Friday, July 13, 2007

Ma'am...we didn't find any "boy".

There is a Friday the 13th Blog-A-Thon going on, brought to you by the lovely Stacie Ponder at Final Girl. And Bob Mackey has a fairly exhaustive (well, by slacker standards) Friday the 13th film series retrospective up at the Kent State official student website.

To round out the pertinent links, there's this. It's a three-year-old review of Freddy VS. Jason by Film Freak Central's Walter Chaw. This is absolutely one of the most insightful, penetrating, and cleverly subtle tongue-in-cheek reviews I've ever read. If there are two horror icons that cry out more desperately for Freudian analysis and Jungian interpretation than Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees, then I'd like to meet them. Well, not in a dark alley, I wouldn't.

Seriously, whether you consider Freddy VS. Jason part of the official Friday canon or not (or simply thought it was rubbish), this thing is comedy gold, and well worth your time to read (if only for the line "...Jason himself may be the manifestation of a penis, tumescent and ramrod straight...")!

As far as my thoughts on the Friday the 13th films go, I'm not likely to ruffle any feathers with my observations:

  • Betsy Palmer is a goddess.
  • Amy Steel is a goddess.
  • Dana Kimmell's voice can strip paint.
  • Parts One, Two, and Four were the best. Part Five was easily the worst.
  • The MPAA effectively neutered the series as their requests for cuts became more aggressive and unreasonable. At one point, they even demanded shots of Jason's face be removed, as it looked "too grisly". And yet they gave "Mask" the green light and probably sent Cher a freaking gift basket.
  • Siskel and Ebert went way too far with that whole letter-to-Betsy campaign.

Yeah, not exactly controversial statements. One thing I do remember about these movies is just how much fun they were to watch as a kid. And, like comic books and Doctor Who, Friday films are damned hard to outgrow.

For example, I still have this.

Famous Monsters #163. It was my very first introduction to the legend of Crystal Lake, and man, did I get hooked. Plenty of gory (B&W) snaps, with captions like "This is the enda of a girl named Brenda" (Forry was so cheeseball!), and the accompanying article was basically a detailed synopsis of the whole film until the decapitation scene! No spoiler warnings in those days. Plus, Jason looks really freaky on the cover; it used to turn my stomach. I'd get spooked by this magazine at bedtime and hide his dishpan-mug under a comic book or a less frightening FM issue. I suppose I could have just turned it face down...

Here's me at 18.

And no, it's not my graduation photo. It was Halloween.
I had to work that night, bussing tables at a Mexican restaurant. Halloween isn't a very busy night, but I still managed to scare a few patrons. Mostly by maintaining complete silence.
"Wow! Cool costume!"
Me: ...
"Say, where'd you get the hockey mask?"
Me: ...
"Is that a rubber machete?"
Me: ...
"On second thought, is there maybe a Denny's in the area?"
Me: ...

I still have that hockey mask. I won't elaborate, but let's just say it's come in very handy over the years.

And this.

The crappy EBay pic doesn't do it justice. In fact, nothing can do it justice but the original 3D glasses that came with the poster. Do I still have them? Do you have to ask at this point?

Yeah, that poster was the shit. The axe head and all those shards of glass are flying right at your face when you look at it properly. Forget those Magic Eye books, this was real 3D on my own bedroom wall!

Anyway, you see what I mean about not outgrowing the Friday the 13th phenomena. I couldn't say just what it is about the series that sticks with people. I'm betting it's pointy, though.

So why don't we break out some bubbly (where's that corkscrew?), raise our glasses and toast the man of the hour on his special day.
Happy birthday, Jason.
You big freak.


At 5:58 AM, July 13, 2007, Blogger Squish said...

Yay! Great post. I would like to know more about the 'letter to Betsy' campaign, I don't know anything about it!

At 6:26 AM, July 13, 2007, Blogger spazmo said...

Well, at the end of their Sneak Previews review, Siskel and Ebert urged viewers to send a letter to Betsy Palmer in protest of her appearence in the film. Quite in a huff, they were.

It didn't really amount to much, as I recall. But still. They came off sounding like a right pair of grannies.

At 12:38 PM, July 16, 2007, Blogger Mariana said...

I had never heard of the 'letter to Betsy' campaign either. It's just too awful that any movie critic would do a thing like that! And they say bloggers take themselves too seriously...

At 6:22 AM, September 27, 2007, Blogger Jay Amabile said...

Great entry! That poster kicks ass. Do you happen to have the Crystal Lake memories book? I'm contemplating getting it but I'm not sure.


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