Friday the 13th

Bomb Rating: 

Here's some general advice: If you're going to work as a camp counselor in a remote forest location and some wacko in a little town on the way starts wailing about how the place has been dubbed "Camp Blood" and then some truck driver predicts your imminent death, seriously consider not going. Burger King may suck as an employment opportunity, but at least your chances of getting an axe in the back are remote.

Having last seen this movie when I was 13, I hadn't realized just what a colossal rip-off of "Psycho" it is. The music is almost exactly like "Psycho," with maybe a smudge of "Jaws" thrown in for good measure. Then there's the appearance of Mrs. Vorhees, who speaks for her dead son, Jason, killed when the camp counselors at Camp Crystal in 1958 didn't pay attention to him and he drowned.

Like "Halloween," most of the deaths in "Friday the 13th" occur because people are having sex. The message seems to be: Avoid sex at all costs, lest psychopaths flock to you like fruit flies to a rotting pear.

Since we get the voyeur perspective throughout the entire film -- during which Kevin Bacon is killed, incidentally -- we only discover toward the end that it's the mother. She is then defeated by the last remaining female counselor, who is so relieved she gets in a boat and sleeps in the middle of the lake for some inexplicable reason. In retrospect, the real scary thing about this film is not that Jason is in that lake, but that it sets in motion a series of bad sequels that crippled an entire generation of kids.

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