It was a surprise smash hit. The franchise is based off Jason, who drowned as a boy in Camp Crystal Lake, the setting where most of the movies take place. The films are not very popular with critics, because well, slasher films are not made for cinematic grandeur but more for heart-pounding thrills and action. Although not popular with the critics it’s one of the most successful franchises in America for fans. The movies have grossed more than $475 million dollars.
With so many movies, there are a lot of unknown facts we found interesting about Friday The 13th. Geoff Herbert, an entertainment writer for syracuse.com has compiled 13 facts about Friday The 13th that we have posted below. The facts and commentary under each one were written by Geoff.
1. Jason wasn’t the original killer
Spoiler alert from 1980 (or 1996 if you saw Drew Barrymore’s scene in “Scream”) — Mrs. Voorhees (played by Betsy Palmer) was the original killer. Haunted by her son’s drowning, she went on a revenge spree when Camp Crystal Lake reopened. Her story was explored more in the books, including a prequel comic called “Friday the 13th: Pamela’s Tale.”
2. Jason didn’t have a hockey mask until the third movie
Jason, originally played by Ari Lehman, was just a boy in “Friday the 13th.” In “Part II” he wore a sack on his head. He didn’t pick up the now trademark hockey mask until “Part III,” though it was originally supposed to be a baseball umpire mask. Rumor has it, the ump mask would require too much makeup for Jason’s deformed face and a hockey mask was cheaper, easier, and (let’s face it) scarier.
3. Not every movie takes place on Friday the 13th
Yes, the first two movies take place on the unlucky date, but “Part III” starts immediately after “Part II,” which would be Saturday the 14th. “Part IV” (the not-so-final “Final Chapter”) is the two days after: Sunday the 15th and Monday the 16th. Later movies all drop references to Friday the 13th, but it’s not always clear that they’re happening on those “holidays.”
4. Josh Voorhees
According to Shortlist, Jason was originally named Josh Voorhees and the first film was going to be called “Long Night at Camp Blood.” Luckily, writer Victor Miller changed the name because Josh sounded too nice — and “Josh Takes Manhattan” just doesn’t have the right ring to it.
5. Ki, ki, ki; ma ma ma
According to IMDb, composer Harry Manfredini’s film score is meant to sound like young Jason’s voice saying “kill, kill, kill; mom, mom, mom,” inspiring her to go on a killing spree. Manfredini created the effect by speaking the syllables “ki” and “ma” into a microphone running through a delay effect.
6. High body count
According to IMDB, Jason has slaughtered 167 people over the course of 12 movies. The least deadly film was 1981’s “Friday the 13th Part 2,” killing 10 people — including impaling a couple having sex with the same spear — and the highest body count was 28 in the ridiculously over the top “Jason X” (a.k.a. “Jason in space”).
7. “Friday the 13th” TV series
While 12 movies may seem a bit much, there was also a “Friday the 13th” TV series in the late ’80s — though it didn’t have Jason and instead revolved around a spooky antique shop. Deadline reported last year a new television show is in the works that would include the iconic slasher, with original film director Sean S. Cunningham to executive produce. The new series would return to Crystal Lake in a modern setting, with flashbacks to Voorhees and his disturbed family.
8. Who’s Jason?
13 different actors have played Jason Voorhees. Corey Feldman, despite some Internet rumors, was not one of them though he did appear in “The Final Chapter.” Some portrayed the silent serial killer in flashbacks and/or as a child, but the only actor who took on the role more than once was Kane Hodder, in four films: “Part VII: The New Blood,” “Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan,” “Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday” and “Jason X.” Rumor has it the franchise used different Jasons for the first six films because it’s cheaper for sequels if the “star” doesn’t return.
9. Sally Field was almost in the original movie
Two-time Oscar winner Sally Field auditioned for the role of Alice, but turned it down. The part ended up going to Adrienne King, who now sells “Friday the 13th”-themed wines called Crystal Lake Wines.
10. One degree of Kevin Bacon
“Friday the 13th” was Kevin Bacon’s first film as a leading actor. He previously appeared in “Animal House.” Anyone who appeared in the original “F13” movie is officially one degree of separation from Bacon.
11. Freddy appeared in two “Friday the 13th” movies
The campy popcorn mashup “Freddy vs. Jason” finally combined “Friday the 13th” with “A Nightmare on Elm Street” after decades of development, but Krueger appeared in a second film. Freddy’s arm and glove with knife fingers — portrayed by Hodder — can be seen grabbing Jason’s mask at the end of 1993’s “Jason Goes to Hell,” supposedly pulling him down to hell for an epic showdown (though it didn’t come until 15 years later). According to WhatCulture, Voorhees almost appeared in the “Nightmare on Elm Street” TV series in 1987, too, in a flashback where the still-living child molester would abuse young Jason.
12. Box office hit
Moviegoers love to complain about how many sequels and remakes there are, but if a franchise makes money then studios will keep doing them to death. (Pun intended.) None of the Jason flicks were as profitable as the first “Friday the 13th,” though, making $39 million on a budget of just $550,000.
13. Another remake is coming next year
A new movie was scheduled for 2015, but despite having three Friday the 13th dates on the calendar it got moved to May 13, 2016. (Yes, that’s a Friday.) SlashFilm reports Richard Naing and Ian Goldberg wrote the script, rumored to be a found-footage style film, but no director or cast has been announced.