Graduation Day (1981) Review

One from the re watch pile…
Graduation Day (1981)

The cover the 88 Films’ Graduation Day BD release


Film: I love my 80s slasher films. From the Halloweens (yes I am aware that they started in the 70s, but predominantly the sequels hit in the 80s) and the Friday the 13ths and their imitators like The Burning, which I think is one of the finest slashers of all time, I love em all… to varying degrees…

I was very excited to see that 88 Films were making a bluray collection that focused on the slasher film. Excited, because it meant some of the lesser known and released slashers would get a working on bluray. 88 Films did a cool job with this collection too, all the cases in red and with thin, numbered spines, though some of the decisions made, like my previously reviewed Dead of Winter,  are a bit dubious.

Graduation Day: Patch MacKenzie as Anne Ramstead


This however is 1981’s Graduation Day, directed by Beyond Evil’s Herb Freed, who also co-wrote the story with Anne Marisse and it tells of a series of murders that are taking place in a town after a track star dies after a particularly stressful run, but why are these murders taking place? Is the runner’s sister, Anne (Patch MacKenzie) who has returned from military service responsible? Or is it the coach, (the unfortunately named) George Michaels (Christopher George) who has snapped after a feeling of responsibility for the girl’s death? 

Graduation Day: Michael Pataki as the Dean


Or is it someone else?!?

Honestly, it’s not the greatest slasher in the world, though some of the deaths are quite inventive. If it has any notoriety at all, it is due to the fact that the aforementioned Christopher George, star of Lucia Fulci’s City of the Living Dead stars in it, and a very young and pretty Linnea Quigley, scream queen extraordinaire and star of Return of the Living Dead amongst other films gets her very young and nubile boobies out.

So I guess at the very least it’s worth it for that.

Score: **

Graduation Day menu screen


Format: The reviewed copy of this film was the UK 88 Films release from their Slasher Classics Collection (Volume 1 actually) and is presented in an OK 1.78:1 widescreen image, which has an occasional artefact, and a pretty good DYS-HD mono audio presentation.

Score: ***1/2

Extras: The disc opens with a trailer for Calum Waddell’s doco Slice and Dice decent bunch of extras appear on this release of Graduation Day:

 First we have a documentary called Scream Queens: Horror Heroines Exposed which is hosted by Debbie Rochon, which talks about the ‘classic’ scream queens of the 80s. Thankfully it features Brinke Stevens, Michelle Bauer and Linda Quigley aka the REAL scream queens! It explores the entire ideal of the scream queen from nudity to crazy fans.

Graduation Memories, an interview with author and critic Justin Kerswell who talks about the film and its history.

Next we have a bunch of Troma extras which are, well, of Troma’s usual quality, if you know what I mean.

The Cannibal Lesbian Hoedown, a music video by Lloyd Kaufman and it’s exactly what you think it is… but with more boobs.

Tromantic Filmmaking Classroom: The Arm Rip shows how an arm rip effect can be done. It’s pretty dire and not very funny.

Interview with scream queen Linnea Quigley sees Quigley talk about her career.

Intro by Lloyd Kaufman which was made for a DVD release (which all of these are) and again, isn’t too funny.

Theatrical trailer is exactly what it says it is.

Speaking of trailers, there is also a bunch of trailers of 88 Films releases including Puppet Master, The Pit & the Pendulum, Demonic Toys, Bloody Birthday, Two Moon Junction, Doll Man, Bloodsucking Freaks, Puppet Master II, Puppet Master III, Tourist Trap and Castle Freak.

This release also has an interview card with a an article called Class Dismissed, in which Calum Waddell interviews star of Graduation Day Patch MacKenzie. This release also has a reversible cover with alternate art. 

Score: *****

WISIA: It’s an OK slasher but I can’t really see myself watching again.

Graduation Day: Linnea!!!

Christmas Eve bonus: All Through The House (2015) Review

Have we all be good little people this year… is Santa going to visit?

… or will it be THIS guy?

One from the to watch pile… and have a fantastic Christmas. Thank you all so much for your support since the creation of the site.

All Through The House (2015)

All Through The House bluray cover


Film: Christmas and genre films go together hand-in-hand. Black Christmas and it’s remake, the Silent Night, Deadly Nights, Gremlins, Christmas Evil, Jack Frost, Silent Night Bloody Night, Santa’s Slay, Sint, Krampus, P2… the list goes on, and that’s not to mention the comedy’s and action films. Ne’er a Christmas season goes by without Die Hard and Home Alone getting a spin in my house.

In this wonderful tradition, writer director Todd Nunes delivered a slasher tribute that firmly entrenches its roots in the tradition of the silly season. This film is based on his short film, Here Comes Santa, but expanded into a full feature.

All Through The House: Rachel (Ashley Mary Nunes) dressed for Christmas


Rachel (Ashley Mary Nunes) has returned home from college for the Christmas break, but unfortunately, so has a killer dressed in a Santa Claus outfit (Lito Velasco) and a horrible old-man mask, but what does this have to do with town kook, Mrs Garret (Melinda Kiring), Rachel’s missing mother, and Mrs Garret’s daughter, the institutionalised Jamie?

All Through The House: Kooky Mrs Garrett (Melinda Kiring)


Nunes has nailed the slasher tropes with this film… it’s like cinema never moved on from 1985! The girls are sexy and bimbo-y, and the guys are empty headed and oversexed morons, and the killer hides his face behind a grotesque mask. If it wasn’t for a few of the modern day bits in here, and the fact the film’s quality is crystal clear.

Even better that all that: practical effects! Actual proper non-CGI effects! Now, I don’t have a problem with CGI as a rule, but to see a film like this done with practical effects is almost a relief, me they are plentiful: two head stabs and two dick removals within the first 30 minutes, and don’t think kids and pets are safe from Santa’s shears either!

All through the film I got a real original Black Christmas vibe about it, which isn’t a bad thing, and there are heaps of occasions where there seem to be direct homages to other famous slasher films, like Tourist Trap and Halloween. Even the overacting and red herring jump scares feel familiar, but he has executed this without it feeling contrived, or just a flat out rip off.

I honestly find it difficult to find too much wrong with this film, though the final fight scene looks like it was choreographed by a complete amateur, which is a bummer. Above that though, I had an absolute blast.

Score: ****

All Through The House menu screen


Format: This Monster Pictures bluray release of All Through the House runs for approximately 88 minutes and has an super-clear 1.75:1 image with a matching Dolby digital DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 audio track. 

Score: *****

Extras: Unfortunately, you’ve all been bad this year, so Santa left you no extras at all. Shame, as I wouldn’t have minded seeing the short film it was based on: I’ll have to try and be a good boy for next Christmas.

Score: 0

WISIA: Every Christmas, without fail, I’m gonna watch this film.

All Through The House: don’t run with scissors!

Amsterdamned (1988) Review

One from the to watch pile…
Amsterdamned (1988)

Shameless Screen Entertainment’s DVD release of Amsterdamned


Film: Shameless Screen Entertainment (henceforth referred to as SSE) are very clever when it comes to the way they release films. As a collector, I am nutty about getting every disc in a numbered collection, and to have the spines make up the company name any various images just makes my brain absolutely freak out if I am missing just one.

SSE have made a few mistakes with their layout of the collection which has caused double ups and other criticisms, but mostly I have been happy with the films they have released, in this case, and number 37 in the collection, we have the Dutch action/ giallo Amsterdamned.

A killer is stalking the streets of Amsterdam… well, not the streets: he travels from victim to victim via the canals, dressed in a diving suit. Our hero, tough guy police officer Eric Vissel (Huub Stapel) is on the case after the discovery of a victim, a prostitute, who was left hanging from a bridge by her feet over a canal.

Amsterdamned: police work at work.


As the body count increases, the pressure on Vissel to capture him does too, but will he and his 80s mullet have the police skills to do so?

So is this a giallo or an action film? Personally I’m not sure, but knowing that director Dick Maas is such a fan of American films, I’d say the latter. The movie is steeped in 80s fashion and there are mullets as far as the eye can see, but the one thing that is omnipresent is the attempt to replicate the bombasticity of the 80s action film which isn’t quite 100% pulled off as there is still a reserved Northern European-ness to it.

Here lies the problem. The film is confused by its identity and doesn’t quite pull off the inherent nastiness and sleaze of a giallo, nor is its machismo fully in place enough for it to feel like a proper action film.

The motorcycle chase scene has to be singled out and identified as pretty amazing. The stunt driver on the bike looks like he’s going to stack it on more than one occasion and has DNA entrenched in The Italian Job… OK, that might be overselling it somewhat, but it’s a pretty cool 3 minute chase. The real winner in this film is the boat chase. Some truly outstanding manipulation of speedboats in the canal make for an epically cool, almost James Bond-y sequence.

Unfortunately the dubbing is occasionally laughable. Not the dialogue itself (though at times it is a bit hokey), but certainly the execution of it. The accents of the characters are… actually I don’t know WHAT they are! I have known several Dutch people over the years and this isn’t quite what their accent sounds like!

If I’m totally honest with this review, and I am always honest, this is about the eighth time I have attempted to watch this film. Why so many? Well, I have fallen asleep during it every single time.

Amsterdamned: dead hooker on a canal boat


That’s not generally a glowing recommendation and it’s not that this is any worse a story than many second string giallos, it’s just paced quite oddly and that makes it feel longer than it is.

Score: **

Shameless Screen Entertainment’s Amsterdamned DVD menu


Format: Amsterdamned was reviewed on the SSE UK DVD which runs for approximately 109 minutes and is presented in a slightly above average 16×9 letterboxed image with an apparently remastered, and quite clear, Dolby 2.0 audio. It’s not digital perfection, but it’s ok.

Score: ***

Extras: The disc opens with trailers for other SSE movies The House With Laughing Windows, Dellamorte Dellamore and 4 Flies on Grey Velvet, before we get to the menu screen.

Other extras on this disc though, include Amsterdamned: the City – the Film – the Makers is a dubbed making-of documentary that is actually pretty interesting even though its quality is not the sharpest, which isn’t a criticism of the doco, but just a reflection of the video of the time. 

There’s an image gallery, which I hate!! Not this one in particular though as it shows promo pics and advertising rather than just movie stills.

In addition to the aforementioned trailers, we also have trailers for The Strange Vice of Mrs Wardh, Almost Human, The New York Ripper, Don’t Torture a Duckling, Cannibal Holocaust and House on the Edge of the Park. The is also a ‘still’ trailer advertising a company called ‘Argent’.

There is also a Dutch, English and American trailer for the film.

SSE have also given us a reversible cover for this release.

Score: ***1/2

WISIA: I probably won’t watch it again, just because it took me so long to get through it once!

Amsterdamned: getting a little head on a boat

Bloody Birthday (1981) Review

One from the to watch pile…
Bloody Birthday (1981)


Film: Ain’t no slasher like an 80s slasher!

88 Films have risen so quickly in the go-to UK DVD and bluray collectors scope that they now rival Arrow Films, and the quirky Shameless Screen Entertainment. I admit the only one of these companies that I have bought all the films available is Shameless, but my collectors reflex has been in full flight with the numbered yellow covers.

Whilst I watched many slasher films in the 80s on VHS, I have no recollection of ever seeing this title, even on the shelves! We certainly didn’t have it in the video shop I worked in, and I don’t recall seeing it at any of the other local shops near my house.

This film was directed by Ed Hunt, who also directed Diary of a Sinner and Plague, amongst others and he co-wrote the film with Barry Pearson, who wrote Paperback Hero, and worked with Hunt on several other projects.


This film is about the tenth birthday of three children, Timmy (K.C Martel), Debbie (Elizabeth Hoy) and Curtis (Billy Jayne) who were born during a solar eclipse which, according to astrology, means they are missing ‘something’ in there personality.

What that thing is, is remorse, as over the course of several days, the three start a serial killing rampage, targeting anyone who has wronged them and these victims include teachers, babysitters…. even family members, but can they be stopped, or will their little group fall apart as kids start to blame each other for the murders…


Its a fun movie, for sure. It’s not very bloody and at times feels like it was almost made for television, except for the collection of boobs on show would never have been allowed on TV in the early 80s! The performances range from decent to terrible, and I should point out that both Susan Strasberg and José Ferrer make cameos. The final girl, played by Lori Lethin, is a delight too: a real ‘sunny’ personality.

Score: ***


Format: This review was done with the U.K., region B bluray release of the film, which runs for 85 minutes. The film was presented in an average but clear and artefact free 1.78:1 video with a decent mono audio.

Score: ***1/2

Extras: The first thing I have to say is I like how 88 Films have given us a black bluray cover and a reversible sleeve; one side with original artwork and the other with an unimpressive, updated one. I always dig these kind of physical bonuses!

There’s a couple of OK extras on this disc:

Don’t Eat the Cake: an Interview with Lori Lethin is just that, an interview with the actress who played Joyce which is charming.

A Brief History of Slasher Movies featurette is a short look at the slasher film, but it’s really just an interview with Adam Rockoff, author of the book Going to Pieces: The Rise & Fall of the Slasher Film.

There are also several trailers for Bloody Birthday, Bloodsucking Freaks, Tourist Trap and Two Moon Junction.

There is also a informative commentary by the author of Teenage Wasteland, Justin Kerswell with Calum Waddell.

Hidden in the audio section is also an audio only interview with the director, Ed Hunt which is also played over the film as a director’s commentary.

Score: ***


WISIA: 80s slashers are my jam, of course I’ll give it another spin.

The Bogey Man (1980) Review

One from the re-watch pile…

The Bogey Man aka The Boogey Man (1980)

Film: You know those times where you watch a film and think to yourself,’ Damn, that was a great idea, poorly executed.’
Director Ulli Lommel’s film The Boogey Man (in the UK, where this release is from, called ‘The Bogey Man’) is one of those times. I wanted to like it, and it had some the trappings of a film that I would like: the time period as I love late 70s/ early 80s horror; pretty, accessible girls, a threatening backstory to set up future horrors; a dude in a weird mask… You know, the usual suspects.

I will point out that whilst it did skip gratuitous nudity, except for a blink and you’ll miss it half-nipple, it replaced it with a horrendously un-sexy ‘implied’ blowjob, cause you know, they are the best kind. Oh, hang on: that’s not a win at all!

So onto the synopsis…

Years ago, young Lacey (Natasha Schiano) witnesses the brutal murder of her mother’s abusive boyfriend at the hands of her brother Willy (Jay Wright).

Today, Lacey (Suzanna Love) and her brother, the now mute from trauma Willy (Nicholas Love) live with her son, husband and uncle and aunt on their farm, but she is haunted by the memories of what happened that night, brought on by a deathbed letter from their mother. She visits the local psychiatrist, Dr. Warren (John Carradine) who suggests that perhaps revisiting her childhood home will help to exorcise the demons within her, but when she does, she appears to see the spirit of her mother’s lover in the mirror, and so she smashes is, releasing him to wreak havoc on her live, and the lives of her young ones… And anyone who gets light reflected on them by, say, a piece of it attached to a child’s shoe… Yeah, that’s what I thought too.


So like I wrote earlier, it’s not a bad idea, it’s just not quite executed effectively. The concept of a murdered creep’s soul being trapped in a mirror is an awesome one, but the hows and whys are not communicated other than through legend one of the characters was supposed to have heard, we are just supposed to assume that this is what happens. It’s just a glaring hole in the plotting that with such a weak explanation makes the film seem limp. There’s a hinted at subtext of possession too, which is also frustratingly left under-explored.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t need a film to hold my hand and lead me through the story, but a map and a compass wouldn’t hurt!

There is also some things the family do that are just inexplicable. When Lacey smashes the mirror, her husband re-assembles the glass like a jigsaw to prove that there isn’t creepy presence in the mirror, and then hangs it in their kitchen. I’m not entirely sure why.

The acting in the film is fine, and even the effects, simple as they are, work just fine, and the soundtrack is really good. I do have to commend Lommel’s direction at times, as he uses mirrored reflection in many interior scenes, rather than shooting it straight-on. His exterior shots are also shot with a very distinct, rural-painterly look to them, with the actors planted in very specific spots to balance the image.


It feels like it wants to be something else, like maybe the Amityville Horror, which came out a few years earlier, but I just might be projecting the familiarity of the architecture of the farmhouse into that, though it is essentially about a ghost of the past terrorising a family.

To sum up, The Boogey Man is not a bad film, just a missed opportunity.

Score: ** 

Format: The region-free bluray disc is number 10 in the U.K. company 88 Films ‘Slasher Collection’. The film looks and sound great, considering its age and is presented in 1.78:1 widescreen with a DTS-HD MA 2.0 audio.

Score: ****

Extras: A few extras on this disc. First we have an interview with director Ulli Lommel, which goes for about 17 minutes and is pretty average quality, and Lommel speaks VERY slowly and deliberately but an interesting interview nevertheless, and he’s an amazingly impressive name-dropper. 


Next we have a trailer for the film, a couple of TV spots and my most hated of extras, a stills gallery: I will give this stills gallery a small amount of credit though as it has international promo material in it.

This disc also has a few other trailers for films from 88 Films including Puppet Master, The Pit & the Pendulum, Demonic Toys, Two Moon Junction, Dollman, Bloodsucking Freaks, Puppet Master II, Puppet Master III, Tourist Trap and Castle Freak

There is also a booklet written by genre journalist Calum Waddell, which I would have loved to have reviewed, but the writing, black on red paper, is so microscopic I’d need a library microfiche to actually read it.

Score: ***


WISIA: The Bogey Man is actually quite a frustrating watch as it seems like a gigantic missed opportunity. Honestly, if not for getting it as part of the Slasher Collection and deciding to review it here, I probably would never have watched it again after seeing it for the first time years ago. 

Friday the 13th: The Video Game

It’s E3 time in America at the moment so of course, fans of video games’ Facebook and Twitter feeds are being flooded with stuff that’s causing heaps of oohs and aahs, but for horror fans, this ones a corker.

Game developers Gun Media have revealed about 5 odd minutes of their upcoming Friday the 13th game, where you get to play as either Jason or one of the campers/ councillors. 

This YouTube video has some cool stuff in it like Jason’s ability to teleport (so THAT’S how he got around so quick), which I am sure will cause some controversy, and a Tomb Raider/ Arkham Asylum styled ‘hunter’ vision so he can keep track of his escaping prey. Also, you’ll hear in the video that he is driven on by a ghostly voice of Mrs Voorhees to kill and maim.

If Jason’s movements seem familiar that’s because the motion capture has been performed by regular Jason actor Kane Hodder, and the game also has horror effects legend Tim Savini on board as the cinematographer!!

Now the footage here is a little clunky, but bear in mind this is early alpha stuff (for non game fans, that means it’s in very early stages of final development) and in no way reflects the final product. I have to say though, so far, this F13 fan is loving what he sees!!

Want more information? Try the Friday the 13th game page at http://www.f13game.com .

The Final Girls (2015) Review

One from the to watch pile…
The Final Girls (2015)


Film: For me, horror and comedy rarely mix well. Reanimator is an exception, Return of the Living Dead is another that works; generally though, the ‘horror comedy’ is actually a comedy movie with gore elements.

This film, The Final Girls, falls into the latter: it’s little more than a comedy film with slasher film aspirations in it, as one can tell by the cast inclusion of people like Thomas Middleditch from Silicon Valley and Adam DeVine from Workaholics, but for fans of 80s horror films, there is a lot here to like as it is a combination of the Friday the 13th series and Pleasantville.

Yeah. You read that right.

The Final Girls tells of Maxine Cartwright (Taissa Farmiga) a college student whose mother, an 80s horror movie star, Amanda (Malin Ackerman) died tragically three years ago. Today though, Max has been asked to represent her mother at a film festival where the slasher film her mother was in, Camp Bloodbath and its sequel, Camp Bloodbath II: Cruel Summer are being shown back to back. 


Max is joined by her best friend, Gertie (Alia Shawkat), Gertie’s step-brother (who also organised the film festival) Duncan (Middleditch), her potential love-interest Chris (Alexander Ludwig) and Chris ex (and Max’s ex-best friend), Vicki (Nina Dobrev) to see the film, but the cinema is accidentally set alight, and to escape, the group have to cut their way through the actual movie screen to escape…

…which transports them INTO the movie, and finds Max reunited with her mother, but it’s not her mother, it’s the character she played in the film, Nancy. 

The group realise that they are trapped not just with the badly written characters (played by Adam DeVine, Angela Trimbur, Chloe Bridges, Lauren Gros and Tory N. Thompson) but that the killer, Billy (Dan B. Norris) is well aware that he has more victims than usual… But how will they escape?

CAN they escape?!?

The tropes of horror films are treated with great humour in this film, and aren’t disrespected. There is some great physical comedy as well, and any scene with Middleditch or DeVine are lots of fun. The ‘real’ characters stand out brilliantly in the world of the 80s horror movie fantastically as the ‘bad actors’ as ‘real’ people still act like they do in the film.


That’s not to say the film is perfect though; there are a few cases of CGI that doesn’t quite work (although there is one CGI piece that is amazing!) and it does something that I detest in modern horror movies: it adds popular pop songs for familiarity to make the film easier to acclimatise to… Guardians of the Galaxy did it to sell itself and did a great job of it, but I don’t like that kind of psychological manipulation. I do admit to understanding both films had a grounding in the 80s so it’s not completely left-of-field, but I still find it manipulative.

The story of this film is heaps of fun for those who grew up with 80s slasher pics, or are fans of that genre. The director clearly loves this period of films, and, along with his cinematographer has created a film that is a joy to look at. The colours are vibrant and engaging, and if you watch… REALLY watch the film, you see heaps of great little clues and movie language that tells a far more clever story that a casual view might suggest.

Don’t be surprised though, this is 100% a comedy with a polite nod to horror films of the 80s. If you want a horror film, this ain’t it, but if you want to be entertained for a bit, this isn’t a bad way to do it.


Score: ***1/2

Format: This Australian release, multi-region bluray of The Final Girls runs for 91 minutes and is presented in a pristine 2.40:1 widescreen presentation with a matching DTS HD 5.1 audio track.

Score: *****

Extras: Nice bunch of extras on this disc including a cast and crew commentary performed by Strauss-Schulson, actors Middleditch, Farmiga and Trimbur, Production designer Katie Byron and Dirctor of Photography Elie Smilkin, a bunch of deleted, alternate and extended scenes with or without the director’s commentary (they are better with the commentary and have some unfinished special effects), Pre-Vis Animation (storyboards done with rough computer models), visual effects progression reel (shows layered footage of the special effects from the earliest pass to the final one) and a downloadable PDF of the Director’s shooting notes (unreviewed).


It’s a great and informative bunch of extras, though the commentary is a bit crowded with so many people involved… It is pretty funny though.

Score: *****

WISIA: It’s an easy to watch ‘comfort’ film that requires very little from the viewer to enjoy. I can see myself watching it again, but on a low priority rotation.

Celebrate Friday the 13th with this Top 5

FRIDAY THE 13TH TOP FIVE
Friday the 13th is like Christmas for horror fans… Actually that’s probably more likely to be Halloween, and calling it Easter for horror fans seems inappropriate, especially seeing as how technically Easter has a disturbing tale of a revenant in it…

OK, I’ve got it. Friday the 13th is like Mother’s or Father’s Day for horror fans, and if card companies were clever, there would be a series of Friday the 13th cards available for the spooky end of the human spectrum to give each other whenever that day turns up. The cards could say things like ‘To my spooky love on Friday the 13th’ or ‘Wishing you the best of luck on Black Friday’, and we could give each other lollie ladders to walk under and black cat cakes.


Anyway, I digress: there is no doubt that most horror fans will watch one of the Friday the 13th series of films on Friday the 13th and I thought to myself ‘rather than just watch a F13 film, why not share with the readers of the To Watch Pile what my Top 5 favourite Friday the 13th films are’, because no one EVER does top fives on the Internet.

Gosh, my capacity for originality is astounding… Almost of as high a standard as my sarcasm.

Now I’m not going to attempt to re-educate those who SHOULD have watched the entire Friday series of films with a giant series of plot synopses though I will quickly say this ‘Crystal Lake has a whole lot of horrible murders happen there, and they all revolve around the Voorhees family and the legend surrounding them and the murders they committed’: so here we go, the top five Friday the 13th films as told by J.R. of the To Watch Pile.

5. Friday the 13th The Final Chapter. Define the 80s in two people; l can: Crispin ‘George Mcfly’ Glover and Corey ‘Not Haim’ Feldman. The two of them are the Godfathers of 80s films, along with Anthony Michael Hall, and their presence here powers this film to the top five. Add hot skinny-dipping twins and one of the greatest dance sequences ever committed to film and you’ve got a winner.


Oh, I suppose I should mention the fact that Jason Voorhees is in this one too and he has some pretty sweet kills. It remained quite serious for most of the time, but the humour is incidental and feels like the sort of amusing stuff friends would do and say to each other.

4. Friday the 13th Part 3. Jason gets his signature hockey mask. I still well up when he first places it on his face. It’s akin to watching an angel get his wings. 

Some of the 3D stuff is silly when you watch it in 2D… That bloody yo-yo, for example… But any other crime committed can be ignored for that one simple thing.

3. Friday the 13th Part VI Jason Lives. I would have to say that this is one of the F13s I have watched the most because as a teen I had my own copy on VHS which was given to me by a closing video shop as a gift for being a faithful staff member and a solid customer. There is a lot of levity in this one and the smart-arsey-ness of 80s Brat Pack films, not to mention another Return of the Living Dead actor (more on that later). As an adult I probably can’t really name what it is that I like about this film other than nostalgia, but sometimes that’s enough, I suppose.


2. Friday the 13th (1980). There is a reason why these films have the longevity they do, and it all comes from this foundation. This movie is one of those perfect horror films, like Halloween or Psycho: there is always something happening and there is a bunch of nice victims who you care about when they are dispatched. All of the other Fridays had characters who may as well have had ‘stereotypical victim: please kill’ tattooed to their forehead, but this had well rounded people filling up the cast. The surprise reveal of the killer really makes the film. Any horror fan who doesn’t have this in his collection, doesn’t have a well curated horror film collection at all.

1. Friday the 13th: A New Beginning. Since the first time I saw this entry in the series it’s been my favourite, and this is for many reasons. I like how for the first time since the original there was a air of deceit about the identity of the killer (it wasn’t Jason remember, he ‘died’ in the last one) and my future affection for gialli possibly started here, except for the fact that the identity is hilariously telegraphed almost from the first time he is spotted. Also this film has two actors from my much loved Return of the Living Dead, has a hilarious hillbilly mother and son duo that crack me up every time I see them, a girl who does ‘the robot’ to Pseudo Echo (how very 80s) and easily the best boobs in the entire series attached to front of an actress whose surname is Voorhees! How can you best that? Add to that a general air of sleaziness and most funny, a pair of 50s styled greasers (?) who are so out of place that one thinks for a tiny minute that it’s some kind of obscure flashback. 


… And I guess I should label which one I think is the worst…

For me, the worst Friday the 13th is Jason Goes to Hell. I think when you have to change the entire M.O. of an antagonist, you are not just diminishing him, but taking away his power all together. This film, whilst innovating in its attempt to explain Jason’s regenerative powers, makes him a lesser bad guy. Yes, it does have Buck Rogers’ Erin Grey in it, and it really does attempt to do something different, but it gets a fail from me. At least it set up the premise for Freddy vs Jason.


So that’s it, my list. I hope you all have a great Friday the 13th. If you like, leave a comment about which is your favourite Friday and why!