Film Review - Friday the 13th (1980)

Starring - Betsy Palmer, Adrienne King, Kevin Bacon, Harry Crosby | Directed by Sean Cunningham | Paramount DVD WS Unrated 95min 1980

Review By Xmortis

Warning this review does have some spoilers, but I am sure you have seen this movie a billion times like most us here at Bloodline Video. So read on and enjoy our look at the Friday the 13th film series.

In 1958, two counselors were brutally murdered at Camp Crystal Lake causing the camp to be shutdown, until 1980 when Steve Christy decides to reopen it with the help of Alice and a few other paid consolers. The townspeople call the place Camp Blood, and a crazed local named Ralph warns them of doom. When the kitchen help is killed and Steve goes into town, the counselors are left alone as a killer starts to stalk and kills them with all types of weapons like knives, bow and arrow and even an axe. Worse, a terrible rain storm has moved in and even poor Steve Christy is killed on his way back to the camp. In the end Alice is the only one left and comes face to face with the killer who is a older woman who use to work for the camp and whose son drowned in the lake named Pamela Voorhees. Pamela who hears the voice of her dead son Jason, chases Alice all around the campgrounds until they have a showdown at the lake where Alice cuts Pamela's head off. Alice then crawls into a boat and drifts into the lake only for a mongoloid Jason to pop up and pull her under water. Alice wakes up in a hospital where the cops and doctors are confused about her tale of a boy in the lake.

This is one of those slasher films that came after Halloween and became a horror classic that rivaled the film that inspired it. The film's cult status is so big that there have been conventions with reunions of the cast. It's sparked 10 sequels, a remake in 2009, video games for Nintendo and Commodore 64, t-shirts, toys and more. The plot is great with a group of consolers who are at a campsite plagued with bad luck as a killer is on the loose knocking them off one by one leaving the killer to have a showdown with the sweet girl we are all primed to like. The twist of who the killer is and why she is a killer is great stuff and takes more from Psycho than Halloween with a murderer being spoken to by a "dead" loved one. Betsy Palmer plays Pamela Voorhees, the psycho mother of Jason who is the killer in this film. She does such a great job of playing the sweet caring mother who can switch to a crazy machete swinging bitch with the flip of the mental switch. Adrienne King plays Alice, and while she is a terrible actress, she does play a very likeable female lead. Kevin Bacon who went on to be a huge actor, also plays one of the consolers. The rest of the cast are your typical b-movie actors with just the right amount of cheese to make it fun. Ari Lehman plays the young Jason who pops up out of the water in the end, and his look is full fledge teenage mongoloid. Now let's talk about the effects done by the master Tom Savini. For the time, it shook the foundation of horror films, and while they hold up still to this day it's mesmerizing to see just how much further along we are on special effects. I really do think what makes this film work is the "who done it" feel. These brutal acts are being done to teens and who would have thought back in 1980 that it was a old woman who use to work at the camp. Over all this is a great classic slasher film that helped push horror all through the 80's and 90's, and even after all these years I still find this film groundbreaking and entertaining.

The Deluxe Edition DVD has some cool extras that include commentary, Fresh Cuts: New Tales From Friday the 13th, trailer, Lost Tales From Camp Blood- Part 1, a Friday the 13th reunion and more. It's all great stuff for true fans of this film who want a little more on this cult classic horror film.

While not as good as Halloween, this is still good little horror film that really deserves its cult statues and should be owned by every horror fan. The edition I reviewed was uncut and us 10 seconds longer the R rated print; it's all longer shots of the gore. This film is a solid four stars so what's in store for part 2? Read on to see what I think about the sequels in this series.