Last week I wrote about my impending Friday the 13th horror movie playlist since this month (tomorrow, even) has a Friday the 13th. I was feeling all topical with a sense of occasion.
Okay, right off the bat, allow me to be clear: I love horror movies. I mean I love horror movies. I love the good ones, and I love the crappy ones (for a whole different set of reasons). I’ve never liked gore or disgusting things, but I love the premise involved in so many horror movies. Plus, they are usually ripe with atmosphere, and I’m a huge sucker for atmosphere in any medium.
All that being said, I’m starting to wonder why I thought marathoning the Friday the 13th series was a good idea.
When I wrote about it last week, I figured a week would be ample time to watch all 11 movies in the series. Some of the entries I’ve seen more than others (I’ve seen the first, second, and fourth movies the most), but after going straight through, I realized how long it’s been since I’d seen anything after the fourth.
That turned out to be both a blessing and a curse.
A blessing because I didn’t remember how awful some of them were, and a curse because if I had remembered, I might not have thought this was all such a good idea.
Side note: I am loathe to speak of things in absolute terms (e.g.: that movie was bad), and more in personal ones (e.g.: I found that movie to be bad), but my thoughts on what I’ve seen so far might bridge between the two.
Also, SPOILER ALERT for the series at large ahead.
Okay, the first movie is solid for what it is. It sets up an interesting story, the acting is okay, and the locations are fun. I don’t like that they actually killed a real snake (it’s been said that the cast regrets that), but otherwise, the movie is passable.
But the snake thing really does bother me.
The second movie I actually like more than the first. Though, there is a whole weird loophole that never gets addressed: Mrs. Voorhees goes on her murder rampage in the first movie because she is mad the counselors weren’t watching Jason and he subsequently died. But he clearly didn’t die since he picked up where she left off after she died in the first movie. So really, Mrs. Voorhees had no idea Jason was still alive? If he could come back to murder everyone and avenge his mother, why didn’t he just come back to be with his mother before all this happened?
It doesn’t even make sense.
I love camping locations in films, and I think that’s what keeps me hooked on any of the entries in this series.
Back to the movies.
The third movie isn’t my cup of tea. It’s not awful, but it’s not great.
The fourth movie I actually really like. I like Kimberly Beck, and I freaking love Crispin Glover’s crazy ass dance in this one. The movie still isn’t great, or even good, but I really like it. I’d probably say this is my favorite entry in the series. It was also supposed to be the last entry.
I don’t think that would have been the worst idea.
All hyperbole aside, the fifth movie might be one of the worst horror movies I’ve ever seen. The plot is unintelligible, the characters are unlikable in the extreme, and the intensity of everyone is at a consistent 8 or 9; there is no room for a breather. And when I said the plot was ridiculous, I wasn’t kidding. After watching the movie (and I know I’ve seen it before, but thankfully didn’t remember any of it), I had to look up the plot on Wikipedia and even then I had to read certain parts multiple times because they still didn’t make sense.
If the movie and the synopsis don’t make sense, I think it’s likely that the movie might not be very good.
The seventh is passable. It’s not great and it’s not terrible. That’s the best I can say.
As I’m writing this, I have the eighth movie on in the background. It’s also not very good, but Jason does wind up in Manhattan so there’s that. I think for 1989, that was probably an easy sell.
So I knew I had movies 1-8 on Blu-ray, and I knew I had Freddy Vs. Jason on DVD (even though I’ve never seen that one). I also have the remake, Friday the 13th: Killer Cut on Blu-ray, but I realized I didn’t have the two movies that occurred in between: Jason Goes To Hell (The Final Friday) and Jason X.
It’s telling that I wasn’t able to find those movies on Blu-ray and only able to find them in a very cheap DVD set.
At this point, I’m committed to seeing this marathon through, but holy hell, it’s been rough.
Like, I understand that various entries in a series will vary in quality and entertainment. But I think about the Halloween series and I genuinely like every entry. Sure the second one is a little underwhelming, but I like all the rest and that includes Halloween III: Season of the Witch (it’s so wonderfully bizarre), and Halloween: Resurrection because who doesn’t want to see a movie where Busta Rhymes helps take down Michael Meyers?
So now that Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan is almost over, that means I only have three movies left! Wheee!! I don’t believe I’ve ever seen Jason Goes To Hell, or Jason X (though I do recall seeing bits and pieces of it back in the day), and I’ve only ever seen the remake once when it released on disc back in 2009, so I assume a lot of that will feel new to me as well.
I can make it through three more movies. I have popcorn. I have mineral water.
Most importantly, I have patience.
And a willingness to follow through on dumb crap.
What a thing to be proud of.
Are there seemingly ridiculous endeavors you have felt compelled to follow through on before? If so, what were they? I’d love to commiserate with you while I wade through these last three, surely great, films.