“CATCHING UP” #5 – Friday the 13th


Friday the 13th (1980)

Sean S. Cunningham


In my minimal knowledge of the horror genre, I’m under the impression that there are two major waves of “classic” movie villains/monsters, the infamous archetypes that are common knowledge and imagery. With the first wave, you have your wolfmen and your mummies and Hitchcockian momma’s boys. In the second wave, you have the likes of Freddy Kruger, Leatherface, and Jason Voorhees. (Again, the emphasis was on minimal; if you can aid in my education in any way, so long as it’s constructive and not written in all ANGRY CAPS, shoot me an e-mail at [email protected])
Granted, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is on the “Catching Up” list, but I heroically sat through the first three “Nightmare on Elm Street” movies my alma mater put on during my freshman year. Somewhere along the way, I never got around to seeing anything involving the hockey mask-clad “Jason Vorhees”. Like I said before, being that this movie’s twists and turns are common knowledge, so I’m VERY much aware that the antagonist of this first movie in the series is Mrs. Vorhees. Furthermore, I once saw a printable t-shirt transfer box, on which there was a pyramid of small children wearing matching shirts that said “Camp Crystal Lake”; even without having seen the movies, I knew that some graphic designer had a very sick sense of humor.

(To subject yourself to the virtual equivalent of me talking in the theater jammed into 140 characters, follow me @stuffbyed. Note: I have my account blocked to keep those pesky spambots out. Send me a request and regret it when you sober up.)

-CATCHING UP! “Friday the 13th” (1980)
-Oh god, so THIS is where that other infamous breathy sound comes from. (You know, the one that’s NOT Darth Vader.)
-These camp songs are awfully…Jesus-y.
-I never went to a real “summer camp”, but if you don’t want to draw attention to yourself, don’t turn the light on.
-White belts! Button-up shirts! Jesus songs! Crystal Lake MUST be a straight-edge hipster camp.
-The dog whisperer makes her entrance.
-Wait, whoa, these “townspeople” live nearby the camp and don’t know it’s re-opening?
-Enis totally copped a feel.
-“No! I haven’t heard the exposition! Please enlighten me with ominous warnings!”
-It truly was a different time: kids get out of a car and start working when asked in lieu of a hearty “Fuck you!”
-I think that if you’re a guy flirting with a girl, your chances would be better were your shorts NOT shorter than her’s.
-SPOILER! The cameraman is the killer!
-On the plus side, little miss optimism was getting obnoxious. I’m glad she didn’t stick it out until the end.
-The camera just sort of panned up into Kevin Bacon’s crotch.
-This suddenly turned into “how to do everything wrong while attempting a rescue”.
-This cop is very dickish. Cliche and dickish. And showing off in front of high school kids.
-Ralph’s trapped in the closet.
-You know, anytime a person asks “What next?” in a horror movie, they usually don’t live.
-A guy telling a girl that she’s “motherly” makes it sound like he’s got some sort of Oedipus complex.
-No, boys. Lighting a candle to get a girl’s pants off ONLY works if you’re Kevin Bacon.
-She is WAYYY too skinny to play strip Monopoly. Eat a sandwich first. Yeesh!
-The sign with the distance to Crystal Lake Might as well say “12 miles…or 40 minutes until you save the day”
-Does the “child” calling for help have an English accent? Yeesh, that’s like putting a sign next to a bear trap that says “STEP HERE!”
-“Bill, can I come and get murdered, too?!” “Sure!”
-Huh. Looks like glasses guy doesn’t save the day after all.
-She is WAY too nonchalant about talking about her dead son.
-I’m confused. She killed that girl and put her in the jeep…but is more than happy to toss other corpses around?
-This is like a whole bizarro Norman Bates deal.
-Great, NOW she decides to find the guns. Intelligence is clearly not a factor in deciding who to hire as a counselor.
-“Concussion make me not hit so good!”
-That machete was awfully effective for a blade that was only moments before used to break down a door.
-I’m sorry, officer, but your’re going to have to speak louder; the psychological baggage from the previous night has clogged my ears.
-Ominous endings are a great way to set up a sequel. *rolls eyes*
-And we end another Catching Up. Thanks for letting me clog your Twitter feed!

AFTER THE FACT (may contain spoilers):
I’ll be honest: Friday the 13th kind of bored me.
Someone once said that “We are all Hitchcock’s children”. While the Hitchcockian thriller influence was there, it felt watered-down. Maybe it’s because this movie is a huge part of horror movie history, but all the twists and turns felt predictable and bland. I wasn’t on the edge of my seat. I wasn’t curious about any of the characters, save for Mrs. Vorhees, who isn’t introduced until a good deal towards the end of the movie.
I’m sure I’ll receive at least SOME angry internet flak that involves words like “classic” and “UR GHEY N00b!!1”, but I don’t care; this movie didn’t excite me, and most of all, didn’t scare me. In fact, I slept quite peacefully.

GS Reporter: Eddie Delaney

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