We are back with my partner in crime here at Slasher Studios, Steve Goltz, discussing his ultimate Inspired Scare. The director of Teddy, Blood Brothers, and Popularity Killer learns it is not only safe in the woods…but it often makes a great horror movie.
Friday The 13th may not have been the first horror film that I ever saw, but it sure did make the biggest impact on myself. This 1980 slasher classic was directed by Sean S. Cunningham and began one of the most influential and loved horror franchises of all time. Growing up, I had seen countless movies and had a passion film since I can remember. But, the night I watched Friday The 13th, everything changed. I was instantly hooked. The story, the setting, the characters and of course the score, pulled me right in. Where had this classic been all my life?
The story is simple and to the point. We have a group of camp counselors that are being preyed on by an unknown killer. The simplicity is what I adore about it. Far too many times, filmmakers try to cram unneeded stories, characters and twists and turns into a film. There way of being unique and creative can sometimes come across as pretentious. But, Cunningham was able to deliver an easy to follow story that was fun to watch and more importantly, fun to rewatch! Personally, this is my go to movie to watch at anytime during the year and of course on any and every Friday that is lucky enough to be the 13th of the month.
The woodsy camp setting is my all-time favorite movie setting. Whether its Friday The 13th, The Burning, Cabin Fever, Teddy (shameless plug) or any of the other great films set out in the wilderness, the outdoor surroundings always add a nice little touch. I think for many people, being out in a forest can be scary thing. Add in a night scene and a character in the woods all alone, and the primal fear of the unknown starts to come out in the minds of the movie goers. Plus, the addition of some amazing landscape shots with beautiful and natural scenery can help add some production value to a low budget film that would otherwise be shot in a apartment with bare walls and not much set design.
The actors and the characters they played were another great part of the film. The young actors playing the campers were very believable in their roles and we even get the young Kevin Bacon featured in the film as Jack. Adrienne King is our final girl and may be the nicest person in the entire world. So, if you have a chance to meet her, please do not hesitate. Steve Christy is the man in charge of re-opening Camp Crystal Lake and has a mustache that goes perfect with his cut-off jean shorts. Crazy Ralph was a great character with a needed role as the one to warn the campers of the upcoming danger. And my favorite character in the film and one of my top characters of all time is, drum role please…Sandy! Sandy was the waitress in the diner scene and only has a few lines and is only on screen for just a short time, but her presence within the movie made a impact on myself that not many characters have matched. It’s weird, but I’m sure we all have that one odd character that we just love to death. Her glasses, her hair, her voice: gold, gold, gold.
The score found within Friday The 13th is such an amazing piece of art, that this may have single handedly been the reason of the incredible success of the film. Harry Manfredini, the man behind the music, managed to create a single track that is recognizable all over the world. Just a note or two in and you already have Friday The 13th playing in your head. It has such a great hook and there are many very interesting attributes within, that this would be a first selection to anyone’s horror music hall or fame.
This little film was the perfect storm story, setting, characters and score. When these main aspects of a film are working together, there is not much that can go wrong. I always have a great time with Friday The 13th and I owe much to the film. So, I must say, thank you Mr. Cunningham.
Watch his first slasher, TEDDY, below: