Running Time: 95 minutes
MPAA Rating: R
Format: Widescreen 1.85:1
Audio: Dolby Digital Mono
Languages: English, French
Subtitles: English
Region: 1
MSRP: $29.99

Own It!
Friday the 13th (1980)

Friday the 13th is universally acknowledged as a slasher classic. For the life of me, I can't figure out why. The movie's okay, I guess, but it ain't Halloween. For those who don't know the story, some young thangs go out to a middle-of-nowhere camp that's been deserted for years to help get it in shape for its reopening. Seems a kid drowned one year and two counselors were murdered the following year, so the place has gotten a reputation as "Camp Blood."

One by one, a mysterious killer picks off the kids (who do awful things like drink beer, smoke pot, play strip Monopoly, and have sex). Of course, it comes down to a showdown between the survivor (surprise! it's a girl!) and the killer.

I guess what disappointed me about the plot was the killer. There's nothing really supernatural or creepy about this. Slasher flicks require, if not a supernatural killer, at least a killer so insane or monstrous as to never really be human. Garden-variety insane murder sprees are all well and good, but they aren't really scary.

Tom Savini did the effects, and for the most part they're passable. Kevin Bacon's death scene isn't exactly seamless (heh), but it's definitely memorable.

For such a low-budget horror movie, Friday the 13th acquits itself passably. The script is okay and the music is above average (except for an over-zealous triumphal interlude near the end of the flick). Compared to some of the other 80s slasher movies (including its own sequels), it's a masterpiece. Just don't compare it to the real masterpieces.

The print itself is a little dark. I don't know if that has to do with the budget on which this was filmed or age or what, but the shadows are a little too dark. The sound is barely decent. Aside from the fact that the track is mono, the biggest problem seems to be a bit of muffling on lower register sounds (the subtitles definitely pick up on things the human ear can't distinguish). These probably translated better in the volume of the actual theater.

This disc is very bare-bones. The menu consists strictly of play, setup, trailer, and scene selection. So, the only real extra is the trailer. It may be the most annoying trailer I've ever seen. "1..." [Scene of someone about to bite it] "2..." [Scene of someone else about to bite it] "3..." You get the idea. 13 times. Wow

Lisa McInnis, 10/23/00