Welcome to the Kill Count where we tally up the victims in all our favorite horror movies.
I’m James A. Janisse and today we’re looking at the original Friday the 13th,
which was released in 1980 and spawned one of the most iconic franchises in the horror genre.
With 12 movies, including one crossover and one reboot,
The Friday the 13th series is most well known for its ghoulish goalie Jason Voorhees.
But, as anyone who’s seen Scream can tell you, the killer in the original film was not Jason but was in fact his mother.
See, Pamela Voorhees got pissed 20 years ago when camp counselors makin whoopee ignored Jason and got him drowned so that’s why she gets down to killin.
And how much killin? Let’s find out!
The intro of the movie takes place in 1958, you know, America’s golden age,
when jobs were aplenty and the best form of foreplay was singing church songs at a summer camp.
It sure works for these two kids, cause they wander off to play a little cabin attic grabass.
It’s these two giggling lovers, Barry and Claudette, who Pamela begins her vengeance with.
But hey, since Jason drowned a full year prior to this, she’s probably had a lot of time to think up some innovative kills, right?
Nope! Barry gets stabbed in the gut below screen for the first kill of the franchise.
Kind of a lame start to a movie known for gruesome kills – it looks like he just squeezed a tomato against his belly.
After that, Pamela turns on Claudette.
They play catch with some boxes before the film starts to lag…? or something – oh, no, that’s just shitty slow motion.
A freeze frame signifies Claudette’s death, the 2nd of the film.
Then it pushes in on the frame and flashes to white, meaning, we just watched Claudette pass into the afterlife I guess.
Great, now we’re in the present where creepy old dudes give really weird line readings.
"You'll never come back again!"
"Oh, shut up, Ralph."
Yeah, shut up, Ralph!
Not that this dude’s much better, he’s very obviously grabbing her ass helping her into his truck
and I don’t like the way he’s looking at her there.
But thankfully all he does is give her a bunch of Crystal Lake backstory before dropping her off.
Then we get to meet all the other counselors, including Kevin Bacon and his pals, who are seriously introduced with this music.
I feel like one of them should be playing a milk jug.
They arrive at Camp and meet camp owner Steve Christy,
who probably oils himself up in front of a mirror every morning. I mean, look at him.
Back to Annie Philips, the teen who who got harassed in town, she gets picked up by someone who listens silently while Annie talks about how awesome she is.
"But when you've had a dream as long as I have, you'll do anything"
Then Annie freaks out and does a sweet somersault from the speeding vehicle,
but still winds up as the third kill of the film with a pretty decent throat slit 22 minutes in.
I’m using the unrated version here so it’s a few frames longer. You’re welcome.
After that we have to sit through 20 more minutes of these shitty teenagers as they go swimming,
do some cooking, and kill a really good looking prop snake,
wait, oh no, I’m sorry, this is 1980 and this is a no-budget movie, that’s a real fucking snake. That was an animal.
They even run into Ralph who's hanging out in their pantry for some reason.
Maybe he was just trying to get a look at Alice’s sweet Luke Skywalker cosplay. Nailed it!
Finally, someone else dies.
It’s Ned, the “trickster” or whatever character, who’s charming qualities include life-threatening gags,
pretending to drown just to get a kiss, and cultural appropriation.
[Super not-okay Indian chant]
He wanders into a cabin and gets killed offscreen but his body shows up 40 minutes in.
It happens while Kevin Bacon’s character Jack gets his bang on with his girlfriend Marcie
turns out Pamela put Ned in Jack's upper bunk! Hahaha, classic camp prank.
Kevin Bacon is gonna see his body and be like "dude, quit cock blocking."
But actually, Bacon doesn’t see it, so instead of Ned’s body, sexy times is cut short by a full bladder when Marcie leaves to pee.
Jack takes the opportunity to smoke a joint, getting relaxed long enough for Pamela to grab his head and stick an arrow through his neck from below.
It's a very iconic death, but I always laugh at the mental image of Pamela sliding her way under the bed just to be able to do this.
Whatever, ignore the logistics and just enjoy this death again. Good stuff, Tom Savini!
Then we get 2 straight minutes of the Marcie Stanler underpants party before she joins the vic list with an axe to the head.
Another truly fantastic kill, where was this kind of make-up for those first two kills, guys?
Meanwhile there’s been a game of strip Monopoly going on between Brenda, Bill, and Alice, but it gets shut down by Mother Nature.
And where was Steve? Probably oiling himself up in the other room, right?
Nah, he’s back in town, eating pancakes or something, stuck in a diner because it’s raining.
Or someone is just spraying a hose back and forth on that car. But let’s pretend it’s raining.
Despite the stormy weather, Brenda gets lured outside by a creepy voice.
Yeah, that’ll break your reading concentration.
She wanders outside and ends up looking like a creepy wet porcelain doll on the archery range.
A cutaway and a scream means she’s probably getting killed, but we’ll wait for confirmation before we add her to the kill count.
Don’t worry, we get an onscreen kill soon enough when Steve Christy heads back to the camp
and gets stabbed.. below screen? What? What the hell, Friday the 13th?
I thought we were in for some gruesome kills.
I mean I understand the first two, you wanna set a false sense of security, or whatever, but, come on!
Body Oil Steve was just asking for a gruesome kill.
At this point it’s down to final girl Alice Hardy and her kinda but not really love interest Bill Brown.
They separate but they're reunited when Alice opens the door and finds Billy Boy pinned to the door with arrows.
I don’t know if he got shot against that door or if he was killed and then pinned up to it like a list of grievances,
but either way it’s a memorable kill.
Then, for whatever reason Mrs. Voorhees chucks Brenda’s body through the window like a brick with a warning on it.
She’s got, like… holes in her? And a rope around her?
I don’t know, I’m honestly just distracted by the actress moving around there.
It’s after all this that Alice finally meets Mrs. Voorhees face to face.
"Well, I'm...I'm Mrs. Voorhees"
Pamela gives the whole shpiel about irresponsible camp counselors and such.
And then a 10 minute chase ensues complete with Chinatown-like slapping, extreme close-ups on Betsy Palmer’s teeth, and a full-on hit to the crotch.
It all comes to a head out on the beach, when Alice picks up the machete, charges at Mrs. Voorhees full speed, and straight up decapitates her.
It’s another iconic kill in a movie with plenty of them, and the hands in the air gesturing “why God why” are just the cherry on top.
After that, the movie seems finished, but we get one last scare in the infamous Jason boat grab
where he pops up from the lake and pulls Alice out of the boat.
Turns out to be just a dream though, so don’t worry, it’s not like they’d take that scene and formulate eleven more movies around it.
I’m lying. They did.
But right now we’re still focused on the first movie, so let’s break this shit down and do the numbers.
Pamela Voorhees killed 9 people in Friday the 13th – 5 guys and 4 girls
She herself was killed by Alice bringing the total Kill Count to 10, evenly split among genders, plus one poor innocent snake.
At a runtime of 95 minutes, that comes out to one human death about every 10 minutes
I’ll give the Golden Chainsaw award which goes to the coolest kill of the movie,
to The Baconator himself, Jack Burrell, although Marcie’s axe to the head was pretty cool.
His death is just so iconic, and apparently it malfunctioned during their one take
so make-up assistant Taso Stavrakis ended up having to blow the fake blood through a tube manually.
That's dedication dude.
Conversely, the Dull Machete goes to the lamest kill of the movie.
A lot of options here what with all the offscreen stabbings, but that freeze frame on Claudette in the beginning takes the cake.
And there you have it, Friday the 13th released in 1980, the film that started it all.
Next up we’ll be looking at Friday the 13th Part II, where Jason gets to play.
But until then I’m James A. Janisse, this has been the Kill Count.
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