Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Friday the 13th (1980)

Friday the 13th: Uncut

Written by Victor Miller
Directed by Sean S. Cunningham

Crazy Ralph...Walt Gorney
Steve Christy...Peter Brouwer
Alice...Adrienne King
Bill...Harry Crosby
Jack...Kevin Bacon

In 1957, a young boy drowned at Camp Crystal Lake while the counselors who were supposed to be watching him were off somewhere being promiscuous. The following year, two counselors--preparing to be promiscuous--were brutally murdered. A few years later, fires broke out and ruined most of the cabins, effectively closing the camp.  In 1962, they attempted to reopen the camp, but the water had "gone bad".

Following that, the place was closed down and eternally known by the locals as Camp Blood. Every attempt at reopening the place has been met with bad luck, because, as drunken old local Crazy Ralph is quick to tell you, the place is cursed.

But in present day 1980, on Friday the 13th no doubt, camp owner Steve Christy has decided to give it another go. Everything seems to be going well enough despite the constant warnings of the town-folk and the dark prophecies of Crazy Ralph, who leaps out of the pantry (??) shouting "You're doomed! You're all doomed!" Nothing, not even the snake found by the counselors in one of the cabins, can prepare you for the real horror: Those damned cut-off blue jean short-shorts that the entire male cast insists on wearing!

Steve Christy apparently doesn't believe in such nonsense, though, because he's put a lot of time and effort into restoring the place. He calls his crew of counselors in a few weeks before opening day to make the finishing touches--but most of what they're touching is each other.

Oh, those crazy kids.

Some faceless lunatic is stalking the teenage counselors, killing them off one-by-one. Who on God's green Earth could be doing such a thing? Well, this IS a Friday the 13th flick, so it's obviously Jason Voorhees.


Almost everybody has seen the movie before, and those who haven't have probably at least had the twist ending ruined by Drew Barrymore in Scream, but just in case, I'll issue an official


Jason's mama did it. Seems she's pretty pissed at the teenage nation for allowing her baby boy to drown while they were off smoking reefer, drinking forties, and knocking boots...or whatever it is kids are doing these days.

This is the film that kickstarted the franchise, and nearly all of the hallmarks are here: horny boys, dirty girls, sex, drugs, rock and/or roll, the fabulous "ch-ch-ch-ah-ah-ah" music, first person perspective of the morally righteous killer, lots of edged weapons, and a lake whose waters are so clear that one might even refer to it as crystal. But what it IS missing is Jason Voorhees.

Sure, when this movie opened up back in the day, nobody knew who the hell Jason Voorhees was, but in hindsight--at least to those of us who grew up with Jason Voorhees--he's sorely missed. To a lot of us, this is the bastard child of the series, although let's be honest: this series is chock full of bastard children.

Viewing this movie objectively, it's your typical 1980s slasher film--entertaining but not truly a great movie. It's certainly no Halloween, but then again, most things aren't. You're never going to be frightened, you're never going to be on the edge of your seat, and you're never going to be forced to avert your eyes. But it's still easily enjoyable if you're just looking for a little boobs and bloodshed, and aren't too concerned with plot or character development.

Followed by an ungodly amount of sequels.

Rated R
95 minutes
United States

"We ain't gonna stand for no weirdness out here."

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