Friday the 13th (1980) / Friday the 13th, Part 2 (1981) (Double Feature)
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FRIDAY THE 13TH: They comprise the most successful and shocking tales of terror in cinema history. Now, for the first time, the first eight classic Friday The 13th movies are available together in this killer DVD collection. Beginning with the picture that critics have called the original slasher flick, this collection spans nine years and includes seven additional blood-soaked, suspense-filled sagas starring one of the most horifying characters ever to wear a hockey mask and wield a machete: Jason Voorhees. It's a splatterfest of fear all the way from Crystal Lake to the mean streets of Manhattan. In addition, the collection includes a special disc filled with never-before-seen footage and fabulous extras that will slay even the most jaded horrorfilm aficionado! FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 2: Two months after the events of the original Friday the 13th, Alice (Adrienne King), the lone survivor or Mrs. Vorhees' killing spree, meets a grisly end in her city apartment. Five years later, a new group of co-eds converges near Camp Crystal Lake, scene of the original massacre and the drowning of Jason Vorhees that preceded it. This time around, the horny collegians attend a nearby training school for camp counselors. As half the group parties in town, an unseen assailant picks off the other half one by one. Only when camp leader Paul (John Furey) and his girlfriend, Ginny (Amy Steel), return to camp do they uncover the identity of their stalker none other than Jason (Warrington Gillette) himself, alive but grotesquely deformed as a result of his childhood drowning. Flashbacks chronicle Jason's behind-the-scenes activities in the first film (perhaps explaining how his mother was able to throw the dead bodies of muscular youths through windows with such apparent ease). The young couple's only hope to defeat the fiend lies in psych major Ginny's insights in Jason's mental state.
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As a film series, the story of Jason progressed, and had it's share of ridiculous moments. The low budget FX often take away from the shock value for modern audiences, and the first entry is mired down in hokey dialogue and poor acting, at least in the beginning. However, the best chapters in Jason's story are the first few. The original film finds it's own stride, and has an ending on a par with Psycho. The second chapter, which really gives Jason his due, sets up an even more sinister side of the character. Despite the fact that the iconic hockey mask doesn't get introduced until Friday the 13th part 3, these are the crucial introduction to a character who still sells Halloween masks. As a fan, I love this series, both as a horror enthusiast and as a nostalgia trip. I think the earliest chapters are the best, since the last few installments just go way over the top-ending with Jason in space AFTER supposedly being sent to hell.
Still, if you love horror, know the franchise, or just want to see what does and doesn't work in a serial killer movie, it's worth your time, especially for the first few films. They are a walk down memory lane, and a guilty pleasure.
Better than the first, better than all the ones after it, Friday the 13th - Part II was more on-point than any of the other movies in this franchise. The protagonist killed it, using her Chekhov's Skill to delay Jason and make for a killer (ha!) scene. Also, 1/3 of the movie wasn't filled with only 3D effects that you can't see in 3D because you're not in the theaters.
I'll start by going over the cast of characters (SPOILERS will be in this paragraph). In this one, the antagonist has had an upgrade to Jason, but Jason does not have on his famous hockey mask - instead, he sports a sort-of fabric bag over his head, tied loosely at the neck with a rope. This is almost scarier than the hockey mask because it, at first, almost makes his actions (tilting his head; toppling over easily; etc.) seem doglike. His weapon of choice in this movie seems to be an ice pick, though he'll drift into other means if he feels like it. The protagonists in this movie are much more likable than in the previous movie. We start with Sandra and Jeff, a couple; we don't learn much about these two past that, though it's obvious that Sandra's got a hankering for adventure, and Jeff does not. There's also Vickie and Mark. Mark is where the franchise first shows some diversity, putting a character in a wheelchair. These two quickly pair up and Vickie has this amusing scene right before she's killed where she thinks she's getting ready to go down on him (really she's getting ready to be killed) and she truly puts perfume all over her body - they won't need a bed of roses when she's buried, she'll smell like one. Mark is optimistic about his condition, believing he'll get out of the wheelchair before he dies, though the doctors don't agree. He seems very kind, as does Vickie. Terry and Scott are (sort of) a pair, as well. Scott, or, as I like to call him, Pretty Boy Floyd, lusts after Terry to the point of taking her clothes when she goes for a gratuitous midnight skinny dip. Terry resists his moves, but he keeps working it. Terry seems rather quiet, and Pretty Boy is quite the opposite. There's also Muffin. The condition of Muffin is not known. Oh, and Ted! He's the token goofball. His condition remains unknown, as well, though it's assumed he's fine, seeing as he was in town on the night of the massacre. Lucky duck!
(SPOILERS) Finally, our two main protagonists are Paul Holt and Ginny Field. They, too, are obviously coupled up, but they're not just in the movie to have some meat for Jason, unlike the others (most of the others get killed when they're doing something sexual, i.e. having sex). When Paul and Ginny return from the town to check on things, while Ginny finds a pool of blood in a bed, Paul laments about how "the kids smoke better dope" than he does. After they both see the blood, they descend the stairs to meet their doglike serial killer.
Ginny totally slays him.
By using a chainsaw, a kick to the groin, child psychology, and a machete (I think? I can't remember completely what the last weapon was), Ginny kills (ha!) it. Paul distracts Jason when Ginny goes in for the kill, then Paul helps Ginny back. However, after the obligatory nightmare sequence, it's unknown whether Paul really did survive the entire ordeal or not. It's possible that the eyeball that Abel finds in the next movie "with the rest of the corpse" is that of Paul's and has been hinted towards. Feel free to contemplate!
All in all, it was a great ride, especially in comparison to the other movies. They sort of lost touch when they got 3D effects - a horror movie doesn't need 30 seconds of yo-yoing and 30 more of juggling.