Kids just aren’t as scared of summer camp as they used to be. Maybe it’s because they aren’t even going away to summer camp unless forced to by the state.
Still, the nostalgia of summer camp is enough to help us begin our Summer Camp Slasher Series, a tribute to horror movies featuring campers, camp counselors, and the maniacs who murder them.
What better way to kick off a summer horror series than with arguably most time-tested horror franchise of all: Friday the 13th?
Movie: Friday the 13th (1980)
Plot: A group of counselors begin the task of rebuilding Camp Crystal Lake, a summer camp re-labeled Camp Blood due to the deaths of 2 counselors years ago. The warnings from residents of a tired, old town and a drunkard named Crazy Ralph aren’t enough to stop them from re-opening the camp, but as the bodies pile up, it seems that there is someone out there who will do whatever it takes to keep the camp closed.
Killer: In case you had sworn off horror movies for the past 33 years, I don’t want to be the one to play spoiler for this Whodunit slaughterhouse of a movie.
Scene of Awesomeness: A game of strip-Monopoly, proving that the board game can be enjoyed by any age group.
Scene of Ridiculousness: Jake (played by Kevin Bacon) dives into the lake like a sack of rotten potatoes on fire when saving Ned from (jokingly) drowning. And this is supposed to be a lifeguard at a summer camp?
Body Count: 11 (+1 snake)
1 machete to the gut
2 throats slashed
1 chopped-up snake
1 arrow forced through the sternum
1 axe to the face
1 knife to the chest
1 arrow to the eye, arrow to the neck, and throat slashed (Awesomely Overkill Award)
1 brutal beating
1 pair of breasts
Actors/Actresses of Note: Kevin. Fucking. Bacon. What more do you really need than an actor who has done everything from comedy (Animal House) to political drama (JFK) to action (X-Men: First Class) to television (The Following)?
Quote: “It’s not bad enough to have Friday the 13th, we’ve gotta have a full moon too. We keep statistics. We have more accidents, more rapes, more robberies, more homicides, more of everything when there’s a full moon. It upsets people. Makes them nuts.”- Sgt. Tierney
The slasher genre always has to be taken with a grain of salt. Or even something stronger. Still, Friday the 13th was another step in horror to make the story of a madman as suspenseful as it is insane and terrifying. The premise of the movie left the identity of the killer open until the end. This made every character a suspect, which can be just as scary as seeing someone get thrown through a plate-glass window wrapped in a rope. Unfortunately, suspense like this is usually lost when the audience is wondering where the next body will drop out from and how mutilated it will be, but the aura of suspense was there is you were looking for it.