Friday the 13th (1980) (Uncut) (Blu-ray Review)
Directed By: Sean S. Cunningham
Starring: Betsy Palmer, Adrienne King, Jeannine Taylor
Rated: UR/Region: A/1:78/1080p/Number of disc: 1
Available from Warner Brother (As part of the Friday the 13th: The Complete Collection Set)
One summer at Camp Crystal Lake, a group of young counselors begin to get ready to lead campers. Unfortunately for the former, someone isn’t happy about what’s going on in the camp and enjoys playing kill the counselor. As bodies fall to the ground in the camp, no one is safe.
Here we have the one that started it all, folks! And while I can’t personally say that this is the Friday the 13th that made me a fan of the franchise, it is the movie that boomed the slasher craze of the 80’s. While Friday the 13th was inspired by Halloween, every movie after this one was inspired by it. While all the rules you’ve come to know is ran in the ground now, you have to give props to this movie for making the rule book here. Any scenario you’d expect in a slasher flick today started here. And it is for reasons like that we can call this movie a classic even if it really isn’t by “traditional” means if you break it down. I mean sure we have great gore, but we also have some weak characters if you look closely. Also, the thing that really makes this movie stand-out now and feel different is we don’t just have killing for the sake of killing. Sure, it’s Tom Savini for the effects and its brutal in nature, but you don’t really know who’s killing these people here when you first see this thing for the first time. Or at least the people who first saw it years ago didn’t. This is the one Friday the 13th movie that is more like a hybrid with a Giallo film. You could probably see where the Giallo breaks off into the American slasher here with this one. It wasn’t the Friday the 13th movie we expect yet, but it was branching from stuff like Halloween and Bay of Blood into that area.
While a trend setter, Friday the 13th, gives us a group of characters that just never seems really likeable. This would be improved on later, but here we are just waiting to see them die. Not that we don’t at least see the film take time to establish who people were. Some are a bit generic, but who couldn’t have fun looking back now and seeing a young Kevin Bacon? Of course in a film like this waiting on people to be killed off can have its perks. Especially when you take into account the effects and how people here die. I just wish the last part of the film, as our heroine is running from the killer wasn’t dragged out as much as it is. That’s one of things about this movie I just don’t like, even today. Our end-game is a bit held up by an overly long cat and mouse game. Still, it is a classic and would ultimately still be a stronger entry into the series than many of the others that would come later. The original Friday the 13th will never be mistaken fora perfect film, but it did come first in a lot of ways with this brand of the slasher genre and many would try to copy this with mixed results. You can start the slasher handbook here with these elements that went into this. The elements in a slasher that are now legendary. No, Friday the 13th didn’t come first, but this movie was a trend setter and it started the slasher craze for back in the day, not too much different from Saw started the torture genre and Paranormal Activity started a found footage kick that still runs today.
– Commentary With Director Sean S. Cunningham, Author Peter Bracke, Screenwriter Victor Miller, and Others
– Friday the 13th’ Reunion
– Fresh Cuts: New Tales From ‘Friday the 13th’
– The Man Behind the Legacy: Sean S. Cunningham
– Lost Tales From Camp Blood – Part 1
– The ‘Friday the 13th’ Chronicles
– Secrets Galore Behind the Gore
– Theatrical Trailer
Quality of Transfer: 92%