Here it is Friday November 13, 2015. The latest in many tentative release dates for the latest installment of the Friday the 13th franchise. But there is no movie. How has it been so difficult for a franchise based around the number 13 been able to produce 13 films? In a search for answers let’s look back at the latest entry, the 2009 Friday the 13th remake.
Camp Crystal Lake June 13, 1980, after a 24 hour killing spree, Pamela Voorhees is decapitated by a camp counselor who fought back. 30 years later a group of friends go camping in search of marijuana fields. What they find is much worse. Jason Voorhees, who makes short work of them. Six weeks later even more jerks head out to Crystal Lake to party. Throw in a guy (Jared Padalecki) looking for his sister who went missing six weeks ago. And Jason kills most of them.
Let’s start with the good. Derek Mears is great as the nearly unstoppable Jason. His onscreen presence and understanding of the character, to me, is second only to Kane Hodder. Whenever another Friday happens Mears needs to be behind the mask. The opening segment is the best Friday the 13th short film ever made. It takes the basics of the franchise and plays them to the hilt. Camping, drinking, sex, drugs, and a body count of four all against the backdrop of a deteriorated Camp Crystal Lake. No one’s reinventing the wheel here, but damn what a ride.
Unfortunately what follows those giddy 20 minutes is a hodgepodge of previous installments and cliches that make it indistinguishable from other modern Slashers. Mrs Voorhees murdered? Check. Sack head Jason from Part 2? Check. Hockey mask from part 3? Check. Guy looking for his missing sister like in The Final Chapter? Check. There’s some other nods which are better handled. I don’t understand why this incarnation of Jason sets traps, is great with a bow, can sneak up on anyone, but doesn’t realize some chick is not his decapitated mother! Which he was hiding in the bushes when her head was relieved from her shoulders, so it’s not like he thinks Pamela is still alive. The kills are pretty grisly in the latest installment, the boat dock is the standout. But the douchebag boyfriend is perhaps the biggest asshole in the entire series. But man, his death goes over like a wet fart.
The reputation of Friday the 13th is so big, that it scared the My Bloody Valentine remake (oddly starring Padalecki’s Supernatural costar Jensen Ackles) to January to avoid the competition. It was released February 13, 2009. I had tickets to a sold out screening. And I had a blast, the ending was a little fuzzy (maybe it was the whiskey I snuck in). I enjoyed so much, that following Friday I was saw it again at a matinee. With a friend and one other person in the theater. The harsh light of sobriety could not hide the problems with this entry. I was almost embarrassed I dragged my friend to the multiplex. The movie had an 85.5% drop in attendance from it’s opening weekend.
Of course after it’s first weekend box office report a sequel was announced. Except the remake went from $43 million it’s first weekend down to $7 million it’s second weekend. This Jason was a one time novelty. There’s been plenty of murmurings of another 3-D entry, a found footage film, and most recently a TV show that would serve as a prequel. Paramount was able to grind out eight movies in ten years. But six years later and nothing to show for it. Maybe add an interesting twist to it. Why was there never a Friday the 13th set during winter? Kids rent a cabin, get snowed in and Jason starts hacking and slashing. Everyone loves a fresh sprinkling of snow soaked in blood.
Cereal Killer is an English Barleywine from Arcadia Ales in Battlecreek, Michigan. Barleywine derived its name from higher ABVs that is closer to wine. Unlike wine, which is made from fruit, grain is used. Arcadia was founded in 1996 and brews English inspired beer. Even their brewing equipment is from England. All malts used are also imported from England.
I’d like to think the name is inspired by the Kellogg Company also based in Battle Creek. This makes the second Barleywine I’ve drank in honor of Jason this year. I found Cereal Killer to be creamy, with a bit of a warming effect. High ABVs can give off that warmth and this one clocks in at 10%. I was able to secure this 4 pack through my friends at Saint Brewis.
While investigating beers for this year’s multiple entries I did find a brewery north of Chicago called Crystal Lake Brewing in Crystal Lake, Illinois. They have yet to produce a Friday the 13th brew. Sigh.
Much like Jason, Cereal Killer isn’t available year round. If you see some, grab it. As for Mr. Voorhees, he was set to show up May 13, 2016. But that has been all the way to January 13, 2017. Will he show? Either way I’ll be waiting.