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Friday the 13th Franchise

The region 1 DVD box set of Friday the 13th films 1-8.

Friday the 13th Franchise is an American horror franchise that comprises twelve slasher films, a television show, novels, comic books, and tie‑in merchandise. The franchise mainly focuses on the fictional character Jason Voorhees, who drowned as a boy at Camp Crystal Lake due to the negligence of the camp staff. Decades later, the lake is rumored to be "cursed" and is the setting for a series of mass murders.

History

Jason is featured in all of the films, as either the killer or the motivation for the killings. The original film was written by Victor Miller and was produced and directed by Sean S. Cunningham. However, neither returned to write or direct any of the sequels. The films have grossed over $465 million at the box-office worldwide. The first film was created to cash in on the success of Halloween (1978), and its own success led Paramount Pictures to purchase the full licensing rights to Friday the 13th. Frank Mancuso, Jr., who produced the films, also developed the television show Friday the 13th: The Series after Paramount released Jason Lives. The television series was not connected to the franchise by any character or setting, but was created based on the idea of "bad luck and curses", which the film series symbolized.

While the franchise was owned by Paramount, four films were adapted into novels, with Friday the 13th Part III adapted by two separate authors. When the franchise was sold to New Line Cinema, Cunningham returned as a producer to oversee two additional films, in addition to the crossover film with Freddy Krueger from the Nightmare on Elm Street film series. Under New Line Cinema, 13 novellas and various comic book series featuring Jason were published.

Impact

Although the films were not popular with critics, Friday the 13th is considered one of the most successful media franchises in America—not only for the success of the films, but also because of the extensive merchandising and repeated references to the series in popular culture. The franchise's popularity has generated a fanbase who have created their own Friday the 13th films, fashioned replica Jason Voorhees costumes, and tattooed their bodies with Friday the 13th artwork. Jason's hockey mask has even become one of the most recognizable images in popular culture.

Films

In the original Friday the 13th (1980), Mrs. Voorhees (Betsy Palmer) stalks and murders the teenagers who are preparing Camp Crystal Lake for re‑opening. She is determined to ensure that the camp does not reopen after her son Jason (Ari Lehman) drowned in the lake because two staff members who were supposed to be watching him were having sex. The last counselor, Alice (Adrienne King), fends off Mrs. Voorhees long enough to grab a machete and decapitate her.

In Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981), Jason (Steve Daskewisz/Warrington Gillette) is revealed to be alive and fully grown. After killing Alice, Jason returns to Crystal Lake to guard it from all intruders. Five years later, a group of teenagers arrive at Crystal Lake to set up a new camp, but Jason murders them. Ginny Field (Amy Steel), the last counselor Jason attempts to kill, finds a cabin in the woods with a shrine built around the severed head of Mrs. Voorhees. Ginny fights back and slams a machete through Jason's shoulder. Jason is left for dead as Ginny is taken away in an ambulance.

During the events of Friday the 13th Part III-3D (1982), Jason (Richard Brooker) removes the machete from his shoulder and finds his way to Chris Higgins's (Dana Kimmell) local homestead. Chris returns to her property with some friends, and Jason kills anyone who wanders into the barn where he is hiding. Taking a hockey mask from a victim to hide his face, Jason leaves the barn to kill the rest of the group. Chris seemingly kills Jason with an axe to his head, but the night's events drive her into hysteria as the police take her away.

Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984) continues where Part III leaves off, with Jason (Ted White) found by the police and taken to the local morgue after removing the axe. Upon arrival, Jason kills the coroner and a nurse before returning to Crystal Lake. A group of friends rent a house on Crystal Lake and fall victim to Jason's rampage. After killing the teens, Jason seeks out Trish (Kimberly Beck) and Tommy Jarvis (Corey Feldman), who live next door. While distracted by Trish, Jason is attacked and killed by Tommy.

Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985) follows Tommy Jarvis (John Shepherd), who was committed to a mental health institution after the events of The Final Chapter and grew up constantly afraid that Jason (Tom Morga) will return. Roy Burns (Dick Wieand) uses Jason's persona to become a copycat killer at the halfway home to which Tommy has moved. Tommy, supervisor Pam (Melanie Kinnaman), and a young boy named Reggie (Shavar Ross) manage to defeat Roy. They eventually learn that Roy had a son who was murdered by one of the patients at the institution, triggering Roy to take on Jason's likeness and kill everyone there.

Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986) begins with Tommy (Thom Mathews) visiting Jason's grave after being released from another mental institution. Tommy inadvertently resurrects Jason (C. J. Graham) with a piece of the fence surrounding the cemetery acting as a lightning rod. Jason immediately heads back to Crystal Lake and kills the people working at the new summer camp. Tommy eventually chains Jason to a boulder that he tosses into the lake, where he leaves Jason to die.

Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988) begins an indeterminate length of time after Jason Lives. Jason (Kane Hodder) is resurrected again, this time by the telekinetic Tina Shepard (Lar Park Lincoln), who is trying to resurrect her father who drowned in the lake when Tina was a child. Jason once again begins killing those who occupy Crystal Lake and is returned to the bottom of the lake after a battle with Tina.

Jason is resurrected again in w:c:fridaythe13th:Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989) by an underwater electrical cable. He follows a group of students on their senior class cruise to Manhattan, where he kills the ship's crew and the majority of the students. Upon reaching Manhattan, Jason chases Rennie (Jensen Daggett) and Sean (Scott Reeves), the two remaining students, into the sewers. Jason eventually melts away because the sewer is flooded with toxic waste.

In Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993), Jason, through an unexplained resurrection, is hunted by the FBI at Crystal Lake. The FBI sets up a sting that successfully kills Jason. Through possession, Jason manages to survive by passing his black heart from one being to the next. It is revealed that he has a sister and a niece, and that he needs them to get his body back. Jason resurrects himself, but his niece, Jessica Kimble (Kari Keegan), stabs him in the stomach with a mystical dagger and he is dragged into Hell.

Jason X (2002) takes place in the future, when Jason has again been inexplicably resurrected. A scientist, Rowan Lafontaine (Lexa Doig), decides that cryonic suspension is the only method of stopping him, but Jason breaks free and kills the army personnel guarding him before he can be again imprisoned. Rowan manages to lure Jason into the cryo‑chamber, but he ruptures the tank and freezes both himself and Rowan. Over 400 years later, a team of students studying earth discover Jason's body and take it into space. Upon being thawed by the team, he proceeds to murder everyone aboard the spacecraft. He is seemingly killed, but is then resurrected via nanotechnology as a cyborg version of himself. Finally, he is ejected into space and lands on the planet Earth 2.

The next Friday the 13th film, Freddy vs. Jason (2003), was a crossover with A Nightmare on Elm Street. Set in the contemporary period, Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) resurrects Jason (Ken Kirzinger) and sends him to Springwood hoping that he will create enough fear among the residents that Freddy will be strong enough to invade their dreams. Jason accomplishes this but refuses to stop killing. A battle ensues both in the dream-world and at Crystal Lake. The outcome is left ambiguous, as Jason surfaces from the lake holding Freddy's severed head, which winks and laughs.

In 2009, a new Friday the 13th film which restarted the film series continuity was released. In this film, after witnessing his mother being beheaded at a young age, an adult Jason (Derek Mears) follows in her footsteps and kills anyone who comes to Crystal Lake. Jason subsequently kidnaps a young woman, Whitney Miller (Amanda Righetti), who reminds him of his mother. Six weeks after her disappearance, her brother, Clay Miller (Jared Padalecki), comes to look for her. The pair reunite and work together to seemingly kill Jason. However, Jason bursts through the dock and grabs Whitney at the end of the film, leaving it ambiguous as to whether this actually happened or was a nightmare sequence (similar to the one Alice had in the original film). 

Characters

Jason Voorhees

Jason Voorhees is a fictional character from the Friday the 13th series. He first appeared in Friday the 13th (1980) as the young son of camp cook-turned-murderer, Mrs. Voorhees, in which he was portrayed by Ari Lehman. Created by Victor Miller, with contributions by Ron Kurz, Sean S. Cunningham, and Tom Savini, Jason was not originally intended to carry the series as the main antagonist. The character has subsequently been represented in various other media, including novels, comic books, and a cross-over film with another iconic horror film character, Freddy Krueger.

The character has primarily been an antagonist in the films, whether by stalking and killing the characters, or acting as a psychological threat to the lead character, as is the case in Friday the 13th: A New Beginning. Since Lehman's portrayal, the character has been represented by numerous actors and stuntmen, sometimes by more than one at a time; this has caused some controversy as to who should receive credit for the portrayal. Kane Hodder is the best known of the stuntmen to portray Jason Voorhees, having played the character in four consecutive films.

Pamela Voorhees

Pamela Sue Voorhees is a fictional character in the Friday the 13th films, and the main antagonist of the original Friday the 13th film. She is a former camp cook and the mother of Jason Voorhees, the main antagonist of the series. In the original Friday the 13th film, the character is simply named Mrs. Voorhees, her first name not being revealed until Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter. The character was portrayed by Betsy Palmer in the first two films. During the character's brief appearance in Freddy vs. Jason, she was played by Paula Shaw. According to the actress herself at conventions, Betsy Palmer was asked to reprise her role as Pamela Voorhees for the Freddy vs. Jason film but turned the part down after she read the script, as she stated in the "Friday The 13th Reunion" available as a "special feature" on the 2009 Paramount release of the "Uncut: Special Edition".

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