29 August 2008
Friday the 13th, dir. Sean S. Cunningham (1980)
Steve asked me while we were watching this: "Do we like it because it's good, or because of what it represents?"
It's a hard question to answer, because the truth is hard to admit. Yeah, it's not a great movie. People are underdeveloped, the timing is all over the place, the scares are few and far between, there's a problem with the logic of the killer stalking some and not others to no real end. But it's Top Five in the list of horror history-makers and genre-definers (with Texas Chain Saw, The Howling, Elm Street, and Halloween) and you can't fault that, regardless of how ultimately crap it kind of is.
Still, it's a fucking cool movie and way fun to revisit. I reckon I've seen it more than most other movies in the collection. I've definitely seen it more than any of those other classics I mentioned. Why? Is it Kevin Bacon in the tiny blue togs? Possibly. But I just think it's the most accessible, the easiest to escape to. Chain Saw creeps me out and makes me ill; Elm Street shits me with its cartoonishness at times, Halloween is too serious, and The Howling doesn't feature kids, so it wasn't so easy to relate to.
Friday just does the simplest thing -- takes some nice kids, puts them in paradise, and starts offing them one by one. It's not that complicated. And then it goes and twists at the end to feature one of the awesomest killers ever in film. It's like a good song -- you can just keep going back because it's familiar, it's fun, and you can chill out to it.
My only complaint? Too many A-cups. What's with all the tiny boobs? Were they trying to save on bikini material? Thank god we get Marta Kober in Part 2, or the early Friday series might have been entirely boobless.