Sean S. Cunningham
Betsey Palmer as Mrs. Pamela Voorhees
Adrienne King as Alice Hardy
Kevin Bacon as Jack Burrell
Peter Brouwer as Steve Christy
Friday the 13th starts out with a lesson in how the rest of the film is going to be. The year is 1958 and two camp counselors at Camp Crystal Lake decide to get a little hot and heavy in an attic loft. Before they can get good and started though, they are met by someone off screen that attacks and kills them both.
Fast forward to 1979 and we find a young lady hitch hiking to Camp Crystal Lake. She is going to work there as a cook during the camp season. After several years of non-activity, Steve Christy (Peter Brouwer) has decided to reopen the camp. The problem is that a lot of people in the community would just as soon not see the camp reopened. They did not nickname it Camp Blood for nothing and the memories from 1958 are still fresh in the minds of the townspeople.
Undeterred though, Steve and his company of counselors decide to get the camp ready to be opened and thus reawaken a nightmare that had gone dormant.
I will not bore you with a total synopsis of Friday the 13th. You can get that on a large collection of sites out there in the abyss known as the World Wide Web. But you, the Discerning Horror Freak, expect more!
You are reading a review about one of the most pivotal films to hit the horror world. Sean S. Cunningham (director), with help from John Carpenter’s Halloween, set the foundation for a completely new sub-genre of horror. Friday the 13th helped to set the rules and define the boundaries of the slasher film.
Cunningham demonstrated the fact that setting the right tone in a horror film is just as, if not more, important than how many ways you can kill someone (although that is an important factor). He was able to make the audience feel as if they were the one’s being stalked.
Friday the 13th was also a landmark film for Tom Savini (special F/X). He further proved his uncanny ability to get the most effect out of the least financial backing. Savini will go down in history as one of the greats in special effects – and Friday the 13th helped him prove his mastery of the art.
Friday the 13th should be found in any horror fans library. If it is not, I would question their honesty and faithfulness to the genre. You must have respect for this film. It can’t go on just any shelf with just any horror film. Could you imagine Friday the 13th stuck between Valentine and Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season One? No! No! A thousand times no! Friday the 13th belongs on a separate shelf surrounded by other classics in the genre. Am I obsessed? Others may think so, but I like to call it being particular. If you are new to the genre, this is a must have – and if you are not and you do not have a copy of it then all I can say is “Shame on you”.
By The Zombie Master, Lee Roberts