Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday the 13th

It’s Friday the 13, which means that there’s another Friday The 13th movie. God bless ‘em, I say, because the franchise got so close to parody that it only makes sense to take the idea and start over again, some thirty years later.
So close to parody? If I recall, in one movie they sent Jason in fucking space. What’s up with that? Is it so hard to kill the guy at the end before noticing that you didn’t actually kill him? Boom! Sequel!
But no, they had to take the series in this whole evil spirit thing and before you know it, Jason was actually dead but there was room for others to resurrect the spirit or some bullshit. That’s around the time that I started paying attention.
The first Friday the 13th movie that I saw was the second one. All of the older kids told stories of how the first one was so bloody that us younger kids were jealous that the ticket lady wouldn’t let us in.
Yes, things were so much simpler then. If you remotely looked like you were seventeen then they’d let you into the movie. None of this “Can I see your id?” bullshit. For the first movie, we barely had pubes, so there was no way they’d let us in and, to be honest, we were so dumb we wouldn’t know how to respond if they challenged our intentions to see this stupid slasher movie.
Oh yes, even at that age we all knew that Friday the 13th was stupid. Christ, it isn’t even that scary. We went because it was just a series of surprises followed by a brutal murder and the occasional tit shot. When you’re fourteen, you live for those tit shots; it’s the closest thing that you can get to a woman’s breast.
All of this, the feeling that you’re getting away with something, the tits, the surprise “It’s Jason” shots which caused the girls to scream and grab on to you tighter (if you went with a date, more on that later), the blood, it all added up to a value enhanced evening.
Friday the 13th Part II started with a recap of part one, which was great because I missed it and there really wasn’t a lot that I missed. I was there with my friend Tim. We sat next to each other and shared popcorn. None of this “let’s leave an empty seat between us so everyone knows we’re not gay” bullshit. I remember that happening much later…like when I was in my early twenties…and I totally ripped the friend I was with for doing it. Throughout the movie, I kept reaching over and running my fingers on the back of his neck, totally playing the part that I was gay and decided that there, in the theatre, I was suddenly going to make my move on him. Seriously. What the fuck is wrong with us guys?
Anyway. Friday the 13th II was far from scary. I’m sure we both jumped at the end when a disfigured Jason jumps out of Crystal Lake and attacks that girl in the boat and I’m sure we both looked at each other like “I meant to do that” just to save pride. There were a few tit shots and we got a chance to be “seen” by the older kids (particularly the chicks) just to show them how cool we were.
It didn’t work. A year later, we were still virgins.
And a year later came another Friday the 13th movie, part three if I recall, and it was in 3-D. It was around this time that HBO or some other premium channel began running Friday the 13th marathons on Halloween or, you guessed it, any date that happened to be 'Friday the 13th,' giving you an opportunity to get caught up on the series if you happened to miss the last one. I should note that at no time was I able to secure any chicks to go see a Friday the 13th movie. They all wanted to go to something more legitimate or to a proven blockbuster. I may have caught one at a drive-in, but I was stoned and making out with this chick Amy on a blanket near the back fence. I mean, why look for celluloid breasts when the real thing is right there.
Speaking of drive-ins, the last Jason movie that I saw was Freddy vs. Jason, a clear hint that both franchises had run there course until finally somebody said, “Let’s just throw the two of ‘em together and fight to the death, like those old b-movies from the 50’s.” It was awfully awesome, and I’m proud to say that I drove over two hours to see the movie from the back of my truck in an old drive in Moberly, Missouri. You had your choice: you could actually listen to the movie on your radio or through the traditional wired speakers attached to the post. When you did both, you could create this weird aural effect, which was cool. The whole place was great, it was like stepping back in time when things were simpler.
Keokuk did have a drive-in, which I was in high school that suddenly took off when they lowered the prices so that everyone could fit in the car and pay one price. They showed second run movies and it was a great place to get high. A tornado came through the edge of town and took out the screen and the owner’s chose to cut their loses and not replace it. I’m sure it wasn’t the first drive-in to die from Mother Nature.
It’s sad that kids today probably won’t get to experience the drive in, but there is a little bit of solace knowing that they’ll be able to experience the retardedness of Jason Voorhees. The new movie will probably feature unnecessary craftsmanship (better cinematography, high-end graphics and special effects, you know, clutter) and be far away from the spirit of the original movie.
That spirit came close in movies like Cabin Fever, but whoever’s at hand for the Friday the 13th reprise will probably try to make it into a horror movie. And anyone one that’s ever seen one of the original movies knows that Friday the 13th anything but a horror movie.
As that weirdo Ralph said “You’re all doomed! DOOMED!”

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