Friday, October 4, 2013

Friday The 13th (1980)

Crazy Ralph: You're doomed! You're all doomed!
Camp counselors are stalked and murdered by an unknown assailant while trying to reopen a summer camp that was the site of a child's drowning.
"Friday the 13th" made its premiere on May 9, 1980 to 1100 theaters.  On its opening weekend it opened to 1100 theaters and made over $5.8 million.  That wasn't bad considering the film cost an estimated $550,000 to make.  Ultimately, the film ranked #18 at the Box Office that year, earning more than $39.7 million.
This was the sixth film Sean S. Cunningham directed and was most likely his bigger hit of the previous five ("The Art of Marriage" [1970], "Together" [1971], "Case of the Full Moon Murders" [1973], Manny's Orphans [1978], and "Here Come the Tigers" [1978]).  Oddly enough, "Friday the 13th" was nominated for 2 Razzie awards (awards you don't want to get when you're in the film business): Worst Picture and Worst Supporting Actress for Betsy Palmer (she played Mrs. Voorhees).  People didn't care, though.  Cheesy acting by known and mostly unknown actors and actresses aside, audiences liked the story, they liked being scared, and the film ultimately became a cult classic.
"Friday the 13th" starred Adrienne King as Alice, Jeannine Taylor as Marcie, Robbi Morgan as Annie, a very young Kevin Bacon as Jack (some thought this was his film debut, but it wasn't... he had previously been in two television productions and three films), Harry Crosby as Bill (his film debut), Laurie Bartram as Brenda, Mark Nelson as Ned, Peter Brouwer as Steve, and veteran actress Betsy Palmer as Mrs. Pamela Voorhees.  This film was the first feature film ever for actors Adrienne, Jeannine, Harry, Laurie, Mark, and Peter (with the exception that Adrienne and Laurie had uncredited roles in previous productions).  For whatever reason, "Friday the 13th" would be the last feature film for Jeannine, Robbi, and Laurie.
Filmed in various locations throughout New Jersey including Camp Nobebosco in Blairstown, here's some more behind-the-scenes information regarding the making of "Friday the 13th" you might like to know...
1.  Director Sean S. Cunningham came up with the title of the film and placed in an ad in the trade papers to create interest in the movie prior to having a script. 
2.  Screenwriter Victor Miller admitted that he was purposely riding off the success of John Carpenter's "Halloween".  His working title for the script was "Long Night at Camp Blood".  Victor wrote the script in about two weeks. Moreover, Miller never went to summer camp when he was a kid.  Lastly, he had originally given Jason the name of Josh. After deciding that it sounded too nice, he changed it to Jason after a school bully.
3.  Tom Savini was one of the first crew members on board for the film because the producers idolized his special makeup effects in "Dawn of the Dead".
4.  Sally Field auditioned for the role of Alice Hardy.
5.  Adrienne King at first did not want to be in the film because of the graphic violence in it, but she changed her mind.
6.  Sean S. Cunningham has been quoted as saying that the type of actors that he sought for the film were "good-looking kids who you might see in a Pepsi commercial."
7.  Estelle Parsons was originally signed on to play Mrs. Voorhees.
8.  Betsy Palmer said that if it were not for the fact that she was in desperate need of a new car, she would never have taken the part of Pamela Voorhees.  In fact, after she read the script she called the film "a piece of shit".
9.  Most of the location and set were already there. The crew only had to build the bathroom set.
10.  While most of the cast and crew stayed at local hotels during the filming, some of the loyal cast and crew members stayed at the actual camp site. They had a VCR and only a couple of movies on videotape to keep themselves entertained: "Barbarella" and "Marathon Man".  Each night they would watch one of these movies.
11.  Willie Adams was a crew member for the film. Although he spent most his time working behind the camera, he played the male counsellor in the 1958 scene, and holds the unique distinction of being the first murder victim in the Friday the 13th film series.
12.  Special-effects Supervisor Tom Savini performed the arrow shot that narrowly missed Brenda when she was setting up the archery target.
13.  The scene with the snake was not in the script and was an idea from Tom Savini after an experience in his own cabin during filming. The snake in the scene was real, including its on-screen death.
14.  Composer Harry Manfredini has said that contrary to popular belief, the famous "Chi, chi, chi; ha, ha, ha" in the film's score is actually "Ki, k,i ki; ma, ma, ma". It is meant to resemble Jason's voice saying "Kill, kill, kill; mom, mom, mom" in Mrs. Voorhees's mind. It was inspired by the scene in which Pamela Voorhees seems to be possessed by Jason and chants, "Get her, mommy! Kill her!" Manfredini created the effect by speaking the syllables "ki" and "ma" into a microphone running through a delay effect.
15.  At one point, Mrs. Voorhess slaps Alice around a few times. Having worked onstage for years, Betsy Palmer was used to really striking her co-stars with a cupped hand along the jawline to achieve the scene. Sean S. Cunningham had to tell her about faking the blows and cheating with camera angles.
16.  Sean S. Cunningham wanted to cast his son Noel Cunningham as Jason, but his wife Susan E. Cunningham wouldn't let him do this.
17.  Betsy Palmer worked on the film for ten days, for which she received $1000 per day.
18.  Filming lasted 28 days.  The editing of the film took more than twice as long: Ten weeks.
19.  One critic was so angry at Betsy Palmer's role in the movie (which had angered many of her fans), that he published her address in his magazine, and encouraged people to write her and protest her. However, he published the wrong address.
20.  The filmmakers never intended to make this the launching pad for the series that followed. According to screenwriter Victor Miller, Jason was only meant as a plot device and not intended to continue on his mother's grisly work.
And now you know.
As I mentioned earlier, he movie was filmed at Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco in New Jersey.  The camp is still in operation, and it has a wall of "Friday the 13th" paraphernalia to honor that the movie was set there.
Please enjoy the following preview to "Friday the 13th" as well as picture stills from the film including a few rare behind-the-scenes moments.

First, the preview...

Now the key characters...



Now the scenes...




Alice: The boy. Is he dead, too?
Tierney: Who?
Alice: The boy. Jason.
Tierney: Jason?
Alice: In the lake, the one - the one who attacked me - the one who pulled me underneath the water.
Tierney: Ma'am, we didn't find any boy.
Alice: But - then he's still out there.

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