VIDEO: Friday the 13th (1980)

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The Fear Fan’s back, and this time he’s taking on another classic slasher franchise! Having already explored the Nightmare on Elm Street series, it’s Jason’s turn, as we take a look at the original Friday the 13th!

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  • Alan

    The composer was Manfredini, not Mancini.

    • fearfanforever

      Yeah, I caught that when I was editing and couldn’t help but wince. For some reason I kept making that mistake. Thought of re-shooting those bits, but I figured people had waited long enough.

  • Alan

    Great review, by the way.

    • fearfanforever

      Thank you!

  • danbreunig

    Nice to see you again after yet one more hiatus, Fear Fan! Some of my thoughts:

    The title screen that launched a franchise…also lent some creative license to the Jaws 3 finale.

    Annie asked directions from my previous dog–looks just like him.

    Crazy Ralph reminds me of a local small town Jack Palance.

    Um, bad banjo music…some movies in 1980 needed it after the 70s trucker films petered out. On the plus side, I want to watch the Dukes now…

    That may have been a real snake getting chopped. The “No animals were harmed in the making of this film” practice wasn’t really around so much then–much like the rabbit hunting scene in 1972’s Bad Company where you can tell they really filled a rabbit with twenty pounds of lead.

    Nice collection of Bacon puns throughout.

    I was stumped looking for the more cliched horror tropes, until Alice proved the Non Alternate Exit Lexicon: when danger approaches, escape by running anywhere other than out the ground floor main door (in this case the closet).

    Alice has the one early 80s fashion style I’m still waiting to come back in full form. My own pick and quirk.

    The only occasion I can think of with a psycho mom receiving a due punt.

    Fthe13 1, 6, 8, and Freddy Vs. Jason were the only ones I’ve seen, and out of those Manhattan’s the one freshest in my memory. That’s probably the one that filled me in on the Jason V. mythos the most, while Jason Lives introduced me to the character altogether. Basically a zombie with a persona and brains, and not the eatin’ kind.

    Glad to see you in full form again, and just in time for Halloween. :)

    • fearfanforever

      Not so much a hiatus as a delay due to technical difficulties. Don’t worry, I’m getting some better equipment soon. Launching a Kickstarter campaign in fact. :-)
      Hadn’t heard of that scene in Bad Company, but I can’t imagine there was much of a rabbit left…
      Oddly enough, Jason goes through a rather interesting evolution before we get to part VI, and I can’t wait to hear what you think of Parts II through V. :-)
      Good to be back, and don’t worry, I’ve got several Fright Bites videos I managed to write while I was editing this one, so I’ll be doing my best to keep everyone entertained this month!

  • TheRedWorm

    “Bacon is a pork product” And that’s why I love Fear Fan.

    • fearfanforever

      And that’s why doing this series! Thanks RW!

  • Thomas Stockel

    Ah, Kevin Bacon. The pun source that keeps on giving. :)

    Welcome back, FF, I loved the review and I’m looking forward to seeing your take on the rest of the franchise.

    • fearfanforever

      Can’t wait to get to the second and third films. For me, that’s when the fun REALLY gets started.

  • TheScottCSmith

    Welcome back, Leslie. Another great review. Have you ever read “Making Friday the 13th” by David Grove? It’s a pretty thorough look at the series. Apparently it’s out of print now, though, as it goes for quite a bit on Amazon. It’s in my library. Any plans on reviewing Freddy vs. Jason as part of this series?

    • fearfanforever

      Sadly, I have not. The closest I’ve really gotten is the His Name was Jason documentary and what I’ve stitched together from dozens of other things I’ve read over the years.
      I DEFINITELY intend to review Freddy vs. Jason as a capstone to the reviews of both series, and after that…
      Let’s just say, there are a few different directions things could go in, and I’m thinking of leaving it up to the fans to decide…

      • After F13 and NOES there’s really only one comparable franchise. At least, unless you’re going to try and make sense out of what has become of the TCM franchise.

        • fearfanforever

          I’ll be saving that for later, but I think people will be VERY surprised by what I’m planning next. :-)

  • Cristiona

    Welcome back (again) and nice review.

    First, it seems they really did kill that snake ( ): “The only disturbing moment on the set was when we killed the snake for real. Everything else was make-believe except for the snake, which was chopped with a machete. It’s an important moment in the film, it’s a tone setting, but it was very upsetting to everyone, including myself, that we actually killed that snake.”

    Second, you mentioned that it was a little disappointing that Jason wasn’t in this film. I wonder how much of that is because of looking back, though. Now-a-days, everyone knows who Jason Vorhees is. Back when this came out, obviously, nobody does. I mean, does it even count as a twist?

    • fearfanforever

      Thanks, as always!
      It doesn’t really count as a twist, but this was actually the second horror series I sat through after Nightmare on Elm Street, so I didn’t have much of a grounding. You can imagine my surprise when (spoilers) he didn’t even get the mask till the third one, and didn’t even really become a zombie till part 6 (end spoilers),
      Yeah though, it’s not really a twist so much as the way the series organically evolved.

      • Part 4 was the first I ever saw, and I always considered him to be a zombie there. He is pronounced dead, brought to a morgue, rises from the morgue, and has super strength and a rotted face – sounds pretty much like a zombie to me.

        • fearfanforever

          Well… He does get back up in the morgue, and he does have super strength, but his face isn’t rotting in that one, and he’s always had the super strength. To be honest, the EXACT point at which he’s undead is kind of up for conjecture, but given what happens in part V, and the fact that part IV is “The Final Friday”, I’ve always drawn the living/zombie line at the end of that one.

  • FEnM

    Ah, F13… my fave horror movie franchise. I’m so glad you’ve gotten around to it. (-:

    One quick note: You refer to Alice’s death as the first kill… it’s actually the third, an the second we actually see.

    I agree with you about this film being sloooowww… I’m all for atmosphere and plot and getting to know the characters, but this movie seems to spend a lot of time just sittin’ around. The coffee-making scene is a good example. At least stuff like the Monopoly game has character interaction and a little but of humor. The coffee-making scene is.. a woman alone, making coffee.

    And yeah, the reveal of the killer.. Did they even MENTION Mrs. Vorhees before this?

    Though, speaking of the Vorhees clan, the film does do something kind of clever early on: When the truck driver is talking about the number of things that have gone wrong at the camp, he talks about the kids being killed in ’58, THEN refers to the kid drowning in ’57, Intentionally or not, by mentioning them in opposite order, I can’t help but think that people going into this not knowing the plot are less likely to make the connection between the two events.

    Anyhoo, glad to see you finally review this, it was really good! And I’m looking forward to your “Wolfen” review, as well. (-:

    • fearfanforever

      Same here! Can’t wait to get around to some of the later entries…
      I don’t think you mean Alice, but rather Annie. Anyway, you’re right about it being third, but the first two were pre-opening credits, and I tend to consider those a formality rather than the meat of the film. Still, good catch!
      Nope. Not ONE single mention. To be honest, I think the remake made a SERIOUS mistake minimizing her character. If they ever want to give it another shot, I’ve got some pointers…
      True, and he mentions the fire and water problems after that, so it’s kind of sandwiched in there. Most people would probably have forgotten it by the end of the movie, if a crowd of rowdy 80’s teenagers were even paying attention in the first place.

  • I agree with your analysis here. In fact, it took a while for this to grow on me. Not having Jason as the killer never particularly bothered me – I knew that was coming. The film always felt boring to me in a way I couldn’t quite pinpoint, but you hit the nail on the head!

    • fearfanforever

      Glad you liked it, and can’t wait to hear what you think of the rest of the series reviews!

  • DeanD

    I’m an official Fred-head but I do remember watching the Friday the 13th films on HBO back in the day so I’m interested in your take on the series. So far, so entertaining. I’ve watched your reviews on blip for a while (big fan) and only discovered this site when I finally watched your Haunting in CT vid today. This site has some cool content. Anyway, keep up the good work!

    • fearfanforever

      Thanks, Dean, and it’s always great to meet another fan of the series!
      I’m glad that my work’s led you here, and there are a lot of VERY talented reviewers on here, so I’m sure you’ll have fun. :-)

  • Bart Fargo

    Of course the cast was great! Kevin Bacon was part of it, and Bacon makes everything better!

    • fearfanforever

      And given that he’s been in a few other horror projects, there’s probably more terrible puns to come. :-) Actually, I’ve got a couple in mind for if I do Hollow Man…

  • Bart Fargo

    I’m interested in your take on “Sleepaway Camp”. Some say it’s a lot better than others in the subgenre, but others think it’s nothing special apart from that twist at the end.

    • fearfanforever

      Personally, I’m a fan of the first film. The special effects are good, the acting isn’t nearly as bad as it could be, and most interestingly, they actually use appropriately aged kids.
      It would have been easy to pull a Friday the 13th Part VI and have the story be about the counselors, with the kids thrown in for a little last minute peril, but instead they actually had kids who looked like they were the right age to be attending summer camp.