I was just reading a list on Bloody Disgusting’s site ranking the Friday the 13th films from 1 to 12. I love this site but I respectfully have to disagree with their ranking. I am not going to giveaway their ranking here because that would be tacky so check it for yourself if you haven’t read it. Also, my list contains spoilers.
So here we go…
12. Friday the 13th (2009)
I wanted to like it. There were parts in it I did like. But, the reason it failed in my opinion on such an epic scale is because it wasn’t true to the original. The killer wasn’t Jason in the first Friday the 13th. So, what the film tried to do was skim over that important fact. They wanted Jason in it. They wanted the hockey mask. So, they tried to fit a shitload of back story into film into a just a little bit of screen time. So much so that Jason had already been doing some killing and there was a main character looking for Jason before we even get into the movie. Basically, the movie took advantage of the fact that everyone knows “Jason”. Knowing this they just skipped over what Friday the 13th was and just more or less went straight to part 3 in the series. It was crap. So much talent in that film and it was all wasted on story that just jumps the gun to get to Jason. Poor decision and for that, it was the worst of the series.
11. Freddy VS Jason (2003)
It was a fun idea but it’s stupid, two completely different kinds of killers. One is pretty much just in your dreams. The other one kills you while you’re awake. What would have been cool, Jason VS. Michael! Michael would have won but there would be some serious ass whoopin’ by Jason until Michael got a grip on him and then it would have been all over.
10. Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993)
This was just stupid all the way around. Okay, Jason is either Jason or he is not. Having him transfer consciousness from one person to another is just stupid.
9. Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985)
This one was such a disappointment to me. The only things that I liked about it was the guy who played Tommy, I felt for his character. However, there were just so many goofy characters that it just became a joke of a movie. There was the foul mouthed old lady and her dumb husband. Cops made to look like idiots and the killer wasn’t even Jason. Or Was he? It’s been so long since this peace of crap film that I honestly don’t recall. Oh, the other thing I have to admit that I liked was the weird “Goth” girl, she had this scene were she was dancing, it was so odd and unusual I couldn’t take my eyes off of her.
8. Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988)
This one was interesting because it had Jason taking on someone with telekinesis. That was pretty much where the interesting ends in this sequel.
7. Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)
Yes, it was stupid. I am not going to say it was plausible. I am not going to say it had good acting or even a good story. It was just worth it to see Jason out in public. The best scene for me was when Jason bursts into this deli as I recall and the cook comes out to kick him out. The cook is massive! He Dwarfs Jason. Jason just grabs the guy and throws him over the counter and into the wall. I remember seeing it in the theater and how the audience cheered when that happened.
6. Friday the 13th Part IV: The Final Chapter (1984)
I was terrified this was really going to be the end of the franchise. How naive when I look back. But, I was barely 14 when I saw it. I related to Tommy, in that I was I was also into horror stuff like he was. Even though his character was so much younger than my almost grown up, in High School age of 14. I had been doing special effects make-up for a few years by the time this came out. In fact, I was in charge of the City’s Haunted House. That’s right, in the 8th grade and I was running the show! Not just doing the make-up. I was directing it all it. So when I saw Tommy’s character I felt a kinship with him. Oh and I later met Tom Savina at a convention in 1985 and he brought Jason’s hand that gets split by the machete. I got to hold that hand. Way cool!
I also liked some of the other characters. It had George McFly in it, it had hot twins in it. It had that excellent Tom Savini gore in it and it once again had a story that was believable enough to get you through the movie.
5. Jason X (2001)
Here’s why I liked this one, it was so out there and sounded so stupid, I didn’t see it in the theater. As far as I was concerned, the series had been over for years and this was just a slap in the face to real fans. Of course, that all changed when I finally broke down and watched it when it came out on DVD or VHS, I don’t recall the format. I was late to the DVD market. After buying everything on Beta to then have to switch to VHS and then to Laser Disc and then finally to DVD. I waited for a long time before I ever bought a DVD. So I watched it and it was fun! Creative kills and they made the ridiculous idea of Jason in space completely plausible. It was believable enough to get me through the film and that’s all you can really ask for. Hell, even Mythbusters tested one of the kills in the movie. How can you not love that!
4. Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)
This was maybe a better film than that part 3 and part 6 but I just didn’t enjoy it as much and I am not really sure why. It had some decent deaths. The main character played by Amy Steel and she was smart, the way she mind fucked Jason at the end was nice. It had a good scare at the end. I think it just comes down to the fact, Jason isn’t Jason without his hockey mask. So when looking back at the series, even though I think this was one of the better made in the series, it’s just didn’t work for me.
3. Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986)
After the disappointment that was Friday the 13th Part 5: A New Beginning I was so excited for Jason Lives because Alice Cooper did the title song and it was all kinds of awesome! I remember the video and it showed a bunch of clips of the soon to be released film. I almost couldn’t stand it, I was so excited. It had a cool surprise, Ron Palillo was in it. Arnold Horshack himself! Of course having him die in the first few minutes was disappointing. The film had a lot going for it. There was obviously some care taken in the production and the story.
2. Friday the 13th Part 3 in 3D (1982)
I saw this in the theater when it first came out. My dad took me for my 13th Birthday. However, this isn’t why I love this one. I love it because the 3D was a blast. The deaths were fun and I have to admit to having a crush on the main character Chris Higgins played by Dana Kimmell. Oh and it’s the film Jason finally get’s his hockey mask.
Think about that, Jason, one of the most infamous characters in horror movie history wasn’t the killer in the first film, wore a bag over his head in the second film. But, when he put that hockey mask on in the 3rd film, the series dominated the rest of the decade and to this day there is still excitement for the next one in 2015 or 2016.
1. Friday the 13th (1980)
Here’s why this is number 1 in my opinion. First and foremost, it was actually a good movie, it was scary and fun and it has been copied over and over every since it first came out. Second, it had a decent story and it was based in reality. Not saying the story is based on a true story. I mean that the movie itself is plausible. It could have really happened. I will admit that some of the scares were unrealistic like bodies flying through windows and so on. There’s no way Pamela Sue Voorhees could have done that by herself. But storywise, it worked. Third, the ending was a surprise, no one saw it coming. A female killer? It was good! And, they final jump scare with Jason. Great! Even though it set the bar for gore in the slasher films, Friday played a little like a murder mystery as well done on a cheap budget.