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Friday the 13th (1980)

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A group of camp counselors are stalked and murdered by an unknown assailant while trying to reopen a summer camp which, years before, was the site of a child's drowning.

Director:

Sean S. Cunningham

Writer:

Victor Miller
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1,207 ( 193)
5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Betsy Palmer ... Mrs. Voorhees
Adrienne King ... Alice
Jeannine Taylor ... Marcie
Robbi Morgan ... Annie
Kevin Bacon ... Jack
Harry Crosby ... Bill
Laurie Bartram ... Brenda
Mark Nelson ... Ned
Peter Brouwer ... Steve Christy
Rex Everhart ... The Truck Driver
Ronn Carroll ... Sgt. Tierney
Ron Millkie ... Officer Dorf
Walt Gorney ... Crazy Ralph
Willie Adams ... Barry
Debra S. Hayes ... Claudette
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Storyline

One summer at Camp Crystal Lake, a group of young counselors begin to get ready to lead campers. Unfortunately for the former, someone isn't happy about what's going on in the camp and enjoys playing kill the counselor. As bodies fall to the ground in the camp, no one is safe. Written by FilmFanUK

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A 24-hour nightmare of terror. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 May 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Long Night at Camp Blood See more »

Filming Locations:

New Jersey, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$550,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,816,321, 11 May 1980, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$39,754,601

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$59,754,601
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono | Dolby (DVD re-release)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Willie Adams was a crew member for the film. Although he spent most his time working behind the camera, he played the male counsellor in the 1958 scene, and holds the unique distinction of being the first murder victim in the Friday the 13th franchise. See more »

Goofs

(at around 20 mins) In the shot of Annie jumping out of the jeep, the vehicle has clearly slowed down somewhat to allow her to jump safely. See more »

Quotes

Marcie: [At sink, doing impression of Katharine Hepburn... ] When I looked into that mirror, I knew I'd always be ugly. I said, "Lizzy, you'll always be plain."
See more »

Crazy Credits

We see giant letters proclaiming 'Friday the 13th' moving towards the screen and crashing into and smashing a pane of glass. See more »

Alternate Versions

There's a Video CD (VCD) version from Hong Kong and is distributed by Warner Bros. These VCDs play on DVD players, and it contains the full uncut version with added gore. It can be purchased on Ebay most of the time. See more »


Soundtracks

Michael Row the Boat Ashore
Negro spiritual
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Strangely boring and sometimes toothless in retrospect, the original "Friday the 13th" is really only notable for starting off a long-running and much beloved franchise.
11 August 2016 | by MaximumMadnessSee all my reviews

I'll always have a soft-spot in my heart for the "Friday the 13th" franchise. Especially as an 80's baby/90's kid who grew up in a pop- culture environment where the psychotic hockey-masked killer Jason was known and loved by pretty much everyone... even kids like me who didn't see the films until we were older and only vaguely knew what they were about thanks to the whisperings and hints of our older siblings who were actually allowed to see the movies. (Usually renting them 2 or 3 at a time on trusty old VHS from the local Video King to watch after we younger brothers and sisters went to bed.)

At the time this review is being posted, the franchise has been running strong for well over 35 years. Boasting 10 films in its original continuity, the fabulously entertaining (and dopey as heck) cross- over spin-off "Freddy VS Jason", a somewhat underrated reboot in 2009 and a planned new film due out sometime within the next year or two.

But even a franchise so huge has to start with a small, humble beginning. Before the fame. Before the recognition. Before the birth of the pop-culture idol that the series spawned.

Yes, it all started with a teeny-tiny production back in 1980- the original "Friday the 13th."

It's almost impossible to really discuss this film critically without delving into spoiler territory (which I try to avoid in my reviews), though I will try my hardest to do so.

The film revolves around a group of young Camp Counselors who are prepping the infamous Camp Crystal Lake for a reopening about 20 years after a mysterious double-murder and a tragic drowning involving a young child. However, it appears someone isn't exactly a happy camper and doesn't want Crystal Lake back in business, and this mysterious figure begins to pick off our protagonists one-by- one until a tense climax reveals the dreaded truth...

It's no surprise at all that the film is essentially a glorified rip-off of the iconic slasher-horror that is John Carpenter's "Halloween." Director/Producer Sean S. Cunningham has been pretty candid about essentially wanting to create his own "roller-coaster" version of the Carpenter Classic with this film. Heck, they had ads and posters in the paper before the script was even written.

But the problem I really have with the film is that it all feels so routine. Even often boring and sometimes toothless. While it may not be fair to judge it by modern standards, even for its time, it just doesn't have that much going for it. (Especially as the very same year of release, such classics as "The Shining" and the underrated "The Changeling" were chilling audiences to the bone.) It's a very aimless, meandering film, with sloppy plotting and far too much focus placed on seemingly-pointless sequences for it to attain the "roller-coast" feeling the director was going for. The first half of the film is just too much a chore to slog through. And once the horror finally kicks in, it's just the same rinse-and-repeat formula scene-after-scene, with really only a few gruesome deaths here and there to pique audience interest. All those old clichés and tropes that even at the time had become slightly predictable.

Now, I know what you're saying- those are the things people love about these flicks. The clichés and the gore-galore. But it's so slowly paced and messy in this movie, it's hard to really get into it. It really isn't until the plethora of sequels that the formula is established and the pacing is tightened enough for those clichés and tropes to finally become fun and entertaining.

As it stands, "Friday the 13th" does have its place in horror royalty. But I firmly believe it's more for spawning the long- running franchise that followed and less for the quality of the film itself.

Oh, and I guess it's also kinda famous for introducing some guy named Kevin Bacon as a supporting character... but I'm not sure if he actually went anywhere after this.

(Please appreciate the obvious sarcasm there. I loves the Bacon!)

"Friday the 13th" gets a middle-of-the-road 5 out of 10 from me. It's worth seeing because of its important part in the history of the overall franchise. But it's one of the weaker entries and lacks the style and entertainment seen in later films.


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