Sunday, November 4, 2012

Friday the 13th






                       Camp Blood…they opening that place again?


To tell you the truth, Friday  the 13th is  not my favorite of the notorious slasher franchise. I actually even prefer the second film and definitely the fourth film to this one. Its status as an influential horror film is obviously lasting, no doubt. If Halloween is the template for Victor Miller’s script (the script cast headliner Betsy Palmer called a piece of shit when she read it), then Friday the 13th succeeded in mimicking the idea of young adults (teens, twenty-somethings, thirty-somethings, whatever) being stalked and butchered by a psychopath. I don’t think Halloween is necessarily as associated as Friday the 13th with sin and death. While not all the kids in Friday the 13th are associated with sex and promiscuity, as I was watching the film tonight (that Uncut version released around the time when the remake was about to hit theaters..), I understood it was about what Camp Crystal Lake represented. The pollution of it rubs off on all those willing to work to see it open. Annie doesn’t deserve to die because she wasn’t in the middle of shagging a dude, but when she establishes her role at Camp Blood, her fate was decided (she certainly got in the wrong jeep; hitchhiking is dangerous).



I’m a messenger of God. You’re doomed if you stay here. This place is cursed. Cursed. It’s got a death curse.
 

Like Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween, Adrienne King is a doe-eyed sweetheart, the kind of gal that you can approach easily, be beholden to, trust, and is dependable (she tells Steve Christy, responsible for trying to open the Camp again, the renovations costing him a pretty penny, that she’ll be willing to stay a week to see if this job as a camp counselor is “her thing”). But, like Laurie Strode, King’s Alice can be resourceful and defend herself when danger comes right at her. At least in Alice’s case, she has a chance to defend herself. The others, her peers working to get the camp going, don’t have such a luxury. The twist is no longer a secret. Even those who may not have seen the movie know the twist unless they were born like seconds ago or under a rock. Mommy took the psychosis when her baby, a deformed kid who couldn’t swim, drowned in Crystal Lake. His personality (Psycho in reverse) is not part of her; he motivates Mommy to kill anyone who dares to get Crystal Lake open and operating again. This camp is the direct representation of a child’s neglect due to the copulation of sexual desire. Sex and death go hand in hand in the Friday the 13th franchise.





       It’s not bad enough to have Friday the 13th, we’ve got to have a full moon, too.


You do see parts of New Jersey in this movie which just kind of stuck out to me, at least Crazy Ralph, who tells these kids they’re doomed yet his ravings fall on deaf ears, doesn’t get it with a machete or anything, and Mrs. Voorhies takes it like a champ (she gets hit in the sweet spot and across the noggin with the handle of a rifle and popped in the chops with a frying pan!). I just got a kick out of Ralph and his blue bicycle, but I did wonder how long he hid in the food closet before scaring the crap out of Alice. 


There’s at least a sense of humor to accompany the ax to the skull, arrow head through the throat bubbling blood, and slit throats which helps. I got a giggle or two out of goof-off Neddy who dresses like a war chief with the wail to match, caught by a corny police officer on a motorcycle named Dorf (who takes his job dead seriously) passing through looking for Crazy Ralph, warning the kids to keep out of trouble (his speech on marijuana, particularly his use of titles that often colorfully describe weed, is rather amusing). I thought it was funny the way Kevin Bacon messes with the cop’s gear on his bike and openly mocking him. Bacon’s cutie in this film, she has a scene in front of a mirror in one of the bathrooms, where she impersonates Katherine Hepburn flawlessly. There’s even a tame game of Strip Monopoly. These little details, they’re not really what the average review gives a snot about, but sometimes the fun comes from them. Or at least for me.


You’re doomed. You’re all doomed.
Friday the 13th has numerous warnings directed to Annie. She has a bright wattage personality, full of spark and energy, seems to have what it takes to feed the kids and gain friends along the way, but fate has sent her to the wrong camp to be the head cook. Interesting how she never makes it there. There’s no reason for her to be executed in such a fashion, but her throat is opened and Tom Savini knows how to let that neck bleed out. Running around in the woods, hurt ankle after hopping out of that jeep, tripping and falling, begging and pleading, Annie gets no sympathy.





I think the ending is cool. Like how Halloween inspired the script and Psycho provided some pointers on Mommy-Son psychosis for a lunatic character, Carrie was too easy a movie to resist for the ending of Friday the 13th. It’s made specifically for the audience to pop like a jack-in-the-box from their theater/cinema seats, but I dig it for the Manfredini melody and the way Adrienne King seems to be in a trance…it’s all dreamlike and seemingly absent the hostile and danger of Camp Crystal Lake, but even the lake holds horror for our heroine. Little Jason sure looks creepy, the dirt and rot of his body giving him a certain decorum of death. And I totally enjoy how King’s lovely but puzzled face fades into Crystal Lake, acknowledging that Jason must still be in that lake, out there somewhere waiting—while her escape was fortunate, Manfredini’s melody once again creates a mystery as Cunningham closes his camera in on the lake, offering to us the possibility that the boy is waiting for those with bright ideas about opening Crystal Lake to enter his domain.


This was a particularly nice moment in the film, a shot of the camp before a rainstorm
I was always curious of her particular fate, never explained in film
Miller’s script and ideas are noticeably cribbed from other movies, but director Sean Cunningham’s got Savini to supply some memorable gore gags and Harry Manfredini’s score punctuates the Master Make-up Wizard’s work. Ultimately, it is about the violence, but I do prefer to watch a movie with a fun cast of characters that I don’t want to see die horribly.  What Miller’s script does is establish that if the killer is willing to slay Annie the innocent, a young woman with a vibrant, out-going personality, full of promise and kindness to give to others, in such cold blood, then all bets are off. No one remotely aligned to reopening Camp Crystal Lake will get a lick of sympathy when Mommy Voorhies has a hunting knife, or machete, or arrow, or ax, in her hand.



                 Oh, I couldn’t let them open this place again, could I?
 

Kill her, mommy. Kill her.

That said, what motivated this viewing of Friday the 13th was a recent watch of the film on AMC during late October as the channel was having a marathon of the infamous Paramount franchise. AMC claimed “gory matters here” yet all of the gore was removed. It was as if Savini never worked on the film, the way Friday the 13th was butchered. This 1 am in the morning, no less when a lot of the kids are in bed. 

I used to run marathons of VHS rentals of these movies on birthdays and weekend nights when my parents were asleep, and occasionally watched them on a late night show on cable when I was over my grandma’s in my uncle’s room where he’d let me watch them. So I was accustomed to seeing the films either cut or relatively uncut (except those under the knife by order of Paramount, like Friday the 13th: The New Beginning, which still seems to be cut (that and director Steinmann admits in relative anger that scenes he remembers shooting were gone) and The New Blood, the most reprehensible example of censorship rape). I guess because the channel shows The Walking Dead (I haven’t watched the series yet, but I have been planning to in the future) I was just expecting—well, that the whole “gory matters here” moniker already mentioned—the gore to be shown.

Then he’s still there.
That had me thinking: without the gore—the famous decapitation that spurned son Jason to take up where his mom left off, the slit throat of Annie, the arrowhead penetration taking out Kevin Bacon, ax to the head of Bacon’s chick, etc.—what really is left of this movie that realistically continues to allow it to remain such a noticeably popular and lasting? Are any of the characters that particularly developed past maybe Alice or eventually Mommy Voorhies? The assembled group has a sense of fun and ease with each other (and, the one in charge, Christy, isn’t subtle in his attraction and interest in Alice, either), there are some moments where they encounter the aforementioned Deputy Dorf and a snake in Alice’s cabin, have a swim (where silly Neddy pretends to not know how to swim, just so he can get a kiss from one of the girls trying to resuscitate him), and occupy their time as a rainstorm confines them to cabins. Yet, you can watch Meatballs or other camp comedies prevalent at the time if you want those particulars. 

I watched the version on AMC and later this one just Saturday night, Nov. 3rd, and mulled over the naked truth…if the movie is without the gore, it is really exposed, naked of what truly gives it such notoriety. Without Mommy’s head taken off, its importance in why Jason does the deed to lots of teens is nullified so seeing it severed from the neck on screen at least provides a reason for why he killed so many folks over an extended period of time. I’m not even sure why anyone would waste their time with the version on AMC. You just want to see Crazy Ralph? Well, I guess that is as good a reason as any…


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Sbut
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Hal

Hal
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hal1

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Jtm 2

Jtm 2

Rave

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Mrub

Mrub

Gb

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sm6

Rv1

Rv1

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Nas

nos3

nos3

Lok

Lok

Po

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Ra6

Ra6

dawn

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Countess Zaleska: Be thou exorcised oh Dracula, and thy body long undead find destruction throughout eternity in the name of thy dark unholy Master.

mh2

mh2

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z2

Hiii

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Fred

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Ghspo

Ghspo
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Enl

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nos4

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gm

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No 2

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Ahorr

Ahorr

Cbi1

Cbi1
Case of the bloody iris

Wsha

Wsha

Mouth3

Mouth3
In the Mouth of Madness

Fdfn2

Fdfn2
Freddy's Dead '91

Vyr

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Vampyres 1974

Sh fr

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Vlov

Vlov
Carmilla's kiss

f133

f133

Edpos

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Ttf2

Ttf2

Jm2

Jm2
El Hombre Lobo

Psycho '60

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Kife

Kife
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Meg

Meg
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ring 2

ring 2
the ring 2002, "the tape"

poster

poster

exor1

exor1
"the visitor" The Exorcist (1973)

Conj

Conj

Tz1

Tz1
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In the kitchen, The Shape

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exc4

exc4

Ps56

Ps56

Hun

Hun
Murders in the Rue Morgue 1932

Ps89

Ps89

Cof

Cof
Victor and Paul, with their Monster

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pcushig

His

His

Efny

Efny

sus

sus
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Rest in Peace, Robert Loggia

wb

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WZ

WZ

Edfen

Edfen
"Do not enter the city...It belongs to the dead now."

h1

h1
Look behind you!

Bs

Bs
"There is no terror in the bang, only the anticipation of it."
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linnea

linnea

Amer

Amer
Taste of metal

The h gang

The h gang

Nlc

Nlc
Old Skool Nostalgia

Hp

Hp

Smoke

Smoke
Got a smoke?

Strek

Strek
Live long and prosper

Hill

Hill

Castle

Castle

SRW

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Frere and dummy

Frere and dummy

Mlove

Mlove

Alone/dark

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Lips

Fhz

Fhz

Ph

Ph

Vestron

Vestron
Vintage VHS

sm 3

sm 3

Monique parent

Monique parent
Erotique in Review

Were5

Were5

f13

f13
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Bmate

Bmate

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Ms45 w

Ms45 w

Churcvh

Churcvh
The Church 1989

Ww

Ww
The Whip and the Body 1963

Lsho

"Now, no novacaine....it dulls the senses"

--Little Shop of Horrors (1960)

Christopher Lee

Every actor has to make terrible films from time to time, but the trick is never to be terrible in them.

Vampyros lesbos

You are one of us now. The Queen of the Night will bear you up on her black wings

The Unknown 1927

No....not sick. But I have lost some flesh.

Alonzo, the Armless.

Ckvh

Ckvh

Blood of Dracula's Castle (1969)

Glen: We'd like to speak to the Townsends, please.

The Butler: They are not available till after sunset.

Bw5

Bw5

Jill

Jill

Mad Love 1935

Doctor Gogol: Did you ever hear of Galatea?

Lavin - Waxworks Proprietor: Gala - who? Not wanting a statue of him, are you?

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Lavin - Waxworks Proprietor: [calling to his assistant] Start the motor, Henry. There's queer people on the streets of Montmartre at this time of night.

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