Friday 13th: Jason Just Wants To Party!

Friday the 13th

Friday 13th is here once again, time to party with your old pal Jason at Camp Crystal Lake and also find out why this franchise has been so drop dead successful.

Friday the 13th

Yes folks it’s that time again (Friday 13th) when we all phone up our old pal Jason for a couple beers and a beheading or five. The date Friday 13th is traditionally associated with bad luck and silly superstitions such as a black cat crossing your path or walking under ladders, which both date back to the 1800s. However, for the last 20 years or so it’s been known as ‘Mr Voorhees’ day’ – a day to party down with the local kids and have rave in a grave.

In total there are twelve Friday 13th films, which might lead you to ask why didn’t they just turn it into a TV series like Cheers? Jason sauntering into a bar where everyone knows his name, only they definitely would not be glad he came. Still, if the storyline can engross twelve movies you would think there’s enough material to fill a half season of TV shows. Only I guess every episode would be almost identical so maybe it wouldn’t work with a one week break instead of two or three years.

ginny and jason

The story of Jason goes – in case you didn’t know it – a little something like this:  Boy goes to camp. Boy gets bullied. Boy is drowned. Mummy dearest gets payback. Thus a geek is born. So between shopping at Asda and eating ice cream and playing on swings or whatever, Jason and his little mommy murder all the kids at the camp. Or in space or Manhattan of whatever locale they find themselves in (although later on in the series it’s just Jason and not his psycho mum). Sounds like your average happy family right? Although his mum sounds like a bit of a control freak and not just in terms of getting home for dinner on time. Try introducing your significant other to her, you might be lucky and just get shanked up.

In total, the Friday 13th films have grossed over $465 million at box offices worldwide securing its place firmly in horror history. This franchise has gained the most financial success within the United States when compared to other horror slashers such as Halloween or Nightmare on Elm Street. The original story was written by Victor Miller and then directed and produced by Sean S. Cunningham in 1980. This was back in the day when Jason was a young pup creeping on girls in Camp Crystal Lake living in a psychopath’s paradise.

friday 13th jason holding arm

As mentioned before Jason drowns as a result of being taunted but the camp counselors are too busy shacking up to notice. That’s right, screaming for help as you slowly suffocate to death is all part of the crazy camp fun. The 80’s huh? Years later the counselors attempt to reopen the camp, so Mrs Voorhees tries to get the old gang back together and sends them a formal invite to Jason’s birthday with a good old fashioned stabbing. Needless to say all of his birthday wishes came true in violent and horrific fashion. After this film was released fans demanded more which spawned various sequels.

However, with titles such as “Jason takes Manhattan” it becomes increasingly difficult to take this film franchise seriously. This title sounds like one of the recent “Sex and the City” films, except Samantha would be far more frightening to bump into a dark alley way at night. Or perhaps Kim Catrall’s face has had even more injections of botox in it. Probably a combination.

As each story progresses, the quiet, gentle soul that is Jason somehow finds himself in space in the film “Jason X”. The U.S government have supposedly kidnapped this unstoppable killing machine and decided to freeze him like a Slush Puppie. No way he’ll come back and try to savagely murder everyone, no way, that would just be rude. I mean it hasn’t happened before nine times has it? Skip to the future sometime in 2455, Jason appears on board a space ship not only to party with Marty Mcfly but to eventually thaw out and later become a cyborg to maul everybody so he can get to the dance on time. He even goes on to gate crash a rave in a cornfield during the film “Freddy Vs. Jason” (the timeline is a bit blurry on when this took place, and also on who fvcking won) and torches the place in true Jason style. Who says a mass murderer doesn’t know how to party?

So why are these films so popular, Jeffro? Well we all love a good scare and I guess that’s the main reason. However, it can also be argued (by film studies lecturers) that the Jason franchise originally highlights the theme of bullying. Most of us crazy cats have experienced this in some shape or form. If you haven’t yourself, I’m sure Jason is already on his way to pay you a nice visit. So evidently our main man J.V. overcame this and became some sort of hero which we as an audience can respect. Although it’s probably more likely that people just like seeing a weird looking psychopath in a hockey mask and machete butcher a bunch of annoying kids. Hey, if it ain’t broke why fix it?

Whatever you’re doing this Friday the 13th make sure you make your old pal Jason Voorhees proud.

Jason and Pam


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