Quantcast Icons Of Fright salutes Friday The 13th
Welcome to the Friday The 13th tribute page. Below are all of our interviews of various talent involved with the Friday The 13th series. Also, there are some other cool features to check out, such as DVD reviews, comic profiles, a reprint Fangoria cartoon & Camp Crystal Lake memories essays by the staff of Icons Of Fright. We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed writing it. -rg.

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Mike C.'s memories
: This month we have a lot of talent from the perennial 80's slasher series Friday the 13th on Icons of Fright. Having just re-watched the entire series, it brings back a lot of fond memories from my childhood. Oh yes, some people in my generation look back on their childhood and they remember where they were during the Challenger disaster, who they were with the day Baby Jessica came out of a hole, well, whatever. Well, I was in my second grade classroom the day the Challenger blew up, and Baby Jessica interrupted a damn good episode of Max Headroom, but much more remarkably I remember where I was the first time I heard about a man named Jason Voorhees.

It was July 1984. I was being watched by my grandmother. My Aunt Mary took it upon herself to explain to me that in one week it would be Friday the 13th and that's when Jason was going to come and get me.

"Who's Jason?", I asked.

"The killer," she told me, "Jason the killer." Boom! Scarred for life.

Flash forward about one year. My family finally gets our first VCR. The next day we joined Showtime Video, the first video store in town. The first movie I rented was "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory". The second movie I asked my father to rent . . . Friday the 13th.

"You don't want to watch that, this is very bloody, people get their heads cut off.", I distinctly remember him telling me. Sure, I was seven years old, but man, was that a selling point or what? People get their heads cut off in this movie. I begged. He relented. My mother and father watched it that night and since nobody got their head cut off they decided it probably wouldn't hurt if I watched it, during the day. I loved it. Of course, I couldn't sleep for a week, and I was mildly disappointed about the head cutting thing. Every time we went to the video store I'd head right back to that horror section. The second Friday I rented was "The Final Chapter". I found them more or less exciting than really very scary. I was slowly becoming obsessed with horror movies. I remember my mother waking up one Sunday and showing me a full-page ad in paper for Friday the 13th, part 6: Jason Lives and dancing around the kitchen. Forget that I hadn't seen Part Five, and no, they didn't take me to theater to see Part 6.

They were fine with me watching the movies as long as it was daytime and my father watched them with me. To their credit this was a good policy, a sane policy, because my next trip to Camp Crystal Lake would be one to remember. My aunt and uncles were babysitting and they thought, hey, let's leave Mike in the house and rent Friday the 13th, part 2, he likes those movies. Needless to say, when Jason pops out of window at the end, now I was scarred for life. My parents took me home that night and put me to bed. Every time my eyes closed all I could see what that wildman version of Jason burst through the window and looking right at me. I made the mistake of coming down the stairs and telling them I couldn't sleep. When they found out that Friday the 13th was the reason...well, after calling up my uncles and yelling at them, it was going to be no more horror movies for me for a long time.

A long time was about two weeks. Part 6 had just come out on video, and begrudgingly, my father rented it for me. It became my favorite and it was the F13 that my friends and I would reference the most on hot summer nights when we would play "Jason", which was basically manhunt tag. We'd always begin a game of "Jason" with some of the dialogue the camp counselors said during the movie. Note: a few minor exceptions to the manhunt rules apply: For one you were never "it", you were "Jason" and you didn't join Jason when tagged, you had to be "dead" and "dead" meant go hide someplace until you could scare the crap out of your friends who were still alive. Also base was not "base" it was "the kids cabin".

So it seems I've failed to mention Friday the 13th, part III. I never got chance to see the whole thing until at least my early teens. I remember it holding a strange mystery, the box art was very interesting to me. I would catch pieces of it when WNYW (before it became a FOX station) would have "Friday the 13th" weeks in October. I remember they would always show a short piece of the crossbow scene in the promo commercials. I also never did see Part 5 either. The box art got me on that one. There was a different hockey mask and on the back of the box was a good close up of a guy getting his throat slit. Apparently I thought to myself, "This is the serious one. This box art means business. Leave this one alone." Oh how wrong I was, and oh, how very right at the same time. I also came this close to seeing Friday the 13th, part VII in the theaters. Unfortunately, the same uncle who thought Part II made a great babysitter dragged me to see Biloxi Blues instead. Jason Takes Manhattan was in theaters all of what, two weeks? My uncle Joseph sent me a tape of that and Halloween 5 as a present, and well, those never did much for me. I did bring the box to school though. My 6th grade teacher confiscated it.

So, hopefully, this months interviews bring back fond memories of this series for you. Thanks for checking out our site, and please come back next month............ - mike c.

Rob G.'s memories: Now, when I think back to my first exposure to a Friday The 13th movie, believe it or not; I'm pretty sure it was Part 5. And ya know what? I LOVED it then, and I still LOVE it! I was about 12 years old and there was a brand new mom & pop video store that opened up one block away from my house, and this punk rocker used to manage the place. I would stop by there & we'd talk about music, my love of the pizza next door & my ever-growing interest in the horror genre. (At that point, besides 'A Nightmare On Elm Street', I had only seen all the old Universal monster movies on TV). So, the punk rock manager would let me rent anything I wanted from the horror section. It didn't matter if it was rated R or Unrated for that matter. He knew I could handle it. (Either that or he really just didn't give a damn!)

So, for a while I would rent anything I could get my hands on and watch it with my neighbor Michele and her brother Manuel. We knew we were watching "adult" stuff, but we loved every aspect of horror movies. And our parents were clueless as to what we were watching. We went for the big boys. Freddy, Michael Myers, Angela from the Sleepaway Camp films, the Evil Dead... and then finally... we decided to find out who this Jason guy was? You see, Michele like most girls of the 80's had a HUGE crush on Corey Feldman, so naturally we had to start with a Friday film that featured him. I chose part 5 because... well, it was 'A New Beginning' and it seemed natural to start with 'A New Beginning' as opposed to 'The Final Chapter'. Now, think from my perspective... we've already seen all the other horror icons, and here comes along this murder mystery about a guy in a hockey mask who's supposed to be dead that's killing all these nuts! I was a quiet and shy fellow, so I related to the character of Tommy. And I distinctly remember the voice-overs of the events from the previous films. (The "DIE! DIE" "Tommy! No!") I was hooked. I loved the kills, the mystery, the hockey masked killer, and of course... the gothic chick Violet played by Tiffany Helm. I was 12! I didn't care if that wasn't the real Jason. Compared to the movies I'd seen up until then in my short life, it was the greatest murder mystery of all time in my eyes. And it just made me want to discover the real Jason even more so.

So, from there I went back to the beginning. My luck, I rent part 1 next and Jason wasn't in that either. Can you see how the suspence would kill a 12 year old horror fanatic? This Jason guy had become LEGEND to me. And I had yet to see him kill anyone! I'm pretty sure the first time I encountered the real Jason was with 'The Final Chapter'. Michele was pissed at me that Corey Feldman had 2 minutes of screentime in Part 5, so we had to rent the other movie in the series with him in it. We watched it and I had nightmares for weeks. The legend did not disappoint.

One of my fondest memories was seeing Friday 7. It was the first one I got to see in the theaters and I remember being so excited by the posters and tv spots for weeks before the official release. Only problem was, I had gotten about 15 more fellow classmates just as excited about this movie, and they all wanted to go see it on opening night. Now, I was still in my early teens & rated R movies were enforced back then. What I used to do was wait for a young couple in front of the theater and ask them if they'd pretend to be my guardian. "Dude, just pretend you're my brother, and I'll even sit way far away from you and your girlfriend here." This always worked, but we had 15 plus underage kids wanting to see Jason go up against Tina. So, I got our guidence councler and her boyfriend to meet us at the theater and get us in. She was only a few years out of high school and cool as hell, so she was more then happy to join in our excitment. Next to Friday 4, Part 7 has always stood out as my all time favorite of the series. Probably because it was the most fun to witness with my friends and a full sold out audience.

I still love 5 because it got me into the series. A lot of people complain about this entry because it's not the real "Jason". Well, guess what... the killer in Part 1? ...Wasn't Jason either! Look... the last 15 minutes of ALL the movies, the last few survivor's get chased by a crazy killer in a hockey mask. That's how Part 5 ends. That was freakin' Jason.

The only other thing that comes close to the feeling I got witnessing those original films, was seeing Freddy Vs. Jason. It came out on my birthday last year and being that like most fans, I'd waited years for this fight... I wanted to see it with ALL my friends. We bought 25 advance tickets opening night, took up about 3 rows and howled like psychotic fans at every aspect of that film. We just had fun and the movie delivered. It was the best birthday I'd ever had.

Our Friday interviews remind me of all those experiences and more. I am beyond excited to finally have Lar Park Lincoln in the August edition. She was on the top of my list for potential interviews when Mike and I first conceived of this site.

Now...

onto our Halloween tribute....

Cheers! - robg.

Michael Myers Vs. Jason Vs. Leatherface

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Friday the 13th.

 
Story: A group of counselors are killed off one-by-one by an unseen killer after ignoring warnings from town locals that Camp Crystal Lake has a death curse.

The Film Itself: This low-budget slasher film was obviously made because Halloween was financially successful, and it's not as well made as Halloween... but it's a lot more fun, and definitely the next step at the time in making slasher movies more graphic... and also sets in place almost every horror cliche we know to date. The characters aren't particularly interesting but the actors all do a decent enough job. The "mystery" killer is a bit of a rip-off since there's no way you can suspect someone who doesn't show up until the end, but for reasons I won't mention for the one person alive who hasn't seen this movie, it's still surprising. And the shock ending is, of course, a completely classic horror moment and a fond memory from many childhoods. The final confrontation between counselor and killer, always the high point for these movies, is well done here, though there are some dull moments leading up to it, such as a character waiting for water to boil. On the plus side, Harry Manfredini's score is completely kick-ass and unforgettable, even if it does borrow from other scores, and FX by Tom Savini is near perfection and holds up great even today.

Special Features: I'm not going to complain about the lack of special features since Paramount have a boxed set planned, but all you get here is a trailer. The picture quality is immaculate and worth the upgrade from the old full-frame VHS copies. -chriss.
 


Friday the 13th Part 2.

 
Story: A camp on the same lake as Camp Crystal Lake is opened for counselors-in-training, who start getting killed off one by one by the now undead Jason.

The Film Itself: Very tight follow-up. Basically a remake of the first, but that's what fans want. Better-than-average acting from the cast, especially Amy Steel as the lead heroine, Ginny, who uses her physical & mental strengths to survive. The opening recaps the first movie and closes the chapter on the first films survivor before moving along. The kills are creative, though some lifted from older horror movies. Jason living in a shack and bringing his kills to an alter for his mother is creepy and some of the only insight we get to this character for the entire series of movies. Part 2 is most notable for Jason wearing a sack over his head instead of his trademark hockey mask.

Special Features: A trailer and another near-flawless transfer. -chriss.

 

Friday the 13th Part 3.

 
Story: A group of friends head to a summer home where Jason happens to be hiding out.

The Film Itself: Filmed in 3-D, a gimmick to keep interest in the series going. Watching it at home, it becomes laughable & distracting to see objects constantly thrown at the camera, but depending on how you look at it, it could be a part of the movies charm. There is virtually no plot this time around, except that our heroine, Chris, has a back-story involving an attack in the woods by a deformed man who left her for dead. She's back in the woods to face her fears with her friends along for the ride. Apparently, they didn't hear about the dozen or so people killed nearby the day before, or just don't care. Eventually the killings begin, and Jason finally finds his much loved hockey mask. At the end there is an excellent cat-and-mouse chase scene which I consider to be one of the best in the series.

Special Features: A trailer, & a must-see widescreen presentation that will bring a tear to your eye when you think of what this movie has looked like for so many years in extreme close-up full screen. -chriss.
 

Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter.

 
Story: Jason up & leaves a morgue to find his way back to Crystal Lake & terrorize more of its residents.

The Film Itself: The greatest slasher movie ever made. When is the 4th part of something ever the best? Or even just not the worst? First of all, let's talk about continuity. At this point in the films there have been virtually no mess-ups in story continuity (which probably has to do with how little of story there is, but still...) & even with this supposed to be the last film, they resist all temptation to mess that up or explain anything that has happened in the series (why is Jason still alive, etc). They give you NOTHING which I think is completely brilliant. Mystery is what kept Jason scary for a while. On top of that, this film opens (after an excellent montage of clips from 1-3) in the exact filming location of part 3, the night that film ended. Which means the events from 2-4 all take place in the same week. This is especially rare in horror series, & a good explanation as to why Jason is in such a bad mood here. The movie is dark, gritty and brutal- exactly what a movie about a psychopath killing people should be. Jason, no matter how much of a pop culture icon he's become over the years, is scary and threatening here, especially when he turns his rage on the sister & younger brother living next door to the stock teen characters. Tom Savini returned to do the FX and the kills are some of the most creative & graphic of the series, most notably Jason's demise. The final chase scene is excellent as is Jason's unmasking. The films could have gone out with a bang if they left it alone here.

Special Features: A trailer, & while the transfer is many steps up from the VHS, there are still some flaws: a couple of sound effects are missing, some shots are very grainy, and lighting is incorrect in a couple of scenes. -chriss.
 

Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning.

 
Story: Tommy is haunted by the memory of Jason, & someone in a hockey mask is killing patients at his halfway house.

The Film Itself: Jason may have stolen some glory from the Halloween films, but by this point in 1985 Freddy & the Nightmare On Elm Street movies were becoming the slasher champ at the box-office. Paramount wanted to keep their series alive so they ran with the open-ending to 4 & put out this piece of crap. Tommy, who killed Jason as a boy, is now a teenager & is being sent to some halfway house in the woods (Crystal Lake? They never say...) where he doesn't talk to anyone & dreams about Jason returning. Tommy is there all of a day when one of the residents decides to hack to pieces a fat kid that is annoying him. This incident seems to provoke the rampage of someone in a hockey mask. Who could it be? The police suspect Jason, not that they have any idea the killer is coincidentally wearing Jason garb.  Almost everyone in the movie is unstable or trailer trash, so they're all meant to be suspects, I guess, until they're killed. The identity of the killer is just moronic, because no real clues are ever given & his revenge excuse has too many holes in it, especially since he just appears to be killing anyone he comes across who have nothing to do with anything. The murders are pretty bland, and whatever the MPAA didn't cut just looks fake anyway. There is a high body count, but when characters are introduced just to be killed, it becomes boring very fast. The whole film has a cheap look and feel to it. On the plus side, the lead heroine is good, & so is the final chase scene. Also, if you don't take the movies seriously, or consider 4 the last one, this one can just be good dumb fun.

Special Features: A trailer, a good transfer, and bad cover artwork. -chriss.

Editors Note: Personally, I love part 5. one of the most fun in the series. And Violet (Tiffany Helm)? Ou-la-la. - robg.
 

Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives.

 
Story: Tommy digs up Jasons grave, which sends Jason right back to newly opened Camp Crystal Lake.

The Film Itself: This one appears to ignore part 5, which is a mixed blessing. To continue where 5 left off (Tommy as the killer) would have been a mistake, but now continuity is shot to hell. It's also hard to sympathize with Tommy. He's the hero of the film, but his own stupidity of digging Jason up (and bringing a hockey mask along, of course) is why everyone is getting killed. There is no connection to the shy & nerdy Tommy character of 4 or 5. Suddenly he's pretty boy action hero. The movie is directed very well & is a huge step-up in quality from 5 (and 1-4 come to think of it). Humor is also all over the film, however it is not distracting. There's a great James Bond homage in the opening title sequence. The end fight scene is pretty weak, with most of the action taking place on a boat. Jason, as a zombie, just isn't that scary anymore. Changing the name of the community to Forest Green was another irritating sign this movie was trying to run as fast as it could from past installments. It is a fan favorite though, so it must just be me.

Special Features: Teaser trailer, great transfer, more lame artwork. -chriss.
 


Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood.

 
Story: Jason comes back from the dead to harass more partying teens & face off against a girl with telekinetic powers.

The Film Itself: One of my favorites after the original four. Right away this movie is out to please me: the overused Tommy character is gone and they don't even waste the time to explain him away (not that he needed it, but you'd expect it to be there) & the name Crystal Lake is back, ignoring the bad decision in 6 to change it to Forest Green. We are introduced to two sets of characters: the usual teens having a party in one house, and a psychic/ telekinetic teen girl named Tina with her mom & doctor in the other house (intentionally similar to 4's set up). Tina accidentally killed her abusive father at Crystal Lake when she was a kid. At the lake, Tina feels a presence & accidentally ends up resurrecting Jason. What is Jason still doing in the lake after part 6? Didn't the cops go to get the body? It's not all that deep in the lake. Anyway, Jason arises & reveals a new kick-ass bone-through-flesh look that is the FX highlight of the entire series. From here it's the same old story of Jason killing everyone until there's just our lead heroine... except this time she can move objects, & while a lot of people think it's a little out of place for the series, it makes for a different & exciting confrontation. The kills in this one are very creative, but the movie was ravaged by the MPAA. It's a shame because what's here has so much potential that it's hard to imagine how much better it could be... but all of the kills are obviously censored. Yet still this installment manages to bring us the #1 fan favorite kill of the entire series, the sleeping bag kill, which was used again in Jason X. Some characters here are given a little more personality than usual. Melissa is right out of Melrose Place with her bitchy attitude & ridiculous one-liners. Dr. Crews is another awful character who holds a woman in front of him to avoid getting killed by Jason. When he & Melissa get what's coming it's enough to make you want to applaud & makes Jason something of a good guy. This movie has a few flaws though, most notably the ending which doesn't really make a whole lot of sense.

Special Features: This time you get: nothing. Not even a trailer. Good transfer as always from Paramount. Cover artwork is new but not as bad as 5& 6. -chriss.

 

Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan.

 
The Story: Jason boards a cruise ship full of Crystal Lake High graduates & eventually ends up in New York City.

The Film Itself: While I think it's a little unfair for fans to call this the worst installment, I also think it's insanity that some critics have said this is the best. The opening is very weak. A guy tells his girlfriend the story of Jason, just in case you the audience don't know, along with a Jason hockey mask to scare her with (anyone who doesn't figure this is how Jason gets ahold of another hockey mask has problems) & they just so happen to resurrect Jason too... these situations in horror movies are always cringe worthy. That incident took place on a boat, & Jason must have liked his time there because the next morning he climbs onto another one. This time it's a cruise ship full of teens headed to New York City. Oddly, the kills in this movie are pretty bloodless (and good thing because what FX we do see is horrible) but Jason seems pretty sadistic here, taking time while killing a number of people. So not only is there no splatter to enjoy, but unless you're a serial killer yourself, you're made to feel at least a little bit uncomfortable. As the mayhem unfolds on the ship the movie becomes good for a little while. The Titanic-like chaos is more interesting to watch in the middle of a Friday movie than the usual teen stuff, but every time you are ready to enjoy this movie it insists on doing something stupid. Jason can apparently teleport now. What the hell is that all about? And the characters are a knockoff of those in part 7. We have the bitchy blonde again, the spineless man in charge, and psychic stuff is popping up for no reason with the lead. She's having visions of Jason as a child that add up to nothing but a confusing ending. Once in Manhattan things get worse. Anyone who's spent more than 20 minutes in New York City can tell you that it isn't a maze of back alleys & toxic waste filled sewer systems. There are a couple of fun moments with Jason on the streets of NY but very little is made out of the location & it's just more of Jason chasing the survivors around, same as it would have been in Crystal Lake. The survivor & her boyfriend do little to fight back & seem bored the entire movie. Jason's unmasking at the end is the WORST of the entire series. The FX job is laughable. My favorite aspect of this film is that it keeps the action going for most of the movie, rather than saving it all until the end like the rest do, but otherwise it is a very weak entry unless, like the critics, you don't normally like these movies anyway.

Special Features: Nada. Good transfer, new artwork. -chriss.
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JASON VS. LEATHERFACE - & Jason Goes To Hell comic adaption
Ohhh bliss! The title alone of the legendary 3 issue series put out by Topps comics says it all... JASON VS. LEATHERFACE! Brought to you by Nancy Collins, Jeff Butler, & Steve Montano with front cover's by Simon Bisley. The worthless property on Camp Crystal Lake has been purchased by a wealthy corporation, and the lake is being drained to make way for a new factory. The toxic chemicals & contents of the lake (including a dormant Jason Voorhees) are transported across country, and that's when Jason awakens. He stumbles upon a cannibalistic family in the heart of Texas & joins them due to his infinity for the youngest son, Leatherface. However, when things turn sour amongst the family, Jason sets to destroy them all, but not without Leatherface getting in his way to stop him. Overall, this is just a fun read. It captures both characters at their best. The entire family from the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre film are here, as is the Jason from Friday's 7 & 8. It's an interesting take on what would happen if these two met & the artwork is pretty darned good and gory. The Jason Goes To Hell adaption, also published by Topps comics is the opposite.. A weak adaption with decent artwork, you might as well just stick with the movie version. -rg.
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GREAT Friday The 13th related sites:

Friday The 13th Films.com
JASON Conquers.com
Crystal Lake Memories (Peter Bracke's upcoming book site)
JASON 2 KILLS.com
Jason 6 - CJ Graham site
Kane Hodder site
John Carl Buechler - director/FX
FvsJPYB.cjb.net