The horror genre should be the bread and butter of the Squeakuels cycle. There are a lot of directions we could go. The abhorrently titled I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, Blair Witch: Book of Shadows, Jaws: The Revenge, or perhaps Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2 (if only for this hilarious scene). God knows I wish we could just rewatch Silent Hill: Revelation. But alas we cannot. Instead we went for a classic in order to try to take a bite out of what is largely considered the worst of the major horror franchises. That’s right, we’re watching Friday the 13th Parts II and III. Nearly all of the Friday the 13th qualify for BMT other than the first and the sixth. So here we’ll knock off 25% of the series in a go. Let’s go!
Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981) – BMeTric: 23.6
(Perfectly average. For the BMeTric the average is basically exactly 25 for big movies (which I usually define as movies that get 10 or more reviews on rotten tomatoes … for now). This guy just kind of floats around there. And regression to the mean is the name of the game. Having been doing the Hall of Fame previews it is pretty clear that to be legendary you have to basically buck the regression to the mean (it is probably the same the other way, the best movies probably don’t lose their superior rating as votes come in). The Wicker Man comes to mind as a legendary bad horror. This one probably isn’t, but we’ll see.)
Leonard Maltin – BOMB – More nubile campers, more bloody executions. If you loved Part I…
(Wow, Leonard not giving this film the time of day. He notoriously hates horror films so I don’t totally trust his opinions on them. He was pretty open to the fact that in later editions of his book he had one of his employees review the horror films. He hates gore.)
(This has got to be one of the worst trailers I’ve ever seen. Why are you showing all kills?! And just counting randomly upwards. Yeesh.)
Directors – Steve Miner – (Known For: Halloween H20: 20 Years Later; Lake Placid; Forever Young; House; Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken; Warlock; BMT: Big Bully; Friday the 13th Part III; Soul Man; My Father the Hero; Texas Rangers; Friday the 13th Part 2; Notes: He directed Texas Rangers!? And episodes of Dawson’s Creek? He’s basically me (a.k.a. a Van der Beek super fan).)
Writers – Ron Kurz (written by) – (Known For: Friday the 13th; BMT: Friday the 13th Part III; Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter; Friday the 13th Part 2; Notes: Apparently he wrote most of the later drafts for this installment, although Victor Miller is often credited. Seems wrong since IMDb gives Miller characters which usually means he was just not involved anymore. He started out as a novelist. Here’s his debut which is not in print anymore.)
Victor Miller (characters) – (Known For: Friday the 13th; Freddy vs. Jason; Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI; BMT: Jason X; Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan; Friday the 13th: A New Beginning; Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood; Friday the 13th; Friday the 13th Part III; Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter; Friday the 13th Part 2; Notes: Ended up being more well known for his soap opera work on Guiding Light, All My Children, One Life To Live, and Another World. He indeed was only involved in the original, although he apparently has been writing two horror films, Eden Falls and Rock Paper Dead, both set to release this year.)
Sean S. Cunningham (characters) (uncredited) – (Known For: Friday the 13th; Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI; BMT: Friday the 13th: A New Beginning; Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood; Friday the 13th Part III; Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter; Friday the 13th Part 2; Notes: His IMDb compared him to Ed Wood! (in that he works fast and cheap). Claims he isn’t a fan of the horror genre, although he was a producer for many iconic horror films of the 70s and 80s. He too is only associated with the first film in reality, although he has credits for all of the sequels.)
Actors – Betsy Palmer – (Known For: Friday the 13th; Mister Roberts; The Long Gray Line; The Tin Star; BMT: Friday the 13th Part 2; Notes: Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1981 for Worst Supporting Actress for Friday the 13th; Most famous for this role. Probably my favorite note is that she lived with James Dean for 8 months. She made it pretty clear later in her career that she didn’t exactly appreciate the iconic role, even turning down reprising her role in Freddy v. Jason saying it was beneath her. Also her being first billed is an odd quirk of IMDb I think, but she was interesting enough to include her because of the first film I decided not to replace her with the actual third billed, or more appropriately Jason himself.)
Amy Steel – (BMT: Friday the 13th Part 2; April Fool’s Day; Notes: Began her career in modelling and commercials. She has since begun a career in therapy, although she has worked in television all the way up to last year. She was offered a starring role in the third film, but her agent advised her to turn it down. What a strange series. The survivor from the first and second film turned down their potential starring sequels. You could have been Scream Queens! You got to Jamie Lee Curtis that up)
John Furey – (BMT: Friday the 13th Part 2; Notes: Both he and his wife Denise Galik have basically been doing one episode stints on television since 1990. He actually used to do a ton of crappy Sci Fi films like Island Claws.)
Budget/Gross – $1.25 million / Domestic: $21,722,776 (N/A)
(Well…. That is a lot of money on not a large budget. I’m kind of surprised it didn’t get bumped up after the first. Although I guess this came out the same year as Halloween II, so maybe big budget horror just wasn’t a thing yet. Still kind of just made them in the woods on a dime.)
#39 for the Horror – Slasher genre; Note: Many slasher movies from the ’70s and ’80s have no box office records, and, hence, do not appear on this chart.
(This guy sits right in the middle of the pre-85 horror genre at around $20 million. Blockbuster horror is still somewhat unique, at least with slashers. Only 11 films have over $50 million domestic! The Scream series holds the top three and are the only films to gross over $100 million. I had to kind of hack my program for this because they didn’t record the number of theaters for this movie, that’s why the dashed line isn’t really on the graph. The big peak is Scream. The genre saw a resurgence in the late 2000s … and now it is VOD. All Horror will be VOD soon beyond, currently, the Babadooks of the world. I am convinced there will always be a place for people to come together to be scared as a group, but it just is very small potatoes. Kind of sad to see the genre get swamped in the late 80s and then collapse in the 90s. That’s the story of horror though.)
Rotten Tomatoes – 34% (11/32): No consensus yet.
(I get to make a consensus (I’m singing that I’m so happy): A carbon copy of what was already a middling affair as far as the classic slasher go, this second film is a new set of campers who seem a whole lot like the old set of campers, with a villain who doesn’t bring much to the table. Forgettable. That is kind of the story of the series actually. At best it was low budget schlock. At worst it was a slap in the face. I’m excited. Honestly.)
Poster – Sklogday the 13th: Part 2 (C)
(If this was a wholly original poster I would be pretty taken with it. Bold black with contrast and unique font. However, this is basically the same poster as the first one (but less artistic).)
Tagline(s) – The body count continues… (B+)
(They are super into the whole counting thing. I don’t think this is a bad tagline. Tells you what it is, does it concisely, and it flows nicely with the alliteration.)
Keyword(s) – pitchfork; Top Ten by BMeTric: 48.2 Halloween 5 (1989); 47.1 Eight Legged Freaks (2002); 45.2 Seventh Son (I) (2014); 45.1 The Messengers (2007); 38.1 Husk (2011); 37.7 Wrath of the Titans (2012); 36.7 Critters 2 (1988); 35.1 Friday the 13th Part III (1982); 33.8 Gymkata (1985); 32.9 The Brothers Grimm (2005);
(Ohhhh Gymkata. The list is more eclectic than I thought it would be. I figured pitchfork would just be horror. Nope. We got a few horror, a fantasy, action, adventure. Weird group. I kind of dig it. Imagine watching all of those films in a setting. Bonkers.)
Notes – Originally, the sex scene between Sandra and Jeff was longer and it included full frontal nudity from actress Marta Kober, but when Paramount studio discovered that she was underage, the scene was deleted completely (What!?!??! In what universe do you shoot a scene like that without knowing that?!)
Following the release of Friday the 13th (1980), Adrienne King had numerous encounters with an obsessive fan. The situation escalated into a stalker case, and she decided to avoid any further acting opportunities. She has not done any on-screen film work since, but has done voice over work on several films more than 15 years later. (Jeez. I wonder if she could have become a true Scream Queen like Jamie Lee Curtis. Sounds like they wanted to get her for at least one more film. Could have been more)
The actors stayed in the cabins on-set. John Furey, Bill Randolph and Russell Todd came to Lauren-Marie Taylor’s cabin to play a prank on her. They scratched on her screen window and she hyperventilated until she fainted. (hahahaha, terrifying and really not okay!)
The first Jason scene in the movie is a shot of Jason’s legs walking across the street toward Alice’s house. This is the only time in the series Jason was played by a woman. Jason’s legs belonged to Ellen Lutter, the film’s costume designer.
A shot of the infamous double-impalement was cut to avoid an “X” rating, yet a gory still photo of this censored shot appears on the back of the videocassette box. (ha!)
Jason in this film is dressed to look exactly the same as the hooded, burlap sack killer from The Town That Dreaded Sundown (1976). The only difference is that the burlap sack he wears has only one eye hole, and his shirt has a slightly different plaid design. (For some reason I know this despite not having ever seen that film. The design seemed oddly familiar. I think it is from the poster. Serious question: why intentionally steal a design?)
Adrienne King filmed all of her scenes in one night. According to King, there was no script for her scene which is why she didn’t know her character died. She showed up to set, found out Jason was going to kill her, and that they needed her to completely improvise a phone conversation. So, everything with Alice talking to her mom on the phone about struggling to move on with her soon-to-end life was unscripted.