Best Friday The 13th Movies To Watch: Jason Voorhees (Kane Hodder), the iconic masked mass murderer of horny teenagers and dope-smoking camp counselors in the broader Crystal Lake area, is notably absent from the best and most telling sequence of the Friday the 13th series.
Not coincidentally, it occurs in The Final Chapter, the franchise’s best-directed and innovative volume, which comes up against the deliriously enjoyable sixth installment, Jason Lives!
Tommy Jarvis, originally played by Corey Feldman, sneaks a peek at a couple of the aforementioned randy teens undressing in a neighboring house not long into The Final Chapter and begins to giddily bounce, gesticulate, and roll around on his bed.
Which unable to communicate the wild feelings that are beginning to bubble up in him, given that puberty is only an awkward gym-class boner away.
Sean S. Cunningham began the series as competent and sober, only to become increasingly inebriated with camp and sensual delights before collapsing into a heap of cheap, clichéd narrative tricks or gruesome gore.
I decided to look at what has made the Friday the 13th films so popular, and what has made them the target of innumerable parodies and cinephilic scorn.
Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter is a 1984 American slasher film directed by Joseph Zito and starring Kimberly Beck, Corey Feldman, Crispin Glover, and Peter Barton. Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter is the fourth installment in the Friday the 13th franchise.
Following a presumed-dead Jason Voorhees who escapes from the morgue and returns to Crystal Lake to continue his murdering spree, the plot picks up immediately after the events of Part III.
Tommy Jarvis (Feldman) makes his first appearance in the film and goes on to feature in two sequels and related media, cementing himself as Jason’s archenemy.
The picture was supposed to come out in October, but it was put back until April 13, 1984. With approximately 9,815,700 tickets sold, the picture grossed $33 million in the United States on a $2.6 million budget, making it the fourth most attended in the Friday the 13th series.
Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI is a 1986 American horror film written and directed by Tom McLoughlin and starring Thom Mathews, Jennifer Cooke, David Kagen, and C.J. Graham.
It is the sixth film in the Friday the 13th franchise and the final one to star Matthews as Tommy Jarvis.
Following on from Friday the 13th: A New Beginning, the plot follows Tommy after he mistakenly resurrects mass murderer Jason Voorhees (Graham) while attempting to destroy his body so he won’t return.
While Jason returns to Crystal Lake for another killing spree, Tommy must overcome his fear of the masked killer who has plagued him for years and find a way to finally stop him.
In addition to earning favorable reviews from horror film historians, Jason Lives is considered a fan favorite of the series. On a $3 million budget, it generated $19.4 million in the United States. The sequel, Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood, was released in 1988.
Friday the 13th Part III, directed by Steve Miner and produced by Frank Mancuso Jr., is a 1982 American slasher film starring Dana Kimmell, Paul Kratka, and Richard Brooker. The film is the third episode in the Friday the 13th series.
The plot follows a young girl (Kimmell) and her companions on a camping vacation near Crystal Lake, where a wounded Jason Voorhees (Brooker) had taken refuge until resurfacing for another killing rampage.
Jason’s characteristic hockey mask makes its first appearance in the film and has since become a trademark of the character and the franchise, as well as an icon in American cinema and the horror genre in general.
The picture was released in theatres on August 13, 1982, generating $36.7 million in the United States on a $2.2 million budget, and garnered mixed reviews from critics.
It was the first picture to dethrone E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial from the top spot at the box office, and it surpassed Poltergeist to become the second highest-grossing horror film of 1982.
With about 11,762,400 tickets sold, it is the third-highest attendance of the Friday the 13th franchise.
One of the first films in the slasher genre, and surprisingly, it’s still a fun watch. The imagery is never more than decent, but under these circumstances, that nearly works in its favor.
The graininess of the film stock, as well as the cheapness of the set design, serve as excellent surrounds for this first murder spree, with Mother Voorhees hacking up a bunch of counselors and cleaning up the ol’ Camp Crystal Lake, similar to the NYC slasher classic Maniac.
There’s also a strong sense of foreboding, which begins with the murder of a young woman in broad daylight after taking a ride from a stranger.
And Betsy Palmer’s final appearance adds just the proper amount of gonzo, overtly theatrical lunacy to round off this filthy delight.
Friday the 13th was a great box office triumph when it was released on May 9, 1980, grossing $59.8 million worldwide. The critical reception was mixed, with some applauding the film’s photography, score, and performances while others slammed it for its graphic violent depiction.
Aside from being the first independent film of its kind to be distributed by a major studio in the United States, the film’s box office success spawned a slew of sequels, a crossover with the A Nightmare on Elm Street film series, and a reboot in 2009.
A year later, Friday the 13th Part 2 was published as a direct sequel.
Friday the 13th Part 2 is a 1981 American slasher film written by Ron Kurz and produced and directed by Steve Miner on his directorial debut. It’s the sequel to the 1980’s Friday the 13th and the franchise’s second entry.
Adrienne King, Betsy Palmer, and Walt Gorney reprise their roles as Alice Hardy, Pamela Voorhees, and Crazy Ralph, respectively, from the original film. Amy Steel and John Furey also appear in the film.
Part 2 picks up five years after the previous film, with a mysterious stalker assassinating a bunch of camp counselors at a training camp near Crystal Lake. Jason Voorhees makes his first appearance as the series’ major adversary in this film.
Friday the 13th Part 2 received mostly unfavorable reviews and performed less well monetarily than the previous film, generating $21.7 million in the United States on a $1.25 million budget. A year later, Friday the 13th Part III was released as a direct sequel.