"I take orders from the Octoboss."

Friday the 13th

“Ma’am – we didn’t find any boy.”

THE TIME HAS COME. I’m finally going to write about all the FRIDAY THE 13TH movies. I did one big review of the whole saga almost 13 years ago, so it’s time for a reboot. At long last I will review them separately, giving each one the focus it deserves – the type of one-on-one, individualized attention that the counselors failed to give poor Jason Voorhees while he was swimming on that fateful day, on account of they were having s-e-x. As far as I am aware no one else has shared opinions on these films before, especially on the internet, so I’m very proud to be breaking this ground, for the good of the community. At last, Jason’s story can be told.

Maybe part of the hangup in starting a series like this is that this first one is the hardest to write about. As a result of the weird choice to make Jason the killer in part 2, the smash hit cultural phenomenon original retroactively became somewhat disconnected from the rest of the series and much of what we associate with it. Like, when they said they were remaking FRIDAY THE 13TH, we knew that meant they were remaking the sequels to FRIDAY THE 13TH. In that favorite horror fan pastime of ranking the installments of a horror series, you gotta be a little hot-takey or at least personal-favoritey to not choose #1 as the best for the TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE, HALLOWEEN or A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET franchises, yet very few would do that for FRIDAY THE 13TH. By definition, if you’re a fan of the series you’re a fan of Jason, right?

(SPOILERS for FRIDAY THE 13TH and the opening quiz of SCREAM: Jason is not the killer in part 1 he’s the motive, he was a kid who drowned at the camp in 1957 and his mom blamed the counselors and went crazy and keeps killing other counselors hired by the camp.)

When people say the first film is not that good I get it, but I disagree. I think for what it is it’s really well made. Director Sean S. Cunningham (HERE COME THE TIGERS, MANNY’S ORPHANS), having had horror success as producer of Wes Craven’s THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT, tasked his regular screenwriter Victor Miller with ripping off the popular HALLOWEEN. Since Miller chose to lift the element of young people being killed after having sex in commemoration of a past tragedy, and since their movie ended up being just as influential as HALLOWEEN, it has in many ways become the Platonic ideal of a slasher movie.

It has good looking young people, they don’t have much to their characters, and they’re mostly there to drink beer and be in their underwear, but they give good performances, they have a strong presence, the movie looks nice, the suspense sequences are well staged and paced, the killer reveal, climactic battle and CARRIE-inspired epilogue are great fun, the gore makeup by Tom Savini (coming off of DAWN OF THE DEAD!) is top of the line and groundbreaking, and the score by Harry Manfredini – not just the famous KI-KI-KI MA-MA-MA, but also the PSYCHO-inspired orchestral dramatics – makes it feel much more legitimate than most of its imitators. Even the opening titles, with the great logo flying toward the camera and smashing through glass (the lens?), go the extra mile.

But yes, also you spend most of the time with normal camp stuff building up to the scary parts, and you only get POV and hand shots of the killer, so it’s pretty slow and simple by the later standards of the series, and I’m probly not alone in revisiting it less often than some of the other chapters.

One thing that holds up well is its ability to put you in the place of these people going out somewhere to start a summer job. If you compare it to, say, SLEEPAWAY CAMP or I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE, I think you get a much stronger sense of reality to these people and this place. And you can relate to the situation of these six young people who seem to be friends coming together to start what they probly hope will be a pretty laid back weekend.

There are no kids yet, they’re just setting up, and their boss Steve (Peter Brouwer, As the World Turns, One Life to Live, All My Children) is mostly not around. So after some business like removing a stump, fixing the gutters, learning about the emergency generator and killing a snake, it’s closer to a vacation. A time to share a cigarette and a couple Budweiser stubbies, playing strip Monopoly by the fire. Obviously there’s dread involved, because we know danger is lurking, but it’s still kind of a hang out movie. There’s a lazy summer day before the stormy night.

To me the most vivid character is the one who never meets the others because she’s the first one to die in the present day. I’m not sure what Mrs. Voorhees was mad at Annie (Robbi Morgan, WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH HELEN?) for, unless it was hitchhiking? (She gets picked up by an unseen driver who pulls a Stuntman Mike and doesn’t stop at the camp, so she has to jump out of the speeding Jeep and somersault into the woods!)

I find Annie to be adorable. She hikes into the movie with a big smile and an equally big backpack and the first thing she does is stop to talk to a cat. Then she walks into the diner and asks about Camp Crystal Lake and gets the “Large Marge sent me” treatment. A guy driving an oil truck (Rex Everhart, voice of Belle’s dad in BEAUTY AND THE BEAST!) gives her a ride, which is nice, but also he tells her she’s good looking and pushes her into the truck by her butt. On the drive he switches from concern for her not having been warned what she’s getting into by the camp to lecturing her for wanting to go there, and she does a good job of brushing him off. (Although yeah, we know the jerk is right.)

Alice (Adrienne King, uncredited dancer, SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER) is of course the heroine, the survivor, the final girl, and she’s good too. She’s kind of mysterious. We see that she likes to draw, she says she “may have to go back to California to straighten something out,” and we never learn what that something is. Steve convinces her not to leave right away and puts his hand on her face and hair – either implication of a past relationship, or inappropriate behavior by a boss. Or both.

Steve, by the way, doesn’t seem like a total jerk or anything, but the truck driver was right – it’s weird that he didn’t tell the people he hired that this camp is infamous and considered “jinxed” by the locals because of the drowning and then double murder and some unexplained water problem in ’62 and a “buncha fires.” Come on, Steve. They have a right to know.

It must’ve been cool at the time to have Betsy Palmer show up out of nowhere at the end, give off an uneasy vibe, then reveal the whole Jason story (including that it’s his birthday, a detail in the mythos I always forget, maybe because we don’t know what month it is) and get in a knock-down-drag-out with Alice, getting thrown around, yelping when she gets hit with a pan, grabbing Alice’s head and repeatedly banging it in the dirt. Then getting her own head chopped the fuck off. Damn!

I only know Palmer as Pamela Voorhees, but some people watching it back then might’ve known her from MISTER ROBERTS and THE TIN STAR and stuff, or as a frequent guest on game shows and talk shows. Seems like pretty good stunt casting. (She hadn’t done a movie in more than a decade and took the job to pay for a new Volkswagen.)

I saw her at a horror convention one time – it was the first year for this convention and attendance was low. She was sitting at a table by herself, wearing what looked like the sweater (or did she just have it on the table? It was so long ago) and smiling politely. I just thought that poor lady, I doubt she likes all this horror shit, and she’s just sitting there, she’s an icon, she doesn’t deserve this, also what the fuck am I gonna say to her (so I didn’t). That’s the image that comes to mind whenever I think of the awkwardness of conventions. But to look at it more optimistically, maybe it’s fun for her to have an excuse to travel around to different cities, and I’m sure people are nice to her. and maybe she just thinks it’s an interesting thing to do. (Maybe?)

It’s weird that the one actor who became better known for other things, Kevin Bacon, happens to get the best death. It’s brilliant the way the blood drips on him from above, causing him to look up, and completely misdirecting us as the arrow bursts from his chest. Savini was so good at that magic trick shit.

And it’s not only the gore that’s well-crafted. Though I certainly wouldn’t put this on the level of its predecessors HALLOWEEN or THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE, it has real directorial choices in it, it’s not at all the point-and-shoot crap that many of its imitators were. One example: the way the camera floats outside of the cabin and follows the phone line, revealing a cut in it while we hear her in inside trying to make a call.

Many of the copycats may have recognized that they wouldn’t be able to match the masterful execution of HALLOWEEN – following the FRIDAY THE 13TH formula seemed more attainable. That attitude underestimates just how right Cunningham got each of those ingredients. It’s a well made movie and so many things fell into place in a way that we don’t get in all the similar movies, and that we tend take for granted.

I hope I’ve done okay in discussing this most famous of movies without just stating the obvious. To wrap up I would like to discuss some elements that I haven’t really seen talked about, or that weren’t really picked up on in the sequels, but to be honest I didn’t come up with much. Maybe I better do a numbered list so it seems like more.

     1. Was Camp Crystal Lake a Christian camp? In the opening flashback to 1958 we see the counselors leading the kids in singing “Michael Row the Boat Ashore.” It’s specifically the lyrics popularized by The Highwaymen, but it comes from an African-American spiritual about the Archangel Michael crossing the River Jordan. Maybe that’s just meant as ironic that they’re maybe singing about death. But I feel like you wouldn’t be singing “Hallelujah” so much unless it’s a Christian camp, and if it is I suppose that underlines why Mrs. Voorhees is such a zealot about fornication, and extra enraged at the counselors, who I suppose could be considered hypocritical for not living up to Christian piety or whatever.

     It also would give the movie a little subtext commenting on religion. I suppose Jason’s drowning could be blamed on lack of adherence to stated principles (counselor’s doin’ it), but Mrs. Voorhees’ zealous enforcement of the anti-fornication agenda is the larger ongoing problem, causing far more death. Because of Jason/Mom’s judgmental murdering, people have often described the series as having conservative or puritanical values. But couldn’t it also be read as the filmmakers’ critique of such values?

     2. Like many actual summer camps (maybe not anymore, but back then), Camp Crystal Lake seems to have vague Native American theming to it. One of the cabins is called “Comanche Cabin,” there are some totem poles, there’s a Chief’s headdress available for goofballs to wear. So, you know… somebody ROOM 237 that shit.

     3. When she’s getting a ride in, Annie tells the truck driver that the campers will be mostly “inner city” kids. That’s interesting and something that’s never explicitly picked up on in the sequels.

     4. Don’t tell Freddy, but dreams are a theme in this one. There’s a whole discussion about a thunderstorm dream. I don’t really understand the significance. And then the famous ending, with Alice drifting in a canoe, soothing keyboard and drum ballad on the soundtrack, only to be accosted by the ghost or whatever of little Jason, is designed to feel dreamy and is dismissed as a dream by everyone besides her.

     5. Let’s talk about Crazy Ralph (Walt Gorney, TRADING PLACES). He’s the drunk who creates awkward social situations and/or warns everybody they’re going to die, also declaring himself a “Messenger of God.” I assume Miller got the idea from the “you laugh at an old man” drunk in the cemetery in THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE, and just between those two characters I think it’s fair to call this sort of doomsayer a slasher trope. But what I want to note here is the part later on where the cop tells about Ralph’s pattern of getting drunk and out of line and then getting arrested, and that his wife worries about him. The point I’m trying to make here is that this guy has a wife.

     As they say on Twitter, let that sink in. That poor lady.

The success of FRIDAY THE 13TH was somewhat unprecedented, because Paramount distributed the independent production and took the gamble of releasing it wide. It was #18 in the year’s box office and the studio’s second most profitable movie that year (after AIRPLANE!), so they immediately got to work developing a sequel, correctly believing it could become an annual-ish event for young moviegoers.

Though Cunningham produced many of the sequels and retains rights to the characters, he stayed pretty hands-off and never directed any of them. None of his subsequent films matched FRIDAY’s success, but they include the sex comedy SPRING BREAK (1983), the enjoyable teen thriller THE NEW KIDS (1985) with Lori Laughlin and James Spader, and the underwater monster movie DEEPSTAR SIX (1989). In 2017 he directed a documentary called THE NURSE WITH THE PURPLE HAIR, about a hospice worker, which I think is an interesting development for a director so associated with simulating death for teenage entertainment.

Victor Miller wrote one subsequent Cunningham movie, A STRANGER IS WATCHING (1982), plus Doug Liman’s first film GETTING IN (1994), the Pauly Shore movie JURY DUTY (1995), and a few others. He and Cunningham have engaged in a long legal battle over his share of the proceeds to the series, which is why there haven’t been any new installments in quite a few years.

P.S. The FRIDAY THE 13TH series was obviously one of the biggest influences on my horror-action novel Worm on a Hook, and I’m very proud of the book and would like to promote and/or discuss it. So for anyone interested this review series will include notes about each FRIDAY movie’s influence on the book, when applicable. (There will be book spoilers, of course.)


My mission with Worm on a Hook was to create an organic amalgam of the type of action movie stories I love and the traditional ‘80s slasher, specifically the FRIDAY THE 13TH series and its imitators. So I looked for ways that the tropes of the two genres overlapped or could be combined, and one of those ways was to include a Crazy Ralph type doomsayer who turns out to have another action-related purpose. (I establish more of those colorful local characters in the beginning, but most of them don’t stay in the story for long.)

I gave my heroine Florence a hobby of painting, but until rewatching this now I did not make the connection that the very first FRIDAY THE 13TH final girl, Alice, is also an artist. Instead, I wanted to give her a Badass Juxtaposition (my concept that the badassness of action heroes is made more potent when contrasted with a sensitive passion such as playing jazz piano or carrying a pet bunny). So it was an accidental homage, but Alice is worthy of homage.


This entry was posted on Monday, October 4th, 2021 at 6:59 am and is filed under Horror, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

41 Responses to “Friday the 13th”

  1. I now hold a grudge over this movie for a number of weird, selfish reasons.

    1. The Victor Miller lawsuit caused them to eventually have to stop making new content for the Friday the 13th game.

    2. Every season the only one of these that ever gets a theatrical run is the first movie despite the fact these movies are famous because of Jason and not his mom.

  2. Looking forward to this series! And this was a good one!

    While watching this for the first time a handful of years back, I had the oddest sense of familiarity, specifically in the beginning when we’re getting a sense of the town around the camp. It was like I’d been there before. In one scene I finally noticed a truck in the background with “Blairstown” written on it, and realized this was shot in New Jersey– and I had friends who lived on the street Annie walks down in those early scenes, which is also adjacent to the diner. The diner still advertises its connection with the movie, and their menu includes a “Slasher burger” and “Jason’s Favorite.” Apparently fans still make pilgrimages to the town.

    If they sort out the rights and do another remake, they should consider having Jason and his mom team up, and give us more from their point of view. What is daily life like for Jason Voorhees? Do they watch the 700 Club?

  3. Miller, who seems cool and definitely deserves more money, is under the delusion that Mrs. Voorhees (who I love like a mother, don’t get me wrong) is the thing that made the series successful, so if he’s in charge going forward don’t be surprised to see stuff like that.

    As for me? Sorry, Vic, Pamela’s just the backstory, as evidenced by the fact that the series managed to survive just fine without her (and in many cases Camp Crystal Lake or any of the elements Miller actually created) for fortysomething years. Your movie might have been designed to be VALERIE but the series didn’t become the kind of hot property you’d drag out a lawsuit for ten years over until it became THE HOGAN FAMILY.

    So congratulations on your new cash cow, bud. Try not to kill it.

  4. Little thing about point #5. Made me think of a distant antecedent being, of all things, Moby Dick – certainly a horror story at heart. In the book, before the Pequod sets off, there’s a raggedy nutcase smallpox victim on the dock named after the prophet Elijah who might see ghosts, hints at Ahab’s deviltry and warns of impending death.

  5. Whenever I have seen Betsy Palmer interviewed in documentaries about Friday the 13th or horror in general, she does seem legitimately excited and happy to be a part of the series. So, I suspect that she really does enjoy traveling around to conventions and meeting fans who might have never even heard of her had she not been Jason’s mom.

  6. She’s been dead for like six or seven years now, but she seemed to have first accepted and then delighted in the fact that whatever fanbase she had before F13 was long gone but these horror weirdos she never understood were the ones who stuck around. She still didn’t get what the hell we ever saw in this crap but she was an actress so she could see that we were sincere and was grateful for the attention. A very cool, brassy lady who knew what she was worth but took what she could get and never pandered.

  7. I am genuinely looking forward to what you articulate about your own writing process as a part of this series, Vern.

    It always is worth reiterating that a punk sk8r kid in Minnie Mouse gear is still my favorite example of Badass Juxtaposition of all time. Florence rules too, of course.

    Your past year or so of reviews have included some of your most thoughtful and considerable writing ever, I look forward to seeing where these works of long-term effort bring us.

    Not a criticism, but a counterpoint: if anyone ever has a “what could I say to them?” feeling, it is sometimes worth taking the risk of making the effort. You might learn the very meaning of life from a wonderfully-communicative, deeply-considerate and just-plain-nice human being. (R.I.P. Felix Silla.)

    Happy holidays. Great Pumpkin bless us, every one! A very sincere thanks bud to you, and to you all.

  8. Watched this in 35MM on the big screen a couple years ago, and it was a treat. I loved the early 1980s of it, look and feel. Very nostalgic. There’s a unique kind of claustrophobia to the final act of these films, where it’s often possible to make it out of one cabin into the outdoors, but then you just end up in another cabing or shed, cornered, discovering the killer’s handwork, body after body in succession, with that mounting “I’m fucked!” frisson taking hold. The “discovering all the bodies” sequence is another great trope, and it’s put to good use in this film.

    Once Betsy Palmer shows up, it’s on. Can’t tell what it would’ve been like on a blind watch, but when I watched it a few years ago, everything is deliciously not right from the moment she arrives, and when she goes off the rails it’s a really mesmerizing performance of a great character. Mrs. Vorhees is an all-timer, and this film deserves to be watched on its own terms, even if it can’t overcome its status in the popular consciousness as a kind of anachronistic prequel to the Jason films.

  9. It’s always been harder to get hold of an unrated copy of this, so I actually saw it last. And I must say I was surprised at how good it was. Mature women with a big grin will always be scarier than a guy in a pillow case/hockey mask.

  10. I really enjoyed Worm on a Hook so I’m even more interested in this review series than I was.

  11. Funny: I used to think Betsy Palmer hated doing conventions. I went to a big Fangoria convention at the Jacob Javits Center circa 2009, mainly to meet Tobe Hooper. It was a full weekend thing, and while Palmer was there Friday she unexpectedly didn’t show on Saturday so I didn’t get to meet her. (The classic Homer Simpson “I’ll go a little later…” story, only I was stuck at a panel for Guillermo del Toro’s vampire book.)

    Fortunately, at the end of the summer she appeared at a smaller convention upstate so I caught up with her there. Nicest person on the planet. When I mentioned missing her at the Fangoria show, she went into a rant about how badly run the whole thing was, how they screwed over the guests by selling package tickets that said all autographs were covered (meaning the guests weren’t earning any money from signing/photos!) That’s why she didn’t come back Saturday. But I got a really sweet photo of us together, she clearly enjoyed meeting fans and could talk your ear off with stories from her career.

  12. So Paramount’s Top Two movies that year featured acoustic sing-alongs of virtually the same song?

    I find that fascinating,

  13. Somebody do me a favor and just kill me now, please?

    Peacock orders Friday The 13th prequel series from Bryan Fuller

    Hannibal's Bryan Fuller will serve as showrunner and executive producer on the Friday The 13th prequel Crystal Lake

  14. It’s Bryan Fuller, so it will be great, but not what anybody expects, also he might get fired in the middle of first season for going way over budget and “creative differences”.

  15. Fuck Bryan Fuller. Putting aside the obvious fact that FRIDAY THE 13TH is absolutely unsuitable for this approach, more so than any horror series except maybe JAWS, has there ever been one horror prequel that wasn’t a bag of flaming garbage that took a hot steaming shit all over everything good about the original? I can’t think of any. But hey, I can’t wait to meet Sexy Young Ralph. That’ll totally be worth sitting through nine Jason-less hours of melodrama.

    Can we go back to the lawsuit years, please? I’m beginning to think that was the best thing that ever could have happened to the series.

  16. Maj, you don’t like the Freddy’s Nightmares pilot?

  17. Can’t say I ever saw it. Maybe that’s the one exception.

  18. I don’t see a circumstance where you’re gonna want it to be a TV show, but for what it’s worth it is about Jason and sounds like itwill go through all his incarnations if it lasts. (This interview made me more interested.)


  19. You’re right. There’s just no world where you can make the changes required to turn a piece of lovable trash like FRIDAY THE 13TH into a modern streaming show and have it stay FRIDAY THE 13TH. Like, I don’t want to be thinking about the sacrifices single mothers of special needs kids have to make when I’m watching FRIDAY THE 13TH. I don’t want to be thinking anything at all. That’s the fucking point. I always remember, Vern, something you wrote about CHARLIE’S ANGELS: That making it smarter wouldn’t make it any better, and in fact would make it much worse. That’s what they’re gonna do to FRIDAY THE 13TH. They’re gonna improve it to death.

    Honestly, I think I find the idea of a TV series that is just a slow-motion remake of the entire franchise even more insulting than the stupid prequel idea. But I guess that’s what this guy does now: Take something that exists and stretch it out for three seasons. I don’t see the point of that but I also couldn’t make it three episodes into HANNIBAL. I guess I’m one of those guys with no imagination he’s bitching about.

  20. Honestly I’ll watch any Fuller show regardless of franchise and the commitments it sounds like got prevents them backing out of his vision at least for two seasons.

  21. Also Maj, I don’t know if you heard but streaming shows are actually 8 hour movies. So problem solved! It’s still a movie!

  22. A friend of mine has this idea that for the next season of 24 our man Jack Bauer runs a convenience store that’s open around the clock. It will be like 24 episodes of CLERKS, without any action. Or humour. Any buyers?

  23. I know when I watch a Jason movie, I’m always saying, “You know what this needs? Subplots. Like six or seven hours of subplots. What is the bitchy mean girl’s home life like? Does the redneck caricature who owns the farm next to the camp harbor a secret shame? Is the gum-chewing prettyboy in the ripped jeans dealing with dyslexia? I need to know!”

  24. Fuller made Hannibal, which is the best horror (or horror-adjacent) prequel, and one of my favorite shows of this century. He also made my precious Wonderfalls and Pushing Daisies. So I’m in. Even if he quits halfway into production, as he’s done three or four times now on various things? But based on that interview, it sounds like he’s taking a Hannibal approach– starting before the stuff we know and then catching up to it and doing his own spin on it.

  25. As I said, I couldn’t make it through three episodes of HANNIBAL. I found it dull and pretentious and deeply stupid. One of those things is a good match for FRIDAY THE 13TH. The other two are not.

    I realize you’re supposed to waste a minimum of 12 hours of your life on a show you hate before you’re allowed to say you hate it, but I figure if a show can’t make me give a shit after the running time of a longish movie, that’s on the show, not me.

    I didn’t hate what I saw of PUSHING DAISIES but that’s an entirely different animal. But really, it’s not about Fuller, about whom I couldn’t give two shits. TV is where what we used to call stories and now call IP goes to die, and I’m not ready for FRIDAY THE 13TH to die yet. I like movies, goddammit, and no “property” survives the transition from movies to TV. It’s bad enough I’m having to watch it happen to CHUCKY, a show that got interesting for about four episodes before descending back into wheel-spinning pablum again. I’d trade every minute of it for one more movie.

  26. I’m not in the market for new TV shows, there are too many of them and I prefer movies. But also this is a different medium and it very much might be cool to see what happens when you reconfigure FRIDAY THE 13TH for a format with different possibilities, strengths and weaknesses. I feel like it’s very much guaranteed to at least be more interesting to me than the FRIDAY THE 13TH remake or previous Friday the 13th: The Series, if not a couple of the genuine sequels. Also, it would be ludicrous for me, a fan of this crass and mercenary mixed-bag exploitation series that was shat upon by respectable people for years, to turn my nose up at somebody trying to do something different with it. How could a Jason fan, of all people, think Jason could possibly be held sacred? If it’s bad, who gives a shit? The only danger here is if it’s amazing and we don’t have time to watch it. And since the movie rights are still apparently fucked it’s the only option we’ll have for a while.

  27. I’m not actually arguing that they’re desecrating Jason. Sort of the opposite. I feel like Jason SHOULD be done by hacks and amateurs, not talented industry professionals. That’s how you get the primal stupidity that I love about him. I worry about the joyous trash I love getting overthought into oblivion. But you’re right, Vern. There’s nothing to lose here. They can’t make any more movies so why not do a fanfic remake series for shits and giggles? Where’s the harm?

    I just fuckin’ hate TV, man. Even when I more or less like a show, I never go back and watch it again, so it feels disposable. It goes in one ear and out the other. I feel like 90% of modern TV shows would be better chopped down to movie length so you can enjoy them over and over again instead of just binging them once over a single weekend and forgetting them.

  28. While not possessing Majestyk-levels of disdain for the TV medium, there is a solid point to be made about fitting iconic slasher franchises to a 8-10 episodes a week format. Let’s be clear, I don’t turn up for a Freddy/Jason/Chucky/Mike Myers/Leatherface/Jeepers Creepers/Jigsaw/Pinhead joint for nuanced socio-political subtext or deep character developments. I come to see the human body mangled, torn, ripped apart and eviscerated in every possible creatively bloody way by an indestructible Boogeyman. And just like Porn, you best not be blue balling me waiting for the action.

    I guess I liked the CHUCKY show, and I believe Majestyk made this point in another thread, with a CHILD’S PLAY MOVIE, you had at most a 30 minute wait before the first Chucky Kill. CHUCKY the TV Show had you sit through like 3 freaking episodes before the Chuckster took knife to flesh. Even at 30 mins/episode, that’s the average length of a movie to sit through before the Money Shot.

    ” I feel like 90% of modern TV shows would be better chopped down to movie length so you can enjoy them over and over again instead of just binging them once over a single weekend and forgetting them.”

    Agree. I have a plan at some point, just before all that Multiverse Wars kick off in Marvel Phase 5 or 6 or God Knows when, I’d like to have a marathon of the previous phases which is cool for Phases 1-3. But then you come to Phase 4 and Jesus, I can even, after copious amounts of tequila shots, imagine sitting through THOR LOVE AND THUNDER again, but re watching all those fucking TV shows? Of which only FALCON & THE WINTER SOLDIER and HAWKEYE come close to having any rewatchability and even then a part of me feels they could each can be pruned down to make one kick ass movie. The rest? WANDAVISION(barf!), LOKI (meh), MOON KNIGHT (meh), THE MARVELS (meh), SHE HULK (you’re kidding right?)

  29. I have to say again that the thing about Chucky not killing anybody in the first episodes is NOT TRUE! There was AT LEAST one kill per episode and it was usually either super gruesome or cool looking. The cold open of the second episode was about Chucky jumping on a woman’s head and impaling her face on a bunch of knives, for fuck’s sake!

  30. The dishwasher kill was cool, but starting the show off with an electrocution was not a good omen. Mancini apparently has an electricity phobia so he perhaps doesn’t understand that, to the rest of us, electrocutions are the absolute lamest kill in the horror handbook.

    I am perhaps too harsh on CHUCKY. It keeps losing me but it also keeps winning me back. Right now I’m feeling like a lot of the character dynamics are getting a little stale (the two boys, in particular, are getting tedious), the catholic hypocrisy stuff feels at least 30 years out of date, and all the variant Chuckys aren’t paying off the way I’d hoped (I mostly just miss Chucky Prime), but I haven’t watched the last two eps yet so maybe it’s taken an upswing. But that’s kinda the problem with TV, isn’t it? The part that drags in the middle of a movie takes a half-hour, tops (unless it’s an Ari Aster or Robert Eggers film, in which case it lasts the entire running time). In a TV show, the part that drags in the middle could take hours of screen time and weeks of real time. You think having all that space to fill is a blessing, but usually it’s a curse.

  31. Also SHE-HULK was delightful. I honestly have no idea what everyone’s problem is. As far as I can tell, it’s either sexism or your basic stick in the ass.

  32. The Chucky series just went full SEED last week. Jennifer Tilly is doing some crazy SUNSET BOULEVARD/BABY JANE stuff. There’s a behind-the-scenes video series tallying a Kill Count for the season. I don’t know what more a Chucky fan could want.

    Hannibal probably *was* pretentious, and sometimes could be, let’s say methodically paced, but it was also sumptuously shot, clever, well-acted, and super gross, and I’m shocked network television aired it for three seasons. They turned a corpse into a cello!

  33. So I keep hearing. Unfortunately, I hated the first three episodes so much, particularly the insufferable drip of a main character, that there was no way I was making it to any of the corpse cellos.

  34. Wow! ONE WHOLE KILL per episode? Fuck me how spoilt am I? And to think I can yank out all 7 of my CHILD’S PLAY DVDSs, select one at random, and have a contained 2 hrs of multiple inventive kills in that time span.

    Also, I didn’t HATE CHUCKY Season 1 per se, but it’s wildly uneven and draggy in places. I didn’t buy the sudden about turn of the Queen Teen Bitch into a sympathetic character, the continuation of the Fiona Dourif character’s arc from CULT ended most unsatisfyingly and the writing goes from surprisingly sensitive (the budding romance between the 2 young boys) to wearingly cliched (of course, the blonde mayor is also a ball busting shrew and dumb to boot).

    I may check out Season 2 eventually, but am in no hurry to.

  35. One of the reasons why I like you guys is that you make me sometimes look like the happiest, most open minded dude in the world, instead of the grumpy ass bitch that I actually am.

  36. “As far as I can tell, it’s either sexism or your basic stick in the ass.”

    Or…some people just have a low threshold for piss poor writing and a show that shits on it’s own universe. Tatiana Maslany is actually a good actress but saddled with an awful script penned by writers who’ve disappeared so far up their asses they think they actually made a great meld of satiric comedy and legal drama without realizing they lack the wit to do the former and the knowledge to execute the latter. Banner’s Hulk is unrecognizable at this point, thoroughly neutered, a cuddly live action plush toy trotted out as a punching bag and to have his own trauma belittled to his face. Tim Roth’s Abomination adlibs his way through an entirely different show that’s only playing in his head. I checked out after 4 episodes. I asked friends who sat through the whole season and they confirm shit only gets worse with Cox’s Daredevil showing up and like Banner and Abomination, seemingly bearing little to no resemblance to the Netflix version. Glad I didn’t stick around for that. Life’s too fucking short.

    Besides I need to go slap my bitch and get her ass back in the kitchen making my dinner while I attempt to remove this long spike wedged up my posterior.

  37. So…stick in the ass it is!

  38. Damn straight! Gimme the nuanced social commentary of JACKASS FOREVER and the sustained nihilism of RICK AND MORTY any day.

    I just don’t get comedy

  39. Speaking of the Johnny Knoxville oeuvre and given that this has become a general TV/Grumpiness/Sticks in Orifices thread, did anyone else here watch REBOOT? No, not the Canadian 90s CG Animated TV series, although granted it would be a fair assumption that was what I was talking about 99 out of 100 times I use the title REBOOT (although I’m more of an INSEKTORS guy TBH), but it just so happens you have caught me that 1 time I’m talking about the 2022 live action series starring Knoxville, Rachel Bloom, Paul Reiser, Keegan-Michael Key etc.

    It’s in that awkward spot where it was interesting enough to keep me going, but annoying in that it could have been better, or perhaps in that it seems to think it’s quite a bit sharper than it is. There’s a certain hypocrisy or delusion I feel at the centre of it; the starting point seems to have been “Hollwyood is out of ideas, look at all the reboots! But we’re all so much smarter than those dumbasses who made and watched those shows we rebooted right?” And, I know this is nerd shit that doesn’t really matter for a comedy series, but the faux-FULL HOUSE/STEP BY STEP show they parody is something that really could have only existed in the 90s or late 80s, but they say it’s was a 2000s show, presumably because they didn’t want too many actors pushing or over 60 (and one character in his early 20s who isn’t yet over being a child star). It makes some of the material around Judy Greer’s character exploring how Hollywood treats actresses of a certain age feel a little hollow and insincere, because conceptually it would make more sense for the character to be played by an actress a good 10-15 years older.

    More than that though, if they’re going to dump on some strawman fake 90s show, they should probably have fresher material than they do for the actual show. Paul Reiser is so old he thinks AOL is still popular! Johnny Knoxville goes to talk to the former child star’s mother about her being too interfering and- wait I won’t spoil it for you! You could never guess! There’s some material aiming at slightly fresher subjects, like intimacy co-ordinators and Goop, but let’s be real I could probably find funnier gags about them after looking on the internet for two minutes if I wanted to, which I certainly do not. Also I couldn’t help but notice some parallel with another Key ensemble role in THE BUBBLE, which no one seemed to like, but still covered a lot of the same ground in half the time, with more relevant Hollywood targets in its sight to boot.

    Although my observations to some extent only apply to the first half of the season, because half way through it seems to drop the overt meta/satirical elements, and becomes another post-OFFICE/PARKS & RECS office place comedy, and as far as it goes, not a bad one. Light on belly laughs, but well performed and engagingly plotted. It is significantly better than the one series of EPISODES I saw at least

    Anyway, those are my thoughts on a show that has nothing to do with FRIDAY THE 13th, and that none of you have probably seen. Thanks for reading.

  40. Franchise Fred approved Reboot, but I’m a sucker for anything meta.

  41. Just wanted to pop back in and say that I have finally caught up with the Jennifer Tilly Murder Mystery episode of CHUCKY, which fully won me back after being less-than-enthused about the season and its tired Catholic hypocrisy antics thus far. The line that won me over was “Aunt Gina and Uncle…Pants!” Then it just got crazier from there on out. You try and describe the plot of this episode and you sound like a fuckin’ lunatic. It was, I’ll admit, kind of a bummer to go back to the main teen angst plot in the next episode. It’s hard to care about that stuff when you know that, somewhere out there, SPOILERS Brad Dourif’s daughter possessed by Chucky and fitted out with robot arms is driving around with murderous non-binary Glenda and the foster sister from CHILD’S PLAY 2 while being hunted down by complementarily non-binary Glen played by the same actor, Tiffany in Jennifer Tilly’s body, and Jennifer Tilly in Tiffany’s body after just murdering Meg. The main cast is fine as far as standard-issue TV teens go but they can’t compare with the lunacy that erupts whenever the cast of the films comes out to play. The teens were necessary at first to Trojan Horse this madness onto TV screens where normal people could see it and be befuddled by it, but they’re rapidly becoming a vestigial limb on their own show. It’s time to admit that Tiffany, Nika, Andy et al are the main characters and the kids are just the straight men.

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>