Friday, 29 October 2021

Castle Vanian Halloween Special: Sick Slashers: Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)

Sometimes, the Friday the 13th movies can blur together a little bit because there are so many of them and it’s all basically teenagers getting killed. Honestly? I’m glad we rewatched these because some of the stuff I thought happened in the first movie actually happened in this one.

It may sound like I’m slagging the series off, which I’m not. I love the Friday movies – but they can kind of blur.

They can blur together. It was very much a format of the 80s. Teenagers, sex, drugs, slaughter…

And not all of the movies in the franchise were good. The second one was excellent, though.

I’m glad you brought it up. You gave me a good place to start. So… why Friday the 13th Part 2 over any of the others?

I think it’s the scariest of the Fridays. Although… that could be down to the age I was when I first watched it. It’s definitely in part because of the jump-scare at the end with the dog.

I was expecting that one, but he got me earlier when he came through a window.

Hah. I know.

It’s kind of funny… we’re two movies in and we still haven’t seen Jason.

What do you mean?

Well, not the Jason, the one we think of when we hear “Friday the 13th.” In the first one, you’ve got his mom killing people. In this one, it’s Jason but he’s wearing that weird bag over his head. He hasn’t started wearing that mask yet and we’re already two movies into the series.

No, not until the third movie. It’s probably the most iconic mask in the history of horror. Now, you see a hockey mask and the first thing you think of is Jason Vorhees but you’re right, he doesn’t pick up that mask until the third movie, which might surprise people who haven’t seen the series before.

Do you think the franchise would have been as successful if he’d kept the sack, instead of the mask?

I don’t know if it was an accident or not, but when he picked up the mask in the third one, it started something. It spawned, what, another ten movies? It was a moment in horror movie history.

Why Part 2 over the first movie?

Well, I suppose the difference between the first and second is that the first was sold on the name. They had the name first and needed a script. It was a big success, so they had to have a sequel. It’s one of those rare occasions where the sequel was better than the original. Part 2 is a nastier film, for sure.

I like that it starts with Adrienne King's Alice, the only survivor from the first movie.

Yeah, it was a good way to bring Jason back into the story, that he’s getting revenge because Alice beheaded his mother. It was a nice touch. It wrapped up the end of the first one and led into the second one, finally making it about Jason.

You get the recap and then it carries on and he’s getting rid of Alice, from the first movie. Because Part 2 did so well – the sequel was even more successful than the first one – you knew damned well the series would continue.

I guess this is a good time to ask you about the many sequels?

The sequels did get silly in parts. Part III was okay. The fourth one, The Final Chapter, was very good. It was a good introduction to Corey Feldman as well. It was called The Final Chapter because it was supposed to be the end but, of course, that’s not how these things go.

Part 5: A New Beginning, Jason wasn’t even in it. He comes back in Part VI but that’s where they start to get silly. I enjoyed the eight one, Jason Takes Manhattan, but wasn’t fussed on the next one, Jason Goes to Hell, because Jason was a slug that got into people’s bodies like a slug. Jason X was a very good film, though. It brought the franchise up to date.

Jason X is my favourite movie of the whole franchise, but I’ve said that before. It’s futuristic, it’s funny, and you’ve still got old-school Jason beating the crap out of campers. Win.

What about Freddy vs Jason?

I loved Freddy vs Jason. The fact that you’ve got two horror icons duking it out was perfect. I thought it would be the start of them doing lots of pair-ups, like the old Universal movies. I know it was rumoured, but I don’t know why it never happened. Such a shame…

It was a clever story, to send Jason there to get them talking about him, to give him power again. And then, at the end, you had Freddy’s head wink at the camera. Some of the deaths and some of the violence in the film was superb.

Then, you’ve got the reboot, which encompasses the first three films. I enjoyed it and Jared Padalecki was a good choice for the lead. There are still talks about a sequel, but I think it’s been in development hell. I’ll check…

Yeah, there is a new film on the way, in 2023. A new reboot. There hasn’t been a Friday movie in over a decade now, which is a long time for them.

One of the things that’s pretty consistent through the series is how dark the Friday the 13th movies are. You can tell the age of Part 2 because it’s a bit grainy and the film quality is a little lower. Does that affect the experience?

Not on this one, no. It’s lit enough that you can tell what’s going on. I’ve seen modern movies that were much worse, like Aliensvs Predator: Requiem. Ugh, with that one, even if you turned the tv brightness way up, you couldn’t tell what was going on.

Part 2 was well done. There were a lot of fake outs and it kept you jumping. They weren’t shy of showing Jason – but they didn’t linger on him, either. And, of course, there’s the fact that he kept his mother’s head, which was gruesome.

Kind of a creepy homage to Psycho, maybe?

Maybe, but I think it was just for effect – and it’s very effective. It’s even more effective when you see it in Alice’s freezer than when you see it in his makeshift cabin.

There are some outstanding death scenes in this one. My favourite is when he stabs the lovers through with the spear – which you knew was going to kill somebody the moment you saw it. (It’s one of my favourite kills in the game too.) Did you have a favourite death?

I felt sorry for the guy in the wheelchair, Mark (TomMcBride). I mean… come on, he can’t get away! The other one that’s kind of shitty is Scott (Russell Todd,) the guy who’s hanging upside down. He’s fucked too. Give people a chance to fight back, Jason!

I dunno, I think maybe Scott deserved it... 

Remind me to keep the sharp, pointy things away from you!

My favourite death was definitely Crazy Ralph (Walt Gorney.) He was in the first one, if you remember. I was surprised they killed him but glad too because he was annoying.

We have to wrap this up so if you have any other thoughts about Friday the 13th Part 2…?

As far as cinematography goes, Friday the 13th Part 2 was very much of its time. I know I say this a lot, but cameras are a lot more advanced now. Steadicams really started with Halloween. Three years later, and the photography is quite good. Forty years later, if you want a sweeping shot, you just use drones. Back then, you would have had to use a helicopter. Hell, your phone is more advanced than some of the cameras they were using then.

They probably had a reasonable budget but think about the upcoming movie. I bet you the production cost of an entire scene wouldn’t pay for one actor in the new film. They never really used big celebrities or ones that you’d recognise. Obviously, Kevin Bacon became huge, but he was no one at the time. There’s a charm in that, in just letting actors be their characters instead of bringing this huge Hollywood persona with them into the movie.

1 comment:

  1. Is that really mentally healthy to
    watch all those sick-o-fliks from
    the filthy world? Rather, isnt it
    much betterto RITE with me Upstairs
    bout our exploratory endeavors??
    Follow us2Seventh-Heaven, gorgeous:
    ♡ ♡
    Love you.
    Cya soon.
    GBY x-tra