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.
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)
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!
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?
* 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:
* 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.
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.
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:
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!