Collecting Friday The 13th
A F13 fans perspective
I can remember the first time I saw Jason Voorhees. I was a child in the 80's of course. And as a child I empathised with little tommy jarvis in Friday The 13th's fourth film. It scared the daylights out of me. Of course back then, any horror movie would. But that didn't matter. For me, Jason was the first Horror villain to haunt my nightmares. A little later in life I would come across the only Friday The 13th video game made in history that I am personally aware of. Apropriately it was named "Friday The 13th", and it was released for the original 8 bit Ninetendo Entertainment System. You remember right? Nintendo, Now you're playing with power. If you don't then go back to fondly remembering power rangers I guess. But that game was near to impossible. In hind sight I guess it was apropriate considering your task is to kill Jason. But c'mon, that game made ET for Atari seem easy.
Funny that today I still own it as a collectors item and as a frustrated Jasonamaniac who wishes someone would release a game about him for modern consoles. How fun would that be? I mean a completely interactive Crystal Lake with one serious baddy on your trail. I seem to remember the same software company releasing a Jaws and Nightmare on Elm Street game as well.
As I became a little older and thought about it, I realized that Jason Voorhees was right down my alley as a character. Not Myers or Freddy, but bust through the walls axes a waving Jason. And so it was I chose my side. I became a fan of Friday The 13th films.
I have had my share of versus arguements. I have batted away the Halloween die hards, the Elm Street loyals. I defended my ground in debate after debate. Then later..I grew up. The arguements came to a simmer. I mean, why do I have to validate my likes or dislikes to some stranger online? But, such is the life of a young fan.
My most cherished memories as a Friday the 13th fan was collecting the series, piece by piece...on VHS! It was as late as 1999 before I did so, and everyone else was buying DVD's. But, I had a VCR. So VHS's would have to be good enough.
Collecting these films were kind of a therapy for me. A reward system at a time gone tough. I would walk from 19th avenue and Cactus Avenue in Phoenix down to Metro Center and go into Suncoast Video to by these films which werent more than ten dollars a pop save for JGTH. And when I finally achieved collection of what would be the complete series at that time, man did they look nice on my shelf. Even the Paramount DVD box set doesnt quite give off the same feel that each of them did standing side by side. Each movie, a teens adventure in escaping death on two feet. A film where the carefree days of the rocking f%$#ng 80s came to a halt for counselors at Crystal Lake when special needs child turned death curse carved them up faster than my father could carve a turkey.
The stories werent too in depth, but the core of the films was Jason himself. A tortured soul who continued to exist on revenge alone. No one was safe. Crystal Lake was his land and the terms were very clear. Stay away. You go there, you choose trouble. How many bodies will it take before people finally learn?
A few years later fans were treated with a new sequel, if you can call it being treated. When I had learned of the plot for Jasons 10th film, I was very much disappointed. Like Crazy Ralph in the first Friday the 13th, I tried to warn people. Jason in space was going to suck eggs. And suck eggs it did indeed. I was greatly annoyed by the sequel and the only comfort I derived was when I saw the Halloween sequel where Myers lost to a rapper.
But a few years later New Line Cinema redeemed themselves. Freddy Versus Jason was released, and despite the directors tendency to coddle Freddy, it was a very entertaining film for Voorhees and Fred Heads alike. Despite the kids getting in both icons ways, there seemed to be a clear victor, Jason. Fred Heads will disagree Im sure. I laugh as I know that they will.
Ultimately I will always be an honorary Voorhees. He is the hand of vengeance. No other character can endure more or deal more damage than he. Toss anyone at him, he will be just fine. Good Old Jason. No other icon can wear his boots. No other icon is half as bad &^%.