Entries Tagged 'friday the 13th' ↓

Day 13 – "I got my beer, my sex partner…I’m fine."

Hey, happy Friday the 13th, everyone! Don't worry, despite the fact that nearly every entry in that storied franchise appeared on the big ol' list back in 2020, I'm not going to discuss any of the antics of Jason or Pamela or Roy today. Lawd knows I've talked and written and drawn more about it than any one simple human probably should. But still, today is a slasher high holiday, is it not? So I got out my oversized novelty magnifying glass (that is usually reserved for my detective work) and scoured the aforementioned list until a slasher I've never seen caught my eye, and that slasher is...

Widely considered one of the worst slasher films of all time, I had to give Blood Lake a chance and try to figure out what one brave citizen-reader might love about it enough to call it a favorite horror movie.

Ah, 1987. It was a time of tennis sweaters, Swatches, and barely-there muscle tees. It was not a time for slashers, as the heyday was well in the rearview mirror and the subgenre was drowning in the dregs. But "heyday"s and the such have never stopped anyone with a dream, and history has proven that there are countless people out there whose dream it is to make a slasher movie--especially people who have access to a camcorder.

Yes, Blood Lake is perhaps the quintessential shot-on-video slasher flick, filmed by a group of mostly-friends who basically said "Hey, want to make a horror movie?" while on vacation. Knowing that, you mostly know what you're going to get. Perhaps you will be more amenable to its charms if you've made one of these movies yourself, or if you're an SOV enthusiast. Even so, you might find that Blood Lake will truly test your mettle as you are pushed to the brink with how much padding you can endure.

That said, we do get a delightful kill in the first minute of the film, when our killer Jed (Tiny Frazier), sporting his signature look of tucking one pant leg into his cowboy boot (talk about iconic!), walks up to a gardener whilst brandishing a knife. The gardener says "I just work here," to which Jed replies "That's good enough for me!" and then stabs him. All this before the credits! 

Credits, I might add, that are accompanied by the mild hair metal stylings of an Oklahoma-local group called Voyager. Further, the credits are in the Garfield font and no matter how many sins Blood Lake might commit, I cannot and will not be mad at a horror movie that uses the Garfield font for its opening and closing credits. 

That there boss as hell t-top Firebird is driven by Mike (Doug Barry, who also wrote Blood Lake) (yes, Blood Lake had a writer), and his precious cargo includes not only that powerboat but also his girlfriend Becky, another couple (Kim and Bryan), tween girl Susan, and Mike's tween brother, THEEE real star of this show, Li'l Tony. Li'l Tony is the mulleted, punk-ass, misogynist, virgin sex pest 12-year-old who will delight you with lines like "Hey Mike, are you gonna be a butthole this weekend, or are you gonna let me drink?" I wish Li'l Tony was in every movie, horror or otherwise.

The King

This gang is headed to Becky's family's house (aka the family house of lead actress Angela Darter) for a weekend of the kinds of things that slasher movie characters get up to on their weekend getaways. But here's where Blood Lake differs from movies with, you know, actual budgets and production companies and actors: rather than actually doing the sex, they just talk about the sex they are gonna do. They do "party," by which I mean we watch them play a game of Quarters in real time as most of them turn down the joint being passed around, and one person "chugs" a third of a beer. It is a very long scene.

During the day, in another scene that is very long and then you think it's over and then it continues for a lot more time, the gang--joined now by a couple of local fellows--goes water skiing. This interminable passage is accompanied by a Voyager track, one whose sick guitar riffs and repeated cries of "feelin' freeeeeee!" will likely be stuck in your head for a while. I'm not sure whether or not that is a complaint, or if any of this is a complaint, really, because somehow--despite my brain rationally recognizing that I was mired in abject tedium--I was under the spell of Blood Lake's very distinct charms.

feelin' freeeeeee!

While watching Blood Lake, you would not be remiss if you found yourself wondering if that pre-credits kill was the only kill in the film. But lo! about an hour in, Jed makes his move. We get the de rigueur killer POV shot as he stalks his victims, but Jed-vision is red. Is this meant to imply that Jed is a Terminator? Or he is supernatural? Or is he literally "seeing red" because he is so mad? Blood Lake leaves the interpretation up to your discretion, because director Tim Boggs refuses to spoon-feed his audience.

A couple of people end up stabbed, and the effects are about what you'd expect from a backyard slasher movie with a likely budget of "pizza for the cast."

What are Jed's motivations for turning Lake Cedar, Oklahoma into Blood Lake, Oklahoma? Well, it turns out that Becky's father bought that house from him but never paid for it, which makes perfect sense if you think about it. (Don't think about it.) I will leave the bizarre coda for those of you brave (or foolish) enough to endure Blood Lake on your own. No need to thank me! Your inevitable joy over experiencing Li'l Tony is thanks enough.

Blood Lake features a moon shot, so you know it's night time

"Endure" really is the right word to use when it comes to this movie. It bears all the hallmarks of shot-on-video cinema: amateur acting, garbled sound, terrible effects, bad lighting, a dreadful pace, and on and on. But it's also true that "charming" is the right word to use for it, even if those charms will not be enough to carry it for the vast, vast majority of viewers (it definitely has that reputation I spoke of for a reason). 

Maybe it's because it captures and exudes that feeling of "Anybody wanna make a movie?" to those of us who have done that very same thing. Maybe it's because this group of friends actually feels like a group of friends, unlike the friends in every other slasher movie. Maybe it's because there's what's gotta be the Oklahoma of it all, which means characters can be oddly, unfailingly polite with each other, shaking hands and thanking a host for having them over to party. Maybe it's because characters will say things like "We shouldn't be fishing. We should be diving--muff diving!" but it's practically a PG-13 movie at best.

Maybe it's because Li'l Tony.

So, fair warning to those of you who may want to give it a go, you may regret that choice and every choice you ever made that led you to that moment. But to the reader who christened Blood Lake a favorite: you are seen. I see you. 

But as to why my POV is red, you'll never know!

SHOCKtober Day 3

While it will undoubtedly be one of the great trials of my life, I hereby promise that I will resist the urge to post about characters and/or """"characters"""" from the Friday the 13th film series daily for the remainder of SHOCKtober. As I said, it will be difficult to resist because is it truly a franchise rich in fuckery...but moreover, ever since I submerged myself in its depths while researching my book Death Count, I think about this series all the time. It has become a constant refrain! It might be driving me mad!

So to satisfy the relentless gnawing at the edges of my brain, I must post about someone from the series at least once this month, and today is that day! The day where I post about...


Gaze upon her, if you dare! The scowl. The cool-ass hair. The tank top featuring...it's not Miss Piggy, but it seems to be some kind of Mae West pig? The cocked hip. The flash of red-tipped fingernails on said hip. She hates her job and she hates every single one of us and I don't blame her one bit!

Jason Voorhees wouldn't dare try to take her down (before he could get within 20 feet of her the power of her side-eye would have him running right back into Crystal Lake to drown a second time), but if he did try--please note I said "try" because he would most definitely fail--this queen wouldn't be scared, she'd be irritated. The only character who might--might!--be angrier than her is Rhonda Johnson of Killer Workout. (Now, I'm not saying that I'll be talking about Rhonda at some point this month, but...I'll be talking about Rhonda at some point this month.)

Look, I am not going to sit here and ignore the cranky, racist elephant in the room. Gone-too-soon angel/light of my life Vera Sanchez takes a millisecond too long to find her wallet, sullen shopgirl pounces with "We don't accept no food stamps," and Vera gives a "this bitch..." for the ages.

But man, look at that (incredible) contrapposto shoulder line! Is her casual racism a surprise? No! Do I endorse it? Of course not! Is it one of the verrry few passing moments in the franchise that speaks to anything approaching some kind of substance? You could argue that!

Back in SHOCKtober 2020 (which somehow feels like it was a good 15 years ago?) I couldn't choose between Friday the 13th Part 2 and Part III in my Top 20 Faves list. Those two films are like the Grady Girls of my heart: definitely not twins but also sort of the same. I still can't choose! But given today's spotlight character...hmm, you know...maybe I can declare a winner once and for all. Just don't tell Part 2!

BLOODvember Day 13: FRIDAY THE 13th PART 2 (1981)

As you may know by now, I am nuts–NUTS I SAY–about the Friday the 13th series. I love the (relative) risks it's taken, I love its unabashed weirdness, I just...I don't know, at some point I really fell hard for this franchise. I'm not some big Jason fan, either! (At least, not after Part III.) I think maybe spending so much time with it when writing and drawing

And boy oh boy! That's a terrible screencap, but seeing Jason through the window behind her, running toward the building, is downright terrifying. I love that he didn't disappear and they didn't try to build any mystery–you know, is he still following? Where will he appear? He's not trying to keep quiet. He's not trying to hide. He is still coming, running right at her. He knows exactly where she is. He's going to get to her, and he's going to kill her. It's just a really effective shot! That she's stumbled into his lair makes it even more frightening...and the fact that it's Baghead Jason chasing her makes it worth at least 100 chef kisses, for as all good people know, Baghead Jason is the best Jason.

Friday the 13th Victim of the Week: Annie

Sit right back and you'll hear the tale of...

Annie (Friday the 13th, 1980)

She may not have been THEEEE first victim in the Friday the 13th series, but good ol' Annie (Robbi Morgan) was certainly the first victim to let audiences know that hey, this is Friday the effing 13th, and it ain't no Halloween.

We first meet the impossibly adorable, impossibly perky Annie when she strolls into town bearing a giant backpack and a smile. She asks some locals how much farther it is to Camp Crystal Lake, a query that earns her some decidedly "Bitch, please." looks from everyone within earshot.

Undaunted, Annie hops into Enos's truck for a ride closer to her final destination (pun totally intended). Rather than heed the trucker's cries of "Quit!" or Crazy Ralph's cries of "It's got a death curse!" warning her about Camp Blood, Annie climbs into Mrs. Voorhees's Jeep of Doom to continue her journey.

Annie begins to talk excitedly about her upcoming stint as the camp's cook- it's long been her dream to work with children (not kids- that makes them sound like little goats) and she just can't wait to get to Camp Crystal Lake! You know Mrs. Voorhees had a fucking vice grip on the steering wheel the whole time, thinking to herself, "If you love children so much then WHY DID YOU LET MY JASON DROWN 20 YEARS AGO?"

When the Jeep of Doom zips on by the turnoff for camp, Annie begins to think things might be a bit hinky.

After her suggestion that the driver...you know, stop driving the wrong way is met with the pedal pressed to the metal, Annie knows that something's hinky and she takes a leap outta dat Jeep. Go, Annie, go!

Hobbling admirably on a twisted ankle, Annie heads into the woods in an attempt to escape the driver, who's now become her pursuer. Unfortunately, Annie trips one too many times; plaid meets plaid in a battle to the death! Okay, it's not so much a battle as it is one person ignoring pleas for mercy and opting to make with le slash-slash.

Friday the 13th is now roughly 30 years old (holy crapping crap) and though it may not seem so shocking nowadays, scenes like this one made the film groundbreaking. It wasn't the first slasher flick, but Friday's graphic violence set it apart from its predecessors and marked it as the first true entry in the slasher cycle. Subtlety and artistry were gone, and explicit gore was in. Friday the 13th was crass, silly...and yes, it was scary. As far as I'm concerned, it's still all of those things three decades on. R.I.P. Annie!

Friday the 13th Victim of the Week: Maddy

Mmm-hmm child, I'm talking' 'bout...

Maddy (F13-7, The New Blood)

As her pal Robin (Elizabeth Kaitan) notes, she and Maddy arrive at a house on Crystal Lake to have a good time. Unfortunately, Robin also notes that if Maddy wants any attention from boys, she'll need "a little touch-up work". Maddy is rightfully insulted and, after watching Robin cavort with one of said boys, marches upstairs.

Maddy intends to prove Robin wrong by...well, by proving her right. The makeup comes out, the glasses come off, the clothes are changed, and the results cause Maddy to exclaim to no one but her own reflection, "Need a little touch-up work my ass!"

Maddy. I admire your l'esprit de kiss my ass, but let's be honest: you just spent an awful lot of time giving yourself a little touch-up. Apparently the process involved hours of putting on lipstick.

And that's okay! The results are nice, in a terribly '80s sort of way.

Anyway, despite the fact that she goes upstairs for Extreme Maddy Makeover, she ends up downstairs when she's finished, completely bypassing the party. Hearing a noise, she ventures outside into the woods (duh) and promptly loses an earring. She soon finds it, exclaiming "Thank God!" If it was indeed Divine Intervention that led her to her missing piece of clip-on jewelry, then we can only hope that He will intervene when Maddy's straits are far more dire.

SPOILER: He doesn't.

A body falls from a tree right in front of Maddy's eyes; surely the scene is a little blurry to her- she left her glasses inside, after all- but as the body heralds the arrival of Jason Voorhees, Maddy knows to beat feet.

She hides in a shed, and though she's smart enough to take off her high heels, she's still doomed. Jason's soggy arms bust through what's apparently a balsa wood wall, and Maddy meets his friend Mr. Sharpie Farm Implement. While her death takes place off-screen, there's still a moment of shock here: that's not a dress she's wearing, but a skirt and crop top!

Poor Maddy. No one got to see her lovely transformation. Oh well. At least she died young and left a beautiful corpse! R.I.P. Maddy!

Friday the 13th Victim of the Week!

Welcome to the newest feature here at Final Girl, wherein we explore the unfortunate people who meet the business ends of Jason Voorhees's killing implements...and those of his momma and Roy the paramedic, for that matter. Let's meet our first victim!

Fox (F13-3)

We first meet the sassy Fox (Gloria Charles) and her biker gang cronies as they instigate a convenience store run-in with Vera and Shelly. Fox refuses to return Shelly's velcro wallet until Vera shows her some r-e-s-p-e-c-t. Respect is big in the world of hooligans, and when Vera complies with a reluctant "May I please have the wallet...ma'am?", Fox hands over the wallet without even taking the cash. Perhaps, much like Sears, Fox has a softer side.

What's most delightful about this sequence, however- well, besides the store clerk informing Vera that they "don't take no food stamps"- is the moment when Fox looks directly into the camera...then she tries really hard to avoid looking at the camera as the scene plays out.

The bikers later head to Camp Crystal Lake for a little payback-flavored shenanigans. Fox decides to check out the barn while her cohorts siphon gas to use as accelerant; yes, by "shenanigans" I mean "arson".

Anyway, upon entering the barn, Fox immediately mutters a wide-eyed "Whoa". She's overcome with a child-like wonder at such mundane items as old boots and an ancient, empty canteen. When she finds the hay loft and swings outside, declaring "This feels GOOOOOD!", one cannot help but think that if Fox had been able to take advantage of The Fresh Air Fund as a youth, her life may have turned out differently.

Alas, her barn-related joy was not to be for long. Off-screen, Fox encounters Jason and spends her last moments impossibly impaled on a rafter by a pitchfork.

Really, it's pretty impossible. Her feet are a good foot off the floor...how exactly did Jason get her up there like that? Eh, it's not for me to question. R.I.P. Fox!

23:45 – Friday the 13th Part 8


23:45 – Friday the 13th Part 7


23:45 – Friday the 13th Part 6


23:45 – Friday the 13th Part 5


23:45 – Friday the 13th Part 4


23:45 – Friday the 13th Part 3


23:45 – Friday the 13th Part 2


23:45 – Friday the 13th (1980)

(review 1 / 2)

awesome movie poster friday – the FRIDAY THE 13th edition, PART TWO!

Happy Friday the 13th, everyone! Hooray. As I'd already done a Friday-flavored Awesome Movie Poster Friday, I wasn't hopeful that there'd be much more material out there for me to mine. Ha HA, I laugh in my own face. There's plenty of Voorhees weirdness all the world 'round! And I do mean weird...some of this stuff...I just don't get it.

While I truly despised the recent remake, I will say the posters associated with it are truly outrageous awesome.