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The Curator of Schlock #76 by Jeff Shuster

Friday the 13th

(Yeah, this was inevitable)

There was some fine print I neglected to look at when I took this job as Curator of Schlock. Any movie reviewed on Friday the 13th must be a Friday the 13th movie or I will be summarily fired, forced to sell apples and swish on the mean streets of Orlando. This means I have to interrupt Vigilante Month with some sick slasher movie! Instead of the killing taking place for morally righteous reasons, we get killings taking place for pointless reasons! Then again, I think the people being murdered are Canadians so…

FT13C1980’s Friday the 13th from director Sean Cunningham is a tour de force of stabbings, spearings, and more stabbings. The movie starts out with a bunch of teenagers at summer camp singing “Michael Rowed the Boat Ashore,” and I guess a couple of them get bored of singing or their teenage hormones get the best of them. After they’re caught, the boy of the boy/girl duo says, “Hey, we were just fooling around.” He gets stabbed in the gut before the killer goes after the girl. I guess she dies since all we see is a close up of her mouth as she screams. You know, I’m not a big fan of “Michael Rowed the Boat Ashore” either, but it’s nothing to commit a homicide over!

We get a flash-forward to some hitchhiker named Annie. She’s looking for Camp Crystal Lake, and is so desperate for directions that she asks a dog. What is she thinking? She must be high on the dope! Dogs only know two words: rough and roof.

FT13AAnyway, she gets a warning about Camp Crystal Lake from the town crazy who says “It’s got a death curse.” A rather corpulent man offers her a ride to the camp, but informs her that it’s known as “Camp Blood” to the locals. This is on account of all the murders that happened there.

The rest of the campers are the usual array of idiots. You have the druggie, the clown, another guy with an obnoxious mustache, and Kevin Bacon.

FT13DA counselor named Brenda decides to get the others involved in a game of strip Monopoly. Scandalous!

And yeah, there are some murders, a whole bunch of murders.

FT13BUnfortunately, we never get to see the killer in any of these scenes. Sure we get axes bludgeoning foreheads and spears piercing through throats, but I want to see the killer even if the killer is in disguise. It’s all done from the killer’s point of view so I guess we’re supposed to figure it’s one of the counselors or townsfolk from earlier. Wrong! It’s a character that shows up out of nowhere at the very end, a woman that looks like a PTA mom.

I know it’s old news at this point that Mrs. Voorhees is the killer in the first Friday the 13th movie and not Jason, but it’s hard to think such an iconic movie maniac wasn’t the killer in the first film. Mrs. Voorhees does have a split personality, so I guess she has that going for her. The whole thing is just bizarre, and I can’t help, but think you’re just better off waiting for Part 2.

5 Things I Learned from Friday the 13th

  1. Creepy townies deserve to die, but they’ll survive to the next movie.
  2. If the camp you’re travelling to is referred to as Camp Blood, you may want to rethink your summer plans.
  3. Jackasses that do bad Bogart impressions do deserve to die.
  4. Strip Monopoly isn’t as much fun as it sounds.
  5. Your arms can still flail about after you’ve been decapitated.

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Photo by Leslie Salas.

Photo by Leslie Salas.

Jeffrey Shuster (episode 47episode 102, episode 124, and episode 131) is an MFA candidate at the University of Central Florida.

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