I want to take a minute to talk about Friday the 13th, the movie not the actual day itself, and not the series, just the first one, for now anyway. The original film was released May 9, 1980. It was directed by Sean S. Cunningham and “starred” Kevin Bacon.
The film begins in 1958 when two counselors at Camp Crystal Lake, Barry and Claudette, are murdered by an unseen assailant after they sneak away to a cabin to have sex.
Twenty-two years later on Friday, June 13, 1980 the camp is being re-opened. Annie, one of the new counselors, is hitchhiking to Crystal Lake. She is warned by the town crazy that the camp is cursed. She is given a lift by a friendly truck driver who also warns her. He tells her of the 1957 drowning of a boy and the 1958 murders. He drops Annie off a few miles from the camp and is soon picked up by an unseen driver. As the driver speeds past the entrance to the camp, Annie becomes concerned and leaps from the moving vehicle when the driver fails to stop, fleeing into the woods.
Meanwhile, several other counselors have been hired to help Steve with the camp, including Alice, Bill, Marcie, Jack, Brenda and Ned. The counselors begin refurbishing and renovating the camp as Steve heads off to get supplies in town.
Meanwhile Annie is still fleeing her pursuer in the woods. However she trips and falls and when she looks up, she sees her pursuer who pulls out a knife. Terrified, Annie backs away into a tree and has her throat slit.
Back at camp, Ned follows a figure wearing a black rain slicker into a cabin and is murdered. Meanwhile, a thunderstorm forces Jack and Marcie to take refuge in a bunkhouse and have sex, unaware that Ned’s corpse rests on the upper bunk. Marcie then leaves for the bathroom, while Jack stays and lights up a smoke. Shortly after, an unseen figure shoves an arrow through his throat from under the bed. In the bathroom, Marcie hears footsteps and thinks Jack is playing a joke. While searching the empty shower stalls, a hatchet appears behind her, she turns around and the hatchet strikes her in the head, killing her.
Meanwhile, Steve’s Jeep gets stuck in mud and he is escorted back to camp by a police officer. Upon arrival at the camp, Steve sees a light from an unseen figure who Steve recognizes who then murders him off-screen.
After Alice, Bill and Brenda finish playing strip Monopoly, Brenda heads back to her cabin for the night when she hears a child’s voice faintly crying for help. She is lured out to the archery range when the lights turn on suddenly and she is murdered off-screen. Her scream is heard by Alice and Bill.
After discovering the phone lines have been cut and Ned’s truck won’t start, Bill leaves to check the generator. A bit later Alice becomes worried when Bill does not return. While looking for him, she finds his corpse pinned to a door with arrows and flees back to her cabin. After Alice barricades herself in the cabin, Brenda’s body is hurled through the window, forcing Alice to run back outside only to meet a middle-aged woman who identifies herself as Mrs. Voorhees. Alice begins to tell Mrs. Voorhees about the murders, but she tells Alice about her son Jason, who had drowned in the lake at the camp years before. Blaming camp counselors for their negligence, Mrs. Voorhees charges at Alice with a hunting knife, and Alice realizes that Mrs. Voorhees is the killer.
A lengthy chase ensues in which Alice appears to subdue Mrs. Voorhees several times and finds the dead bodies of Steve and Annie in the process. The two women face off near the shore of the lake and Alice manages to decapitate Mrs. Vorhees with her own machete. Alice then climbs into a canoe and floats onto the lake.
The next morning, Alice wakes to find police officers on the shore. However, as Alice continues to float in the canoe, the decayed corpse of Jason Vorhees, leaps up from the surface and pulls Alice underwater. Alice awakes in the hospital, the previous scene with Jason having been a nightmare. Alice asks about Jason, but when the officer explains that no child was found at the camp, Alice replies, “Then he’s still there,” as the last scene shows the lake in peace.
Great movie right? This film was done beautifully in true B movie fashion. There was lots of sex, bad acting, and blood. The story itself isn’t half bad either. It makes sense, a mother loses her child, and her mind, and takes it out on those she feels are responsible. She avenges her son’s death, but is ultimately killed in the process.
The problem I have doesn’t stem from the first film, it’s the subsequent films that don’t make sense. Here’s the part I get, son drowns, mother avenges his death , mother killed, in the sequels to follow, undead son avenges her death. Death to all the camp counselors!
Here’s the part I don’t get. Jason Vorhees was a child at a summer camp when he drowned in the lake. A CHILD. When he kills camp counselors in the sequels, he is a grown man. A GROWN MAN.
HOW DOES A DEAD CHILD GROW INTO AN ADULT? This is quite possibly one of the largest holes in movie history. Now, I understand this is a movie and you could say, how does a dead person come back to life and kill people? I know, but dead people don’t grow. I think it would have been much more disturbing to have Jason Vorhees come back and kill counselors as a child with superhuman strength.
So there’s that.