Comfortable and Furious

Friday The 13th (1980)


Unknown male counselor, stabbed in stomach, dies in barn loft.

Unknown female counselor, presumably stabbed in stomach, dies screaming in barn loft.

Annie, cook-to-be, throat slashed, gurgles her last by a tree.

Neddy, resident goof, throat slashed, body dumped on bed in bunkhouse.

Jack, resident stud, arrow pierces throat through mattress, dies in bed.

Marcie, Jack’s whore, axe to the face, dies in earshot of the bathroom.

Brenda, player of Strip Monopoly, dies mysteriously, bound body tossed through window.

Steve, owner of refurbished Camp Crystal Lake, stabbed in chest, hung upside down.

Bill, resident sweetheart, arrow in eye and neck, hung on a bunkhouse door.

Mrs. Voorhees, dutiful mother, decapitated, meets her maker by the lake.

Make-out sessions/fuck-fests:

Four, though only Jack and Marcie actually complete the act. Naturally, they are butchered for daring to orgasm with a Republican about to take office. The lone session is brief, but we do get to see Kevin Bacon’s ass cheeks, which are teasingly squeezed immediately preceding his orgasm. As this is a slasher pic, her orgasm is irrelevant, presumed dangerous.

Biblical overtones:

The film is haunted on two occasions by town nitwit Ralph, who claims that he speaks to God and says of Camp Crystal Lake, got a death curse! He’s even labeled the Prophet of Doom by locals. Also, at least two snakes are seen in the film, one of which slithers through a bunkhouse, while the other appears right before Mrs. Voorhees spies the kids frolicking by the lake. A torrential downpour is unmistakably a stand-in for the Great Flood, and upon fixing a light bulb, a character cries, What hath God wrought? And, despite having seen this movie a dozen times, it only now became clear to me: Mrs. Voorhees is God. Her decapitation at the end does not kill her, but instead unleashes her vengeance in the form of her only begotten son, Jason, who was so painfully crucified years before for the crime of being a bad swimmer. Kids fucked while Jason drowned, so God has returned to set things right.

Memorable lines:

Kill her! Kill her! Kill her! Kill her! Kill her! Kill her! Kill her! Kill her! Kill her! — Mrs. Voorhees

Sit on it, Tonto. — Superfluous cop character, to counselor dressed like an Indian.

Signs of the Times:

Mrs. V’s deplorable sweater.

What surprised you?

Tom Savini, the genius of Dawn of the Dead fame, actually took a paycheck for the effects! And I didn’t remember that as the film concludes, and Alice floats along in a canoe, the piano medley from “Layla” fills the soundtrack.

Examples of superhuman strength:

During the final battle royal with Alice, Mrs. Voorhees, despite being middle-aged (and a broad, for fuck’s sake), takes several punches to the face, a frying pan to the head, assorted objects to the body, and still pounces like a tiger when the pair are wrestling for a good two minutes by the lake. And remember, she also managed to lift several 200+ pound men, turn them on their heads, and hang them on doors. She also threw a woman no lighter than 105 pounds through a window.

Coolest moment:

After Mrs. V is decapitated, her hands continue to reach for a head that isn’t there. Though the bizarre, wacked-out close-up of Mrs. V sneering, Kill her, mommyKill her! was close. It’s the finest moment of Betsy Palmer’s long and distinguished career.

Bits & Pieces:

Friday the 13th, in fact, is Jason’s birthday.



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