Friday the 13th, American movie (1980)

Welcome…….to the second part of my Countdown to Halloween series. Let me start with asking you a question: how superstitious are you? Do you avoid walking under a ladder? Do you freak out when a black cat crosses your path? When it becomes the most dreadful friday ever invented, friday the 13th, do you lock all the doors and hide all day beneath the covers of your bed? Well, you may laugh at all these questions, but let me tell you that there are a lot of people out there who are actually more than afraid by things such as these. As for me? I’m sorry to disappoint, but I have never fallen prone to a superstitious moment in my life. That’s not to say that I have never experienced a bad friday the 13th, but do I blame that particular day for that? Of course not. But friday the 13th has also become infamous because of an entirely different reason. It is the title of a horror film franchise that went on to produce one of the most iconic horrormovie characters ever created: Jason Voorhees.

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Heeeeereeeee’s Mommy! 

It is a dark night, and the waters of the idyllic Crystal Lake seem peaceful. At the nearby summercamp two camp councellors sneak off to make love. Just when they are about to take off their clothes, they are interrupted by an unknown person and are brutally murdered. Yes, don’t you just hate it when that happens? Years later the camp, that has been nicknamed Camp Blood, is about to be reopened. A group of teenagers has been hired to help with the preparations for getting the camp ready again, and to eventually work there as the new councellors. But soon history will repeat itself. And that has everything to do with a young boy named Jason who drowned at Crystal Like while the people who were supposed to watch him were having sex. The teenagers at camp Crystal Lake are about to find out just how strong a mother’s love for her son can be. With a storm hitting the camp, and with more people disappearing by the second, survival is the keyword on everyone’s mind. But that might be very, very hard to achieve……

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Don’t you just hate it when you have an itch in your eye and you can’t scratch it? 

Friday the 13th is a cult classic. It is pretty much the type of film that is so bad, that it actually becomes fun to watch, and that statement is even more true for the enormous amount of sequels that were made. But more on that later. This movie falls into the slasher category, and can easily be described in one sentence: a bunch of horny teenagers head to summercamp in order to get killed. That’s pretty much all there is to it. It contains so many well known horrorcliches that it almost wrote the book on all of them. Stupid and idiotic decisions are chief amongst them. One of the most hilarious scenes is the one where our main heroine takes about two minutes to barricade the wooden door of the cabin where she is hiding from the killer. She conveniently forgets that there are three large and very breakable glass windows as well. And sure enough she finds that out a few seconds later when a body gets thrown through one of them. Great stuff.

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What do you mean I only show up in the sequel?!

But fair is fair, this movie does manage to create some great tension and jumpscares, and we should also not forget this film is now nearly 40 years old. For those of you that have seen the opening sequence of the horrorclassic Scream, (and I am heading into spoiler territory now), you might remember that the killer in this film is not Jason himself, but his mother. Played by actress Betsy Palmer, mother Voorhees is actually a very chilling and downright creepy person. It is one of those roles that has gone down in horror history as an absolute classic. The rest of the cast is mostly forgettable, but it is fun to note that a very young Kevin Bacon also has a role in this movie. Some of the kill scenes in the film are very inventive and together with the make up effects created by Tom Savini, these are pretty much the main reason to watch the movie.

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Classic Jason….such a sweet boy. 

The Friday the 13th franchise

After the success of the first movie a whopping nine sequels were made (11 if you count the Freddy vs Jason movie and the 2009 remake). With cheesy titles such as  The  Final Chapter, Jason takes Manhattan and Jason goes to Hell, we have a horror franchise that could not be taken very seriously anymore. Jason Voorhees takes over the role of the killer from his mother in part 2. After donning his iconic hockey mask in part 3, he would become the stuff of legend and one of the most well known horror villains in movie history. He has been drowned, electrocuted, shot, turned into jelly, and even turned up in the future in the tenth installment Jason X. Every time though, he returned to claim more victims in increasingly creative ways. With bad acting, a lot of nudity, and a bunch of teenagers that got more stupid with every film, these things have all become a trademark of this series. Still though, most of these movies are so incredibly bad, that they really have become an absolute joy to watch. They might be considered bad taste by a lot of people, but if you don’t take all of this very seriously, you will truly get a kick out of this series. Down below you can find a trailer for part VIII, Jason takes Manhattan, that gives you a great impression of what I am talking about.

 

The verdict

Having rewatched this first part, I can honestly say that this film is fun to watch purely for nostalgic reasons. It really hasn’t aged very well, and some of the wooden acting, and bad dialogue might certainly have some people switch off the movie way before the credits start to roll. Still, the terrific part of Betsy Palmer as the psychotic mother from hell, and some great jumpscares do make this a worthwhile watch for those who persevere. And it is without a doubt a classic in the horror genre, that for no other reason you should at least have seen once in your life. Next up in the Countdown to Halloween series is Nightmare on Elmstreet, that created an even more iconic horror idol, Freddy Krueger. As always, now it’s over to you! Did you see Friday the 13th? Or any of it’s many sequels? Do you have a favorite one, or maybe even a favorite kill? Let me know in the comments section down below. Thank you for reading, and see you next time!

I give Friday the 13th a 7 out of 10 score.

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41 thoughts on “Friday the 13th, American movie (1980)”

  1. Objectively this film hasn’t aged well, however it is such a classic of the genre you kind of have to watch it. While horror has come a long way since Friday the 13th, I think it is great to remember these earlier entries that helped to build the niche market that horror has today.

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    1. True enough. I love classic horror, and even though it hasn’t aged well, it’s definitely a horrormovie that has been very important in the genre. I am looking forward to the rewatch of both Nightmare on Elmstreet and Halloween, both classics as well 😊

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  2. Very interesting.
    How much do you think it owes to ‘Halloween’?
    “Friday the 13th is a cult classic. It is pretty much the type of film that is so bad, that it actually becomes fun to watch” – was it seen in the same way in 1980?

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    1. You raise a fair question 😊 And it is also difficult to answer, but I would have to say that even in those days, it probably would still have been considered a bas movie. Main,y because of the wooden acting and at times very dumb moves on the part of the characters. When I look bsck at Halloween, that film was just way better in terms of creating tension as well as the acting. I consider that one still a very good film, and this one…just a lot of fun, but definitely not great 😀

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      1. Interesting. Well, there must also be a reason why Carpenter’s name is more famous that Cunningham’s. By the way, wiki says there are totally 12 movies about Jason.

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      2. Yeah, Carpenter certainly did a mich better job, and made much better movies (and the kast movie that I will be reviewing in this series will be Halloween 😊That is correct: if you count the remake and Freddy vs Jason, you get a total of 12 movies 😊

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  3. Wow, sneaking off for sex poses some dangers where I live (which is big on no-sex-until-after-marriage-bullshit) but this a whole other leven of fuckery.

    Great review, as always.

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  4. Fantastic review! I watched several of these films as a teenager. They definitely scared me, and I didn’t really care for them, lol. The only one I even semi liked was the one where he goes to the future. Not to say it was a good movie, but probably more my inclination to enjoy stories with a sort of time travel element. But they are iconic films and certainly paved the way for a lot of horror movies to come 🙂

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    1. Thank you very much! Haha, yeah the one where he went into the future was completely over the top, but actually brought something pretty original to the franchise. It was still a very and movie though lol 😂😂
      But true, this franchise is certainly very iconic, and known by most horrormovie lovers 😊

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  5. I can’t really recall this movie as clearly as I can with some other slasher. Perhaps I was more aware of a particular chainsaw but nevertheless a man in a hockey mask with a machete at hand is scary enough to put you off sex I’m sure as the teenagers soon find out. Mrs Voorhees crazy pyscho knife welding and high pitched tone of voice was quite frightening, dare I say more than Jason himself. It’s one I want to watch again soon. It was a wonderful read and I am enjoying the horror franchise picks.

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  6. Thank you as always for the kind feedback 😀 Yeah I definitely think the mother is more scary than the son. Jason is just a lumbering brick for lack of a better analogy, but still he is a lot of fun to watch. Not really scary though. Even though he is seemingly immortal and can’t be stopped. Almost seems like the Terminator at times 😂

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  7. I have to admit, I’ve only seen one of these movies, as part of a horror 3D special. If you ever get the chance, I would highly recommend watching Friday the 13th in 3D. It just takes the film to a whole new level. 🙂
    The film itself, I sort of laughed my way through it. Which sounds bad, but I did actually enjoy the film. It’s cheesiness somehow made it fun to watch 😀

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    1. Haha, I can imagine. I have seen the third one without the 3D effects, but I can I imagine the eye popping scene would definitely look better with a 3D effect lol 😂😂 But true, it’s the cheesyness that make this films so highly enjoyable in the first place 😂

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    1. Haha, let’s hope you don’t come across black cats too often 😂😂 Yeah this one was certainly a classic, even though it has lost some of the scare impact now, it is still a fun film to see. Currently in the middle of another classic, Nightmare on Elmstreet. Looking forward to writing a post for that one 😀 Thank you for your comment ! 😀

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    1. Haha, it is certainly still a fun movie, even though it is a bit dared right now. I’m currently watching a Nightmare on Elmstreet, and pretty surprised to find out how hood that movie still is, even though it’s now almost 35 years old 😀

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