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Friday the 13th (1980)
 
   
 Directed by:  Sean S. Cunningham
 Starring: Betsy Palmer/Ms Voorhees
Adrienne King/Alice
Jeannine Taylor/Marcie
  Kevin Bacon/Jack
Walt Gorney/Crazy Ralph
  
RATING

PLOT-CRUNCH:


Ki, Ki, Ki…Ha Ha Ha…a bunch of horny camp counselors hit Camp Crystal Lake to get it in shape before the big opening. Of course, work is the last thing on the fritz as they have sex, smoke weed and get butchered by an unseen attacker instead. NOW THAT’S A GREAT JOB!  
  

THE LOWDOWN:


... then he's still out there - Alice

 The success of John Carpenter’s Halloween prompted the birth of “Friday the 13Th”, a cruder and simpler take on similar material. Nobody could’ve foreseen the immense success, endurance and hefty influence of the Voorhees saga…not even its Father “Paramount” who went on to milk the series while giving it ZERO respect. Much like SCREAM gave way to a slew of “ho-hum” copycats in the 90’s, Friday the 13Th paved the way for a horde of teen/sex/woods/killer opus’s in the 80’s (with The Burning being one of the better ones). But amidst the crowd of RIP zit- popper Keg-Parties on the shelves, there is still only one and only Friday the 13th.

Having seen all of the Friday movies countless times, I must say that the original is the best in terms of oppressive ambiance and engrossing mystery. The flick was morbidly gorgeous, entranced me with its “secrets” and I lapped up every damn frame! Furthermore for an "R" rated ride, I was taken aback as to the amount of graphic red slosh found in the mix. The kills were inventive (especially for the time) and highly satisfying. Moreover, opposed to the later entries, I actually felt some suspense while watching this slaughterhouse in motion. Yup, I somewhat cared about those poor horny teens. Hey man all they wanted was to have a good time! Nothing wrong with that! Another strong point was the double-decking ending. Granted the film didn’t play fair with us where it was impossible to guess the identity of the loon throughout, but the revelation still kicked my behind and gave way to some effective “loony” acting, a slick fist to cuffs and one hell of a finish. Add to that the “I still shit my pants when I see it” last hoorah and an amazing score by Harry Manfredini and you get an uncomplicated yet taut little ditty that always charms the machete out of me every time I see it.

In my opinion, the original Friday the 13Th stands alone. There’s simply something enchanting about it that gets stronger and stronger with age. Do I smell a genre classic? Yup I do! LET’S GO TO CAMP, GET LAID, GET HIGH AND GET OFFED!
    

ACTING:


Although Adrienne King’s (Alice) inexperience showed in her performance, she had an innocent and kind quality about her that made the role endearing. Jeannine Taylor (Marcie) handled herself well and was hot to boot! Loved that blue bikini! Kevin Bacon (Jack) displayed some of the charm that made him a star later on and he died very real well.  Walt Gorney (Crazy Ralph) nailed the “Scooby-Doo” alumni like character. Betsy Palmer (Ms Voorhees) kicked mucho booty via her raw display; perfect example of how casting against type can up the impact of part.
 

GORE:


The pink mayo was spread on thick on this hot-dog; we get a knife in the stomach, 2 slit throats, an arrow through the neck (why not the head?), an axe in the face (I hate when that happens), a stab in the stomach and one AMAZING decapitation.
   

T & A:


Surprise!!! We basically get nothing in the female flesh peddling department! How did that happen?  We see a girl’s half butt crack and the ladies get Mr. Bacon’s naked butt being squeezed…Now that’s acting!
   

DIRECTING:


This baby almost felt like an "auteur" movie with the opening sequence "freeze frame", the many "fade to white’s", the striking slow motion and the clever use of lighting acting as distinctive visual stamps. The dreary atmosphere and the tension also came through.
 
   

SOUNDTRACK:


Harry Manfredini’s now classic “Ki Ki” sound worked like a charm and is now part of the “we will never forget it” Hall of Genre Music Fame!
 

BOTTOM LINE:


From where I’m killing, Friday the 13Th is one of the finest slasher movies in the morgue. It had a knack at manipulating its audience for maximum “punching power”, delivered the goods with panache and still beats the test of time to a pulp today. The endless imitators that came after it haven’t tarnished it one iota…”au contraire” they strengthened it and made it stand out as the outstanding genre treat that it is. At my house, it’s always Friday the 13th! What day is it at yours?
 

BULL'S EYE:


Little known fact…the only reason Betsy Palmer got the part of Jason’s mother in the original was because she had a car and was able to drive to the shooting location…who says it’s all about acting!

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The Way The Arrow Points...

   
 I’d BUTCHER my family to see this again
 HANG me but I dug it a lot
 An ok way to KILL two hours
 Just sling an ARROW in my head and let me die in peace

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