Guess what day it is? No. Not hump day, that's just silly. It's Friday the 13th. That sporadically occurring sub holiday of bad luck and hockey masked killing machines. As always I planed on making a post for this special occasion,. Do ya think I actually put any planing into it though? Did I dig out one of those weird Jason X novels from the bookshelf? Maybe I had the ambition to dig out the long box and find a couple comics. Nah, I didn't do a thing. Actually I thought about checking out a fan film or two but then I remembered how much I hate fan flicks. If I were craftier I'd simply blame this lack of preparation on the cold weather which begs for three naps a day but let's face it, I've been slacking off and playing video games. Still; a spark of something lit up earlier this morning. Plenty of sites do features for the Friday series whether it be the best kills or strangest moments. Very few ever report why the series matters to them. It's one thing to say you love a film series but another task entirely to reveal why it's such an important part of your life and identity.
I actually came across Friday the 13th a bit later than most horror series. I'd been a fan of Alien and Predator since age 8. Had my first visits from Freddy and Michael by 11. Hell, I'd even encountered Pinhead, Chucky, and the damn Candyman by then. Oddly enough I never caught Jason's exploits on TV until I was 16 or so. Believe the first entry I ever caught any amount of was The New Blood. After seeing bits & piece on the tube, I took to renting them from Blockbuster, somewhat out of order. Scratch that. Very out of Order. Eventually I picked up the From Crystal Lake to Manhattan box set and binged during a birthday week. I didn't quite understand it at the time but these trashy movies were working some magic on me. It wasn't anything so dramatic as an overnight conversion. No, it was a slow process that this franchise from something I felt like catching up on, to full on obsession. Very much like my horror movie collecting, I can't pinpoint the moment or reason for getting started, I simply realized one day that I'd started on that track.
Why then does the series matter so much to me? In truth I think it's because I see my own surroundings in these stories. No, I'm not some lakeside dwelling crazypants. I live ina moderate sized midwest town where everything's a little filthy, the people are more than a tad strange, and it's always a wise decision to never place your nightly ambitions any higher than getting wasted. To a certain extant that's all these movies are about. Crystal Lake, later renamed Forest Green, and back again is such a rotten place that's chock full of weird people. All the characters who visit generally don't aim very high. They're never those super proactive types who live every moment to the fullest. Most of them usually end up disappointed in their day, or camped out alone in some corner of the house.
Plenty of the other horror franchises have their focus set on stuff I never really identified with. Halloween, Elm Street, and Scream were much more for the well to do suburbia crowd. Candyman & Maniac Cop dwell in the dank city. Flicks like The Fog, Critters, or The Boogens had a more rural aspect to them. As far as small town life is concerned, most people turn to Stephen King's brand of drama where everybody knows everybody else which was never my reality. My world is one with crappy weather, lots of trees, strange people, and the prospect that a party may wrap up with me getting drunk on a couch by myself. That's the world I always see in these flicks, only tuned up to eleven with all the various town legends getting crushed down to one about a bullied child and his mother who get revenge on their surroundings. Oh, and a really pissed off paramedic with lousy parenting skills.
Perhaps my write up makes it all sound a little sad but I don't see it that way. I've lived my life in an environment that doesn't aim high so there's a certain comfort blanket effect to films which revel in the same atmosphere. It's part of the reason a movie like Blue Velvet can give me a big goofy grin.
Somehow I doubt I've sold my point completely. In all fairness the sandman's calling my name. Maybe it really is time for that 3rd nap of the day. Ya know what? Let's wrap this up with one of those lists like all the other FT13th articles with some power rankings.
Best to Worst: Friday the 13th
Part IV: The Final Chapter
No other installment better encapsulates the entirety of what this series has to offer. It's trashy, funny, bloody, features some decent tail, and a surprisingly effective plot-line about a boy battling a real life monster. I showed this one to my last...not so much girlfriend...girl I dated because if you don't enjoy this, then these movie's really aren't for you at all.
Favorite Kill: So many good ones to chose from but I think the extra cruel harpoon to the nuts get my vote for the top spot.
Part VI: Jason Lives
My personal favorite and just an outstandingly fun party flick. Grown up Tommy Jarvis (as played by Thom Matthews) is a hoot and nearly every kill is a classic.
Favorite Kill: Think I've gotta go with the double header in the RV. Jason pulverizes a girl in the bathroom, rams her head into the wall, before approaching the driver and jaming a knife into his skull. This results in a massive crash which Jason emerges from in a manner that makes Chuck Norris look like a bitch
The movie that really made the formula for this series. While the first two were closer to murder mysteries, this was classic dumb kids getting axed by crazed killer. The cheesy 3-D effects and origin of the hockey mask, not to mention the disco theme music only add to the fun.
Favorite Kill: Absolutely the head crush which sends a spring loaded eyeball flying at the screen. Terrific.
Freddy Vs Jason
Somehow this will be considered a controversial for reason I can't understand. People hate this one despite it being a total blast. I've seen so many articles bemoaning whether it veers to much towards one franchise or the other, or whining about who may or may not have won the conflict. I say just lay back and enjoy the show, oh and Monica Keena's sweater kittens.
Favorite Kill: Jason shoves his machete through a guys back repeatedly only to finish it off by folding his victim along with their bed, in half
The original and all encompassing blueprint for how to make a campground horror flick. It's very basic and fairly predictable yet solid enough to hold up all these years later.
Favorite Kill: Probably go with Kevin bacon taking an arrow through the throat. It's tough, gross, and I like to imagine he actually survives the ordeal and starts his life over as a southwestern handyman named Valentine.
Part V: A New Beginning
Another disliked entry which marked the second time Jason wasn't the killer. Year ago this would have ranked lower but over time it's won me over with its grand view of Forest Green and the freaks who live there.
Favorite Kill: Kills are a bit weaker here. Oddly enough I'm gonna go with the first real kill which goes to some punk who takes out the mentality handicapped guy, thous setting off a chain of violence throughout the town.
A step up from the first in both atmosphere and violence yet it falls behind in pacing.
Favorite Kill: The wheelchair bound counselor taking a machete to the face, forcing his chair to roll down the stairs is a brutal image that'll stick with you long after the movie wraps up.
Friday the 13th (2009)
So many people love to piss & moan over this reboot though there's still enough to make it worth checking out such as some good humor and possibly the best Jason.
Favorite Kill: Jason take the mean and efficient route here which makes a lot of the kills quick & straightforward. I'm quite a fan of the the machete to through the dock, into a topless girls head, lifting her up for one final boob shot. Classy.
Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan
Mostly silly garbage with psychic powers and floods of toxic waste. It does have the distinct advantage of being the most 80'entry in the series.
Favorite Kill: The head punch. It's the best.
Part VII: The New Blood
Essentially Carrie vs Jason. It's filled with awful characters and horrid dialogue. The kills could have been a saving grace if this wasn't the most heavily edited entry.
Favorite Kill: The sleeping bag bit would've been great if it hadn't been cut short.
Jason goes to space and becomes something of a high tech wrestler. Incredibly dumb with terrible music. There is some good ankle and the biggest body count of the franchise to help it out a little.
Favorite Kill: Lot's of folks love the frozen face smash but I can't agree since I always wanted that blonde to make it just a little longer. Honestly don't have a favorite since you go a little body blind with this one.
Jason Goes to Hell
Jason's a body jumping hell worm with a fascination for shaving men. It's even worse than it sounds.
Favorite Kill. The pole through the tent is such a life saver since it puts an end to a horribly unappealing sex scene. Thank you, pole.
I can't really tell if this article made any sense at all cause god am I ever tired. We'll be back to normal coveridge in a couple days. For now, I'm gonna go downstairs, turn on the new blood and maybe indulge in that 3rd nap. Hope you guys are having a great 13th.