I love the Friday the 13th series. I'm under no illusion that they are traditionally "good" movies, but as someone who grew up on them (and '80s slashers like them) they will always hold a special place in my heart. They are infinitely rewatchable -- a warm, comforting blanket of sex and blood.
Here are 13 great moments from one of my favorite horror franchises.
1. Jason pops out of the water (Friday the 13th)
2. Mark is killed (Friday the 13th Part 2)
Runner up: Terry (Kirsten Baker) goes skinny dipping
3. Little campers accept their fate (Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives)
Despite being the sixth entry in the series, Tom McLoughlin's sequel is almost always referred to as the best. It's witty and funny in a franchise not known for wit or humor. The best example of his self-aware screenplay comes when two young campers (yes, actual campers at Camp Crystal Lake) are hiding in their cabin during Jason's rampage and comment to one another "I think we're dead meat," to which the other responds with the movie's best line: "What were you going to be when you grew up?"
Runner up: Sheriff Garris gets bent in half
4. Tommy Jarvis hacks Jason to pieces (Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter)
monster kid Tommy Jarvis shaves his head to look like young Jason and then kills the shit out of him. It takes a horror fan to get the job done. Plus, Tom Savini returned to do the effects and created the brilliant moment in which Jason gets stabbed in the head, then falls on his face and slowly slides down the knife. It's so great.
5. Sleeping bag death (Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood)
Well of course it's on here. This is one of the best kills in the entire franchise, partly for it's efficiency and partly for the sick logic of it -- the Friday the 13th equivalent of Indiana Jones shooting the swordsmen. The New Blood is the Friday movie most chopped up by the MPAA (the uncut footage no longer exists as far as anyone knows), and what was once a moment in which Jason smashes the sleeping bag against a tree more than a dozen times was cut down to just once. It works a lot better this way -- one of the few instances in which the mandated edits actually improved the finished film.
6. Jason on the Holodeck (Jason X)
Scream horror landscape. The big exception to this is a scene in which our heroes attempt to distract and disorient Jason by using a hologram to transport him to early '80s Crystal Lake. Two naked co-eds offer him beer and pot before proclaiming "We love premarital sex!" His response is a callback to the most famous kill from The New Blood, but it's the joke about the two girls that gets the movie's biggest laugh. I'm actually glad that the film didn't do too much of this kind of thing; it makes this moment land that much harder.
Runner up: A victim has her face frozen in liquid nitrogen and then smashed into oblivion, Simon Phoenix-style
7. Death in the sex tent (Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday)
Runner up: Freddy's glove appears.
8. Jenna is killed (Friday the 13th (2009))
9. Crispin Glover dances (Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter)
Presented without comment.
10. Jason de-masked! (Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood)
11. Boxing beheading (Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan)
Runner up: A cruise ship departs from Crystal Lake and arrives in New York
12. 3-D Eyeball! (Friday the 13th Part 3)
Runner up: Shelly.
13. RIP Joey (Friday the 13th: A New Beginning)
Goodbye, Joey. I hope they have chocolate bars in heaven.