friday13adHappy Friday the 13th everyone!  Yes, today is the day that Jason comes out to get us. This unofficial horror holiday was made famous by writer, director Sean S. Cunningham‘s seminal film from 1980, Friday the 13th. This little movie that featured special make up effects by horror legend Tom Savini and a very young Kevin Bacon, hit at just the right time, sparking one of the most successful film franchises in history. 

Today we asked our staff, along with dear friends of HorrorBuzz, to look back and tell us what their favorite installment of the seemingly endless franchise is. Some of the movies are actually pretty good, most of them are okay, a few of them are downright awful. The fact remains that Jason and Mrs. Voorhees will forever be in our hearts and minds when we go camping.

 

Wes Cowan

I’m going to have to say Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter (a.k.a. Friday The 13th Part 4). Why? Story and casting. The way that it picks up immediately after Part 3 is fairly innovative. Also, since it was originally intended to be the last in the series, it’s the only film in the series to have a really solid conclusion. As far as casting goes, it’s the last movie in the series to feature Betsy Palmer (even if only in archive footage) as Mrs. Voorhees and in a truly 80’s move it also adds in Corey Feldman as future series mainstay Tommy Jarvis. Topping that all off is a fantastically manic performance by Crispin Glover. So, sure, it may not have the craziest gore or the best use of its setting, but The Final Chapter pulls through on the delivery of its content far better than any of the other films in the series.

Friday the 13th Part 4: The Final Chapter
RATING: R
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Runtime: 1 hr. 48 min.
Directed By: Joseph Zito
Written By: Victor MillerRon KurzMartin KitrosserCarol WatsonBarney CohenBruce Hidemi SakowSean S. Cunningham

 

Norman Gidney

As a passive fan of the franchise it seems odd that I would pick what many consider to be the most mediocre chapter in the Friday the 13th series as my favorite. I can sum up my love for this film in two words. Reckless Reggie. He is the little kid with enough sense to actually run like hell when a psychopath in a hockey mask pops out of the darkness. But I digress. The film’s opening touted a newly famous Corey Feldman reprising his role from part 4. During a nightmare sequence, Feldman’s Tommy watches as Jason Vorhees is exhumed during a torrential storm. As the corpse of Jason comes to life and leers at the shuddering Tommy, he wakes up from the dream to find that he is in a van, on his way to a camp for troubled teens. Except now, Tommy is played by a different actor, John Shepherd. The conceit is that he is a little older. Our bet is that Feldman’s management read the script yet couldn’t fully say no to the buttload of money they were offered for a day of work.

Anyway, so Tommy gets dumped at a camp for troubled teens and is introduced to his room mate, an energetic little African-American kid named Reggie.  The two are fast friends and it seems that healing is in Tommy’s future. Alas murders start to happen again. The community of ne’er do wells is picked off, one by one by a mysterious killer. Could it be Tommy reliving his traumatic encounter with Jason, is it a copycat killer, or has Jason actually returned from the grave to kill again?

This movie is awful. No doubt about it.  However, there are kernels of brilliance in this turd. There is a certain originality to the plot that had not been present since part 2. I love how they returned to a mystery driven plot, much like the original film, in which you never knew who the killer was until the end. I am also a huge fan of Reckless Reggie. He simply the coolest character to ever have to deal with the iconic lumbering machete-wielding menace. Then there is the absurdly misguided scene of a goth girl pop-locking with her headphones on as the killer sneaks up behind her. The girl easily would have been listening to Bauhaus or Dead Can Dance while thumbing through a french magazine she snuck into the compound. This movie is just one “are you kidding me” moment after another and it makes me happy. I urge you to watch it, but I don’t recommend it.

Friday the 13th Part 5: A New Beginning
RATING: R
Genre: Horror,
Runtime: 1 hr. 32 min.
Directed By: Danny Steinmann
Written By: Martin KitrosserDavid CohenDanny Steinmann

 

Mike Hansen

The original, way back in 1980. It freaked me out. I’d never seen anything like it. I remember taking my girlfriend home afterward and constantly looking in my rearview mirror, just waiting for the mossy decayed Jason to pop up in my back seat.

Friday the 13th (1980)
RATING: R
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Runtime: 1 hr. 48 min.
Directed By: Sean S. Cunningham
Written By: Sean S. Cunningham,  Victor MillerRon Kurz

 

Jeff Heimbuch

Jason X. I love it. I don’t care what anyone thinks about it. It’s amazing. While I had seen all the other Friday movies before, this was the first I saw in a theater during its original run, and it was just a blast to see with other people. The mere act of putting unstoppable killing machine Jason Vorhees in space is brilliant. The kills were innovative, and brutal. It was funny as hell, too. Who can ever forget the classic nod to the ol’ “sleeping bag against the tree” kill. Hands down, the absolute best. I can watch it again and again. I love it to the point that I even read the three Jason X tie-in novels that took place AFTER the film. I’ve seen the future, and it’s an unstoppable Jason Vorhees cyborg. And it is glorious.

Jason X
RATING: R
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Runtime: 1 hr. 48 min.
Directed By: James Isaac
Written By: Victor MillerTodd Farmer

Sebastian Muñoz (Force of Nature Productions)

For me, the entire series are like my favorite ice cream from my childhood. no matter how old you get, it always tastes good and tastes of home. The installment that calls to me the most would be The Final Chapter (Which of course it wasn’t, but who cares). It featured the always creepy Crispin Glover, a memorable performance by Ted White as Jason AND of course you can’t forget the un-credited cameo by the master himself, Tom Savini. What impacted me the most, watching it as a child, was the vulnerability I felt knowing there was no way I would survive a situation like that if I were to live it. Then, Final Chapter turns the tables on me by casting a child, Young Tommy (Corey Feldman) as the freakin’ hero (anti-hero?) of the film. That blew my 10 year old mind! I remember feeling pretty pumped about that, even at a prepubescent age. He was a kid in love with horror movies and make-up, like me; and, he used his love of what he knew to survive and take out Jason! That was pretty awesome and gave me hope that even I could save the day should I ever encountered the Hockey Masked One! Rock on! Happy Friday the 13th!

All of the Friday the 13th’s
RATING: R
Genre: Horror

 

Andy Palmer (Director of The Funhouse Massacre, Badlands of Kain)

Though I have always maintained that my favorite of the super star slashers is good old Mikey Myers from Haddonfield, there are a few Fridays a year where I want to get out of the city and head to Camp Crystal Lake. With one of those fateful Fridays once again upon us, I have been tasked by the good folks at HorrorBuzz to narrow down my favorite Friday the 13th.

Though there is no shortage of fun in any of the Friday flicks as Jason travels from the Lake to Manhattan to Hell, the Friday that holds a special place in my heart is Part 3. It has less to do with the quality of the film and more to do with the memories tied to them. Part 3 was the first Friday I saw, and as many of my favorite movie going experiences I saw it in the basement of my buddy Jake’s house. Jake had it made, he and his brother had run of the downstairs of their house and they had HBO. As a kid that grew up without the cable box until well into his teen years, many of my favorite weekends were spent with my best friend in his basement watching the Home Box Office late into the night. Part 3 sees Chris, Rick, friend zone favorite Shelly and a merry band of misfits return to Crystal Lake for a weekend of fun and debauchery, only to be met by a crazy old man carrying an eyeball, a 3-person motorcycle gang and a very pissed off Jason Voorhees who for the first time dons the iconic hockey mask. There are some great kills in this one, including no less than two impaling’s with a pitch fork and a freaking harpoon to the eyeball. As the movie was shown theatrically in 3D there is no shortage of pointy POV’s jumping out at the screen at you at all times. The capper for me though is the only guy to get laid in the film is Andy, which is the only time in the history of cinema a dude named Andy got some before a dude named Rick. So kudos to Steve Miner for breaking down barrier after barrier. Happy Friday the 13th kids I hope you get to have a ‘chi chi chi hah hah hah” sort of weekend.

Friday the 13th Part 3 in 3D
RATING: R
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Runtime: 1 hr. 48 min.
Directed By: Steve Miner
Written By: Martin KitrosserCarol WatsonVictor MillerRon KurzSean S. CunninghamPetru Popescu

 

 

Troy Parsons – Friday the 13th (1980)

The original has always been my favorite. This is the one movie that really got me turned onto horror films. Here I was thinking I was way cooler than all my friends in Jr. High because my mom and step-dad brought me to see it when it first hit the theaters. I’m also a fan of the remake. Hear me out. Not because of the storytelling but because it made Jason much more of a badass. You see him jumping from rooftop to rooftop and actually chasing down his prey other than him just showing up out of nowhere.

Friday the 13th
RATING: R
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Runtime: 1 hr. 48 min.
Directed By: Sean S. Cunningham
Written By: Sean S. Cunningham,  Victor MillerRon Kurz

Anna Mavromati

Ginny is my favorite Friday the 13th final girl, so Friday the 13th Part 2 is one of my favorite films in the franchise. The iconic ending scene when Ginny wears Mrs. Voorhees’ sweater and imitates her to control Jason is a very cool brains-over-brawn moment. Plus, Ginny is a pretty thoughtful and developed character whose sympathy for a deranged kid like Jason is set up midway through the film–which is especially impressive for an ’80s-era slasher sequel known for treating most of its cast like horny murder-fodder (not to knock this series–horny murder-fodder can be good fun too). Sure, Jason doesn’t have his iconic look solidified yet and this is one movie shy of him donning his hockey mask, but Part 2 has a lot of heart to it.

Friday the 13th Part 2
RATING: R
Genre: Horror
Runtime: 1 hr. 27 min.
Directed By: Steve Miner
Written By: Ron KurzVictor Miller

 

Larry Raymond Duncan

Jason Lives: Zombie Jason. That is all.
Friday the 13th Part 6: Jason Lives
RATING: R
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Runtime: 1 hr. 48 min.
Directed By: Tom McLoughlin
Written By: Tom McLoughlin

 

Ryan Asher Reynoso

Once upon a time there was a little old movie called, Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter. That’s right, the “Final Chapter”. Apparently at one point, this was meant to be Jason’s final appearance on the silver screen. Of course the iconic big bad went on to star in more Friday the 13th flicks, but for shits and giggles lets pretend that this was the very last Jason slasher.

Now that I’ve set the stage, lets remember how the standard formula works. Horny kids head to Crystal Lake, but Jason is on his way too.Is any of this ringing a bell yet? How about Crispin Glover’s seizure like dancing? I used to recreate those moves at my school dances. In hindsight, I looked more than likely looked like an idiot because no one got the joke. It was still funny to me, and really, that’s all that mattered.
I really connected with this flick, because of the protaganist, Tommy Jarvis (Corey MF Feldman!).
That’s right. It wasn’t some heart throbby muscley dude, or the typical “final girl” who would take out Jason, but a 9 year old kid!

“You thought teenage girls were weak? Try a nine-year-old boy on for size”. Not only did Tommy deliver the final blow, but the ending was even more of a mind fuck. Was little Tommy going to go insane after killing Jason, did Jason’s spirit enter the boy so he might live and kill again? Even though this was supposed to be the final Jason flick, the makers of the film couldn’t help leaving that, “what if” cliffhanger. Unfortunately, we would never find out, as they didn’t follow this premise in the Friday The 13th Part V: A New Beginning. Some would find this ending a little weak and unsatisfying, but as a kid, it had me by the balls. I should really find out about asking for those back…

Friday the 13th Part 4: The Final Chapter
RATING: R
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Runtime: 1 hr. 48 min.
Directed By: Joseph Zito
Written By: Victor MillerRon KurzMartin KitrosserCarol WatsonBarney CohenBruce Hidemi SakowSean S. Cunningham

Ken Toghia

The 2009 Friday the 13th reboot was my personal favorite. Not because it retold the original story (the best horror story ever) but because it was one of the best Valentines Day’s that my wife and I shared. We drove to Hollywood. Hit our favorite Indian Food place on Sunset, and then had pretty good seats at the Chinese Theater to enjoy the carnage. Romance takes many forms for us it’s cuddling up to enjoy some great “Jase…Jase…Jase…Jason….Kill…Kill…Kill…Kill” jump scares.

Friday the 13th (2009)
RATING: R
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Runtime: 1 hr. 37 min.
Directed By:
Written By: Damian ShannonMark SwiftDamian ShannonMark SwiftMark WheatonVictor Miller

 

David Markland (Creator Midsummer Scream)

EDITOR’S NOTE: When asked to discuss his favorite Fridays, Marlkand was hopelessly confused. Here is his entry.

Friday’s throughout high school were the best, especially once I had a driver’s license. Me and my friends were movie geeks, and we looked forward to seeing new releases every Friday night like it was Christmas. And once I had a girlfriend, it meant a movie date, often followed by sneaking into a local cemetery to “conjure spirits.”

or

My favorite Friday has always been TGI Fridays. Pretty much the pioneers of delicious appetizers. But for an ADHD type like myself, all the wacky decor on the walls and the flair on the waitstaff keeps my brain distracted long enough to almost forget how I long I’ve waited for potato skins.

or

My favorite Friday is Friday the 13th, 2016, because its the final day for the Midsummer Scream ticket pre-sale, and I love seeing people get tickets for 50% off, because I love seeing people save money to the Halloween festival of the summer.

?????????????
RATING: Who Knows?
Genre: Mystery
Runtime: 1 hr. 48 min.
Directed By: Alan Smithee
Written By:  

David Markland

 

Really David?

So what are your favorite Friday the 13th movies?

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About the Author

Norm(an) Gidney is a nearly lifelong horror fan. Beginning his love for the scare at the age of 5 by watching John Carpenter's Halloween, he set out on a quest to share his passion for all things spooky with the rest of the world.
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Discussion

One Comment

  1. Gregg May 13, 2016 at 10:57 am

    I’ve gotta be honest, I’m not sure if it’s 2 or 3. I vividly remember a scene in a barn where somebody gets impaled with a pitchfork being one of my first exposures to horror movies as a kid. And of course, it had boobs in it. And now in repeat viewings they all kind of run together, especially 2 and 3 for some reason.

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