Guess what day it is! Guess. What. Day. It. Is.

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Happy Friday the 13th, all! Move over, Christmas. This is truly the most wonderful time of the year! And pretty much any other Friday the 13th that should occur… and Halloween. 

You should be doing one of two things. 1) Engaging in debauchery at a deeply hidden cabin in the woods that your friend’s distant cousin that no one has ever met owns. OR 2) Reading my blog. Or possibly doing both. 
 
So what’s my single favorite horror movie? John Carpenter’s Halloween. What’s my single favorite *franchise*? Why it just so happens to be Friday the 13th! There are plenty of other spectacular horror flicks/franchises out there, but nothing has ever quite compared to Friday the 13th for me. I can still remember the VHS movie box the first movie was in–Jason’s silhouette gracing the front, with “Friday the 13th” typed out in what one would assume is a font called “Horror” or “Chiller” or “Machete,” if possible. 
 
Now, although the original Friday the 13th is a decade my elder, you best believe my parents were cool enough to let me watch this classic as a tot with my siblings. 
 
Paraskevidekatriaphobia is the fear of Friday the 13th. I don’t know that there’s a word for “obsession with Friday the 13th,” but if there were it’d certainly apply here. If you’re not already a fan, hopefully you will be after this.
 
In this post I’m going to share some of the most interesting factoids I’ve accumulated over the years regarding the franchise; because with a staggering TWELVE movies, it is full of fun facts. In addition to the fun facts, I’ll also be sharing pictures and clips so that your Friday the 13th can be consumed by some of the scariest (and funniest) moments from the movies. Time to witness the glory that is Friday the 13th.
 
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First, let’s start with a timeline so you can see how many movies were pumped out in a short amount of time (that’s how you know a *ton* of thought went into them 😉 
 
1) Friday the 13th (1980)
 
2) Friday the 13th Part II (1981)
 
3) Friday the 13th Part III (1982)
 
4) Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)
 
5) Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985)
 
6) Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986)
 
7) Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988)
 
8) Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)
 
9) Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993)
 
10) Jason X (2001)
 
11) Freddy vs. Jason (2003)
 
12) Friday the 13th (2009) 
 
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Time for some fun facts!
 
* Although the fourth movie was called “The Final Chapter,” the franchise was merely a third of the way through. 
 
* Only a handful of the Friday the 13th movies actually take place on Friday the 13th (3 positively do, 1 is a bit uncertain). 
 
* And WHO is the killer in the first Friday the 13th? If Scream didn’t teach you this and you didn’t already know it, then allow me. Jason’s mother, Mrs. Voorhees. She was the killer in the first movie. She, of course, gets beheaded promptly and Jason takes over. 
 
* Speaking of Jason’s mother, actress Betsy Palmer only agreed to make the movie because she needed a new car. 
 
* But the first isn’t the only movie Jason doesn’t kill in. Jason doesn’t kill anyone in A New Beginning either. 
 
* So not all of the films took place on Friday the 13th. What about the infamous Camp Crystal Lake? The first movie takes place here, but not until the sixth installment does Jason return to Camp Blood, as it became known. The location for Camp Crystal Lake is actually a boy scout camp in Jersey–Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco. 
 
* Aside from date and location, what’s another HUGE thing associated with Jason? His hockey mask! It’s iconic; but Jason didn’t have his goalie mask from the get-go. He rocked a burlap sack on his head with a hole cut out until the third installment. Where did he get the mask? From the indispensable goofball that all the girls just want to be friends with–Shelly!
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This is his first actual kill with the mask:
 
 
* Remember Freddy vs. Jason? An AWESOME concept. Growing up, my siblings and I would always compare killers from slashers, noting who we’d be more afraid to encounter. I always wished there were more movies like this–Mike Myers vs. Jason, Leatherface vs. Freddy Krueger, and so on and so forth.  Here’s the thing, Freddy vs. Jason is not the first time Freddy makes his presence known. In the eleventh installment, Freddy’s arm shoots up through the sand at the end. Foreboding?

 

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* One of my favorite factoids I picked up while doing research: Jason favors blondies! A vast majority of the surviving ladies are blonde. Although this is an interesting little fact, I have a feeling it was unintentional. My thought is that horror movies like to stock up on blondes to begin with (we have more fun, after all), so the likelihood of a blonde remaining at the end is just greater. 
 
* The third installment was released in 3D. If you didn’t know that, you probably could’ve guessed just by watching it. There’s an obvious number of yo-yos, machetes, blood squirts, and other random blunt objects that jump out at you. The movie grossed $36.2 million. 
 
* This one is for you, hockey fans. Jason’s original goalie mask was that of the Detroit Red Wings. 
 
* The original script had Jason wearing an umpire’s mask. 
 
* I LOVE a good horror movie with a low budge and short filming time. The original Friday the 13th took a sarcastically whopping 28 days to film (and 10 weeks worth of editing). 
 
* There are 171 total kills in the franchise. When you do the math, that’s about one death per 6 minutes of film, although the deaths aren’t necessarily evenly distributed. Jason got a little bit more machete-happy as the franchise went along. The least amount of deaths happen to be in the first two movies. Although Jason is most commonly associated with the use of a machete, he does get creative throughout the franchise. He also uses:
 
photo-thumb-72 Spears
 
photo-thumb-72 Knives
 
photo-thumb-72 His bare hands
 
photo-thumb-72 Axes
 
photo-thumb-72 Electrocution
 
photo-thumb-72 Pitchforks
 
photo-thumb-72 Ice picks
 
photo-thumb-72 Meat cleavers
 
photo-thumb-72 Perhaps the most unique weapon: A guitar
 
* 13 different dudes played Jason. Jason seems to grow in size with each film. Let’s be honest, the wiry Jason isn’t as intimidating. Derek Mears, at 6’5″, played Jason in the 2009 reboot of Friday the 13th. To me, his is the most terrifying stature for the role. I love the 80s and 90s movies every bit as much; but wielding a machete AND that large? Welcome to my nightmares, Jason. Make yourself comfortable. 
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Now let’s dive into some specific films, starting with the very first Friday the 13th. You know that actor with the delicious last name? That everyone is at most 6 degrees of separation from? That’s right. Before Kevin Bacon’s feet got loose; before she was having a baby; and before he was prosecuting a few good men, he was just another teen that pissed Jason off with his premarital sex and smoking in bed:
 
 
 
And what about The “FInal” Chapter? Enjoy this spastic little dance scene from none other than Crispin Glover:
 
 
 
Another big name in Friday the 13th? Corey Feldman played young Tommy Jarvis in The Final Chapter, making an appearance in a flashback during A New Beginning. 
           Friday 13th Final Chapter Tommy and Jason
Now how about those masks? Along with Jason’s size, his mask pretty obviously changes throughout, most noticeably in the dreadful Jason X. I think Jason X was that stage in Jason’s life that he’d really just like to forget. He probably looks at pictures, winces, and says, “Who let me do that?”
 
These next two pictures show the mask/wardrobe changes Jason underwent over the years:
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Now, go on and have a happy Friday the 13th! Look out for black cats crossing your paths, ladders, and of course, mask-wearing and machete-wielding campers!
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DUDE, don’t leave me hangin’!

Feh!

Munger Road (2011): A 1 hour 26 minute horror/mystery/thriller movie, with an IMDB rating of 4.4 and “No Reviews Yet” on Rotten Tomatoes? Well that just sounds like Ally’s little slice of heaven. And really, it was what it was. It was what I expected, and it was not bad. In fact, the rising action was incredible. I was literally holding my breath toward the end, staring wide-eyed at the screen. What’s going to happen?! Who, out of those who disappeared throughout the movie, is going to make it? Did anyone make it? Who is the killer?! Well, here’s the problem…

The movie’s end is one hell of a cliffhanger, AND… there is a Munger Road 2 in the works that is not out yet. I figured the second installment of a movie such as this would have already been out by now. No such luck. And I’m not incredibly sure where they even are in terms of the progress of the filming. I’m not saying I didn’t like the movie. I’m saying I liked it a little more than I thought I would, was craving some sort of resolution, and didn’t get one.

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Now that that’s out of the way, a couple fun facts: Trevor Morgan is in Munger Road. In case that name doesn’t ring any bells, he’s the turd in Sixth Sense that thinks he’s better than all the other kids. He’s got a bad case of the “child actor syndrome.” Here’s what I have to say about that: If you’re going to get into acting, you best get into it later in life. Somehow, to me, child actors never seem to age well. They look the exact same as they did when they were 5, 6, 7, 8, or whatever-years-old…but just stretched out to a bigger size in order to pass as an adult. It’s like they’re fooling us into believing they’ve aged.

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Another little fun fact is that the movie is set in St. Charles, IL. That might not seem like such a fun fact; but as someone who has been to St. Charles, I found that to be an incredibly random place to stage the movie. I hold St. Charles fondly in my heart, as I once drove through to go to a football game when I had a scorching case of mono. Now, I did not know that at the time; had I known I wouldn’t have gone and subjected people to catching it, or subjected myself to a possible football to the spleen. I assumed this random, western suburb of Illinois was picked because the director or someone who worked on the film was from the area; so I did my research and wouldn’t you know it! The director Nicholas Smith is from St. Charles–graduated from St. Charles North in ’03, got accepted into U of I’s engineering program, and ending up falling in love with directing. SO… he ended up going to Columbia College instead (My Alma Mater! Woo!!) where he would study film.

So although I was left in suspense, and may be in suspense for a while ’til the second one comes out, Munger Road was an enjoyable “teens staying up past curfew to get terrorized” movie. I’m going to keep my ear to the ground for info regarding the sequel… Look out for updates.

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Called it!

Knife Edge (2009). This is commentary, right? I’m allowed to be biased. I can like movies for silly reasons, and I often do. I really, really liked this movie and the first couple of reasons have nothing to do with the plot.

1) I used my noodle, made a prediction early on in the movie about what was to happen later, and my prediction was right. I NEVER do this. I enjoy living in the “now” of the movie. I like to observe the characters’ mannerisms, what they’re wearing, the atmosphere of the movie, etc. I’m far too caught up in “the now” of the movie that I don’t set aside some mind space for predicting what’s going to happen. I enjoy letting the movie unfold at its own pace.

I’m definitely not that person you go to a movie with that slowly leans over 20 minutes in, creepily whispering (because you’re in a theater, mind you; have some creepy respect), “I thiiink I knooow where this is goiiiing.” No. I’m the one who sits through the entire movie without a peep of prediction; and when the movie reaches the climax, I’m like, “Oh no sh*t! It was the butler all along. Makes sense.” Note: There was no butler killer in Knife Edge. Or…was…there? Guess you’ll just have to find out.

2) Accents! French…British…all very pleasing to the earholes. Plus the leading lady’s son is constantly dressed like a proper, little gentleman throughout the film. The costume designer can dress me any day of the week; there were some great fashion choices being thrown around in this movie.

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The atmosphere was phenomenal. The leading lady, Emma, decides to move back to England to start a family with her husband and her child from a previous marriage. Her husband Henri surprises her by buying them an old lodge to live in. The lodge and grounds make for the perfect scary movie setting.

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Of course as soon as the family gets settled in, weird stuff starts to happen. Emma starts to have night terrors and sees terrifying visions of what she assumes to be the lodge’s past. She questions why her husband bought this particular property as he spends more and more time away from the house and has night terrors of his own.

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Knife Edge, you done good. I give this movie two thumbs up (although it does have the rooftop chase scene that I may or may not have mentioned recently). Hey, it’s a scary movie. It should have a stereotype or two, right?

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Tall People Reign Supremely Frightening

The Tall Man (2012) was less scary than it was suspenseful, and ended by tugging at my heart strings. Without giving too much away, I can say that this movie is based on the abduction of children, but it isn’t at all what it seems and there is a twist ending fit to be in the catalogue of M. Night Shyamalan. The movie had enough power to make my maternal instincts kick in and ultimately made me salty. Although the lack of jumpy moments was somewhat upsetting, I’d say this was an overall good movie. It wasn’t entirely what I was expecting, but that’s nice sometimes.

First and foremost, I saw that Jessica Biel stars in it (Let me show you a few things, show you a few thiiiings abouuut loooove). Any movie that stars what I might consider to be a D-list actor (although she did kind of nail the role of Mary Camden on 7th Heaven) automatically seems like a good idea.

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The movie left me questioning the morality of the twist ending. It was the same feeling I had after the movie Gone Baby Gone. It was not the most action packed and bordered on the mundane side after the initial shock of what’s happening in this small town (like the first half hour); but again, the ending will leave you with a little something to chew on.

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“Lovely Molly”…More like “Ungodly Folly.”

Lovely Molly (2011) begins with footage from a wedding, where a happy couple celebrates with family and friends. Then it cuts to the couple’s current living arrangement, which happens to be the leading lady’s (Molly’s) dead parents’ old house. 

Just to give you a good idea of the flow of this movie, let me take you through some of my thoughts during it:

 

“Oh wow this movie is jumping right into the action. OH MY GOD SO CREEPY.”

“Oh man I can’t wait to see where this is going. SO. CREEPY.”

“Alright… kinda slowing down a bit. Where is this going?”

“Good lord this is a graphic sex scene.”

“Ok, what the f*ck.”

“Well… I guess I’ve spent an hour and a half of my time in worse ways… No probably not. At least I can blog about it and warn others of the terrors I’ve just witnessed.”

 

The movie started with some genuinely scary material. I was holding my breath with my hands held up to my face, feeling the suspense. Molly and her husband Tim’s lives take a turn for the worse quickly. Molly used to have drug problems, which start to plague her again. And basically the rest of the movie takes you on the journey of her slowly slipping into insanity. There’s obviously something haunting her from her past, which her sister is also well aware of; but Molly’s husband seems out of the loop.

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But nothing ever comes out; nothing is answered; everything is lost in weird metaphors. I realize art/movies don’t always have to answer everything or come right out with the facts. I understand this and I can be perfectly content not being spoon fed plots. But Lovely Molly just leaves you feeling like you chowed down on some bad portobellos for dinner. It doesn’t play the “leaving you in suspense and full of questions” card well. 

So, if you enjoy staring at all your fellow audience members after a movie in complete disbelief and confusion… watch this movie. Now enjoy a couple disturbing images from the movie that will leave you as baffled as I still am.

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“House of Fears”… More like “House of Awesome.”

House of Fears (2007) is a solid “group of friends leave party to engage in additional illegal shenanigans only to meet an untimely demise” type of horror flick.

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The movie takes place in a haunted house, which attracted me to it to begin with. It reminded me of a similar movie I saw probably a decade ago called The Funhouse (1981). The Funhouse was way creepier, I recall, and not just because I was 13 when I saw it. I will have to revisit it and give it a post of its own. I’m also just a big fan of haunted houses in general, so I gave this movie a try.

I’ll start with my only couple of complaints: 1) Jared Padalecki had a 3-second cameo. I got excited thinking he’d be in the whole movie, but no such luck. He was one of Rory Gilmore’s finest of boyfriends, and this movie would’ve been tops if he were in the whole thing. 2) There was a creepy awesome clown on the cover, and there wasn’t as much actual clown action in the movie as I would’ve liked.

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The movie has a nice, smooth flow. It doesn’t dive right into the action, and it sets up the impending doom by laying out some of the characters’ fears (foreboding much?). A fair deal of violence and gore ensues, but nothing on par with Saw or Hostel. Characters get picked off one by one as they make their way through the haunted house. There is no physical, human killer; but rather the teens’ fears (connected to a monkey statue uncovered in Africa at the beginning of the film) take on the killing role.

Who, if anyone, will survive this house of fears!? Well, Jared Padalecki for one…

Watch to find out.

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It has that girl from Pineapple Express in it.

Yes, this girl. 

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Amber Heard

The Ward (2010) started off promising then quickly hit a wall for me. Continuity is important in a movie. You’ve got to stay true to whatever era your movie takes place in. That’s why there are costume and makeup artists, and people who study the small details like dialects, etc.

Getting a movie that takes place in the 1960s right should not be that hard. It wasn’t that long ago. Hell, John Carpenter directed it and he was born over a decade prior. Yet the leading lady comes onto screen looking like Kesha, rocking the name “Kristen.”

According to socialsecurity.gov’s “Top Names of the 1960s,” the name “Kristen” was ranked the 193rd most popular female name of the 1960s. I’ll give the movie that–it actually made it onto the top 200 list of popular names. I wasn’t there in the 60s so I wanted to look into that. “Kristen” didn’t seem like a very popular name for that time, but I’m being a little nitpicky with that one perhaps. More importantly, Heard’s Kesha-esque hairstyle definitely does not fit that era. She eventually gets a hairstyle/wardrobe that actually works for the 1960s, but starting the movie like that made me feel like I was watching a movie from 2013. I want to be taken away to the exact place the movie intends for me to go–a 1960s psych ward. After the movie ends, I want to feel like I had just time traveled.

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ImageHair and makeup rant aside, the movie eventually incorporates an evil creature that conducts the killings and it’s all downhill from there. All promise the movie had=lost. When you bring in a computer animated creature, or even just someone in costume/makeup, it’s got to be done right. Creepy little girl form The Ring? Nailed it. You know that movie gave you nightmares. The Ward’s ghost looks like a villain from Scooby-Doo.

And she would have gotten away with those killings if it weren’t for that pesky Kesha wannabe…

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There is a fine line between shitty scary movie and not-so-bad scary movie.

So these next two movies actually weren’t too shabby. But like the title of this post says, there is a fine line between… ^^aw heck, just re-read the title.^^

Session 9 (2001) and The Pact (2012) are two movies that actually are a step above my standard shitty scary movie. They weren’t good because they were so bad; they were actually just kinda good. I did think The Pact was the better of the two.

Session 9 would be the movie about asbestos removers that I referenced in the last post. It takes place in an abandoned mental institution (yes another one). I don’t know what it is about abandoned mental institutions that I love so much, but they are the coolest. The movie was filmed at Danvers State Insane Asylum.

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This movie was a bit of a thinker. The setting was great. There were creepy sights, creepy sounds, creepy errthang. This crew of guys goes into the abandoned asylum, claiming to be able to rid it of asbestos in just a week. Of course their progress is hindered when the haunts of the old asylum get into all of their heads. It wasn’t terrifying by any means. There weren’t any “jumpy” moments or anything like that. It was more along the lines of a mindf*ck… but maybe more like a mind-heavy-petting.

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You know when you’re watching a movie, and you can just tell it was cheaply made and is going to be terrible? This did not have that going on for it, and it definitely kept me interested.

The Pact is the type of movie that has you holding your breath almost the entire time, just waiting for something creepy to pop out. It does a good job of building up the creepy moments–not with that stereotypical music that says “something terrible is about to come onto screen,” but rather with silence (which makes it so much freakier).

Another thing worth mentioning about both this movie and Session 9 is that they were filmed in third person (yay!!).

The Pact has the types of scenes in it that, if you watched when you were a kid, would make you want to pull the covers up over your head when you go to bed. So although it didn’t affect me quite the same way as an adult, my point is it was really freakin’ creepy!

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This movie also made me realize that scary figures are *always* tall and skinny. And it got me thinking that there needs to be a shake-up in the scary movie world. Let’s get some ghosts/creepy night wanderers with beer bellies. When the camera slowly scans a room and a tall, unusually skinny figure with a concave chest comes onto screen, it is terrifying. Would there be a similar effect with a stout individual? I don’t know, but I’d like to see it happen.

Concluding, this movie had all things creepy going for it; and the plot was good (which is just the cherry on top of the sundae, because that’s usually the least of my concerns when it comes to scary movies). The title didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me after seeing the movie, but it doesn’t all have to make sense.

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“I’m telling you right now… This movie is going to be shot in first person.”

If I wanted to watch a movie made completely from a first-person view, with shaky footage that makes me nauseous, I’d just watch the original shaky-ass film: The Blair Witch Project.

Netflix is full of great scary movies; but I often find that the synopses all sound pretty similar.

  • “Group of pals go to haunted mental institution. Ghosts haunt them.”
  • “Guy’s wife dies. Ghosts haunt apartment.”
  • “Girl goes back to childhood home. Ghosts haunt her.”
  • “Guy promises to clean asbestos out of mental institution in one week. Until ghosts haunt crew and delay work.”

I mean there’s only so much you can say without giving too much away. I understand.

Greystone Park (2012) and Apartment 143 (2011) are a couple of movies that embraced that first-person filming. I’m sorry, but I HATE this way of filming movies. I get it… but I hate it. I don’t want to watch a movie this is shot by someone who does not have a steady hand (and they never do). I especially dont want to watch a movie through mounted cameras that don’t move at all. Paranormal Activity made this really popular, and everyone and their brother has since jumped on the train.

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Apartment 143 was your standard “my apartment is being haunted; someone in my family recently died; and I need a professional crew of ghost hunters to come film shit and solve the mystery” type of movie. The most hilarious thing about this movie is that the scariest scene is literally the last 2 seconds of the film. I mostly just made jokes about the movie throughout, and tried to decide in my head whether the leading fella was attractive or not (kinda looks like the poor man’s Andrew “Clutterbuck” Lincoln). And then the last 2 seconds just left me sitting still in fear.

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Greystone Park was directed by Sean Stone, son of American director Oliver Stone. Oliver Stone directed classics such as PlatoonNatural Born Killers, and Wall Street. You know what Sean didn’t inherit from his father? Directing abilities.

I just want a scary movie to be unique and surprise me. I rave about Insidious because, to me, it was unique. Greystone Park is all about a group of friends going to a haunted mental institution. Do they have an end game? No, not really. Unless you call running around a mental institution trying not to get arrested an “end game.” Oliver Stone was a cameo in the movie. That was cool. The rest of the acting was awful.

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I must say, a big old psychiatric hospital is visually appealing.

I should also probably mention that I’m not entirely sure where the movie ultimately went because I fell asleep. That fact alone says it all.

I checked out Sean Stone on IMDB. I don’t want to just tool on the kid. He’s 28 and following his dreams, and that’s a great thing. But I have a feeling he gets gigs because of his dad, and not because he’s at the top of his game. That’s just a feeling, and I should check out the rest of his stuff before I say much more. But his dad straight up threw Sean in his movies when he was a baby.

I’m keeping my eyes on you, Sean…

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The Incubus (1982). Just. See. It.

Paraphrased: “Her uterus was ruptured… There were ungodly amounts of semen near the crime scene… So much semen! SEMEN EVERYWHERE! This couldn’t have been the work of one man!”

Later on… “No, this HAS to have been the work of one man.”

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Now picture John Cassavetes saying that over and over again (for that’s all that happens in the movie), with a puzzled look on his face (but nowhere near as puzzled and disturbed of a look as it should be).

This is ALL you need to hear about The Incubus. This is not a cop out. I already told you it was made in the early 80s… what more could you need beyond the information provided?! Just see it. I’m not sure what John Cassavetes’ deal is with starring in movies about devil rape, but he owns it.

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OK fine, one more thing worth mentioning–“older” flicks like this were great for terrible costumes. Every monster just looks like a guy in a painted Green Man suit. You can see terrible costumes like this in Gargoyles (1972). Best believe that movie will be a future post.

My mom will not appreciate this post, but I get my sarcasm from her side of the family.

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