Jason's, a reference to the fact that someone paid to have Jason buried, explaining why he was not cremated as the Mayor said in Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985). As well as this, there is a final scene in which Jason's father visits his son's grave, seemingly aware of the fact that Jason is not inside it. These scenes were never filmed, but made it into the film's novelization. The 2009 Deluxe Edition DVD uses storyboard art and voiceover work to complete the scene.
The film contains numerous references to other horror films and/or people connected with them. Megan mentions Cunningham Road, a reference to Sean S. Cunningham, director of Friday the 13th (1980) and creator of the series, while Tommy mentions a grocery store called Karloff's, an homage to famous horror actor, Boris Karloff. As well as this, Sheriff Garris mentions a town called Carpenter, a reference to filmmaker John Carpenter, director of Halloween (1978), while the name Sissy is perhaps a reference to Sissy Spacek, who starred in Brian De Palma's Carrie (1976), which is based on a novel by Stephen King. Also, Sissy wears a jacket with the name "Baker" on the back, possibly a reference to Angela Baker from Sleepaway Camp (1983).
Years after the release of this film, Kevin Williamson told director Tom McLoughlin that this film had a huge influence on him growing up and helped inspire him to write his blockbuster slasher film, Scream (1996).
The film made $19,472,057 with a budget of $3,000,000, marking the first time that a "Friday the 13th" installment did not gross over $20,000,000 and beginning the general decline in box office returns.
Crew member Dan Bradley played Jason on the first day of shooting, which is why Jason's build in the paint ball scenes is different. This is also why Jason's eye color changes during the film. Paramount had seen the first day's rushes, and asked that Jason be recast - feeling that Bradley looked too bulky for the role - therefore Graham was given the part.
In order to keep the film's storyline a secret, the production was given the fake title "Aladdin Sane", both as a pun - "a lad insane", referencing the storyline of a mental patient pursued by a killer - and in keeping with the series' tradition of using David Bowie song/album titles as fake names. An LP of Bowie's "Aladdin Sane" can be seen on the table in the girl's cabin approximately 33 minutes into the movie.
The work print version of the film contains the sheriff's backbreaking death in its entirety. The ending is also slightly altered: it excludes the profanity Tommy spouts at Jason, and the ensuing fight between Tommy and Jason both above and below the lake's surface is longer. In addition to this, in the scene where Megan rescues Tommy and shoves the boat's propeller into Jason's neck, the shot of the gore spilling into the water is eliminated.
Melanie Kinnaman, who starred as Pam in the previous installment, Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985), actually signed on to reprise her role for this film. However, the producers decided to go in a new direction for this film, which excluded Kinnaman's character.
(at around 32 mins) During the close-up shots of the children sleeping in the cabin, one of them has a copy of French existentialist author Jean-Paul Sartre's novel No Exit. This is most likely intended as a joke. The book's plot is about three deceased souls who are brought to Hell and lie about their reasons for being brought there. After being stuck there and failing to find a way out, one of the characters comes to the conclusion that "Hell is other people."
The final scene to be shot was the crashing of the RV. Director Tom McLoughlin was terrified during filming, as there could only be one take and the crashing made the scene incredibly dangerous for C.J. Graham.
The climactic scene in which Megan kills Jason with the outboard motor was actually filmed in 3 different locations: the underwater shots were filmed in a temperature-controlled tank in Los Angeles, the above water shots were filmed in a murky Georgia lake, and the shots of the motor actually cutting Jason's mask/neck were filmed in Tom McLaughlin's father's swimming pool, actually ruining the pool filter in the process.
Ted White stated in interviews that he was offered the opportunity to return to the role of Jason Voorhees, whom he portrayed in Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984) but he turned the role down. White stated that in hindsight, he should have accepted the offer.
pitched scream expert, but mostly lovable little kid Reggie (Shavar Ross). Both Shepherd and Kinnaman had signed up for two films, and Kinnaman was told her character would return in Part VI to pull Tommy back from the brink of insanity. Ross assumed Reggie would be brought back to be killed off, but others claim his return was never in the cards. But then Shepherd, who actually liked Tom McLoughlin's script, decided not to return, thinking himself better than the material and his work in Part V unappreciated. He later became a preacher and producer of faith-based films, but his walking away from Part VI totally screwed over Kinnaman, whose contract was canceled. Her presence would only draw attention to how different Tommy Jarvis looked, the part having been re-cast with Thom Matthews.
A young couple have the audacity to drive their car through Jason's neck of the woods. So, he murders them, as is his way. The first to go is a young Tony Goldwyn as the boyfriend, and the girlfriend, played by Nancy McLoughlin, is forced out of the car and dies with her face submerged in a puddle of muddy water. During this process, Jason lunges at her with a very real, very sharp spear through the car's windshield. The stuntman was supposed to aim at the opposite side of McLoughlin in the car's front seat, but either due to the impact from the windshield or the stuntman's military training causing him to stay on target the spear changed trajectory, re-directing toward McLoughlin, who narrowly avoided a very real impalement.
The original actor to play Jason was fired for being to fat. They recast the part with C.J. Graham, a restaurant manager with no stunt experience but a military background as an Army soldier. That made him the perfect soldier-type to take orders and execute stunts with military precision. Bradley's paintball stuff was not re-shot meaning he does play Jason for a very brief part of the film. Otherwise, it's all C.J. Graham.
The director, Tom McLoughlin stated in an interview once, that this particular Jason had an indestructible, Terminator like presence. C.J. Graham (Jason) servered in the United States Marine Corps; from 1974 to 1978. Which provided a dominant presence unlike any other actor/stuntman to have played Jason, before or since.
McLoughlin was actually offered the chance to direct Scream in the mid-90s, the gig Wes Craven eventually accepted. He declined, but during that process he met Kevin Williamson, who admitted that the fantastically self-aware Part VI was an influential film for him on his path to eventually writing Scream.
Darcy DeMoss had been fired from Part V for not doing nudity, and then they turned around and asked her to go topless in Part VI . Not only had Darcy DeMoss been cast in Friday the 13th Part V but so had her boyfriend at the time, the two actually cast to play boyfriend and girlfriend in the film. The casting directors made it up to her by bringing her back for Jason Lives, and she was not going to be required to do any nudity. But sure enough on the day they filmed her sex scene the producers forced Tom McLoughlin to ask her to go topless. She'd done nudity before, baring her breasts in her first ever movie (Hardbodies), but you don't spring that kind of thing on an actress without first clearing it with her agent, especially not after the casting couch crap Part V's director had pulled with her. So, she said no, but this time it didn't cost her her job.
Additional death scenes were shot after the film was screened for test audiences: the death of Martin, who is not killed in Simon Hawke's novelization of the film, and the double impalement of Steven and Annette, neither of whom are featured in the novelization. As well as this, Sissy's death was actually filmed, rather than just showing her being pulled out of the window and her head found later, as was originally in the film.
at around 15 mins) When Lizbeth is killed and her money and credit card are floating, the credit card reads: "American Excess", with the card holder's name listed as "Elizabeth Mott". Mott was the maiden name of Nancy McLoughlin, the actress who plays Lizbeth.
Three of Alice Cooper's songs appear. "Teenage Frankenstein" during Nikki and Cort's death scenes; "Hard Rock Summer" featured in the high speed chase between the police and Megan (...with Tommy in her lap); and "He's Back (The Man Behind the Mask)" playing in the end credits.