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Everything You Need to Know About Friday the 13th
by Mike Thomas

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The Date that Spawned a Thousand Deaths

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
The First On-Screen death of the Franchise

The First On-Screen death of the Franchise
to a Black Friday, Jesus Christ was executed on Friday, Supervisors wait until Friday to fire employees, etc.

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
Kane Hodder - thequintessential Jason Vorhees

Kane Hodder - thequintessential Jason Vorhees
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.

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.
Naked Girls, Sex and Drugs.  Any Questions?

Naked Girls, Sex and Drugs. Any Questions?
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.
- 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
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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?
Mike Thomas
May 14, 2011 12:29 PM
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According to the Friday the 13th timeline, Jason was born on Thursday, June 13, 1946. He "drowns' in 1957; no date is given. There were a couple of unsolved murders on Friday, June 13, 1958. The movie picks up on Tuesday, June 12, 1979, and continues the next day.

The only anomaly in this timeline was that Jason would have been 33 in 1979, but we see what appears to be an 11-year-old Jason pull Alice into Crystal Lake, the age purportedly when Jason "drowned."

The writers could have done a better job of correlating Jason's key dates being Friday the 13th; they just placed his birth on the 13th.

I guess Wednesday the 13th doesn't sound as sexy.

The subsequent sequels occurred on Friday the 13th.

Great question. Thanks for your comment.

May 14, 2011 5:28 PM
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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.
Mike Thomas
May 14, 2011 5:39 PM
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And they didn't mess us up, did they?

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Science Fiction, Double Feature
Every other Sunday

This column will explore my taste in film. I watch all kinds of movies - all kinds - but likes science fiction/fantasy - action, animated, funny, even stupid. He will speak of his experience and his encounters with science fiction and the way it colors his - and our - everyday life.

Other Columns
Other columns by Mike Thomas:

So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Adieu

Joker Smackdown

Kids in Peril

Twenty Questions with Michael Bonomo

Twenty Questions with Scott Wheeler

All Columns

Mike Thomas
Mike Thomas was introduced to science fiction when he first watched 2001 - A SPACE ODYSSEY, and was hooked ever since. But he doesn't just watch the gee-whiz, gollee-gee special effects. He watches the costumes quirks, evaluates the musical scores, even identifies favorite actors of directors. He collected comic book, but has moved on to weapons: he currently owns the Mj?llnir - the Hammer of Thor, Electra's Ninja Sai's, Mace Windu's Light Saber, and a couple of Batarangs.

If you have a comment, question, or suggestion, you can send a message to Mike Thomas by clicking here.

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