Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Thursday, October 24, 2019

The Part 7 Makeup Test Bust

So I now own the makeup test dummy made during pre-production of Friday the 13th part 7 to flesh out Jason's look for the film. Thing is huge! The face is in bad shape but comparing with my movie mold piece (left), you can see that the very compressed face is in fact original.

I'll have some in-depth analysis of this one-of-a-kind piece of Friday the 13th history coming up soon.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Snapshot of the Mask from "Voorhees"

Just a quick cell phone shot of the mask being used in Voorhees taken while I was on set about a year ago. Cody Faulk noted recently that he's done cutting 60 minutes worth of footage, so its progressing nicely.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Friday the 13th: the Legend of Camp Blood

Note to reader: I barely remember writing this, but I love it. Found this a few minutes ago in a folder of Jason-related stuff that dates to 2011 or earlier. I think someone is making a similar fan film right now called "Mythos." The version I had in mind was perhaps a little more expressionist, I remember being inspired by Blair Witch and Lars Von Trier movies. What do you think?

A full length fan film that explores the mythology of the franchise. Shot in 16mm with a lot of authentic feel that the originals had. MOTIFS: Water, hydrophobia, fear of drowning.      Death, decay and despair.

PLOT: It is June, year unknown, but in the 21st century. A group of college students are on summer vacation and decide to spend a weekend at the town of Crystal Lake, NJ. In a class on Criminology they heard the legend of Jason Voorhees, the maniacal killer that stalked Crystal Lake in the summer of 1980 to avenge the death of his murderous mother five years prior. What followed, according to their professor, was a string of copycat murders in 1985, 1986, 1992 and 1993. One of the murderers, Roy Burns, was killed—the others, possibly all the same man, disappeared without a trace. The FBI kept its files on the matter private; the general public were stonewalled by local authorities. A folklore developed around the murders and local people tell campers to stay away from the vicinity of crystal lake, that some who venture out there are never seen again. 

Fascinated by the story, six kids set out to see the town—and the camp, now in ruins—for themselves on a three day vacation.

The characters: represent teenage archetypes, but are fairly intelligent and each have a slightly different background: one girl is a child psychology major (ala Ginny Field) she believes the legends; one man is a criminologist intending to join the FBI, he is a skeptic; another is training to be a forensics technician; another girl is a folklorist, also a skeptic; another is a … there is a couple who are engaged. The folklorist is a troubled girl, a bit of a loner…

After arriving in town they stay at a motel that night, they will head off to interview an ex-sheriff the next morning. That night the folklorist has an odd dream… same one she had a few days ago (the opening scene of the film). She is in the woods, which come out to a peaceful beach with a dock. She smells something awful like roadkill. She sees next to a boat in the middle of a beach, a swarm of flies and assumes a dead deer. As she gets closer, she sees the body of a badly decomposed woman, her head severed and laying at her breast. Being swarmed by flies and crawling with larva. Someone approaches from behind but she cannot move. She hears a child’s voice say “mommy?” She turns to face a hideously deformed boy, partially decayed and covered in seaweed and algae who grabs her by the throat and proceeds to choke her with both hands screaming into her face “LOOK WHAT YOU DID!!” with an desperate, animal rage. She awakens.

They interview a retired deputy sheriff named Steve Hickson, who remembered cleaning up the aftermath of Jason’s kills in 1980, 1986 and 1992. He testifies there was only one Jason except for that Roy Burns character, and he saw havoc that no ordinary man could have created. He even remembered Jason as a child from the local camp, remembered teasing him as a boy, and the day he was reported missing and presumed drowned. He knew it was the same boy, and that he hadn’t drowned, just ran off into the woods. He warned the kids not to go out into the woods, that people still go missing even after all these years, no bodies ever recovered. One of the kids teases him about the “Blair Witch of Crystal Lake.”

They set off for the woods and to have a good time drinking, camping, cooking out, fishing, etc. Some old tyme country is appropriate.

The kids have a run in with some local hooligans, who are rude to the girls, and scoff at the Jason legend. The hooligans later decide to fuck with them, and this leads to tension in the film as they make noises and screaming and all sorts of things outside their tent at night. They find out and a fight ensues, the hooligans lose and end up in the woods stumbling back to town in the darkness. On their way, they meet Death. One is pinned against a tree and meets an old weathered blank hockey mask face to face. His last words are “you’re not fucking real!!!!” before his throat is opened up with a machete. Jason is not seen except in very quick takes, like in the first four films. His buddy catches up, sees the body and tries to escape but is manhandled and drowned by an unseen adversary.

The explorers know something is up when the find carnage in the woods, but assume wolves or bear… they panic and begin in-fighting once they realize how lost they are. GPS has even failed. They break into survival mode, still not realizing they are being stalked. That night main girl has another dream about the corpse of an old woman… she sees a surreal scene. She is in the middle of a lake, walking on water. There is a gravestone in the middle of it that reads Pamela Voorhees 1930-1979 At Rest. She hears a faint “help me mommy” and skeletal hands reach out of the water to drown her. She is pulled underwater and choked out by the corpse of a woman wearing a decayed blue sweater, entangled in seaweed and crawling with algae and creatures. She is surrounded by a bed of human bones. As she is drowning she wakes up.

Eventually the gang of 6 breaks up to accomplish tasks, some to figure out where they are by looking for higher ground, others to find nuts and berries, others to find firewood. At this point the unseen killer closes in on his prey, dividing and conquering like a wolf. Only one man and one woman remain in the final 15 minutes and they have an epic battle with the legendary killer, Jason Voorhees. The boy is killed and the girl runs into the darkness of the woods, completely alone, lost. The forest is dead silent, tomb-like. No birds, no animals, no killer. She moves downstream and hears a swarm of flies like in the dream… it is the body of one of her friends, dead a few hours. Her despair turns to a fight for her life as Jason closes in. Stick and move like the Jason/Chris battle. She wins.


Sunday, October 6, 2019

A Brief Review of "Friday the 13th: Vengeance"

Just finished watching Vengeance, an interesting take on the Jason mythology starring Steve Dash (Jason actor, Part 2), C. J. Graham (Jason Voorhees in Part 6) and Tom McLaughlin (writer/director, Part 6) as a cemetery caretaker. This film picks up where McLaughlin's final scripted scene from Part 6 left off--Elias Voorhees overseeing the graves of his wife and son, but with the twist that Jason's grave is empty. Which is of course because Jason is still at the bottom of Crystal Lake, albeit not for long.

This film is in every sense a sequel to Part 6, and really goes big on Part 6's lighter, self-referential tone--lots of quirky throwaway characters, drunken buffoonery, dad jokes, gags, and whatnot. Some really land well and some not so much. Steve Dash is being his wonderfully abrasive self and man, do we miss him. Perhaps the best part of this movie is being able to see Steve in action one last time.

The plot goes big on nostalgia, with several major characters related to heroes and victims from the Paramount films, and Vengeance is absolutely bursting with fan service, with perhaps its crowning achievement a convincing shot-for-shot remake of an iconic sequence from the original Friday the 13th. The score was evidently written by Harry Manfredini himself and contains elements of Part 6 and 7's scores, with some good old-fashioned echoplex tricks for old times sake. NICE.

This movie really excels in both the nostalgic elements, and in the overall concept--a fascinating peek back into the mythos of Jason's origins with a bigger role for Elias (who appeared briefly in the original script for Part 6) and several unexpected twists to the canon. But a great concept can be difficult to execute with limited resources, and this entry doesn't escape the familiar earmarks of a fan film: sloppy editing, sound issues, weak acting, badly written dialogue, uneven pacing and other dings that are understandably difficult for amateur film makers to get right. Some of the kills were studied imitations of classic Jason moves from the Paramount films, with others brand new. As with many elements of the film, many of these new kills were conceptually great but weakly executed, with only one or two decent FX shots.

Executing a feature-length film is HARD even with a multi-million dollar budget, and must be even more so with a just few grand, so I don't want to go too rough on these guys. They made a fun, interesting throwback that fits well into the franchise even as it plays with the canon pretty liberally. Though Never Hike Alone was undeniably a slicker production, Vengeance boasts a body count more worthy of a classic Friday the 13th; while less beautiful, it is in a sense more satisfying.

Despite the flaws, I enjoyed Vengeance, and I'm still looking forward to the wide variety of fan films still underway, including Voorhees, Never Hike in the Snow, Jason Rising, 13 Fanboy, and Mythos. Keep em coming filmmakers!

Here's my review breakdown. Each score is out of five points:

Concept: 4.5
Script: 3.0
Acting: 3.5
Directing: 2.5
Score: 4.5
Kills/FX shots: 2.5

Saturday, September 21, 2019

A Rare Mrs. Voorhees Photo

Got this one from Crash when I was hunting for reference photos for Tom Spina. Probably the clearest shot you'll ever see of Alice's corpse. Not sure why the ice pick is through her cheek rather than her temple but whatever!

Friday, September 13, 2019

Happy Friday the 13th!

Here's a photo I've never shared before of the original Mrs. Voorhees head from Friday the 13th part 2 (minus the hair). Enjoy your holiday and remember that Jason is watching you. Especially if you are having sex in the woods.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

The Best Part 7 Replica Ever?

Quick shout out to Brian Hoback, who painted what is probably the best detail-for-detail replica of the part 7 hero mask I've ever seen. Just phenomenal work. Looks like he owns Mario Kirner's F13 prop book that goes on sale tomorrow for 45% off. Look it up on eBay if you want to get it cheap.

Friday, September 6, 2019

The Original Mrs. Voorhees Knife

Thanks to the sleuthing of Nathan Bellew, the knife wielded by Mrs. Voorhees in the original Friday the 13th has been identified as a Sabre Monarch 171 Bowie Knife with a vintage stag handle as seen here.

See comparisons below. The handles seem to have been hand carved so no two are exactly alike. But you get the idea.