I love horror movies.
I love good horror movies.
I love bad horror movies.
I love ridiculous horror movies.
No horror movie franchise, though, is the equal to the
Friday the 13th
franchise for me.
I’m not 100 percent sure why Friday the 13th is
my favorite. As a standalone, I prefer the first Halloween movie to all other
slasher movies – and yet, as a series, I gravitate towards Friday the 13th.
I guess that’s why, when I stumbled across Crystal Lake
Memories – the 6.5-hour documentary series based on the book of the same name –
I was understandably intrigued.
I’ve seen documentaries on Friday the 13th before
– but nothing compares to this thing. It took me three nights to watch it – and
it was well worth the time.
Not only is it well presented, but the producers managed to
get so many stars from the movies in for interviews that I was genuinely
flabbergasted. We’re talking people that had basically fallen off the face of
the Earth in the intervening years from the time between their movie until today.
So, what are the top then things I learned from Crystal Lake
The character of Jason was recast multiple times in
multiple movies. Kane Hodder, who played Friday the 13th
, Friday the 13th Part VIII
, Jason Goes to Hell
and Jason X
is the actor that donned the mask the most times. Fans are still up in arms
that he was not cast as Jason in Freddy vs. Jason
– and Hodder himself says he’s
a little bit bitter about it.
There seems to be some ongoing argument – between various
parties – about whether or not Jason Goes to Hell
or Jason X
is the worst entry
in the franchise. I’m here to tell you, Jason Goes to Hell
is hilariously bad
and full of plot contrivances. Jason X might be out there, but at least it’s
fun. There’s nothing fun about Jason Goes to Hell
– except the final shot of
Freddy’s hand (really Kane Hodder wearing the Freddy glove) sucking the hockey
mask down to hell.
A lot of cast members have died throughout the years, but
the big surprise for me was that the producers of the documentary managed to
get Jennifer Cooke for an interview. Cooke was in Friday the 13th
and, before that, she was Elizabeth in V: The Series
. After a few
guest-starring roles in the 1980s, Cooke virtually fell off the map. There were
a lot of online rumors about her – including her participation in a cult – but I’m
happy to say she seemed both healthy and effervescent during her interviews.
She didn’t talk about what she had been doing in the intervening years, but she
had definitely aged a lot better than some of the other actresses in the
At least three different actresses were “replaced”
because they refused to do nudity. In one case, the actress (Darcy DeMoss) that
was replaced showed up in a different role in the next film (where they asked her to do nudity again). Apparently, there
were a lot of women out there that thought they could argue the producers out
of the nudity when it came time to film – but the producers were always
adamant: A Friday the 13th
movie IS going to have nudity.
At a certain point, every Friday the 13th
movie was supposed to be the last. The original movie was supposed to be a
standalone without a sequel. The third movie was also supposed to be the last
movie – as was the fourth movie, which actually killed Jason off. While Friday the
13th Part V: A New Beginning
, was supposed to take the franchise in
a new direction, fans were so disgusted with it the director is still derided
as an “amateur” to this day. My philosophy is: At least there was ambiance in
the fifth movie. Jason turning into a deformed kid because of toxic waste in
the eighth movie was the biggest insult to cinema in the franchise.
The actors and behind-the-scenes people interviewed
regarding the 2009 Friday the 13th
reboot were not exactly happy
with the fans. Some complained that the movie didn’t do as well as it should
have because the fans were constantly badmouthing it. One of the actresses even
said that if fans wanted the old Friday the 13th
, they should watch
those movies and stop badmouthing the reboot. Here’s a hint, you’re not going
to win any friends if you say things like that. And here’s a hard fact: Most
horror reboots bite. Sure, there are a few that aren’t terrible. Friday the 13th
though, falls into the terrible realm (still better than A Nightmare on Elm Street
, though). Even if you want to ignore Jason running
around the woods like a moron – something that deviates from the original
series – Jason certainly wouldn’t be wandering around protecting a pot field or
setting “traps” in the woods with little bells. Pffft.
Steve Dash, one of the actors that played Jason in Friday
the 13th: The Final Chapter
, said he hated Corey Feldman from the
day he met him. He said he was arrogant and troublesome and he didn’t want
anything to do with him. He also said that there were times – even when he wasn’t
playing Jason – that he wanted to do bodily harm to Feldman. Just
for a point of reference, Feldman was a relatively small child in the flick.
The original script for Freddy vs. Jason
was to revolve
around both Freddy and Jason being Hell’s assassins – and their fight to the
death was a way for one of them to remain on Earth and the other to be sucked
down to hell. Thankfully, that idea was scrapped early on. Movie producers and
directors admit that they were scared to make either one of the movie villains
a clear winner – that’s why Jason gets Freddy’s head – but Freddy gets the wink
– at the end of the movie. The original ending – which was filmed – had Jason
Ritter’s character becoming the new Freddy six months after the events of the
main movie. I’m thinking the wink was a better ending.
The end of Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason
was supposed to have an entirely different ending – one that would have
knocked the entire franchise off kilter. The original scripted ending showed a
dark figure paying off the cemetery caretaker (who didn’t die in the original
script) to take care of his son’s grave – and they were standing in front of
Jason’s tombstone. The writers involved with the project said they wanted to
show that Jason got his homicidal tendencies from both sides. That ending was
scrapped and never filmed.
Jason existing at all is something of a fluke. The only
reason that the character of Jason was even
introduced at the end of the first
movie – which is the one where Pamela Voorhees is offing camp counselors (with
a little prodding from her imaginary friend in her head) – was that Sean
Cunningham wanted one more scare. The final scene, where a childlike Jason
jumps from the water and attacks Alice was meant to signify a dream sequence
and nothing else. Jason himself was never intended to be an actual villain in
the franchise. Sean Cunningham's son was supposed to portray the childlike Jason, but his mother nixed the idea. He admits he's still ticked about it.
What do you think? What’s your favorite horror movie