3 – Friday the 13th (1980)
It would be downright blasphemy if the one that started it all was not ranked moderately high on this list. Sure there had been slasher movies that came before it but the success of the original Friday revitalized the slasher genre. It also sparked a franchise that would have 10 sequels and become so popular that it had embedded itself in pop culture.
For anyone who hasn’t seen the original Friday the 13th, and if you haven’t why are you reading this, you will already know that the Jason look is a bit of a moot point. Jason’s mother, Pamela Voorhees, is the revealed killer at the end of the movie so there is no Jason to speak of. Still, though, her sparkling white teeth and bat-crap crazy performance are great and give the viewer an uneasy feeling.
The overall storyline is great and there is not much to nitpick over. It is your standard slasher model but this is the movie that created that model so we can’t fault it. The actors are good in their roles and it is interesting to note that this is Kevin Bacon’s first feature role.
As far as opening kills go this movie may have the worst of the franchise, which is strange considering they were the kills that started it all. The killer stalks into an attic where she stabs two teens who were about to get busy but all of the action happens below the camera view. It is a disappointing beginning to a franchise that is well known for it’s graphic/creative kills.
The rest of the kills of the movie followed in much of the same token of the opening kills. Most happened below the screen so there is not much to see. The only two of note are the arrow through the throat of Kevin Bacon’s character and the excellent ax to the head of Marcie. Both were the amazing work of special effects guru Tom Savini so it is shocking that so many others happened off-screen when you had the maser on set.
Alice will always go down as one of the best final girls. She is the most capable person in the movie and she doesn’t make any bad decisions. Once the killer reveals herself at the end, Alice, proves herself a formidable opponent, getting the best of Mrs Voorhees in the end.
2 – Friday the 13th Part: IV The Final Chapter
A slight fib in the title of the movie as this is not the final chapter of the Friday movies. It originally was supposed to be the end of the movie series but Paramount studios decided that they like money more than continuity so the Friday series continued.
Jason’s look in the movie mirrors the look from the previous film and that is not a bad thing at all. His menacing appearance is exactly what is needed for this movie.
Also, at the end of the movie when his mask flies off we are given the best Jason face that the franchise has to offer. It was the perfect blend of deformed and backwoods, something that the other movies had failed to combine well.
The opening scene at the hospital was a great way to kick off this movie. After getting an ax to the head in the previous movie Jason is presumed dead and brought to a hospital. Of course, we know now that Jason is an indestructible force and once he is revived he kills a doctor and a nurse. The hacksaw through the neck of the doctor is gnarly and sets a great tone of gore for the rest of the movie.
The remaining kills of the movie are equally as great as the opening scene. Specifically, Crispin Glover’s character getting the corkscrew plus meat cleaver treatment is awesome. It is also notable to mention that this is the best Jason kill of the franchise. The visual of Jason’s face sliding down the machete blade is on that will forever be imprinted on the viewers’ minds.
Final girl Trish is almost as useless as they come. Her little brother is the more formidable opponent of Jason and all Trish does for the majority of the movie is run around and yell Tommy. Had it not been for her brother Trish would have met her demise.
1 – Friday the 13th Part: VI Jason Lives
At long last, we have reached the end of the line with the number one movie in the Friday the 13th franchise. After the dreadful effort that was A New Beginning, Paramount decided to revive Jason from the dead. It is also important to note that while Jason was technically just a man in the first four, he is now a zombie. After Tommy revived him from the dead Jason became the walking zombie that we would come to know and love for the remaining movies.
The new zombie Jason look was a perfect addition to the movie. The mask remained the same but the hunter clothes that he donned for this movie were great. It added a more of a threatening look to the killer.
The story of the movie was a great one and helped to put this movie at the top of the list. This was the first Friday movie that moved away from the entirely serious and added some comedy into the movie. The characters played this balance of horror and comedy to perfection and that includes several breaking the fourth wall moments.
The opening kill of the movie was not a fantastic one as much as the scene helped to revive Jason from the dead. When an older Tommy Jarvis returns to the cemetery where Jason is kept to kill him once and for all he accidentally brings Jason back from the dead. Jason proceeds to kill Tommy’s friend Hawes by driving his hand through Hawe’s torso. It was an ok kill to start the movie but it gave us zombie Jason so it will be forgiven.
All of the other kills throughout the movie were over the top and fantastic. This movie does a great job of breaking the fourth wall and it includes its kills in this action. There are many times that a character will acknowledge the audience before a kill and that adds to the greatness of the movie.
A special mention goes to Sissy’s kill of having her head turned around and ripped off by Jason. They wanted to maintain an R rating for the movie so they had to get creative with as little gore as possible and this kill was a great example of that.
Meghan as a final girl is a middle of the road addition to the group. She is somewhat helpful to Tommy throughout the movie and she does put Jason down for the count at the end but it was Tommy who was the real hero of the movie.