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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 24, 2004
Director: Sean S. Cunningham
Cast: Betsy Palmer, Adrienne King, Harry Crosby, Kevin Bacon.
Running Time: 95 minutes.
Rated R for violence, gore, language, and mild sexual situations.
One of the more influential slasher films of all time, "Friday the 13th" was one of the few in the series that was moderately scary, used specific camera positioning and foreground for its scares, and possessed a fairly intelligent script. A group of camp counselors are looking forward to their work at Crystal Lake campsite, only to hear the warnings from townies that they are in severe danger and that they should leave immediately. Ignoring these threats, the teenagers live life as if they are no worries.
Their attitudes change when a maniac killer starts to knock off all of the counselors, each in a gory fashion one-by-one. Adrienne King is the main scream queen, running around the camp finding dead bodies all over and finally encountering the killer and learns the truth of the systematic murder spree. Excellent special effects by master Tom Savini and a tense, dramatic musical score, yet the performances are fairly laughable and the plot gets old quickly (which obviously means they should make nine more sequels!). The final scene is absolutely terrifying! Not one of the best, but still important to the genre.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 30, 2009
i have no doubt that if i had seen this when it first came out in
1980,it would have scared the crap out of the present day
though,i didn't find it scary,mainly because i have seen so many
horror/slasher movies since then.this movie is hardly graphic or
shocking at all compare to today's feature film,and even some TV
shows,for that matter.however,i will say really enjoyed the musical
score by Henry Manfredini,who must have been influenced strongly by
Bernard Herman,who scored Psycho.i believe Kevin bacon makes his big
screen debut here,but i could be wrong.the acting for this type of
movie is fine,although i have to single out Betsy Palmer for really
standing out.this movie spawned,i believe,10 sequels,all differing in vote for Friday the 13th is a 3/5
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on April 3, 2004
My review May Have spoilers
It is a very good movie that begins with 2 counselors in 1958 being killed then cut to credits. That scene was chilling alone. Then a character named Annie gets screen time that makes it seem she will be the heroine or survivor. She is trying to get a ride to Camp where she will be a cook. She hitches a ride with the wrong person. She is chased into the wods and killed. Then we see all the counselors at camp. Bill, Alice, Brenda, Jack, Marcie, and Ned with their boss Steve who leaves for town. Then systematically most are killed Ned is Knifed then Jack is arrowed then Marcie is stalked in a bathroom where she is axed. Then Brenda is killed offscreen. Leaving Alice and Bill at camp.....ALONE. Then Steve comes Back but is you guessed it stabbed. The lights go out so Bill goes to the generator. Alice makes coffee and is alone she waits then gooes to look for Bill. She finds him dead. Arrowed to a door.
Alice is freaking out when a body is thrown through the window. Then Mrs Voorhess "an old friend of the Christy's" comes.
She is revealed as the killer. She is angry that her son drown in 57 so she is taking revenge on all of the counselors and after a suspenseful chase after Alice. Alice gets a Machete and chops the hags head off. She gets in a boat and the next mornuing is pulled under water by jasons young corpse. She wakes in a hospitol and then the movie ends.
Overall a great scary movie
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on March 4, 2004
Friday the 13th shocked audiences way back in 1980 and it's still a classic today.I love this movie, it's perfectly made and is nothing short of a masterpeice.And it was an original at the time of it's release.And it keeps you guessing because it doesn't reveil who the killer is until the end. Let's take a look-see. We've got seven attractive councelors heading up to Camp crystal lake or camp blood as the locals in the nearby town prefer to call it.One by one they get the slice..or the axe..or the arrow through the neck in Jack's (Kevin Bacon's) case.But that's the way it is.The killer is reveiled to be....(and sorry to be a spoiler if by any chance you didn't know)...Mrs. Pamala Voorhees. Her motive? Years ago she worked as a cook in the same camp and her son Jason drowned in the lake coz the councelors who were supposed to be keeping an eye on him were getting it on instead, a huge no-no.So basicly Mrs.Voorhees never got over the loss of her son. And there it is.Perhaps the thing I like most about this movie-it's so sad! I mean even if mother and son are a pair of homicidle maniacs.But it's all out of love awww[...] think it's sweet in a weird, twisted kind of way, and it adds an emotional streak to this horror movie.This is something that all the critics manage to overlook,but they are being superficial.Now gorehounds shouldn't overlook this either,there's stabbing,slashing,spearing,chopping-the whole deal.So all up Friday the 13th really does have something in it for everyone,and may I just say that the final scare at the end is one of if not the best scare ever. This was Deathgirl telling you why every real horror fan (and a lot of other people as well) love Friday the 13th..doomed,you're all doomed!
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on March 3, 2004
After years of being closed due to the result of a bizarre unsolved double murder, a group of teenagers try to reopen Camp Crystal Lake. But, unknown to the group someone or something is slowly hunting them & like the ten little indians, one by one the counselers are quietly dispatched. Much like "Jaws", "Friday the 13th" taps into the primal instinct within us all. The omnious, vulnerable feeling of being alone & yet having the feeling of someone watching your every move. After almost 25 years, the film remains a jolting, jump out of your seat scare-fest that will make you think twice before going into the woods alone, or into the woods ever again for that matter!
Cashing in on the "Halloween" craze, "Paramount Pictures" bought the rights to the film & released "Friday the 13th" back in 1980. The studio, thinking the film would flop, just wanted a quick payday & nothing more to do with the film. But the studio's plan backfired & "Friday the 13th" became a big hit (approx. 40 million dollars at the box office & becoming one of the top 20 grossers of 1980) as well as, a major embarassment for the studio (after the films release talk shows, newspapers, & activist groups attacked the film for its raw, brutal violence in the film). Thats why there are no major special features, deleted scenes, cast interviews, etc. "Paramount" is still embarassed by the success of this series (its the black sheep series of the studio). The DVD is a barebones affair with 2.0 Dolby Digital, & a trailer for a special feature. One can only hope that "Paramount" will release a special edition to "Friday the 13th" to coincide with "Friday"'s 25th anniversary. Don't hold your breathe.
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on February 20, 2004
One of the longest-running horror film series began with this gory shocker from director Sean S. Cunningham, who had previously produced Wes Craven's classic Last House on the Left. Entrepreneur Steve Christie (Peter Brouwer) re-opens Camp Crystal Lake after many years during which it has been cursed by murders and bad luck. The young and nubile counselors all begin to die extremely bloody deaths at the hands of an unseen killer during a rainstorm which isolates the camp. A woman is chopped in the face with an axe, another has her throat sliced in amazingly gruesome fashion, a male counselor (Harry Crosby) is pinned to a door with arrows, and a young Kevin Bacon has an arrow shoved through his throat from below a bed. Victor Miller's script is not particularly impressive, but Cunningham's tense direction, and some remarkable special-effects by acclaimed makeup artist Tom Savini are enough to make it worthwhile. 1950s quiz-show regular Betsy Palmer appears as the cook whose son Jason (Ari Lehman) drowned 25 years earlier while neglected by romancing counselors. Palmer was reportedly cast because she was willing to drive her own car to and from the set. Trivia buffs should note the decapitation scene near the end, in which the female killer exhibits rather hirsute hands clutching at the air. The hands belong to Savini's assistant, Taso N. Stavrakis. Friday the 13th made over $20 million at the box-office and spawned numerous sequels.
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on February 11, 2004
In the summer of 1957, a young boy drowned at camp Crystal Lake. One year later, two frisky camp counselors were stabbed to death. The camp has been known as "Camp Blood" ever since. In 1978, a man named Steve Christi decided to re-open the camp. It was the worst decision of his short life. FRIDAY THE 13TH is the classic original in what has become a monotonous stream of inferior sequels (10 to date and counting). Yes, there is a "body count", but at least there's a good, creepy story to carry the carnage! Long before there was a mindless, invincible stalker and his 20+ year murder spree, there was the REASON for it all. In this first movie, we get the actual motive for all that hideous rage and it's gory result. This is a tale of vengeance fueled by insanity. Yes, we get to see WHO is killing the new arrivals at Crystal Lake. More importantly, in this one we get the answer to WHY they are dying. Yes, there is a Jason Vorhees. However, there is someone else who is equally frightening. Someone who will stop at nothing in order to exact revenge. This person is bitterness incarnate, compelled to destroy in order to feed the inner demon. To get "justice" for something that cannot be made right. We get a quick peak at the agony that started the bloodletting. This is rare in this type of movie! A well told campfire story, best viewed alone on a dark, rainy night. Highly recommended...
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on December 21, 2003
Paramount and director Sean Cunningham created FRIDAY THE 13th mainly to ride on the coattails of John Carpenter's wildly successful slasher film, HALLOWEEN (1978). Turns out it was a wise move, as FRIDAY THE 13th was an equally successful box-office smash. And some students of horror cinema would dare to argue that the imitator has actually surpassed the first in terms of revenue, the inexorable number of sequels, and its influence on subsequent genre films.
FRIDAY THE 13th ingeniously plays on the audience's youthful fears--or memories of youthful fears--about going to summer camp out in the middle of nowhere. Indeed, the plot is a sort of variation on the campfire story, starting with an urban-legend-like rumor about murders taking place in previous years at Camp Crystal Lake, the very camp in which the movie is set. And it is also said that all of the carnage took place on the very same day each year--Friday the 13th.
The legend goes that, once upon a time, a little boy drowned at the camp while the youthful counselors were too preoccupied with petting and partying, and every subsequent year on the anniversary of the boy's death, some camp staff members would get offed. After such a murder in the late 1950s, the camp was officially closed down.
Flash forward to the present (relative to the movie's release, that would be 1980). Camp Crystal Lake is finally being re-opened by the owners, as nobody believes those old stories and legends, and a group of youthful counselors and staff show up a few weeks early--on Friday the 13th--to help put the finishing touches on the camp's refurbishing. But as darkness falls on the rural campground and its nearby lake and forest, the young staff members are being picked off one by one.
The gruesome ways in which each staff member gets offed are themselves the stuff of legend, and they are surefire crowd-pleasers for gore-hounds. Created by SFX genius Tom Savini--in fact, his reputation for gore FX was built on this film--the bloody death scenes have been imitated countless times since. But then, so has the film's story of a crazed slasher pursuing young people in a rural setting.
While the film may have been conceived as a means for hopping onto the HALLOWEEN gravy train, it is nonetheless fresh and intriguing in many ways, and it is certainly much better than most of the other HALLOWEEN holiday-themed rip-offs. The surprising climax, in which the killer is revealed, is an especially nice touch. The acting from the cast of mostly unknowns--watch for Kevin Bacon in one of his earliest roles--is pretty good, and as for direction, Cunningham does a great job at creating suspense, especially in a genre where bloodletting and gory deaths are expected.
Although the movie's final line sets things up for the inevitable sequels, none of those sequels ever reach the same level of quality or chills that this film achieves. Best to watch this first one and let the others rest in peace.
The Paramount DVD offers a great anamorphic widescreen transfer of this trendsetting film, but the only extra is the theatrical trailer. Still, it's offered at a reasonable price, so genre fans have no reason not to add this one to their growing film collection.
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on November 26, 2003
This film, the first in a very long (and not always entirely successful) franchise introduces us to the "mother" of all slasher films, the original, and arguably best, "Friday the 13th."
By now, everyone knows the premise of this film. Jason Voorhees, a boy attending Camp Crystal Lake one summer, drowns when the camp counselors ignore his cries for help due to their sexual indiscretions. Exacting revenge for his death, a faceless killer stalks the camp, taking out counselors in various, horrible ways in a bloodbath that would give all movie makers a new standard to beat in future slasher films. It isn't until the end of the movie that we learn that the killer is none other than Jason Voorhee's mother (GASP!!) and that she has gone crazy after her son's death.
Following in the success of films like Halloween and Psycho, Friday the 13th worked well because its "camp" was balanced with so many moments of genuine suspense that it kept audiences on the edge of their seats. Relatively tame by the standards of today's films, this movie still offers up plenty of screams and moments of genuine fright, combined with enough teenage sexuality to keep every teenager watching the film engaged for the duration of the film.
The movie exploits the notion that immorality will get you killed. It is a concept that has long played in the horror genre and become a staple of the industry as a whole. Even horror "spoof" movies like "Scream" exploit the films premise that sex and drugs will serve as a calling card for the killer to get you.
For fans of the series, this is the only film in which Jason (who becomes the killer in all 10 sequels (including Jason VS. Freddy) is not the serial killer. Of course, the fans may know that, but for anyone who doesn't, don't go looking for the infamous hockey mask wearing killer to make any appearance. On the otherhand, look for Hollywood A-list actors who make an appearance in this film (most notably Kevin Bacon, who made his debut in this movie).
Overall, Friday the 13th is a fun, scary movie that will transport the viewer to a different era in horror movie camp...the one they call "Crystal Lake".
Scott Kolecki
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on October 18, 2003
2 camp counselers sneak away from a campfire to make out.they are brutally killed with a knife by an unseen prowler. SEVERAL YEARS LATER...a girl gets a ride from a man(after being warned about the camp to which she's going) to the same camp where the 2 teens were killed where she will be working as a counseler.after meeting some of the main characters(ned,jack,and marcie),the audience returns to the first girl who gets a ride from somebody who chases her into the woods and slices open the girl's the camp(after visits from a snake, 2 pranks, the town drunk, and a cop)ned goes to check on a person he sees go into a cabin.he doesn't come out.jack and marcie go into the same cabin as ned and make the main cabin,alice, bill, and brenda(three other counselers)begin to play strip the other cabin, (after a lightning bolt shows ned on the top bunk,throat slit,)marcie goes to the restroom cabin. a drip of blood falls onto jack's forehead.from under the bed, an arrow is shoved through the bunk bottom, and through jack's neck. at the restroom cabin, marcie goes to check on a noise in the showers.nothing is there she turns around,only to have her face split open with an axe. brenda goes to bed.she hears a child cry out for help. she goes to investigate. the archery range lights flash on, revealing her standing in front of a target. alice hears brenda scream. bill and her go to check it out and find a bloody axe on brenda's pillow, and 2 dead phones. ned's car is dead.steve(the owner)'s car has broken down.he is picked up by a the camp,the lights go out. bill goes to fix the generator. steve is dropped off and reconizes somebody who then stabs him in the stomach.alice wakes up and goes to check on bill. she finds him pinned to the generator door with arrows.she screams.she runs back to the main cabin,and seals herself in.she sees headlights and runs outside. she meets a woman named mrs. voorhees who says that her own son,jason,drowned at the camp.she trys to stab alice and is,in return,poked in the ribs with a fire poker. alice flees.she is chased until she comes to the kitchen.she hides in the spice closet only to have the door chopped with an axe. she whacks mrs. voorhees in the head with a skillet. she walks to the lake and is about to row a canoe into the lake, when the still very much alive mrs. voorhees attacks her with a machete.after a strugle, mrs. voorhees is decapitated.alice rows out into the lake and falls asleep. she wakes up and sees some cops and paramedics on shore.she relaxes. suddenly, the rotting,but still alive, jason voorhees leaps out of the lake and pulled under. she wakes up in a hospital and is told that they didn't find any boy...
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