Friday the 13th (1980) (1980)
February 13, 2015 2:04 AM - Subscribe

Friday the 13th is a 1980 American slasher film directed by Sean S. Cunningham and written by Victor Miller. The film concerns a group of teenagers who are murdered one by one while attempting to re-open an abandoned campground, and stars Betsy Palmer, Adrienne King, Harry Crosby, Laurie Bartram, Kevin Bacon, Jeannine Taylor, Mark Nelson and Robbi Morgan. It is considered one of the first "true" slasher movies.

Prompted by the success of John Carpenter's Halloween, the film was made on an estimated budget of $550,000 and released by Paramount Pictures in the United States and by Warner Bros. in Europe. When originally released, the film received negative reviews from film critics. It grossed over $39.7 million at the box office in the United States. In the years that followed, the film has received much more positive retrospective reviews, and it has become a cult classic. It was also the first movie of its kind to secure distribution in the USA by a major studio, Paramount Pictures.

This has been a joint posting of MeFi Horror Club 2.0 and the Friday the 13th Horror Club Spin-Off.
posted by Literaryhero (9 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I know this is considered low budget schlock, but 35 years later this movie is still so appealing...and scary.

ch-ch-ch, ka-ka-ka no way! Ki-ki-ki Ma-ma-ma. Ah, that makes more sense, huh?

So much has been written about the movie that there is really nothing I can add to the discussion. It is still one of my favorites, though. Also, it is surprising how many people don't actually know who the bad guy is. Great trivia question for those who aren't horror obsessed.
posted by Literaryhero at 2:06 AM on February 13, 2015 [2 favorites]

Ok I am watching it now, and that is NOT how you hang a gutter!
posted by Literaryhero at 5:44 AM on February 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

When I first watched this movie (probably circa mid-high school, fairly late in my horror-appreciation development) I remember being disappointed. It had always been regarded as a classic, and the whole series was such a big cultural touchstone of the 80s...But after the subtly of Halloween, this felt more like a b-movie that got lucky. Enjoyable in its way, but sort of schlocky compared to other movies of the era held in roughly the same regard.

However, having been a summer camp kid who (in real life and in his old age) doesn't get into the rustic outdoors enough anymore, this movie and the first sequel have been watched and re-watched and re-watched at least annually in my house for about ten years running. I want to live in that time and place -- while actually staying safe from serial murderers in my living room, preferably.

I'll probably have more to say about Part 2 in comparison to this. I feel it keeps much of what I like about the original but swaps out some of the weaknesses for stuff I like more, but I can save that for next month...
posted by doctornecessiter at 8:29 AM on February 13, 2015 [4 favorites]

My favorite story about the making of Friday the 13th is that Betsy Palmer needed a new car, and the one she wanted cost $9,999. She got an offer to do this little horror movie for $10,000, so she figured that was perfect- she'd spend a week filming a part in this movie nobody would ever see and it would buy her the new car she wanted. Little did she know...
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:27 PM on February 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

I enjoyed this even though the only truly scary moment was the kid in the water. I do wonder how that couple managed to have sex without seeing a dead body on the top bunk. That's some focus.
posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 6:46 PM on February 13, 2015

First time watcher here, and I think this movie is kind of amazing.

I do wonder how that couple managed to have sex without seeing a dead body on the top bunk.

They only had candle light to see by (we could see because movie magic). Also, there was a duffel bag or something blocking view of the corpse from the side Kevin Bacon was on.
posted by GrumpyDan at 11:21 PM on February 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

I thought the bit at the beginning, with the girl hitching a ride and having it go very, very wrong, was terrifying.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:40 PM on February 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

The woods in general are scary to me, and I feel like the POV shots were used to great effect. The scene where they are being watched from behind the tree and where the cook is getting stalked in the woods and they just show the murderer's boots both really creeped me out.
posted by Literaryhero at 5:04 PM on February 14, 2015

It's bananas to see this after watching A Bay of Blood and realize that Sean Cunningham's takeaway from that was "Hot women and their dudes getting stabbed in the woods is dope."
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:19 AM on December 25, 2021

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