Time and time again (twelve times, actually), the Friday the 13th franchise showed that fans love a good slasher film, especially when it comes with a machete wielding killer which comes straight out of hell. However, in a way, it isn’t all just a horror story.
The name, at least, is not something invented especially for Hollywood. There is such a thing as friggatriskaidekaphobia, which is actually the fear of the day of Friday the 13th.
Also, although the film is called this way, there were actually only four films of the franchise released in this particular day (Friday the 13th Part III, Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood, Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday).
Luckily (or unluckily, for that matter and for those that will face Jason), the next film in the series will be released on the 13th of November 2015. And that will be a Friday too. So it will mark the 5th film to be released in this specific day.
Betsy Palmer (who played Pamela Voorhees in the first film) considered the script to be pure garbage. However, since the pay was good ($1,000 per day, for 10 days) and her financial situation was bad, she accepted to make the film. Although she was asked again to come to the set for other movies in the franchise, she refused.
A particularly interesting fact is that killer’s name was supposed to be Josh – how does that sound, Josh Voorhees? Yes, the director also thought it was kind of mellow, so he came up with the name Jason (one of his childhood’s bullies).
Also, still concerning the first movie, the cold-blooded Jason killed exactly no people. In fact, it is him who drowned because the lifeguards were fornicating in the bushes, instead of watching for the children – that is one original sin to open a franchise!
Speaking of this, Jason’s first murder is in Friday the 13th Part 2, where he kills the only survivor from the first movie with an ice pick (a cue for Sharon Stone’s character in Basic Instinct). Doing so, he avenged his mother and also started his… career.
However, he becomes the iconic Jason Voorhees only in the third film (Friday the 13th Part III), when he puts on his hockey mask. If until then he was just a mass-murderer, only afterwards he became Jason Voorhees.
In The Final Chapter, Jason is killed with a trick – victim Tommy shaves his head and impersonates the younger Jason. Obviously, being a little slow, Jason believes and finds himself with a machete stuck in his head. The plan was to make Tommy the next Jason – this didn’t stick, especially since John Sheppard (who played Tommy in A New Beginning) changed his religion and never came back to the franchise.
A funny fact is that during The Final Chapter it was the first time when Corey Feldman (who portrayed Tommy) saw breasts. Of course, he may have seen before (during breast-feeding), but this was a whole other level.
It was obvious that two killers were on the loose by that time, one of them being Jason Voorhees. The other one was Freddy Krueger. The idea was to have Freddy pop-up in Part VII: The New Blood, but the studios didn’t come to an agreement.
But when that happened, another character was also supposed to come, straight out of Jason’s past: Tommy. Tommy was supposed to be portrayed by Jason Bateman, so it is probably for the best that the scenes were left out (due to the length of the film).
A funny/interesting final fact is one concerning the working titles of the films: it appears that David Bowie was an inspiration, since Crystal Japan, Repetition, Aladdin Sane, and Birthday Bash are all songs and working titles.