I told the Others and they didn’t Believe

You’re all doomed.

Friday the 13th Part 2

<Spoiler alert, this film is 36 years old, if you haven’t seen it yet, you probably aren’t going to: Pretty much everybody dies>

Released in 1981, the first thing to keep in mind is that there were no Blu Rays, or DVDs, or Netflix. Films were played in the theater and then, years down the line you could catch them on the Late Show or the Late Late Show. Even USA Up All Night was eight years down the line.

That means that when movie sequels started to become popular, it was really helpful to spend the beginning of the sequel rehashing episode 1. In Rocky II, we saw nearly all the final fight of the original, then almost as long on the drive to the hospital by a route that sees most of Philadelphia, but makes utterly no sense to anyone who knows the city.

In Friday the 13th Part 2, we get sole survivor from the original film, Alice Hardy (Adrienne King)‘s, nightmare as a reminder along with some heavy suggestion that Jason will be the killer from here on out. Not to spoil it, but Marcie isn’t long for the sequel.

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Marta Kobler as Sandy (Wow, these girls are young!)

From that point on, we get introduced to a lot of young, hot counselors who simply hate being overdressed for anything and a penchant for wandering off by themselves.

As the rest of the crew heads to town for a night of drinking before the camp kids show, “I’m going for a walk,” says the girl who lost her fu-fu dog hours ago and only occasionally remembers to worry about it. Because Victor Miller (the film’s writer) and Sean Cunningham (the Director / Producer) know the audience they’re making this for, lost dog girl, Terry, played by Kristen Baker, feels an irresistible desire to go skinny dipping in the lake. No one’s complaining.

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Kristen Baker as Terry

Meanwhile, the two couples who stayed behind are busy getting sexy because they don’t yet know Rule #1 of ‘The Rules’ described in Scream:

  • You may not survive the movie if you have sex.
  • You may not survive the movie if you drink or do drugs.
  • You may not survive the movie if you say “I’ll be right back”, “Hello?” or “Who’s there?”

Consistent with The Rules, both couples get theirs. Sandy and Jeff are impaled together in bed (fitting), Mark is killed for just thinking about getting lucky, and eventually Vickie is stabbed repeatedly after getting an eyeful of Jason’s handiwork.

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Vicky and Mark in happier times

An important thing to note in this film is that Jason is no immortal  being behind a hockey mask with a preternatural ability to know exactly where his prey is hiding and stand impervious to all attacks. Rather, he’s a bumbling oaf with a sack over his head who’s been living in a cobbled together fort built around a shrine to his mother. As  centerpiece of this shrine is mother’s cable-knit blue sweater and her severed, rotting head.

Clearly, the kid’s not all right.

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Final Girl Ginny, who totally owns Jason this whole film

Part 2 clearly gives us a ‘Final Girl,’ Ginny, who outsmarts and outfights the bumbling Jason at every turn. She loses him by hiding behind cars, outruns him in the woods, kicks him in the balls, chainsaws his arm, tricks him into believing she’s his mother by simply wearing her old sweater and talking to him like a naughty boy, and eventually lands a machete deep in his shoulder / neck that would be the death blow if not for the de rigour burst through the window scene into unverified ending. “Where’s Paul?”

There’s nothing really redeeming in this film, but it, along with the original, set the stage for B movie slashers. The storyline is thin, but does flesh out some of the background and running themes. Jason makes his first real appearance as the killer – just not with his iconic mask.

Next Up: Friday the 13th Part 3 – Did you say part 3? Like 3D!!

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