Be Kind Rewind -
Embrace Your Paraskevidekatriaphobia!
By Michael Nazarewycz
Believe me, it’s just as hard to type as it is to pronounce, and my Spell
Check is none too happy with me right now. It means “Fear of Friday the
13th,” and with the Halloween season upon us, I thought the usual double
feature might not be enough. We need a Be Kind, Rewind All-Night
Scary Movie Marathon! And what better slasher franchise is
there than the one that ignites para ... para ... oh, that word up
there! Prepare to be scared! (Thanks to
www.fridaythe13thfranchise.com for body count data!)
Friday the 13th (1980): Picturesque Camp Crystal
Lake has been closed for two decades. Oh, what the drowning of a young
boy won’t do to ruin business. When the camp looks to reopen in the
present day, the new counselors are systematically murdered by Jason,
the ominous, hockey mask-wearing figure. There is a twist at the end,
and look for a young Kevin Bacon as the only cast member to go on to a
long and successful career in movies. Body Count: 10.
Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981): There are no
future stars in this sequel, but there are plenty of victims. This time,
the killings take place at a camp near the again-closed
Camp Crystal Lake. It’s like a game of horseshoes, where close still
scores points. Body Count: 9. Running Total: 19.
Friday the 13th Part 3: 3D (1982): Don your
special glasses, kids! Murder takes on a new dimension ... and new
victims! In this one, not only do hapless woods-visitors get their due,
so do bikers. Body Count: 12. Running Total: 31.
Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984): Hmmm,
producers took 1983 off. Anyway, something tells me that there is
nothing “Final” about this “Chapter.” There are more killings of more
kids who can’t seem to stay out of the woods. Body Count: 14. Running
Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning (1985):
I told you so. Like New Coke, this reinvention may be unwanted, and
using Roman numerals isn’t fooling me. Here, the action takes place at a
looney bin that calls itself a halfway home. It’s where the 12-year-old
from the not-so-final last film, now a teen, is sent to live. Body
Count: 21. Running Total: 66.
Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986): The
kid is released from the looney bin, and to prove how he can be a
productive member of society, he goes to the graveyard where Jason is
buried. Apparently, Mother Nature loves death in her forests, so she
reanimates Jason with a bolt of lightning. The action returns to Camp
Crystal Lake, which has been renamed Lake Forest Green. A new coat of
paint does not a new thing make. Body Count: 18 (did we peak in 1985?).
Running Total: 84.
Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988):
More time off was in order, it seems, because 1987 went by the wayside.
During this downtime, filmmakers must have asked, “Why should guys have
all the fun?” They answered with a girl with psychic abilities, who
manages to “rescue” Jason from his watery prison in Crystal Lake,
culminating in axe vs. psychic powers in the woods. Body Count: 16.
Running total: 100! A milestone!
Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989):
Anybody who’s anybody knows that Jason wouldn’t survive five minutes in
New York City, but we’ll let that go. It’s hijinks on the (barely) high
seas as teens aboard the SS Lazarus (get it?) are systematically killed
by Jason. Body Count: 19. Final total: 119.
At about 90 minutes each, that’s 12 hours of movies, which is about 10
kills PER HOUR. Sheesh! Start around dinner and end around breakfast ...
if you can eat after all of that.
Check out other Be Kind Rewind
Michael Nazarewycz is a
US-based Writer for UK-based
He also blogs at
ScribeHard On Film. He can be reached via Twitter