The Curator of Schlock #80 by Jeff Shuster

Friday the 13th Part 2

They made a sequel!!!???

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It seems like it was only a month ago when reviewed the first Friday the 13th movie. Oh. Two Friday the 13ths in one year? That can’t be good. Oh. Wait. There are three Friday the 13ths this year? 2015 is going to be a disaster! I’m staying in the house for the rest of the year!

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When it comes to 1981s Friday the 13th part 2 from director Steve Miner, I don’t know what I can say about it that hasn’t been said already. It’s better than the first one, seeing as how we have Jason as the killer instead of some PTA mom. Granted, he has yet to don the iconic hockey mask, but that’s okay. He’s wearing a burlap sack, which is kind of scary.

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For those of you who missed the first movie, there’s like a ten-minute recap of the end so you won’t be lost. Ten minutes of recap.

I guess the teenagers sneaking into this thing back in the day didn’t have access to VCRs. I did. I was 4-years-old back in 1981 when my dad purchased our first videocassette recorder, which I used for multiple viewings of Oliver!. I remember the Napoleon-looking guy who lost his cool when little Oliver asked for more gruel.

Film critic, Roger Ebert, had the chance to see Friday the 13th part 2 in a theater in his hometown when packed with teenagers and college students. Of this he writes:

Sinking into my seat in this movie theater from my childhood, I remembered the movie fantasies when I was a kid. They involved teenagers who fell in love, made out with each other, customized their cars, listened to rock and roll, and were rebels without causes. Neither the kids in those movies nor the kids watching them would have understood a world view in which the primary function of teenagers is to be hacked to death.

The teenager in me wants to scream, “Go to bed, old man,” but I like Roger Ebert. Listening to he and Gene Siskel (and later Richard Roeper) argue about movies would, at the very least, give me an idea of whether or not I would enjoy the movie they were reviewing. After all, movies cost money to see, and I didn’t want to waste mine. Of course, back in my day, they used to have $4 matinees and student discounts on the weekend!

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Sinking into my couch as I watch Friday the 13th Part 2, I remember the movie fantasies when I was a kid. Like the idea that you could make a movie with no stars, regular looking teenagers that didn’t look like Cosmo and GQ models. A director could make a movie with stilted acting and pacing issues, and still manage to keep a teenage audience’s rapt attention with nothing more than some dude with a burlap sack on his head.

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You can catch Friday the 13th Part 2 on Netflix streaming and Amazon Prime.

Five Things I Learned from Friday the 13th, Part 2

  1. They had portable video games back in 1981! What’s with the kids these days fixated by their electronic screens?
  2. If you get caught in a snare, don’t expect Jason to cut you loose. He won’t cut all of you loose.
  3. When a guy in a wheel chair gets a machete to the face, it really isn’t funny.
  4. When a guy in a wheelchair gets a machete to the face and then proceeds to roll down a flight of stairs…well…that is kind of funny.
  5. The Burning and Friday the 13th Part 2 have almost the exact same plot, but The Burning wins out for starring Jason Alexander. Jason Alexander would later go on to play the serial killer of the week on the hit TV show Criminal Minds.

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Jeffrey Shuster 3

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

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