I would be remiss of me not to showcase horror's most prolific horror franchise for this edition of the CW. Ye olde 1-3 comes around again this Friday. Jason Voorhees was a staple at my house growing up. Although Michael Myers was always my favourite, there was a certain extra entertainment value attached with every new installment of a Friday film. I, of course, had to see each new chapter on video because I was a litlin' during the eighties and was not the type to sneak into theatres. Although, my brother and his then girlfriend (now wife) did smuggle me into the Drive-In to see The Silence Of The Lambs when I was 16. No, I didn't stow away in the trunk, but I did do the sit-in-the-furthest-back-seat-and-look-old thing as we rolled by the entrance gate. Anyway, back on topic. Ah, Friday the 13th. No slasher icon has delivered a body count as high as big J.
I don't even remember how I was introduced to Friday the 13th, or the first time I watched it. It was during the VHS boom of the early eighties when I was being flooded with colourful clamshells with every trip to the video store with my dad. I can still remember the layouts of some of those long gone retailers from my childhood. So, without further ado, let's get this trip to Camp Crystal Lake underway.Crazy Ralph, skewered Bacon, strip Monopoly and a headless Betsy Palmer. What's not to love?
Jason finally shuts up Crazy Ralph and shows that he does NOT give the handicapped special treatment. He hates everyone equally. Also, going against the regular horror trope, the dude who stays behind at the bar to get soused actually avoids a grim death.
This installment is of course where Jason dons the iconic hockey mask. I didn't actually see this movie in 3D until I was in my late twenties. I'd seen Part 3 countless times on VHS in my youth, but you never realize just how MANY 3D gimmicks there are in the movie until you actually experience it. It's a fucking blast. Another little anecdote is I remember seeing a TV Spot for Part 3 (it was mainly from 1:35 of THIS trailer on) and for some reason I thought the count up to thirteen represented sequels. "They can't possibly make THAT many parts, can they?" I asked excitedly.
Good ol' Tommy Jarvis. The 'Final' Chapter probably has the best Jason death sequence. I love that shit with Jason's face twitching as it slides down the machete blade. Ah, good times.
A New Beginning was pretty lame. Even WITH the vocal stylings of Miguel Nunez. Although, I must say, as a kid, I do remember being a little sad when Violet got it.
Jason returns! And now he's got super duper strength. He can punch right THROUGH people now. That's badass! So, if anything is to be learned from this movie, it's getting hit by lightning means you acquire superhuman strength. Electricity is awesome!
Ah, one of my favourites and, I think, the best Jason design. A New Blood was the first Friday to feature Kane Hodder and he was the only dude to play Voorhees multiple times. This guy was a bloodthirsty animal on two legs. The whole idea of someone (Tina, the telekinetic) who can hold their own facing off against the juggernaut was pretty cool and I guess, now that I think of it, a preamble to Freddy Vs. Jason (which was still fifteen years away at the time).
Oi Vay! I remember not thinking this was a retarded idea when I was 14, but it's still never been one of my favourites. It does have Kelly Hu though.
The first Friday film I actually got to see in theatres. Imagine my dismay when I learned Jason (as in Kane Hodder, who also had a cameo as a police officer) was hardly in it. It might as well of been The Hidden 2. The ending added fuel to the Freddy Vs. Jason crossover, but it was still many years before the classic confrontation came to fruition.
This is where the story ends for The Horror Section, as it was almost ten years before Jason X hit screens and my movie clerk tenure was a distant memory by then. I hope you enjoyed this walk down memory lane and that your Friday the 13th is a bloody one.