Modano keeps his head up


If Dallas Stars centre Mike Modano was asked to pen one of those How I Spent My Summer Vacation compositions, he'd likely win the award for the most unusual topic.


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If Dallas Stars centre Mike Modano was asked to pen one of those How I Spent My Summer Vacation compositions, he'd likely win the award for the most unusual topic.

That's because Modano could write about how he watched a movie of his wife getting hacked to shreds.

Over and over again.

Modano's wife, actress-singer Willa Ford, portrayed the role of Chelsea, one of the many victims of the notorious, knife-wielding silver-screen slasher Jason Voorhees, in the coming remake of the original Friday the 13th movie.

The movie was filmed last summer in Austin, Tex., about three hours south of Dallas.

"As soon as the playoffs were over for us, I went down to Austin, hung out for a week and watched the filming," Modano said. "I met all the cast and kind of got it explained to me how everybody was going to get killed."

Including the demise of his young bride.

Not to spoil it for anyone, but Ford meets her bitter end in a watery grave.

Come on, it's a slasher movie after all. What did you expect?

"She's excited about it," said Modano, who was at Joe Louis Arena last night with his teammates to tangle with the Detroit Red Wings. "It's her first major motion picture."

There's a bizarro world sense of irony to it all, the thought of a guy in a goalie mask terrorizing a member of Modano's family.

With more goals (542) and points (1,314) than any American-born National Hockey League player, the Livonia, Mich.-born Modano, 38, has done his fair share of terrorizing guys in goalie masks.

In an even stranger development, the killer in the goalie mask and the Modanos grew close during filming.

"I had dinner with Mike and Willa," said Derek Mears, who portrays Jason in the film.

A native of Bakersfield, Calif., Mears, 36, admitted his hockey-playing experience was limited to Nintendo.

"I'm not what you'd call a hockey aficionado, but it was fascinating to see how people were losing their mind when they came up and talked to Mike."

Kind of like how the actors on set were losing their heads when they came up against Jason.

The 11th actor to portray Jason, Mears offered an interesting introspective look into his character, viewing his goalie mask serving as the perfect metaphor and performing the same duty it does for the likes of Stars' Marty Turco and Red Wings' Chris Osgood, the two starting goalies in last night's game.

"Essentially, the mask serves as his protection from society and as a shield from the horrors he's seen in his life," Mears believes. "He's opted to withdraw from society after witnessing the death of his mother.

"Jason only lashes out when people invade his solitude. He's just protecting his private area of the world. He wants to be left alone and when people invade his space, he explodes."

The fibreglass goalie mask - alleged to be a replica of a Detroit Red Wings mask from the 1970s - debuted in the third Friday the 13th flick.

Director/producer Steve Miner called for a lighting check, but the effects crew couldn't be bothered applying Jason's makeup for such a brief period of time.

Editor Martin Jay Sadoff was a hockey player who happened to have his gear in his car, including the goalie mask that has grown to become Hollywood's most famous and feared prop, a staple of every Halloween.

This version of Friday the 13th is a remake of the 1980 original and hits theatres Friday, Feb. 13.

"Just in time for Valentine's Day," Mears notes, "because nothing says, 'I love you' like a good slasher flick."

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