The Date that Spawned a Thousand Deaths
In honor of Friday the 13th, which was actually yesterday, today's column will be about FRIDAY the 13th ad nauseum, bringing everyone (both of you) up to speed on everything on the activities at Crystal Lake. That lovable, psychotic lug that arguably has the highest body count of all the horror icons (he takes out an entire planet in Jason X) is as iconic a horror fixture as the Frankenstein Monster or Godzilla. We marvel at his accomplishments, and for two decades, ruled Friday the 13th as a date to expect another installment of the antics of Mrs. Voorhees' little slasher. But first a little backstory on everyone's second favorite horror holiday entertainment venue, Halloween being the first (Michael Myers was here first),
Contrary to popular belief, triskaidekaphobia is NOT the fear of Friday the 13th. It is just the fear of the number thirteen. The phobia associated with the fear of Friday the 13th is (ready for this?): friggatriskaidekaphobia - Frigga, wife of Odin being the name of the Norse goddess for whom "Friday" is named and triskaidekaphobia meaning fear of the number thirteen.
Friday the 13th is a special date. it is a combination of the unluckiest number - a prime number just after the number twelve, which is considered lucky or a sign of completeness (twelve months, two times twelve hours, twelve zodiac signs, twelve apostles, etc.), and Friday being the unluckiest day (the 1929 Stock Market Crash is usually referred
to a Black Friday, Jesus Christ was executed on Friday, Supervisors wait until Friday to fire employees, etc.).
The First On-Screen death of the Franchise
With the brand recognition of Friday the 13th, horror movies, especially those dealing with the occult or the supernatural, routinely use as a nexus, Halloween, or more emphatically, Friday the 13th, since there are usually two in any calendar year and never the in same months (any month that starts on a Sunday will have a Friday the 13th).
Speaking of Tom Savini, the most famous Friday the 13th movie is, of course, FRIDAY the 13th, which spawned ten sequels, a television series, and a remake, also with a sequel. It made stars of - come to think of it - no one! Two notable actors to come out of the series, however, was Kevin Bacon, who became the first on-screen killing with the now-famous arrow-through-the-throat gag, which this writer has figured out how that was done only a few years ago (Bacon was actually under the bunk while a full body cast was placed on top. Then an arrow was pushed through a blood bladder strategically placed above his neck.). The other actor was Corey Feldman, who played the character Tommy Jarvis in two sequels. Neither actor has ever claimed that the series jump-started their careers, but can be seen on the TMZ site 'Memba them? The only person to win fame and fortune in the FRIDAY the 13th franchise is special make-up artist Tom Savini. His special expertise transitioned
him from the FRIDAY the 13th to the George Romero Zombie sequels, to writing books and starting his own workshops, and finally put him on the big screen in several Robert Rodriguez features, as well as producing and directing his own features.
Kane Hodder - thequintessential Jason Vorhees
Some fun facts about the FRIDAY the 13th franchise:
- the killer in the first Friday the 13th was NOT Jason Voorhees, but his mother, Pamela. Poor Drew Barrymore learned that little tidbit the hard way in the first SCREAM.
- Jason did not wear his iconic hockey mask until the second sequel, FRIDAY the 13th Part III. It also has the distinction of being the only movie of the franchise to be shot in 3D.
- several actors and stuntmen have portrayed ol' Hockey-Mask-Face. The first Jason was Ari Lehman, the supposed drowning victim, son of Pam Voorhees at Camp Crystal Lake, which started the whole cash cow series. Interesting factoid: some FRIDAY the 13th sequels used multiple stuntmen in a single movie to wear the mask.
- the most famous Jason was Kane Hodder, who donned the mask four times. Sadly, for the infamous FREDDY vs. JASON, Hodder was not used, being replaced by Ken Kirzinger.
the other FRIDAY where Jason was NOT the killer was FRIDAY the 13th: A NEW BEGINNING, where you had a Jason wannabe doing the hockey mask tango.
Naked Girls, Sex and Drugs. Any Questions?
- FRIDAY the 13th is blamed in part for the promiscuous teenagers having sex and doing drugs Death Warrant rule, as parodied in JASON X.
The one thing that amazed me about Jason, that though he was said to be mentally challenged, he managed to dispatch his victims in the most creative and imaginative ways. And though he appears to be slow and lumbering, he manages to trap even the most swift and nimble nympho.
So, this writer hopes you all had an uneventful Friday the 13th. You didn't walk under any ladders, break any mirrors, or have black cats cross your path. And by all means, I hope you didn't have any extra-marital coitus, or take any recreational drugs.
Because no matter how fast or clever you may claim to be, the J-Dude always gets his man (or his not-so-virginal prey).
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May 14, 2011 10:51 AM
|Nice column, Mike. I always wondered though what the actually date had to do with the movies. Did Jason originally drown on a Friday the 13th? Did his mom start killing people on that day? Is there any connection at all?|
May 14, 2011 5:28 PM
|Remember the Hammer Films movies from Britain in the '50's? Sex and violent deaths. Just what every young boy needs to help him grow up.|
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