What a classic, right? At least it’s a classic in the sense that it’s the original series of Friday the 13th films which were produced with love and attention as only the finest rip-off genre films are.
The story is that these pictures were created following the success of Halloween and if we can believe the production notes, it was really a giant marketing experiment to see just how stupid teenage moviegoers really are. Apparently for the longest time, they only had the movie poster. No actual script.
Having just watched it, I’d say the script wasn’t entirely necessary.
Yep, that’s it. I love the idea that people looked at that ^^^ and said “GO FOR IT! MAKE THAT PICTURE!”
What follows is a surprisingly entertaining bit of good ole’ fun in the forrest. We begin with the dirtiest, most unwashed hippy chick I’ve ever seen hitching rides to Camp Crystal lake. Already, we know we’re in for a great time. Next is a string of first-person murders in the style of John Carpenter’s brilliant opening to Halloween. By the end, we find out that the killer is actually this woman:
Yeah, so I should probably explain this. If you’ve been living in a cave for the past 32 years, you don’t know that this is Jason’s mother. The best part is that she’s played by a self-professed “serious actress” who is by far the most melodramatic ham-fisted performer in the entire series. It’s great when you encounter this special kind of actor in the “making of” and documentary features on horror DVDs because they always talk about how serious they take their craft and how the film was such a departure for them. “Ha, ha, I can’ t believe I did THAT film, ha ha….” She spends the last half-hour of the film screaming like a dolphin stuck head-first into a snare drum.
What saves this film is one of the coolest ending sequences in 80s horror. That is, if your’e afraid of balding mal-formed mongoloid zombies springing at you from a lake. Chalk me up as a “yes.”
I also got to take in the sequel, Friday the 13th part 2. (Yes, I’m riding this one right into the goddamn mountain). The best thing about the sequel is this guy:
This is “Ted.” I don’t know what to say about him, but he’s just….fantastic. This is clearly the nerdiest, most doofified guy on the planet and he’s cast in the film as the most popular, attractive, and intensely desirable “friend” in the group of counselors. If you look at this picture and think “so what,” just imagine him in a pair of cutoff jean shorts, laughing with his hands on his hips.
This is really the first of the Friday films to have fun with the counselor characters. We have memorable personalities in this one. There’s the guy who jokes around all the time, the very, very popular kid (see above), the guy in the wheelchair, and the strange woman who has a look of confusion perpetually frozen onto her face. Note how there is absolutely no attempt to turn this person into a fully-formed character.
I’d sum up the film with a single image. Yes, that’s the wheelchair guy with a machete stuck in his head. From here on out, we get a lot more character development for the counselors and also see the beginning of a lot of the horror-movies stereotypes featured in the first Scream film (which I hated.) When they kill the kids off….like this:
We actually care a lot more than in the first film. Not because they’re well developed…hahahahahahha…no, we care because we lose that awesome stereotype and can no longer enjoy watching them do whatever it is that they do. For example, wheelchair guy is the strong-silent type. When he gets chopped in the face, we say “damn, there goes the strong silent type……”
Fun fact: Jason doesn’t wear his hockey mask in this flick. He doesn’t actually pick it up until the 3rd film (which might be my favorite in the entire series.) He wears a bag on his head instead.