This first instalment (in a seemingly never-ending series) was actually a bit of a clunker – but the millions of scared teens and adults alike that wore their VHS copies thin would beg to differ . . .
A group of camp counsellors, led by Steve Christy (Peter Brouwer), prepare for the grand re-opening of Camp Crystal Lake – a New Jersey summer camp – even over the objections of locals like Crazy Ralph (Walt Gorney).
These objections stem from Camp Crystal Lake’s colourful history.
In 1957, camp counsellors failed to pay attention when a young boy named Jason Voorhees (Ari Lehman) drowned in the lake. Soon afterwards, two counsellors were murdered.
Then, some years later, the water in Crystal Lake inexplicably “went bad”, scuttling an attempt to reopen the camp.
But Steve is committed to the cause, and with the help of a sensitive artist and fellow counsellor, Alice (Adrienne King) gathers the troops for the big day of the camp’s re-opening.
In short order, however, the curse of ‘Camp Blood’ resumes as a secret assailant begins killing the camp’s new occupants. The crisis comes to a head during a powerful thunderstorm, and the murderer is revealed as someone who was very close to young Jason.
Finally, a spent Alice is alone in a rowing boat in the middle of Camp Crystal Lake when a deformed Jason leaps out of the water to attack her.
This is paint-by-numbers horror cinema, but everything about the finale is pitch-perfect, from the placid, idyllic look of the lake, to the tranquil, misleading music, to the sudden attack itself.
Debra S. Hayes
Sally Anne Golden
Ken L. Parker
Sean S Cunningham