What horror movie did you just watch? (Was it any good?)

Here it is guys. My marathon run at the original timeline Jason movies. I had seen every one of these in the theater, but this was my first attempt at a release order rewatch.

Friday the 13th (1980) - This actually holds up pretty well. It’s just camp counselors getting killed, but the performances are good and the infamous twist is still effective, especially as modern audiences link Jason to the franchise so tightly. Everyone knows Kevin Bacon is in it, but I didn’t think his performance was all that noteworthy. He’s as good as the other counselors - just good enough. The movie really rests on Adrienne King as Alice and Betsy Palmer as Mrs. Voorhees. It’s always been seen as a cheap slasher, but Sean S. Cunningham’s movie has a couple of horror landmarks in it. You see Alice run the archetype of the final girl circuit, and Walt Gorney’s “Crazy Ralph” is the first really solid harbinger of doom character that was lampooned so well in Cabin in the Woods.

Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981) - Set five years after the first movie, Steve Miner’s sequel gives us a Jason, but he’s not fully formed yet. He kills with more style than his mommy, but he’s got a bag on his head and he’s not the robotic giant everyone typically thinks of as Jason. Poor Crazy Ralph bites it, which is a shame, but The star is the 2-for-1 shish kabob skewer kill, which starts the franchise’s rising level of showy murders. (Just who is Jason trying to entertain anyway?) Final girl Ginny, as performed by Amy Steel, isn’t quite as resourceful as Alice, but she does a good final girl circuit. It’s weird how Ginny’s boyfriend and “final guy” Paul just disappears from the movie. AFAIK, we never find out what happened to him.

Friday the 13th Part III: 3D (1982) - Steve Miner directs again, but this time with THE THIRD DIMENSION! Of course, streaming the movie doesn’t have the 3D stuff, but that’s fine as it allowed me to more clearly see the goofball effects like the obviously spring-propelled eyeballs when he crushes a guy’s head. Ironically, the movie starts on the day after the previous movie, Saturday the 14th, and continues through Sunday. We finally get Jason’s iconic hockey mask, but it’s a lot less scary when you remember that he gets it by stealing it from a practical joker loser guy character named Shelly. The movie ends with cops arriving at the scene and a dead Jason in a barn. How does he get away? Maybe the next movie will show us!

Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984) - Here, finally, is the quintessential Jason. He’s got his mask and machete and he lumbers around menacingly. While Ted White is no Kane Hodder, he’s tall and big enough that Jason is now a physically scary dude just standing still. But as glad as I was to see the Jason we’ve all come to know, it’s Crispin Glover that steals this movie. He’s just so goddamn weird and his dancing is amazeballs. Corey Feldman turns in the best Tommy Jarvis out of the franchise, but that’s small credit overall. Supposedly quite a bit of this movie was edited away by the studio, which is a shame. I could watch Glover whine “I’m not a dead fuck” all the time. Also, this movie starts right after the last movie, on Sunday the 15th and continues into the Monday.

Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985) - The downhill slide begins. Apparently, there was a lot of drama between producers and the studio about how to “resurrect” Jason, and this is the result. A half-assed attempt to set a young adult Tommy Jarvis up as the new killer, but first we detour to a halfway home in the woods for troubled teens, where a completely different dude dresses up like Jason and kills kids. Corey Feldman was too young to portray the early twenties Tommy, so he only gets a cameo in a dream sequence. Fans of the franchise hated this new direction and the studio panicked.

Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986) - The slide continues. Tommy, now portrayed by another actor, goes to Jason’s grave with his buddy Horshack from Welcome Back Kotter and accidentally resurrects Jason with lightning. (Just go with it.) This marks Jason’s transformation from typical slasher killer to full supernatural entity. The movie introduces a weird bit of lore - Jason doesn’t kill children. It ends with Jason tied to an anchor and sunk in the lake, but very much not dead.

Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988) - Hot garbage, but you do get Kane Hodder as Jason. Originally sold to Paramount as Freddy vs Jason, the script eventually morphed into faux-Carrie vs Jason when Paramount and New Line couldn’t agree on anything. Psychic girl Tina fights Jason with hilariously bad special effects. Astoundingly, Paramount offered Federico Fellini the chance to direct because one of the producers had delusions of the film winning an Academy Award, (this is real, I swear) which I can only imagine resulted in hours of laughter. John Carl Buechler wound up with that honor instead. It does have the iconic sleeping bag against a tree kill. Terry Kiser, Bernie from Weekend at Bernie’s, plays an unscrupulous psychiatrist. The movie ends with Jason once again dragged to the bottom of the nearby lake.

Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason takes Manhattan (1989) - At this point no one gave a shit about Jason, not even the studio, and it shows. The movie is almost an unfunny spoof of its own franchise. First, the film is a bait and switch. You don’t even get to NYC until the last 20 minutes. The majority of the movie takes place on a dirty freight ship that’s supposed to be a cruise. But you do get the film debut of Kelly Hu and a pretty funny boxing scene kill. Ends with Jason dissolved in toxic sewage, because har har NYC poop, amirite?

Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993) - A giant ball of WTF. Sean S. Cunnigham returned to direct, and he was apparently bored by Jason so he made a movie about a worm that possesses people. It’s nice to see Erin Gray, but man what a stinker of a horror film. Ends with Freddy’s claw hand busting through the ground to snatch up Jason’s mask because fuck it all. Rightly hated by most genre fans.

Jason X (2001) - When you don’t know where to go with a franchise, you go to space. This movie is actually a fun, if monumentally dumb, romp. Jason gets frozen in 2008 and is resurrected 500 years later. On a spaceship crewed by college kids. I shit you not. Includes Andromeda stars Lexa Doig and Lisa Ryder. Features Jason getting nanobots, a chrome mask, and performing the frozen face kill that everyone loves. Look for the David Cronenberg cameo. This also marks the end of Kane Hodder’s run as Jason.

Freddy vs Jason (2003) - It’s a good lesson in “be careful what you wish for.” Fans clamored for this match-up for years, so they finally got it. Ugh. Ronny Yu pits Jason Vorhees against Freddy Krueger with a lot of energy, but the plot is dumb as can be and the kids are unlikeable shits. There’s literally a Jay and Silent Bob ripoff duo. Introduces the goofy idea that Jason is afraid of water. So dumb. $116 million box office puts it on top of both franchises (even the reboots) for box office haul! Unfortunately, it’s also the last movie appearance of Robert Englund as Freddy.

Watching them one after the other is weird. First, the middle of the franchise doesn’t even take place on the titular day. Second, the Jason we all think of doesn’t even show up until the fourth movie - the one that was supposed to be the franchise end. Third, the Tommy Jarvis swerve was dumb as shit. I don’t know why the Paramount folks thought that was going to work. Finally, Kane Hodder, the guy the fans love most as Jason, plays him in all the worst or atypical Jason movies.

Nice write-up…I tried to do this last summer, and got to about halfway through #5 before I said “what the fuck are you doing with your time here” and bailed.

#2 has some decent sleaziness, but mostly this series is hot boiled garbage.

Talk about sleaze! Part VI is probably the softcore porniest of them all.

Count me among the bewildered. I watched Relic a day or two ago and I think it’s generally well done but I’m still not entirely clear on what’s going on in it. Other than the obvious allegory around dementia, but… if that’s all the movie is doing I’m not entirely sure why it does it the way it does.

This one’s always going to have a place in my heart, even though I’m really not much of a fan of the series. I remember my mom wanting to go see some movie and, as was her wont, not bothering with a babysitter and just taking me along. I got bored and wandered off to another theater that was showing this! I would have been around 10 years old and really had no business being there, but that made it all the sweeter.

Just like Hellraiser 4! Mind, Hellraiser 4 is a failure, but its an interesting failure and I appreciate what they were going for. Adam Scott during a not uninteresting “history of the cube” sequence! Building a trillion dollar space station that’s secretly a giant machine whose sole purpose is to hold/create perpetual light to destroy cenobites (I can’t get over how pissed the corporation would be on founding out, I wish it had been a post credits scene)! I think in both cases a bit of goofiness actually helped out. Although Hellraiser hadn’t gone through the absolutely bizarre franchise twists and turns that Friday had. It was still feeling a bit rote (even though 3 isn’t a bad movie).

We used to quiz kids back in the day “who is the killer in the original Friday the 13th” “Jason, duh” don monocle and tophat “obviously you haven’t seen it”. It was one of my favorite weird bits of horror movie trivia.

That we never got Freddy Versus Jason Versus Ash is a travesty.

At first glance I read that as Ted Knight, and that casting choice was all I could picture for the rest of the (wonderful!) post.

And the Scream ruined it.

My hat is off to you and I enjoyed reading your capsule reviews. And that’s as close as I’ll ever get to seeing any of these, which is close enough for me :)

Because of this thread, I just watched The Car on Netflix and this shit is gooooood.

It’s “possessed car as Jaws” in a nowhere Southern California town. The landscape looks a ton like that ridiculous MST3K movie Laserblast, all blowing dust and wide open desert.

James Brolin is a Sheriff in a hot mess of trouble and with a hot bod. Boy howdy, did they make men tasty back in the 70s. He’s got a cute sassy girlfriend, and they share a fun little scene early on where they growl at each other in goofy voices and chase each other around the bedroom. It’s nice to see adults play in movies; everything is so damn serious now, just glowering looks and ominous pronouncements. She grabs him by the balls and he makes a face like a monkey with a thumb up its butt.

The titular car menaces young cyclists, older sheriffs, goofy young 70s men with short shorts and BIG 70s hair, an entire parade of children, and at one point takes out about 1/2 the sheriff deputies in about 30 seconds. It’s a good movie. The cars are highly flammable, the women’s pants are very tight, a little girl says “she cussed him real good!”, and there’s no moral tone to the movie; an old asshole wife-beater saves the day.

The climax suffers because you don’t get the geometry of the canyon they’re trapping The Car in, but the demon in the fireball is pretty freakin’ sweet.

And holy moly, when The Car takes out the cute new girlfriend by driving through her house I shouted in amazement. It’s totally surprising and pretty ballsy.

I like the way the men can have feelings. Ronnie Cox is crying to James Brolin about their dead friend, and Brolin says “I loved him too.” At one point Brolin steps outside to be alone for a second and his eyes are red and raw and haunted and he looks just devastated. I can’t think of a modern hero that’s allowed to be just grief-wracked without also being Resolute or Vengeful. It’s nice to see men just having their feelings.

Don’t take me too seriously. It’s still a movie about a possessed car that runs people over.

8 flattened french horns out of 10



Finally some love on this forum for The Car. It seems like it’s just a matter of time before you all appreciate Chupacabra Terror, in which Chelan Simmons kickboxes a chupacabra after Giancarlo Esposito takes her prisoner and tries to use her as chupacabra bait. Also, some seriously tricked out Navy Seals fight the chupababra. Do you know how much commitment it takes to try to look like a badass special ops soldier when you’re wearing a bicycle helmet and painters overalls? Because you will after watching Chupacabra Terror.


My wife and I watched The Car a few weeks ago. One favorite scene was when one of the female leads is in a random graveyard (with a tiny fence that seems to hold off the almost all-powerful car), and she tries to SHAME the owner of the car into coming out and confronting her. It was refreshing to think back that once upon a time, shame existed, and might affect even a crazy murdering psychopath.

I’m IN, Tom.

And oh oh! Talking through my befuddlement of the moral oddness of The Car with my wife, I realized something: the sonofabitch wife-beater isn’t killed by The Car because he’s awful. It’s the only indication in the film that The Car has an agenda or perspective, but that’s gotta be it.

But that doesn’t really go anywhere, I don’t think? There’s no real message of like, “oh, look at all the humans banding together to kill this demon, because even if some are sons-of-bitches they’re all brothers in the end”…or is there? Is that actually why that final shot of all those men (and it’s a lovely shot) is set up the way it is, to show all these police with this sonofabitch, victorious over the forces of evil?

I should probably chill out. It is, after all, a movie in which a woman cusses a car out and is celebrated by a child for it. A possessed car that can’t enter a cemetery because (mumble mumble God) reasons.

But it’s also a movie that’s just a little better and more interesting that it has reason to be, so maybe picking at it isn’t a waste of time…

I loved that bit! It makes me wish there wasn’t a visible demon manifestation at the end. I’d love the movie so much more if they’d just had the hints that it was demonic, like the fact that it refused to enter the cemetery, and left the audience to figure it out.

I (half-)watched both We Are What We Are and We Are What We Are - mostly unrelated movies about a family of cannibals.

I enjoyed the 2010 Mexican version - it reminded me a lot of Let The Right One In in its tone and intensity.

I mostly disliked the American (not really a) remake although I don’t think I gave it much of a chance. It does, however, star my girlfriend - a very young Julia Garner le sigh.

She never looked better (blurred for gore and spoilers).

Took a break from my marathon runs for a quickie.

Willow Creek (2013) - Found footage movie featuring a boyfriend and girlfriend tromping into Bigfoot country to look for Sasquatch. Super low budget and doesn’t really have anything new to show the audience in the found footage genre. It also commits the cardinal sin of having an easily recognizable actor show up as one of the locals. Peter Jason isn’t a big Hollywood name, but he’s a solid enough character actor that he pops up in a ton of stuff.

The movie is really only notable because Bobcat Goldthwait directed it. If you didn’t know, Goldthwait has been doing quite a bit of directing in his later years. Mostly lower budget black comedies that haven’t been very well received, but he’s got one grim little gem to his name, World’s Greatest Dad, that’s taken on an even more ghoulish aspect since Robin Williams committed suicide.

I don’t know, man, that guy has a perfect hitman face. Even after perusing his filmography and realizing I’ve seen him in quite a few things his picture rings no bells. If you can just up and recognize him that may be a sign that you watch too many movies. 😄