Friday the 13th (2009) Preview

Huge week for BMT as we finish up our adventure through the Friday the 13th series. I’m actually getting a little emotional as I relive our journey from F13 n00bs to veterans of the series and big enough fans to be legitimately disappointed when they scrapped the planned reboot this year. The 11th movie in the series, Freddy vs. Jason, pitted two of the most famous film slashers against each other and earned enough goodwill to not qualify for BMT, so that’s just a bonus this week. As for the Bring A Friend for Friday the 13th we went with Black Friday the 13th, pairing a Bargain Bin C-list Gary Daniels martial arts film, Black Friday, with the conclusion of the horror franchise. There had been some questions for as as to what qualified for “Bargain Bin,” but this certainly does: stars a C-list actions star, does not have a trailer, and was directed by the same guy who made Saving Christmas. That is legit lower than Direct-to-DVD… that’s like Might-not-ever-be-on-DVD level. But of course my local public library had a copy ready to rent (my library is amazing). All things considered I’m willing to bet watching Black Friday will be a more horrifying experience than finishing up Friday the 13th. Let’s go!

Friday the 13th (2009) – BMeTric: 46.6

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(Nice. Opened high with the horror fans hitting the ratings hard, and they it goes a-tumblin’ down to the “mean”. The idea of an average rating is actually quite fascinating. The mean rating for IMDb as a whole is something like 7.0 (weighted by number of votes). For the top 10 thousand films (by popularity) it is closer to 6.4 instead. And I think if you were to postulate a limit, the mean rating a movie would hit if it was (1) perfectly average, and (2) an infinite number of people rated it, I think it would be around 5.8 all said and done. What does it say about BMT that so many of our movies approach this 5.8 limit like clockwork? I think it tells you a bit about how bad the “average” movie is, but this could also all be horseshit. Only deep diving data-analysis can tell the tale. Stay tuned.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  The 12th Friday isn’t a sequel but something like a remake of the 1st and 3rd. As before, some annoying teenagers encounter the silent, murderous Jason, who chops, stabs, and bludgeons his way through the cast, though without as much gore as in previous entries. Plodding, dull, and repetitive, this is only occasionally creepy and never scary. Yes, there’s a setup for a sequel, if anyone cares.

(Leonard loves lists. Although I do like the rhythm created by “chops, stabs and bludgeons” and “Plodding, dull, and repetitive”. Brutal takedown at the end, mainly because yeah, no one cared and Paramount cancelled the sequel mere months ago. Sigh.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVsVKn-MS14

(As far as a remake is concerned this is probably the best storyline available. Use the hiker looking for his sister conceit. Replace Mama Voorhees with Jason. And give a few call backs (like the bag over the head). I like the idea of him being a weirdo protecting his territory as well. I am genuinely interested in seeing how they screw it up. Although judging by how much Camp Crystal Lake there is in the trailer, they might have caught a case of over-explainitis.)

Directors – Marcus Nispel – (Future BMT: Conan the Barbarian; The Texas Chainsaw Massacre; BMT: Pathfinder; Friday the 13th; Notes: Was originally attached to End of Days as his feature directorial debut, but left due to budget issues. Was originally a commercial and music video director.)

Writers – Damian Shannon and Mark Swift (screenplay & story) – (Known For: Freddy vs. Jason; Future BMT: Baywatch; BMT: Friday the 13th; Notes: True blue writing partners (they even have a joint wiki page). Brought in after Wheaton (and the originally attached director) was fired, having written Freddy vs. Jason.)

Mark Wheaton (story) – (Future BMT: The Messengers; BMT: Friday the 13th; Notes: He wrote for a number of film magazines prior to becoming a screenwriter despite going to school for playwriting. Writes for video games as well, and has had a few crime novels published in the past few years.)

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: Wrote the original film.)

Actors – Jared Padalecki – (Known For: Phantom Boy; Future BMT: House of Wax; Cry_Wolf; Flight of the Phoenix; BMT: New York Minute; Friday the 13th; Cheaper by the Dozen; Notes: His IMDb profile is very details and weirdly focused on his high school academic achievements (like being a Presidential Scholar and an “exceptional” chess player). Played Dean Forester on Gilmore Girls.)

Amanda Righetti – (Known For: Captain America: The First Avenger; Role Models; BMT: Friday the 13th; Notes: Was Hailey Nichol on The O.C.! That’s Kirsten’s little sister for those playing at home. Mainly a television actress she had major parts on The Mentalist and Colony most recently.)

Derek Mears – (Known For: Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters; Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping; I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore.; Predators; Signs; Zathura: A Space Adventure; Død snø 2; Hatchet III; MacGruber; Future BMT: Wild Wild West; The Haunted Mansion; The Hills Have Eyes II; Cursed; Men in Black II; Live by Night; Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides; The Demolitionist; Gangster Squad; BMT: Dragon Wars; Friday the 13th; Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters; Notes: Known for his “towering height”. Makes sense he would take over as Jason. I don’t have issues with not having Hodder return in the remake, if they had planned on making it a series I think you try out a few people to find someone who can bring something new and fresh to the part.)

Budget/Gross – $19 million / Domestic: $65,002,019 (Worldwide: $91,379,051)

(I mean, that’s a hit. $65 million is nothing to scoff at for a horror. They probably expected more, but none of these films made money, so I don’t know why they would. I am actually stunned they cancelled the sequel. The only plausible explanation is that they are rebooting it again to give it back that microbudget feel with a Blumhouse Pictures deal, but who could possibly know. Perhaps the cut they saw was so bad it would have killed the franchise forever.)

#7 for the Horror – Slasher genre

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(Second best of the remakes of classic horror franchises, beaten only by Texas Chainsaw Massacre. This franchise died with the remake wave. Is there no novel ways to make a slasher? Is the genre too narrow and self-aware. Possibly. Only time will tell. Would make me sad if true, but I have to imagine someone will come up with a twist and revive it, even if the glory of practical effects fueled 80s slashers are dead and gone.)

#7 for the Horror Remake genre

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(You can kind of see how the slasher died at the same time the remake boom died. There aren’t really any 90s horrors worth rebooting, so possibly they are just waiting a bit before delving back into more recent films? Unclear. Horror is experiencing a renaissance at the moment, so remakes don’t seem like the are entirely wanted or needed.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 25% (42/166): Though technically well-constructed, Friday the 13th is a series rehash that features little to distinguish it from its predecessors.

(Yeah … well I’m not sure going the other way would have worked out very well either. Honestly, I’m hard pressed to think how you could reboot a horror franchise like this without rehashing quite a bit. Any type of “innovation” I don’t think comes across as anything but gimmicky. Maybe set it after all of films (besides Jason X …) and don’t explain his resurrection? Soft reboot into Jason as a ghost story in the woods around Crystal Lake, something everyone forgot about.)

Poster – Friday the 13th (B-)

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(I like it! Some similarities to the original, although less artistic and more generic. Like the spacing, Jason-centric nature of it, and the coloring is dark but nice. Biggest flaw is they took a series with unique font and made it boring as shit.)

Tagline(s) – Welcome to Crystal Lake (B-)

(Concise and to the point, hinting at what’s to come (hopefully): a Friday the 13th film. Not clever in the least bit though.)

Keyword(s) – camp; Top Ten by BMeTric: 94.5 Batman & Robin (1997); 85.3 Troll 2 (1990); 81.3 Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959); 78.4 Pledge This! (2006); 75.9 Freddy Got Fingered (2001); 69.8 Year One (2009); 64.0 Seed of Chucky (2004); 60.5 Shrooms (2007); 53.6 Exit to Eden (1994); 50.8 Silent Night, Deadly Night 2 (1987);

(Booooooo, unless … does camp mean like a camp … or like campy? Because then Batman & Robin makes sense. Seems like a mix to be honest, which would make this list an absolutely bonkers marathon.)

Notes – The first time Paramount has any association with the “Friday the 13th” series since 1989.

Producer Michael Bay walked out in the movie premiere, stating that the movie featured too much sex. (Ha! Just too much for him)

Adrienne King, star of the original 1980 film, was approached by producers Andrew Form and Bradley Fuller to do a cameo appearance during preproduction. A few days later, the producers called her back and told her they didn’t want anyone from the original film to appear in the remake. (This production sounds organized).

The first film in the series released by both New Line Cinema and Paramount Pictures. Originally, Paramount owned the rights to the series after the original was released in 1980 but sold the rights to New Line Cinema in the early 1990’s after poor box office returns of Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989). New Line bought the rights to the characters of Jason Voorhees and Pamela Voorhees, the Crystal Lake name, and the trademark for the title “Friday the 13th”. All footage from the first eight films and the remake rights for the first film remained the property of Paramount. New Line Cinema released Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993), Jason X (2001) and Freddy vs. Jason (2003). When Platinum Dunes came aboard to develop the new film, they wanted the freedom to use scenarios and characters from the films still owned by Paramount. After a legal dispute, the companies decided to co-produce the 2009 film.

In this movie Jason wears both the legendary hockey mask and the burlap sac, although neither of those appeared in the original Friday the 13th (1980). (Hmmmm, that’s a lot of fan service)

With $42.2 mil, had the biggest opening weekend of a horror-remake beating out former record holder The Grudge (2004) ($39.1 mil).

The title card of the movie isn’t displayed until the end of the opening segment, nearly 25 minutes into the film, which is one of the longest prologues for a horror film ever. (Holy shit, that is ridiculous)

Tommy Jarvis, a character that appeared in Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984), Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985), and Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI (1986) was at one point confirmed by producers Bradley Fuller and Andrew Form of Platinum Dunes to be returning as Jason’s nemesis. (That would have actually been cool maybe, set them up in a trilogy or something to battle it out. I could have gotten behind that).

According to co-writer Damian Shannon, the character of Jason Voorhees was re-envisioned as more territorial, like a hunter, someone who doesn’t kill people at random but will defend his territory from anyone invading it, and this in the most horrible manner. Director Marcus Nispel similarly claims the film shows new aspects of Jason’s personality. Derek Mears says his portrayal of Jason as a survivalist defending his territory is partially inspired by the character of John Rambo in First Blood (1982). (That makes a lot of sense)

Despite the title, the date the events supposedly take place on, Friday the 13th, is only mentioned once. The date can be seen on a tear-away type calendar in the police station, as the officers leave to investigate towards the end of the movie.

One of the victims was originally supposed to drown due to exhaustion as Jason waited her out from the shore of the lake.

Travis Van Winkle portrayed the same character from Transformers (2007) which was directed by Michael Bay.

The film’s setting (New Jersey) is an homage to the original film being filmed in New Jersey. (Wellllll … Crystal Lake is in New Jersey so easy peasy).

Jason just randomly appearing out of thin air as in the earlier films wouldn’t fly this time around. So, they decided he traveled via a series of underground tunnels. That concept was in Mark Wheaton’s original script, but Mark Swift and Damian Shannon claimed to have never read Wheaton’s script until the film was finished, having come up with the same idea about the tunnels on their own. As for the marijuana plant farm which Jason appears to use to lure teenagers into traps, apparently no writer can claim that as their own. According to Swift and Shannon, that was actually director Marcus Nispel’s idea from early on in the development process, and it was their job to work it into the script. (Huh, that could work, but it sounds a bit too over-explainy to me).

The character of Sheriff Bracke, played by Richard Burgi, is named after author Peter Bracke, who wrote the book “Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th”.

Screenwriters Mark Swift and Damian Shannon wanted Jason’s body count in the film to be just 13 as an easter egg for fans. It was surprising how much work it was to kill thirteen people.” Friday the 13th Part IV: The Final Chapter pulled off the “just 13 kills” thing as well, and Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives writer/director Tom McLoughlin originally turned in a film featuring just 13 kills. Executive Producer Frank Mancuso, Jr. forced him to perform re-shoots to up the body count to 18. (Ha, yeah, 13 is pretty close to typical for Friday the 13th, 18 is a lot).

A follow up to 2009’s Friday the 13th was slated for release on October 13, 2017, and was all set to go into production in a matter of weeks. But in February 2017 it was announced that paramount had pulled the plug on the project. (Sigh, yep, this is why we were doing this entire thing)

The film takes place on June 13, 1980 and in 2009.

It shares screenwriters with Freddy Vs. Jason, who had previously turned down the chance to do a Freddy Vs. Jason sequel. Damian Shannon and Mark Swift, as a result of the legal delays, Friday the 13th lost its original director (Jonathan Liebesman) and screenwriter (Mark Wheaton). Freddy Vs. Jason writers Mark Swift and Damian Shannon, who had earned their first writing credit with Freddy Vs. Jason but had yet to get another script onto the screen, were brought in to replace Wheaton. Both grew up huge Jason/Freddy fans, but their Freddy Vs. Jason script was largely re-written by David S. Goyer, who went uncredited, and the far campier film that came out of that was not to their liking. Still, New Line actually offered them the chance to pitch ideas for a Freddy Vs. Jason 2, which they turned down, according to Shannon, because “we thought maybe somebody else should tackle it because we shot our wad so to speak. Every idea we had about that was in the first. I don’t know what we could have done with a second one.”

Mark Wheaton’s original pitch to New Line was to reboot the series with “a new Part V,” ignoring the original “New Beginning” and everything that happened after while featuring a prologue showing Jason Voorhees witnessing the murder of his mother. The characters who come to Crystal Lake then know of Jason as they did in Friday the 13th Parts 2, 3-D, and IV, but Voorhees is not yet supernatural as he is beginning with Part VI (or is a demon worm, or has gone to space, etc.). To further suit the needs of a reboot, Wheaton had Voorhees in first the canvas bag as he was in Part 2 only to replace it with the hockey mask halfway through the film.

The character Richie was one of a few characters to have CGI effects added into his death. Derek Mears (Jason) was holding only the handle with half the blade of the fake machete, making it look like it impaled Richie’s (Ben Feldman’s) head. The visual effects crew digitally superimposed the fake machete to look like it was a completely bladed weapon in the final film. Director Marcus Nispel usually allowed minimal use of CGI effects into his films.

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Jason X Preview

It’s back, Jack! Right on cue we are continuing our Mini-Challenge journey through the world of Friday the 13th. It’s been an interesting time and I’ll miss the series once it’s gone, particularly since I went from actively disliking the series to fascination with the series and finally anticipation for each successive watch. There may be none more anticipated than the SciFi entry of the Calendar cycle. That’s right! We’re (finally) watching Jason X. Because everyone knows that it’s a super good idea to take a struggling franchise to outer space (see: Leprechaun 4: In Space). Works like a charm. Of course this also means we’ll be doing the 9th in the series, Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday as a BMT bonus in preparation for the film. Hooray! I really do love watching these totally unscary horror films. Let’s go!

Jason X (2001) – BMeTric: 77.9

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(INCREDIBLE! It has gone down as more people watch it! This can only mean one thing: this film is going to be great. I can feel it. A Very Popular Bad Film through and through.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  In this, the tenth Friday the 13th installment (and first since 1993’s Jason goes to Hell: The Final Friday), cryogenically frozen Jason (Hodder) and a sexy scientist (Doig) are thawed while on board a spacecraft in the year 2455. You can guess what happens next. For dedicated slasher fans only. David Cronenberg appears briefly as Dr. Wimmer. Not to be confused with Malcolm X.

(Not to be confused with Malcolm X? I get you Leonard. This is such a nicely rote review. He definitely either didn’t write this or basically barely watched this film. Leonard gave so many of these films BOMB designations it is kind of weird that the 8th, 9th, and 10th didn’t manage even one. Seems he’s a softy for the more ridiculous horror films maybe.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Sv8eWDEFsM

(I remember the Let the Bodies Hit the Rope soundtrack from when I was younger. This trailer looks atrocious on several different levels: the humor, the acting, the special effects, and Jason’s design. I can’t believe Kane Hodder came back for this garbage to be honest, after 9 years I would have read the script and just said “good luck”. I have a feeling this is going to be the first Friday the 13th that doesn’t even feel like a Friday the 13th as well.)

Directors – James Isaac – (Future BMT: Skinwalkers; House III: The Horror Show; BMT: Jason X; Notes: Was involved with creature effects for both Gremlins and Enemy Mine. Every so often he would give directing a try it would seem. Also involved with special effects on Virtuosity, which I’m only noting because I interviewed for a job with this guy who now works as an MD-PhD at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.)

Writers – Victor Miller (characters) – (Known For: Friday the 13th; Freddy vs. Jason; Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI; Future BMT: Friday the 13th; 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 Part III; Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter; Friday the 13th Part 2; Notes: I feel like he hasn’t shown up in the credits for a few of these, so weird he would all of a sudden get credit again. He wrote the original movie. The end.)

Todd Farmer (written by) – (Known For: My Bloody Valentine; Future BMT: The Messengers; BMT: Drive Angry; Jason X; Notes: The guy has a crazy life. He dropped out of college and because an independent AmWay distributor, and then moved to LA and started working for Sean S. Cunningham (the other original writer of Friday the 13th). That is how he got this gig and probably his other writing gigs, he was working under Cunningham on different projects he was involved in.)

Actors – Kane Hodder – (Known For: Monster; Daredevil; The Devil’s Rejects; Frozen; Hatchet; Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon; Alligator; Lone Wolf McQuade; Hatchet III; Prison; Digging Up the Marrow; The Rapture; California Split; Future BMT: Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday; Room 6; House II: The Second Story; Hatchet II; Muck; Wishmaster; Father Hood; Best of the Best II; Out for Justice; BMT: Jason X; Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan; Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood; Grind; Notes: There is nothing else to say about this guy! He is Jason, and I doubt anyone has a chance of beating him or Englund for dominating a slasher killer like they did.)

Lexa Doig – (BMT: Jason X; Notes: She had the title role in the show Andromeda, and has been in many other television series. The cast for this movie is pretty funny, no wonder Hodder got first billing.)

Jeff Geddis – (Known For: Crime Spree; BMT: Jason X; Notes: Canadian, and a voice actor almost exclusively.)

Budget/Gross – $11 million / Domestic: $13,121,555 (Worldwide: $16,951,798)

(Complete disaster. It is a wonder that they didn’t scrap Freddy v Jason after this. Although maybe they thought that would have more pull. And smartly, it did actually. The franchise went from this pitiful return to over $80 million in Freddy v. Jason only a few years later.)

#64 for the Horror – Slasher genre

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(Around Halloween 5. I mentioned in the other preview that this genre is effectively dead (the last major release was January 2013 according to Box Office Mojo) in theaters. Kind of understandable, the return since 2005 was the same as during the lull in the early 90s.)

#39 for the Sci-Fi Horror genre

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(Near Ghosts of Mars. With Alien Covenant and the final Resident Evil film this genre has had a bit of a resurgence in recent years, and has been going strong since 2000 regardless. It has been flopping a bit recently though, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see the release numbers wane a bit as well though.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 19% (20/104): Jason goes to the future, but the story is still stuck in the past.

(Nope, terrible Rotten Tomatoes. A few franchises did this (inexplicably send their slashers to the future in space, most notably Leprechaun in Space), but it can’t go well. It also crosses the rubicon from horror to at least close to horror-comedy. Not super great.)

Poster – Jason Sklog (B-)

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(We jump from an early 90’s bonkers poster for Jason Goes to Hell straight to an even crazier early 2000’s bonkers poster for this one. Better font, worse coloring, but I like the artistry.)

Tagline(s) – Evil Gets An Upgrade (B-)

(I’m good with this. Short, sweet, little hint on the futuristic aspect of the plot, but perhaps not quite clever enough. Could be better, but could be a whole lot worse.)

Keyword(s) – scientist; Top Ten by BMeTric: 93.5 Dragonball Evolution (2009); 90.0 Alone in the Dark (2005); 88.4 House of the Dead (2003); 88.4 Street Fighter (1994); 85.7 The Avengers (1998); 85.6 Fantastic Four (2015); 84.1 Piranha 3DD (2012); 82.4 Baby Geniuses (1999); 82.1 Inspector Gadget (1999); 82.0 Highlander II: The Quickening (1991);

(Incredible list. This is a marathon I would actually hold, although I would be a bit more discerning. Here … The Avengers would make the cut for sure. Highlander II I think. But a marathon without Bats? Travesty. So there would be some work to do.)

Notes – The first film in the Friday the 13th series to rely on digital effects for death and gore shots. (Interesting. Sad but interesting)

Jason Voorhees’ eyes never blink when they are shown. (Cool idea actually)

During a Q&A;, screenwriter Todd Farmer joked that there were probably about 20,000 people aboard the Solaris space station when Grendel inadvertently crashed into and destroyed it. (Acknowledgment of flippantly killing people, I can respect that.)

Screenwriter Todd Farmer based much of the film on Alien (1979), even naming one of the characters (whom he also played) Dallas, after Tom Skerritt’s character in the Ridley Scott film. (Yeah I feel like you can tell from the trailer)

The name of the primary ship in the film is the “Grendel” which is the name of a monster in the Old English poem “Beowulf”. Grendel was a direct descendant of Cain from the Book of Genesis, a monster described as half-troll, half-ogre. Like Jason, Grendel rose from a lake in search of victims and seemingly could not be killed. Also, in their fight, Beowulf rips Grendel’s arm off, and in the movie, when Kay-Em shoots up Jason, the first thing he loses is his arm. (I … kind of love the comparison)

Because Jim Isaac wanted the acting in his film to “blow every other Friday movie out of the water.” The associate producer videotaped the rehearsals on a camcorder for Isaac, who would view them afterward to get ideas from seeing his characters in action. The problem was with all the script re-writes a lot of the time Isaac didn’t even know if what the actors were rehearsing was still going to be in the movie (most of it wasn’t). (That’s kind of sad all things considered. Kind of sweet how much he cared though, sucks it didn’t work out).

One of the things which won over everyone to the concept of Jason in space was the idea of the kids seemingly killing the hockey mask monster halfway through only for him to be recreated into something even scarier via futuristic technology. The mechanism of this change ended up being nanotechnology, an idea screenwriter Todd Farmer lifted from Virtuosity. However, the actual concept of an UberJason predates Jason X. (Gross and I hate it)

(at around 15 mins) The space debris floating in space has “Cunningham Realty” written on the side. This is a reference to the name of producer Noel Cunningham, the son of executive producer and maker of the original Friday the 13th (1980), Sean S. Cunningham.

During Jason X’s development process, director Jim Isaac, producer Noel Cunningham (Sean’s son), and screenwriter Todd Farmer kicked around any scenario they could think of it, typically “Jason in [insert blank] (the hood, snow, underwater, the arctic, in L.A. fighting gangs, on safari).” They even considered something involving the NASCAR circuit. Farmer suggested “in space” because he knew Freddy Vs. Jason was on the way, and it’d be best if Jason X was set after the events of that epic battle. So, they needed to jump into the future, and going into space certainly did that. They were a little scared of doing a horror sequel in space [see: Hellraiser, Leprechaun, and Critters.], but they thought it could be fun to do a mash-up of Ridley Scott’s Alien and James Cameron’s Aliens with not one but two strong Ripley-type females on a ship of bad-ass space marines hunted by Jason instead of xenomorphs. (When your idea can be boiled down to: it would be best if we could flash forward a bit because a movie that was planned in 1987 and never made it totes going to come out soon … let’s put it in space I guess. That is not great).

Jason murders 28 people, more than any of the other Friday the 13th movies. (Jesus Christ, that is a ton)

In 2010, Discovery Channel’s Mythbusters actually tested out Jason X’s liquid nitrogen head smash kill. It turns out it doesn’t quite pass the smell test. (I think I saw that one. Yeah, doesn’t really work in my mind, wouldn’t freeze all of the way through).

Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday Preview

It’s back, Jack! Right on cue we are continuing our Mini-Challenge journey through the world of Friday the 13th. It’s been an interesting time and I’ll miss the series once it’s gone, particularly since I went from actively disliking the series to fascination with the series and finally anticipation for each successive watch. There may be none more anticipated than the SciFi entry of the Calendar cycle. That’s right! We’re (finally) watching Jason X. Because everyone knows that it’s a super good idea to take a struggling franchise to outer space (see: Leprechaun 4: In Space). Works like a charm. Of course this also means we’ll be doing the 9th in the series, Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday as a BMT bonus in preparation for the film. Hooray! I really do love watching these totally unscary horror films. Let’s go!

Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993) – BMeTric: 72.7

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(That might look like regression, but that is pretty slow. I think it probably will settle solidly below 5.0. Incredible regardless. A popular bad movie. Horror films are always very popular, and tend to be below average, but the BMeTric here just goes up and up. It feels like this is stable, consistent, possibly legendarily bad.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Ninth entry in the Friday the 13th series, ignores the plots of the last six or so, and opens with Jason being blown to pieces in an ambush. However, his evil spirit takes over a convenient bystander, and reborn, he heads for home to confront his (hitherto unmentioned) sister. Erratic, illogical, and pointlessly cruel; some fans liked it because of its delight in including elements from other contemporary horror movie series.

(Oooof the sister thing is an awful idea. And they don’t ignore the other movies. In fact, the task force which blows up Jason in the beginning I believe is set upon him because of the rampage he goes on while heading from NYC back to his home in New Jersey (or Connecticut or whatever). All of this is tight Leonard, don’t be slandering this series like that.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8gRu3t3OF4

(Rough trailer there. I’ll give them credits though, they didn’t give much away, just tantalizing glimpses of what the franchise had in store (specifically you could kind of see an alien looking thing which suggests a bit more supernatural / sci-fi elements than we had seen before). Cannot begrudge them.)

Directors – Adam Marcus – (Known For: Snow Days; BMT: Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday; Notes: At the time he was the youngest director ever hired by New Line at the age of 23. Him and his brother often appear in bit roles in the movies he directs.)

Writers – Jay Huguely (story & screenplay) – (BMT: Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday; Notes: Sadly died in 2008. Was heavily involved with Magnum P.I. back in the day.)

Adam Marcus (story) – (Future BMT: Texas Chainsaw 3D; Momentum; BMT: Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday; Notes: He wrote and directed most of the movies he’s been a part of. He doesn’t have many credits recently though.)

Dean Lorey (screenplay) – (Future BMT: My Boyfriend’s Back; Major Payne; BMT: Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday; Notes: Big television guy, including writing nine episodes of Arrested Development. Was a script doctor during development in order to restructure the script.)

Actors – John D. LeMay – (Known For: The Couch Trip; BMT: Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday; Notes: Funny enough was in the Friday the 13th television series prior to this film. Has been sticking to theater work in Hollywood more recently.)

Kari Keegan – (Known For: Jerry Maguire; BMT: Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday; Notes: I can find nothing about her, her role in Jerry Maguire was uncredited, and I think she quickly dropped out of the acting scene after this film.)

Kane Hodder – (Known For: Monster; Daredevil; The Devil’s Rejects; Frozen; Hatchet; Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon; Alligator; Lone Wolf McQuade; Hatchet III; Prison; Digging Up the Marrow; The Rapture; California Split; Future BMT: Room 6; House II: The Second Story; Hatchet II; Muck; Wishmaster; Father Hood; Best of the Best II; Out for Justice; BMT: Jason X; Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday; Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan; Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood; Grind; Notes: Along with Robert Englund I think Hodder is probably the second most famous horror film slasher around, and for good reason. I’ve loved his personal interpretation of the character. I’m surprised by how much he was able to add, but he does his part to make the later franchise installments a little bit tolerable.)

Budget/Gross – $3 million / Domestic: $15,935,068

(Solid return probably, but always a dwindling with this series. As the slasher genre slipped oh so silently into a slumber the money just stopped coming in.)

#52 for the Horror – Slasher genre

jasongoestohell_slasher

(Only a little above Halloween 3: Season of the Witch, and Psycho III. Brutal. Slashers are interesting. This came out right in the trough between the 80s franchises  But the genre is effectively dead. I don’t think they will return. They’ve gone to the VOD world I think.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 24% (4/17): No consensus yet.

(My consensus: Might work on its own as a supernatural thriller, but within context it is a true incoherent mess. From the first nine in the franchise it might just be the worst of the bunch. Certainly interesting considering number five is just horrid. The good reviews are pretty okay with the movie, but almost anything that is said is framed around how not-Jason-X the film is.)

Poster – Jason Sklogs to Hell: The Final Friday (C+)

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(Is it better than the posters from earlier in the franchise? No. Is the font good? Hell no. But do I kinda dig how bonkers insane this poster is? Yeah. Early 90’s crazy town.)

Tagline(s) – Evil has finally found a home. (F)

(This tagline intrigues me because it’s a generic piece of shit that I have no idea how it could connect to the horror franchise I’ve grown to love. How could this be?)

Keyword(s) – undead; Top Ten by BMeTric: 81.2 Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959); 80.5 The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009); 77.9 Jason X (2001); 77.7 Universal Soldier: The Return (1999); 72.7 Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993); 72.1 The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010); 72.0 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (2011); 71.8 Zombie Strippers (2008); 69.9 Cell (I) (2016); 69.3 Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989);

(Twilight and Friday the 13th. I would be down for this movie marathon, would be bonkers. Universal Soldier 2 is intriguing. Both theatrical releases got simply terrible reviews, and the second one is notable for basically relegating JCVD to direct-to-video status until Expendables 2. Interesting indeed.)

Notes – There was a comic book that bridged the gap between Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989) and this film. It followed Jason after he was dipped in toxic waste in a New York City sewer, and his killing spree all the way back to Camp Crystal Lake. It also explains why the FBI has a task force specifically for Jason. (I want to read this. What is happening to me? Why am I obsessed with this franchise?)

Jason’s heart was used in From Dusk Till Dawn (1996) as Monkey Man’s heart. (I don’t understand this sentence, the prop I suppose?)

(at around 54 mins) The Necronomicon found in the Voorhees house is a prop created by Tom Sullivan for The Evil Dead (1981) and Evil Dead II (1987). Sam Raimi sent a letter asking Sullivan to forgive him for not asking permission to borrow Sullivan’s Evil Dead II (1987) props for this film. Tom Sullivan said he was not paid and would never again loan out props without granting permission. (That is deep prop master stuff)

The original title of the movie was “Friday the 13th Part IX: The Dark Heart of Jason Voorhees”. (WHAT)

There were plans for a high tech video game based on this movie. The game was created but never released. (Uh … so you are telling me this exists).

One early concept for this movie was “Jason Goes To L.A” in which two rival gangs would be fighting; when Jason would show up and start murdering them. This would force the rival gangs to band together to defeat Jason. (Cool idea, but kind of a rip off of Manhattan. That could have been part of the eight one if they were willing to pay for it)

This entry features the strongest clues as to the location of Crystal Lake. Namely, twice (once at the start, once when Steve Freeman sees the hitchhikers), a sign indicating that Crystal Lake is approximately 29 miles from Fairfield and 39 miles from Westport appears. Fairfield and Westport are both located in Connecticut. Previous films had indicated New Jersey or its environs; in part 3, a sign for Pick-It, the New Jersey state lottery, appears on the sign of a window at around 14 minutes into the film, while in part 1, Enos’ truck has New Jersey on the side, and at about 11 minutes into part 1, the gates for a cemetery also has New Jersey on it. (oh goddamit)

The film takes place in 2003. (Ha, loving it. We’ll have to see how that comes up)

There is a substantial amount of male nudity in this film as with female nudity, probably most notably in the “homoerotic shaving scene” as many fans have come to call it. The reason for this that director Adam Marcus viewed the previous “Friday the 13th” film as somewhat sexist, showing only or primarily female nudity, and thought it more acceptable to show male and female nudity in equal amounts. (Good for him Adam. It is sexist, got to give male nudity a chance to shine)

The only film in the series to be released in the 90s. (Which is probably the only interesting thing about it for me to be honest)

Sean Cunningham long since believed actors never took their cues fast enough, meaning it would take them just a couple of seconds too long to (for example) go out of a room through a door because they’d be too busy emoting. His passive aggressive solution was not to communicate more clearly to the actors but instead shoot at 22 frames per second instead of 24, thinking the increased speed would eliminate any sign of slight hesitation from the actor. This put the audio all out of whack, but he could fix that with a harmonizer. Cunningham puts this technique to the test on Deepstar Six, and liked the results enough to force Marcus to employ the method while filming Jason Goes to Hell. An unexpected though obvious consequence of filming everything at a slightly faster frame rate was that (for example) where they thought they had a 90 minute film they only actually had 80 minutes. (WTF That is incredible and bizarre and just one of the most incredibly terrible bullshit).

Conceptually, the notion of Jason’s essence being transferable came from Adam Marcus’ original story treatment. Ignoring Jason Takes Manhattan, he picked up where Part VII: The New Blood left off, i.e., Jason neutralized and trapped at the bottom of Crystal Lake. The film would open with a mystery man dredging up Jason’s body, so that an autopsy could be performed in a nearby cabin converted into a science lab. We were supposed to expect Jason to wake up and go berserk. However, as a surprise, Jason would awake only to watch his own black heart torn out by the the mystery man. This would instantly render him powerless, and the mystery man would consume the heart, thereby absorbing Jason’s “powers.” The big reveal would be the identity of the man: Elias Voorhees, Jason’s never seen, never mentioned father. It’s not clear where the story would have gone from there, but they dropped all of it except the idea of someone eating Jason’s heart, thereby taking his powers. Jason’s body-hopping via mouth-ingested parasite from that point forward, was likely ripped off from The Hidden (1987), a science fiction flick from New Line’s archive. (These notes are long, but they are incredible. Sounds like they decided to go the Halloween 6 route and completely ruin a horror franchise by over-explaining things)

Magnum P.I. writer Jay Huguely’s final draft for Jason Goes to Hell was awful and impossible to understand. Cunningham was coming up against a deadline, as in New Line needed to see the script within a couple of days or else they’d cancel the project. So, he recruited My Boyfriend’s Back writer Dean Lorey, sat with him in a room for 4 days, and wouldn’t let him leave until they had a script they could film. In the process, they basically threw out all of Huguely’s work. (My God, that is just a crazy story! The 90s were a crazy time)

After the film was released, the Wall Street Journal called it “a return to morality in cinema” because of the scene where Luke and Deborah are murdered while having sex after deciding not to use a condom. (That sentence makes me sick to my stomach. Fuck you Wall Street Journal)

I Still Know What You Did Last Summer Preview

Clearly when we double our work for a week by watching a double bill there is only one thing that we can do. That’s right! Watch another double bill for the horror entry in the Calendar cycle. My Gawwwwwd! Is that… I Know What You Did Last Summer/I Still Know What You Did Last Summer’s music? I’ve been really looking forward to watching this series for BMT. Not only is the title ridiculous, but it’s based on a book (!) and features one of the underrated stars of BMT, Freddie Prinze Jr. It landed on the Calendar for November 13th beating out the likes of 2012, I’ll Be Home for Christmas, and Love the Coopers. Let’s go!

I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998) – BMeTric: 76.1

IStillKnowWhatYouDidLastSummer_BMeT

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(This is much more like a really terrible film. The regression to the mean maybe means this will be more boring that really funny-bad, but I still have some hopes. It has an impressive number of votes, but a lot of horror films do. Popular – bad film here, and a classic step down as far as a sequel goes.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Hewitt and friends win a vacation to a Caribbean island, where they are pursued by the killer with a hook from the first movie, I Know What You Did Last Summer. Another film in which the cast runs around screaming while being killed, one by one. Plotless mess lacks any suspense, and makes the original look like a classic. Jack Black appears unbilled.

(Deep burn on the first one Leonard. Although I’ve mentioned time and time again that Maltin has said he doesn’t particularly enjoy horror films, so I doubt he would have considered it a classic regardless. I’ll have to watch out for Jack Black, hopefully it is more substantive than his bit part in Waterworld.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=99yCJwP97Uo

(Ahhhh, now that looks like complete shit. There we are, everything is right with the world. Everything looks like shitty sets, it looks like they repeat a bunch of stuff, and the storyline appears to be ludicrous. It went full Scream 3, but with worse acting for sure. Congrats.)

Directors – Danny Cannon – (Known For: Goal!; Phoenix; Future BMT: The Young Americans; BMT: I Still Know What You Did Last Summer; Judge Dredd; Notes: Started as a movie director, but is now mainly a television director / producer including most recently Gotham. He is from Luton in the UK which is home to the airport you really hope you don’t fly into because it means it will take you forever to get to London.)

Writers – Lois Duncan (characters) – (Known For: Hotel for Dogs; BMT: I Still Know What You Did Last Summer; I Know What You Did Last Summer; Notes: Mentioned above she is the author of the original book. In more sad info, one of her books is a non-fiction account of her search for the person who killed her daughter in the 80s, a cold case that was never solved. She became a children’s book author after the event, not being able to write thrillers anymore.)

Trey Callaway (written by) – (BMT: I Still Know What You Did Last Summer; Notes: Almost exclusively a television producer / writer, this was one of his first writing gigs. Given that his only writing credit prior to the film was two episodes of Timon & Pumbaa, one might wonder how he got the job …)

Actors – Jennifer Love Hewitt – (Known For: Tropic Thunder; Can’t Hardly Wait; Heartbreakers; Future BMT: Garfield; Garfield 2; Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit; Delgo; The Suburbans; House Arrest; The Truth About Love; Jewtopia; Telling You; BMT: I Still Know What You Did Last Summer; The Tuxedo; I Know What You Did Last Summer; Notes: At the age of 12 she recorded her first album Love Songs. It was released exclusively in Japan and made her a pop star in Japan for a brief period. She released a few other albums all the way up to 2002, but never really found success in the United States.)

Freddie Prinze Jr. – (Known For: The House of Yes; Brooklyn Rules; Future BMT: Scooby-Doo; Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed; Happily N’Ever After; Summer Catch; Boys and Girls; Head Over Heels; She’s All That; Delgo; To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday; Jack and Jill vs. the World; BMT: I Still Know What You Did Last Summer; Wing Commander; Down to You; I Know What You Did Last Summer; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Supporting Actor for Scooby-Doo in 2003; Notes: I know him best as Best Friend Forever to Matthew Lillard. He was in Scooby Doo, Scooby Doo 2, Summer Catch, Wing Commander, and She’s All That with him, it is crazy!)

Brandy Norwood – (Known For: Arachnophobia; Osmosis Jones; Future BMT: The Perfect Match; BMT: I Still Know What You Did Last Summer; Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor; Notes: A singer / rapper first who made an incredibly successful transition to acting, although mostly in television, most famously as the title character in Moesha. Kobe Bryant took her to senior prom.)

Budget/Gross – $24 million / Domestic: $40,002,112

(Still not too bad. I’ve mentioned before during our viewings of various Friday the 13th films that slasher films ultimately don’t really make money. Two Scream films are the only ones to have broken one hundred million domestic, and $40 million is honestly a rather impressive take. Especially considering it got such bad reviews.)

#17 for the Horror – Slasher genre

istillknowwhatyoudidlastsummer_slasher

(This came right at the peak of post-scream 90s horror. How big the genre got in the early to mid 2000s kind of surprised me, but that was fueled by a binge on remakes of the big 80s franchises. It has since, obviously, collapsed. Which is kind of sad. Slashers never made money, but you can make them on a shoestring, which should be right up Blumhouse’s alley. Hopefully it hasn’t been permanently relegated to VOD. This came in a shade above the original Friday the 13th’s gross in 1980 … yeah, maybe not so great.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 7% (4/56): Boring, predictable, and bereft of thrills or chills, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer is exactly the kind of rehash that gives horror sequels a bad name.

(Boring? Boring?! I don’t believe it. This looks like a cartoon come to life and a testament to everything that is wrong with horror (and specifically slashers) since the major franchises up and died. How can one not be entertained watching the film that gives horror sequels a bad name!)

Poster – I Still Know What You Sklogged Last Summer (B+)

i_still_know_what_you_did_last_summer

(Ehhhh, not loving the hook they added in this one. But the coloring is slightly better and they added some flair to the font for “Still.” Only a small step back.)

Tagline(s) – Some secrets will haunt you forever. (C+)

Someone is dying for a second chance. (C-)

(Both of these are not good. The first is the better of the two. Short and a small hint at the concept of these films, but lacking creativity. The second makes me sad. All I can think of when I read it is someone smirking and saying “nailed it.” Too clever by half and largely meaningless besides letting us know that this is indeed a sequel.)

Keyword(s) – fisherman; Top Ten by BMeTric: 88.0 Vampires Suck (2010); 76.1 I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998); 73.2 Swept Away (2002); 52.5 Free Willy 3: The Rescue (1997); 52.3 Gone Fishin’ (1997); 52.0 Sura (2010); 47.4 I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997); 44.1 The Incredible Melting Man (1977); 42.3 Flipper (1996); 41.1 Clash of the Titans (2010);

(Wow, this is like a who’s who of films I feel like we should have seen. Swept Away I actually did see (we illogically owned that on VHS whilst in high school, a combination of the local rental place’s bargain bin and gag gifts), but not yet for BMT. It is coming. Gone Fishin’ is also on the calendar, and we will see Elijah Wood’s tour de force Flipper at some point.)

Notes – Peter Jackson was asked to direct. (and he said NO)

The character of Karla Wilson was originally intended to be a Caucasian girl, until Brandy auditioned and won the role. (I’m sure the character description in the script read “Karla, a caucasian woman white as the driven snow”. Give me a break)

Scheduling conflicts with Dawson’s Creek (1998), The Faculty (1998), Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998), and gearing up to direct Teaching Mrs. Tingle (1999) prevented Kevin Williamson from writing the screenplay for both this film and Scream 3 (2000) after having written their predecessors. (If it gave us Dawson’s Creek then ANYTHING GOES. Dawson’s Creek is a national treasure. They had a student-teacher relationship in the FIRST EPISODE!!)

Jennifer Love Hewitt, Freddie Prinze Jr., and Muse Watson are the only actors to reprise their roles from the previous film, with Sarah Michelle Gellar only reappearing as Helen Shivers via a photograph. (I presume this is a spoiler alert: I would guess Gellar’s character died)

Due to the negative critical reaction to the film upon its release, Freddie Prinze Jr. admits that he has never seen the film because of its reputation. (ha!)

Early promotional material, including the theatrical trailer, credit Stephen Gaghan as co-writer of the screenplay. In the final credits, only Trey Callaway is credited. (That is strange. I wonder how such a thing happens)

While the film is set in The Bahamas, it was actually shot at: El Tecuan Marina Resort Costalagree, in Jalisco, Mexico.

Brandy’s second time playing a character that won a fixed radio contest. Once in this film and a second time in Double Platinum (1999) in the following year. (hilarious fun fact)

I Know What You Did Last Summer Preview

Clearly when we double our work for a week by watching a double bill there is only one thing that we can do. That’s right! Watch another double bill for the horror entry in the Calendar cycle. My Gawwwwwd! Is that… I Know What You Did Last Summer/I Still Know What You Did Last Summer’s music? I’ve been really looking forward to watching this series for BMT. Not only is the title ridiculous, but it’s based on a book (!) and features one of the underrated stars of BMT, Freddie Prinze Jr. It landed on the Calendar for November 13th beating out the likes of 2012, I’ll Be Home for Christmas, and Love the Coopers. Let’s go!

I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997) – BMeTric: 47.4

IKnowWhatYouDidLastSummer_BMeT

IKnowWhatYouDidLastSummer_RV

(Maybe it is because we’ve been doing just brutal films, but I am fascinated by this plot. It is almost entirely a function of it having so many reviews while still being slightly below average (average is roughly 6.0), and the way it just floats around the same value … it is kind of the definition of regression to the mean. It has managed to just follow a contour line on the rating-vote plot perfectly. Very nice. Very popular – below average film.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  In coastal North Carolina, four friends accidentally run down a pedestrian on a lonely road. They dump the body in the sea and vow never to mention it again. But a year later, they each begin receiving the title message in the mail, and then the murders begin. … Scripter Kevin Williamson’s attempt at a Scream follow-up is too routine to succeed overall.

(Pretty low key review, but somewhat expected given this isn’t really supposed to be a truly terrible film. I’m actually pretty shocked that it is below 40% in the first place, but it is kind of barely there, and horror fans and critics alike are fickle when it comes trashing slasher films. Add in that late-90s horror outside of Scream was basically a garbage pit and maybe this will be relatively okay?)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcWK0M4VMjA

(It seems real, but it is a bit unbelievable. The change of tone at the end gives off a thick Scream vibe, which is probably a smart move since Scream is basically the only big budget slasher film to be received well post 1990. I personally think this is going to be fun, but closer to Scream 3 than anything else. Like it knows what it should probably do to make the post-1990 slasher work, but never quites gets where it needs to get … vague, but I know what I mean.)

Directors – Jim Gillespie – (Future BMT: Venom; D-Tox; BMT: I Know What You Did Last Summer; Notes: Scottish. It is hard to say this film ruined his career as it was unclear if it was really on the upswing to begin with, but D-Tox, which was a big budget straight-to-DVD disaster. Anyways, it appears he might work for London Film School now.)

Writers – Lois Duncan (novel) – (Known For: Hotel for Dogs; BMT:  I Still Know What You Did Last Summer; I Know What You Did Last Summer; Notes: Note that in addition to writing the book Hotel for Dogs (which I didn’t know was adapted from a book …), she also wrote Killing Mr. Griffin which has an eerily similar plot, so much so it is mentioned on the books wiki page. And double weird, Kevin Williamson wrote Teaching Mrs. Tingle! Anyways, in sadder news she died last year.)

Kevin Williamson (screenplay) – (Known For: Scream; Scream 4; Scream 2; The Faculty; Future BMT: Cursed; Scream 3; Teaching Mrs. Tingle; BMT: I Know What You Did Last Summer; Notes: He has a very interesting career, clearly very much focused in the horror genre. He was raised in North Carolina where this film is set, and ended up producing Dawson’s Creek. Horror films and Dawson’s Creek, who would have thunk it.)

Actors – Jennifer Love Hewitt – (Known For: Tropic Thunder; Can’t Hardly Wait; Heartbreakers; Future BMT: Garfield; Garfield 2; Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit; Delgo; The Suburbans; House Arrest; The Truth About Love; Jewtopia; Telling You; BMT:  I Still Know What You Did Last Summer; The Tuxedo; I Know What You Did Last Summer; Notes: Probably more famous for her later television work (The Client List and Ghost Whisperer in particular) at this point, she was a megastar when I was growing up due to Party of Five. In between … well she made bad movies basically. She is a huge fan of Glasgow Celtic Football Club apparently.)

Sarah Michelle Gellar – (Known For: Cruel Intentions; Scream 2; Small Soldiers; Funny Farm; Suburban Girl; Future BMT: Scooby-Doo; The Grudge 2; Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed; Happily N’Ever After; The Return; Southland Tales; Simply Irresistible; She’s All That; The Grudge; Harvard Man; TMNT; BMT: I Know What You Did Last Summer; Notes: Is most famous as Buffy, and has basically been doing television work for the most part. I married to Freddy Prinze Jr., who also stars in this film.)

Anne Heche – (Known For: Donnie Brasco; The Other Guys; My Friend Dahmer; Catfight; Volcano; Wag the Dog; Rampart; Cedar Rapids; The Adventures of Huck Finn; Return to Paradise; A Simple Twist of Fate; Walking and Talking; Wild Side; I’ll Do Anything; The Third Miracle; Auggie Rose; Future BMT: Psycho; Nothing Left to Fear; Wild Card; Six Days Seven Nights; The Juror; Milk Money; Spread; Birth; Arthur and Mike; That’s What She Said; What Love Is; BMT: I Know What You Did Last Summer; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Actress for Psycho in 1999; Notes: Growing up I mainly knew of her because she was Ellen DeGeneres’ partner for a few years. Recently she was on the podcast Doug Loves Movies where she thoroughly embarrassed herself and was kicked off.)

Budget/Gross – $17 million / Domestic: $72,586,134 (Worldwide: $125,586,134)

(Really solid haul for a slasher film. Basically right there with Scream, and is basically exactly what they were going for. This was when people thought slashers were back! They weren’t.)

#6 for the Horror – Slasher genre

iknowwhatyoudidlastsummer_slasher

(While the slasher genre made a triumphant comeback with Scream, it was not to last. The 2000s saw a bunch of remakes of 80s classics (like our beloved Friday the 13th) and then the genre basically disappeared. That isn’t to say there haven’t been any. Most Likely to Die is an example of what appears to be a fairly big slasher released basically exclusively to VOD in 2015. So it is likely that is where the genre is at the moment.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 35% (15/43): No consensus yet.

(I get to make one: Fun, energetic, uninspired, predictable, fairly scary … but not that scary. I Know What You Did Last Summer goes through the beats of a Scream knockoff, but never quite reaches the satisfying tongue-in-cheek peak of its obvious predecessor. That is basically the gist of it. A fairly scary, fairly satisfying Scream knock-off.)

Poster – I Know What You Sklogged Last Summer (A-)

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(Have to admit, this is nicely done. This is exactly how prominent pictures of stars should be employed on a poster. Just wish the color they used was better. I like the dash of red, the slightly modified font, and the spacing.)

Tagline(s) – If you’re going to bury the truth, make sure it stays buried. (C+)

(Well that’s a mouthful. Using the word bury twice sounds odd. This seems like a second draft of a tagline that they couldn’t quite make all the way to the end. Does give a hint at the plot and isn’t totally bereft of cleverness.)

Keyword(s) – overalls; Top Ten by BMeTric: 77.9 Hannah Montana: The Movie (2009); 71.9 The Next Karate Kid (1994); 68.9 Dance Flick (2009); 57.7 The Big Bounce (2004); 57.3 God’s Not Dead 2 (2016); 56.4 Troll (1986); 54.0 Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice (1992); 50.3 Dhoom:3 (2013); 50.1 Runaway Bride (1999); 49.6 The Spy Next Door (2010);

(Ba-da-da-da-da I’m lovin’ it. Overalls!? We talking about overalls!? I want to hold a bad movie marathon announced as “IMDb keyword: Overalls”. Some of those are legit hilarious, although I would cut Dhoom 3 obviously.)

Notes – Lois Duncan has stated openly that she hates the movie, because the filmmakers turned her book into a slasher film. She especially detested it in the wake of her 18-year-old daughter’s murder in 1989. (Makes sense, I’ve read the book NBD, and it is nothing like this. Certainly not a slasher film)

Despite being part of the main cast and appearing in many key scenes together, the characters Helen (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and Ray (Freddie Prinze Jr.) only speak to each other twice (Ray – “How do you know that?” Helen – “Missy, said there was a friend named Billy Blue)” (at around 1h 2 mins) and (Ray – “No, it’s not, it’s true” Helen “Yeah, I don’t think so, Ray”) (at around 10 mins). In real life, the two later fall in love and marry. (That is absurd)

Kevin Williamson wrote this script before Scream (1996), but was unable to sell it. Following the big screen success of his next screenplay, “Scream,” Columbia Pictures immediately bought I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997) (Ha! Purely fueled by Scream. Calling this a knock-off is a little unfair I admit, since they share the same main screenwriter.)

The ice inside the storage of the boat was actually made of gelatin so Jennifer Love Hewitt could comfortably move around inside. (fun fact)

The group goes to “Dawson’s Beach.” This is a reference to Dawson’s Creek (1998), also written by Kevin Williamson. (Doubt it, seems like it would have to be the other way around given the years involved)

The set relocated from North Carolina to California for the scene where the four teenagers run over the man. Producer Erik Feig said that North Carolina was the flattest state and they needed a more ‘curvy’ and ‘dangerous looking’ road. (I’m sure it isn’t the flattest state, but it is flat)

The original trailer for the movie described Kevin Williamson and the movie as “from the creator of Scream (1996)”. Miramax, owners of the “Scream” franchise successfully sued Columbia Pictures for “false advertising” and the phrase was removed. (It was from the writer of Scream … amazing they could do that)

The scene where Helen (Sarah Michelle Gellar) escapes from the cop car mirrors a similar scene in Scream 2 (1997) with Sydney and Hallie. Sarah Michelle Gellar plays the sorority girl CeCe in said film. (Interesting)

After the first Croaker County Beauty Pageant, the band playing at the beach party is the alternative/surf rock band Southern Culture on the Skids. (Very interesting. Might have to go into our Who section of the recap)

(at around 38 mins) “Hush” from the soundtrack (played fully over the end credits) is heard briefly on the radio of Barry’s car. (Gross)

(The rest of the notes are all spoilers for the movie or the book which I figured were mostly unnecessary)

Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan Preview

It’s baaaaaaa-aaaaaaack. That’s right! We’re watching some more of our favorite horror franchise: Friday the 13th. Last cycle we had to endure the fifth in the series, which was so bad that it almost destroyed my taste for all things Jason Vorhees… almost. For the StreetCreditReport.com cycle we have to jump to the eighth film in the franchise, Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, which often makes it to the top of the worst of the series lists. This is reflected in the RT score with a solid 2/22 (8%). This of course means that we have non-BMT homework for Part VI: Jason Lives (which is often considered one of the best in the series; 52% RT) and a BMT qualifying bonus film Part VII: The New Blood (30% RT) which we just previewed. We’re going to do it guys. We’re going to watch the entire series in a single year! Let’s go!

Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989) – BMeTric: 69.0

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(Whoa, also regression to the mean. Popular Low Rated film. That is surprising to me. I would have thought that the film would have a more of a sustained low rating … perhaps (spoiler alert) Leonard Maltin is right … maybe this movie is “better” than I am giving it credit for in my mind. By better I mean intentionally so-bad-it’s-good, which to me is just intentionally-bad-and-not-at-all-funny. Gauntlets thrown.)

Leonard Maltin – 2 stars –  The best film in the “Friday” series, imaginatively directed and written by Hedden, is still just a slasher film, though less gruesome than most. Despite the title, most of the film takes place on a cruise ship. Too long and not really for fans of the series.

(Ludicrous statement that this is the best film in the franchise. I can tell you that right now. Maybe for someone who doesn’t appreciate the horror genre at all making a movie where Jason “takes” Manhattan as some kind of joke (some kind of sick, sick tongue-in-cheek joke) could be considered a weird pinnacle, but I say nay. Leonard hints at that at the end though, so I have to give him credit for that. Perhaps he did watch this movie at the time though. Could be tipping the hand a bit that the more over-the-top comedy horror films like Leprechaun were well on their way.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5fc43O3ynE 

(What. The. Fuck. So yeah, I guess they aren’t playing this exactly straight. I’m going to hate this movie aren’t I? Yeah, I think I’m just going to straight hate it. It isn’t going to have any good kills. It won’t be funny even though it thinks it is. Ugh. I already hate it. I’ve already ruined my viewing of this film.)

Directors – Rob Hedden – (BMT: Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan; You May Not Kiss the Bride; Notes: Was a big tv movie guy back in the day it seems which is interesting. He was also offered the chance to direct a Nightmare on Elm Street sequel after this production wrapped, but was exhausted from the hectic production on this film.)

Writers – Rob Hedden (written by) – (BMT: Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan; Clockstoppers; You May Not Kiss the Bride; The Condemned; Notes: Wrote 14 episodes of MacGuyver. Also cast his sister as a waitress in this film, her only IMDb credit.)

Victor Miller (characters) – (Again, he always gets credits, we’ve delved as deeply into his backstory as the internet allows.)

Actors – Jensen Daggett – (BMT: Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan; Major League: Back to the Minors; Telling You; The Opposite Sex and How to Live with Them; Notes: Had a recurring role on Home Improvement as Tim “The Tool-Man” Taylor’s sister-in-law. I’m kind of obsessed with the fact that she was on Project: Alf, the tv movie that wrapped up ALF in 1996. It was terrible, I was ten at the time, and an all-around weird thing to have happened.)

Kane Hodder – (Known For: Monster; Daredevil; The Devil’s Rejects; Frozen; Prison; Hatchet; Alligator; Lone Wolf McQuade; Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon; Hatchet III; BMT: Jason X; Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday; Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan; Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood; Room 6; House II: The Second Story; Hatchet II; Wishmaster; Muck; Best of the Best II; Father Hood; Out for Justice; Grind; Notes: It is so strange that this guy was also uncredited in Daredevil just like Kevin Spirtas … anyways, he played Jason and was also a long time stunt man. He appears to have parlayed his can-do and fun-loving attitude (much talked about in notes about this film) into a long slasher film career. On wikipedia it states that he is a noted Juggalo.)

Todd Caldecott – (BMT: Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan; Fear; Notes: Canadien and an herbalist, he released a book called Ayurveda: The Divine Science of Life.)

Budget/Gross – $5 million / Domestic: $14,343,976 (N/A)

(Slowly a-tumbling down. Probably still profitable if those numbers are accurate. It is just that now it is a 300% return instead of 1000%. So, I presume we are about to find a true-blue bomb among these micro-budget horror films)

#61 for the Horror – Slasher genre

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(Below Halloween III: Season of the Witch. That is basically all you need to know about that. As the franchise which managed 8 filmed in the 1980s (!) transitioned to the 90s there was something foreboding about the trends the horror genre had been taking. And realizing that the franchise would go from 8 movies in the 80s to 1 in the 90s … well, 80s horror was a special time. It is understandable people would reminisce about the fun-loving attitudes of the era.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 8% (2/24): No consensus yet.

(I’ll make one: Comes across far better in retrospect, but still, the series (and this installment) is still some of the worst the genre had to offer from the era. None of these reviews are from pre-2000 so they are all looking backwards. And they are far more positive than you would expect. A few mirror Leonard’s opinion that it is the best of the bunch, but the rotten tomatoes review score (3.0/10.0) doesn’t really reflect that, so I’m still pretty skeptical.)

Poster – Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Take Sklog-hattan (D)

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(Egad! This color scheme is no bueno. Unlike the previous entries they have fully transitioned from artistic 80’s styling to tacky garbage. Still got the font, but that’s about it.)

Tagline(s) – New York has a new problem (B)

(First of all, could you be more condescending to NYC? Basically saying “check out this garbage town where everything is shit and crime is rampant… even worse now. Fuck NYC, emirite?” But that being said, it’s short, somewhat clever (“new” and “new”), and hints at the plot. Still, there is something that nags me about this one. Don’t love it even though it hits a lot of right notes.)

Keyword(s) – hockey mask; Top Ten by BMeTric: 77.8 Jason X (2001); 72.2 Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993); 69.0 Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989); 67.6 Stan Helsing (2009); 66.7 Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985); 52.2 Eight Legged Freaks (2002); 50.7 Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988); 47.6 Friday the 13th (2009); 47.5 The King of Fighters (2010); 46.3 Exit Wounds (2001);

(Friday the 13th is a lot less than I would have imagined. Exit Wounds … well I can’t wait to see the hockey mask there. This is also a pretty nice list. I mean, you wouldn’t watch all of the Friday the 13th, but still, kind of a fun variety. How nice.)

Notes – Kane Hodder says that one of the most fun parts of his tenure as Jason was the scenes in Times Square. He says that spectators were lined up and down the block watching the filming, and he didn’t want to take off the mask to destroy their illusion of Jason. He said that every once in awhile, he’d turn his head and look at them, and watch them all go crazy. (This movie sounds weirdly fun. People had fun making this)

Writer/Director Rob Hedden originally wrote more of the movie to be set in New York. He had written scenes at Madison Square Garden, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Empire State Building. But Paramount told him that budget would not allow him to spend that much time in New York, so he was forced to rewrite the film and spend more time on the cruise ship. Hedden says he agrees with fans who complain that not enough time is spent in New York, given the title Jason Takes Manhattan. (HA!)

(at around 1h 28 mins) In the diner, the man Jason throws into the mirror is Ken Kirzinger, who would go on to play Jason in Freddy vs. Jason (2003). Kirzinger also doubles as Jason in a few brief shots in this film. (That is a fun fact)

In the original script, when Jason makes it to the dock, a dog starts barking at him and he kicked it. Kane Hodder, who was playing Jason, felt that kicking the dog was going too far and so the scene was dropped. (It was going too far. He murders innocent children, but kicking a dog is too far. I would never condone animal abuse and I’m glad they cut it, I just find that funny)

After the disappointing results at the box-office, Paramount decided to sell the Friday the 13th film series to New Line Cinema, making “Jason Takes Manhattan” the last feature produced by Paramount, until the 2009 remake. Only three other sequels were released in between. (Cool. We shall watch them all!)

Many of the actors pointed out to themselves a plot hole earlier in the filming of the movie. They were asking how did the ship get out of Crystal Lake and into the Atlantic Ocean. But most them were just happy to be in a movie so they didn’t bring it up to the Producers or the Director. (Yeah … I was wondering how they would get from Crystal Lake to Manhattan. I guess the answer is “fuck you”)

At 1 hour and 40 minutes, this is the longest of the Friday The 13th films. (WHAT)

Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood Preview

It’s baaaaaaa-aaaaaaack. That’s right! We’re watching some more of our favorite horror franchise: Friday the 13th. Last cycle we had to endure the fifth in the series, which was so bad that it almost destroyed my taste for all things Jason Vorhees… almost. For the StreetCreditReport.com cycle we have to jump to the eighth film in the franchise, Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, which often makes it to the top of the worst of the series lists. This is reflected in the RT score with a solid 2/22 (8%). This of course means that we have non-BMT homework for Part VI: Jason Lives (which is often considered one of the best in the series; 52% RT) and a BMT qualifying bonus film Part VII: The New Blood (30% RT) which we’ll present here first. We’re going to do it guys. We’re going to watch the entire series in a single year! Let’s go!

Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988) – BMeTric: 50.7

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(I find the rating plot in particular quite interesting. The film has transitioned from a purely bad-ratings film to a Popular Below Average film in the later years. This is more than regression to the mean to me, this is legitimately people going back and actually thinking this movie is better than the previous generation considered it (in my opinion). And it looks like it isn’t slowing, it is plausible that this movie will cross into average territory soon. Weird and wild stuff.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Makeup expert Buechler fails to inject much life into this endless series. Pretty, blonde Lincoln foolishly travels to Crystal Lake (with her mom and her shrink) where her talent for telekinesis beings the monstrous Jason back from his watery grave.

(He did not watch this film. This “review” is basically just regurgitates the plot and then bounces. I guess he calls it lifeless, but there is nothing else there. Whatever, as long as this film is better than number five I’ll be pretty okay with it. That isn’t such a tall order is it?)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7Hm9RNGo8A

(This is… not what I want out of my Friday the 13th films. Yeah, I guess it’s cool that Jason kinda meets his match with a telekinetic girl, but I’m in for the kills and the trills. Not Jason being pummeled left and right. Also, it seems like they might show us the final kill right in the trailer.)

Directors – John Carl Buechler – (BMT: Troll; Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood; Notes:  Nominated for the Razzie Award in 1988 for Worst Visual Effects for The Garbage Pail Kids Movie. Started out in makeup and made his way to directing. Still does some work in visual effects and makeup to this day.)

Writers – Daryl Haney (written by) – (Known For: Masque of the Red Death; BMT: Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood; Fascination; Notes: Pitched the film as Jason vs. Carrie. Fired after his agent attempted to get him a significant raise. The script was finished by an uncredited rewriter.)

Manuel Fidello (written by) – (BMT: Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood; Notes: Clear pseudonym. Rumor is that this was a notable writer who didn’t want his name attached in any official capacity. Surprisingly all these years later no one has come out and said “Oh yeah, that was me actually.”)

Sean S. Cunningham and Victor Miller (characters) (uncredited) – (Their only credits are essentially all of the Friday the 13th films. We’ve discussed notes concerning them during previews for the previous films in the series)

Actors – Lar Park-Lincoln – (BMT: Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood; House II: The Second Story; Notes: Has worked in the industry for nearly 40 years, she even has a book Get Started Not Scammed to help young actors getting into the industry. She did quite a bit of television as well, including the tv series based off of Nightmare on Elm Street.)

Kevin Spirtas – (Known For: Daredevil; Apt Pupil; Defying Gravity; BMT: Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood; The Hills Have Eyes Part II; Notes: Was Hugh Jackman’s understudy for The Boy from Oz he has also been on numerous soap operas throughout his career.)

Susan Blu – (Known For: Cars; The Hunchback of Notre Dame; The Transformers: The Movie; Clifford’s Really Big Movie; BMT: Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood; Notes: Born in St. Paul MN, holla! She is a prolific voice actor, but appears to mainly be doing voice direction at this points. Makes sense as she is nearly 70 years old at this point. She was almost cast to voice Arcee in Transformers (she voiced her in the animated series), but was replaced at the last minute.)

Budget/Gross – $2.8 million / Domestic: $19,170,001

(Still going strong. It blows my mind that they never bothered to up the ante and get real actors and a real director and a real budget, but I guess when your profit is 1000% you don’t really care all that much.)

#45 for the Horror – Slasher genre

friday13th7_slasher

(I’ve been ignoring the plot for the most part since we’ve seen this all before. Right around Wes Craven’s New Nightmare (considered one of the only good late-additions to the three horror mega franchises) and Halloween 4 (which I can personally say is a travesty). All of these films came at a time when slasher was getting a lot of play in theaters, but just as the box office per theater was a tumbling as well, which was probably a precursor to the brief collapse around 1995 of the genre as a whole)

Rotten Tomatoes – 30% (6/20): No consensus yet.

(Oooo I get to make one up: Overtly pointless, and intentionally antagonistic to hardcore fans. The New Blood might have tried to cross Carrie with a slasher film, but ends up looking like it needs a whole new injection of new blood to salvage the waning franchise. Woof, that was fun to write.)

Poster – Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Sklog (B+)

friday_the_thirteenth_part_vii

(One thing to be said about the series is that they generally delivered when it came to the poster. Great (and artistic) spacing/symmetry in this one. Bold black-white-red coloring and classic font. Seems like they are misleading the audience a bit though. The title and art would suggest that the girl is “Jason” in this one… which we know is not true. Pretty good though.)

Tagline(s) – On Friday the 13th, Jason is back. But this time, someone’s waiting (B-)

(And where they have failed to deliver is the taglines. This one isn’t bad from a cadence point of view. Mildly clever and hints at the plot (notably different from what the poster itself suggests). But just way too long.)

Keyword(s) – serial murderer; Top Ten by BMeTric: 72.2 Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993); 69.0 Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989); 66.7 Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985); 50.7 Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988); 47.6 Friday the 13th (2009); 41.2 Freddy vs. Jason (2003); 41.1 Friday the 13th Part III (1982); 40.8 Prom Night (1980); 33.8 Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI (1986); 33.0 Borderland (2007);

(Friday the 13th not surprisingly is quite prevalent. I do like it when the movie we are doing is features. I’ll just have to watch Prom Night on my own I guess, it actually doesn’t qualify for BMT with 42% … maybe a few more DVD reviews will trickle in someday.)

Notes – This film was originally intended to bring Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger together onscreen for the first time. But when Paramount Pictures (at that time was holding the rights to the “Friday the 13th” film series) and New Line Cinema (who holds the rights to the “Nightmare On Elm Street” series) couldn’t agree behind the scenes, the script was rewritten to pit Jason up against the telekinetic Tina Shepard instead. (Ooooooooof. They eventually use that storyline in Freddy v Jason naturally, but still a pretty rough plan B)

Kane Hodder did all his own Jason stunts in this film, including falling through the stairway, and having the porch roof fall on his head.

Kerry Noonan, who played Paula in Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI (1986), read for the role of Tina, when she thought the title was “Birthday Bash.” She quickly realized that it was a Friday the 13th film and confessed that she’d starred in the last movie, so John Carl Buechler decided not to cast her. (Ha! Yet again just basically tiptoeing around having continuity between films)

Director John Carl Buechler has publicly fumed many times over the years about the number of edits required by the MPAA to avoid an “X” rating. The film had to be submitted nine times to the Motion Picture Association of America before being granted an “R” rating, and it stands as arguably the most heavily censored entry in the ‘Friday the 13th’ series. (Huh, methinks we’ll get some nudity in the film)

Director John Carl Buechler stated that he clashed with associate producer Barbara Sachs continuously over many ideas that he had for the film. This included showing Jason unmasked for quite a bit of the movie. She vetoed the idea, but he ended up going behind her back and filming it anyway. He also stated that the final sequence of Tina’s father coming out of the water was to be more elaborate and feature full prosthetics and a life size dummy. That sequence was completely over ruled and he ended up filming what he considers an inferior version of the sequence. (Huh, that end sequence sounds a bit like a travesty to me …)

John Carl Buechler was so impressed with Kane Hodder when he ate live worms on the set of Prison (1987), that he pushed for Paramount Pictures to let him cast Hodder in the role of Jason. If it had not been for Buechler’s persistence, the role of Jason Voorhees would have been reprised by C.J. Graham. (I kind of want to watch Prison now …)

In the documentary Friday the 13th Chronicles (2004) included with the Crystal Lake to Manhattan box set, the director John Carl Buechler stated that Jason spent 10 years chained and inert before the main action of this movie. (Very interesting. That, I think, make this movie set in the future! I would have to check when the first in intended to take place, but if it is around 1980 then this movie would take place in 1990 at least)