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Friday the 13th (1980)
Friday the 13th is a 1980 American slasher horror film directed by Sean S. Cunningham and written by Victor Miller. The film concerns a group of teenagers who are murdered one-by-one while attempting to re-open an abandoned campsite and stars Betsy Palmer, Adrienne King, Harry Crosby, and Kevin Bacon in one of his earliest roles. Friday the 13th, inspired by the success of John Carpenter's Halloween, was made on an estimated budget of $550,000. Released by Paramount Pictures in the United States and Warner Bros. internationally, the film received negative reviews from film critics, but grossed over $39.7 million at the box office in the United States, and went on to become one of the most-profitable slasher films in cinema history. It was also the first movie of its kind to secure distribution in the USA by a major studio, Paramount Pictures. The film's box office success led to a long series of sequels, a crossover with the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise and a series reboot released on February 13, 2009. In the summer of 1958, two counselors at Camp Crystal Lake, Barry (Willie Adams) and Claudette (Debra S.
Some movies achieve their infamy based on their content. They become classics or crap because of what is actually up on the screen. Then there are those titles that, while seemingly inauspicious in their debut, take on greater significance as the franchise moves forward. Such is the case with Sean S. Cunningham's Halloween riff. Inspired by the John Carpenter hit, the films of Mario Bava, and his own success with fellow fright filmmaker Wes Craven (he helped produce Last House on the Left), Friday the 13th would go on to be a "monster" success for Paramount, spawning many sequels and a formidable fan base.
In 1958, Camp Crystal Lake was the scene of a notorious double murder. It closed down amid scandal and a soiled reputation. Now, 20 years later, Steve Christy (Peter Brouwer), the new owner of the property, wants to reopen it. He hires a group of counselors and invites them out to the location for help fix up the place. Little do they know, there's another in their midst, an individual bent on revenge for the events that took place all those years ago. As a horrific storm hits, the group indulges in some random sex and drugs, unaware that, lurking outside the cabins, a killer awaits.
For all its mythos, its legacy of slasher lore and foundations in fear filmmaking, Friday the 13th's greatest achievement might be Tom Savini's make-up and effects work, and there is indeed a lot to be celebrated. His throat slashings were definitely ahead of their time, ultra-realistic, and incredibly brutal, and the many divergent methods used to off people set the tone for the entire genre to come. In fact, some could argue that because of Savini's participation, the entire horror category earned a kind of visceral renaissance. Of course, Paramount and the MPAA mandated massive cuts, and until recently, few have had an opportunity to see the bloodshed uncut and unrated. Still, even sans the splatter, Friday the 13th still works.
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