Friday, April 6, 2012

F is for Friday the 13th

***********Just for the sake of clarity - the theme for my A to Z postings is gaming in the 1980's with my friends.*************

Friday the 13th
Yeah, I know what you're thinking at this point - I thought this guy was using gaming in the 1980's with his friends as the theme of all of his posts?  Yes, you are correct and I assure you that the series of Friday the 13th movies DO fit into the stated theme for my posts.  You see, my gaming group from the old days did not start out as my gaming group.  All of us were friends for various lengths of time before we started role-playing together.  In other words, we didn't just game together but did all sorts of other things in our free time.  Some of the posts for this challenge will reflect that fact.  This happens to be one of them.
One of our favorite activites was watching movies - especially horror movies - on the weekends.  Most of the horror movies we saw at the beginning of the 80's were just the kind of movies that would make you jump at certain points.  There might be some vague hints at gore and violence but the main point was to make the audience jump.  After viewing tons of these movies, you kind of get used to the jump scenes and can almost pinpoint the hints leading to those moments in the films.  Our whole experience with these films would change when we discovered the slasher films that exploded into popularity in the 80's.

I could not give you the exact date or even an approximate year for the start of the slasher films.  What I can tell you is that after a few of these series took off with tremendous popularity, there were many other slasher films of varying quality released to the viewing public.  As with most everything available for public consumption, the cream rises to the top.  The top tier of the slasher films consisted of movies like Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, and Friday the 13th. 

The members of the gaming group had varying tastes when it came to these movies so there was no consensus about the best series in the genre.  All it took was one viewing of Friday the 13th for me to have my favorite.  I remember hearing about the legend of Jason in the movie and believing that he was doing all of the killing.  Instead, I was surprised to discover that his mother had been slowly getting her revenge throughout the movie.  I was even more surprised when Jason came out of the water at the end of the movie.  I remember that scene giving me creeps late at night and there was a few times where I turned on a lamp so it would not be dark.  I may have been just a tad young to be watching these movies but the "forbidden fruit" aspect was part of the fun.

There have been many sequels to the original film in the following years.  They all end pretty much the same way - Jason is vanquished and there is doubt as to whether he is truly dead or not.  Eventually, there is another sequel released that has Jason revived yet again to wreak havoc on pot smoking, beer drinking, and teenagers having sex out of wedlock.  The films are not "deep" or anything but I find them entertaining; maybe a guilty pleasure even.  With all of the times I have watched these and other horror movies I have never played any horror rpg's.  There's something to that but I don't know what... 



  1. I dimly remember the dawn of slasher movies and the huge fuss made about them. Nightmare on Elm Street got pages and pages of eulogistic reviews for one.

    Interesting how gaming groups evolve. Ours emerged from the local Operatic Society.

    1. It is interesting to see how gaming groups come together and change over time. Coming from the local Operatic Society does sound like an interesting start.

  2. That's one type of movie I never got into. Just didn't appeal to me... however the small gaming group I was a part of first formed from a group who loved getting together during younger years, waving sticks at each other in the place of light sabers and/or swords. So, I guess you could say we went from live action roleplaying to the table top version.

    That group scattered/died/moved not long after I finished high school. And I'm now 4000 miles from where that group was.

    Still, tonight we'll be going over the core rule book, after the youngest is in bed, and watching the Immortals at some point during the entire last set of checks.

    1. That is entirely understandable. I remember our light saber duels from my youth also. I had a ton of Star Wars and GI Joe figures that were lost to the sandbox, blown up by firecrackers, or just generally misplaced.

      I think I'm going to get a new session with at least some of the old group sometime soon.

      The Immortals looks great!

  3. What, no spoiler warning??

    Nice post, Charlie.

    Friday the 13th (along with all of the early American slashers) was greatly influenced by Bob Clark's 'Black Christmas' in 1974 - which, in turn, was inspired by the Italian Giallo flicks.

    Anyway, I remember going to a drive-in to see Friday the 13th when it was first released. I was 10 and my older cousin (and his friends) thought it would be funny. The only part that got me was the ending. When Jason shot out of the water, I've never heard so many teenaged boys scream like women.


    What did you think of the remake?

    1. Uhhhh....oops! I figured that Friday the 13th and Jason were such a part of pop culture that no spoiler tag was necessary ;-).

      I need to see Black Christmas and some of the Italian Giallo films because I am a huge fan of horror films. I need to get a little better versed in some of the influences of slasher genre.

      YES! The ending is what did it for me. That hooked (and scared) me at that young age and made a lasting impression. That's why I have been a fan ever since.

      I think there's a lot to like about the remake - the way that several of the original movies were combined in one story, the opening scenes that condense the first movie into the origin story, "survivalist" Jason, and the kills. I do get the impression that Jason might have been a little too smart in some parts of the film but I haven't watched it in a while; but I do own it on DVD. There seems to be a lot of hate towards the remake by some cirlces of fans but I think it fits nicely into the spirit and feel of the originals.

      Do you have any thoughts you would like to share about the remake?

  4. I wanted to do Friday the 13th as well, but I am going to save as a "regular" post for next week.

    great post.


    1. Thanks! I look forward to reading your post about Friday the 13th. Oh hell, I just realized that next Friday IS Friday the 13th! LOL

  5. Slasher films make me a little fidgety. I watched Alien with my kids last night. I though it would we a little lame to watch it now, but it was still awesome - the full grown alien was a little silly with the human body toward the end, but they did a great job.

    1. The good ones were always a rush when I was growing up!

      Alien is a classic but I do agree with your assessment. Have you seen the previews for Prometheus? It's somewhat of an Alien prequel...

  6. When that first came out, I wasn't allowed to watch it.
    Now it really isn't my kind of movie. My daughter loves all that stuff though.
    Visiting from the A-Z callenge.

    1. It's definitely an acquired

      I didn't even catch "callenge" until you corrected it. :)

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  8. Ack! My first comment had a major typo. I tried to delete the comment but I can still see it there!

    Anyway, I've always thought the original movie was the best.

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    1. The original is pretty dang awesome! I still love watching it and do every chance I get.

      (Somehow, your second comment wind up in the spam filter; I rescued it today and responded.)

      BTW, your blogs/site are great. :)