- "Did you know a young boy drowned the year before those two others were killed? The counselors weren't paying any attention... they were making love while that young boy drowned! His name was Jason."
- ―Mrs. Voorhees
|Friday the 13th|
|Title:||Friday the 13th|
|Directed by:||Sean S. Cunningham|
|Written by:||Victor Miller|
|Produced by:||Alvin Geiler|
|Music by:||Harry Manfredini|
|Edited by:||Bill Freda|
|Distributed by:||Paramount Pictures; Georgetown Productions, Inc.; Sean S. Cunningham Films|
|Released:||May 9th, 1980|
|Running time:||95 min.|
|Next:||Friday the 13th Part 2|
Friday the 13th is an American horror film of the slasher sub-genre directed by Sean S. Cunningham and produced by Steve Miner. It is the first in a series that spans more than ten sequels and is arguably one of the most influential modern horror films of all time. Friday the 13th was remade in 2009 by Marcus Nispel, but only includes snapshots of events chronicled in the original movie.
The plot of the movie is loosely inspired by the 1971 Mario Bava film Reazione a catena (known in the US market as Bay of Blood). The story involves a group of young campground conselors who decide to repair and re-open Camp Crystal Lake for the summer. They soon discover that Camp Crystal Lake has a dark and sordid history and the past comes back to haunt them as an unseen figure begins killing off the unsuspecting camp counselors one at a time.
Plot[edit | edit source]
A prowler sneaks about Camp Crystal Lake, stalking through the cabins while the camp counselors sit around the fireplace singing songs. Two of the counselors in attendance, Barry and Claudette, decide to sneak off to another lodge to make love. The prowler comes upon them and the two teenagers attempt to explain themselves. The visitor brandishes a hunting knife and stabs Barry in the stomach. Claudette screams and tries to get away only to meet a similar fate moments later.
A young woman named Annie is hitchhiking across suburban southern New Jersey on her way to Camp Crystal Lake. She stops at a diner to ask directions, but the patrons give her odd stares when she mentions the campground's name. One of the guests, a truck driver named Enos offers Annie a ride to the Crossroads, which takes her at least half way to her destination. As the two leave the building, a crazy old man named Ralph appears and warns Annie that she will never come back again and that the campground suffers from a "death curse". Enos shoos the old man away and they get into the truck. During the drive, Annie tells him that she was hired to start working as a cook at the campground. Enos echoes Crazy Ralph's sentiments and warns Annie that Crystal Lake is jinxed. He drops her off near an old cemetery and Annie begins hiking the rest of the way.
Meanwhile, three young people named Jack Marand, Marcie Cunningham and Ned Rubinstein drive in a truck on their way to the campground. They arrive and meet their new employer Steve Christy. Steve is in the midst of renovating the campground and has hired Jack, Marcie and Ned (as well as several others) to help him out before the season starts. They meet fellow camp counselor Alice Hardy, who is secretly having an affair with Steve Christy, as well as her co-workers Bill and Brenda. Steve leaves the campground in their hands while he drives into town to take care of some business.
Meanwhile, a motorist picks up Annie as she is hitchhiking down the highway. They begin driving towards Camp Crystal Lake and Annie tells the driver about her pending duties cooking for a bunch of kids. As they pass the road leading to the camp, Annie begins to grow nervous. The driver isn't slowing down and is not about to let her out of the vehicle. Annie realizes that she is in danger and leaps from the jeep onto the side of the road. The driver gets out, pursues her into the woods and slits her throat with a knife.
Back at Camp Crystal Lake, the counselors take a break from their chores to go swimming. Ned, a prankster by heart, stages a fake drowning episode and the other counselors dive into the lake to save him. Brenda begins administering CPR and Ned takes this opportunity to begin kissing her. Though angry at first, the others quickly forgive Ned for his practical joke.
Later, Alice Hardy goes to her cabin to clean herself up. She sees a snake slithering beneath her bed and cries out to the others. They rush into the cabin, but they are all frightened by the snake. Bill grabs a machete and manages to cut the animal into pieces with two solid blows.
A police motorcycle officer named Dorf comes to the campground and addresses the staff. He is a stern man and does not appreciate Ned's impish behavior. He tells the group to be on the lookout for a local doomsayer named Ralph who was rumored to be in the area spouting his rhetoric. Dorf then receives a call from his superior and turns his cycle around to leave the camp. When Alice returns to the main cabin, Comanche Lodge, she is frightened when Crazy Ralph emerges from the pantry. He reiterates the same cryptic warning he issues to Annie earlier then leaves on his bicycle. Alice and the others do not know what to make of the strange man.
Towards evening, Ned walks along some rocks near the shore of the lake. He spots somebody entering one of the cabins and goes to investigate. Entering the dark building, he asks "Can I help you?" Moments later, Jack and Marcie walk towards the same cabin. Dark clouds begin rolling in and Jack tells her that it is about to rain. Marcie tells him about a recurring dream she has had wherein she is caught in a rainstorm of blood. As the rain starts pouring down, Jack and Marcie take up shelter inside the cabin. With nothing else to do, the two lie down on a bottom bunk and begin making love. Above them lies the dead body of Ned Rubinstein. Blood is coagulating about a wound across his throat. When Jack and Marcie are done, Marcie leaves to use the public showers to freshen up. Jack leans back in his bed and lights a marijuana joint. He notices splatters of blood dripping down onto his face from above. Before he can react, an arrow comes up from beneath the bunk and pierces his throat. In the shower room, Marcie hears a noise and begins searching about. As she turns around, an axe swings down, burying itself in the middle of her face.
Back at Comanche lodge, Alice, Bill and Brenda entertain themselves while they wait for the rain to abate. Brenda recommends playing a game of "Strip Monopoly". Alice and Bill are nervous about the idea, but they begin to relax with the help of a few beers and some marijuana joints. As the evening wears on, Brenda remembers that she left the windows open in her cabin. The three decide to put away the game and Brenda runs through the rain back to her cabin.
Meanwhile, Steve Christy is at the Blairstown Diner where he is just finishing up a meal. After flirting with the waitress for a bit, he leaves, but his vehicle breaks down on the side of the road. A police car driven by a man named Sergeant Tierney picks him and offers him a ride back to the campground.
Back at Camp Crystal Lake, Brenda brushes her teeth and settles down into bed with a book. While reading, she hears the plaintive cry of what sounds like a young boy calling for help. She puts on a robe and goes outside in search of the mysterious voice. As she wanders near the archery range, the floodlights suddenly turn on, blinding her.
Alice notices the lights turning on and off out by the archery range. Bill and she leave the lodge to investigate. They go into Brenda's cabin and find a bloody axe in her bed, but no sign of Brenda. Moreover, they can find no signs of Jack, Ned or Marcie. They try to make a telephone call but the lines are down. Following this, they try to leave the camp in Ned's truck, only to discover that it won't start. They realize that something is terribly wrong.
Elsewhere, Sergeant Tierney drops Steve off at the entrance to the campground. Steve begins walking up the trail when he sees somebody that he recognizes. He smiles and greets the person only to receive a knife to the chest.
Bill brings Alice back to the main cabin. He encourages her to try and rest while he goes to the generator shed to try and get the power started. Alice naps for a short while, but when she awakens, she finds that Bill has yet to return. She goes down to the generator shed to see what is taking him so long and finds Bill's body pinned to the door with arrows. Screaming in terror, she races back to the Comanche lodge and barricades the door. Moments later, the tied up and bloodied body of Brenda is thrown through the window.
Alice notices the headlights of a jeep coming up the trail towards the cabin. She takes down her barricade and runs outside. A woman steps out of the jeep and introduces herself as Mrs. Voorhees, an old friend of the Christys. Alice tells her that everyone at the camp has been murdered, but Voorhees tries to calm her down, insisting that she will protect her. They go inside the cabin and the older woman is taken aback by the sight of Brenda's body. She tells Alice that Steve Christy should have never tried to re-open Camp Crystal Lake. She tells her that a young boy drowned in the lake back in 1956. The counselor's charged with watching over him were off making love when they should have been keeping an eye on the lake. She reveals that the boy's name was Jason and that he was her son. Confusing Alice with the counselors who allowed her child to die, she begins to scream, "Look what you did to him!" Alice now realizes that it is Mrs. Voorhees who has been murdering people at the camp.
The woman lunges after Alice with a knife, but Alice deflects the attack, striking Mrs. Voorhees with a fire poker. She then runs outside to the jeep where she finds the body of Annie sitting in the passenger side. Turning back, she then finds Steve's body suspended upside down from a tree branch. Alice runs back to the generator shed and arms herself with a rifle. Mrs. Voorhees barges in and disarms her before she gets the chance to fire off a shot. The madwoman begins speaking in the voice of her dead son saying, "Kill her, mommy... kill her!" Alice pushes Mrs. Voorhees backwards onto a pile of mattresses and runs from the shed back to the main cabin where she hides inside the pantry. The old woman follows her and breaks down the door to the pantry with Bill's machete. Alice hits Voorhees with a frying pan then runs from the lodge towards the lake. Mrs. Voorhees follows her and the two have their final battle. Alice manages to force Voorhees to drop the machete whereupon she picks it up and decapitates the crazed woman.
With the danger final over, Alice gets into a canoe and paddles out into the middle of the lake. She has a nightmare where the malformed body of Jason Voorhees rises out of the lake to attack her. When she awakens, she finds herself in a hospital bed. Sergeant Tierney is there to take her statement and Alice asks about the boy in the lake. Tierney has no idea what she is talking about and tells her, "Ma'am, we didn't find any boy". Alice's voice trails off as she says, "Then he's still there".
Cast[edit | edit source]
Production[edit | edit source]
The genesis of Friday the 13th actually began with its title, though the seeds that eventually gave birth to the super-successful franchise actually began a decade earlier. Producer Sean S. Cunningham had already established a substantial foothold into the horror genre with the 1972 thriller The Last House on the Left, but it was his connection to theatre chain owners Stephen Minasian and Philip Scuderi that paved the way for his critical success with Friday the 13th. In addition to the Esquire Theaters chain, Minasian and Scuderi established a film distribution firm known as the Hallmark Releasing Corporation, which managed to put obscure low-budget films such as Tombs of the Blind Dead, Mark of the Devil and Twitch of the Death Nerve into the public eye. Mario Bava's Twitch of the Death Nerve, known in some markets as Bay of Blood proved to have an influential impact on Cunningham's work with Friday the 13th. 
The Last House on the Left pigeonholed Cunningham into the horror genre, and though he tried to branch out into more family-friendly films, his work on projects such Manny's Orphans and Here Come the Tigers proved to be box-office bombs. Desperate for a commercial hit, Cunningham realized that there was a fresh market for suspenseful psycho-thrillers when an independent film by a director named John Carpenter became an overnight blockbuster. The film was Halloween.
In the wake of Halloween 's success, Cunningham began putting together ideas for a film entitled Long Night at Camp Blood. He later ditched the title concept when he discovered that nobody had laid a claim to the title Friday the 13th. Working with only the bare bones of a concept, Cunningham took out a full page ad in Variety magazine with the pronouncement "From the producer of Last House on the Left comes the most terrifying film ever made". It was his hope that the ad would hook investors, but he knew that he would need a strong script to make it work. 
Cunningham hired Victor Miller, who had worked with him on Manny's Orphans to write the script. Miller had very strong ideas about how Friday the 13th should be laid out. He wanted a group of teenagers placed into an environment where they would be completely isolated from the world with no adult influences or any sense of protection.  Miller drafted a script and presented it to Stephen Minasian and Philip Scuderi. Scuderi hated the script and felt that it was too tepid so he hired his own writer Ron Kurz to buff up Miller's script to give it some more meat. The script went through many re-writes and the final draft for Friday the 13th bore little resemblance to Miller's original concept for the film. 
Before its release, some scenes had to be re-shot, mostly close-ups and shots involving the film's climax. The reshoots were filmed in Connecticut, close to Sean Cunningham's home.
Notes & Trivia[edit | edit source]
- The tagline for this film is, "They were warned... they are doomed... and on Friday the 13th, nothing will save them.".
- Friday the 13th has been made commercially available on Betamax, VHS, Laserdisc, DVD and Blu Ray. It was included as part of the Friday the 13th: From Crystal Lake to Manhattan Ultimate DVD collection and part of the Friday the 13th the Complete Blu Ray Collection.
- The opening sequence featuring the deaths of Barry and Claudette was originally intended to be a longer scene, which involved Pamela Voorhees chasing them around a barn at the camp. Shooting of these scenes was to commence in September of 1979, but due to heavy snowfall, they had to be scaled down. According to special effects artist Tom Savini, these are the only omitted scenes from the final draft of the shooting script. 
- On the set of Friday the 13th, older cast members such as Kevin Bacon poked fun at fourteen-year-old Ari Lehman (Jason) for "getting into character". 
- Steve Miner directed the closing scene of Alice in the hospital with Sergeant Tierney. Sean Cunningham and director of photography Barry Abrams were both unavailable to film the scene.
- Adam Marcus, who would later go on to direct Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday was a visitor on set during production of Friday the 13th. 
- This is Alvin Geiler's first, and to date, only known film work. He is an executive producer on this movie.
- This is Bill Freda's second film work as an editor. It is his first work in the horror genre.
Characters[edit | edit source]
In alphabetical order
- Alice Hardy
- Main article: Alice Hardy
- Main article: Bill (Friday the 13th)
- Bill was one of seven camp counselors hired by Steve Christy to help renovate Camp Crystal Lake for its 1979 re-opening. On June 13th, on the night of a huge storm, Bill spent the evening playing Strip Monopoly with Alice Hardy and her friend Brenda. Bill was later murdered by Pamela Voorhees who slit his throat with a hunting knife then pinned his body to the wall of a cabin with several arrows.
- Main article: Brenda (Friday the 13th)
- Crazy Ralph
- Main article: Crazy Ralph
- Jack Marand
- Main article: Jack Marand
- Jack Marand was one of seven camp counselors hired by Steve Christy to help renovate Camp Crystal Lake for its 1979 re-opening. He was romantically tied to a woman named Marcie Cunningham. Jack was killed by Pamela Voorhees who pierced his throat with the tip of an arrow.
- Jason Voorhees
- Main article: Jason Voorhees
- Marcie Cunningham
- Main article: Marcie Cunningham
- Marcie Cunningham was one of seven camp counselors hired by Steve Christy to help renovate Camp Crystal Lake for its 1979 re-opening. She was romantically tied to a man named Jack Marand. Jack and Marcie sneaked off to a cabin to make love and afterward, Marcie went to the public restroom to freshen up. Pamela Voorhees swung an axe into her face, killing her.
- Mike D
- Ned Rubinstein
- Main article: Ned Rubinstein
- Ned was one of seven camp counselors hired by Steve Christy to help renovate Camp Crystal Lake for its 1979 re-opening. A light-hearted prankster, Ned incurred the scorn of a motorcycle cop named Officer Dorf. He was later killed by Pamela Voorhees who slit his throat with a hunting knife. She left his body in the bunk of a cabin later used by Jack Marand and Marcie Cunningham.
- Officer Dorf
- The police dispatch operator radioed Sergeant Tierney in 1979 about a vehicle accident on Mile Marker 17 with possible fatalities, indicating the possible requirement of the Jaws of Life. Tierney, who had been driving Steve Christy back to Camp Crystal Lake at the time, responded to the call after dropping Christy off at the campground.
- Pamela Voorhees
- Main article: Pamela Voorhees
- Steve Christy
- Main article: Steve Christy
- Steve Christy inherited Camp Crystal Lake from his family and attempted to reopen the camp in 1979. He hired a group of counselors to help him renovate the campground, including Alice Hardy with whom he shared a romantic relationship with. On June 13th, 1979, Steve Christy went into town to pick up some supplies. When he returned to the camp, he was murdered by Pamela Voorhees, a former employee of the campground. Pamela stabbed Steve in the stomach then suspended his body from a tree limb.
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