It’s Friday the 13th, the unluckiest day of the year, or something. It’s sort of like a mini-Halloween, a tribute to the macabre, that’s sprinkled in throughout the year. Back in 1980, Director Sean S. Cunningham helped put together a film named after this fateful day. The series, Friday the 13th, now 12 movies deep and counting, gave rise to one of cinema’s most iconic serial killers — Jason Vorhees.
Friday the 13th was brutal, like Halloween but on steroids. The first film killed four more people than Halloween. But unlike the subtle Halloween, Friday the 13th featured vicious kills thanks to effects master, Tom Savini. But none of these kills count towards Jason Vorhees’ stat sheet. Jason only shows up as a little boy at the end of the first film after all.
Out of 12 Friday the 13th movies, Jason is the antagonist in 10 of them. And Jason didn’t slack off in any single film. On average, Jason kills 15 people per movie! No other cinematic serial slasher comes close.
In the real world, Jason makes a killing at the box office too. Michael Myers jump-started the slasher genre and gets most of the love, but Friday the 13th edges out Halloween as the second most profitable slasher film series.
1. Nightmare on Elm Street Series: 42+ million average per film.
2. Friday the 13th Series: 38.7 million average per film.
3. Halloween Series: 38.6 million average per film.
On the conspiracy side of things, Jason is a good luck charm. Before starring in Footloose, Kevin Bacon is stabbed through the heart by Jason in Friday the 13th Part III. Corey Feldman put an end to Jason in Friday the 13th Part IV and then went on to star in The Goonies, Lost Boys, and Stand By Me. Before becoming George McFly in Back to the Future, Crispin Glover danced his way to death in Friday the 13th Part IV. Now playing Dr. Caitlin Snow on The Flash, Danielle Panabaker met her maker as Jenna in the 2009 Friday the 13th reboot.
Thanks, Jason Vorhees, for massacring your way into our movie-loving hearts.
13 Fun Facts About Friday the 13th
1. 10 actors have played Jason Vorhees.
2. Only ONE actor, Kane Hodder, played Jason more than once.
3. Kane Hodder not only played Jason, but also plays Freddy’s glove coming out of the ground in Jason Goes To Hell.
4. Jason dons his hockey mask for the first time in Friday the 13th Part III. Before that, he uses a burlap sack over his head which is a nod to The Town That Dreaded Sundown (1976).
5. The Necronomicon and a knife from Evil Dead appear in Jason Goes To Hell.
6. Jason is not the killer in Part V where an imposter is wearing the infamous hockey mask.
7. Tom Savini suggested the jump scare ending introducing Jason.
8. Only 10 minutes of Jason Takes Manhattan features New York City and those scenes were filmed in Canada.
9. Composer Harry Manfredini looped fragments of dialogue to create the creepy “KI KI KI MA MA MA” sound effect.
10. Legendary rocker, Alice Cooper, performs the song “The Man Behind The Mask” for the soundtrack of Friday the 13th Part VI.
11. The camp used for filming in the original film is an actually summer camp still in operation today.
12. Friday the 13th Part VII was original conceived as “Jason vs. Freddy” but when that fell through the concept changed to “Jason vs. Carrie.”
13. In Freddy vs. Jason, director Ronny Yu wanted a giant demon hand to rise from the ground and pull Jason and Freddy down into hell for the final fight. EPIC!
Author’s Note: The featured image up top is actually a six-inch figure created by Sideshow Collectibles.