Friday the 13th (movie)

From Academic Kids

Friday the 13th is a 1980 slasher film directed by Sean S. Cunningham and written by Victor Miller. It became one of the most popular slasher films in history and spawned a long series of sequels.

As of 2004 there have been eleven films in the franchise and all of them feature the character Jason Voorhees (sort of; see "A New Beginning" below).


Plot Summary

The first trilogy plus the "Final Chapter"

In the first movie, a group of teenagers return to a summer camp, Camp Crystal Lake, to prepare it for reopening. Many years earlier, a young boy named Jason Voorhees had drowned at the camp, and shortly thereafter, the two counselors responsible were murdered by an unknown assailant, after which the camp was closed. One by one, the new counsellors are brutally murdered, it transpires, by Jason's mother, Pamela.

In the second film, it's retroactively revealed that Jason did not drown in the lake and had been living as a hermit in the woods next to the camp for the last couple of decades. Having watched his mother's death from afar Jason tracks down and kills the survivor of the first film and resumes his mother's work, hacking and slashing through numerous other victims at the camp in the traditional first-person POV that was common in the slasher genre of the time. When he is finally seen, Jason is portrayed as a red-headed hillbilly who wears a white sack over his head to disguise his deformed face. The film, along with another Paramount slasher released at the time called My Bloody Valentine, both made news when they were rated X by the MPAA. As a result, most of the film's murder sequences were cut by the studio, including a lurid murder sequence where a couple are impaled while in the process of making love.

In the third installment (filmed in 3-D), Jason acquired his trademark hockey mask and found himself slaying a group of hippies and bikers who decide to party at the now abandoned Crystal Lake. The film's ending would be the subject of much controversy though, as the horror movie magazine Fangoria published photographs of the film's ending, which had Jason triumphantly killing all of his victims in a twist ending. Because of this, a new ending was quickly filmed that homaged the ending of the first film with the surviving girl dreaming that Jason's mother jumped out of the lake so as to drag her out of her canoe and drown her.

The fourth installment continues Jason's slaughter before he encounters a young Tommy Jarvis, who is the one to end Jason's life. Part 4, simply titled Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter featured up and coming 80s stars Corey Feldman and Crispin Glover and did extremely well at the box office. So well that it immediately caused Paramount to go back on their plan to have the film serve as the ending to the Friday the 13th franchise.

A New Beginning

The fifth film picks up with a mentally troubled adult Tommy at a halfway house when a series of familiar murders start up. However, the killer turns out not to be Jason, but a copycat avenging the death of his son. Fans were not happy about the false Jason, and the reported approach to continue the series in this way was dropped and the producers realized that they had to bring the real Jason back.

The sixth entry in the series made this clear in its title: Jason Lives. However, since Jason had been supposedly rotting through the years since Part 4, writer and director Tom McLoughlin brought back the monster in a classic Frankenstein approach. Ignoring the events of the previous film, Jason Lives opens with Tommy digging up Jason's corpse so he could destroy it, only to have the body struck by lightning, which brings Jason back to life. From here on, Jason is now a zombie (though many fans argue that Jason was never completely human in the previous films). The film's use of humour made it slightly more popular with stuffy critics and many fans consider it the best in the series.

In Part 7, a telekinetic girl revives him again from the bottom of the lake where Tommy had left him imprisoned. The film, which has been dubbed "Jason Vs. Carrie" by fans, featured the first appearance of Kane Hodder as Jason. Hodder, who would play Jason in Friday the 13th Parts 7 and 8, Jason Goes To Hell, and Jason X, would become the most well known of the numerous actors who have played Jason over the years. In the eyes of many fans of the franchise, Hodder's version of Jason is the definitive version of the character.

Friday the 13th Part 7 also gained infamy due to the numerous edits ordered by the MPAA regarding the film's graphic murder sequences. Also fueling the fire of controversy was that the film originally was pitched as a "Jason vs Freddy Krueger" film but neither Paramount or New Line Cinema could come to an agreement over doing the film at the time.

Jason Takes Manhattan picks up sometime after his questionable defeat at the end of the previous film, where Jason is resurrected again, this time by a cable tow. From there he boards upon the cleverly named cruise ship Lazarus where he stays for most of the film. Despite the title, only a third of the film actually takes place in New York.

New Line Cinema enters the fray

In the early 90s, New Line Cinema acquired the rights to the Friday the 13th franchise and quickly rushed out plans to revive Jason Voorhees. Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday controversially opted to reinvent Jason, taking him from a hockey-mask-wearing mass murderer to a wormlike demon who could possess people. While the film (which only featured the hockey-masked Jason in the opening sequence and in the film's final fight sequence) is largely forgettable, the film's cameo appearance of Freddy Krueger's glove pulling the hockey mask off Jason's head into the ground created a great deal of hype towards the possibility of a crossover between the two slasher giants.

The Road to Freddy vs. Jason

The road to this crossover was filled with problems. The biggest was the numerous scripts which sought to come up with a logical way to have these two monsters meet. Several of the scripts that were written featured Freddy Krueger retroactively inserted into the origin of Jason, including scenarios where Jason was molested as a child by Freddy, who then "drowned" Jason to keep him from telling the authorities. Other scripts featured Jason as the hero of the film, recasting Jason as a tragic figure instead of the monstrous killing machine that he is associated as being.

Ultimately two scripts were written for the film. The first one had Jason being raised from the dead by a teenage girl using the heart of her dead boyfriend, to save her sister from a cult of psychotic teenagers who worshipped Freddy Krueger and were seeking to raise him from hell via a ritual sacrifice. The second film featured the main male and female leads from Jason Goes to Hell and the "Alice" character from A Nightmare on Elm Street Parts 4 and 5 teaming up on the eve of the year 2000 to rescue their kids from Freddy and Jason, who seek to kill the children so as to bring Satan (who is revealed to be Jason's father) to Earth.

The second script (which involved Satan) was deemed unfilmable due to costs and the first script was greenlighted (and underwent several additional rewrites) but ultimately was abandoned due to the massacre at Columbine High School, which made the film's main plot point about a murderous teenage cult be considered too controversial in the wake of the school shooting. Meanwhile, Sean Cunningham was tired of waiting on the series to stand still, so he ordered a film to be made in the meantime. The idea was developed to set it in the future so as not to hamper the continuity of Freddy vs. Jason.

Jason... In Space

Taking place both in the future and in space, Jason X followed the cryogenically frozen Jason being thawed out in the ship Grendel where he wakes to draw blood. The film went further by climaxing with Jason being turned into what has been dubbed "Uber-Jason" - a part cyborg/metallic combination and fairly indestructible (well, more so than he was before).

The film was put on the shelf for over a year due to studio politics, as many at New Line felt that the film would flop at the box office and potentially hurt the box office chances of "Freddy Vs Jason". Ultimately the film was released and while it did not do well, gained favorable reviews. Helping the film gain a respectable cult status was the fact that the film featured actresses Lisa Rhyder and Lexa Doig. During the time in which the film sat on the studio shelf, the two actresses were cast in the syndicated sci-fi series "Andromeda" in roles that were opposite of the roles that the actresses played in "Jason X".

Freddy vs. Jason

Movie poster for Freddy vs. Jason (2003)
Movie poster for Freddy vs. Jason (2003)

Two years later Freddy vs. Jason was finally released. Living out his killings in Hell, Jason "wakes up" in order to kill the children on Elm Street for his mother, who is actually Freddy Krueger needing the large lug to spread fear so that he can regain his powers lost due to a new drug the children are taking. But Jason won't stop killing Freddy's "children," and the two finally duke it out, ending the film with a fairly ambiguous image.

Further films?

The film's success has been the conductor for a possible sequel. As of now, rumours have circulated about the character of Ash joining the fray (due to the Necronomicon and dagger from The Evil Dead trilogy making an appearance in Jason Goes to Hell), but Sam Raimi has denied this, and the film seems to be set as a direct sequel with no further monster team-ups. Reports in March 2005 suggested that Quentin Tarantino was in talks to direct a twelfth "Jason" film. Tarantino later denied the rumors.

Actors who appeared in the series before going on to bigger roles include Kevin Bacon, Steven Culp, Corey Feldman, Crispin Glover, Kelly Hu, and Allison Smith.

The film series

  1. Friday the 13th (1980) US Gross - $39,754,601
  2. Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981) $21,722,000
  3. Friday the 13th Part 3 (1982) $33,985,198
  4. Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984) $32,600,000
  5. Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985) $21,930,000
  6. Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986) $19,472,057
  7. Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988) $19,170,001
  8. Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989) $14,335,525
  9. Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday (1993)* $15,572,267
  10. Jason X (2002) $12,610,731 (Budget of $11,000,000)
  11. Freddy vs. Jason (2003)$82,490,748, WW Gross - $114,190,748 (Budget of $25,000,000)

  • In 1991 New Line Cinema obtained the rights to the "Jason Voorhees" character hoping to make one final attempt at cashing in on the movie with 1993's "Jason Goes to Hell". New Line also owns the title "Friday the 13th" but has simply not chosen to utilize it; on its 2004 boxset, Paramount had to credit New Line for use of the name.

See also

External links

pl:Piątek 13. sv:Fredagen den 13:e


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