Friday, May 13, 2011

Jason Voorhees, Don’t Give Up… Yet

By Chris Dimick
Knock knock. Hey Jason.
Yeah, man, you have been sitting on this couch made of human torsos for close to two years now. Don’t you think it is time to pick up that machete over there, under the stack of fly-covered pizza boxes, and get back to killing sexy teens?

I know your last movie wasn’t all that popular with critics, and that hurt your rotting heart. The 2009 “reboot” of your now 31-year-old franchise -- chronicling the heroic avenging of your mother’s murder through more murder – was clichéd and full of annoying characters people wanted you to kill. But don’t listen to those fools, the horror audience liked it! Right?
Oh, yeah, not that many. But still, the reboot cost $19 million to make, yet grossed $65 million in the US alone! At least the producers liked it!

Sure, that profit margin is much smaller than “your” first film -- 1980’s Friday the 13th, which cost $550,000 to make and grossed $40 million, setting off a wave of copycat flicks and changing the slasher genre forever. That movie, and the sequels actually starring you that followed (Jason’s Mom was the killer in Part 1), made you the most famous monster since Frankenstein. Yeah, yeah, yeah, that was then. But you’ve still got, it brother! Don’t be so depressed.

Forget about that last Friday installment… life is about learning from your mistakes and embracing the future.

And, ahhhh, look at the calendarrrrrrrrrrrr! It’s your favorite day today! There has got to be a fresh group of douche bag dudes and bitchy-hot girls tempting fate next door at Camp Crystal Lake. Head on over there and slash your sads out!

It’s time to reclaim your image from the 2.99 DVD bin and bring back the horror that coursed through your first 11 films!

Don’t give me that I’m too old bull-poop either. True, time does age horror icons faster then Nazi at the end of The Last Crusade. And what hair you do have left on your rotting skull seems to have turned gray (or is that just your putrefaction?).

But let’s focus on the positives here. Your 11th movie, 2003’s Freddy vs. Jason was great fun, and people are still talking about that sleeping bag kill in Friday the 13th Part 7. I bet you have even more creative murder ideas cooking in that mutated, disabled brain of yours.

It’s not good for you to just sit around this hobo shack all day talking to your mother’s disembodied head and playing World of Warcraft. Think of all the good times you’ve had. You’ve visited Manhattan, Hell and even outer space. Kicked your nemesis Freddy Krueger’s ass, and became one of the best known horror figures in history!

All I and the rest of the Friday fans want is for you to fulfill your destiny and make a 13th installment of Friday the 13th. You are so close! This has to happen... it would just feel so right. Do us all a favor and go out on top as the longest running horror franchise in history. That chump Freddy only made it to 9 movies, and Michael Myers is at 8. But they can still catch up! Here, "ch-ch-ch ha-ha-ha," does that get the motor running?!

You may be a walking caricature and probably can’t scare a 4-year-old in this age of torture porn.

But come on, if you won’t do it for 80s-nostligic fans, do it for Mama Voorhees. Look deep into her maggot filled eye sockets. You don't think she's satisfied with 31 years, 12 movies and over 160 revenge-fueled killings, do you?

Thats right, do it for mama.

There you go, now pick up that machete and… yeah, that’s the spark!
Now walk over to that camp and find some scrumping and/or drug use to punish.
Hell yeah, ahhh, wait, why are you raising that knife near me.

No! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Favorite Fridays:
Friday the 13th Ranked
Happy Friday the 13th! What better way to celebrate this day of superstition and dread than plopping down on the couch and watching one or all of the Friday the 13th movies. But don’t think these films are ordered naturally in their ability to entertain. Below, a guide to lead the novice Friday viewer through the 12 movie installments. Some are great, some not so much, but all are a fun time. Here, the movies get ranked in their order of watchability.


Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI – 1986
Every horror fan has their favorite Friday, and Part VI is mine. This is the first movie where Jason appears as an undead, unstoppable beast. Besides Jason’s re-badassing, the flick has a great story too! Tommy Jarvis, the kid who killed Jason in Part IV and spent the last few years in a mental hospital, returns to Crystal Lake to make sure Jason is still dead. He digs up old Jason but lightening strikes the killer back to life. Can Tommy stop Jason again before he gets back to a recently reopened Camp Crystal Lake?

This installment equally balances humor with horror, and offers a rare look at Jason from a camp-attending kid’s point of view. An innovative and highly entertaining installment, especially by any series' Part 6 standards.


Freddy vs. Jason – 2003
A fanboy’s dream come true. Who cares if the plot barely connects together these two horror legends? In the vein of classic Universal mash-ups like House of Frankenstein, this feature really starts to cook when the two battle it out first in Freddy's dream world, and then at Camp Crystal Lake.


Friday the 13th Part 2 – 1981
This holds a special place in my bloody heart, as it's the first horror movie I ever saw… and loved. But beyond that, this is also one of the deepest plotted of the series. It is also the first time Jason is the killer, and he is shown with more human emotion than in any other installment. Not to mention one of the best “kills” of the series when a wheelchair bound councilor gets a machete to the face before spilling down several flights of stairs.


Friday the 13th – 1980
Camp counselors are stalked and murdered by an unknown assailant while trying to re-open a summer camp that was the site of a child's drowning.
Have to give props to the original, though it now seems cliché when viewing in 2011. This film launched the career of none other than Kevin Bacon, and featured a pretty trippy ending by 1980s standards.


Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood – 1988
Years after Tommy Jarvis chained him underwater at Camp Crystal Lake, the hulking killer Jason Voorhees returns to the camp grounds when he's released accidently by a teenager with psychic powers. Oh yeah, psychic powers! Now we are talking. Also features one of the best “kills” of the series, Jason disposing of a teen by entrapping her in a sleeping bag and beating it against a tree. Savage, and "AAAAHOuch!"-inducing.


Jason X – 2001
Jason Voorhees returns with a new look, a new machete, and his same murderous attitude as he is awakened on a spaceship in the 25th century. By 2001, the old “Jason killing councilors” bit was so 20th century. Why not put him in the future… and space?! It was bizarre, but actually had some surprising fun to it. Who can argue with the cyborg vs. Jason sequence?


Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (Part 5) – 1985
With Jason dead, a local man decides to use Jason's old M.O. to wreak havoc at a halfway house for troubled teens. Here we are at number 7 on the list, which should tell you that the films after this point are not the best. This had some fun moments with the psychotic “troubled” teens mixing it up with Jason, but in the end many in the audience just felt cheated that Jason was nowhere to be found.


Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (Part 4) – 1984
Hahahahaha, the final chapter. Yeah, right. Having been revived at the hospital, Jason returns to Crystal Lake to meet more victims. However, this time has he met his match in tween Tommy Jarvis? Same old same old in this one… other than a young Corey Feldman playing the Jason slayer.


Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday – 1993
This should have been cool. Jason fighting Satan in Hell, right? The final installment, right? Nope. The biggest contribution this film had to the series was a convoluted revel on how Jason has supernatural powers. One fun scene has a SWAT team taking down Jason with a hail of bullets. But that happens in the first few minutes, and it’s downhill from there. All that evil-worm-heart eating business was more icky than spooky too.


Friday the 13th – 2009
A group of young adults discover a boarded up Camp Crystal Lake, where they soon encounter Jason Voorhees and his deadly intentions. While this cliché crapfest remake added nothing to the series but tears in fans' eyes, it is still far from the worst Friday.


Friday the 13th Part 3D – 1982

Even back in 1982 Hollywood was trying to bring people to crappy movies by pimping out 3D. Having escaped in the last episode, Jason is back, hockey mask and all, to continue his murderous rampage across Crystal Lake. Just more of the same, but the first time Jason rocks that awesome face-wear. That's cool, but not cool enough.


Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan – 1989

The worst of the worst. But even at the worst, this is still fun to watch if only to get a good laugh. A passing boat bound for New York pulls Jason along for the ride. Again, the premise sounds great, Jason tearing ass all over the big city. But country boy Jason should stick to the woods. This had the sappiest and worst ending of all the Fridays... an honor that maybe makes it worth watching after all.

Gotta Get Down On Friday
Internet Salute! (we so excited!)

As I’ve discussed in past blog posts, the Friday the 13th series has a special place in my heart, as it introduced me to the horror genre. But nostalgia aside, the Friday movies are great for many reasons.

They are simple, and don’t take themselves seriously, which is a nice change in this world. The “kills” are half funny, half gross: a winning combination. And if anything, Jason Voorhees is a great bad guy. He doesn’t talk your ear off or put on any pretentions. He just kills everything that crosses his path.

Simple enough, and fun as well to watch. So fun, that in 2001 I watched all the Friday the 13ths filmed to date (10 movies) back to back. It was college, I had the time and two cases of Miller High Life. Nearly 20 hours later, I didn’t regret a thing, though my roommates were a bit scared when I emerged from my room with a knife in my hand.

Below, some random Friday themed offerings from the Internet to enjoy this Friday the 13th.

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