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The 411 Movies Top 5: The Top 5 Friday the 13th Movies

May 15, 2016 | Posted by Shawn S. Lealos

The 411 Movies Top 5: Hello everyone and welcome to 411 Movies Top 5 List. We take a topic each week and all the writers here on 411 wrestling will have the ability to participate and give us their Top 5 on said topic. So, onto this week’s topic…

The Top 5 Friday the 13th Movies

BRYAN KRISTOPOWITZ
5. JASON GOES TO HELL: THE FINAL FRIDAY – Outside of Jason X and Jason Takes Manhattan, Jason Goes to Hell is probably the most divisive of the Friday the 13th/Jason movies because it attempts to explain what Jason is and it isn’t anything anyone suspected. I mean, Jason is basically a demon worm thing when he isn’t in the full on hockey mask dead body walking around. Again, who the hell ever thought that Jason was that? I’ve liked this movie ever since I saw it opening day in the theatre and am still amazed that it was allowed to be different from the Jason movies up until that point. There’s stalking and slashing, sure, but the movie also has body jumping, demons, and weird magic in it. None of that ever appeared before Jason Goes to Hell and it really hasn’t appeared since (Freddy vs. Jason has some of that in it but, let’s face it, that movie is all about seeing the monsters kick the crap out of each other). I think for that alone Jason Goes to Hell is a classic. The Creighton Duke character is pretty awesome, too.

4. FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VII: A NEW BLOOD – This is the first time in the franchise where a character attacks Jason using the supernatural. For that fact alone it puts A New Blood in the top five. Tina is a typical disaffected teen type character, sure, but since she has telekinetic powers she’s a sort of bargain basement Carrie, and who better to take on the unstoppable zombie Jason than someone who can launch a car at him with her mind? Part 7 I also where we see Kane Hodder in the Jason make-up for the first time, truly a momentous occasion. To me, Hodder isn’t the best Jason (C.J. Graham in part 6 is the best), but it’s insane to think that he isn’t the most influential of the people who put the mask on, at least in a pop culture sense. He played Jason four times, more than anyone else. That matters.

3. FREDDY VS JASON – This movie was the one that fans of both Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street wanted to see so badly. Jason up against Freddy. The how and why was sort of irrelevant, at least at first. We all just wanted to see the machete battle the razor glove. Of course, the actual story did matter, and the one they came up with worked (Freddy uses Jason to get people to be scared of him again). I’m not sure if it was the absolute best story option, but then, hey, as long as it happened and it made a kind of sense I would be okay with it. And the final battle between Jason and Freddy is pretty damn epic. We don’t get a “proper” ending, where we find out who won the big fight, but then we were probably supposed to have several sequels by now and that’s why we really didn’t get a definitive ending. We’re all still waiting, some thirteen years later. Thirteen years? Man, has it really been that long?

2. FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE FINAL CHAPTER – I didn’t really care for this Jason flick until a few years ago. I always thought that this movie was nothing but a big scam as it clearly wasn’t the final anything and Jason was so not dead. But then I purchased the special edition DVD with the Adam Green/Joe Lynch fan commentary track on it and actually watched the movie in all of its R rated glory for the first time since watching it on The Movie Channel as part of a New Year’s Eve Friday the 13th marathon. And it was pretty damn good. It was scarier than I remembered, and Ted White’s Jason was a rampaging behemoth. He was also a fucking asshole, killing fat hippies, weirdo morgue guys, and going after poor Tommy Jarvis. He was just a kid, man! And the ending, while, again, not the end of the franchise, was brutal as hell. Jason’s head sliding down that machete is still insanely gruesome and brutal. Joseph Zito, the man behind Invasion U.S.A and the first Missing in Action did a great job.

1.JASON LIVES! FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VI – This is the first Jason movie that I paid attention to. The movie was a big deal on pay-per-view back in the day, and the “He’s Back! The Man Behind the Mask” video featuring Alice Cooper was on MTV all of the time. The Jason in this movie was the Jason. By the time I actually saw the movie I was transfixed by C.J. Graham’s performance. He was a shark, moving around the woods like a hungry animal looking for food, looking for someone to kill. And then when he was in full kill mode he would pause, just for a second, and then go for it. That still gives me the chills to this day. On top of all of that, the movie is chock full of humor, the kind of humor that hadn’t been seen in slasher movies in any major way back when Jason Lives! came out. I still dig the jokes. I love this movie through and through. When I need my Friday the 13th fix, this is the one I’m going to make an effort to watch again. It’s just so damn good. Oh, and Jason decapitates three people at the same time. That is goddamn awesome.

Wednesday Lee Friday

5. Friday the 13th (2009) – More than any other genre, horror fans are often staunchly opposed to remakes. It doesn’t matter how bad the original film is, horror fans act as if original films will disappear forever in the face of being remade. While not one of the best horror remakes ever, I think the 2009 Friday the 13th is not too shabby. Despite a cast that looks like they’re on their way to audition at the WB and a producer credit for Michael Bay—there’s a lot to like about this one. The protagonist is legit supportable, and the teens are slightly more than your average slutty-girl-versus-nice-girl, and nerd-boy-versus-jock-boy. Sure, there’s a bit of that. But if you watch the original Friday the 13th followed by the new one—you’d be hard pressed to say which is the “better” film. And that part where Jason picks up the kid in the sleeping bag and bashes them against a tree? Nice!

4. Friday the 13th Part II (1981) – I felt kinda bad that none of my Friday the 13th picks include Kane Hodder. But honestly, by the time Hodder joined the series, he was already the best thing about it by a wide margin. I picked this film because it’s the first to feature Jason Vorhees as the killer, and because I’ve never been a fan of the hockey mask. In this film, Jason is wearing a burlap sack. Keep that in mind next time the sporting goods store is closed when you’re trying to to Jason cosplay. This film also features a final girl who uses child psychology to overcome Jason at the end. One could argue that this is the last film for a while that actually tries to have a solid plot where it matters who the teens actually are before they’re killed. Also, Rip “Crazy Ralph.”

3. Freddy VS Jason (2003) – I like this one because it’s scary, it’s unexpected, and it puts the kibosh on one of horror’s most annoying an unscary “villains,” Freddy Krueger. The plot is far more interesting than those of previous films, making it the only Vorhees feature to get a novelization. See, nobody was having nightmares about Freddy Krueger anymore, because millennials, and because of Krueger not being very scary. So a plan was hatched to get Jason resurrected, thus scaring the hell out of teens and allowing Freddy to creepy back into their dreams. Ultimately, I’d declare Jason the winner of that skirmish, but fans remain divided. The best scene is easily the rave in the cornfield.

2. Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning – I’m a fan of this one mainly because it’s another movie where Jason Vorhees is not actually the killer. I think this one also has particularly good music and an especially well developed supporting cast (for a slasher, I mean). Best of all, this is one of the points where the series was still trying to exist in our reality rather than pretending one can’t avoid Jason Vorhees on the entire island of Manhattan, or that he might end up terrorizing a spaceship someday. This is also the last Friday the 13th I saw at the drive-in, as drive-ins were becoming scarce in my town. I saw the next five installments in the theatre.

1. Friday the 13th (1980) – I’m not a total purist, but I do tend to give it up for the original in most cases. The original Friday the 13th isn’t just a slasher. It’s a reversal of one of the scariest and time-tested horror films ever: Psycho, and is a decidedly unhelpful movie to bring up when playing Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. The plot: Son (Jason) dies because the mom had a job instead of watching him (yeah, that’s sexist, but those were the times) and her grief led her to murder people she barely knew in revenge. Betsy Palmer is great as Pamela Vorhees, the distraught mother and murderess who is ultimately decapitated (um, spoiler alert?). Hilariously, most slasher villains were never in the running to be Miss America—but she totally was.

CALIBER WINFIELD
5. FRIDAY THE 13TH [2009] – Alright, alright, stand back. Gimmie some room. While I do appreciate my fellow 411’ers offering their opinion, Caliber is here, so now you all can know which are truly, the Top 5 Friday The 13th films. I literally wrote the book on this. Now let’s get on with the love affair that is myself, and the Friday The 13th franchise.

This movie is an absolute blast, and one of my favorites out of the entire franchise. I truly can’t see how anyone can complain about it. The writers looked out for the fanbase, and gave us something new & fresh, while paying tribute to the formula we all know & pay to see. We had characters that were fleshed out when they needed to be in order to help anchor the film, as well as some throw-away ones that we didn’t need too badly for any reason other than to see them get a sweet death. Again, that’s another area in which the film delivered. Jason had a ton of unique and down right fucking scary kills. From hanging a girl over a fire, left to cook to death in a sleeping bag, to dragging a guy down into hell, and sawing another down the middle with a machete. Jason was more menacing than he had been in years, as a fast, cunning, brutal force. Far and away doing justice for the unfortunate performance we got in Freddy vs Jason. In the end, I really can’t say enough good things about this film, as it made me proud to be a Friday fan, and showed everyone why we’ll all keep coming back to Crystal Lake year after year, forever and ever.

4. FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VII: THE NEW BLOOD – Whenever I think of Part 7, the one word I always end up using to describe it is fun. Sure, a good chunk of the plot is a rip-off of part 4, and the characters are insanely stock & boring, but Hodder’s Jason more than makes up for it, and the 3rd act is easily some of the best action out of the entire series. As most fans know, the MPAA went berserk on this film and cut it down to the point where it’s practically a PG-13 film. Had it not been such a neutered film, then it would definitely take my number 1 spot. It’s a true shame that the MPAA gets to simply decide for the entire World what they’re allowed to see and not see. Millions of dollars & hours of work going into these films, and a group of people sitting in a dark room somewhere in California get to negate all of the hard-work at the snap of their fingers if need be. Other than that, Jason’s look is quintessential, and what most people think of when he’s mentioned. The portion of the mask being torn away by the boat-propeller from Part 6 was genius, and their make-up effects for when he’s de-masked is a work of art. Also, it bares repeating, that even though the characters are stock and the effects cut down drastically, the battle scenes between Tina & Jason are worth the price of admission and an absolute blast to watch. Now, even though they keep saying the extended footage doesn’t exist, I call BS. Simply take the cut-scenes we’ve seen on the Deluxe Edition of the DVDs, clean it up, put it back in, and I’d be more than happy. Perhaps one day when I become filthy rich from writing about slasher films I’ll fund the project myself.

3. FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 2 – This is a major fan favorite, for a lot of reasons. Sure, the characters aren’t as fleshed out or interesting as in part 4, and the deaths aren’t as cool as part 6, but 2 has a charm all it’s own. Sack-head Jason is fantastic, and there’s a lot of great shots. The desolate setting does give you the feeling of hopelessness. Really, does it get better than the shot of Jason’s shrine with the bodies strewn around it? I think not. One of the best of it’s kind, a great film.

2. FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE FINAL CHAPTER – In the World of Friday The 13th fans, Part 4 is as beloved as Part 5 is hated. It’s a genre defining, seminal classic, inspiring numerous film-makers, including Adam Green [the Hatchet trilogy], Paul Thomas Anderson [Boogie Nights] and Joe Lynch [Wrong Turn II] who even did their own commentary for the film on the deluxe DVD. Savini was brought back to deliver some of the series & best kills & effects, while Zito’s direction gave us some of the series most tense & unnerving moments. Actors like Crispin Glover & Corey Feldman each have their own unique talent & charisma, helping this cast to often stand out above the rest. This was the last time that Jason could be legitimately called scary, and really when he became the hero of the films. The film is a fucking blast, commanding the title of classic, deserving to be hailed so for as long as there’s cinema.

1. FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VI: JASON LIVES – For me, it just doesn’t get better than Jason Lives. It was more than just a simple horror film, and went far & beyond what the previous films had done. I’m not saying they were lacking with what they did, but by the 6th one, you have to do more than just the same old song & dance.
Humor was something the previous films had, but not on the consistent level of Jason Lives, nor with the sharpness of it. This one also ramped up the action with guns, car chases, and an RV flipping over.
Not only were elements enhanced, so was Jason. Now that he was supernatural, Tom got creative with that aspect and gave us some of Jason’s most memorable kills. Everything from the heart punch, to the triple decapitation, to the Sheriff’s back-cracking helped to make this one of the funnest & more spectacular slasher films of all time. An absolute classic.

YOUR TURN KNOW IT ALLS

List your Top Five for this week’s topic in the comment section using the following format:

5. CHOICE: Explanation
4. CHOICE: Explanation
3. CHOICE: Explanation
2. CHOICE: Explanation
1. CHOICE: Explanation

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