In 1957 a little boy drowns in Crystal Lake. In 1958 two camp
councillors are murdered. The camp is closed down by the authorities,
and gains the local name of Camp Blood. A little over 20 years
later the camp is reopened for a group of young councillors
to fix up the place during the summer. Warnings come thick
and fast from locals in a diner, a truck driver, and most
significantly from the resident crazy, Ralph, about the place
being cursed. One by one the teenagers are dispatched by an
unseen assailant. In a desperate bid for escape, one survivor
discovers the bodies in various places, coldly killed using
various tools and weapons. But there is a final twist...
individuals cite Friday the 13th as being a much more
original and intelligent film than its many sequels. Whether
or not you agree with this statement, it's certainly different.
Although the first time viewer doesn't realise it until the
end, this is a revenge plot; one character's retribution of
those indirectly responsible for the death (or supposed) of
her child. In this manner it's a closer cousin to Agatha Christie's
Ten Little Indians or I Spit on Your Grave than
it is to Halloween, the John Carpenter classic that
is said to have spawned it and a hundred other copycats. It's
also a whodunit, breaking all the rules of mystery writing
by having an unseen outsider as the perpetrator.
If Psycho and Halloween influenced Friday
the 13th, then this film certainly influenced a multitude
of others in the decade of so-called video nasties. This was
the time when horrific death scenes could be played out more
realistically for the first time, due to modern make-up and
prosthetic effects. The difference here is that Tom Savini
was intelligently minimalist in his approach, and this was
aided by producer Sean S. Cunningham who ensured the killings
were shown but never lingered upon. There was no blood for
the sake of blood; the slayings were plot-linked.
interesting to note from the short Making Of documentary that
the famous 'ch ch ch, ha ha ha' sound effect which is heard
in every Friday film, was originally extracted from
the phrase, "Kill her, mommy", being the 'ki' and the 'ma'
parts resequenced by the soundtrack composer. There, you learn
something new every day, even if you don't want to.
prefer some of the sequels to the original (Sean S. Cunningham,
what did you think you were doing with the travesty that was
Jason Goes To Hell?) but, like Superman II,
they wouldn't have even happened at all without the first
one setting the scene. This is certainly true of Friday,
because Jason's appearance was very much an afterthought,
unscripted until the last moment. Cunningham wanted a 'seat-jumper'
and so the Mongoloid boy (only mentioned in the early drafts)
was introduced in the dream or reality sequence at the end
of the flick. Without it there would have been no face that
launched a thousand sequels. Many people might have thought
that a wise move, but personally I love the hockey mask-wearing,
machette-wielding unstoppable killing machine. Long may he
this item online
compare prices online so you get the cheapest
(Please note all prices exclude P&P - although
Streets Online charge a flat £1 fee regardless
of the number of items ordered). Click on the
logo of the desired store below to purchase
All prices correct at time of going to press.