Friday the 13th title

Tag Line : Friday's will never be the same again.

Friday the 13thOne of the first of the "next generation" of slasher pics to emerge following the success of Halloween, was this offering by Director Sean Cunningham and producer Steve Miner.

Set at a lakeside summer camp, called "Camp Crystal Lake", the film charts the mishaps of a group of teenage counsellors who are making preparations for the camp's grand re-opening, but end up falling prey to an unseen killer.

The summer camp has been closed for years following a bad string of event's, that all started when 12-year-old "Jason Vorhees" accidentally drowned in the lake one night. A flood of catastrophe's would follow, including 2 of the counsellors being brutally murdered the following year, and other attempts to re-open the camp being met with mysterious fires, as well as the lake water becoming mysteriously polluted.

It has almost been as if someone has been deliberately trying to keep the camp shut. As the body of young Jason was never actually found, many of the locals believe the camps misfortunes to be the work of the undead youth, who has returned from the depths to seek revenge.

Not withstanding, the camps current owner Steve Christy and his girlfriend Alice (Adrienne King) are determined to put these problems behind them and re-open the camp once more. Unfortunately they pick the wrong weekend to do it, the anniversary of Jason's death, and someone is lurking in the shadows to stop the camp re-opening, at any cost.

A bloodbath ensues, as the poor unfortunate teens are picked of one-by-one and disposed of in the most gruesome fashion. One particularly memorable death scene is that of Jack (a young Kevin Bacon) who's impaled right the way through the neck with an arrow whilst by somebody lurking underneath his bunk.

In the end, poor old Alice is the only one left, but having uncovered the killers identity and successfully defeated them we're left with the possibility that Jason may not have drowned all those years ago after all....

Although somewhat derived from John Carpenters "Halloween", Friday the 13th went on to become a true classic in it's own right, which was mostly down to depiction of the murders. Whereas the killings in Halloween did not rely on sudden outbursts of blood and gore to scare the audience, these killings where extremely bloody, and considered quite shocking for it's day.

The film can be viewed in one of two ways. As a stand alone horror movie it's great, with all the typical trademarks you would expect from a good slasher film, plus it did have the advantage of this level of gore and violence not being done before. However, as viewed as the first in a string of seemingly endless sequels ( the saga has so far run to 9 films, and a 10th is in production ) it tends to lose its impact on reflection.

Overall marks : 8/10

Terrifying Trivia.

  • Alternate tag lines "They were warned...They are doomed...And on Friday the 13th, nothing will save them.", "You'll wish it were only a nightmare...", "A 24 hour nightmare of terror.", "You may only see it once, but that will be enough".

  • Production members Sean Cunningham and Steve Miner had previously worked together on the exploitation shocker "The Last House on the Left", which was directed by Wes Craven.

  • The Make up and cosmetic effects where by Tom Savini, who actually made a name for himself on this movie.

  • When they came to do the 'arrow through the neck' scene with Kevin Bacon, originally the blood was only supposed to trickle out, however the plunger on the pump broke and so Tom Savini, who was doing the effects, had to quickly blow down the hose to get the blood to come out, which resulted in the spurting and bubbling effect seen in the film.

  • The part of "Jason", played by 12 year old Ari Lehman, had the biggest shock impact of the whole film as he pops up at the end, despite the fact he was only seen for a few seconds. Lehman went onto become a musician and has his own rock/reggae band called "Ari Ben Moses" in which he plays keyboards/vocals.

  • When Paramount pictures released the film in the US, the MPAA made several cuts to achieve an "R" rating. This shortened the scenes where the female counsellor's throat is slashed, Kevin Bacon gets an arrow through his neck, another girl gets an axe in the head, and Mrs Voorhees (Betsy Palmer) is beheaded. This same version was issued on US video in the 80's and the US DVD in 1999 was similarly cut, except the first throat slashing was slightly longer and the other killings slightly shorter, indicating this release had been re-edited from an uncut print. The version that appeared on the US box set in 2004 had the edits corrected to match the R rated version. The special edition DVD released in 2009 was of the original uncut version.

  • The original UK theatrical version from Warner Bros was of the original uncut version, as was the original UK video released in the early 80's. However, after the introduction of the "Video Recordings Act" Warner decided to issue the cut US version in its place. The R2 DVD released by Warner Bros in the UK and Europe in 2003 along with the R3  Hong Kong release, were of the original full uncut version. Warner had also released the full uncut version on Japanese laserdisc in 1990. The re-issued Greek video, available on the Warner label (not the CIC/Paramount version), was apparently also the full uncut version as was the Hong Kong Video CD that came out in 2000.

  • Friday the 13th spawned a "spin off" TV show during the late 80's entitled "Friday the 13th the series". This owed nothing to any of the film's and was about a mysterious antique shop, who's products where all possessed and subsequently caused a lot of misfortune for the buyers. A lot of it was rather like those old Twilight Zone stories, the only connection to the films being that is was by the same production crew. The series was shown in the UK on terrestrial TV back in the early nineties, and is still occasionally shown on the Sci-Fi channel. The pilot episode was released onto video under the title "Friday the 13th the Legacy", and subsequent episodes under the title "Fridays Curse" but these are long out of print.

  • There have been many rumours of a much gorier version available in Japan. In actuality the Japanese version, released on Laserdisc, was the same as the uncut European version.

Extra Info.

Cast & Crew.


Buy Online.

Buy the UK DVD (uncut).

Buy the UK BD (uncut).

Buy the UK DVD box-set (parts 1-8).
(part 1 is the cut version).

Buy the "Crystal Lake Memories" book.

Buy the "Legend of Camp Blood" book.

Buy it at Amazon.Com

Buy the US DVD (uncut).

Buy the US Blu-Ray (uncut).

Buy the US DVD box set (parts 1-8).
(part 1 is the cut version).

Buy the "Crystal Lake Memories" book

Buy the "Legend of Camp Blood" book

Notes on affiliate sites.


Other films in the series.


All Time Classics.

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