Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Imperial Swordsman
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
  Friday the 13th They Are Doomed
Year: 1980
Director: Sean S. Cunningham
Stars: Betsy Palmer, Adrienne King, Harry Crosby, Laurie Bartram, Jeannine Taylor, Kevin Bacon, Mark Nelson, Robbi Morgan, Peter Brower, Rex Everhart, Ronn Carroll, Ron Milkie, Walt Gorney, Willie Adams, Debra S. Hayes, Dorothy Kobbs, Sally Anne Golden
Genre: HorrorBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: Back in 1958 in the summer camp at Crystal Lake, something terrible happened. A couple of the counsellors were getting to know each other intimately one night as the kids were asleep and the others were holding a singsong, but before they could get very far someone interrupted them and they were found dead soon after. This resulted in the camp being closed down - until now, as a new batch of counsellors arrive there to reopen the establishment to the public. One of them is hitchhiker Annie (Robbi Morgan), who is warned by the truck driver to get away... if only she had listened to his advice.

Chi chi chi, ah ah ah! If only all of them had listened to what the local had to say on the subject, then they would have saved themselves a lot of trouble. On the other hand, one of the most enduring horror franchises of all time would have not got off the starting blocks, and Sean S. Cunningham, the producer and director of this, would have been a far poorer man financially. That's because Friday the 13th was conceived of to make money, and as close to the previous year's mega-hit Halloween as possible, with a dose of And Then There Were None added for good measure.

With Halloween the benchmark for the new slasher movies, it seemed the easiest way to make your fortune in the movie industry was to rip it off: round up a collection of young actors and actresses, then have their characters killed off by a madman (or woman), release your opus and watch the readies accumulate. Even Friday the 13th had its imitators lining up, with a popular location for your mayhem being a remote place in the countryside, just as it was here. Yet somehow Cunningham and company struck gold with this one, as it seemed the world's youth could not get enough of these shockers.

Helping out was an expert in his field, makeup artist Tom Savini who provided all the gory deaths with some flair and made sure that when a character was killed, we knew that there was no coming back from that. Unless you were the actual murderer, in which case there was no getting rid of you as the sequels attested. Contrary to the controversy that this spawned in its day, this film was not made to exploit the kids by exhibiting a love of sex and violence, and simply by being a character who takes their clothes off was not enough to see you die, as what the villain represented was the puritanism of horror movies' critics.

Therefore the killer is not leading the audience astray, not even Mr Cunningham was doing that, it was the ranting conservatives who were the real bad guys - according to this, at any rate. The identity of the murderer was not same as it was in the following movies, and did not go on to be a horror icon in the same way, but there's little in the rest of the series that is quite as bizarre as the reveal and subsequent chasing around as there is in the original. Funnily enough, for almost the entire film none of the potential victims have any idea there is any danger at all, and there's a lot of padding masquerading as tension-building such as about five minutes of Alice (Adrienne King) brewing two cups of coffee. As it was, Friday the 13th certainly satisfied a lot of punters in 1980, and can still thrill to an extent, but you're always aware that it's cynicism passing for entertainment. Music by Harry Manfredi.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 5260 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (1)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Enoch Sneed
  Louise Hackett
Darren Jones
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M


Last Updated: