Captain Spaulding on Skull Island

Friday the 13th Movies

March 15th, 2015

I used to watch the FRIDAY THE 13TH movies as a young person.  The 1980’s were my formative years.  I’m a fan of horror movies.  I had a subscription to Fangoria magazine.  They should’ve been right up my alley.

The first one was on heavy HBO rotation when Scott Grogan and I would stay up late on the weekends, playing Atari and watching movies that had the potential for female nudity.

The second one was a bit out of reach.  It came out when I was only 13 and there wasn’t much chance of seeing it, but the pictures of a guy getting a machete across the face made it a sort of holy grail.  Luckily, I caught it playing in a video store in Laurel, Maryland while we were on our family vacation.  I sat on the floor of the establishment and watched the whole thing.

My Dad took me to see the third one in the theater.  It was in 3-D (3-D that didn’t work).

I could go on.  Part 8 with Mark and Fred.  Part 9 in Bloomington, Indiana.  Blah, Blah, Blah.

Here’s the thing…  I always thought these movies were AWFUL!  Even at 12 years old, I didn’t understand why people loved theses hunks of crap.  The special effects were cool, but that was about it.

But there’s one exception…

Last night I watched FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 6: JASON LIVES from 1986.  This was the first time I’d seen it.

It was terrific!  Interesting camera angles.  Good music (although it does rip off the theme from THE SHINING).  Songs by a Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall-of-Fame legend.  Clever references to better films (particularly FRANKENSTEIN).  Humor.  A teeny-tiny bit of suspense (which is more than any of the others had).

In case you’re now considering running out and watching this celluloid delicacy, let me be clear – JASON LIVES is CITIZEN KANE compared to the other FRIDAY THE 13TH movies.  However, compared to an actually good film, JASON LIVES is, well, a FRIDAY THE 13TH movie.

Now that I’ve seen all 10 movies in the original Jason Voorhees oeuvre, I can proudly say – these movies are horrendous, stupid, boring bundles of garbage – except for one of the ones in the middle.

I believe we all owe a bit of thanks to Alice Cooper.

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