Movie Review- Friday the 13th (o-1980)

Hi folks,

 

 

So today is Friday and this is Shocktober and since I absolutely can NOT be late on this one we are diving head first into Crystal Lake Baby! With the one, the only…..

 

 

 

 

Friday the 13th

 

Fast Facts

 

Made in 1980, by Paramount pictures. There’s no attempt to hide, by anyone, that Friday the 13th was made to capitalize on the success of John Carpenter’s Halloween that had come out two years prior. Thank God for money grubbing hangers on.

 

Friday the 13th is about a group of teenagers working to reopen Camp Crystal Lake with their boss Mr. Christy. As counselors begin to disappear it soon becomes clear that someone is stalking and killing the new staff of ‘Camp Blood’.

 

Why do psychos always let that 'Welcome' sign stay up

 

Cast

 

Now this is a slasher movie and has a pretty large, expendable cast so I’m just going to give you the standouts.

 

She looks awfully happy for someone who's about to start a 25 year long bloodbath

Adrienne King- Plays Alice Hardy the least drug/sex obsessed of the teens working at the camp and therefore our final girl. This movie is iconic for many reasons; not least of which is the great job that King does.

 

Six degrees of dead

Kevin Bacon- Plays Jack Burrel another of the camp counselor’s, the Baconator does just fine in this. Friday the 13th has the distinction of being Mr. Bacon’s sixth film credit ever and all we can say is: ha ha you weren’t famous yet.

 

You've got a death curse!

Walt Gorney- Plays Crazy Ralph one of the few Friday characters to show up for more than one movie, he’s classic and we love him…even though he keeps saying that we’re all going to die.

 

Stand Up Sister Soldier!

Betsy Palmer- Plays Mrs. Pamela Voorhees, our original killer ladies and gentleman. Ms. Palmer had quite the distinguished career before taking this job to fix her car, she adds a classic Hollywood feel to the part. Making psychosis look easy and borderline glamorous.

 

Dude you've been in there too long...

Ari Lehman- the first man to ever play Jason Voorhees, the lucky, lucky bastard.

 

 

Observations

 

Now in the interest of full disclosure, I feel the need to make it generally known that Friday the 13th is my favorite slasher franchise. I think it’s the most fun, I think it’s the most brutal, I think they have made an effort over the last 30 years to keep it interesting. Even though this has resulted in some truly ridiculous plot devices and one absolutely atrocious remake, Friday the 13th is still taken more seriously as a franchise than any other slasher.

 

Fuck you it is

Michael Myers’ sequels were so bad I don’t own most of them, Freddy started a stand up act in the third sequel, and Leatherface just couldn’t outlive Renee Zellwegger AND Matthew McConaughey. (Ghost Face is trying but he had the benefit of a ten year hiatus and a dedicated original cast).

 

God I hate you

But I think I can speak for most of the slasher fan community when I say that I WANT another Friday the 13th sequel, because number five notwithstanding they’ve been a whole lot of fun and even occasionally frightening.

 

For some reason I can't quite explain...this is terrifying

 

But we got a little off track there; we’re here to talk about the one that started all of that.

 

Shattering precedent like they shatter glass...fake glass...with text

 

I think the thing I like about the first movie, that differentiates it from the other slashers of the time period; is that it isn’t a foregone conclusion who the killer is. It’s not like Halloween or Nightmare on Elm Street where the aggressor is introduced and then someone kindly informs the audience about why it’s bad that he’s here. Friday the 13th is a mystery, at least for the audience who knows there’s something wrong for longer than the last twenty minutes.

 

First clue that there's something very wrong

Of course the second part of that is that the reveal itself is novel. First off as a feminist WOO HOO female slasher! Mrs. Voorhees is  cooler than just being novel, she’s a serial killer who almost has a legit reason for what she does the tragic death of her son is a more legit reason to slaughter teenagers than just being that damn evil and motive suddenly mattered for your average slasher movie after she was done. And the fact that she put every other slasher’s creativity to shame in her one starring role goes a long way to making her every slasher fan’s favorite momma.

 

And we do love our Momma

There are a number of really good kills in this movie. Friday the 13th as a franchise is known for including at least one memorable kill in each film. There’s always something new and this one’s no exception.

 

The stand outs are Jack, Marcie and Annie.

 

We’ll start with the last one first, because it’s not innovative in and of itself it’s just the perfect example of Tom Savini’s contribution to the film. Annie gets her throat slashed and just now as we were watching it, 31 years of special effects innovations later, Bright Dyke turned to me and gawked at how realistic it looked.

 

Not that that's much consolation

Jack is next, Kevin Bacon has the pleasure of having my favorite death in this movie. Immediately after banging his girlfriend he lights up a joint lays back on a bunk and waits for Marcie to return from the bathroom. At that moment an arrow comes shooting out of his clavicle from underneath as a hand reaches around and pulls his forehead to the pillow. As the geyser of red stuff starts spurting through the hole in his neck, I thank the good lord for Tom Savini and whatever soul decided that knives and axes and machetes just aren’t enough.

 

Sort of how I felt during Hollow Man

Marcie, Jack’s girlfriend as you can guess, never makes it back from the bathroom, she became something of an icon for the first movie, the image of her with an axe embedded in her forehead slumped against the shower stall, is THE kill for this movie.

 

Not quite Janet Leigh, but we'll take it

Now not all the scares in this movie are kills, and perhaps the most memorable moment in this film is at the ending where we are introduced to Mr. Voorhees for the first time ever. I know, it’s a momentous occasion isn’t it? I mean I was (again) probably too young to see this but I nearly lost my shit when Jason leapt out of the water to drag his mother’s killer to a watery grave.

 

Seriously dude you pruned bad

 

Final Thoughts

 

Friday the 13th is a classic film, it’s the beginning of an 11 movie long string of awesome. It gave us Mrs. Voorhees, and the big guy in one shot and on top of everything else it is in fact, a great movie, it’s done well, it’s written decently and the kills are far more than solid.

 

Some are downright trippy

 

All in All I give it a resounding 9 out of 10

 

 

Because it’s the reason that Fridays have a death curse on them for the rest of October.

 

 

Your reverant Screamstress,

 

 

~Fright Dyke

 

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