Tag Archives: the 80s

TGI Friday (the 13th): Ahh… memories

People are aware of the irony that Donald Trump chose to visit the UK on a Friday the 13th, right? Hope Jason is there to greet him at Heathrow.

The very first time I ever saw any semblance of Friday the 13th was Halloween 1989 from a motel room in Florida, it was actually a trailer, splicing together the campfire tale from Part 2 and this shot from The Final Chapter:

jason tommy jarvis friday the 13th final chapter 1984

A few years later when I was of age and sat down to watch the movie after midnight, I was surprised this didn’t occur, nor did it occur in Parts 2 or 3. Oddly, I saw all other seven Paramount films before finding a copy of The Final Chapter.

Mistake, indeed

home sweet home 1980

HOME SWEET HOME

1.5 Stars  1980/18/83m

A.k.a. Slasher in the House

“Be it ever so humble, there is no place to hide.”

Director: Nettie Pena / Writer: Thomas Bush / Cast: Jake Steinfeld, Colette Trygg, David Mielke, Vinessa Shaw, Peter De Paula, Don Edmunds, Sallee Young, Charles Hoyes, Leia Naron, Lisa Rodriguez.

Body Count: 9

Laughter Lines: “Please don’t hurt her – I’ll play my guitar for you!”


Of all the calendar holidays to trigger the homicidal leanings of a madman, Thanksgiving has largely been left to curdle like old milk, with only this and Blood Rage representing.

Your basic asylum escapee slasher – musclebound fitness guru Steinfeld – happens across a ranch on Thanksgiving and decides to go overboard on the carving duties. The family of largely unsympathetic, barely named characters provide the meat content for the first hour, until the floor caves in for supposed ‘tension building’, pending the obvious confrontation and the last few people alive keep going to check if windows and doors are locked in virtual darkness.

Crappy acting abounds as people fail to react convincingly to anything and don’t seem to care about the rash of disappearances. Future ‘name’ Vinessa Shaw made her debut as the requisite small child who is immune to the violence (and, aged 4, out-acts the adult cast), but the most memorable character has to be her teen brother, named Mistake, who wears Kiss-lite make-up and tries to convince the killer to stop on the promise of hearing him play guitar for him.

Bloody and weird, but don’t let that stop you.

Blurbs-of-interest: Vinessa Shaw was (much later) in Stag Night; Lisa Rodriguez was in the even worse Terror on Tour.

What have you been smoking?

amster

AMSTERDAMNED

3 Stars  1988/18/109m

“Be glad you’re afraid… It means you’re still alive.”

Director/Writer: Dick Maas / Cast: Huub Stapel, Monique van de Ven, Serge-Henri Valcke, Hidde Maas, Wim Zomer, Tannake Hartzuiker, Tatum Dagelet, Edwin Bakker.

Body Count: 8

Laughter Lines: “No more money means no more pussy – and I won’t go Dutch!”


Who could hate the city of Amsterdam? Canals, flowers, the Heineken museum, hookers sticking their asses up against the glass of their windows, pot-laced brownies, uh… Anne Frank’s house?

Although the end reaches for new depths of desperation to avoid a resolution you can see coming miles away through fields of tulips and windmills, this Dutch police thriller-cum-slasher movie is entertaining anyway. When a series of brutal slaughters plagues the canals of Amsterdam, your standard single-father, sleeps-late, has tough daughter, cop is assigned to finding the maniac.

That’s it for plot, director Maas tosses in plenty of action and some pretty good set-ups but can’t escape heavy influence from either A Nightmare On Elm Street or Jaws (!). Good scenes include a prostitute’s corpse hanging from the underside of a bridge that a glass-topped tourist barge ventures beneath, and a James Bond-like boat chase through the canals.

Absorb that dreadful Euro-pop song that graces the credits sequence as well, possibly the scariest thing in the film.

amsterdamned 1988Blurb-of-interest: Serge-Henri Valcke was later in Slaughter Night (SL8 N8).

 

 

 

Lawnmower Death

wacko 1982

WACKO

2 Stars  1982/15/83m

“The comedy that takes off where Airplane landed!”

Director: Greydon Clark / Writers: Dana Olsen, Michael Spound, M. James Kouf Jr., David Greenwalt / Cast: Joe Don Baker, George Kennedy, Stella Stevens, Julia Duffy, Scott McGinnis, Andrew Clay, Michele Tobin, Elizabeth Daily, Jeff Altman, Charles Napier, David Drucker, Anthony James.

Body Count: 8

Laughter Lines: “It’s Halloween, it’s prom night, there’s a psycho loose, so don’t open the door. Don’t answer the phone. Don’t look in the attic. Don’t go to the bathroom. Don’t go into the ocean and don’t go into space ’cause no one can hear you scream.”


The race was on in the early 80s to score the first slasher spoof, so Wacko went up against Student BodiesClass ReunionPandemonium, and the misleadingly titled Saturday the 14th but ultimately lands near the bottom of the pack, eventually gaining a release at the start of 1983, by which time most of its content was dated.

Thirteen years after seeing her older sister sliced and diced by the Halloween Prom Night Lawnmower Killer of Hitchcock High, virginal Mary Graves is now being stalked by the maniac as her own Halloween Prom approaches. Oversexed students at the school are joined by ‘wacky’ teahcers, parents, and other fringe characters who disappear and reappear enough to be considered a suspect by the man hunting the killer.

Things get a little interesting by the time the killer starts work on Mary’s fiends, but any excitement worked up is short-lived for the revelation of the killer’s identity, virgin jokes galore, and a pie in the face for George Kennedy at the end.

Blurbs-of-interest: Julia Duffy was in the more straight-laced Night Warning in the same year; George Kennedy was also in Just Before Dawn; Charles Napier was later in Camping Del Terrore and Maniac Cop 2.

Slashionista

It took a good 20 years, but people finally cottoned on that I kinda like slasher movies, so ensuing birthdays have resulted in some garments to be proud of.

My wardrobe, everybody… Be forewarned – I don’t iron.

halloween t-shirt slasher michael myers jason voorhees freddy krueger abbey road

love my Haddonfield High Class of ’78 t-shirt. Though someone recently pointed out Laurie would’ve been Class of ’79. Cheers, Paul.

My friend Kevin picked me up the awesome Abbey Road one, which nobody where I work can get their head around. Lonely life.

jason voorhees t-shirt friday the 13th part vi 6 jason x

My newest (left) and my oldest: The Japanese VHS artwork on a stretchy fabric and super comfortable.

College roomie Grace bought me the New Line Jason shirt, which once terrified a child walking past me in the opposite direction.

friday the 13th camp crystal lake t-shirt jason voorhees

If we’re going to be pedantic, it was the summer of ’79 that Mrs Voorhees ran amok at Camp Crystal Lake, but that doesn’t make this baseball shirt any less awesome. Currently my favourite.

The many faces of Jason came on the same day. I was asked not to wear this to work.

camp crystal lake t-shirts friday the 13th jason voorhees

Sadly, the white one has stretched into a warped shape, and the yellow one (with ‘Counselor’ printed on the back) has faded over time.

prom night t shirt friday the 13th part 2 t-shirt jason voorhees

Classic Prom Night artwork and Japanese Friday the 13th Part 2; I can’t wear the latter as they sent a size too small.

There we go. Worn with cargo shorts circa April to October, cargo pants the rest of the year.

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