- Friday the 13th (1980 film)
name = Friday the 13th
caption = Original U.S. theatrical poster
Sean S. Cunningham
producer = Sean S. Cunningham
writer = Victor Miller
Jeannine Taylor Robbi Morgan Kevin Bacon
cinematography = Barry Abrams
editing = Bill Freda
music = Harry Manfredini
Paramount Pictures Warner Bros.
May 9, 1980
runtime = 95 min.
country = USA
language = English
budget = $550,000 (est.)
gross = $39,700,000
followed_by = "
Friday the 13th Part 2"
amg_id = 1:18658
imdb_id = 0080761
"Friday the 13th" is a 1980 American independent
horror filmdirected by Sean S. Cunninghamand written by Victor Miller. The film stars Betsy Palmer, Adrienne King, Harry Crosby and Kevin Baconin one of his earliest roles. The film concerns a group of teenagers who re-open an abandoned camp siteyears after a young boy drowned in a lake located nearby. One by one, the teens fall victim to a mysterious killer.
"Friday the 13th", inspired by the success of John Carpenter's "Halloween", was made on an estimated budget of $550,000. Although it was poorly received by film critics, it grossed over $39.7 million at the
box officein the United States,Grove, David, pg.60] and went on to become one of the most profitable slasher filmsin cinema history; it was also the first movie of its kind to secure distribution in the USA by a major studio, Paramount Pictures.cite book|author=McCarty, John|title=Splatter Movies: Breaking the Last Taboo of the Screen|month=July | year=1984|publisher=St. Martin's Press|page=2|isbn=0312752571] The film's box office success led to a long series of sequels, a crossover with Freddy Kruegerand a remake currently in development.
The movie begins in 1958 as two
summer campcounselors at Camp Crystal Lake sneak away from a campfire sing-along to have sex. Before they can completely undress, an unseen assailant sneaks into the room and murders them both.
The film then moves forward to Friday, June 13, in the present day; a young woman named Annie (
Robbi Morgan) enters a small diner and asks for directions to Camp Crystal Lake, much to the shock of the restaurant's patrons and staff. A strange old man named Ralph ( Walt Gorney) reacts to the news of the camp's reopening by warning Annie that they are "all doomed". Enos ( Rex Everhart), a truck driver from the diner, agrees to give Annie a lift halfway to the camp. During the drive, he warns her about the camp, informing her that a young boy drowned in Crystal Lake in 1957, one year before the double murders occurred. After Enos lets her out, Annie hitches another ride in a Jeep. The second driver, whose face is never seen, murders Annie by slashing her throat with a large hunting knife.
At the camp, the other counselors, Ned (Mark Nelson), Jack (
Kevin Bacon), Bill (Harry Crosby), Marcie ( Jeannine Taylor), Brenda (Laurie Bartram), Alice ( Adrienne King) and the camp's owner, Steve Christy (Peter Brouwer), are refurbishing the cabins and facilities. As a violent storm closes in on the horizon, Steve leaves the campgrounds to get more supplies. The unidentified killer begins to isolate and murder the counselors. Later that evening, Steve returns from town and is also murdered, apparently familiar with his attacker. Alice informs Bill that she saw the lights turn on at the archery range and that she thinks she heard Brenda screaming. Bill and Alice leave the cabin to investigate, and find a bloody axe in Brenda's bed. Attempting to phone the police, they discover the phones are dead and that the cars won't start when they try to leave. When the lights go out all over the camp, Bill goes to check on the power generator. Alice heads out looking for Bill when he doesn't return; she finds his body pinned to a door by several arrows. Now alone, Alice flees back to the main cabin and hides. After a few moments of silence, Brenda's corpse is hurled through the window.
Alice hears a vehicle outside the cabin and, thinking it to be Steve, runs out to warn him. Instead, she finds a middle-aged woman who introduces herself as Mrs. Voorhees (
Betsy Palmer), stating that she is an "old friend of the Christys'". Alice hysterically tries to tell her about the murders. Mrs. Voorhees expresses horror at the sight of Brenda's body, but she soon reveals herself to be the mother of the boy who drowned in the lake in 1957, and that today is his birthday. Talking mostly to herself, she blames her son Jason's drowning on the fact that two counselors were having sex and were unaware of Jason struggling in the lake. Mrs. Voorhees suddenly turns violent and pulls out a knife, rushing at Alice. A lengthy chase ensues, during which Alice flees her attacker and finds Steve and Annie's bodies in the process. Alice and Mrs. Voorhees have multiple confrontations, each time with Alice believing she has finally beaten Mrs. Voorhees. During their final fight, Alice manages to decapitate Mrs. Voorhees with her own machete.
Afterwards, Alice boards a canoe and floats to the middle of the lake. As the sun rises, the decomposing "corpse" of Pamela's son, Jason (Ari Lehman), attacks Alice while she waits for help in a canoe. Just as she is dragged under water Alice awakens in a hospital, where a police officer tells her that they pulled her out of the lake. Alice is informed that everyone is dead; when she asks about Jason, the officer informs her they never found any boy, which leaves her with the impression that he is still at the lake.
"Friday the 13th" was produced and directed by
Sean S. Cunningham, who had previously worked with filmmaker Wes Cravenon the film " The Last House on the Left". Cunningham, inspired by John Carpenter's "Halloween", and films by Mario Bava, wanted "Friday the 13th" to be shocking, visually stunning, and " [make] you jump out of your seat." Wanting to distance himself from "The Last House on the Left", Cunningham wanted "Friday the 13th" to be more of a "roller-coaster ride".cite book|last=Grove|first=David|title=Making Friday the 13th: The Legend of Camp Blood|publisher=FAB Press|month=February | year=2005|location=United Kingdom|pages=11–12|isbn=1903254310]
This film was intended to be "a real scary movie" and at the same time make the audience laugh. "Friday the 13th" began its life as nothing more than a title. Initially, "Long Night at Camp Blood" was the working title during the writing process, but Cunningham believed in his "Friday the 13th" moniker, and quickly rushed out to place an ad in "Variety". Worried that someone else owned the rights to the title and wanting to avoid potential lawsuits, Cunningham thought it would be best to find out immediately. He commissioned a New York advertising agency to develop his concept of the "Friday the 13th" logo, which consisted of big block letters bursting through a pane of glass.Grove, David, pp.15–16] In the end, Cunningham believed there were "no problems" with the title, but distributor George Mansour stated, "There was a movie before ours called "Friday the 13th: The Orphan". Moderately successful. But someone still threatened to sue. I don't know whether Phil [Scuderi] paid them off, but it was finally resolved." [cite book|last=Bracke|first=Peter|title=Crystal Lake Memories|publisher=Titan Books|date=
2006-10-11|location= United Kingdom|page=17|isbn=1845763432]
The film was shot in and around the township of
Blairstown, New Jerseyin the fall of 1979. The camp scenes were shot on a working Boy Scout camp, Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco. [cite web|url=http://www.doubleknot.com/openrosters/view_homepage.asp?orgkey=954|title=About Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco|publisher=Doubleknot.com|accessdate=2008-06-21]
The script was written by Victor Miller, who has gone on to write for several television
soap operas, including " Guiding Light", " One Life to Live" and " All My Children". Miller delighted in inventing a serial killer who turned out to be somebody's mother, a murderer whose only motivation was her love for her child. "I took motherhood and turned it on its head and I think that was great fun. Mrs. Voorhees was the mother I'd always wanted - a mother who would have killed for her kids." Miller was unhappy about the filmmakers' decision to make Jason Voorhees the killer in the sequels. "Jason was dead from the very beginning. He was a victim, not a villain." [Interview with Victor Miller [http://www.victormiller.com/faq/index.html#q11 Victor Miller.com] ; last accessed December 11, 2006.] The idea of Jason appearing at the end of the film was initially not used in the original script, and was actually suggested by makeup designer Tom Savini. Savini stated that "The whole reason for the cliffhanger at the end was I had just seen "Carrie", so we thought that we need a 'chair jumper' like that and I said, 'let's bring in Jason.'" [Interview with Tom Savini [http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/movies/story/462246p-388901c.html New York Daily News] ; last accessed December 11, 2006.]
When Harry Manfredini began working on the musical score, the decision was made to only play the music alongside the killer so it would not "manipulate the audience" into thinking the killer was present when they were not.cite web|url=http://www.slasherama.com/features/harry.HTML|title=Slasherama interview with Harry Manfredini|publisher=Slasherama|accessdate=2007-10-28] Manfredini pointed out the lack of music for certain scenes: "There's a scene where one of the girls […] is setting up the archery area of the film. One of the guys shoots an arrow into the target and just misses her. It's a huge scare, but if you notice, there's no music. That was a choice." Manfredini also noted that when something "was" going to happen, the music would cut off so that the audience would relax a bit, and the scare would be that much more effective.
Since Mrs. Voorhees, the killer in the original "Friday the 13th", does not show up until the final reel of the film, Manfredini had the job of creating a score that would represent the killer in her absence. Manfredini was inspired by the 1975 film "Jaws", where the shark is not seen for the majority of the film but the motif created by
John Williamscued the audience on when the shark was present during scenes when you could not see it.Bracke, Peter, pg. 39] Sean S. Cunningham sought a chorus, but the budget would not allow it. While listening to a Krzysztof Pendereckipiece of music, which contained a chorus with "striking pronunciations", Manfredini was inspired to recreate a similar sound. He came up with the sound "ki ki ki, ma ma ma" from the final reel when Mrs. Voorhees arrives and is reciting "Kill her mommy!" The "ki" comes from "kill", and the "ma" from "mommy". To achieve the unique sound he wanted for the film, Manfredini spoke the two words "harshly, distinctly and rhythmically into a microphone" and ran them into an echo reverberationmachine. Manfredini finished the original score after a couple of weeks, and then recorded the score in a friend's basement. Victor Miller and assistant editor Jay Keuper have commented on how memorable the music is, with Keuper describing it as "iconographic". Manfredini says, "Everybody thinks it's cha, cha, cha. I'm like, 'Cha, cha, cha? What are you talking about?"cite video|people=Victor Miller, Jay Keuper, Harry Manfredini|title="Return to Crystal Lake: Making of Friday the 13th" "Friday the 13th" DVD Special Features)|medium=DVD (Region 2)|location=United States|publisher=WB|year=1980]
Paramount bought "Friday the 13th's" distribution rights for $1.5 million, after seeing a screening of the film. They spent approximately $500,000 in advertisements for the film, and then an additional $500,000 when the film began performing well at the box office. [Grove, David, pg.59] "Friday the 13th" opened theatrically on
May 9, 1980across the United Statesin 1,100 theaters. It took in $5,816,321 in its opening weekend, before finishing domestically with $39,754,601. The film finished as the eighteenth highest grossing film of 1980. [cite web |url=http://www.boxofficemojo.com/yearly/chart/?yr=1980&p=.htm |title=Friday the 13th domestic box office |publisher=Box Office Mojo |accessdate=2008-03-10] "Friday the 13th" was released internationally, which was unusual for an independent filmwith, at the time, no well-recognized or bankable actors. [cite book|author=Adam Rockoff|title=Going to Pieces: The Rise and Fall of the Slasher Film|location= Jefferson, North Carolina|publisher=McFarland and Company|year=2002|page=18|isbn=0786412275] The film would take in approximately $20 million in international box office receipts. [cite web|url=http://www.the-numbers.com/movies/1980/0FF1.php|title=Friday the 13th international|publisher=The-Numbers|accessdate=2008-03-10] Not factoring in international sales, or the cross-over film with "A Nightmare on Elm Street's" Freddy Kreuger, the original "Friday the 13th" is the highest grossing film of the ten film series. [cite web |url=http://www.boxofficemojo.com/franchises/chart/?id=fridaythe13th.htm |title=Comparison to other "Friday the 13th" sequels|publisher=Box Office Mojo|accessdate=2008-03-10] To provide context with the box office gross of films in 2008, the cost of making and promoting "Friday the 13th"—which includes the $550,000 budget and the $1 million in advertisement—is approximately $4.4 million. With regard to the domestic box office gross, the film would have made $112,915,537 in adjusted 2008 dollars. [cite web|url=http://www.halfhill.com/inflation1.html|title=Tom's Inflation Calculator|publisher=HalfHill.com|accessdate=2008-03-10] In terms of recent box-office performance, "Friday the 13th" would be the highest grossing horror film of 2008 using the adjusted figures. [cite web|url=http://www.boxofficemojo.com/yearly/chart/?yr=2008&p=.htm|title=U.S. Box Office Rankings for 2008|publisher=Box Office Mojo|accessate=2008-03-10] On July 13, 2007, "Friday the 13th" was screened for the first time on Blairstown's Main Street in the very theater which appears shortly after the opening credits. [cite web|url=http://blairstowntheaterfestival.com/friday_the_13th_connection.htm|title=Blairstown Theater Festival|publisher=Blairstown Theater|accessdate=2008-03-02] Overflowing crowds forced the Blairstown Theater Festival, the sponsoring organization, to add an extra screening at 11:00 PM. The event was covered by local media and New York City's Channel 11. [cite web|url=http://video.cw11.com/global/video/popup/pop_playerLaunch.asp?clipid1=1586158&at1|title=Blairstown Theater screens "Friday the 13th"|publisher=The CW 11|accessdate=2008-06-21]
"Variety" claimed the film was " [l] owbudget in the worst sense - with no apparent talent or intelligence to offset its technical inadequacies - "Friday the 13th" has nothing to exploit but its title." [ [http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117791118.html?categoryid=31&cs=1&p=0 Excerpt of the 1980 "Variety" review] ]
The film came in at #31 on Bravo's "100 Scariest Movie Moments" for the ending sequence, [ [http://www.bravotv.com/The_100_Scariest_Movie_Moments/index.shtml 100 Scariest Moments in Movie History] ] and was voted #15 in
Channel 4's "100 Greatest Scariest Moments". [ [http://www.channel4.com/film/newsfeatures/microsites/S/scary/results_20-11_2.html 100 Greatest Scariest Moments] ]
As of 2008, "Friday the 13th" has spawned ten sequels, including a crossover film with "
A Nightmare on Elm Street" villain Freddy Kruger. Cunningham did not direct any of the films sequels, though he did act as producer on the later installments; he initially did not want Jason Voorheesto be resurrected for the sequel.Fact|date=March 2008 " Friday the 13th Part 2" (1981) introduced Jason Voorhees, the son of Mrs. Voorhees, as the primary antagonist, which would continue for the remaining sequels and related works. Most of the sequels were filmed on larger budgets than the original. In comparison, "Friday the 13th"'s had a budget of $550,000, while the first sequel was given a budget of $1.25 million.Bracke, Peter, pp. 314–315] The most recent film, " Freddy vs. Jason", had the largest budget, at $25 million. [cite web|url=http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=freddyvsjason.htm|title=Freddy vs. Jason (2003)|publisher=Box Office Mojo|accessdate=2007-06-12] All of the sequels repeated the same premise of the original, so the filmmakers made tweaks to provide freshness. Changes involved an addition to the title—as opposed to a number attached to the end—like "The Final Chapter" and "", or filming the movie in 3-D, as Miner did for " Friday the 13th Part 3" (1982).Bracke, Peter, pp.73–74] One major tweak that would affect the entire film series was the addition of Jason's hockey mask in the third film; this mask would become one of the most recognizable images in popular culture.cite news|author=Gary Kemble|url=http://www.abc.net.au/news/arts/articulate/200601/s1546063.htm|title=Movie Minutiae: the Friday the 13th series (1980-?)|publisher=ABC|date= 2006-01-13|accessdate=2007-05-21]
A remake of "Friday the 13th" is in development, with "Freddy vs. Jason" writers, Damian Shannon and Mark Swift, currently hired to script the new film.cite news|author=Borys Kit|url=http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/film/news/e3ia426500233e132c71ea0487278b5bbb3|title=Duo pumps new blood into 'Friday the 13th'|publisher=The Hollywood Reporter|date=
2007-10-02|accessdate=2007-10-21] The film is reported to focus on Jason Voorhees, and that he will keep his trademark hockey-mask. [cite web|url=http://www.bloody-disgusting.com/news/10058|title=Platinum Confirmations: Near Dark, Friday the 13th Remakes|publisher=Bloody-Disgusting|work=The Hollywood Reporter|date= 2007-10-03|accessate=2007-10-21] The film is being produced by Michael Bay, Andrew Form, and Brad Fuller through Bay's production company Platinum Dunes, for New Line Cinema. In November 2007, Marcus Nispel, director of the 2003 remake of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre", was hired to direct. [cite news|author=Borys Kit|url=http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/news/e3ib4d95be28520da0db0f10edad41c0123|title=Nispel scores a date with next 'Friday'|publisher= The Hollywood Reporter|date= 2007-11-14|accessdate=2007-11-14]
In 1987, seven years after the release of the motion picture, Simon Hawke adapted a
novelizationof "Friday the 13th".cite book|last=Hawke|first=Simon|title=Friday the 13th|publisher=Signet|year=1987|location=New York|isbn=0451150899] One of the few additions to the book was Mrs. Voorhees begging the Christy family to take her back after the loss of her son; they agreed. [Hawk, Simon, pg.164-168] Another addition in the novel is more understanding in Mrs. Voorhees' actions. Hawke felt the character had attempted to move on when Jason died, but her psychosis got the best of her. When Steve Christy reopened the camp, Mrs. Voorhees saw it as a chance that what happened to her son could happen again. Her murders were against the counselors, because she saw them all as responsible for Jason's death. [Grove, David, pg.50] Hawke had previously written the novelization of "" in 1986, and would go on to write the novelizations for "Part 2" and "Part 3".cite book|last=Hawke|first=Simon|title=Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives|publisher=Signet|year=1986|location=New York|isbn=0451146417] cite book|last=Hawke|first=Simon|title =Friday the 13th Part 2|publisher=Signet|year=1988|location=New York|isbn=0451153375] cite book|last=Hawke|first=Simon|title =Friday the 13th Part 3|publisher=Signet|year=1988|location=New York|isbn=0451153111] All four novels were originally published by Signet, but are currently out-of-print.
*imdb title|id=0080761|title=Friday the 13th
*amg movie|id=1:18658|title=Friday the 13th
*rotten-tomatoes|id=friday_the_13th_part_1|title=Friday the 13th
*mojo title|id=friday13th|title=Friday the 13th
* [http://www.campcrystallake.com/thefilms/part1.htm Film page at the Camp Crystal Lake website]
* [http://www.thefutureandyou.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=47863 Interview with Betsy Palmer] on the podcast "
The Future And You" (includes anecdotes about working on "Friday the 13th")
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