Not the film, but the current date. The following is a list where I put the FRIDAY THE 13th series in order from worst to best to not only honor the date anniversary, but to also honor the series. The movies aren't necessarily all that great or even good. They are a horror staple. One that I grew up with and avoided early in life, but always kept aware about and saw glimpses of until, Finally becoming a horror junkie and watching the outright.
The films follow the same simple story line of a slasher film. They never quite explain if Jason is a zombie, demon, possessed or just pure evil. Though I give the franchise credit over the years for trying to evolve or add different things to the formula to bring audiences coming back for more. While serving up the same recipe. If it ain't broke don't try to fix it.
One reason these films always stuck with me was the poster art. Even when I didn't watch films such as these I remember the posters on the wall of the local video store. Usually to promote it's release and the box art. I was scared to death of the films, but the box art as gruesome as it was always intrigued me. As I never watched them, but knew what the films were about.
I would always study the poster and try to come up with my own story or plot of what happened in the film. I would then usually refer to my uncle Maurice. Who usually watched these films as to if I was ever close to what actually happened. I never was, but I like to think that those experiences are what helped me to have a vivid memory and want to make films. As my versions of what I imagined happened were way better then what I heard and eventually saw. Truth be told. I even wrote an outline once for a Friday the 13th sequel. I believe it was tight before the tenth film in the series.
Even if as it is widely known. The first film served as a smarter slasher film with a twist. Before it became by the numbers and a way past extreme, Revenge horror film. While it hasn't reached the magical number yet and it is trying to. With the studios trying to reboot the film again. It has made it almost at a hearty 12.
From worst to best Since I can't do anything simply...
12. FRIDAY THE 13TH: PART VIII: JASON TAKES MANHATTAN (1989) Directed By: Rob Hedden
Making this film the most vile and disgusting film in the series and that is just the locations and characters. It truly victimizes New York if anything. As well as the stupidest but most memorable death and punch-line literally. Hint. It involves the boxer.
11. FRIDAY THE 13TH: PART VII: THE NEW BLOOD (1988) Directed By: John Carl Buechler
Jason versus a girl with psychic powers. Seemed more like a set up for an x-men type comic book.
10. FRIDAY THE 13TH (REMAKE) (2009) Directed By: Marcus Nispel
Other then nudity and being more explosive and reveling in it. Though that were it's roots and while a welcome return. It was like Michael Jackson. Good songs yet they feel out of place and too familiar. For the intended audience. It also kills any momentum by explaining Jason's methods.
It also tries to cram the first few films in the series into this films first 15 minutes so a president has been set
9. FRIDAY THE 13TH (1980) Directed By: Sean Cunningham
The one that started it all!!!!
8. JASON X (2001) Directed By: Rob Bottin
I own the DVD. Bought Unseen. What really smarts is that I had it in my collection when I went on the show ULTIMATE FILM FANATIC. I lost due to a question based in this film.
7. FRIDAY THE 13TH: JASON GOES TO HELL (THE FINAL FRIDAY) PART IX (1993) Directed By: Adam Marcus
This film has the most recognizable established actors in it. It even has actor John D. LeMay in it. Who starred in FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE SERIES. Which tried to cash in off of this series in title. Even though the show was about cursed objects and had nothing to do with the movies. That viewers found out too late.
This is where the world of Friday the 13th gets strange. More supernatural and over the top violent. Not necessarily in any kind of believable way. It goes way over the top and gets downright ridiculous. Goes above and beyond with the gore.
6. FREDDY VS. JASON (2003) Directed By: Ronny Yu
One of the better made films. If only for it's visuals. As the film plays a little loose with what we know of Jason Voorhies and combating him. Even if the film is ridiculous, in it's way to bring the two horror icons together. This film is of note as the only film in the series that I have seen in a movie theater.
5. FRIDAY THE 13TH: A NEW BEGINNING - PART V (1985) Directed By: Danny Steinman
Well they said he was dead. They lied and made it feel like the last film was a publicity stunt it that part 4 made more money then expected and the producers knew they were crazy if they let the cash cow go away. So we ended up with this film. Which before extensive cuts was one of the most violent films of the series.
It was noteworthy for me as this is the one that features Shavar Ross otherwise known as Dudley from the television sitcom DIFFERENT STROKES. Who has the truest reaction of a person in a horror film if this was real life. Which I was a huge fan of, as well as featuring MIGUEL NUNEZ Jr. The first black person killed in the series. Unfortunately in the most embarrassing way.
This was also the second FRIDAY THE 13TH film that I watched fully. In a double feature with part 4 at home. This one confused me as far as story and the ending. You have to keep in mind I came In a little late to the series and had to connect the dots out of order.
4. FRIDAY THE 13TH: PART 2 (1981) Directed By: Steve Miner
The first in the series I ever watched as a kid. Though truthfully I watched it between my fingers. This was before the iconic mask was used. When Jason Voorhies ran around with a Sack on his head. This film also leaves it very vague as he isn't he impossible to kill. Super strengthened menace, but also we never know did he only rise after the death of his mother. Was he dead before?
As in the first film his mother was avenging him. She also seemed to have a split personality. Was he pros wedding her all along and now went to a body as it can' be his he died as a hold and now is built like a lumberjack
3. FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE FINAL CHAPTER - PART IV (1984) Directed By: Joseph Zito
This is the first complete Friday the 13th film That i watched the whole way through on videocassette unedited. One of my first horror films watched ever. The next most recognizable cast with Corey Feldman, Crispin Glover and Lawrence Monsoon who I remembered from THE LAST AMERICAN VIRGIN.
A film i still remember and hold in high regard. For some odd reason next to the remake this is the one I remember also being the most sexual.
I remember them showing this on television in 3-D and my uncle getting the glasses from a 7-11 watching it as I hid and just listened to it. A few years later I tried watching it late at night when I was around 10. I tried watching it through my fingers and finally giving up. As I was too scared.
When I finally watched it in it's entirety in my 20's I liked the concept. As this one has a slight sense of humor and out of all the films. I like the situations and characters the most. So that I am sorry to see them go. It is the film where we first see Jason in the iconic menacing hockey mask. Also the camera work for the film makes it obvious which scenes and shots were supposed to be enhanced. So it becomes a little ridiculous in scenes especially when special shots are made of the weapons coming at the victim and screen. Sometimes in slow motion.
It is also notable for me for the casting of Dana Kimmell in the lead. Who I remember from many 80's television shows and films. Who I was a fan of and also Larry Zerner, as Shelly who practically steals the film as a Comic relief. another 80's mainstay in television and films. Whose career cooled to a certain degree and never got the notice he should have. This film actually takes place a few days after Part 2
1. FRIDAY THE 13TH: PART VI: JASON LIVES (1986) Directed By: Tom McLaughlin
I love this film as it isn't the best made sequel, but it is the funniest one. As the film is the only one that is brutal. Yet is self aware also. Like an early precursor to SCREAM. As some of the characters particularly the kids seem to be in on the joke or are full of sarcasm throughout with lines like "What did you want to be when you grew up" also putting young kids in peril this time rather than just teens.
As well as bringing back the character of Tommy who was pretty much the center of the previous two films and has practically grown up throughout the series even if played by different actors. Like SCREAM it also has a celebrity death in the beginning as an opening kill. More minor but still. As well as resurrecting Jason in the most ridiculous way yet. Unlike the A NIGHTMARE IN ELM STREET FILMS. Where Freddy Kruger went from a scary former child molester and serial killer to more a wisecracking boogeyman. Jason always stayed the consummate professional. His eye on the prize. Never changed. The times, directors, actors, locations did but his character always was after the same and did what he has to do. Making slaughter into an art form.