Friday the 13th (1980)

I’m doing the grindhouse/exploitation challenge at ICheckMovies this month, hence why there’s been some dodgy stuff on the blog in the last few days, and, well, this is hardly going to up the respectability quotient any, is it (mind you, it was appropriate viewing given that it actually was Friday the 13th today, and also the 13th film I’ve watched this month). It’s bloody-minded stuff, this, not just in terms of its content but in its very origins as an admitted knock-off of Halloween to try to recoup losses made on a couple of other films. Little did Sean Cunningham expect that his half-million dollar budget would return something like $40m at the box office, thanks to Paramount buying it and making a huge release of it… It’s the embodiment of what Ric Meyers calls the “murder movie”, and though it’s been too many years since I read For One Week Only (I should look for the recent reprint) I do recall him saying something about people being appalled at the time about Paramount having made so much money thanks to this… thing, and if Meyers is right about these films existing only to show people getting killed in as many ways as possible, then Friday seems determined to live up to that negative stereotype; it really is just about a bunch of not terribly interesting people getting killed for reasons unexplained until quite near the end (although I’ve seen it accused of knocking off Twitch of the Death Nerve, Bava’s film did have more of an actual plot). And it’s boring. Cunningham in the DVD commentary says something about how only a few seconds of gore needed to be trimmed for the film’s TV showings, which is interesting cos it points up how comparatively mild most of the film’s violence is; that joke about it in The Simpsons actually wasn’t far off. I’ll concede its rather dubious place in history, having firmly established the slasher as part of the horror genre and all that, but I feel more than a little sad that such a mediocre film should’ve been so influential…


One thought on “Friday the 13th (1980)

  1. Jaskee July 30, 2012 at 4:27 am

    Friday the 13th wasn’t the best of the movies from this series, but it was highly influential as you point out.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s