Back in 1958 there was a campground called Camp Crystal Lake as two camp counsellors were murdered along with some fires a few years later when they tried to reopen it but no one knew who did it!
It is now Friday, June the 13th present day and the camp is about to re-open with an owner named Steve Christy (Peter Brouwer) along with a bunch of teenaged kids lead by one of them named Alice (Adrienne King) who are ready to become camp counsellors for campers for the next day but the local townspeople says that the place is jinxed
One of the counsellors who is supposed to cook for the kids named Annie (Robbi Morgan) is having a hard time trying to hitch a ride to Camp Crystal lake as it's quite a ways away but hitches a ride in a jeep. However, the driver happens to be a blood thirsty killer who will stop at nothing to have anyone reopen the campsite.
A bunch of the counsellors are also enjoying the summer too by swimming, playing practical jokes on one another, smoke dope, play board games and make love as well as being encountered by Crazy Ralph (Walt Gorney) who tries to ward them off telling them that they are all doomed if they stay there.
In less than 24 hours a thunder storm accurs and one by one these counsellors are being systematically slaughtered by this maniac as both Alice and her boyfriend Bill (Harry Crosby) are discovering that the rest are nowhere in site as well as their vehicles won't start and the phone lines are dead when they try to make a call and they discover that things are starting to get a little strange.
The film seems to start off greatly as we spot the campsite at night along with a full moon explaining when it takes place and of course it's in 1958 and everything is so still and peaceful with the camp counsellors in their main cabin singing campfire songs which looked all so uplifting looking like a real camp enviornment. But then the mysterious killer wanders around a cabin where there's kids sleeping making you wonder what's going to happen plus a great KI KI KI MA MA MA sound which worked perfectly. Then two couples go and make out up in an attic of a cabin after the campfire songs are over as of course there's cheesy one liners towards each other trying to get romantic as well as lustful in which the killer enters killing the boyfriend and the girlfriend is cornered with no escape treally bringing up the terror and suspense here along with a horrific scream. Next introduces the opening credits as this was a perfect touch for the film indeed with the opening title crashing through some glass. Ahh yes that looked nicely done if I do say so myself.
Then it's nice to see the film taking place present day on a Friday June the 13th with a camp counsellor named Annie hiking at a county to go to Camp Crystal Lake after reopening since that horrible incident. It was impressive when she asks a small diner where to get to the area and everyone is stunned since everyone knows the history to what had happened. Plus we get a crazy local drunk named Ralph telling her she won't make it due to a death curse as this is perfect for a slasher film to have a crazy local obsessed with what had happened there and getting in someone's face about it.
It's also impressive with a truck driver named Enos whom she hitches a ride halfway through her trip telling her to quit as the camp is jinxed as well as the stories he discussed on what had happened there. It seems to be a good pointer for the future terrors that will soon happen there making you excited to keep watching the film in order to find out. Plus when Enos drops her off there's a cemetary nearby which looked cool for a horror film even if it was a sunny day when this moment happened.
Then Annie hitchikes and a jeep picks her up which gives you a bit of a chill down your spine because all you see is her talking and it doesn't show the driver in which this seems creepy especially when the driver speeds past the road up to the camp in which Annie tries to be nice asking for this driver to stop as this becomes very disturbing since she seemed so innocent that you don't want her spooked. Not only was this well put in but also it goes to show to others not never hitchhike since the driver could be a maniac in general.
Then there's alot of fun with the counsellors decidng to take a break from fixing things up by swimming in the lake which looked enjoyable to watch as well as one of them almost spotting the killer watching them in the trees which adds some good mystery.
The story gets funny when Alice spots a snake in her cabin and tells her boyfriend Bill to call it when it slithers under her bed. I had to laugh with this liner since no one knows on how to call a snake. Overall this was nicely wirtten in. Plus we
spot a machette by Bill when he chops it up in which that seems to be the traditional weapon for the futuristic killer in the hockey mask for the sequels. Plus a nice sarcastic one liner from Marcie about what they know what's for dinner which seemed to be natural for a typical teen to say to gross out the others.
Plus more funny parts like an officer on a motorbike warning the teens that Crazy Ralph might be nearby with Ned goofing around acting like an indian or Jack getting sarcastic towards him asking him if he's been smoking dope as this leaves a good impression to the officer that these kids aren't serious about their work being camp counsellors.
The writing seems ghostly when Ralph appears from one of the cabin's pantries telling them they're all doomed if they stay there as this brings a great creepy feel to the story as it was going already
before it becomes after dark. It was a good spooky approach by this character to top it off.
More great stuff occurs when Jack and Marcie are having a dicussion and she talks about a dream when rain turns to blood and then a thunderstorm is about to occur as the storms seem to be a real tradition for the films before the killings starts to happen in any of them. But her describing her dream fit in very well as it sounds unpleasant.
Also the mysterious killer is hiding in the shadows
near one of the cabin's and Ned spots this killer trying to see who it is which is a bad mistake. Yet you wonder what will happen afterwards. This was nicely put together.
One of the counsellors Brenda brings Alice and Bill to play Monopoly in which ALice says she hates Monopoly in which is understandable as it takes 2 days to play it but Brenda herself has a different idea playing the game which will be strip Monopoly as this works well for a horror film. Also it looks fun while watching them land on a property and having to take off clothes which seemed cute with how everyone reacts. Of course they smoke dope which carries on a teen slasher tradition at a summer camp.
A good target for a victim to a bloodthirsty killer
is when Marcie and Jack have sex since we need to have this for a slasher film to make an excuse for these two to be the next bodycount for the killer yes sir. Also there's a shocking moment on the top bunk of the bed while they get it on which can creep you out.
There's a perfect killing moment with an axe rising up high in the air in a girl's washroom towards the victim and slamming the axe down showing good shocking and gruesome results.
What was really freaky is when Brenda is getting ready for bed in her cabin reading and she hears a cry for help in the near distance and she goes to see what's wrong which is a dangerous thing to do and some big lights turn on flashing at her and later on a loud scream but we never see what happened but Alice talks to Bill hearing a sound as they go to see what's wrong and spot an axe in a bed which was very impressive for the killer to play games with them while this killer is hiding and planning something else.
Also their vehicle's gives out as well as a cut line on the telephone as this looks clever for a killer to keep them trapped while they're out in the middle of nowhere.
Then the killer shuts off the pwer generator which was a great move so someone can go in to see as to why it was shut off to plan the next killing and Bill goes in to check things out which everything is suddenly too quiet and way too normal as this comes across as very spooky. But it goes to Alice waking up from a nightmare
and then going to check things up on Bill in which we have a bad feeling that the killer got to him. Killing people off screen without us knowing anything about it can be shocking after we find out what happened to them later on.
There's a good jumping moment when Alice tries to trap herself inside the cabin and suddenly a corpse is thrown through a window which is a great pointer for a slasher film to scare this victim or whoever is watching this movie looking very effective here.
It does seem like she will be safe after spotting a wholesome looking woman named Mrs. Voorhees as this looked very comforting indeed. Then it was great when she went in to see the corpse telling her that the camp owner Steve Christy should've never opened the place again cause of all the trouble which looked effective as well as her telling Alice the story of her only child named Jason drowning in the lake back in 1957 especially showing a brief flashback moment on this as this was so exciting to watch it gave me goosebumps.
It was great to watch Alice trying to escape from the revealed killer while there's a full moon in their air as the storm has cleared showing great struggling moment to do anything to hide from this maniac and doing anything to survive. The best is yet to come as there's a decision to kill or be killed with a great gruesome shocking moment to all of this.
It suddenly looks very peaceful when Alice wakes up in a canoe in the lake with the sheriff calling to her but then it has a "IT'S NOT OVER YET" moment which will make you jump for sure while watching all of this.
There's a great peaceful type of ending showing the lake as well as the screen going black showing the closing credits which works very well for a supposed happy ending until we get into part 2.
Bottom line is that this was the film that got me into horror films. It also started the Jason series (Yes the killer wearing a hockey mask slicing and dicing away future teens with a machette at Camp Crystal Lake making the campground look gloomier and gloomier in each sequel as well as more cheesy one liners too and corny moments. A great cheesy flick with lots of good killing action and a nice look at the great outdoors too.
It was incredibly mysterious as you wonder who is behind all the mass murders and who this killer actually is as well as feeling frightened if the survivors are going to make it out alive or not.
This film influenced tons of other slasher films as well even if most of them are nowhere as good. Plus this seemed like a great outdoors version to John Carpenter's 1978 cult classic Halloween since both films take place of a killing in the past and then showing present day. But this one was alot bloodier as there wasn't any blood revealed in Halloween.
The acting is quite good for a low budgeter like this one. Adrienne King (Alice) does a really good job as a girl next door type of personality and showing off alot of energy into what she did. Was a natural by acting unimpressed after spotting an axe in a bed or acting frusterated while not being able to find the others at the camp. She really knew how to act terrified in her role along with her emotions. Plus was great screaming and running around trying to survive showing off alot of excitement within all of this. Does well turning around and screaming in terror after spotting a dead corpse with her hands to towards her face as well as her running into the cabin trying to lock it and find something to protect her and good wimpering moments on her showing a great frightened energy to this. She's fabulous by going on about the people that are killed there crying to someone else. Does nicely by trembling while holding a shotgun towards the killer in another scene as well as showing good trembling expressions too. Had great forceful blockings when she picks up a machette and swings it. She had alot of fans and could've succeeded like Jamie Lee Curtis did since she portrayed this type of scream queen character as the virgin type.
Harry Crosby (Bill) brings on the nice guy charm quite well as someone who seems highly intelligent and knowing on how to keep a grip on a situation. He brings this together perfectly and has the nice guy looks too which is another one of the film's plus to what he did. Also shows a nice positive attitude and keeping it together which came off believeable. Hard to believe he's the son of legendary Bing Crosby since he was toughing it out on his own. He did appear on his father's TV show as a performer and in a scene of this movie it shows him strumming a guitar which seems to say something about his other talents.
Laurie Bartram (Brenda) had some spunk in her part too showing nice character acting in her part and was well remembered like the rest of the cast. She knew on how to act outgoing with what she did and making everything seem entertaining. Basically knew her stuff by acting full of life and not letting an ounce of energy or characteristics down. Also shows good energy calling out in a strom to a phony help as well as getting nervous after beams of lights turn on at the camp.
Of course Kevin Bacon (Jack Burrell) always does a good job as he was just starting to be a name in the film industry and was doing some daytime soaps as well as having a supporting role in National Lampoon's Animal House beforehand. All in all he knew on how to act like a typical sarcastic teenager wanting to have fun portraying someone who likes to party and have a good time. He just draws alot to all of this and it wasn't surprising that he went far in life as you can tell that he was well trained by being a character actor.
Jeannie Taylor (Marcie Cunningham) is another actress with lots of spunk and inspiration to her part who proves worthy as a character actress. She shows off a nice gentle type of attitude who seems to act like a total happy camper with a good sense of humor. You would think that she really is like this all the time. Was terrific at the end of her performance hollering out in fear and squinting her eyes looking perfectly terrified.
Betsy Palmer (Mrs. Voorhees) does well as a deceivingly caring lady at first acting loving and trustworthy making this all look believeable and then really knew how to show her split personality acting with her menacing attitude. Does well gasping after spotting the corpse as well as showing a good emotional behavior about everything. Really knew on how to suddenly snap and go crazy by slowly pulling out a knife and then a great shot on her charging showing a great insane attitude and wild energy on her part. She shows good menacing and evil expressions too while she tries to kill the last survivor. With someone who never played this type of role before she was certainly convincing with all of this and brings on a nice powerful crazed attitude.
Peter Brouwer (Steve Christy) pulls it off nicely as the camp owner as he shows a good charm to his part in the film. He definetely has a nice laid back type of attitude and making it come across as believeable. He also comes across nicely when he means business opening up a camp and making himself businessman like. All of this came together wonderfully. Does well with his conversation with his fellow actress by trying to convince her to stay and help out at the camp in which he really expresses a good warm attitude towards her. He also does well by instructing everyone what their duties are for the rest of the day.
Mark Nelson (Ned) is believeably funny as the prankster ned who didn't take his job seriously acting very hyper with a good goofy behavior. He was certainly a character in the film and knew on how to act the opposite of being serious. Was great acting flirtatious after shooting an arrow at a target. Plus was terrific going nuts pretending to be an indian and getting sarcastic towards an onscreen officer.
Supporting actress Robbi Morgan (Annie) really pulls her part off well as the counsellor hitchhiking to get to Camp Crystal Lake as she seems believeably outgoing, kind and friendly. She really brings on a great friendliness and knew on how to act believeably happy. She does well trying to plead the driver to stop when the vehicle goes past the roadway to the camp. Basically bringing it all together that she was the kind of person you'd like to protect. Shows a good frightened attitude and expressions as well as clenching her teeth while a knife strikes at her throat plus a good look at the killers hand holding the knife.
Other supporting cast member is Walt Gorney (Crazy Ralph) who was so convincing as a crazy drunk who had a great ghostly voice whenever he spoke and came across perfectly onto the camera.
There is brief nudity by Jeannie Taylor's character Marcie exposing her breasts while getting out of bed after fornicating.
Lots of blood in this one.
A guys stomach is stabbed (Not too gruesome though)
A girls throat is slit with blood pouring out
A guys throat is cut open
An arrow in cut through a person's neck
A girl gets axed in the head
A guy is impaled with a bunch of arrows on a target hanging on a door
A corpse is thrown in a window slaughtered
A lady's head is chopped off.
The composer Harry Manfredini was a total expert with his music for a slasher flick like this one as he has alot of suspenseful and fast paced violin and horn playing along with some echoey chords for all the spookiness that goes on in the film. He also has a good sound effect of the KI-KI-KI MA-MA-MA. There's also many deep low violin playing too which works well for the terrifying moments about to occur. Also great high screeching sounds with high pitched trombone playing too. There's also really nice peaceful piano playing during the closing credits which was a perfect touch.
Enos, the truck driver: All the girls up there gonna look as good as you?
Annie: I don't know.
Crazy Ralph: You're going to Camp Blood, ain't ya?
Enos, the truck driver: God dammit, Ralph, get outta here. Go on, get. Leave people alone.
Crazy Ralph: You'll never come back again.
Enos, the truck driver: Oh, shut up, Ralph.
Crazy Ralph: It's got a death curse.
Enos, the truck driver: I tell ya, he's causing problems enough for your boss with all that talk... goddamn nuisance... Did he tell you anything?
Annie: Oh, I'll be cooking for fifty kids and ten staff. The campers will mostly be like inner city children.
Enos, the truck driver: I mean about what happened.
Enos, the truck driver: [shakes head]
Annie: Come on, there's something you're not telling me.
Enos, the truck driver: Quit. Quit now.
Annie: Quit? Why would I wanna quit?
Enos, the truck driver: Camp Crystal Lake is jinxed.
Annie: Oh, terrific. Not you, too. You sound like your crazy friend back there, Ralph.
Enos, the truck driver: Did Christy ever tell you 'bout the two kids murdered in fifty-eight? Boy drowning in fifty-seven? Buncha fires. Nobody knows who did any of 'em. In 1962, they was gonna open up... the water was bad. Christy'll end up just like his folks, crazy and broke. He's been up there a year fixin' up that place. He musta dropped twenty-five thousand dollars and for what? Ask anybody, quit.
Annie: I can't.
Enos, the truck driver: Dumb kids. Know-it-alls. Just like my niece, heads full a rocks.
Annie: You're an American Original.
Enos, the truck driver: [mocking] I'm an American Original. Dumb kid.
Annie: Guess I always wanted to work with children. I hate when people call 'em kids. Sounds like little goats. But when you've had a dream as long as I have, you'll do anything.
Bill: You think you're gonna last all summer?
Alice: I'm not sure I'll last all week.
Ned: If you were a flavor of ice cream, what would it be?
Marcie: Rocky road.
Officer Dorf: You kids keep your noses clean you understand? You'll be hearing from me if you don't. We ain't gonna stand for any weirdness out here.
Ned: He neglected to mention that downtown they call this place Camp Blood.
Crazy Ralph: I'm a messenger of God. You're doomed if you stay here.
Crazy Ralph: Doomed... You're all doomed.
Jack: Come on. I love you.
Marcie: But what about Ned?
Jack: I don't love Ned.
[while playing strip Monopoly]
Alice: Baltic Avenue.
Bill: No one ever lands on Baltic Avenue.
Alice: I think it's a pretty color. I'll buy it.
[Bill rolls and lands on Baltic Avenue]
Alice: Ha. Baltic Avenue. You owe me one boot.
Brenda: Alice draws first blood.
Bill: That's a terrible way to talk about my feet.
Brenda: Just wait until he lands on my old Kentucky home.
Bill: More beer? More Beer.
Bill: If this is a joke, I'm gonna brain em'.
Pamela Voorhees: Why I'm... I'm Mrs. Voorhees, an old friend of the Christy's.
Pamela Voorhees: Did you know a young boy drowned the year before those two others were killed? The counselors weren't paying any attention... They were making love while that young boy drowned. His name was Jason. I was working the day that it happened. Preparing meals... here. I was the cook. Jason should've been watched. Every minute. He was... He wasn't a very good swimmer. We can go now... dear.
Pamela Voorhees: You see, Jason was my son and today is his birthday...
Pamela Voorhees: You let him drown. You never paid any attention. Look what you did to him. Look what you did to him.
Pamela Voorhees: Kill her mommy... Kill her... Don't let her get away mommy... Don't let her live. I won't Jason. I won't.
Pamela Voorhees: Come dear. It'll be easier for you than it was for Jason.
Alice: The boy... is he dead, too?
Alice: The boy. Jason.
Alice: In the lake, the one... the one who attacked me... the one who pulled me underneath the water.
Tierney: Ma'am, we didn't find any boy.
Alice: But... then he's still out there.