The ultimate anti-thesis to Michael Myers and the suspenseful bloodless Halloween, we get Friday the 13th by the writer of Last House on the Left, Sean Cunningham. It’s bloody, it’s goofy, and had Kevin fucking Bacon getting killed by that nice lady who was on Murder She Wrote a couple times. What more can you really ask for, on top of having your effects done by the legendary Tom Savini at that; what more could you ask for?
Gather round young people while Uncle Torsten tells you all the story of Camp Blood- and trust me, it’s in every damn Friday movie all the way down the line: long ago a young boy drowned at Camp Crystal Lake. His name was Jason. He was swimming out by himself, alone and drowned. The counselors were off boning each other while he drowned. The Camp shut down for many years until someone bought it and here’s where we begin. We have a group of young adult counselors that come early to set up. Ok, I can’t remember any of there names but I know a mysterious creepy fuck kills them one by one. One gets a ax to the face, another gets a pencil through the eye, and Kevin Bacon’s impressive death where he gets an arrow through his neck from under the bed. When were down to one girl left, nice old Betsy Palmer comes along. I’m saying this now, she is amazing as Pamela Voorhees, the deceased Jason’s distraught mother. She reveals that she’s the killer in revenge for poor Jason and that she is batshit insane. The girl fights Betsy and with some crappy slow motion, gets her head hacked off by a machete. The girl is off in a canoe, going merrily down the lake when Jason’s corpse springs out of the water and gets her!…but it was a dream. Oops.
Friday the 13th is a fun slasher movie that started a pop culture phenomenon and set the slasher standard for the modern day. The first is probably my favorite of the series. I had a few good laughs with the counselors whacky antics and Crazy Ralph spurting nonsense about the death curse of Crystal Lake. The kills are cool and memorably gory. Again, Betsy Palmer steals the show in such a small amount of screen time, being, sweet, crazy, and threatening all at once. I wouldn’t call it scary as much as a good party movie with friends. As always thank you and keep tuning in as I go through the whole saga of Jason Voorhees for our little Halloween special.
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