Monday, January 13, 2020

40 Years of Friday the 13th - Friday the 13th (1980)


Cody examines every minute of Friday the 13th for the film's 40th anniversary.

In Full Attention articles, I will be giving my full, undivided attention to a movie - and proving it by making some kind of comment about every single minute in that movie. I don't claim to have invented this concept; there are a lot of podcasts out there that examine movies minute by minute, and years ago Brian W. Collins had a column on Birth.Movies.Death. called Minute by Minute. This is just my version of it.

I know that running times can vary depending on regions and formats, so to help readers keep track of where I am in the movie I will talk about what's going on in certain minutes, but a description of events will never be the only thing I have to say about a minute.


This year marks the 40th anniversary of Friday the 13th, one of my favorite slasher movies and the film that began one of my favorite franchises. Blog contributor Priscilla and I collaborated on a Film Appreciation article about Friday the 13th a few years ago, and now I figured that going through the movie minute by minute would be a fun way to celebrate its anniversary.


00:00 - 01:00

The Paramount logo at the head of this film was quite an accomplishment for director/producer Sean S. Cunningham, who managed to get a major studio to pick up his $550,000 indie horror flick for distribution.

The very first shot is of the full moon in the night sky, classic horror imagery. As the camera pans down to a shot of a location we're notified is Camp Crystal Lake in 1958, we hear the sounds of frogs, birds, and singing voices in the distance. The isolated setting is perfectly established right away.

The people singing are a group of camp counselors gathered around a fireplace, and I think their harmony sounds kind of creepy.

01:00 - 02:00

The creeps continue as a handheld point-of-view shot walks through a cabin full of sleeping kids. Are the kids in danger? The music on the soundtrack indicates that whoever is walking through this cabin is not to be trusted. This is when we first hear composer Harry Manfredini's immortal contribution to cinema history; the "ki ki ki ma ma ma" sound effect. Whether people know it's "ki ki ki ma ma ma" or think it's "ch ch ch ha ha ha", it's a sound they never forget.

02:00 - 03:00

A couple counselors, Barry (Willie Adams) and Claudette (Debra S. Hayes), are making eyes at each other as the song they were singing ends. They leave the counselor gathering, but the others continue singing, going right into a rendition of "Tom Dooley". Which is about a man being condemned for stabbing a girl. Now he is "bound to die". Cunningham doesn't feature much of the song, but it's a perfect choice for the situation.

03:00 - 04:00

Barry and Claudette start fooling around in what appears to be a barn, and this isn't going to turn out well for them. We figure that out quickly, because that P.O.V. camera has followed them.

This pair has an odd idea of sweet talk, and Claudette doesn't seem to mind much that Barry has apparently been kissing another girl at camp. He denies it, it doesn't sound like she believes his denial, but they keep going.

04:00 - 05:00

Barry and Claudette provide the example characters have been following in the Friday the 13th franchise ever since. They went off by themselves to engage in sexual activities, and now there's nobody else around to help them when a knife-wielding maniac shows up.

We don't see who attacks the young couple, as we remain in the P.O.V. shot for most of the attack. The only cutaway shows Barry as he falls to the floor, clutching his bloody stomach, which has just had a knife stuck into it out of frame.

05:00 - 06:00

As the P.O.V. shot moves in on a cornered Claudette, Cunningham makes a cool stylistic choice. The film enters slo-mo that eventually becomes a freeze frame on Claudette's screaming face. Then the film fades to white - not to black, as usual - almost like the film has gotten caught in the projector and started to burn. Then the screen goes black, and we see an awesome Friday the 13th logo moving toward us.

As it turns out, there was a pane of glass between us and that logo, as the logo goes smashing through it. Now that is showmanship.

Manfredini's score then gets a showcase as white credits appear on the black screen. Manfredini and special effects artist Tom Savini both get their credits during this minute.


06:00 - 07:00

The credit for Associate Producer Stephen Miner, who will play a bigger role in future Friday the 13th movies. Also the credits for screenwriter Victor Miller and Sean S. Cunningham, who are currently taking each other to court to figure out which of them should own the U.S. copyright to this film. That lawsuit has been very troublesome for Friday the 13th fans in recent years - the worst thing to come out of it being the fact that it put an end to further development on the incredible new video game.

Another fade to white at the end of the title sequence, then we get some great shots of Blairstown, New Jersey as a young woman dressed for camping walks through town.

We're informed that the date is Friday, June 13. Present day. A continuity error in Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter has made some fans retroactively consider this movie to be set in 1979, when it was filmed. But the year of release, 1980, is the year that had a Friday the 13th in June, not '79. So I consider this to be 1980 and just take the date given in The Final Chapter to be a mistake.


07:00 - 08:00

The character we're following through town is Annie (Robbi Morgan), and one spot she walks through is where a stone building arches over the sidewalk. I love the look of that place.

Crossing paths with a stray dog sitting at a gas station, Annie endears herself to the audience by having a pleasant interaction with the dog - while also speaking lines that reveal she's trying to find Camp Crystal Lake.

The dog didn't have much information for Annie, so she checks with a group of people in a diner. Mentioning "Camp Crystal Lake" in this place goes over like a lead balloon. A busboy played by character actor Irwin Keyes (just appearing as an extra here) gets a very sad look on his face, and a diner patron refers to the place as "Camp Blood". "They're opening that place again?"

08:00 - 09:00

We know bad things happened at Camp Crystal Lake in 1958, and the people in this diner make it clear that it's a bad idea for Annie to go out there even though twenty-two years have passed.

The camp is twenty miles away, so Annie gets a ride out to the crossroads at the halfway point with a truck driver named Enos (Rex Everhart). On the way out to Enos's truck, they're stopped by a local who warns Annie that she'll never come back from Camp Blood.

There have been a lot of doomsayers in horror history, but Crazy Ralph (Walt Gorney) is the best of them all. Here he delivers his most famous line, telling Annie that "Camp Blood" has "a death curse". Ralph is wonderfully odd, equally amusing and off-putting. He may be trying to help Annie by giving her this warning, but he also comes off as someone you wouldn't want to be anywhere near.

Enos complimented Annie's looks, and he gets a handful of her booty as he helps boost her up into his truck.

09:00 - 10:00

Annie informs Enos she's going to be the cook at the newly reopened Camp Crystal Lake, she'll be preparing meals for "fifty kids and ten staff". Take note of that line, because Annie will soon prove to be an inconsistent character.

10:00 - 11:00

Enos told Crazy Ralph to shut up, called him a nuisance, put him down for causing trouble for Annie's boss Steve Christy with all his doom talk... but as he drives Annie out to the crossroads, he proceeds to do some doomsaying of his own. He's kind of a hypocrite. He tells Annie to quit, because "Camp Crystal Lake is jinxed." He provides some exposition for us, mentioning that two kids were murdered at the camp in 1958 (we saw that), a boy drowned in '57, and there were a bunch of fires at the camp, acts of arson that no one was arrested for. They tried to open the camp again in '62 but "the water was bad".

11:00 - 12:00

More exposition: Steve Christy has spent a year and probably $25,000 on fixing up the old camp, which Enos thinks will only result in Steve ending up like his parents, "crazy and broke".

Annie isn't convinced to quit, so Enos insults her intelligence. She accuses him of being "afraid of ghosts".

It's interesting to see how those murders we saw at the beginning of the film have impacted the surrounding area, and of course it helps build tension to hear that more bad things have happened at the camp.


12:00 - 13:00

Here's another example of great horror movie imagery, as Enos drops Annie off at the crossroads, right in front of a countryside cemetery.

We're then introduced to a trio of characters who are driving to Camp Crystal Lake together, counselors Jack (Kevin Bacon), Marcie (Jeannine Taylor), and Ned (Mark Nelson). They're Friday the 13th characters, so they're talking about sex - Jack and Marcie are together, and Ned is hoping there will be other gorgeous women at the camp for him to hook up with.

Kevin Bacon would be considered the most famous person in this movie today, but he wasn't famous in 1980. He had a small role in Animal House two years earlier, but his breakthrough roles in Diner and Footloose were still years away... And somehow he looks younger in Footloose, released in 1984, than he does here.

While Friday the 13th was being filmed, the Troma movie Mother's Day was also filming in the same area. There's a shot of Ned's pickup truck driving down a road that is nearly identical to a shot that's in Mother's Day. Same road, with the camera almost in the same spot.

13:00 - 14:00

A lengthy shot of Ned's truck driving into the campground while a banjo plays on the soundtrack provides a nice shot of the Camp Crystal Lake sign. Replicas of that sign have become a merchandising item in recent years.

Then we meet camp owner Steve Christy (Peter Brouwer) as he works to get a tree stump out of the ground, and he makes quite a visual first impression. He's shirtless and wearing short shorts, with a handkerchief tied around his neck. The look of a man who has been sweating a lot. But then sticking from the top of his boots are thick winter socks.

14:00 - 15:00

Ned, Jack, and Marcie have arrived just in time to help Steve with his stump, then come the introductions. I don't know how camp counselors are chosen, but find it interesting that Steve has hired these people to spend the summer taking care of children in the wilderness without ever meeting them. There are still two weeks before the camp opens, I guess this will be their trial period.

Steve introduces the new arrivals to another counselor, Alice (Adrienne King), and starts handing out tasks.

15:00 - 16:00

Steve gives Alice a hand while she fixes a gutter on a cabin, and we find out that there's a bit of sexual tension between these two. Most of that tension is coming from Steve, who puts on a creeper voice to tell Alice she's "very pretty".

In this moment we see that Alice is an artist, which is a character element that will get a quick nod in Part 2.

16:00 - 17:00

Steve is going after Alice, but she's about ready to ditch him and this camp gig. She might have to go home to California, but Steve convinces her to stay another week to give him another chance. Immediately after she agrees to stay, Steve almost blows it by creepily touching her hair and shoulder. Something happened between these two before we met them, but the film never spells out exactly what the situation is.

17:00 - 18:00

Counselor Bill (Harry Crosby) is shirtless while painting the lifeguard station at the edge of the lake, but he avoids showing off plumber's crack by holding his pants up with suspenders. When Alice comes by, he asks her if she's going to last all summer and she replies, "I don't know if I'm going to last all week." I get the feeling she doesn't have a lot of faith in Steve, which is understandable. He's not an appealing person.

We get our first look at counselor Brenda (Laurie Bartram) as Steve leaves for a trip into town that will keep him away from camp for most of the movie. Don't expect that Alice and Steve subplot to be explored any further, because they have no more scenes together.

Steve mentions that it's "supposed to rain like hell", and it will indeed.

These counselors haven't received the warnings we saw Annie get, but they are aware that "downtown", the downtown that's twenty miles away, the locals call this place Camp Blood.

18:00 - 19:00

The place has a bad reputation and a spooky nickname, but I love getting views of the dense forest that surrounds Camp Crystal Lake. It's nice to look at, while at the same time being dark and unnerving. Nature sounds like dove coos and loon calls further drive home the fact that the characters are a good distance outside of civilization.

Ned reveals himself to be an annoying idiot when he nearly kills Brenda by firing an arrow into a target she has just hung up at the archery range. (A target that needs a serious repair job.) Ned thinks this kind of behavior is cute, it's his way of trying to win Brenda over.

19:00 - 20:00

We've heard people wonder where Annie is, and here she is again, still trying to get to the camp. She hitches a ride with someone in a Jeep that could be mistaken for the one we just saw Steve drive off in, but he had the top off his Jeep and this one has the top on.

We never see the driver or hear their voice as Annie talks to them. I first saw this movie after I had seen some of the sequels, and this scene totally threw me off. I expected Jason Voorhees to be the killer and it soon becomes obvious that the driver of this vehicle is the killer, so I was shocked. "Jason can drive?" No. Because of course Jason isn't the killer in this movie.

Annie tells the driver that she hates when people call children "kids", "it sounds like little goats". Never mind that she herself called children kids back when she was talking to Enos.

20:00 - 21:00

Annie notices that the Jeep has driven past a road that had a sign for Camp Crystal Lake on it. She gets concerned that the driver has missed their turn, and Manfredini's music lets us know she has more to worry about than that.

The driver speeds up and doesn't respond when Annie pleads for them to stop, so she has to jump from the moving vehicle with a nicely shot stunt.

21:00 - 22:00

The Jeep stops so the driver can pursue Annie through the woods that surrounds the road.

If I were watching Friday the 13th for the first time today, I might have thought that there was a good chance Annie could be our heroine, we've been following her for so long on her solo journey.

22:00 - 23:00

But Annie is not the heroine. The chase comes to an end when the Jeep driver backs her up against a tree and slashes her throat with a hunting knife.

Cunningham, cinematographer Barry Abrams, and editors Susan E. Cunningham and Jay Keuper make sure we never get a good look at the killer while they're murdering Annie. We just get quick glimpses of a pant leg, a boot, their plaid shirt, and the hand that brings the knife across Annie's throat. And Savini gave us the blood that runs from the slash.

23:00 - 24:00

Back at camp, the counselors are taking a break from their chores to go swimming. While they splash around and hang out on the dock, the killer has already made their way to the camp and is watching them from the edge of the lake. We watch them from the killer's P.O.V., moving among the trees. Brenda is startled when she thinks she sees something over in that direction, but she can't be sure it was anything. She brushes it off, but we know she shouldn't.

These characters don't bring up very exciting topics of conversation. In one exchange, they're pondering what flavor of ice cream they would like to be, and in another there's talk of Vitamin C neutralizing nitrites.


24:00 - 25:00

Jack and Marcie interrupt Alice and Bill's sunbathing to get them to go back to work, and one shot gives us a look at Jack's Speedo that has led to viewers making a lot of comments about Kevin Bacon's package.

Ned pulls an idiotic prank that should have changed the course of the movie. He pretends to drown, and the killer should be paying close attention to this since a drowning will turn out to be the catalyst of the whole story.

25:00 - 26:00

As Priscilla has pointed out when we've watched this movie together, when the other counselors think Ned is drowning they're shown to be very capable of handling such a situation. Some of them jump in the water and go diving for him, others go out on a boat, and Alice even throws a life preserver into the water after Jack and Brenda already have Ned and are getting him to the dock. Nobody's going to drown under their watch.

Ned appears to be unconscious, so Brenda proceeds to give him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. That's when Ned reveals it was all a joke and turns the mouth-to-mouth into a forced kiss.

This prank should have shown the killer that most of these counselors should be spared, because they can help the drowning. But Ned should definitely still die, and get an agonizing death.

26:00 - 27:00

The film moves on to a scene that would have been shot in a different way these days, if it was even included in the movie at all. It could be cut entirely and its absence would have no impact on the film as a whole. It's a scene where Alice finds a snake in her cabin.

27:00 - 28:00

Bill, who had been hacking weeds with a machete, comes running when Alice calls for help, and when he enters her cabin he's carrying the machete by the blade. An interesting choice. Bill then disagrees with Alice when she says they're "in the woods", so I don't know what's going on in this guy's head.

Jack, Marcie, Brenda, and Ned also show up to help out. When the snake goes under a bed, Jack flushes it out. And then Bill hacks it up with his machete.

28:00 - 29:00

Yep, that was a real snake that just got chopped into pieces, sacrificed for the making of Friday the 13th. And yet you don't an outcry over this scene like you hear about the animal deaths in something like Cannibal Holocaust, because it's the wrong type of creature for many people to get upset over.

The shot of Bill putting the machete over his shoulder while he looks down at the snake corpse could be seen as setting him up as a potential suspect, if didn't seem so unlikely that anyone at the camp was doing the killing. Nobody except Steve left the place in a Jeep.

The next scene is one that was not written by Victor Miller, so if he does end up with the U.S. copyright to this film he won't own this scene. Ron Kurz, who would write Part 2, was brought in to write a scene where the camp is visited by a motorcycle cop, Officer Dorf (Ron Millkie). Dorf shows up just in time to see Ned continuing to be extremely annoying, as he's now making a mockery of Native Americans, since he found a headdress to put on.

29:00 - 30:00

Dorf is immediately able to deduce that Jack has been smoking marijuana, but that's not the business he's there to handle. The "town crazy" Ralph was seen peddling his bicycle out in the camp's direction, and there's suspicion that he's drunk and out to cause trouble. So the movie could have pulled a fast one on us; maybe it was Ralph watching the counselors swim earlier. (But it wasn't.)

Miller didn't appreciate the addition of this scene because he wanted the viewer to feel like the characters are completely isolated. Having a cop show up at the camp makes it seem like help could arrive at any moment. I get where he's coming from, but Dorf's interaction with the counselors is amusing enough that I wouldn't want to lose the scene.

30:00 - 31:00

Dorf receives a call that the chief wants him back in town. The cop seems to think he's really cool when he tells the counselors he won't stand for no weirdness out at this camp... but then we get a long shot of Millkie demonstrating the fact that he could not handle a motorcycle. We cut away to the next scene right when it looks like Dorf is about to wipeout. It's funny to watch him try to drive out of this place.


31:00 - 32:00

Alice finds Crazy Ralph hiding in the kitchen pantry, where he was just hanging out, hoping someone would open the door soon. Since he didn't meet these counselors in town, he has been kind enough to come all the way out to the camp to warn them that the camp has a death curse and they're all doomed if they stay. Only Alice, Ned, and Marcie are around to hear his warning, but he trusts they'll spread the word.

How do they thank Ralph for his concern? They act scared of him and tell him to leave.

32:00 - 33:00

Crazy Ralph gets on his bike and rides out of the camp. Nobody noticed he had his bike parked at a tree right outside the cabin door. There's a great shot of the lake and surrounding woods as Ralph leaves.

Ralph rides past a boathouse and the white fence that runs along the waterfront beside it, and this shot really makes me appreciate the attention to detail that went into creating the maps for Friday the 13th: The Game. The boathouse and fence are in the game's Camp Crystal Lake map, as is the archery range we saw earlier.

Later the counselors are preparing a meal in a small kitchen, and there must be another kitchen on site that we never see because there's no way Annie would have been cooking for seventy people with the equipment in this little room.

33:00 - 34:00

The counselors realize there's no electricity, so it's a good thing Steve showed Jack how to use the emergency generator.

Ned is hovering over Brenda in the kitchen and letting out a steady stream of irritating attempts at jokes. This guy is insufferable, and I can't believe Brenda is still letting him near her after his archery range and drowning pranks. She's too nice... But she does take the opportunity to leave Ned behind and go out to the generator with Jack and Bill.

Jack starts up the generator and the lights come on just as night begins to fall on Camp Crystal Lake.

When the generator comes on and powers up a light bulb, Brenda says, "What hath God wrought?" That strikes me as a line that would not show up in a modern slasher. That comes with being made in 1979 by a director born in 1941 and a writer born in '40. I think some of these early slashers benefited from being made by older filmmakers who weren't influenced by these kind of movies. The slasher as we know it now was just being created at that time, so they didn't have slashers to be influenced by anyway. A lot of modern slashers make it very clear that the filmmakers are fans paying homage to movies they grew up on, and the result doesn't have the same gravitas movies like the original Friday the 13th have.

Of course, the high minded didn't see the gravitas in something like Friday the 13th at the time of its release, they thought this sort of stuff was garbage, porn for those who like violence.

34:00 - 35:00

Voyeuristic shots of Jack and Marcie walking along the edge of the lake and making out. The voyeur isn't the killer this time; it's Ned, who appears to be realizing that he's an idiot.

Walking along by himself, Ned notices someone on the porch of a cabin beyond the boathouse. We only get a quick glimpse of this person moving on the porch, not enough to tell who it is. Whoever it is, they're wearing a raincoat.

35:00 - 36:00

Ned follows the person into the cabin, asking if he can help them. The person doesn't respond, and we leave Ned as he enters that cabin.

That stranger was right to be wearing a raincoat, because Jack and Marcie are noticing that a storm is rolling in. The wind has shifted, there's thunder and a flash of lightning. The impending storm takes Marcie's mind off Ned's bad behavior, and also helps bring a darker, more frightening atmosphere to the film.

Jack has a great dorky line where he points out that a storm could "tear down that valley like a son of a gun".

36:00 - 37:00

Marcie tells Jack about a recurring nightmare she has had involving storms ever since she was little. In her nightmare, rain turns into blood and washes away in little rivers. It's always a nice touch to have discussion of nightmares in a horror movie.

Nature shots show the storm blowing in. The water of Crystal Lake becomes very choppy as wind rustles the trees.

37:00 - 38:00
Jack and Marcie go into a cabin to avoid the storm and as soon as they enter it's obvious they intend to pass some time by having sex. They prepare for bunk bed sex by kissing and disrobing. Doing their part to reinforce the "sex equals death" slasher movie cliché.

38:00 - 39:00

Things aren't nearly as interesting in the main cabin, where Alice and Brenda have been watching Bill play guitar. Brenda realizes they need to liven things up, so she suggests playing Monopoly. Strip Monopoly. "Instead of paying rent, you pay clothes." Be careful, Brenda. Suggesting strip games is also an offense that can result in death in a slasher movie.

39:00 - 40:00

Alice and Bill are hesitant at first, but eventually they agree to play strip Monopoly with Brenda. Then Brenda suggests that Alice see if Marcie left any of her weed behind. Wow, Brenda. Just asking to be killed.

Speaking of asking to be killed, Jack and Marcie are now having sex on the bottom bed of a bunk bed. We watch them have sex, thunder rumbling and lightning flashing outside, for nearly a minute. Long enough for Marcie's weak little moans to get kind of irritating.

40:00 - 41:00

Jack grunts as he finishes and the camera pans up to the top bed. Lying there, where it would have been hard for Jack and Marcie to miss when they got into the cabin, is Ned's corpse. His throat was slashed. This is one of the biggest disappointments in Friday the 13th for me, because Ned was such a clown that we should have seen his death on screen. He deserved to die more than anyone else at this camp, and he just gets an off screen throat slashing.

Meanwhile, Alice, Bill, and Brenda are smoking weed while playing strip Monopoly, and now Alice has brought out some beer. Our heroine is seen with beers in hand and a joint in her mouth. That doesn't quite match up with the usual clichés.

41:00 - 42:00

As the storm continues to rage outside, Marcie has to leave Jack alone so she can go to the restroom, which is in a separate cabin. She goes outside in nothing but a shirt, panties, and raincoat, not bothering with pants or shoes. Sloshing their bare feet through fresh mud isn't an option many people would have gone with.

42:00 - 43:00

Bill is the first Monopoly player to lose an item of clothing, having to hand over a boot to Alice. Brenda says, "Alice draws first blood." Bill responds, "That's a terrible way to talk about my feet." Not great dialogue.


43:00 - 44:00

Lonely Jack lights up a joint, and as soon as he exhales his first puff a drop of blood falls on his forehead from the top bed. He doesn't have time to investigate the source of that, because then we find out that not only has Ned's overlooked corpse been on the top bed this whole time, the killer has also been lying on the floor under the bottom bed. Just hanging out, waiting, the whole time Jack and Marcie were having sex.

A hand comes from beneath the bed and holds Jack's head back on his pillow while the killer's other hand pushes an arrow up through the bed... and through Jack's throat. The arrow pushing its way through Jack's throat, accompanied by pooling and spurting blood, is a great showcase of Savini's FX kills. In the theatrical cut. In the extended cut, the death goes on a bit too long, with an extra shot giving away the trickery.

Bacon has almost 100 screen credits to his name at this point, but he has said that the screen shot of him being murdered in Friday the 13th is still the picture autograph seekers most often ask him to sign.

44:00 - 45:00

Marcie goes to the restroom in a cabin full of toilet stalls and sinks, the booted feet of the killer enters the cabin while she's still in her stall. The shot of the killer's boots stepping in out of the rain is a nice, creepy one, especially since the camera then pans over to Marcie's bare feet, visible beneath the stall door. Surprisingly, they're not coated with mud.

Marcie takes some time to read toilet stall graffiti, then hears a noise from elsewhere in the cabin. She thinks Jack has followed her, but isn't concerned when she calls out and doesn't get a response from anyone.

45:00 - 46:00

Marcie moves on to looking in a mirror and doing a Katharine Hepburn impression. I've seen it suggested that the lines she delivers in the Hepburn voice are a nod to the 1956 film The Rainmaker, but I haven't watched that one to confirm.

There are more off screen noises in the cabin, but again Marcie brushes them off when nobody makes their presence known. Instead, she focuses on getting the water flowing in a sink.

Another noise, and now Marcie finally decides to investigate, getting the feeling that she's being pranked.

46:00 - 47:00

Well, as it turns out Marcie should have kept ignoring the noises. Looking back in the shower section of the cabin was a bad move. She gets an axe in her face, and while we don't see the impact there is a great shot of Marcie falling with the axe embedded in her face.

The axe clangs against a light fixture as the killer brings it down toward Marcie, part of Tom Savini's "magic trick" approach to his effects. Since the axe clangs the light fixture, it's obviously real, so it also obviously slammed through Marcie's face.

47:00 - 48:00

Brenda isn't doing well at strip Monopoly, so she says she's experiencing the "worst run of bad luck since Richard Nixon". Another line that strikes me as something more adult than you'd usually hear in a later slasher movie.

Moments later, Brenda has to leave the game because she realizes the windows in her cabin might be open and the rain is still pouring down outside.

48:00 - 49:00

Steve Christy has stopped for coffee as the Blairstown Diner, where he banters with middle-aged waitress Sandy (Sally Anne Golden), who clearly has the unrequited hots for him just like he has the unrequited hots for Alice.

Playing on the diner radio is the song "Sail Away, Tiny Sparrow", which Manfredini co-wrote with John R. Briggs and Angela Rotella sings. You can hear "Sail Away, Tiny Sparrow" a couple times in the movie; when it's not the actual song, it's being worked into the score.

49:00 - 50:00

Steve and Sandy continue talking while the "Tiny Sparrow" song continues playing on the radio. Sandy jokes that Steve owes her a night on the town. If only he had a thing for older women and would take her up on her joking-but-serious offer. A night with Sandy would have been a hell of a lot better than the fate Steve has ahead of him.

50:00 - 51:00

Steve drives his Jeep off through the dark, stormy night. He passes a sign that says Crystal Lake is 12 miles away, while Tomahawk Lake is 25 miles away. Tomahawk must be a lot less eventful than Crystal Lake; although we've gone back to Crystal Lake multiple times over the years, we've never heard of this Tomahawk Lake again.

Back at camp, Brenda goes to the restroom cabin. She tries to turn on a sink, no water flows. Rather than turning the valve to get the water flowing in that sink, she tries the next sink in line - which works, because Marcie took a moment to turn the valve when she found that it didn't work. Priscilla has talked about the fact that this shows a difference in the characters; Marcie fixed the sink when it didn't work for her, while Brenda just tried another one. I actually would have expected their reactions to the dilemma to be the other way around.

51:00 - 52:00

While Brenda brushes her teeth and her hair, Cunningham keeps cutting away from her to look back at the shower area where Marcie was killed. Implying that the killer is still lurking back there. Maybe wanting to make us think the killer will be emerging from the shadows back there at any second. It's tense, but it's a fake-out. Brenda makes it out of the restroom cabin just fine.

52:00 - 53:00

Steve is not making it back to camp just fine. He has managed to drive his Jeep off the road, and it seems to be both stuck and stalled out.

Steve catches a ride with police officer Sergeant Tierney, played by Ronn Carroll. Maybe we're supposed to think everything will be fine once Tierney gets Steve back to camp.

53:00 - 54:00

Steve and Tierney may be on their way, but it's starting to look like Brenda won't make it long enough to be saved by them. That stalker P.O.V. is now right outside her cabin.

It's interesting that seeing Brenda through the eyes of the killer as they stand outside her cabin is tense, because it should be a relief that the killer is still outside and not standing right behind her. But it's tense and unnerving just to know that they're watching her.

54:00 - 55:00

Brenda is settling into bed when she hears a noise from outside - it sounds like the voice of a child crying out for help. And she goes outside to give the kid help, even though it's still raining hard and she's in her nightgown. Brenda is so concerned for this kid she hears, and proved to be so competent when she thought she was saving Ned from drowning, it's a shame that things don't turn out better for her.

55:00 - 56:00

Brenda wanders through the rain, calling out to the kid who continues crying for help. She's desperately trying to find them, shining her flashlight around in the rainy darkness. She should have earned some mercy points with the killer for her behavior and compassion.


56:00 - 57:00

Brenda ends up back at the archery range, and someone turns on the floodlights there. Brenda stands near the target she put up earlier... And we don't see what happens to her, but it's probably safe to assume that she gets another arrow shot at her. And this time the person with the bow and arrow wasn't aiming to miss her.

57:00 - 58:00

This is a pretty chill minute. Hanging out in the main cabin alone, Alice thinks she hears a scream (that would be Brenda) coming from outside, but barely reacts to it. She sits down and starts plucking on the strings of Bill's guitar, then gets up and pokes at the fire burning in the fireplace. This is a bit of "calm before the storm", I suppose. Well, the storm is already battering the camp, but the storm I mean is what's going to happen when Alice realizes there's a killer stalking around the place.

58:00 - 59:00

Bill enters the main cabin, back from checking on the generator. Alice seemed rather calm in the preceding minute, but she has some weirdness to unload on Bill now that he's here: she thought she heard a scream, she saw the lights come on at the archery range, and now those lights are off. She is much more aware of what's going on than she had appeared to be.

Just back in from the rain, Bill now has to go back outside to check on this stuff. At least Alice asks to join him.

59:00 - 60:00

Alice and Bill go to Brenda's cabin to check on her, and when they see that she's not there Alice jumps to the conclusion that she must be with Jack and Marcie. But then Bill makes a troubling discovery.

The killer has started playing games with them; an axe has been laid on one of the beds, its bloody edge resting on a pillow. This must be the axe Marcie was killed with, but I assume it was cleaned up a bit after being removed from her head. The killer just made sure to leave a little bit of the blood on there.

60:00 - 61:00

Alice and Bill head over to Jack and Marcie's cabin, and find the place clean. There's no evidence that Jack was killed in here, or that Ned's body had been on one of the beds. The killer wants to get them unnerved, but doesn't want to be discovered just yet.

The next stop is the restroom cabin. Again there's no evidence of murder, but Alice is disturbed enough to suggest that they call someone.

They head over to the main office, which they find locked. Alice tells Bill to wait a minute and goes off for a second - but she hasn't gone somewhere to retrieve the key. She's beyond worrying about keys at this point. She has gone to find something she can smash a window in the office door with so they can reach in and unlock it that way.

61:00 - 62:00

As Alice and Bill go into the main office, the camera lingers outside. We hear them trying to make a phone call, but they can't get the phones to work. And we see why. The camera pans along the phone line on the side of the office cabin until it reaches a point where the line has been cut. We now have a piece of scary information Alice and Bill don't have; they are purposely being cut off from the outside world. Having the camera drift away from them and show us what happened to the phone line was a great way to convey that information. A terrific example of "show, don't tell" cinema.

62:00 - 63:00

Alice and Bill are even ready to ditch the others and drive away from the camp, but they can't get Ned's truck to start. Alice suggests they hike out, but Bill convinces her they should just stay and wait for Steve. It's ten miles to the nearest crossroads - which we know from watching Annie's journey early in the film. The camp is twenty miles from town, Enos took her halfway and dropped her off at the crossroads in front of the cemetery. Ten miles away.

Bill figures there's some stupid explanation for all the weird stuff that's going on. Including the bloody axe.

Out on the road, Tierney is still driving Steve back to the camp. The police officer has taken note of the fact that there's a full moon in the sky, and we remember there was also a full moon on the night Barry and Claudette were killed in '58. According to Tierney, there are more accidents, rapes, robberies, and homicides when there's a full moon. "It upsets people, makes 'em nuts." That's some good dialogue to put in a horror movie, but Steve isn't buying it.

Tierney mentions that Crazy Ralph dropped by the camp while Steve was out and his wife was a nervous wreck until he got back home. I can't imagine Crazy Ralph being married. I wish we got a glimpse into his home life.

63:00 - 64:00

The rain stops, but just when it looks like the night is improving Tierney gets a call that he needs to respond to the site of a head-on collision. That's the end of the ride for Steve; Tierney lets him out in the middle of the road and he'll have to hoof it the rest of the way to camp. Steve isn't into superstition, but this Friday the 13th is sure giving him a hell of a time.


64:00 - 65:00

Friday the 13th isn't done giving Steve trouble. He jogs to the camp, and as soon as he reaches the sign at the entrance he sees someone is waiting there with a flashlight in hand. We can't see the person, but Steve does - and he knows them. He greets them pleasantly, "Oh, hi. What are you doing out in this mess?"

From the person's P.O.V., we see Steve step toward us... and the expression on his face and a musical sting from Manfredini gets across that some kind of bladed weapon has been stuck into his stomach, even though we don't actually see anything happen. It's the same way the death of Barry was handled earlier, but this time we don't even see any blood or get a shot of Steve dropping to the ground. Friday the 13th is primarily remembered for its bloody kills, so it's kind of fascinating to see how many kills are actually off screen, some of them showing us nothing more than people flinching in front of the camera.

The P.O.V. shot then walks into the generator shack, and within seconds the generator has stopped working. The camp is plunged into darkness.

65:00 - 66:00

There are a few quiet moments of not much at all going on in the second half of this movie, and this minute is one of them. Almost the entire minute is spent watching Bill light two lanterns in the main cabin. He leaves one behind for Alice, who is sleeping on a couch, then puts on a raincoat and takes the other outside with him.

It's obvious that this minute was originally intended to be dialogue-free, and viewers were going to be left to figure out on their own that Bill is leaving the cabin to check on the generator. During post-production someone must have gotten nervous that viewers wouldn't jump to that conclusion on their own, because now there's dialogue that you can tell was dropped in later. While Bill gets the lanterns ready, we hear him talking to Alice about needing to check on the generator. But we don't see his mouth moving - we hardly see his mouth at all, making it easy to add this dialogue in - and when there's a cut to Alice after she has offered to go to the generator shack with him, she's unconscious. There's no way she was just holding a conversation the second before.

66:00 - 67:00

We hang out with Bill for another lengthy stretch while he just goes about his business. He makes his way through the darkness to the generator shack and we watch him check out the antique machine. He's the obvious choice to be the next victim, so now we're just waiting to see when the killer is going to strike.

67:00 - 68:00

There's a great fake-out in this minute. By this point we're familiar with the stalker P.O.V., so when the camera starts moving toward Bill from behind while he works on the generator, we're supposed to assume that we're now seeing through the eyes of the killer. The camera reaches Bill, he turns around... and he has no reaction. We're not in a P.O.V. shot after all, this was just a camera move that was meant to trick us.

We don't see anything happen to Bill. He's still just fine in the generator shack the last time we see him. Then Alice wakes up in the main cabin, crying out his name.

68:00 - 69:00

Here we get the longest stretch of nothing happening, and I don't even feel any tension in this minute. We're just treated to the sight of Alice making a couple cups of coffee at the kitchen stove.

69:00 - 70:00

And she's still making coffee. We're probably supposed to get worried for her when she goes into the dark pantry to get some sugar... after all, we have seen someone hide in that pantry before... but the pantry is empty now.

70:00 - 71:00

Alice leaves the coffee behind to go to the generator shack, hoping to find Bill there. The door is open when she gets there, but she doesn't find Bill in the shack, just his raincoat on the floor. But when she steps out of the shack and pulls the door closed, she finds Bill. He's dead, and his body has been pinned to the door with multiple arrows. One in the left eye, one in the neck, one in the torso, one in his groin.

This is a horrifying image, but I'm not sure of the logistics. It looks like the killer somehow lifted Bill off the ground and held him in place against the door before piercing his body with the arrows to stick him to the door, and I don't know how they could have managed to do that.

71:00 - 72:00

Alice now has confirmation that there's a killer on the loose at Camp Blood, so she has to make sure she's not the next victim. She goes to the main cabin and proceeds to waste several seconds doing something astounding. The door of the cabin opens to the outside, and while Alice does secure it with rope so no one will be able to pull it open -

72:00 - 73:00

- she then starts piling stuff in front of the door as a barricade. Sure, this might slow someone down if they do happen to get the door open, but it's pretty useless. And it takes up almost this whole minute.

73:00 - 74:00

Continuing to get herself set up to survive the night in the main cabin, Alice arms herself with a baseball bat and a barbecue fork. No one is going to mess with her now!

74:00 - 75:00

Just when Alice allows herself a moment to think, the bloody and rope-bound corpse of Brenda is sent crashing through a window right beside her. It's not clear exactly how Brenda died, but since she was killed off screen we can now be sure that she is dead.

Actress Laurie Bartram didn't do that window crash stunt herself, that's Tom Savini smashing through the glass while wearing Brenda's nightgown. Savini was a major catch back in the day; when productions hired him they weren't only getting a special effects artist, they were also getting a stuntman.

75:00 - 76:00

Headlights flash through the main cabin windows as someone else arrives at the camp. Who could this be? To find out, Alice has to dismantle that barricade she didn't need to make in the first place.

Since the person has arrived in a Jeep, Alice logically assumes that it's Steve. But of course the viewer doesn't expect it to be Steve, and it's not. It's a middle-aged woman wearing a sweater, someone we have never seen before. She does seem quite friendly when she introduces herself, "I'm Mrs. Voorhees. An old friend of the Christys." She goes on to say she used to work at the camp for the Christys. And while Alice sobs and tells her that people have been murdered, Mrs. Voorhees' demeanor doesn't change at all. She's nice, caring, and unfazed.

Mrs. Voorhees is played by Betsy Palmer, who had some success when she first started earning screen credits in the 1950s and then really became a beloved household name when she started appearing on game shows like Password, the $10,000 and $25,000 Pyramid, and I've Got a Secret as a celebrity panelist / contestant. She did 375 episodes of I've Got a Secret! That's a lot of secrets to try to figure out. Mrs. Voorhees has quite a secret herself.

76:00 - 77:00

Alice tells Mrs. Voorhees "they're all dead" and if they don't leave the camp right now "they'll kill you, too". With a chuckle and a big smile, Mrs. Voorhees replies, "I'm not afraid."

If viewers don't immediately assume that this new arrival is the killer, they might be thinking that Palmer has showed up to play an idiot. Why is she ignoring Alice's warnings and going into the main cabin to investigate?

When Mrs. Voorhees does see Brenda's body, she's shocked to see that someone "so young, so pretty" has been murdered. She wonders what sort of monster could have done such a thing... She appears to be genuinely troubled by what she's seeing, and to have no recollection of the fact that she's the one who killed Brenda.

She tells Alice that Steve never should have re-opened the camp, and asks if she knew that a young boy drowned there in '57.

77:00 - 78:00

Enos mentioned that drowning earlier, but Mrs. Voorhees has much more information on what happened. She was working at the camp when it happened, she was the cook. Like Annie - maybe Annie should have been the heroine after all, then we'd be getting cook vs. cook in the end. Mrs. Voorhees blames the counselors for what happened that boy; they weren't paying attention, they were making love while he drowned.

Mrs. Voorhees even mentions the name of the boy who drowned; "His name was Jason." The first time we hear that name in the Friday the 13th franchise. Jason wasn't a very good swimmer, he should have been watched every minute.

Anyone who has been trusting Mrs. Voorhees through her odd behavior and intense delivery of exposition may start to realize she's crazy when we see her imagining the moment when Jason drowned while calling out for his mommy. She speaks to this delusion, telling Jason she is helping him. Palmer's transition from friendly to frightening is terrific.


78:00 - 79:00

Mrs. Voorhees informs Alice that Jason was her son, and today would have been his birthday. A lot of viewers get confused and consider any random Friday the 13th of the year to be Jason's birthday. But this is set on June 13th. That's Jason's birthday.

In seconds, Mrs. Voorhees goes from reminiscing about the tragic drowning of her son to blaming Alice for what happened to Jason. "Look what you did to him!" In this minute, we see for sure that Mrs. Voorhees is the killer. I'm not sure Alice was even born yet when Jason drowned, but Mrs. Voorhees is determined to make her pay for what happened.

Knife in hand, Mrs. Voorhees rushes toward the last counselor on her kill list... So Alice grabs the fireplace poker and beats Mrs. Voorhees down with it. Most of the people killed in this movie were taken by surprise, Mrs. Voorhees didn't take any time to talk to them about Jason. Now we see what happens when Mrs. Voorhees doesn't have the element of surprise on her side. It doesn't go well for her.

79:00 - 80:00

Alice runs out to Mrs. Voorhees' Jeep, which still has the keys in the ignition and the lights on... but she can't bring herself to get into the vehicle and drive away because Annie's corpse is sitting in the passenger seat. The movie could have ended 16 minutes earlier if she wasn't so freaked out by this dead body.

As Alice runs away from the Jeep, Steve's body comes swinging down from a tree right in front of her. This happens often in slashers, bodies falling from their hiding places just when someone else, usually the heroine, gets close. It's quite a coincidence.

80:00 - 81:00

Camp Crystal Lake doesn't just offer its young campers the chance to use a bow and arrow, there are also rifles on site. I would be surprised if summer camps still hand out guns to their young campers these days Unfortunately for Alice, the bullets are kept in a drawer that has been chained and padlocked. Mrs. Voorhees turns the generator back on so she can see the person she's hunting, but the light doesn't help Alice get that drawer open.

81:00 - 82:00

Mrs. Voorhees catches up with Alice and tells her it will be easier for her than it was for Jason. Alice points an empty rifle at the killer, but since she can't shoot Mrs. Voorhees she ends up throwing the rifle at her - and Mrs. Voorhees reacts to this violent act by letting out a hilarious, loud little scream.

Alice throws some other stuff at Mrs. Voorhees, but it doesn't stop the killer from backing her into a corner, advancing on her with a P.O.V. shot that's reminiscent of Claudette's death scene. If Mrs. Voorhees had her knife out, that would be the end of Alice right here. But instead she decides to start slapping the girl. Alice is the only person who has some good luck at Camp Crystal Lake.

82:00 - 83:00

Since Mrs. Voorhees chose to tussle with her rather than just kill her, Alice is able to get her hands on that rifle again and uses it to beat Mrs. Voorhees down again. Okay, maybe you could say Mrs. Voorhees has a bit of good luck, too. Alice could have kept hitting her and beaten her to death with either the fireplace poker or this rifle, but instead she chooses to stop beating her attacker and run away.

Mrs. Voorhees is soon back on her feet to continue their dangerous game of hide and seek.

83:00 - 84:00

There's a brief interlude of insanity as Mrs. Voorhees continues to imagine that she's communicating with Jason, speaking in his voice. The voice of Jason is telling her to kill. The "kill her, mommy" line is what inspired Manfredini's "ki ki ki ma ma ma" sound effect.

84:00 - 85:00

Alice goes back to the main cabin and chooses to hide in the pantry. That makes sense, since she found Crazy Ralph hiding in there earlier and she went in there again during the coffee making minutes.

85:00 - 86:00

The only light in the pantry comes through the slats that make up the wooden door. When Mrs. Voorhees starts busting through the door to get to Alice, there are a couple great shots - one of Mrs. Voorhees as she looks through the hole she has made, the light shining on her from outside, and the other of Alice's face with line of light cutting across it.

Alice grabs a pan and smacks Mrs. Voorhees in the head with it. That's three times Alice has managed to knock her attacker to the ground. Mrs. Voorhees may be the most hapless, bumbling slasher there is, aside from the Scream franchise's Ghostface.

And yet again, Alice chooses to spare Mrs. Voorhees' life.

86:00 - 87:00

Tired of hiding and fighting, but still not into the idea of driving the Jeep, Alice heads down to the lake so she can take a canoe away from the camp. Her escape attempt is interrupted when Mrs. Voorhees shows up with a machete.

When Mrs. Voorhees swings the machete at Alice, she lets out the same scream we heard when Alice threw the rifle at her. I'm not sure why they chose to re-use that scream here, it doesn't make much sense for Mrs. Voorhees to scream when she's trying to slash Alice... But it is funny to imagine that she was screaming every time she swung a weapon at her victims in this movie, we just didn't hear it before now.


87:00 - 88:00

Alice and Mrs. Voorhees have another fight. The machete is swung, a canoe oar is used as a weapon, there's an attempted strangulation, both of them bite each other, and Mrs. Voorhees slams Alice's face into the ground. But Mrs. Voorhees just can't manage to kill this last counselor. Once she showed up on screen, she became incompetent.

Alice manages to get her hands on the machete, and that's it for Mrs. Voorhees. The slasher is dispatched with a glorious decapitation courtesy of Savini, with his assistant Taso Stavrakis standing in for Betsy Palmer as the hands of Mrs. Voorhees' headless body clutch at the air. Most of the time when we saw Mrs. Voorhees' hands in stalking or slashing scenes, those were the hands of Taso Stavrakis.

88:00 - 89:00

A slow rendition of the "Sail Away, Tiny Sparrow" music fills the soundtrack as Alice takes her canoe out onto the lake and a dark night transitions into a peaceful morning. The nightmare is over, those end credits can start rolling any second now.

89:00 - 90:00

No end credits yet. As a police car pulls up to the edge of the lake, Alice wakes up in the canoe and enjoys the peaceful morning. She even dips her hand the water

90:00 - 91:00

Alice continues to enjoy the peace. Dips her hand into the water again. And then we get one of the most famous jump scares in horror history. A decomposing Jason Voorhees (Ari Lehman) launches himself out of the lake, grabs Alice from the canoe, and drags her into the water.

This scene wasn't originally supposed to be in the movie. It doesn't make much sense. Why would a kid who drowned in 1957 be grabbing someone in 1980? He looks a mess, but for someone who has been in the water for over twenty years he looks surprisingly good.

The movie could have just ended, it didn't need that last scare... But watching the equally (or even more) nonsensical jump scare ending of Carrie had convinced Cunningham that his movie needed a jump scare at the end, too.

Savini was given free rein to create the look of little Jason. It wasn't in Miller's script that Jason suffered from any medical conditions, but Savini chose to give the kid the look of someone with severe hydrocephalus, an enlarged head and a deformed face due to an accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain. It's unfortunate that a tragic medical condition was used as a way to make a character look scarier to the audience, but that's how it went... And in this moment, an iconic horror character was established.


91:00 - 92:00

The Jason jump scare was apparently just a nightmare Alice had, because she has woken up screaming in a hospital bed. Tierney is there at her bedside, along with a doctor played by Ken L. Parker and an uncredited nurse. Then again, maybe the jump scare really happened - Tierney says two of his men pulled Alice out of the lake, not that she was in a canoe... Or maybe she just fell out of the canoe while having that nightmare.

Alice is convinced that she was really grabbed by Jason, and she asks Tierney what happened to the boy who attacked her.

92:00 - 93:00

Tierney tells Alice they didn't find any boy. Alice's response is, "Then he's still there." Cut to a shot of Crystal Lake. This was just meant to be a creepy way to end the movie, but it turned out to be the set up for a franchise.

Now that the viewer has been startled, unnerving, and potentially confused, the end credits begin.

93:00 - 94:00

That melancholy "Sail Away, Tiny Sparrow" music takes us through the final moments of the film as the credits roll by. Betsy Palmer gets top billing, while the actors who played Steve, Enos the Truck Driver, and Tierney earn "special appearances" credits. "And Ari Lehman as Jason". The first of many people who would play Jason Voorhees over the decades. Lehman isn't shy about that fact, he even has a band called First Jason.

In addition to being Associate Producer, Stephen Miner was also the Unit Production Manager. Script Supervisor was Martin Kitrosser, who would go on to write a couple of the secrets, and lately has been Quentin Tarantino's Script Supervisor of choice. He even got a shout-out in Kill Bill.

94:00 - 95:00

The credits keep rolling. I've always been intrigued by the credit "Hair Styles by Six Feet Under - Westport, Connecticut". I don't get why a hair salon would be called Six Feet Under.

We see the Paramount logo one more time, and that's the end of one of the greatest slasher movies ever made. A film I believed is undervalued because it's overshadowed by what followed. It's an awesome movie, well crafted and very creepy. A classic that still holds up 40 years later.


If there's a movie you would like to see me cover with a Full Attention article, let me know by leaving a comment or sending an email. All suggestions will be considered, although those that are meant to be endurance challenges are less likely to be accepted. 

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