Terror and suspense
abound in this 24 hour nightmare of blood. Camp Crystal Lake has been shuttered
for over 20 years due to several vicious and unsolved murders. The camp's
new owner and seven young counselors are readying the property for reopening
despite warnings of a "death curse" by local residents. The curse proves
true on Friday the 13th as one by one each of the counselors is stalked
by a violent killer. This film is widely acclaimed for it's horrifying
and creative murder sequences.
"But... then he's
still out there."
If you're going
to fully appreciate Friday The 13th (I'm referring to the original
film, not the whole series, though the exact same statement could be made
there as well) you're going to have to watch it more than once. For the
first time - assuming you haven't already seen it, though if you have you
can imagine you haven't - forget everything you know or think you know
about the film and the series from the commercials, the merchandising,
the "Nightmare" crossover, the hockey mask (it wasn't in any of the original
trailers for the movie), the cover art for the sequels, and Especially
from the naysayers, and watch the show as if you have no foreknowledge
of the film at all - as if you don't know for sure there are any sequels
coming - (I doubt there'll be many people reading this who haven't seen
at least a couple of the chapters, but if there is I'd love to be in your
position - to be able to start the whole series over again Truly without
knowing what's coming). Take it as what it's described as originally -
the story of a summer camp re-opening more than 20 years after a little
boy named Jason drowned, and the murder of 2 camp counsellors. Don't assume
it's necessarily going to fit the slasher mold, don't assume it's necessarily
going to fit the ghost story mold, just watch and let it unfold.
a time - weeks, years, whatever, re-watch it after you've seen the sequels;
preferably all of them, including Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday and Freddy Vs. Jason though it could be done after only seeing certain
key ones (or, if you're as big a fan of the series as I am, rewatch it
after some of the sequels (say 2-7) and then again way later after FVJ).
you've seen them all, you see things in the rewatches of previous chapters
in new lights and from new angles. There's far more running under the surface
of these movies than they'll ever be given credit for. Maybe part of it
is a Rorshach effect, where what you see in the inkblot is all in the individual's
own interpretation and has nothing to do with what the guy blotting the
page was thinking about at the time, because I really can't explain how
all these subcurrents could have been planned all along given that most
of the films have had different writers, directors, etc. But I can say
I see them there.
I can't really
say what they are because that would involve giving out spoilers, not only
to this first Friday The 13th and not only major spoilers, but little
ones in various chapters all the way to the latest (as a sidenote, the
only installment of the franchise - Jason X excluded - that doesn't
fit into my view of subcurrents and adding slightly askew angles to what
has come before, is Part VIII, which contains what seem to me to
be mistakes rather than new points, particularly in regards to the time
frame). I can say one thing that doesn't really give anything away - sometimes
when I've watched it, I've thought I could faintly hear things in the wind
that other times were absent. Rorscach again? Or creating a really effective
atmosphere that makes your mind play tricks on you? Anyway, I find that
freaky - a lot more so than if they were there all the time.
Now some, even
if they really like the movie, may have no desire to go on with the whole
series. Some films are admittedly better left complete and un-sequelized,
like Ghost, Dead Again, Titanic, and even though I
really looked forward to Book Of Shadows at the time and it wasn't
an awful movie, I think I might include The Blair Witch Project as a no-sequels-required movie. But Friday The 13th isn't one of
them. I would at the very least urge you to see Part 2 if you liked
the first one at all, because to me these 2 form two halves of a complete
beginning to the rest of the series (or 2 halves of a single whole, if
you prefer). Friday without Part 2 would seem as incomplete
to me as if Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back had ended
the saga without Return Of The Jedi, with all the loose endings
forever dangling. Actually, my full recommedation is the whole series,
because while there are some chapters out there that are substantially
lesser than others, the whole series remains at least good, with some truly
awesome chapters in there.
the first few weekends of the film's release, makeup/effects artist Tom
Savini would go into theaters for the last five minutes of the show to
see the audience react to Jason emerging from the lake and grabbing Alice.
- Adrienne King at first did not want to be in the film because of the graphic
violence in it, but she changed her mind.
Savini makes a cameo as a body being thrown through a window.
first counselor killed in the 1958 prologue is named "Barry" in the credits.
The captions identify him as "Gary".
fake ending scene in which Alice is attacked by Jason, was shot three times.
Once in September, then October and finally in November; when the temperature
was 28 degrees outside.
King got the role of Alice only after the original filmmakers gave up trying
to land Sally Field.
- There is rumored to be a deleted scene featuring the murder of
Claudette. The crew of the film dismissed this, including Tom savini who
said he never even worked on the opening scene. There is however a still
of Claudette with a machette in her throat, although that may have been
shot purely for promotional material.
Christy is named after Steve Miner, Associate Producer for the film.
film has been spoofed a number of times, most notably in Saturday the
designer Tom Savini thought up the idea of Jason's surprise appearance
at the end of the movie.
Cunningham has been quoted as saying that the type of actors that he sought
for the film were "good-looking kids who you might see in a Pepsi commercial."
Parsons was originally signed on to play Mrs. Voorhees.
the scene where Bill is found impaled to a door with arrows his eye twitches
continually because the eye effect that Savini applied was actually burning
his eye and causing him excruciating pain.