Friday, June 13, 2014

Fear Friday ~ Why Do They Keep Opening That Camp?!!

Welcome to another Fear Friday here at the Laughing Vixen Lounge blog. As the "Summer Camp Blues" theme continues all month this week's featured film is the granddaddy of summer camp films. The one that started it all and brought a whole new "fun" to today's date. You know him, you love him and he made going into the woods a horrifying experience. Enjoy this tribute to a much loved franchise.

Every Friday at the Laughing Vixen Lounge blog is Fear Friday. Fear Fridays are a celebration of all films spooky. Horror is a very broad genre and the Lounge loves it all. Each Friday you will find a review of a different film. These can range from Classic Horror (black and white and cheesy), Thrillers (suspense, jumps and a good mystery), outright Horror (chop chop, slash slash, die die) and anything else in between.

So pop some popcorn, kill the lights and enjoy this week's selection. Please feel free to share your comments on the film. Bad or good let everyone know what you thought of it. And now, my little ghouls and dolls, the Laughing Vixen Lounge blog is proud to present this week's film.

June ~ Summer Camp Blues.

Fear Friday - Friday the 13th

Taglines - You may only see it once, but that will be enough.
                They were warned. They are doomed... and on Friday
                the 13th, nothing will save them.

Directed by Sean S. Cunningham (A Stranger is Watching and Spring Break) and released on May 9, 1980 by Paramount Pictures (rated R). In 1958 two counselors were murdered at Camp Crystal Lake. Fast Forward 20+ years as Camp Crystal Lake is getting ready for it's grand reopening. This seems like a good idea to the owners despite the fact that the locals call it "Camp Blood". Hmmm...could this have been an early warning sign? Soon enough the counselors start to disappear one by one. Seems someone does not want Camp Crystal Lake to reopen. But who???

May 9th 1980 a low budget slasher film is released and helps shape the face of the horror genre. The setup is simple, a group of kids out in the woods with one shadowy figure out for revenge. Just the right amount of blood with a creepy atmosphere makes for a fun ride and starts one of the most successful franchises in horror history. The people behind Friday The 13th, looking to cash in on the success of "Halloween", shopped the movie around strictly on the title alone. They had no story yet just a great title. 12 movies later it is still a favorite of many horror fans.

Friday the 13th part III was the first real horror film I ever saw. I was in the 6th grade or so and it scarred me to no end!!! The original, and some of the early sequels, still creep me out to this day and have made camping in the woods a whole different experience. While they may seem tame by today's standard those early films still hold up as creepy, scary and fun classic-style slasher films.

Being a teen in the mid to late 1980's I remember going to the theater to see many of the later films. At one point I believe they were going to release one a year until they hit 13. Unfortunately the story was worn thin and the chapters became increasingly silly to the point of unwatchable. I mean really, "Jason Takes Manhattan"? In 1993 "Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday" was released. It's one of the few times I thought about walking out of a movie. A once scary feel had become boring and tedious.

Then, in 2002, came a revamp of the series with "Jason X". OK, so Jason goes to space sounds absurd but I actually quite enjoyed it. It was something different for the series and Jason was back in fine killing form. Long gone was the truly creepy feeling of the originals, but this was a fun slasher film none the less.

Then, in 2003, came "Freddy vs. Jason". This made me sad. My nephews where old enough to see horror films and they begged me to take them. It was fun enough just a bit sad to see these two franchises go from scary to completely campy.

In 2009 a new modern "Friday The 13th" was released. Not really a remake since they acknowledged the happenings of the original movie. I like to think of it as the next chapter in the series. Lots of people didn't think much of this one. I went and saw it at a midnight showing and it was entertaining enough. It had a creepy atmosphere, classic "stoopid pretty people in the woods" setting and had some creepy moments. As usual, way over the top and not much we have not seen before. One thing I really give them credit for was down in Jason's creepy underground dwelling there is one shot of all these camp councilor's whistles hanging on the wall. Like little mementos of his kills. I thought this was a great addition to the character. Showing him not as a stupid mindless creature but as someone who is quite aware of what he is doing.

Spoilers Below ~ Beware!!!

Jason was not even in the first chapter. It was his mother, Mrs. Voorhees, seeking revenge for her son who drowned in Crystal Lake while councilors where not watching him. Jason appears, all grown up, in chapter 2 as the killer but does not sport his infamous hockey mask until the end of chapter 3. For the first part of the movie he wears an old gunny sack on this head. Blaaah, ick and yuck! That was way creepier to me and I was happy when he traded it in for the hockey mask. He is killed in chapter 4 by a machete. Chapter 5 leads us to believe Jason's back or maybe it is the boy who killed him in chapter 4 (all grown up). No, it ends up being some random person (Rip Off!!!).

He is zapped back to life by a bolt of lightening in chapter 6 and is pretty much invincible after that. Chapter 7 he is brought back by telekinetic powers. Chapter 8 he hitches a boat ride to Manhattan. Oh my! Chapter 9 he is suppose to "go to hell" basically meaning they were killing him off. I believe Mr. Kruger's hand helps at the end. Mostly it just bored me to tears. Then in chapter 10 he is cryogenicly frozen, thawed out and then taken into space a few centuries down the road. Just goes to show you can not keep a good man down!

Stars that appeared in the movie series...
Kevin Bacon (ch 1), Corey Feldman (ch 4), Crispin Glover (ch 4), Tony Goldwyn (ch 6), Steven Williams (ch 9), Erin Gray (ch 9), Jason Ritter (FvsJ) and Jared Padalecki (ch 12).

Take a look at the original trailer.

Some trivia about the movie.
1. The movie was filmed at Camp Nobebosco in New Jersey. The camp is still in operation to date, and they have a wall of Friday the 13th paraphernalia to honor the fact that the movie was set there.
2. Composer Harry Manfredini has said that contrary to popular belief, the famous "chi chi chi, ha ha ha" in the film's score is actually "ki ki ki, ma ma ma". It is meant to resemble Jason's voice saying "kill kill kill, mom mom mom" in Mrs. Voorhees' mind. It was inspired by the scene in which Mrs. Voorhees seems to be possessed by Jason and chants "Get her mommy....kill her!" Manfredini created the effect by speaking the syllables "Ki" and "Ma" into a microphone running through a delay effect.
3. While most of the cast and crew stayed at local hotels during the filming, some of the loyal cast and crew members, including Tom Savini, and Taso N. Stavrakis, stayed at the actual camp site. They had Savini's Betamax VCR and only a couple of movies (Barbarella (1968) and Marathon Man (1976)) on videotape to keep themselves entertained, so each night they would watch one of these movies. To this day, Savini says he can recite those movies by heart.
4. Victor Miller had originally given Jason the name of Josh. After deciding that it sounded too nice, he changed it to Jason after a school bully.
5. Victor Miller's working title for the script was "Long Night at Camp Blood".
6. The movie was sold to investors strictly on it's name. There had not been a movie called Friday the 13th so they grabbed it, made up a poster and shopped it around. No one knew that they had no idea or script for it.
7. Betsy Palmer said that if it were not for the fact that she was in desperate need of a new car, she would never have taken the part of Pamela Voorhees. In fact, after she read the script she called the film a piece of sh*t.
8. The scene with the snake was not in the script and was an idea from Tom Savini after an experience in his own cabin during filming. The snake in the scene was real, including its on-screen death.
9. Willie Adams was a crew member for the film. Although he spent most his time working behind the camera, he played the male counselor in the 1958 scene, and holds the unique distinction of being the first murder victim in the Friday the 13th film series.

10. The film has been spoofed a number of times, most notably in Saturday the 14th (1981).
11. Most of the location and set were already there. The crew only had to build the bathroom set.
12. Sally Field auditioned for the role of Alice Hardy.
13. Sean S. Cunningham wanted to cast his son Noel Cunningham as Jason, but his wife Susan E. Cunningham wouldn't let him do this.
14. Crazy Ralph was called Ralphie Ratboy in an earlier draft of the script.
15. Victor Miller's working title for the script was "Long Night at Camp Blood".
16. There is a township named Voorhees, New Jersey, which is about eight miles away from Haddonfield, New Jersey, which was inspiration for the fictional town where the movie Halloween (1978) took place. The documentary _Halloween: 25 Years of Terror (2006) (Video)_ shows a picture of a road sign that lists Voorhees right under Haddonfield. The township was named for Foster McGowan Voorhees, the governor of New Jersey from 1899 to 1902. The surname "Voorhees" is of Dutch heritage, and is also a common family in New Jersey.
17. In the french dubbed version, Jason is called Jackie. His named has been restored to Jason in each of the following sequels, including the intro of Part II which is the ending of Friday the 13th.
18. Sean S. Cunningham has been quoted as saying that the type of actors that he sought for the film were "good-looking kids who you might see in a Pepsi commercial."


  1. This is my cousin's #1 favorite movie of all time.

  2. I love all of the Friday the 13th movies! They still creep me out!

  3. I love the friday the 13th movies, although they dont really scare me, I leave that to the zombies

  4. I just saw the first one 2 days ago on Friday the 13th.
    It was kind of campy and not too horrifying so I did not mind it.
    I will not be watching the newer ones...too gross for me!

  5. for me, the "saga" stopped at #2 :-)

  6. I love this show.. and love the bracelet!

  7. I haven't seen all of them but this Halloween I plan to see them all.