Friday the 13th (1980-2003) from Tuna and Mr. Dark

Name (IMDb link) Year IMDb score Director actor as Jason  
Friday the 13th 1980 5.8 Sean Cunningham Ari Lehmen

DVD info from Amazon

Friday the 13th, Part 2 1981 4.8 Steve Miner Warrington Gillette

DVD info from Amazon

Friday the 13th Part 3: 3D 1982 4.2 Steve Miner Richard Brooker

DVD info from Amazon

Friday the 13th - The Final Chapter 1984 4.4 Joseph Zito Ted White

DVD info from Amazon

Friday the 13th, Part V - A New Beginning 1985 3.4 Danny Steinmann (none)

DVD info from Amazon

Friday the 13th, Part VI - Jason Lives 1986 4.5 Tom McLoughlin C.J. Graham

DVD info from Amazon

Friday the 13th Part VII - The New Blood 1988 4.0 John Carl Beuchler Kane Hodder

DVD info from Amazon

Friday the 13th Part VIII - Jason Takes Manhattan 1989 3.5 Rob Hedden Kane Hodder

DVD info from Amazon

Jason Goes to Hell - The Final Friday 1993 3.8 Adam Marcus Kane Hodder

DVD info from Amazon

Jason X 2001 4.6 James Isaac Kane Hodder

DVD info from Amazon

Freddy vs. Jason 2003 6.2 Ronnie Yu Ken Kirzinger DVD info from Amazon
Tuna's notes, ratings, and nudity reports in white:

Friday the 13th (1980) was basically a low budget ripoff of Halloween, in other words, a copycat teen slasher film. I have no explanation why it was a box office bonanza, and spawned so many sequels. It is pretty much a by-the-numbers teen slasher. Kids at camp, all counselors. The first ones to have sex are the first ones to die. Lots of gore (pretty well done, I might add), lots of startle scares, high body count, and room for a sequel. The first act is well photographed, introduces some entertaining minor characters, and has a few laughs. Once the ripping stops, it is dark and stormy and hard to see.

Made for an estimated $700K, it grossed $37.5M.  This has a Bacon number of 0, in that it was Kevin's premier film. This is a C+. Slasher fans seem to agree that this is one of the must-see films of the genre. 

Nudity: The only nudity is one breast from Jeanine Taylor as the first victim.

Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981) is the stereotypical sequel. It repeats the last 7 minutes of the original, then continues the story, this time in a neighboring camp. They don't bother with the quirky characters this time. As a matter of fact, they kill the few who were still alive after the original. They also don't waste much time on character development. A girl skinny dipos, the killing starts in earnest, and we enjoy seeing the slaughter. The film has the requisite nudity, gore and body count, and is thus a C.

Nudity: Kirsten Baker, the skinny-dipper, shows everything, but mostly from a medium distance.

Friday the 13th Part 3 (1982). Yet another group of teenagers are on their way to Crystal Lake for no apparent reason other than to have sex and get murdered, and Jason, again, for no apparent reason, obliges. Like episode two, the film starts with a recap of the ending of the previous episode, followed by some comedy attempts, then the bloodbath.

While it is technically decent, there is no "there" there. It reminds me of the "gonzo" style of adult tapes, which are an endless series of the old in and out. Here, we have murders, and not much else. This was an attempt to make a Friday 13th formula film with little or no effort to embellish or entertain. The box office didn't recoup the estimated $4.5M budget. This is a D.

Nudity: Much less this time, with only Tracie Savage showing breasts in a shower scene.

Friday the 13th Part 4 - the Final Chapter (1984) has Jason coming back to life in a morgue, killing a doctor and a nurse, then heading home to harvest some more horny teens. The main story centers around a group of teens living in a house in the woods, and the family who lives next to them (mother, daughter, son). The son, played by Cory Feldman, has a genius for make-up and masks. The daughter is a dedicated virgin. The teens next door are after sex and drugs and fun.

This is one of the better in the series. Of course, the whole point of this entire series is a huge body count as Jason hacks and slashes his way through good and bad alike, until the film ends at night, in the rain. But this formula doesn't have to result in a flop. Part 4 followed the formula, but this time the director did a lot of things right. He upped the breast count, added some character development, and included a few sub-plots. In other words, he made a little more effort than the director of the previous two films, and it resulted in a pretty good sequel. The only real weakness of this film is that it ruined the next one by failing to leave room for a sequel, since it revealed Jason's face for the first time, and killed him off at the end.

It grossed $44M in the theaters, and "The Final Chapter" proved that the franchise could still make money. C.

Nudity: A lot this time. Camilla and Carey More, identical twins, show breasts and buns. Judie Aronson shows breasts and buns in two skinny dipping scenes, one in broad daylight. Robyn Woods, body double for Barbara Howard, shows buns pressed against a shower door.

Friday the 13th Part 5: A New Beginning (1985) is the logical follow-up to the Final Chapter. Like those that came before, a slasher kills horny teens and many more people.

On the other hand, several things were different this time.

  • Jason was nowhere to be seen. The identity of the slasher was a mystery.
  • Much of the film was shot in clear daylight.
  • Nearly all of the acting was terrible.

Tommy Jarvis, Corey Feldman's character from Part 4, is now a young adult, and has been bouncing around mental hospitals since he killed Jason. He is sent to a half-way house in the country that is full of horny teens. They also introduce a young black kid whose grandfather is the cook for the facility, and who is clearly predestined to be one of the surviving heroes at the end. The killing starts with one patient hacking another to death with an ax. In what I have to believe was intended as pure parody, a big guy in a hockey mask starts killing everyone he sees. The identity of the killer is supposed to be the big payoff, so I will not reveal it here.

This film does have nudity, a Jason-like killer, and a high body count, but doesn't really feel like the rest in the series, and is the worst of the first five. It grossed less than half of what its predecessor earned. D-.

Nudity: Deborah Vorhees shows breasts in a long daytime sex scene. Rebecca Wood flashes her breasts. Melanie Kinaman shows breasts through a white shirt and Juliette Cumins shows breasts in a lengthy undressing scene.

Friday the 13 Part 6: Jason Lives (1986) accomplished several things for the franchise. Most importantly, it brought Jason back from the grave. Tommy Jarvis, the kid from Part 4 and troubled teen from Part 5, dug him up to cremate him, stabbed the rotting corpse with a wrought iron pole, lightning stuck the pole, and Jason was reanimated. This gave us our antagonist back, as well as a misunderstood protagonist, paving the way for many more sequels.

The lake has been renamed, and everything looks different. For the first time, the camp is full of kids. Jarvis also gains a love interest in Megan Garris. Jason is down but not out at the end of the film. 

This is a C. Series fans consider this one of the better in the series. The acting is different, the story reasonably complex for the genre, and the pace is not bad. The body count is still there, but they do not dwell as much on the gore effects. It earned $19.5M against a budget of only $6.75M.

 Nudity: None.

Friday the 13th Part 7: The New Blood (1988) has a new twist for reanimating Jason. In our last episode, he was weighted down with a rock and chain and returned to the bottom of the lake where he died before episode one. This time, a young woman with telekinetic powers visits the camp, gets mad at her shrink, and brings Jason back inadvertently. A surprise birthday party next door provides Jason with the necessary horny teen fodder.

We get long looks at Jason without the mask this time, find out that he is immune to fire, and end up with him back at the bottom of the lake. This is a C-. It is not especially good, but not remarkably bad either. It should satisfy fans of the series.

Nudity: Elizabeth Kaitan shows breasts in a sex and post-sex scene, and Heidi Kozak shows breasts and buns in a skinny dipping scene. Heidi's character also has an underwater full frontal.

 Friday the 13th Part 8: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989), takes Jason away from Crystal Lake for the first time. Some high school seniors are taking a cruise to New York. From Crystal Lake. Get this: Crystal Lake, which has always been a rather small pond, is now a deep water port, and they are riding a luxury cruise ship of Panamanian registry, skippered by an Admiral.

Two of the kids are screwing on a small boat before boarding, their anchor grabs a power line and shocks Jason back to life. Jason does them in, then hitches a ride on the cruise ship, where he again harvests horny teenagers. There are, or course, a hero and heroine clearly meant to be the survivors at the end. The last act actually does take place in New York. 

Part 8 is no worse then several others in the series, other than the performance by Peter Mark Richman, as the stupid and narrow-minded authority figure, which was very bad even by genre standards. This is a C-

Nudity: The first exposure is one breast from Tiffany Paulson, who is in the small boat in the opening scene. Much later, Sharlene Martin's character shows breasts and buns in a post-shower death scene, but it looks like a double.

Additional nudity notes on numbers 9, 10, and 11

Jason Goes to Hell: There are two versions, "R" and "unrated". These comments refer to the unrated version available on DVD. Michelle Clunie shows her breasts and a very dark hint of her pubic hair in a sex scene. Kathryn Atwood removes her t-shirt after a swim, and there is a brief look at her breasts. Julie Michaels shows her breasts and bum very briefly in a shower scene.

Jason X: Tania Maro and Kay Penaflor show Jason their breasts in a virtual reality scene.

Freddy vs Jason:  This refers to the full-length version of the scene as revealed in the special features disk on the DVD. Odessa Munroe shows a good close-up of her breasts when she undresses, then offers a lingering look at her bum as she runs toward the water.

All eight of the 1980's films are available in a boxed set that includes a disk of special features, including interviews of cast and crew from each of the films, a very few deleted scenes, and trailers. Here are the points I found interesting in the commentaries.

Part 1. The project grew out of desperation. They had been making kids' films, and going nowhere. They came up with a title, and took out a full page add in Variety. They suddenly had funding, but no script, nor even a treatment. They tried to play on childhood and teen fears. As in many of the sequels, they used no stunt people at all. It was actually shot at night. It opened in a Broadway theater, and made lots of money.

Part 2 had a 30 day shooting schedule, and a budget of a mere million dollars. Jason was injured during filming when an actress missed her timing and cut his hand with a machete.

Part 3 was in 3-D using a new process (not red/blue), and was actually pretty scary in 3-D, as it had a lot of startle scares which simply don't work at all on the DVD version. They also were using a new Kodak film which gave them problems, and lighting for 3-D is very difficult, because everything must be lit properly, including night backgrounds, for the effect to work. This took 12 weeks to film, or three times as long as the others.

Part 4. The director tried to make the kids more "real," and to dream up inventive murder ideas. He was told there would never be another Jason film, so he was allowed to go ahead and kill him off.

Part 5 is memorable as the only one in the series without a real Jason.

Part 6. The director was given a lot of artistic license, as long as he didn't belittle Jason. It was shot in Covington, Georgia, and had a working title of Aladin Sane. The franchise was so popular, they didn't want townspeople to know they were actually shooting a Friday the 13th film.

Part 7 was shot in Alabama in winter. The filming location was chosen because it was warm enough in winter for the underwater shooting, and authorities went along with them blowing things up. Again, the actors did their own stunts.

Part 8 was shot in Vancouver except for three days. The original script had less action on the boat and more in New York, but budget constraints turned that around. It still had the highest budget of the original eight films. The working title was Ashes to Ashes.


Mr Dark's comments in yellow:

Longtime reader and infrequent writer here, chiming in with some useless trivia regarding Friday the 13th. Thanks to Tuna for doing such a bang-up job on a series we gorehounds love so much. As always, keep up the good work! I'm kind of a horror nerd (okay, so I'm a MAJOR horror nerd) so I thought I'd add few things to the wrap-up piece regarding the Friday the 13th films.

First of all Ari Lehman was a young boy when he played Jason in the first film. Jason did not appear as an adult in that original effort. (This would count as a spoiler, but I don't think there's a human left who would see this film that hasn't already.)

The original film was directed by now-legendary horror director Sean S. Cunningham, who is regarded as the 'father' of Jason, and is currently slated to direct the sequel to Freddy Vs. Jason. While he hasn't directed much else of note, he's held in very high regard among horror fans, just because of Friday the 13th's importance to the genre. He's considered in the same cadre as Wes Craven, Tobe Hooper, and George Romero. It should be noted that he has been a part of the genre as a producer since the beginning of the slasher days, starting as one of the producers of Craven's infamous Last House On The Left.

Jason Goes To Hell is not considered to be a Friday the 13th movie. While the true meaning behind this has to do with rights and studio bickering, most purists regard it as a separate entity because of the way it stepped out of the standard F13 concept: not many wayward teens getting axed, not much time spent at Camp Crystal Lake, much more focus on Jason and those who hunt him ... it just wasn't the same. 

Same goes for Jason X, also a clear step away from the series as it took the Jason character hundreds of years into the future, eventually to be cybernetically enhanced, turning him into a sort of Terminator Jason.  While Cunningham produced that one and Kane Hodder wore the mask, this was a step too far for most of us and the movie lost money.

Hodder was Jason in four of the films, if you include Jason Goes To Hell and Jason X.  While he is the most widely recognized as Jason out there in fandom, he was passed over for Freddy Vs. Jason for logistical reasons: while Hodder is built like a fucking tank, he's a short tank - around the same height as Robert 'Freddy' Englund - which didn't please director Ronnie Yu, who wanted Jason to dwarf Freddy. Much to the chagrin of fans and the vocal dismay of Hodder, Yu went with the much taller Ken Kirzinger, meaning that Hodder has probably worn the mask for the last time. I've met the man and can safely say that his years of stunt work and co-ordination have left him a walking brick wall. Unlike Mr. Yu, I wouldn't definitely not want to irritate him in any way, shape, or form, for fear of being transformed into a small puddle of red goo.

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