I don’t consider myself a horror buff or an expert when it comes to slasher flicks. If you’re looking for an expert I’ll direct you to my pal Tal Zimmerman. I just like watching scary movies. I don’t particularity like being scared. Which is probably why at a young age I decided the Friday the 13th movies were my favourite. I got to see some over the top deaths that were too crazy to happen in real life and got my first pre-teen look at some movie boobs.
A few months ago I was walking on College Street in Toronto and saw my old video rental place Queen Video was closing down (Yes, I was still renting movies up to last year). I thought I’d have a look and pick up some old horror DVD’s. Of the stack I went home with I had a DVD copy of the original Halloween and a BluRay of the original Friday the 13th. Of course, I watched Halloween first because Friday the 13th is just a rip off of Halloween. Then I tossed on the 1980’s Friday the 13th. Not realizing that every time I watch it, at the end I say “I’m going to watch all of these”. And I did just that.
To save everyone some time watching all eight in the series and the three “Jason” movies I’ve decided to rank them all from best to worst. And believe me, more than half of them are bad and at least four of them are downright awful. What’s amazing about them is that even the really bad ones are pretty good if you like bad things… Does that makes sense?
The Friday the 13th series has a lot of inside jokes, mindless murder and ridiculous story lines that despite being awful have a certain charm. You almost love to hate how stupid the bad ones get. Except for the worst one. The worst one just sucks. Which is why I’ll be ranking them from best to worst. Now, you can probably already guess which the worst movie is but I think writing about it will be the most fun so I’m saving it until the end.
First, I will not be including the 2009 remake because the Jason Voorhees story gets a complete reboot. I will include the three “Jason” movies, Jason Goes To Hell, Jason X and Freddy vs. Jason.
Things I’ve taken under consideration when ranking these:
- Actual quality of the movie.
– Historical significance within the series.
– Quality of the kills – number of kills
– Level of babes / hunks
– Comic relief
– Is this movie a complete embarrassment?
Here are a few general things you can expect in most Friday the 13th movies:
- Jason does a great job of cleaning up / moving dead bodies in a hurry.
– The power goes out somehow.
– A young girl survives but is mentally damaged.
– Everyone owns a machete.
– Someone dies in a shower / gets choked off their feet / has a spear driven through their neck while they sleep.
– Cars don’t work.
Enough from me. Time for me to jump out of a lake and land on top of the teenager in a boat! (Get started on this blog post)
1. Friday the 13th Part II
This one straight up works as a horror movie. Yes, Jason doesn’t have the mask yet but who cares? He has a weird burlap sack covering his deranged face. I find it scarier than the mask to be honest. It’s also a great starter to the series cause you get a full re-cap of the first movie and a kick off to Jason’s teen killing romp. Part II also has one of the best kills in it, a guy in a wheelchair gets hacked in the face with a machete. Oh and the main councillor looks like Will Forte. The ending sequence is great. It ties so much in from the original that you can probably just skip it.
2. Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives
The most balanced in terms of over the top kills, comedy and sexy teens. I would say this my personal favourite one but you won’t appreciate it unless you’ve already seen the previous movies. (You can skip 5. They ignore the logic of 5 completely) What’s crazy is that Jason Lives is the only movie in the series with NO NUDITY! You don’t even notice cause the characters are so great and the kills rule. This is also one of the only Camp Crystal Lake flicks that actually has kids at the camp! On top of all that, it’s the beginning of “Superhuman Zombie Jason” which everyone knows and loves. Oh man, a angry sheriff, a reverse car chase, a 007 opening, fire, boats… this movie has it all! (except nudity)
3. Friday the 13th
Kevin Bacon is in this movie. It’s worth watching just to see a spear go through his neck. What I like about the original is the girl you think is the lead gets killed right away. So I guess Game of Thrones isn’t that original after all. It takes a while to get going and the fight sequences are terrible, but the reveal of an old woman being the killer is pretty great. I also love the old man at the gas station warning the teens that they’re doomed. (He gets killed in 2. SPOILERS!) Deformed kid Jason jumping out of the lake makes me jump every time no matter how many times I watch it. With that said… watch it.
4. Friday the 13th Part IV: The Final Chapter
A direct continuation from part 3, most of this movie actually takes place on Sunday the 16th and Monday the 17th so that’s kinda bullshit. In terms of star power, Corey Feldman and Crispin Glover are both in this movie. Feldman who plays little Tommy (who’s character is later played by two different actors in 5 and 6) is a kid who’s really good at special effects make-up which is really convenient. Jason being dead in the hospital and then just being alive for some reason is a bit much but if you ignore that you’re okay. There is a ton of nudity in this one. A teen literally just sits and watches a porn for a long time. If you like 80’s boobs this is a must watch.
5. Friday the 13th 3D
A lot of people hate this one. Those people are nuts. Yes, some of the 3D gags thrown in (ex. teens popping popcorn, playing with a yo-yo) are a bit much but if you have a good time with how cheesy it is you’ll love it. The most notable part of this movie is that Jason gets his mask about 3/4 through the movie. If you’re ranking these in terms of babes this movie is #1. There’s a stoner who looks like Marc Maron and chubby kid who looks like a young Seth Rogan. The kills in this one are great, Jason shoots someone with a harpoon for godsakes! I don’t love the ending but you watch it and tell me what you think.
6. Freddy vs. Jason
The only half decent movie New Line Cinema made with the franchise. This movie was supposed to come earlier as a New Line / Paramount co-production but things fell apart and Part 7 was made in its place. I actually like this one. It’s super violent and has a crazy late 90’s early 2000’s feel to it. I’m not really into Freddy but they do a great job giving you his history and do a good job catching people up on the Jason story. I don’t really know why Pam Voorhees wants Jason to go to Elm Street but who cares. The rock and roll battle between Freddy and Jason holds up and overall it’s a fun flick. Oh and Kelly Rowland from Destiny’s Child calls Freddy homophobic slur.
*** NOTE: THIS IS THE END OF THE “GOOD” JASON MOVIES. LET’S GET TO THE TERRIBLE ONES.***
7. Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood
All you have to say to yourself to ruin this whole movie is, “Psychic teen my ass.” and it’s over. The story of some random teen having a dad who had some kind of interaction with Jason or also drowned in Crystal Lake is super confusing. One good thing is that Part VII has probably the most popular kill. Jason using a sexy teen trapped in a sleeping bag as a baseball bat against a tree. Overall the telekinesis stuff doesn’t work for me. After his mask blows up (?!) his face is too much. There are some real floozies in this one. I don’t understand why these teens continue to skinny dip after knowing that like 50 naked teens have been murdered in the area. Jason crushes a lot of skulls and rips out a lot of hearts but that didn’t save this one.
8. Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning
THIS ONE DOESN’T EVEN HAVE JASON IN IT! It’s a regular guy pretending to be Jason. How can you tell? His mask is a different colour. Part V starts with a dream sequence and ends up with teen Tommy post mental ward heading to a halfway house for naughty teens. All the characters in this one suck quite a bit. Once you realize someone is pretending to be Jason, you guess who it is right away and wonder “how can a regular guy have these Jason-like super powers?” then the movie is ruined. I would say that this is an 80’s movie disaster. Guys doing coke, a little black kid named Reggie, foul mouthed hill-billy’s, weird punk teens. This whole thing is a mess. I like fake-Jason getting killed on a bed of spikes but the movie ends like 3 times after that. It’s annoying. Hence way Part 6 completely ignores the logic in it.
9. Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan
A guy shoots heroin in the opening credits. For some reason Crystal Lake now has a full port and a passage to New York city. I can’t stress enough how much this movie sucks. They don’t get to New York until the very end of the movie. I would say Jason “Takes Manhattan” for about 17 minutes. The general idea is a group of high school graduates get on a cruise ship and everyone gets killed until they get to New York and then everyone gets killed. If you wanna see a punk girl shoot a music video without a camera in the engine area of a boat get murdered then just watch that part. The only other cool part is when one of the teens who’s good at boxing tries to fight Jason and then Jason uppercuts his head into a dumpster. Anyway for some reason at night the NYC sewer system gets filled with acid and that somehow turns Jason into a baby. I don’t know. This movie is the worst.
10. Jason Goes to Hell
This is the first movie New Line Cinema made. It’s terrible. Jason is just around out of nowhere. He gets killed in an FBI sting and is murdered by a million bullets. During the autopsy a doctor eats his heart and now he’s Jason. Makes sense. Oh wait, no. It’s the stupidest and the worst. A show called “American Casefile” has a $500,000 reward for Jason’s death (or something?). Some guy named Duke The Bounty Hunter should get the job done… he doesn’t and isn’t important to the movie at all. The idea in this one is that Jason’s heart must be destroyed but also every member of the Voorhees family… especially the long lost sister with a baby who is there for that reason only. To make a long confusing story, short and confusing: Jason’s heart becomes a small dinosaur, then a lizard like creature that climbs into a vagina to become regular Jason and eventually the hands of hell (?) drag him to hell. I hate this movie. I hate it so much. Nothing could possibly be worse.
11. Jason X
This movie is the absolute worst. Probably one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen. It’s not even good bad. It’s just bad bad. Here’s how it starts. Jason and a random babe are frozen at the Crystal Lake Research Center for 400 years. Everyone who works there goes away to have sex and Jason wakes up. Anyway, it’s so ridiculously sci-fi it’s gross. The 90’s Canadian production values are sickening how bad they are. It doesn’t matter how he got there but Jason is in space with a team of people (one of them is a babe robot). You know what? Fuck it. I’m not even going to break it down. Jason becomes “Space Jason” in the worst way imaginable and it’s atrocious the whole way through. If you watch this movie you are a fool. I guess the best part is when he smashes a frozen head? I can’t believe someone looked at the script and decided to make it.
Okay, well there you have it. A pretty accurate ranking of the Friday the 13 movie. You can debate the top 5 with me if you want but really I’ll agree with which ever one you like best. When Friday the 13th movies are good, they’re great. When they’re bad, there is nothing worse. The 2009 remake is really good. It takes a lot of the best elements of the first 6 movies and puts them all together. Go watch it.
Have a happy and safe Friday the 13th!
Chh, chh, chh, chh, chh, chh… Haaa, haaa, haaa, haaa, haaa, haaa.