Friday the 13th (1980)

In 1980 director Sean S. Cunningham and writer Victor Miller gave the world the franchise that just keeps on giving. Friday the 13th as a franchise has given us 10 movies, a remake and a cross over with the Nightmare on Elm Street.

It also gave people the world over a fear of a man in a hockey mask and a machete who just can’t be killed.

We follow the many victims of Jason on a week long horror on Friday the 13th.

With all that said how strange is it then that the first film didn’t actually have Jason Voorhees as the murderer? In fact the only time we saw him is jumping out of the lake at the end as a decomposing child. The murder of the first film is actual his mother Mrs Voorhees (played by Betsy Palmer) who shows up at the end to tell us the sad story of her son Jason who died in the lake at Camp Crystal Lake when the counsellors who were meant to be watching over him snuck off to have sex.

If I’m honest I’m not sure what it is about Friday the 13th that actually managed to spawn so many sequels. Compared to Halloween the main killer isn’t scary in the least, we hardly see Mrs Voorhees until the end and there is no kind of stalking like Michael Myers does in his first outing. Likewise unlike the Nightmare series it isn’t like the deaths of the first film are that interesting. There is only so much you can do with a brute of a character, even his mum can’t find too many interesting ways to kill people.

So you’d think it was the acting?

Its just typical 80s Slasher acting. I don’t know if any of them were famous at the time but the only one I’ve ever heard in the film was Kevin Bacon and it wasn’t like it was a stand out role (quite like Johnny Depp in the Nightmare film) and the rest was just normal.

There is nothing special about Friday the 13th.

I don’t know whether it was a thing back then or not but I do think there should be a mention of the fact that these gruesome acts were done by a woman. I mean, sure making the serial killer female isn’t that big a deal, but you think of how females are usually portrayed when being the murderess and its usually sneaky. You wouldn’t think a frail old granny looking woman would be able to do what she did but she did.

As I said I don’t really know if that was a thing back then, I wasn’t born in 1980 and am not someone who really connects dots when it comes to these things but I can’t really think of anything like this where the big scary bogeyman turns out to be a bogeywoman.

Other then that there was nothing original about it, I mean seeing it was a cash in on Halloween’s success I don’t think its too much to say that it wasn’t really original even back then. For anyone, like me, that wasn’t born back then and got into Jason maybe through older movies then its a bit of a odd one. If you did it the right way maybe there would be something but going through the movies in odds and sods like I did when growing up you can usually forget that Friday the 13th was the original. Its strange seeing how the main icon of the movie wasn’t even in the original.

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