The Rube’s Review: Friday the 13th (1980)
Back in 1958 at Camp Crystal Lake, after singing the 900th acoustic version of Michael Row Your Boat Ashore, two camp counselors decide to cut the Christian antics and sneak away to “DO IT” in the attic. While the two virgins awkwardly struggle in the missionary position, an unknown killer stab the couple (well, we know two Christians that aren’t going to Heaven). Suddenly, the credits start with haunting music while the words FRIDAY THE 13TH break through the glass screen!
The film re-opens 22 years later and follows the route of Annie, a hitchhiking backpacker on her way to the newly renovated camp (what the colorful townspeople now refer to as Camp Blood). While catching a ride with a local Annie gets grabbed by Ralph, the town’s crazy-person, and is told not to go or she won’t get back alive. After dodging her “new friend” and hearing about the camp’s colorful history, Annie is on her way for her first day of work cooking for 50 kids, 10 staff, and dodging sharp weapons.
The movie then turns it’s eye towards Camp Crystal Lake and the other arriving counselors, including Steve; the owner, Alice, Bill, Marcie, Brenda, Ned (the pot smoking prankster of the group… fuck, why is there’s always one in these movies?), and Jack (Kevin Bacon). While getting the camp ready for it’s re-opening, most of the movie focuses on Alice as she helps with basic repairs and declines Steve’s shirtless advances. Steve finally leaves for food and supplies in town (to beat an oncoming storm?) and then FINALY someone get murdered.
Annie (yeah, remember her?) gets picked up just to jump out of a moving jeep, gets chased through the woods, and has her throat slit. Then other boring shit happens; Ned fakes a drowning, Alice gets attacked by a snake, Ralph the crazy prophet shows up one last time to basically state “GET THE FUCK OUT OR YOU WILL DIE!” and so on. Then, after what feels like 5 hours, it starts to get dark at the camp. A perfect time for stalled jeeps, unprotected sex, a game of Strip Monopoly… oh, and some crazy fuck running around the woods killing the remaining camp counselors – it’s about time!
One by one, counselors go out to see what’s keeping (INSERT NAME) or checking out “that noise in the bushes” and in the process get stabbed, axed in the face, or arrowed to death. The lady virgin, Alice, goes wandering around the different cabins to find her now fellow counselors; arrowed Bill and a roped up Brenda (minus axe) dead… you know what, since this “Lone Virgin losing their shit by the sight of her multiple dead friends” shtick happens A LOT in the Friday the 13th series, we’re going to call it the “Grande Gallery” from now on (so take notes).
Anyway, while Alice is losing her shit as Brenda’s bound body gets thrown through a window, she hears a jeep and runs out to be met by Pamela Voorhees, who claims to be friends of the owner’s family (COUGH!… BULLSHIT!…COUGH!). Now, instead of getting help, Alice leads Mrs. Voorhees to Ms. Ropey 1980. After bitching about how they shouldn’t have reopened the camp, Mrs. Voorhees starts to tell a story about when, in the 50’s, she was the camp cook and two counselors were supposed to be watching a “bad swimmer,” but instead were making the “beast with two backs.” As a result of the counselors’ negligence, the child drowned. No surprise – it was Pamela’s child, Jason.
While Pamela’s mind drifts to that fateful day, talking to herself as Jason, Alice realizes that she may not be a good egg. Pamela snaps out of her senior moment and goes after Alice (still blaming any and all counselors for her son’s death). There’s a cat and mouse chase that results in a Grande Gallery and a final WWF-style girly battle on the beach. In extreme act of elder abuse, Alice decapitates Mrs. Voorhees with a machete (Columbian-style)! On her last nerve, Alice takes a canoe to the center of Crystal Lake only to be attacked by JASON VOORHEES! EEK!
Nah, just kidding. It turns out that Alice’s rude awakening was just a bad dream. While walking up in the hospital, Alice asks about Jason but everyone thinks, “Whatever bitch” and just chalks it up to stress. The End.
In my opinion, Friday the 13th is a very slow paced movie and only worth watching once. I do understand that in some scenes you need to build suspense, but it’s easy to get tired (and you will) of the “What’s that noise?” or “What’s keeping [INSERT NAME]?” routine. All the scenes with Annie could have been left of the cutting room floor. Yeah, it’s not as exciting as the other F13 movies, but for it’s time there weren’t many movies like it, especially with that much groundbreaking gore. In fact, the gore effects in F13 spawned millions of imitators such as Hell Night, April Fools Day, The Funhouse, and the Sleepaway Camp series. It was so profitable that each new entry in what became known as the Slasher movie genre (including F13) only promised more nudity and more interesting ways to kill teenagers, rather than interesting plot points. Nope, before long, it was all about the titties and how many mangled bodies you could cram into the next movie’s Grande Gallery – that’s why we love’em!
FAMOUS FACES: Kevin Bacon
If you have pre-martial sex, smoke pot or hitchhike, you will DIE! Oh, and if you want to sneak out to do the nasty, make sure someone covers your shift as a lifeguard… it’s just the right thing to do.
STRIP MONOPOLY (with rules), axe in the face, arrow through the throat, and the furry man-hands on the recently decapitated Mrs. Voorhees… hey, is that a man’s class ring on that hand?
BODY COUNT: 10