FRIDAY THE 13TH… THE ORIGINAL MOVIE. 1980. DIRECTED BY SEAN S. CUNNINGHAM. STARRING BETSY PALMER, ADRIENNE KING AND KEVIN BACON. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©
On Friday the 13th of March, 2015, I had the great pleasure of watching this film on the big screen at Dublin’s Lighthouse Cinema in Smithfield to commemorate its 35th anniversary. The film’s anniversary, that is, not the cinema’s. Snigger.
I also had the (possibly even greater!) pleasure of being the recipient of some brilliant film-related merchandise because I correctly answered the question: ‘Who is Jason Voorhees’s mother?’ in an online competition. My initial impulse was to type in ‘Mrs. Voorhees,’ but I pretty quickly gathered my thoughts and typed in the correct answer which is, of course, ‘Pamela Voorhees.’
So, what did I eventually walk home clutching in my hot little hands…? Well, not to make you guys jealous or anything, but I won the blu-ray of FRIDAY THE 13TH, I won a FRIDAY THE 13TH comic from New Line Cinema’s HOUSE OF HORROR and, best of all, I won a big box containing a fantastic collectible Mrs. Voorhees, complete with darling little miniature axe and knife, which I’ll treasure forever. She sat happily on the seat next to me while I watched the film and lost myself in the plot.
So, have we all heard of Camp Crystal Lake, the summer camp with the dodgy reputation? The camp in which a boy named Jason was tragically drowned back in 1957 and in which a couple of camp counsellors were stabbed to death a year later? We have? Great. Saves me explaining.
And do we all know that, every attempt to re-open the Camp Of Doom having met with disaster, the owners try again in 1980 with a whole new bunch of fresh-faced, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed young people all ready to don the mantle (shorts and T-shirt, to be specific) of the Crystal Lake camp counsellors…?
We do? Brilliant. Now that we’re all on the same page, I can tell you that the whole audience laughed their butts off at the sight of Kevin Bacon’s pointy little package in his teensy-weensy swimming knickers.
They also sniggered at the utter moronic stupidity of the counsellors, who seem to go out of their way to make it easy for the murderer to pick them off one by one. Oh yes, did I forget to mention that it’s Friday the 13th in the film and that a crazy axe-and-knife-wielding maniac is cutting a bloodstained swathe through the bright ‘n’ bubbly staff of Crystal Lake, probably to prevent the camp from re-opening its doors but also to teach some irresponsible horny teens a darned good lesson…? Ooopsies. My bad.
The atmosphere of the film is just perfect the whole way through. On the night of Friday the 13th, it’s pitch-black and it’s bucketing down rain outside and yet the counsellors are all like:
‘Oh, a suspicious bloodcurdling scream coming from outside? I’ll just nip outside on my own in the dark and the rain to investigate, without a weapon, wearing little more than panties and a top that showcases my perky nipples to perfection…’ Well, I can’t see anything going wrong with that plan, can you…? Jeez Louise. Those dopey teens are easier to kill than fish in a barrel.
A word about Mrs. Voorhees. She is invincible. (Well, nearly.) She is a powerhouse of a mom, and a fine figure of a woman to boot, in her cosy cable-knit sweater and serviceable jeans and boots. She is the kind of mom you’d want in your corner when the really bad sh*t is going down. You didn’t get the college you wanted? Never mind. Mommy will have a word with the dean for you and you’ll be chugging-a-lug with the rest of the jocks before you know it.
What, you ran over a pedestrian while on a drunken rampage with the aforementioned jocks? You just give Mommy your bloodstained clothes and go right to bed, honey. Mommy will sort everything out. Mommy will fix everything. She’s a kick-ass mom in a million and, if she didn’t scare me so much, I might even wish that she was my Mommy. I was actually kind of annoyed that the audience cheered their asses off when she… Well, I can’t spoil the ending for you. That would be wrong, very, very wrong.
Friday the 13th of March, 2015, was a night to remember for the rest of my life. It would probably be the same for any true horror fan. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.
AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.
Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based performance poet, novelist, film blogger, sex blogger and short story writer. She has given more than 200 performances of her comedy sex-and-relationship poems in different venues around Dublin, including The Irish Writers’ Centre, The International Bar, Toners’ Pub (Ireland’s Most Literary Pub), the Ha’penny Inn, Le Dernier Paradis at the Trinity Inn and The Strokestown Poetry Festival.
Her articles, short stories and poems have appeared in The Metro-Herald newspaper, Ireland’s Big Issues magazine, The Irish Daily Star, The Irish Daily Sun and The Boyne Berries literary journal. In August 2014, she won the ONE LOVELY BLOG award for her (lovely!) horror film review blog. She is addicted to buying books and has been known to bring home rain-washed tomes she finds on the street and give them a home.
She is the proud possessor of a pair of unfeasibly large bosoms. They have given her- and the people around her- infinite pleasure over the years. She adores the horror genre in all its forms and will swap you anything you like for Hammer Horror or JAWS memorabilia. She would also be a great person to chat to about the differences between the Director’s Cut and the Theatrical Cut of The Wicker Man. You can contact her at: