Friday The 13th Part 2 (1981)
OR: We made how many millions?
With Friday The 13th creating a few instant millionaires, a sequel was inevitable. Since it was rushed into release a mere year after the original, Part 2 faced a few minor production difficulties on the way to the big screen. The lack of a good villain was a pretty big hurdle to overcome. Initial series bad guy Pamela Voorhees had gone the way of Marie Antoinette when Friday The 13th heroine Alice went all “off with her head!” with an ax. What to do, what to do? Oh, hang on…
Bag Over Head Guy! I think I shagged your sister once… she was a three-bagger though. One for her, one for me, and one for any poor soul unfortunate enough to witness our rutting.
Part 2 opens with the surprising murder of Adrienne King’s Alice, sole survivor of the first movie, by way of an unwanted ice pick lobotomy. This wisely lets the audience know that the sequel isn’t playing by the usualmovie rules of engagement and that nobody in the cast can be considered safe. The plot then moves ahead to 1984, which means the hair is bigger, the clothes eye-meltingly awful and the nudity even more rampant. God, I miss the ’80s…
A new gang of ax-test dummies set up camp around Crystal Lake. Unprotected sex, binge drinking and your usual horror clichés soon ensue. Part 2 is below average for the franchise, it’s basically a repeat of the first movie’s plot but with a new antagonist. Since Jason wouldn’t pick up his legendary mask until Part III, he ends up looking more like a disgruntled hillbilly here than a vengeful son looking for some payback against the kind of people that denied his mother the pleasure of ever wearing scarves again.
BEST KILL: Machete to the face: $100. Violence against handicapped person: $500. Hilarious tumble down long flight of stairs in a wheelchair: $1,000. Killing the poor bastard just before he’s about to get laid for the first time in ages: PRICELESS!!!
BEST BABE: Kirsten Baker skinny-dipping makes my machete rises.
Friday The 13th Part III (1982)
OR: The clothes really do make the man.
Luckily, 3-D movies were undergoing a bit of a revival at the time and, as it turns out, several horror franchises were about to release the third chapters of their respective series. The first half of the decade saw such movies as Jaws 3D and Amityville 3D, both of which featured very laughable special effects. Not to be outdone, Friday The 13th Part III’s kills made great use of in your face 3-D imagery. Jason fires a spear gun straight at the audience and one particularly gruesome death features some truly eye-popping carnage.
While the effects have aged about as gracefully as your early ’90s rap album, the movie remains notable for one inarguably great contribution to the franchise: Yes, this is the movie in which Jason finally receives his distinctive mask. After slashing the throat of… of… look, it’s Friday The 13th, not The Great Gatsby, I can’t be expected to recall the names of every fat, annoying teenager that gets his comeuppance in these things!
Anyway, Jason murders the living crap out of this douche and rightfully claims his discarded hockey mask as his own. And thus is a legend born. Part III recycles much of the same plot from the previous two flicks: disposable 20-something “teenagers” line up for Jason’s machete in order of attractiveness… mayhem and arterial blood sprays ensue. While it’s not the worst movie of the bunch, Part III certainly shows an overall slowing down of the franchise’s momentum. Everything on display here is so terribly “been there, done that” and aside from the new faces in the cast, nothing much differentiates it from Part II. There are more awful movies in the Friday The 13th canon, but none quite as boring as Part III. Still, it managed to gross a healthy $36 million, a vast improvement over the first sequel’s $21 million.
BEST KILL: This turns out to be a fake kill, but it had me chanting like a high school cheerleader for about 10 seconds.
BEST BABE: We have another celebrity in the house. Say hello to Tracie Savage, who graduated from baring her breasts in horror movies to covering the Heidi Fleiss and O.J. Simpson trials for NBC. She was actually threatened with jail time by Judge Ito for her unwillingness to reveal the names of her confidential sources.
I see at least two ways she could have persuaded the judge to drop the case.
What does Friday The 13th have in common with vampire movies?