Tuesday, January 18, 2011

#165. Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)

Directed By: Steve Miner

Starring: Betsy Palmer, Amy Steel, John Furey

Tag line: "ust when you thought it was safe to go back to camp"

Trivia:  This film has one of the longest pre-credit sequences in cinematic history, nearly 15 minutes in some versions

It's not often that a sequel proves as groundbreaking as the original, but that's exactly the case with Friday the 13th Part 2. Where Friday the 13th introduced us to the legend, Part 2 gives us Jason, arguably the most iconic killer in horror movie history. 

It's been five years since the grisly events at Camp Crystal Lake, which is apparently just long enough for people to forget about them. Paul (John Furey) has opened up a training camp for counselors, situated only a stone's throw from the Crystal Lake campsite, or as it's now known almost exclusively, “Camp Blood”. With a large number of teens in residence, the locals have warned Paul that he's inviting trouble by setting up so close to Camp Blood, especially since the body of Jason Voorhees, the boy who drowned there many years earlier, has never been found. 

Like the first film, Friday the 13th Part 2 kicks off with a blood-soaked pre-title sequence, this time revisiting the only survivor from Part 1 (seems Jason doesn't like leaving any loose threads hanging around). It's a nice nod to the original, and gets the film off to a flying start. From there, it's back to the woods with a fresh group of teens, thus setting the stage for the continuation of another "tradition" set forth in Part 1: creative kill sequences. With Jason on the prowl, we're treated to swinging machetes, spears, even a nasty-looking pitchfork, and this time around not even the locals are safe; when a Deputy (Jack Marks) stumbles upon Jason's forest hideaway, he's welcomed by the claw end of a hammer...buried in his skull. 

There's plenty to tie Part 2 in with the original, from horny teens gathered together in the woods to Crazy Ralph (Walt Gorney), who's once again there to warn everyone that they're in terrible danger. Yet it's not the tribute to the old that makes Part 2 such a memorable film; but the new addition it brings to the table in the form of Jason Voorhees. 

And thus, a legend is born.


Anonymous said...

The original Friday the 13th (1980) set the foundation for what was to come. Part 2 built on that foundation and probably even better. Very good entry in the series and the best was yet to come.

Cyberschizoid said...

Nice review. Back in the day I actually saw Part Two before part one at the cinema. Still one of my favourite slasher flicks!

Dave Becker said...

@Cyberschizoid: Thanks for stopping by! Glad you liked the write-up.

While I definitely think Part 1 is the best film in the series, I have a real fondness for the first four entries in the series (yes, even Part 3). They had an edge to them that the remainder of the series lacked, and the kill sequences in all four were truly disturbing.

That said, I can definitely see how this would be one of your favorite slasher flicks. It is very entertaining.

Thanks again!

Cyberschizoid said...

I was obsessed with the friday 13th series of movies as i was growing up! Some of them were so dire but I have a real fondness for Jason X.

Dave Becker said...

JASON X was a film that a lot of people hated on, but I'm with you. That movie was a flat-out good time! In fact, it was the 1st one in the series since Part VII that I could say that about.

Damian said...

While I'm not the biggest fan of the films, I kinda dig part 2. Mostly because Jason runs around with a pillow on his head, and has my favorite moment of the series when he tries to get slick standing on that chair, only to have his fat ass break it. They never revisited botched, dopey plans. It was heartwarming.