Only three things, my cats. Though choosing 3 would be tough.
Any horror con around the country or possibly hot topic.
Freddie Mercury, to me there isn’t a musician that has ever came close to being as good as him.
I knew immediately when I decided to review each of the “Friday the 13th” films it would not be an easy task. See, for the 30th anniversary of the franchise I decided to do something special, reviewing each film in the series over the course of 13 days. I figure I might even throw in a review of the TV series, to bring the total of reviews to an unlucky 13. With knowing my lazy ass I will more than likely just take a day off.
So without further introduction let the body count begin…..
The film starts off with ambiance that can’t be beat, a group of councilors sitting around a fire singing songs. A caption at the bottom reveals the camps location with the words “Camp Crystal Lake” and the year 1958 below. Despite the beginning of this film telling us it takes place in 1958 it’s painfully obvious this is the 1ate 70s/early 80s, the hairstyles of the councilors wasn’t exactly authentic. However that aside this opening sequence works extremely well, mainly because it has a distinct sense of dread that sets the tone for the rest of the film. After the singing is over, the two lead councilors sneak off into a deserted part of the camp and start making out and engaging in foreplay. Before you can visualize one of the them hearing something in the corner we are presented with a POV view of the kids, presumably from an intruder. The kids spot the peeping tom and confront him, only for the male councilor to be stabbed in the gut and fall to the ground holding his bloody wound, while his defenseless girlfriend is at the mercy of this assailant.
Her shrieking cries are the last thing we hear as the screen goes white before the opening credits begin.
Fast forward to present day, and surprise surprise the same camp that was the site of this horrible atrocity years earlier is reopening. We learn from the superstitious locals (Enos,The Truck Driver, and Crazy Ralph among my favorites) that crystal lake is commonly referred to as “Camp Blood” we also learn that camp owner Steve Christy has tried numerous times to open the place back up only to have to shut down due to something bad happening, things that range from a drowning, the murder we saw at the beginning of the film, to fires, and to even the water being polluted. Upon closer glance it does appear that Crystal Lake might indeed be “jinxed” as Enos would say. From that point on we meet the staff that are prepping the camp for re-opening. We meet the adorable Alice Hardy (Adrianne King) who is unsatisfied with her duites at the camp, We also meet Ned Rubenstien (Mark Nelson), Marcie Cunningham (Jeannine Taylor), Jack Burrel (Kevin Bacon =D) and a counselor simply known as Bill (Harry Crosby). As you probably already have guessed the only thing that is on these employees minds are drugs and sex. Which of course translates to kill fodder in these types of films, and as you can guess that’s exactly what happens.
Let me just say this, Tom Savini is a god amongst men. Without his work I don’t think that this film would’ve been nearly as memorable. Without the gory effects “Friday” would be labeled as more of a “Halloween” rip-off than it already is. Tom helped give this film (and the subsequent sequels that follow) a blue print if you will of what the audience expects from these movies. The kills that we see in this film are quite the sight, (an arrow through the neck, a painful close up of a slit throat, among others).
Victor Miller wrote the screenplay in 1979 after the films director Sean Cunningham saw “Halloween” and in the words of miller cunningham wanted to “rip it off”. Miller did a good job with the task he was given, he not only did as instructed but he also created a piece of work that outside of the gory sequences had quite a bit of suspense. This is something I believe that some of the later sequels lack.
Like I said in the beginning, it’s hard to review a film that has been talked about so endlessly and everything to be said about it has been, but that didn’t stop me from at least trying to separate the movies in terms of quality. The first film is a thrill ride, plain and simple. From the dark feeling of dread in the first reel to the chair jumper ending the first “Friday” remains a landmark film in the slasher genre, and one deserving of praise for years to come.
part 2 review tomorrow!
“40 years old and I haven’t accomplished one thing I’m proud of”
This was an amazing movie, I don’t think I could say enough good things about it. The story deals with the first gay politician ever elected to office, regardless of orientation I think anyone who isn’t a far right bible thumper would find this film moving, to say the least. I’ve always liked Sean Penn as an actor but he really gives one of his best performances here. Now do I think he should have won best actor at the Oscars in 2009? No. I still think Mickey Rourke’s performance in “The Wrestler” topped it- just barely. Regardless I recommend this movie highly for a story that’s just as relevant today as it was in 1978- when the films events took place.