My bitch Earl reminded me this morning that today is Friday 13th. And, its summer. And, for some reason the film studios weren’t quite smart enough to plan ahead and read a calendar in enough time to actually have a new Friday the 13th movie come out today.
The Friday the 13th films were hands-down my favorite slasher movies when I was growing up as a sexy young teen in the 80’s. I don’t know exactly what captivated me about these admittedly awful films, but I eagerly awaited each new installment. Maybe it was the boobies?
In any event, I used to have a good friend who was as into these movies as I was, and each time a new Friday the 13th was coming out, the night before it opened her and I would rent all the previous ones and watch them back to back into the wee-hours of the morning. And of course we were front row center in the theatre on opening night.
Looking back on it, I honestly can’t remember how this ritual started, or why we continued it. Especially since, as the sequels dragged on and on the movies, which were never QUITE Shakespeare to begin with, really began to blow donkey chunks. Maybe it was just the camaraderie of hanging with a good friend. Or maybe it really WAS all about the boobies.
Anyway, in lieu of there being no NEW Friday the 13th movie opening tonight, I thought I’d thrill you all with my review of each of the previous films.
Friday The 13th (1980) – The one that started it all. This film is the reason the movie cliché of “camp counselors getting stalked by a madman” got its start. Most people who never watched these movies are surprised to find that Jason Voorhees isn’t really even in this one. The killer is Jason’s mother, who is avenging her son’s death. This movie is a solid 80’s slasher movie, and this film, plus Halloween, put the genre on the map. Plus, Kevin Bacon gets his throat skewered.
Friday The 13th, Part 2 (1981) – Off the runaway success of the first film, and realizing that they needed to have a killer as the REAL recurring star, Jason Voorhees is introduced, but in this one he wears a potato sack on his head. The trademark hockey mask would not appear until the next film. This was another good slasher film, made even better by the delectable Amy Steel as the heroine. I miss you, Amy.
Friday The 13th, Part 3 (1982) – This movie is as famous for its awfulness as it is for the fact that it was in 3D. As previously mentioned, in this film Jason finds his famous accessory which remarkably does NOT make his ass look big. Also, this was the first of the films that I saw in the theatre. And I went with my mom. The sex scenes made me very uncomfortable.
Friday The 13th – The Final Chapter (1984) – This film, in my expert opinion, REALLY was the gem of the series. Complete with ACTUAL movie stars in this one instead of young nobodys (ok, Corey Feldman and Crispen Glover, but you get my point), I really felt that they tried to make this one creepy, and it was as well acted as any of these movies have any right to be. This was SUPPOSED to be the last one in the series, but it made a shit-ton of money and so, only 6 months later, we were given…..
Friday The 13th – A New Beginning (1985) – This film is without a doubt the worst of the series. Ironically, it’s also the one with the most boobies (yes, I’ve counted). In this film Jason, still dead from the last film, is only seen in flashbacks. This one really tells the story of Tommy (Corey Feldman), now all grown up, dealing with a Jason copycat.
Friday The 13th, Part 6 – Jason Lives (1986) – After hearing a resounding “That sucked!” from their fans, Jason is brought back to life by a bolt of electricity (really), and begins terrorizing Tommy again. Except for the whole electricity thing, and the fact that this installment featured Horshack from Welcome Back Kotter, this was actually a pretty solid edition.
Friday The 13th, Part 7 – The New Blood (1988) – I really enjoyed this one as well. In an attempt to expand the Jason-Universe a bit with some other cool characters, Jason goes up against a girl who is a telekenetic. It’s really the only film of the bunch where Jason completely gets his ass kicked, and it’s a hoot to watch.
Friday The 13th, Part 8 – Jason Takes Manhattan (1989) – Did I say part 5 was the worst one? I may take that back. This one is just horrible. The writers, unable to come up with any new ways for Jason to kill people in the woods, actually had the balls to put him on a cruise ship and sail him to New York City. This one is just painful to watch. And, if I recall, it’s totally DEVIOD of boobies.
Jason Goes To Hell – The Final Friday (1993) – After part 8 bombed terribly, the studio once again tried to end the series with this installment, which has Jason going back to his old familiar campground (I wonder if he took the Verizano Bridge?). This one was dopey, yet watchable. The diner scene had Earl and I in stitches for hours.
Jason X (2001) – See what they did there with the title? Jason X? Cause it’s the 10th one… get it? God, that’s clever! Anyway, I try to forget this one as well. It doesn’t even really fit in with the rest of the films, if that means anything to you. It’s like 200 years in the future, and Jason is set loose on a space station. Yeah, I know. What the fuck do you want from me? I didn’t come up with it. Not good at all.
Freddy Vs. Jason (2003) – In an attempt to breathe new life into the flagging Friday 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street franchises, some marketing genius decided to put the two most overused film slashers in the same movie, duking it out. Can you tell that I think this one sucks, too? Definitely not scary at all, and not my cup of tea at all.
Friday The 13th (2009) – There’s an age old mantra in Hollywood that goes “When you COMPLETELY have run something into the ground and run out of ideas, just restart the series with a reboot”. That’s what we have here. Last year they decided to start the series from scratch, and as excited as I was to hear about this, I was just as pissed off when I finally watched it only to see them so royally fuck up what COULD have been a good new beginning.
So that’s it, at least for now. Last year’s reboot made a ton of dough, so there is already a sequel in the works. I’d like to say that I’m hopeful for it, but I’d ALSO like to say that I’m hopeful for a threesome later in my cubicle. The odds of both happening are slim (although that new mailroom guy keeps giving me the eye, so who knows?)
So that’s it. If you are a fan of the genre, you should definitely give some of the ones I’ve rated highly a try. And if you are a BIG fan (and only if), then maybe give ‘em ALL a shot and let me know how right I was.