Betsy Palmer who played Mrs. Vorhees called it a ‘piece of shit’.
Writer Victor Miller admitted he was capitalizing from the success of Halloween…
Jason Vorhees barely appears and isn’t the killer…
So how the hell did this movie spawn 11 sequels and one of the most well known killers in horror history? It is actually quite difficult to say. ‘Kevin Bacon’ definitely isn’t the answer, though his massive hair cut is a welcome addition to any film.
Friday 13th attempts to take the most successful aspects of Halloween such as the famous POV opening and merge that with the insular insanity of Evil Dead. What transpires is a film nowhere near as good as either but a franchise more successful than both. Horror fans love mythology which explains the success of Halloween, Hellraiser, Child’s Play, Nightmare on Elm Street etc etc. The odd thing with Friday 13th is that Jason was never meant to stumble out of Camp Crystal Lake and into a sequel – the mythology was born by accident.
None of the Friday 13th films were particularly critically acclaimed either but there is no doubting the continued popularity of the Vorhees story. As for the film itself its badly acted, predictable, almost laughable in places but for all its faults ***SPOILER*** Mrs. Vorhees makes for a memorable and creepy killer, the score is brilliant (Especially the famous ki ki ki ma ma ma sound effects) and there is just something about Friday 13th that screams ‘cult classic’ which sets it apart from some of the other dross around this period (Black Christmas, Prom Night).
Not as good as the sum of it’s parts, nowhere near as good as it’s peers (The Shining came out in the same year) and not even the best film in it’s own franchise but against all the odds Friday 13th is a film I always enjoy watching. An unlikely and baffling success story.