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  • 'Friday the 13th' Film History

    By Matt Slovick
    WashingtonPost.com Staff
    Friday the 13th

    Although most people equate Friday the 13th with bad luck, the term also brings to mind a 1980 slasher flick of the same name.

    The success of the original "Friday the 13th" movie led to eight sequels and made hockey-mask wearing Jason Voorhees a Halloween costume favorite and a pop culture icon. All told, the movies have grossed more than $216 million at the domestic box office.

    They don't have much of a plot. But for those who are confused about Jason and how he keeps going like the Energizer bunny, we've compiled capsules of some facts about each movie.

    "Friday the 13th" (1980): Two counselors at Camp Crystal Lake are murdered in 1958, and the camp is closed. Attempts to reopen the camp fail because of arson and contaminated water. In 1979, another attempt is being made to open the camp. On Friday the 13th, the counselors hired to work there are killed off one by one. The killer: Pamela Sue Voorhees, whose 11-year-old son, Jason, allegedly drowned while swimming at the camp in 1957. Voorhees faults two counselors, who she believes were making love instead of supervising children who were swimming in the lake. The lone survivor of the camp massacres, a woman named Alice, decapitates Mrs. Voorhees with a machete in slow-motion.
    Number of murders:12
    Most original death: A man is pinned to a door by arrows.
    Jason: Ari Lehman
    Sort-of-famous cast member: Betsy Palmer appeared as a panelist on TV's "I've Got a Secret" (1957-67) and on "Knot's Landing" (1989-90).
    Now-famous cast member: Kevin Bacon (that means the obscure actresses in this film are just 1 degree separated from Kevin Bacon).
    Box office: $39.7 million

    "Friday the 13th Part 2" (1981): Alice lasts about five minutes as Jason tracks her down and avenges his mother's death. Five years later, teens arrive for counselor training at a camp adjacent to Camp Crystal Lake. People start getting sliced and diced. Ginny runs into the woods and ends up with Jason in his shack. She confuses him by pretending to be Jason's mother, kills him and escapes. But ... Jason never dies. He shows up and attacks her again, and she is carted off by the authorities at the film's end. What happened to Jason? To be continued.
    Number of murders: 10
    Most original death: A couple making love are impaled by the same spear.
    Jason: Warrington Gillette
    Sort-of-famous cast member: Adrienne King, who was the lone survivor in the first film.
    Box office: $21.7 million

    "Friday the 13th Part 3" (1982): A woman named Chris revisits her summer home in the woods. A couple of her friends upset a motorcycle gang. Jason happens to be in her barn and starts killing her friends and the bikers. The film is shot in 3-D, giving the murders some added flair. Chris eventually buries an ax in Jason's head, and he is taken away by the police.
    Number of murders: 12
    Most original death: A man is cut half while walking on his hands.
    Jason: Richard Brooker
    Sort-of-famous cast member: Kevin O'Brien played the Pizza Guy in 1996's "Kingpin" and the Caterer Truck Driver in "Housesitter."
    Box office: $36.7 million

    "Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter" (1984): Jason wakes up at the morgue, kills two folks and heads on his merry way back to Crystal Lake. The Jarvis family is there, as is a group of sex-obsessed teens who are renting a cabin. Slaughter time. Tommy Jarvis, who likes horror make-up, turns himself into a young Jason look-alike. The ruse works long enough for he and his sister, Trish, to put a machete into Jason's head.
    Number of murders: 13
    Most original death: A man gets a corkscrew through the hand and a cleaver in the face.
    Jason: Ted White
    Sort-of-famous cast members: Peter Barton played Peter Burke in TV's "Burke's Law" (1994); Corey Feldman became a teen idol in film's such as "Stand by Me" and "The Lost Boys" before he was in the news more for his drug problems and arrests than his acting.
    Now-famous cast member: Crispin Glover, who played George McFly in "Back to the Future."
    Box office: $30.3 million

    "Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning" (1985): Jason doesn't kill here anymore. Tommy Jarvis, now 20 and living in a halfway house, believes that Jason is alive. A house inmate kills another, and the victim's father comes for the body. More inmates are killed in methods strikingly similar to Jason's but the killer is a dead inmate's disturbed father, who is dressed like Jason. Tommy and two others kill him. Tommy is still plagued by violent dreams we see him put on a hockey mask and kill Pam. Was it just a dream?
    Number of murders: 22
    Most original death: A man has a road flare put in his mouth.
    Who we think is Jason: Dick Wieand.
    Sort-of-famous cast member: Richard Lineback had small roles in "Speed," "Natural Born Killers," "Twister" and "Tin Cup."
    Box office: $20.6 million

    "Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives" (1986): Tommy Jarvis wants to make sure Jason is dead. He and a friend dig up Jason's grave, and he stabs Jason with a metal fence post, which is struck by lightning. Jason rises and is far from born-again. The sheriff thinks Tommy is responsible for Jason's latest round of killings. With the help of the sheriff's daughter, Tommy chains Jason to the bottom of Crystal Lake, where the killer drowns.
    Number of murders: 18
    Most original deaths: Three men are simultaneously decapitated with a machete.
    Jason: C.J. Graham
    Sort-of-famous cast member: Ron Palillo was Arnold Horshack in TV's "Welcome Back Kotter"; Tony Goldwyn played the bad guy in "Ghost."
    Box office: $19 million

    "Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood" (1988): Tina believes she is responsible for her father's death by drowning at Crystal Lake. She has telekentic powers and returns to Crystal Lake in an attempt to bring back her father. Jason surfaces instead, and a great deal of killing ensues. Tina finally gets her dad to come up for air, and he pulls Jason back into the lake.
    Number of murders: 15
    Most original death: A woman in a sleeping bag is bashed against a tree.
    Jason: Kane Hodder
    Sort-of-famous cast member: Lar Park Lincoln was Linda Fairgate on TV's "Knots Landing" (1989-1991).
    Box office: $19.1 million
    Review: From The Post

    "Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan" (1989): A high school group goes on a cruise to New York. One female student remembers almost being drowned by Jason, who apparently didn't drown in the previous film. Jason happens to be a stowaway, intending to take care of some unfinished business. Jason sinks the boat and many of the students with it. The survivors make it to Manhattan, as does Jason. He eventually gets caught in toxic waste in the sewer. We watch as he turns to bones.
    Number of murders: 19 (not counting those who went down with the ship)
    Most original death: A man is impaled on a deck post.
    Jason: Kane Hodder
    Sort-of-famous cast member: Peter Mark Richman played Andrew Laird on TV's "Dynasty" (1981-84).
    Box office: $14.3 million
    Review: From The Post

    "Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday" (1993): An all-out FBI attack blows up Jason, but his heart allows him to possess the bodies of others. Creighton Duke realizes that Jason is still alive and that the killer can live again by possessing his relatives' bodies. He also knows that only a Voorhees can destroy Jason for good. Jason kills Diana Voorhees, his sister, and her corpse is the vehicle for his rebirth. Jason then goes after niece Jessica and her baby. Jessica stabs Jason with a special dagger and sends him to hell.
    Number of murders: 22
    Most original death: A woman is burned to death on a deep-fat fryer and grill.
    Jason: Kane Hodder
    Sort-of-famous cast member: Erin Gray appeared on TV's "Silver Spoons." She now can be seen on informercials.
    Box office: $15.1 million
    Review: From The Post

    © Copyright 1996 The Washington Post Company

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