Friday, June 13, 2014

Ranking of the Friday the 13th films

Ranking of the Friday the 13th films

- To many horror fans, today is a holiday. Yep, not only is it Friday the 13th, but it's June 13th Jason's birthday. To add icing to the cake, there's also this huge autumn moon that's supposed to show itself and the next time it will appear on this date I'll be either 78 or 79. Guess I better live it up tonight huh? Cheap beer for everyone!
It's been a tradition of mine for years to watch at least one or two of my favorite Friday the 13th films along with a few episodes of the TV show. The Friday the 13th films hold a very special place in my heart and will forever be my favorite horror series. So today in honor of the holiday I decided to rank the best to worst films in the series pointing out what makes them awesome, and what makes them down right awful.  

Friday the 13th The Final Chapter
Why it's awesome? -Back in 1984 Paramount Pictures seemed pretty embarrassed by their latest bastard of a cash cow. For the last four years the Friday the 13th films were guaranteed money in the bank. Well after the big up roar with Silent Night Deadly Night, the studio decided that they would kill Jason off for good in this last installment and make this the final movie in the series (yeah right guys.) With ads saying things such as "April 13th is Jason's unlucky day." The movie was played up to be the final and LAST Friday the 13th film ever. 30 years later of course we all know better. With an epic opening picking up right after part III, my personal favorite line out of the whole series is spoken. "Yeah we got seven kids and three bikers...this time they got him." Meeting a small single bother and her two children staying at Crystal Lake, along with another cabin filled with teens ready to do anything to party and get laid, we meet one of the more impressive casts out of the entire film series. With such talent as Crispin Glover (dance moves and all), and a young Corey Feldman, we're introduced to the ever so popular character of Tommy Jarvis which stays for two more sequels and is one of the few characters to kill Jason for good and live to tell the tale. With great splatter effects by original make up artist Tom Savini, and an wonderful final girl Trish, this is the movie I most often show people who want to see a Jason movie. In fact, I seriously would have been pleased if this was in fact the last movie in the series.

It's flaws - Not that many to name. I do believe they should have waited a while to do A New Beginning, maybe even the late 80's when Feldman himself was a teenager and ready to return. Besides that, I feel The Final Chapter is one of most flawless installments in the Friday the 13th film series.

Friday the 13th part III
Why it's awesome? - I'll never forget being completely puzzled when I was a child and my mother informed me that one of the Friday the 13th movies was in 3D. I seriously have no idea how I missed this movie being the one (yoyos and oranges flying towards the screen) but I guess I didn't pay close attention as a child. Anywho, Part III fits right behind the Final Chapter. With Steve Miner returning once more in the director's chair, he pretty much remade part II but kicked things up a bit. With a bunch of teens on vacation, the body count gets amped up along with the over the top 3D kills. In fact, I would even go so far to say a few of the deaths in this movie are by far the best in the entire series. With some pretty unforgettable moments (Shelly running towards the car, the kids all eating pot, Rick's eye ball flying towards the screen) this movie is what all the fun of a Friday the 13th movie is all about. Featuring one hell of a fight between Jason and Chris the final girl, this movie has made it's mark on the film series since this is the first movie to feature Jason wearing his famous hockey mask, and when Chris bashes the axe into the side of his mask that gash has stayed on the mask ever since! Also the handstand kill?! Ouch! One of my favorites. Also pretty edgy that Jason killed a pregnant girl, goes to show he gives zero fucks. One unknown thing about this movie, that I've pointed out to several fans over the last few years is something a friend of mine told me about a few years back about this movie. A fact I'm sure even the biggest of Friday the 13th fans don't know about. If you turn the volume all the way up in the opening scene at the small market where the wife is knitting and watching the news report about the murders from part II, you can clearly hear at one point that evidence of sexual assault, and cannibalism hasn't been ruled out yet. Yep that's right...Jason was fucking those bodies and eating them in the woods. I mean, it does make scene. Creepy...

It's flaws - My biggest problem with this movie was the backstory for the lead girl Chris. Yeah we get it, she was attacked one night by Jason...but waking up safe and sound in her own bed? Really? I feel what could have worked better was showing Chris a few years earlier maybe taking a hike and seeing Jason walking in the woods, he spots her and starts to chase after her but she gets away. The End. Would have made a whole lot more scene than the shitty flashback we got. Also Jason's look in this movie? Reminded me of Sloth from the goonies. Now a lot of people didn't like the "Lady in the lake" dream scene at the end, I for one loved it. I think maybe Chris could have been a little less annoying, and maybe the deaths could have been a tad more bloody (God knows how much time and money they had to spend on the 3D effects) but besides that yet again I'm a true blue fan of part III. Still, the deleted endings I've heard about for so long is something I would have loved to see. There's seriously four of them!

Friday the 13th part II
Why it's awesome? - This is the sequel that launched a thousand other sequels. In fact, this is the sequel which in many respects really shouldn't have even happened. Still after a bit of a creepy unsettling last shot/line from the original film it was bound to happen. Friday the 13th part II has in my eyes one of the best posters behind part 7. With a killer tagline that says "The body count continues..." With by far the greatest final girl Ginny, and a pretty clever story/setting we're taken to a councilor training camp that happens to be on the same lake as Camp Blood once stood. Here, avenging his mother's death, Jason now a grown man goes after anybody who wanders his woods. With some pretty awesome kills (double impairment, throat slit upside down, and the wheelchair crashing down the steps) Friday the 13th gives us a new outlook to the series with a brand new killer. With an epic showdown at the end, and a very likeable cast Friday the 13th is a great film that isn't near perfect but a great follow up to the slow burn original.

It's flaws - Oh there are many! I guess the biggest one with Jason now a grown man and very much alive. I feel this was poor writing that should be held responsible for this. Had the film had a stronger screenplay maybe things would have gone smoother. Maybe Jason's mother had always been unstable, and maybe she was so unstable that Jason was taken away from her while working at the camp and she snapped a wire making up a story that he drowned, years later he escaped whatever foster or mental hospital he was in searching for his mother only to learn she was murdered. Maybe Jason was kidnapped while attending the camp, forced to live in the woods by some sicko hermit and finally when either the hermit died or let down his guard Jason either ran away or killed him, just in time to return to the camp all these years later and watch his mother murdered. There's a thousand, in fact million ways they could have solved that very huge plot hole. Yes I know it's just a slasher film, but little things like this mother me to the max. I feel the body count believe it or not could have been a wee bit bigger, and that final half of the movie smoothed out. I mean really, what did happen to Paul? Also the jump out at the end seemed forced and could have been a whole lot better. Mind you I love how realistic the chase/fight between Ginny and Jason are, but maybe had they switched and changed some things around it would have come out better. Still, love the final shot of Jason's mother's head. Uber creepy. I also would have loved some of the teenagers to really go back to the actual original camp site (even if this was a new filming location) would have been creepy seeing all those cabins just sitting around.

Friday the 13th 
Why it's awesome? - Ah, as I write this I'm watching this very film. Even on DVD 34 years later it looks stunning. In fact if I ever do breakdown and end up buying the movies on blu-ray I think this is the movie that sells me on it. The film's look seriously hasn't aged. It's breathtaking. This movie was the film that started it all. It's hard to believe that the hockey mask wearing killer came from this little low budget slasher film made in 1980. Long before Jason was hacking and killing...there was another killer. His mother. Friday the 13th is a film that also had a HUGE part in starting the slasher craze that went nuts during the 1980's. So many films that followed tried to capture how truly awesome of a movie this is. A slow burn thriller, this is a pretty elegant movie. With a beautiful setting, a cast of young attractive likable people, and one hell of an opening and back story...Friday the 13th has huge amounts of respect for me. In fact this is by far the scariest installment in the whole series. The kills are amazing thanks to Tom Savini, you have young Kevin Bacon (who's arrow death takes the cake), and of course one of the best killers to ever grace the silver screen. I'm sure I'm not spoiling this for anyone since Scream did years before, but Jason's mother packs one hell of a punch when it's revealed that it's been her doing the killings all along and for good reason. I always get chills. The epic chase/fight between Alice and her is out of control and beyond scary. I always get so freaked out at the scene where Ned sees somebody walking into the cabin and follows them in. Love Marcy's story about her dream of it raining blood, and of course the character of Bill. So handsome! With an epic ending fight at the end, and one of the greatest pop outs of all time, Friday the 13th really pays off in the end. In fact I still remember jumping out of my seat the first time I ever saw the lake scene. Love the beautiful music, and of course that peaceful and creepy shot of the lake with Alice's final line "He's still there..." Had this even been a standalone film, I still think it would have been remembered even to this day. By far one of my favorites.

It's Flaws - Yeah the ending chase gets a little drawn out, and the pacing is a little slow. But besides that Friday the 13th is really a flawless slasher movie. Yeah the sex scene is a little awkward, but that shot of Ned's body in the bunk above always gets me. I think maybe besides a bit of pacing, Friday the 13th truly is one of the better made horror films of all time.

Friday the 13th part V A New Beginning
Why it's awesome? - It still stuns me even today when I hear the amount of hate this movie gets. I find A New Beginning one of the truly last awesome sequels in the Friday the 13th series. In fact whenever I pop in these movies for the most part I stick with the first five. These were the first five that took up the first half of the decade. Something about the first five just give a certain gritty kind of feeling you just can't explain. I loved how they continued with the Tommy Jarvis character. With one of the best openings to a Friday film and a clever cameo by Feldman, we jump a few years later where Tommy is still recovering from his breakdown after being attacked by Jason. I loved the mental home setting in the middle of nowhere, and the odd ball characters that surrounded this movie. I loved how this movie had the biggest body count, how mentally fucked Tommy was, the classic one liners "There goes one fucking ugly man mamma." and of course Reggie the reckless. "You scared of rubber spiders on strings?" Sure the murders seem all over the place, and it's a little over the top and cheesy but where else can you see a goth girl do the robot dance? Or watch the classic "Oooo baby" singing scene at the outhouse? With a pretty cool showdown, and twist that's completely out of left field which has turned so many people off this movie, I liked the change in direction. In fact I find this movie one of the most re-watchable and enjoyable. I also love that this was the movie where Jason for once was dead and stayed dead.

It's flaws - Does this movie have lots of flaws? Of course. I feel the writing could have been a whole lot better for this installment. Like I said earlier, maybe instead of rushing to get this sequel made so quickly after Final Chapter, they could have waited until Feldman was ready to take the role. via his Lost Boys/Dream A Little Dream period (hey, he could have used the drug money) I feel maybe even a cameo by the actress who played Trish could have been a huge treat for fans, and maybe figure out a better way to pull the whole "Oh it wasn't Jason" card. I found it a clever one with Roy, but first off you can tell he's the killer the second he's on screen. Second, he goes on a rampage after his over weight slightly slow teenage son is murdered over a candy bar...didn't they say he took off when he was born and had him raised by the state? Yeah, you should win father of the year there pal. Who knows, maybe if they did the whole parent seeking revenge storyline again if it was a bit stronger maybe it could have worked. Hell, what if it was Jason's real father seeking revenge since Tommy after all did kill Jason in the last film where he remained dead. I also think if they had the ending they did with Tommy sneaking up behind Pam they should have had the beginning of part 6 talk about how he attacked her or how unstable he truly was and the guilt he carried with that afterwards.

Jason Goes To Hell The Final Friday
Why it's awesome? - I'm going to get murdered for not having this film at the bottom. Much like A New Beginning, Jason Goes To Hell is one of the most hated sequels of all time. Yes, a new studio New Line bought the rights to the series, and yes it was the early 90's where many horror films were in a very strange limbo. The slasher craze was dead, and so weren't these films. I for one have always loved Jason Goes To Hell. In fact, I think this movie has one of the best endings to a horror movie of all time. Jason Goes To Freddy Vs. Jason. I liked the new direction they took this movie. Yes we had seen it before in 1987 with The Hidden, but at least the director tried to shake things up a bit instead of seeing the same movie over and over and over again. I for one thought the idea was pretty cool and a new way to look at it. I thoughts the KNB effects were killer (the uncut scenes are insane) and the fact that instead of a bunch of young teenagers, it's adults with fucked up real problems fighting Jason. I loved of course John D LeMay as the lead who stole my heart in being the main actor in Friday the 13th the series. I liked that his character Steven was pretty much a fucked up loser. He still wore his high school football jacket, he knocked up his girlfriend and left her, and is torn between taking responsibility for his actions. I loved Duke the bounty hunter (the finger breaking scene is one of my favorites) and the strange weird new backstory we get on Jason's family. With some pretty laughable and awesome characters, great one liners, and a funny and over the top beginning of the film, it's a non-stop roller coaster ride up until the final showdown. Love D LeMay's fight with Jason, and of course the famous scene of the glove grabbing the mask at the end. I'm sure I'm speaking for a lot of people but when I first rented that movie and saw that I screamed at the top of my lungs.

It's flaws - Yeah people can pick apart this movie all day. Was it a little too tongue in cheek? Yes. The writing was a little out there, and a little too much humor was pumped into this very odd film. The backstory with Jason's family seemed a bit strange and maybe they could have explained it a little better. I mean really? Jason has a half sister now? WTF? Also the Jessica character I really couldn't care for. Would have rather had it center around Jason's grown half sister finding out where she really came from. I think maybe make the movie a little darker, and tweek a few minor things (loved the sex/death scene in the tent, but boy was that over the top!), and maybe smooth out some parts where things seem to be flying in every direction and JGTH would be at 100% Great movie, but I can see why so many people are turned off against it and feel that it doesn't seem like a Friday the 13th movie.

Friday The 13th part VII The New Blood
Why it's awesome? - One of the best posters ever! I told my tattoo artist if I ever get Jason's mask tattooed on me I want it to be half Jason, half Tina. Yeah this is where things got a little out there and out of control. I mean it's pretty much Jason Vs. Carrie. Still, this is a pretty enjoyable movie and one of the better later sequels. Loved the score, the settings, and the birthday party taking place next door. Jason yet again meets his match after the Tommy Jarvis character wasn't the main focus anymore. I liked the kills, laughed, thought Dr. Crews was an asshole, and loved Jason's look without the mask (love that this was Kane's first time playing Jason!) Tina goes head to head with him, and there's some pretty cool moments. A fun Friday the 13th movie to watch indeed.

It's flaws - Eh, my heart breaks whenever I think of the cuts this movie got. In fact I think this movie would have been higher on the list had they let the director make the movie he wanted to. Just a few years ago I watched the uncut scenes and was completely floored. The greatest effects I've ever seen in a slasher film ever. Instead, no version of this has been released which kills me. Had we gotten the uncut version, we would have been seeing a much different movie. I think some adjustments with the casting could have been better, and maybe have the fucking movie take place during the summer. Camp Crystal Lake is depressing off season! A few moments were cheesy (like the TV flying) but I HATED the ending where the father jumps out with a dirty face and tackles Jason. Terrible...just plain terrible.

Friday the 13th part VI Jason Lives
Why it's awesome? - I really like Jason Lives. I've met the director before (who directed some of my favorite episodes of Friday the 13th the series), and really loved the new direction he took the movies after part 5. After Jason was missing in action in the last movie, a very clever and awesome opening comes with Tommy returning to prove that Jason is really dead once and for all. From this point forward we get zombie Jason. This movie was the first to really add humor. Loved that they went back to having it take place at a camp with children, and the deaths. (The RV one was the best) With Tommy and Megan as two great leads, and a pretty awesome showdown between Tommy and Jason, I loved the way they got rid of him in this one. Also how catchy is The Man Behind The mask?

It's flaws - I don't hate Jason Lives. In fact I think it's a downright great movie. It just doesn't usually pop up on my re-watch list. I think a stronger final girl would have been nicer. Everyone says Paula would have been better, ehhh...I see it, and as much as I love Mathews now playing Tommy, it would have been awesome to see Shepherd or Feldman (had the movie been made later) one last time. I also would have paid big money to see Pam or Reggie either in this movie or killed off in the opening. Maybe they were the ones going to the grave with him in the opening. I think the humor was a good and mad thing. Jason looked awesome, and the ending lake scene was great but eh...hard to explain. Still, a very fun movie to watch.

Friday the 13th part VIII Jason Takes Manhattan
Why it's awesome? - Can't really say much for this movie. One of my least favorites. When Jason comes to New York you know it's over. I think this movie had a great poster, and cool overall idea, but this sadly as the start of the slow death this film series began to have (besides JGTH) I mean it's fun to watch, I laugh when I see the rocker chick getting the guitar smashed in her face but ehhh...this was a mess.

It's flaws - This was just one big mess. The setting, the story, the acting, how Jason got on the boat. How the whole movie pretty much took place on a boat. The lead girl, her dreams of different Jasons coming to get her (one in which looked Asian) The toxic waste, the kills, the horrible ending, and music. God...I really hate this movie.

Freddy Vs. Jason
Why it's awesome? - I count this more as a Nightmare On Elm Street movie so I'll make it quick. Sadly after the hype JGTH left us with, and the rumors and screenplays that circled around for years, the ending result was pretty down right shitty. I saw this movie when it first came out, and even though it had a great idea, some good actors, and moments...I feel this movie is very weak and poorly done. In fact I really only watch this movie for the final fight at the very end and besides that, couldn't be bothered.

It's flaws - Didn't live up to the hype all these awesome scripts I read over the years had in store. Instead we had some cringe worthy moments for a fight scene that wasn't even that crazy.

Jason X
What's awesome about it? - Nothing. I saw this movie once and that was enough and this is coming from a huge Friday the 13th fan. I liked the chick getting her head frozen, but besides that I hate this movie with every fiber of my body.

It's flaws - The whole fucking movie. When will they learn...really? Jason in space (...)

Friday the 13th 09
What's awesome about it? - The style seemed on, there were 13 deaths, and I sorta liked the underground tunnels, but besides that...they truly missed the boat with this movie.

It's flaws - To think that this studio had the chance to remake a classic, a movie that's perfect but maybe could have used some updating. Instead they just shit all over it. And I'm not saying it's because it was a remake. I mean look, the My Bloody Valentine remake was released the same winter and it rocked. What's the difference? So sad, just a huge mess I don't even own. Don't waste your time.

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