By Raymond Knowby


Critically despised box office smash about camp counselors being dispatched by an unseen maniac. Sean Cunningham’s gritty, guerrilla direction and Tom Savini’s brutal make-up effects made this movie; the third in what I consider to be the “dream team” (along with HALLOWEEN and DAWN OF THE DEAD) of the splatter industry.

For over twenty years, Camp Crystal Lake has been closed due to several accidents and unsolved murders. Now, under new management, the camp is being renovated and prepared for another attempt at success. Despite local legends that the grounds are cursed, seven counselors and their manager ignore the hanging dread and soon fall prey to a lurking presence that wants the place shut down for good.

FRIDAY THE 13TH plays out like a scary around the campfire tale with a twisted ending, and it’s the best you’ll find of the summer camp massacre flicks. In fact, it’s quite outstanding for the content. Frightening, memorable, and well executed with a good amateur cast (including Adrienne King, Harry Crosby, Laurie Bartram, and a young Kevin Bacon)–but it’s veteran Betsy Palmer that brings in a notorious schizo performance out of left field. A top notch Psycho-inspired score by Harry Manfredini completes this winning bill of shocks.

And did it EVER kick in the door for sequels, most of which come nowhere close to this excellent low budget offering. A great classic with perhaps the best ever made-you-jump moment during its finale.

Brenda (Laurie Bartram) is especially unlucky on this fateful FRIDAY THE 13TH.