Monday, July 16, 2007

Friday the 13th

Friday the 13th (1980)

Directed by: Sean S. Cunningham
Written by: Victor Miller
Starring: Adrienne King, Harry Crosby, Laurie Bartram, Jeannine Taylor, Kevin Bacon, Peter Brouwer, Mark Nelson, Betsy Palmer, Robbi Morgan, Walt Gorney

The first in a very long series of slasher movies. I think there are at least nine sequels, not counting Freddy vs. Jason. I, being weird like that, watched this on Friday the 13th - actually, I watched it at 1 in the morning on Saturday the 14th, but because I didn't sleep in between the two days, it doesn't count (this is why I often have no idea what day it is...).

It's the classic slasher plotline - a bunch of teenagers go to the old closed down campground to fix it up so they can open it again. While there, they are stalked by a psychopath who wants to avenge the death of her son by killing fornicating camp counselors. Oh yeah, this is the one without Jason - he's the kid who drowned in the lake, and it's his grieving mother who does all the hacking. He does show up right at the end, but he doesn't do a whole lot. Just basically ensures that there's a sequel.

People must've really liked this movie. I found it kind of dull to be quite honest. It felt like all the good bits of other horror pics patched together - it has the basic plot of Halloween, plus the killer's POV shots (which Halloween ripped from Black Christmas - God knows where they came from before that), the music from Psycho as well as the sort of backwards version of the killer (Norman Bates kills people because his dead mother is taking over his personality. Pamela Voorhees kills people because her dead son is taking over her personality), the ending is just like the end of Carrie. I would like to say that the scene in which the killer hacks the door down with a machete is an echo of the "Here's Johnny" scene in The Shining, but this movie was released two weeks before The Shining so one probably doesn't have too much effect on the other.

Anyway, all of those movies are better than this one. This was okay, I guess. The acting was pretty bad, the pacing was pretty bad, the script was pretty bad and loaded with enough Biblical references to choke a mongoose, but the gore effects (Tom Savini!) were pretty good, and there were some interesting modes of death. It was just so much like everything else. And it wasn't very frightening at all. There were no points where I was concerned for the safety of any of the characters. I knew they were all going to die, die, die, and I didn't care (I did worry about Jamie Lee Curtis, Sissy Spacek, Janet Leigh and Olivia Hussey in the aforementioned pictures). I hoped they died. Even Kevin Bacon (the Jamie Lee Curtis/Johnny Depp of this particular series). I mean, I know who is is and all but I wanted him to die. Actually, I don't like Kevin Bacon. I always want him to die. And he did die in a pretty cool way...

Another thing that's been bothering me is how the fuck did those people get so tanned all over? I'm sure the actors went to a tan salon or something, but the characters. They were tanned all over. I can't get a tan on my hands no matter how hard I try. Frig. It bothers me.

No matter. I do appreciate the extremely low budget. I mean, even the camera work was cheap. It looked like crap, but they did the best they could with what they had. Good for them.


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