I'll be honest - I was never initially going to review this one. I mean, why? All I could really do is spout the same ol' shit about it being a "classic" and one of the main forerunners of the slasher genre, etc... I don't feel I have anything new to contribute the 'fanboy' allegiance that "Friday the 13th" continues to implore to this day, but I just so happened to re-watch this one last Friday (the 13th) and waves of nostalgia pounded me into a schmaltzy time-and-place from my horror-addled childhood. What was cool about Blockbuster back in my prepubescent years of gore-craving was that the VHS cases behind the 'official' covers simply had the Blockbuster logo on them, so when mommy wasn't looking, I was able to pull some slight-of-hand, Houdini shit and swap out "Bambi" or some such horse shit for something along the lines of "Friday the 13th". Oh, memories!
Of course, "Halloween" was the one to make a shit load of mainstream dollars off of the idea of a masked killer hacking up teenage brats in the throes of hanky-panky, but "Friday the 13th" was the one to really hone the concept and bring it home. Whereas, right off the bat you knew that Michael Myers was grown up, freshly escaped, and ultimately murderous - "Friday" leaves you more in the dark as what the hell his going on. All of this shit is explained early on about a retarded camper drowning in the lake and a so-called "curse" surrounding Camp Crystal Lake, then these counselors start turning up murdered. It's not until Betsy Palmer comes waltzing up in her comfy looking sweater that shit starts piecing together. I'm not here to do a side-by-side comparison, but if I had to pick I'd go with "Halloween" as the better movie - what with the famous score and just overall suspense - though who would've expected someone like Mrs. Palmer turning out be a psychotic serial killer? It's still fucking weird to me!
As far as the gore and body count go - this one's undeniably 'tame' by today's standards and the kills in this one hardly compare to the extensive corpse pile-up that came with each consecutive sequel. Still, you get a handful of creative deaths. Kevin Bacon's speared throat is a fan-favorite, though I personally thought the axe-treatment inflicted on the frizzy-haired panty-girl was especially vicious looking. Of course, much of this shit got chopped due to fear of the dreaded X-rating and this shit got even worse as the sequels went on!.
The big climax of the film, in which mushroom-haired, plain-Jane strip-Monopoly champ Alice dukes it out with Pamela Voorhees is certainly one of the best chick fights in film history. That old bitch was tough! And ya can't forget the goddamn canoe jolt that still cannot be topped! Fucking roaring, potato-head tard-freak Jason exploding out of the water in slow-motion rules!
So I'll just wrap up by saying that "Friday the 13th" is nowhere NEAR the best among the slasher category, nor was it all that innovative if you ask me (considering all of the Italian stuff before it). It DID, however, jump start the American appreciation for this type of film and sparked a profusion of this highly marketable mirth that definitely remained popular throughout the 80s, yet still hangs in there to this day.