Recently I finished reading Crystal Lake Memories by Peter M. Bracke. It’s an oral history of the Friday the 13th series from the beginning until about 2009 or so.

I enjoyed the Friday the 13th movies in my younger years. Indeed, in my hometown, a tiny splat on the Iowa map of roughly 300 people, my friend Jess and I used to go to the convenience store and rent R rated movies at will because the clerks, not even the teacher working a 2nd job, would ever say we needed our parents’s permission. We rented every Friday the 13th we could find on the shelf.

That said, it’s been years since I’ve watched any type of Jason movie. (Excepting Freddy Vs Jason, a movie I love.) The last ones I do recall seeing many years ago left a bad taste in my mouth. The one example I usually point to is in Part 8 (Jason Takes Manhattan) where the boxer character punches the shit out of Jason for a few minutes, Jason takes it,  and then he just punches the boxer’s head clean off in one shot, which then flies off the building, rolls down the building, down to the alley and into the trash. (2 points!)

Watch that scene here.

For me, it just exemplified the way they were really just cranking them out, getting more and more ridiculous as they went.  But I am a fan of oral histories written on topics I find entertaining, in this case, the movie business.

I won’t really go to much into detail on the book as I feel that would rob it of it’s impact, but I was massively entertained the entire time I was reading it. Money issues, oddball directors, perv directors, actors being assholes, actors essentially be physically tortured just to get a shot, etc… nothing is held back.

While reading this I decide to rewatch all of the Friday the 13th movies. I’ve watched 1-4 at this point. Below I’ll list those with a few comments.

Friday the 13th – The original, with a twist ending it is literally impossible to guess until Betsy Palmer shows up on screen. It’s not that the ending is superbly crafted, it’s more than the filmmakers cheated since Mrs. Voorhees is never mentioned or shown until the end of the movie. Very enjoyable Best kill: Kevin Bacon getting the arrow through his throat.

Part 2: Also enjoyable even though it’s nothing but forgettable characters, bags of meat waiting to be murdered. Best kill: the couple on top of each other that gets the spear through the back/chest.

Part 3: The 3D movie. Watching it as 2D you tend to wonder why people are always sticking things up  at the camera. Jason gets his legendary hockey mask part of the way through. Paul Kratka plays Rick and he is absolutely awful in this movie. He has continued to work so I assume he got better. This movie is average at best. Best kill: When Rick gets his head scrunched so hard his eye pops out.

Part 4: The one with Corey Feldman. I’m guessing he is around 10-12 in this movie and he is really good as young Tommy Jarvis. The Crispin Glover dance scene is simply amazing.  This movie is very enjoyable, despite their attempts to ruin it with the repeated use of the phrase “dead fuck.”. Best kill: Tie: Either the guy who gets speared in the dick or or the woman who gets a spear through her chest from underneath a rubber raft.

More next time!