Happy Friday the 13th! In a very special episode of our weekly box office post, I’d like to present all the Friday the 13th franchise trailers. If horror movies make you queasy, rest assured a few of this week’s releases are not thrillers. (I, myself, had only seen about 30 seconds of the franchise before I pulled these trailers!) Beware: spoilers abound below the fold.
Friday the 13th “You’re doomed, you’re all doomed!” Released in 1980, the franchise starter finds a bunch of counselors at Camp Crystal Lake hunted by a deranged man (it’s really a woman!) in a hockey mask. Jason Vorhees drowned in the lake in 1957 and now his mother, Pamela, wants to make sure the lake stays abandoned in reverence to her child’s death.
Friday the 13th Part 2 Released one year later in 1981 (355 days, in fact!), Alice Hardy (sole survivor of the previous film) is murdered by Jason, who is mysteriously…revived. He has a shrine to Pamela’s (featuring her head) and a lot of teens to kill.
Friday the 13th Part III “Because these are Jason’s woods, and no one leaves them alive.” Intended to end the series as a trilogy, the third (and only) 3D film grossed $36.6 million dollars upon its release in 1982. There’s more murder by the lake, more decaying Pamela, and a dead Jason in a barn. And yet…
Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter Skskkskksk. …The fourth film opened in 1984, picking up where the third film left off, with Jason awakening in the morgue. Cold storage is good for the body, I guess. Ted White, who served as a double for Clark Gable and John Wayne, played Jason. Corey Feldman starred as Tommy Jarvis.
Friday the 13th: A New Beginning “The murderous fury has been reborn.” The series returned in 1985, as did Feldman. Set at the crummy Pinehurst Halfway House, “Jason” is an adult paramedic whose child was murdered by another youth. Tommy takes up the helm at the film’s end, however.
Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (bell emoji) With more resurrections than Christ himself, Jason’s return included supernatural powers. Grossing $19.4 million in 1986, the movie returned to the halfway house (renamed), with Thom Mathews as Tommy. But Jason is Jason this time and not Tommy.
Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood: “Concentrate Tina!” Tina, an abused child, unlocks telekinetic powers…and Jason. Tina must battle Jason, but you can’t keep a franchise if the villain dies, so he’s not defeated. (But neither is she, so that’s good.)
Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan Start spreading the news! Jason goes to New York (it is an archipelago, he does love water) in 1989. He’s electrified by the third rail and drowned in the sewer. Ah, the city I love! The film was a flop.
Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday: Released in 1993, the film doesn’t promise a subterranean battle from the pits of hell, but a delivery to the fiery underworld. The FBI finally gets involved and a coroner is possessed by Jason’s spirit.
Jason X “He just wanted his machete back!” Released in 2001, the tenth Jason film throws the villain into space. Kane Hodder portrayed Jason for the fourth and final film, and the film “also introduces his futuristic counterpart, Uber Jason.” Set in 2455 aboard a spaceship, and improbably starring a lot of Canadian actors, Jason slaughters an entire flight crew before landing on Earth Two (or next home planet) where he’ll continue to wreak havoc.
Freddy vs. Jason “Place your bets!” (I ran into all my co-workers from Hot Topic the night this came out. I closed the store and saw Kill Bill, and they all saw Freddy vs. Jason together.) Released in 2003 after 16 years in development hell, the film finds Jason transported to Ohio, where the residents of Springwood have forgotten about Freddy Kreuger (played, of course, by Robert Englund). Eventually, the two have a showdown but both live. The cast included Jason Ritter and Kelly Rowland!
Friday the 13th “His name was Jason and today is his birthday.” Released in 2009, the franchise reboot was originally conceived as a reboot but instead grew to a re-imagination of the first four films. Starring Amanda Righetti (Hailey from The OC!), Jared Padalecki (Dean on Gilmore Girls and Sam on Supernatural), Ryan Hansen (Dick on Veronica Mars!!), Danielle Panabaker (Jesus, we don’t have all day—the Panabackers were in everything in the ’00s), and pre-famous Ben Feldman and Jonathan Sadowski. In a fun twist, Jason is really Jason—his mother murdered everyone in 1980 and his origin is watching his mother’s beheading. (Our reboots are usually a color-by-numbers affair.) The film performed better at the box office than its predecessors but has a 25 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.