12 Days of Friday, Day 2: Friday the 13th Part 2
Editor Alex Vo watches a Friday the 13th movie daily until the reboot.
Day Two: Friday the 13th Part 2Creating a sequel to a movie that was, for all intents and purposes, a stand-alone thriller presents some unique challenges. Who's gonna be the killer now? Will it be a mystery? Does the series go supernatural if Jason is brought back? And how are they going to hide the fact this is essentially a cash-in?
Original director Sean Cunningham declined to return for the sequel, letting producer Steve Miner fill the seat. As a first-time primary director, it's obvious Miner studied the original to uncover what got audiences reacting to it, copying somewhat obsessively from it, right down to its opening credits. Friday the 13th Part 2 is a fairly effective slasher, but it's also rather unassuming. As this series continues on, I have no doubts that little from this movie is going to stand out in memory besides what's mentioned here.
As the story picks up five years later, Miner settles down into typical slasher routine, with little interest in developing characters or highlighting the natural splendor surrounding Crystal Lake. The Friday the 13th series has never been big on twists (or continuity) and it's clear that Jason will be the killer, giving me room to keep guessing who'll be the hero of this installment. Will it be Paul, the head counselor reopening camp? Ginny, his flaky girlfriend? Terry, the skinny-dipping princess?
My guess was that they were going to give Mark, the wheelchair guy, a fighting chance to play hero. The Town That Dreaded Sundown) and his altar to dear mother: Pamela Voorhees's decapitated head and sweater, plus his offering of corpses to her. Ginny (Amy Steel) emerges as a resourceful heroine, and her lowering of Jason's defenses by pretending to be mama Voorhees is a clever victory. Or is it? Just when we think the terror frenzy is over, an unmasked Jason comes crashing through the window. This echoes, of course, the original's last-minute shock tactic, and reveals a fledgling franchise already quick to cannibalize itself.
Friday the 13th Part 2 Vital Stats:
- Body Count: 10. Including Muffin, the dog.
- Survivors: 3. It's debatable whether Paul survives. He probably does.
- Number of stalled cars: 2
- Number of skinny dippers: 1
- Amount of time you have to live after skinny-dipping: 3 minutes
- Average amount of time you have to live after smoking pot: 16 minutes. Impressive!
- Number of Jason-approved weapons: 9. Knife, machete, spear, claw hammer, barb wire, ice pick, bare hands, pick axe, and a pitchfork.
Tomorrow, it's death and destruction in new dimensions: Friday the 13th
Part 3: 3-D!
Schedule of Fridays:
- Day 1: Friday the 13th (1980)
- Day 2: Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)
- Day 3: Friday the 13th Part III (1982)
- Day 4: Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)
- Day 5: Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985)
- Day 6: Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI (1986)
- Day 7: Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988)
- Day 8: Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)
- Day 9: Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993)
- Day 10: Jason X (2001)
- Day 11: Freddy vs. Jason (2003)
- Day 12: Friday the 13th (2009)