“Legend has it these old camp grounds are haunted! You see, ever since that young Voorhees boy – poor thing drowned in the lake – things just haven’t been the same! If you listen closely, you can hear the snappin’ of twigs, rustlin’ of trees and distant voice of someone or somethin’ livin’ out there. Poor boy drowned, ya hear, right over there. Screamed fah help, but not anybody came a runnin’! Counselors were in the service of Venus, neglecting their responsibilities. But they got what was acomin’ to them. Camp Crystal Lake was never the same. A death curse was placed. You see, they never did find the boy’s body.”
On 13 June 1979 (a Wednesday, for anyone wondering), Crystal Lake found itself home to the murder of eight counsellors on the verge of exhuming the dilapidated camp grounds. Over the course of one long night, Pamela Voorhees – camp cook and mother to Jason – stalked the grounds, avenging the misconduct that got her boy killed. It’s a night that also saw Jason witness the death of his mother at the hands of Alice, Friday the 13th’s final girl. Years would pass before anyone even attempted to revive the Crystal Lake name, but like clockwork, counsellors soon began disappearing one-by-one.
Friday the 13th is a series that sees our beloved Jason Voorhees go from deformed backwoods legend to machete wielding, hockey mask wearing juggernaut; preying on unsuspecting and often promiscuous camp counsellors. The franchise quickly became one of the most widely popular and influential of the early slasher heyday; one that expanded well past the confines of camp through the course of a dozen films, hundreds of action figures, a Nintendo game, a 2009 remake and an even less than reputable television series of the same name.
With October offering horror fans that rare Friday the 13th, I decided to leave my fanny pack on the dock, strap on finis and wade through twelve films that sees our favourite momma’s boy go from camp casualty and city tourist, all the way to a cryogenic counsellor killer. Summer might be over, but camps in session. Buddy up.