A biology teacher at Lakeview High School, McCullough is a chaperone aboard the S.S. Lazarus; a ship bound for New York City for a senior class trip. Much to his chagrin, his coworker Colleen Van Deusen brings his niece Rennie along, who has a strong fear of the water. He spends most of his time focusing on delinquent popular girl named Tamara Mason, who has shrugged off his final report and threatens her that she will not graduate or visit New York without a proper report. She uses the report as an excuse to trap him in a compromising position recorded by Wayne Weber, though he is disgusted by the fact he realizes he can't do anything as the evidence can still be construed that he is guilty.
He ignores a deckhand's warning that Jason Voorhees is on board killing, murdering, and slaughtering his students in cold blood stating that "Walking corpses don't exist" and he thinks the deckhand is responsible for the murders of his students, until he discovers him dead from an axe to his back.
McCullough, Van Deusen, Rennie, Sean Robertson and Julius Gaw escape the Lazarus before it sinks into the sea. Finding their way to New York by sextant, the group is shortly thereafter mugged by a pair of punks who kidnap Rennie and he advises they split up. McCullough gets the police and shortly after reunites with Sean, Rennie and Van Deusen before discovering Julius' disembodied head in the police patrol car. After the policeman is taken, Rennie gets into the front seat and tries to drive, smashing the car into a light post. Van Deusen is immolated in the car when it explodes, but the fire makes Rennie remember that McCullough was responsible for her fear of the water, by forcing her into deep water to learn how to swim. Disgusted, both Sean and Rennie leave him behind and Jason recovers from being hit by the police car.
Still not believing Jason to be real, McCullough tried to runs from him, but failed and is thrown from a window like a rag doll then cornered by Jason who then stuffs McCullough in a slime and water filled barrel, and he is drowned.
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