For this Friday the 13th of 2018 I asked my writing partner Brantley J Brown to help me come up with some questions to ask the team of the largest horror franchise of all time: Friday the 13th.
We came up with 5 questions.
- Why do you think the Friday the 13th franchise became so iconic.
- What does the character of Jason Voorhees symbolize for you?
- How would you compare the horror films of the day to those, say, from the 70s & 80s
- Speaking of Friday the 13th, are you superstitious?
- What scares you the most?
Here are their answers:
Victor Miller, writer, the original Friday the 13th
- Writing, direction, special effects and music——talk about synergy! Remove any one of them and you’re left with who knows…
- Jason was always a victim. He was a freak of nature, derided and lost. Kind of like my adolescence…
- I really can’t say. God only know what the #MeToo movement will make in the usual beautiful nubile young woman in jeopardy. I hope it will mean more wonderful female villains…like Pamela Voorhees.
- Parts of me are superstitious. Depends on the day of the week and how I am feeling. I am okay with Black cats and cracks in the sidewalk and Friday the 13th.
Harry Manfredini, Composer
- Not completely sure. I think the first film, and the early sequels were simple and
direct. They knew what they were, and did not try to be any more than that. Sometimes that clarity speaks to the viewer. Also, the early films casts were not “models” They looked like they could be what they were. Everyone likes a good scare, and it provided the roller coaster ride for them… Maybe these are some of the answer…
- I guess at first he symbolizes wrath. You will pay for what you do.. Later he represents the shark… just not a good idea to be messing with him…
- Some are more intellectual.. which I like… Others are too torture laden. Also the use of CGI, versus real effects… is a downer for me. Also the over the top violence and less actual tension… for me is not as scary. Hitchcock and others… scare you without
showing as much violence… but I guess its a function of whether you like the scare, or the violence….
- I guess I am a little, but not of Friday the 13th… ha ha… its a payday!!!! I like sports and cards, etc.. so everyone has some sort of ridiculous superstition. I have my Chicago Cubs..shirt, and sox… that I wear to the game.. or a certain pair of shoes to play in poker tournaments…
- A lot of things…my emotions are very close to the top… so I react to films and stories. Maybe that’s a plus if you are writing film music.. A blank sheet of music paper is a pretty scary thing… especially when you have to fill it up fast…ha ha.
Ari Lehman, Jason Voorhees, Friday the 13t
- That’s definitely due to the amazingly dedicated fans of Jason Voorhees and Friday the 13th. Originally the film was intended as a scary fun Summer flick that friends could all go watch together with their dates. The location at a Summer Camp even plays on the “campy-ness” of the theme – especially with the good-looking counselors. Then of course Betsy Palmer is definitely the most “iconic” role as Pamela Voorhees as the unexpected killer – a strong brassy woman who is defeated by yet another unexpectedly tough female character survivor Alice Hardy played brilliantly by Adrienne King. Before “Friday the 13th” was released many Horror films had female protagonists – “The Exorcist”, “Rosemary’s Baby”, “Carrie” and of course “Halloween” – but then “Jaws” came out and we remembered we love a MONSTER. “Friday the 13th” took pages from all of these books – like when “Jaws” made a sunny beachfront – usually a safe place – become dangerous, “Friday the 13th” followed suit and made a Summer camp a place of terror. Maybe the formula is looking to the fans for inspiration? Not matter what, I am gratified that people still truly enjoy the movie.
- Jason Voorhees himself is a unique character in Horror – he is not an evil scheming mastermind or a spawn of a demon overlord – but compelled by forces that he cannot fathom or control due to witnessing his own mother’s decapitation at the edge of Crystal Lake. Once she enters the underworld she calls out to him and he replies – with an eternal vengeance that can never be fulfilled – the curse of Crystal Lake. In Jason we have a brutal berserker knowing no limits to his unending rage that consumes his every moment for he neither sleeps nor eats but lives of fear and revenge itself is his only food.
- Horror films today speak to a new audience that has grown up with all kinds of technology that would have saved the kids in the original F13 like mobile phone and GPS etc. That makes me wonder – Jason cannot speak BUT perhaps he could TEXT. What would a text message from Jason be like? – “ch-ch-ch ah-ah-ah I’m right behind you prepare to die!!!! – LOL just kidding man!!! Holla Back it’s Jason whassup yo?”
- Well I am an alchemist, kabbalist and anthroposophist so I am very familiar with the invisible realms that accompany the more tangible manifestations on the material sphere – that answer your question?
- The notion that fellow creatures may feel alienated and alone not realizing that we are all connected no one is an island – we literally enter this world from another person’s body as scary as that sounds in itself – Salvador Dali said birth was MORE traumatic than death – but even more petrifying and paralyzing it is when our fellow humans are unaware that we are in this together and we need each other always.
That said please come hear my band F1R3T JASON soon!
HAPPY FRIDAY THE 13TH!!!
JASON NEVER DIES!!! from ARI LEHMAN JASON#1
Tom McLoughlin, Writer/Director, Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI
- Hard question to answer. No one can create or predict what’s going to be ‘iconic’ I certainly don’t think any of us horror film makers back in the 1980s thought our work would stand the test of time much less be iconic to the genre. I think it’s a combination of things. The VHS explosion allowed you to watch your favorite film over and over. You now owned these films and could build your own film library. Another aspect, like the Universal Monsters of the 30s & 40s, these 80s monsters had sequels & prequels. Always something to look forward to knowing another one was coming out. But most iconic aspect of all…this faceless force represented so many things from our nightmares. Those things in life that you can’t escape or stop.
- Jason Lives allowed me to play out my fantasy of being Dr. Frankenstein. To be able bring what was dead back to life again. And in the same fashion with a powerful bolt of lightning. When Jason’s eye snaps open I hear the maniacal voice of Colin Clive bellowing, “It’s alive! ALIVE!!” And the child inside of me smiles. He was, for me, a monster brought back from the grave NOT by his own will. But by this surreal fate of Tommy only desiring to see his corpse and burn and destroy it. But Jason, resting in peace, is now angry, vengeful once again. But this time to go after the one who raised him from the dead. He has a single mission…kill Tommy Jarvis…and anyone in has path. Like an addict, his killings feed and empower him
- You asked this at just the perfect time. I saw A QUIET PLACE last Saturday which I absolutely loved. John Krasinski did everything right! It was wonderful seeing an audience finally responding physically and verbally to a horror movie again. I always go on the first weekend a horror film opens. Hoping this will be a great scare ride for the crowd. I think the first Paranormal Activity was the last time I remember seeing and hearing the audience responding. 90% of the time they just sit and watch like they were at home. In the 70s & 80s we were attempting to get the crowds to get scared the biggest ways possible. The Exorcist was and still is the King of all Horror Films to me. We never saw any thing do to an audience what the Exorcist did. But I live hopeful some one will redefine the horror movie experience. A Quiet Place is at least heading in that direction. Simple but very effective.
- No. In fact, it’s become my lucky day. The crazy thing is now every Friday the 13th I get so many Tweets, FB messages, posts, and emails wishing me a Happy Friday the 13th and quoting lines from Jason Lives. In fact, it’s a far bigger occasion for me than my birthday or Christmas greetings. Some years there are 3 or 4 Fridays the 13ths. Plus I’m hosting screenings of the film and doing other appearances. I have a great appreciation of Friday the 13th cause I get spoiled. 😉
- Being questioned about my work. Kidding 😉 I fear something happening to a child or children. That fear began once I had children of my own. Constantly afraid of someone else’s abused or angry child or an adult child harming the defenseless ones. Or animals. Any innocent creature. I also fear what I’d do to the person that would do such a thing. It’s hard to forgive that kind of sin in this world…Okay, now you’ve made me angry, vengeful, and ready to stalk those who have given pain to the innocents. I’m donning my personal hockey mask and heading towards the woods of Forest Green*(which will forever be Camp Crystal Lake).
Larry Zerner, Sheldon, Friday the 13th, Part 3
- Partly just by sticking it out and continuing to make movies and mostly because the movies are fun
- I have a relationship with Jason that is much different than almost everyone else. Jason has really brought only good things into my life. I got to star in an iconic movie. I’ve made great friends with many of the other F13 cast members (from Adrienne King to Kane Hodder) and been able to meet so many other terrific people because I was in the film. I’ve been able to travel around the country (and even out of the country) because I was part of Friday the 13th. And I even got to become a video game character last year! So, for me, Jason only symbolizes good things.
- The (good) horror movies of today are certainly a lot slicker than they were 30 or 40 years ago. But they are all fun.
- Not really
- The thought of stepping on a cockroach barefoot in a dark kitchen (something I did when I was a kid).
CJ Graham, Jason, Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI
1. Looking back it’s easy to speculate but in 1986 we had no idea that it would become so iconic. No one would imagine that. The word iconic is set up for interpretation but what is good about our version of Jason is that I think Tom McLoughlin did a great job of bringing together the old school and the new school and giving it a platform for those sequels that followed. Plus I give a lot of credit to the fans who have kept it alive – and to my good friend Kane Hodder who has done a great job over the last 20 years keeping it alive through promotions with the hockey mask every weekend at the shows. He is the best ambassador for the series – Now I didn’t say he was the best Jason because that’s me, right? I mean that humbly but I do appreciate what he has done and because of that it has taken over 3 generations and I am very happy and proud to be part of that iconic image known worldwide. We may not be A list actors or be part of A list Oscar films but if you say Friday the 13th or Jason, there are more people who know that iconic figure than know some of the last academy award winning films.
2. Jason, to me, symbolizes strength and preservation and the ability to be set back, set forth, and go forward. I am not endorsing violence but I am endorsing that when you are down and out there is no reason to walk away and quit. I think the Jason character is a good representation of that in a good positive way. I have had fans approach me and tell me that they have used Jason as a way to get through tough times in their lives – that they use his strength – and that it got them through.
3. I would like to think that I was fortunate enough to be part of number 6 because we got a rocker like Alice Cooper and then my opening was sort of like a James Bond opening – how cool is that? We got the Frankenstein element and then I get to be the only Jason who wears a batman utility belt. Those four things sort of gave Jason more leverage as a serial killer. With modern technology it has advance him beyond light years. I do like the ability of the some the shots they are able to get now with drones and what not, I mean we didn’t have drones when I was Jason, as well as what they can do with green screen.
4. No as a matter of not. Friday the 13th has turned out to be an incredible walk of my life. I think superstition is what you make it – what you let your mind interpret it to be, much like these 5 questions you have asked us all and how we all interpret them differently.
5. Fear. My biggest fear would be offered to play Jason again in an upcoming sequel and not being able to deliver the same quality performance that my fans know of me. If the script made sense logically and I felt I could deliver a performance of equal quality I would be interested…but what scares me is if someone offered it to me and I failed.