I went ahead and got myself that new Friday the 13th documentary. Yes, dolls, the rumors are true - one of the greatest coffee table books ever, Crystal Lake Memories, is now a seventeen hour long, talking-heads-sitting-in-front-of-a-green-screen documentary. Is it good? Well, let's start from the very beginning (a very good place to start) and see for ourselves...
Friday the 13th.
What follows appears to be the chronology of Friday the 13th. I don't feel like anything is being said here that die hard horror gays wouldn't already know. Sure, it's great that's it's all in one place, we don't have to pour over DVD bonus features or read the internet and there are some terrific behind the scenes pictures, but there's no real dish. Adrienne King still seems genuinely upset about having had a stalker. I want to give her a hug.
Betsy Palmer is wearing some kind of ritualistic amulet around her neck. Don't cross her.
No one is talking about any of the stuff I love about Friday the 13th. There's no mention of the cinematography. There's no sign of the hot guy in the yellow shirt or Counselor Steve Christy. It's just a lot of words. They're actually recapping the movie scene by scene. Why would someone who has never seen Friday the 13th voluntarily watch a seventeen hour documentary about Friday the 13th? Who did they make this for?
0:45minutes. (gays: 0)
Friday the 13th: Part 2
There were a lot of gays in this one. It's a little awkward that they're talking about Tom McBride being openly gay while Russell Todd is spray-tanned within an inch of his life, but who and I to judge? Get it, mama.
1:22m (gays: 3)
Friday the 13th: Part 3
I don't like Part 3. There. I said it. They shot some of this movie's cast in real locations from the movie. That's an upgrade from laconic green screen monologuing. The composer just said they love to play the movie's theme song at "discos and gay clubs" - so, there's that.
1:55m (gays: 0)
Friday the 13th: The Final ChapterThe house from this movie was for sale earlier this year and I know that there's no God because they didn't accept my bid. It was up in Topanga Canyon where Ruth and Aunt Sarah live. I'm still not over it.
The main actress from The Final Chapter is Kimberly Beck and she seems lovely. I hope she has a nice house, or at least a Birkin like Valerie Cherish. The over-sized and tattered button down shirt belted at the waist that she wore in this movie is legitimately iconic and should be encased in lucite at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for all the world to see.
We're in hour two now and the only recurring theme is that people often got legitimately hurt on set and that the Jasons (and Betsy Palmer) liked to actually physically attack the campers. Of course they did! Thank God. When I directed Carrie: the Musical in Boston, I told the woman playing the mother to make sure she really hit Carrie during the performances. That's just good theatre!
Everyone is competing to talk about how well they knew Crispin Glover. Clearly no one ever actually spoke to him. The hitchiking banana girl hasn't aged a minute. Did I mention how much I want this cabin?
2:33m (gays: 1)
Friday the 13th: A New Beginning
"I have a wig from a movie I'd done with Burt Reynolds."
The main actress in this one is officially the worst person. Congratulations, lady, you're the worst person in the worst of the Friday the 13th movies. On a positive note, we have all been egregious in neglecting the triumphant looks that were abounding in A New Beginning - specifically, this shirt that I had to take a picture of off the TV because I'm too busy drinking Pumpkin Beer to grab a proper computer still:
I need it. The gay, leather couple in the broken down car is still everything to me. Anthony Barille was in the Original Broadway Cast of Tommy and Corey Parker was Melissa Steadman's house-painter and significantly younger lover on Thirtysomething (neither of these facts are mentioned in this documentary).
A man just told us that Gina Gershon was denied a role in this film. Heresy! No one has ever denied Crystal Connors ANYTHING.
3:04m (gays: 1)
Friday the 13th: Jason Lives
Part 6 is really, really special. It feels like childhood Autumn somehow. With his feathered hair and indiscernible dialect, 1986 Thom Matthews was beyond beyond - a stone fox. This seems like one of the least disturbed casts and the director is lucid and kind. I just finished an entire pound bag of chocolate covered Halloween pretzels from Target, I have no complaints.
3:41m (gays: 1)
Friday the 13th: the series
I don't think I can process faces anymore. I need to wash my face.
There's an actor being interviewed who left the series midway - don't ever do that, besides it being a douche move, it never ends well.
3:51m (gays: who cares about anything anymore)
Friday the 13th: the New Blood
People in chairs keep making reference to this one being "FriGay the 13th." I think this is because we all love A Nightmare on Elm St 2 so much and they feel left out. Stop trying to make "fetch" happen, Gretchen. Sure, this movie comes off gayer than a fridge full of pineapple cottage cheese and poppers, but it's not gay like that.
That said, Kevin Blair is giving us a full blown Palm Springs Clothing Optional Resort moment. I see you flaunting that wedding ring, Daddy - I got your number! Lar Park Lincoln seems drunk. Good for her. Maybe it's the sugar high or the pumpkin beer, but this is the best segment of Crystal Lake Memories documentary so far.
4:19m (gays: 4)
I do not understand why they haven't been interviewing any of the hot shirtless guys from the Friday the 13th movies in this Friday the 13th documentary. I consider this a hate-crime and I will be filing a report with Ricky Vasquez from My So Called Life tomorrow.
Kelly Hu was serving "Rich Asian Hipster with a Coke Problem Living in Los Feliz" years before that was a thing. Progressive. I feel like Patty Hearst. Seriously though, how did the boat get from Crystal Lake to the Atlantic Ocean?
They just said Queen Elizabeth Berkley was denied the lead role in this film. Idiots.
4:43m (this isn't fun anymore)
Let's go ahead and skip the weird, non-Friday the 13th Friday the 13th movies and jump ahead.
Anyone have a problem with that??
I didn't think so.
Freddy vs. Jason
"Out of respect, I threw the machete back in the water."
There's a "former New Line executive" being interviewed who won't stop screaming at the camera. My mind is reeling. I have a very clear memory of seeing Freddy vs Jason. That was the weekend of the blackout in Manhattan. We were all sure it was another terrorist attack so my friends and I spent $50 (which may as well have been $400 at the time) on a car service to the Newark airport where they had power and Chili's. By evening, rumor had it power was restored in Times Square so we did the only logical thing: bought everything they had to sell at the concessions stand and enjoy our last moments on Earth in cinematic bliss. It was a rapturous experience. In hindsight, the movie's stupid and dated in a way the other movies aren't. Fan fiction. Even so, one of the best movie theatre experiences of my life. When it was over, we weren't dead and made our way back to Brooklyn.
Ronny Yu just referred to himself as a "ChinaMan" in a thick Asian dialect. Life is good. One of my first jobs in LA was as a receptionist at a movie studio. Ronny Yu came in for a meeting at the same time that Sean Cunningham was leaving another meeting. Cunningham literally hid from him. It was a glorious moment. I had arrived. They don't talk about any of this in the Friday the 13th documentary.
Monica Keena's surgery has settled a bit. Poor thing. It's good to see she's committed to keeping "blonde" eyebrow pencils alive. Remember when Kelly Rowland called Freddy a "Faggot?" Kelly Rowland is not interviewed.
I don't feel well.
That FAKE 2009 REMAKE
"I'm not quite sure why we're doing this film."
This was not a Friday the 13th movie. I don't think it's awful because my memory of the fleeting moment where they play "Sister Christian" is epic. If the whole movie was as good as that my memory of that moment, it could have been legendary. Fleeting moments aside, it's not good. The movie was aggressively hetero-normative; one of the only movies to feature a final boy that has absolutely no gay subtext. Oh well. They don't know me.
"I have a disorder called alopecia."
Did I mention that I saw this movie right after a particularly bad breakup and broke down sobbing during the sex scene with Travis Van Winkle and had to leave the theatre? Should I have saved that for Secret Week?
We go back to the campfire with Corey Feldman and he talks to the camera. As if we haven't been through enough! The credits roll over the actors reciting their lines from thirty years ago, thus propelling me an existential crisis.
Total Running Time: four days
Total Pumpkin beers consumed: five
Total Running Time: four days
Total Pumpkin beers consumed: five
I have a strong aversion to films where people talk about a film while showing clips of the film they're talking about within the film. That kind of redundancy abounds in Crystal Lake Memories. It's hard to get behind actors being allowed to talk without an editor. If I were to believe their own self-aggrandizing mythology, this documentary presumes that everyone ever cast in a Friday the 13th movies is a master of improvisation who made up their part completely. It's a shame their genius was never recognized.
While Never Sleep Again was charming and heart-warming throughout, Crystal Lake Memories is dark and repetitive. With the exception of Queen Amy Steel, who is primed and ready for her own Nancy Meyers movie - looking fresh and relevant as ever, most of the actors come off sad and creepy. Instead of Kevin Bacon and Crispin Glover (or even Tony Goldwyn), we get a lot of aughts looks, a lot of dainty crucifix necklaces and a lot of facial scarring. It's a lot. I'm going to lie down.
(Most of the pictures above are thanks to my new favorite tumblr, Welcome to Camp Blood as well as a site hitherto undiscovered until today that appears to be called Scabby Horror.)