Saturday, May 9, 2015

Screw Mr. Rogers, I Had The Voorhees Family

I'd had no idea that today is the 35th anniversary of Friday the 13th until I hopped on Twitter this morning and saw at least a dozen mentions about it (there's definitely a theme to those I follow on Twitter).  But when I found out, it got me thinking about not just the first movie, but the whole franchise, and how it has played a pretty significant role in my life.

Now, please don't take this as my serial killer manifesto.  I've got a very firm grasp on the difference between reality and fiction, and how the sequential murder of a gaggle of teenagers is fun just so long as it's on screen and not in the newspaper.  What I mean when I say that Friday the 13th has played a significant role in my life, I mean that it comes with a lot of memories.

First and foremost, they remind me of my mother...which, I'll admit, does not bode well for my "I'm not a serial killer" claim.  But my mom has always been a horror nut, which is of course how I inherited the bug.  Dad, on the other hand, always thought horror was ridiculous, so this was something that was just for me and mom.  We had a small video store within walking distance, so a lot of Friday nights were spent in the horror section, looking over the same movies over and over again looking for which one I hadn't seen in a while.  Then my mom and I would load up on junk food and we were good to go.

I think better than renting the movies on video, though, was waiting for the marathons that the USA channel would play whenever a Friday the 13th would come around on the calendar.  Granted, all the gore was cut out and it seemed like there were commercials every five minutes, but it always seemed like more of an event that way.  Of course, the original was always in the mix, and one thing that I distinctly remember was that I didn't realize that Jason's mother was the killer in the first movie.  I'd always known Jason as the killer from the later movies, so I remember being very confused as to why no one was off-put at first when in close proximity to a psycho in a hockey mask.

Doesn't that thing really affect your blind spot?
The first movie in the franchise that came out when I was actually old enough to look forward to it was Jason Goes to Hell.  When I saw the box on the shelf at the video store, I was bummed to see that it had already been rented.  So I went the next week...and I was bummed to see that it was already rented again.  I repeated this process for at least a month until I finally snatched it up.  Then, I was bummed to find out that Jason Goes to Hell absolutely sucked.  I mean come on, Jason's only in the movie for like 3 minutes.  

Fortunately, the Friday the 13th movies are like pizza:  even the shitty ones are still good, especially if you've got a group of people with you at the time.  And every time I watch one, I get to remember something good from my childhood.  Is that a bit creepy?  Perhaps.  But I still love it.

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