Tuesday, October 18, 2005

31 Days of Des' Horror Favourites: #14 Friday the 13th

Why I like it: First off let me preface this by saying that I won't say much about the Friday the 13th Series. If you want a more in-depth analysis and a better one at that go to Final Girl. If you want flippant, short, erudite comments about each movie read this first then go there. By the way, I commend you for your mind-numbing 11 movie experiment Stacie.

Excuse the departure in format...

Friday the 13th: No matter how long it has been since I've seen this movie (12 years? hmm...) I still have vivid memories of it. The stage is set for a mythology that is as big as any other horror franchise. It is a little wooden and completely overacted but the intense, unrelenting rain and far shots of the killer made it effective. The decapitation is fantastic and this is the one movie where you'll see Kevin Bacon get penetrated. But not in a good way...wait a minute! PS: If this were the countdown of favourite movie endings it would probably be higher on the list.

Friday the 13th Part 2: Jason is the killer and wears a sack over his head in an homage to the film "The Town that Haunted Sundown." The woods chase, an eerie final shot, a sweet machete in the face and the terrifying eye darting back and forth in that sack makes this my favourite of the series. PS: Count how many times characters step in puddles and you may be pleasantly amused. If you're a geek!

Friday the 13th Part 3-D: The hockey mask debuts giving Canadian children everywhere in the 80s many chances to terrify their mother in the kitchen. Not me...I swear! A lot of really bad humour mars this film. It could have been much better but the dream sequence and the final shot of Jason where you expect him to open his eyes and.......... Filmed in 3-D but every remaining print for TV, DVD and video are 2-D only making a total lame film that plays wayyy too much on the knowledge that it's in 3-D. Skip it.

Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter: If only that were the case. This is the best film in the series after the first two but it really doesn't take much. I made a Roman Gladiator film for my grade seven history project that made most Friday the 13th films look like they were being compared to Citizen Cane. I digress...The last scary Jason, the porno film massacre, Jason getting stabbed in the thigh and Corey Feldman make this soooooo worth the viewing.

Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning: Although it was the first to use the very cool "Dies Irae" theme music (and I loves me some horror theme music) this film amps up a high body count, terribly cliched characters, foul language and lots of female nudity in exchange for a likeable lead and a plot. D'oh! I don't usually spoil endings but Jason only appears in the opening dream sequence. He's a copycat Jason!!! Weak...

Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives: Meh...High points-Horshak from Welcome Back, Kotter resurrects Jason and gets his heart torn out for his troubles, a crisp sharp look due to a higher budget and a rare shot of good humour in a Jason film (Jason sees the dismembered arm and doesn't know what it is). Low points-just about everything else.

Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood: "What are we going to do now that we've run out of ideas?" "Have Jason fight a telekinetic kid." Yep...it's allll downhill from here. Well...from earlier but the hill gets much steeper here. First Kane Hodder who pulls off the best hockey-masked Jason. The way he walks defines Jason's modern look but the make-up effects make him look laughable. Best death: whack the sleeping bag against the tree to free it of ants...ooops, there's somebody in there! hehe...

Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan: They should have called it Jason Does Manhattan just for comedy's sake. It looks good and that's about it.

Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday: Stacie! How did you do it?! I'm having trouble just writing about these let alone watching them all in one day. Blech blech blech! This is the "explain everything" one. Only, the explanation is terrible. You see: Jason has come looking for his long lost sister. Remind you of anything? Halloween maybe? Demons, body-jumping/soul-carrying tapeworms and a terribly awful ending are only the most noticeable atrocities this one lets loose upon its audience. Steer real clear of this one.

Jason X: Jason.....in spaaaaaaaaace!!!!! Ugh. Like the bastard child of Leprechaun 4 (or whatever one he is on space in) and...well...other bad Friday the 13th films.

Freddy vs. Jason: Geek porn. Nuff said.

Friday the 13th, while being very responsible for my lifelong jaunt into horror, is now an aborted wasteland of terrible, terrible films. Even the Halloween sequels have retained their dignity (mostly).

Still, a guy with a sack over his head jumping through a window is one of my favourite childhood memories (thankfully it happened in a movie). Before I go, a tip of the hat to the exceedingly horny and often naked camp counselors, bumbling sheriffs, protective fathers, virginal girls who don't run off into the forest to have sex or skinny dip and cliched black characters who made these films possible.

4 Bitching, Moaning and Praise

Blogger Stacie Ponder said...

Ha haha haaaaaa! Welcome to my world! I've seen these movies so many times that watching 1-7 was almost like one loooong movie. It was after 7 was done that I wanted to cry, knowing I had 4 left! I'd someone to make a really good Jason movie that takes itself seriously, as much as 1 and 2 did, anyway, and just end it. Just. End. It. I'd say bring back Sean Cunningham, but then his name was attached to Jason Goes to Hell, so nix that idea.

S'OK- in a week I'll be doing a Halloween marathon and these will all be a distant memory!

10:41 pm  
Blogger Des said...

It'll be interesting to get you views on Halloween (what I consider to be superior to Ft13th in many ways). I too will be covering Halloween but when is top secret.

11:58 pm  
Anonymous Charles said...

Hey Des. Long time no see. Kim told me about your list of terror. Some great selections. NIGHT OF THE HUNTER is one of my favourite films. I was going to show some of my students THE HOWLING, but a few shuddered at the thought of viewing a horror film.I'm guessing ROSMARY'S BABY is going to fall somewhere on this list of yours.

4:04 am  
Blogger Des said...

Hey Charles! Thanks for stopping by.

Keep checking it out. I'd like to hear (read) your opinion on some of my choices.

As to whether Rosemary's Baby is in the list...you'll have to find out. Hint: I do have a crush on 60s Mia Farrow.

7:33 am  

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