Hello campers. This week will start my 12 week ranking of kills for each Friday the 13th film. I will include some trivia such as filming locations, box office gross and facts about the kill scenes. I hope you enjoy.
Friday the 13th was filmed in and around Blairstown, NJ, Hope, NJ, and Freehold NJ. It opened on May 9th, 1980. It cost about $550,000.00 to make and grossed $59,754,601 worldwide at the end of its theatrical run. The film takes place in 1958 and 1979.
There are a total of 10 kills in the movie 1 of which is the antagonist. I based my ranking on a combination of things like the gore factor, shock value and anything that made it out of the ordinary, as if any of it is ordinary. The list starts with my least favorite to must see segments.
Friday the 13th (1980)
Camp Counselor Claudette – The film opens with Claudette singing and playing guitar with a group of other counselors all the while giving Barry the eye. Soon after, they go to the quartermaster cabin to partake in what would become the unwritten rule of the horror genre: No premarital sex! After seeing Barry killed by an unknown entity, Claudette is screaming and is cornered in the cabin, than the screen goes to white. You never see her get killed or what is used however there are behind the scene shots of her death. Official cause of death was throat slit by machete.
Brenda -After playing a riveting game of strip monopoly, Brenda leaves because she thinks she had left the windows in her cabin open. Shortly thereafter, she is getting ready for bed in the same location one of her peers had met an untimely fate. Brenda begins to hear a child’s voice screaming ‘help me’ in the storm. After investigating, she ends up on the archery range. From there, the lights come on and you hear Brenda scream. It’s not until later that her body is thrown through a window near where Alice is standing. It’s not very clear how she met her demise.
Fun Fact– Special effects artist Tom Savini doubled as Brenda for the window scene.
Steve Christy – Steve is dropped off near the entrance of Camp Crystal Lake by the Sheriff during the rain storm due to his Jeep breaking down. While walking back to camp, a light is shined in his face. After realizing who it is, he jolts back. When I first watched the movie, I was shocked as I thought Steve might have been the killer. One of the reasons I thought this was he had the same style jeep as the killer and was absent for just about the entire movie. While you don’t see the impact of the kill shot, later on as Alice is trying to escape Mrs. Voorhees, Steve’s body falls down and hangs from a tree with a knife in his chest.
Ned – Poor Ned. He was the joker, the prankster and the lonely one of the counselors. He just wanted to have a little fun for the summer especially with Brenda. While he is walking along the lake he sees a shadowy figure in the cabin which will later be used by Jack and Marcie. Not knowing who the figure is, he goes to investigate. Later on, you will see his body in the top bunk above Jack and Marcie with his throat slit.
Bill – Bill is another character who does not have much screen time. He’s a painter, a bad monopoly player, a snake slayer and king of the generators. During the storm, he goes out to check on things and does not come back. Alice awakens to look for him and she soon discovers him hanging from the back door with his neck slit, an arrow through the eye, neck and groin! Mrs. Vorhees sure is pissed!
Fun fact – Harry Crosby who played Bill is the son of the legendary Bing Crosby.
Camp Counselor Barry – Poor Barry. Billy had a thing for Claudette and just as he was about to have pre-marital sex he is interrupted by the unknown assailant.
Just as any young boy would do, he says “we weren’t doing anything wrong, he is then stabbed in the stomach.
Annie – We are introduced to Annie after the opening credits. We are led to believe that she might be a main character. After a nice stroll through town she is given a ride halfway to Crystal Lake by Enos. I always wondered why he never just took her straight to camp. While walking the rest of the way to camp, she is picked up by someone in a Jeep. Once she realizes she is in danger, she jumps out of the jeep and is running through the woods with an injured leg. That is when she falls and is pinned up against a tree. You than see her throat slit by an unseen assailant.
Fun Fact – -Trained as an acrobat, actress Robbi Morgan performed her own stunts in the film; in particular, the scene where she leaps from a moving vehicle into a ditch. Although the character Annie injures her leg after landing, Morgan performed the stunt in one take with no trouble at all.
Marcie – After Jack and Marcie finish having pre-marital sex thus breaking the unwritten rule in horror films, she goes to the shower room to freshen up. While in the shower room, she feels a presence. After a few tense moments, she looks up, the viewers see an axe swing down and we see poor Marcie with a splitting headache.
Fun fact – Playing the role of Marcie is actress Jeannine Taylor’s only role in a theatrically released feature film. May 16th 2019 was her first time back at the filming location of the movie for Crystal Lake tours.
Mrs. Voorhees – We are finally introduced to Mrs. Voorhees towards the end of the film. She introduces herself as a friend of the Christy’s. Alice and the viewers soon realize she is the one responsible for all the deaths. After intense scenes of running through the woods and hiding in the pantry, the last fight takes place on the sand by the lake. Mrs. Voorhees drops her machete and that is when we get a slow motion of our heroine Alice picking up the machete and chopping her head off. We are than shown the headless body with hands raised balled in a fist before it drops to the ground.
Fun Fact – Many of the “prowler” scenes from Friday the 13th were actually played by stunt man and special effects assistant Taso Stavrakis. It is Taso driving the jeep in the beginning of the film with Robbi Morgan (Annie) and it is he who slices Annie’s throat with the hunting knife. In the uncut version of the film, Pamela’s hands are seen groping about in front of the camera after Alice beheads her. These are actually Taso’s hands. It has become a joke among the crew members that Pamela Voorhees has exceptionally hairy hands.
Jack – is the boyfriend of Marcie. While walking around the camp, a storm is approaching. Jack stated that the wind had shifted a good 180 degrees and is going to tear down the valley like a son of a gun. Marcie than speaks of a dream that she had about a storm that rains blood. They soon retreat to the cabin to break the rule of pre-marital sex. Once Marcie leaves to wash up, Jack further breaks the rule by lighting up a joint. After his first puff, a drop of blood hits his forehead, an arm comes up from under the bed grabbing the top of his head and an arrow protrudes from the back of his neck.
Fun Fact – The technique used in Kevin Bacon’s death scene would also transform effects artist Tom Savini into a horror film icon. To achieve the effect, a body cast was made of Kevin Bacon with only his head sticking up through the mattress. From under the bed, Tom Savini and his assistant
Taso Stavrakis attached a blood bag to a tube and pushed the arrowhead upward through the prosthetic neck. Savini worked the arrow while Taso held onto the blood bag. Still photographer Richard Feury doubled as the hand model for Mrs. Voorhees, grabbing onto Bacon’s head to keep him still. While filming the scene, the blood bag came loose from the tube, spraying Taso Stavrakis with fake blood. Despite this minor hiccup however, the effect turned out beautifully and is considered a hallmark in the history of special effects gore.