- "The body count continues..."
Friday the 13th Part 2 is a 1981 slasher film and was the first sequel to the smash hit original. It was the directorial debut of Steve Miner, who would also helm the next installment in the series, 1982's Friday the 13th Part III. The screenplay was written by Ron Kurz.
It is a seminal entry in the series in that it is the first film to utilize Jason Voorhees as the killer begins to carry out his revenge for the death of his mother as well as continue her mission to keep the camp and area closed for good to prevent another drowning. Jason was previously seen in the first film in flashbacks and hallucinations. He would not acquire his trademark hockey mask until the third film; here he uses an old burlap sack as a mask.
Almost a minute's worth of footage had to be cut from the film in order to secure an R-rating from the MPAA. Part 2 received a deluxe DVD release in February 2009, but the edited footage was not included, much to the disdain of fans, who have long clamored for an uncut release. Paramount has stated that the excised footage has been lost.
The movie was a commercial success, although the critics gave the movie mostly negative reviews. Retrospectively, the film has gained warmer reception, and is now a cult classic.
A few months after the events of the first film, Alice Hardy (Adrienne King) is still heavily traumatized by her encounter with Mrs. Pamela Voorhees, who went on a mad and murderous rampage across Camp Crystal Lake, a summer camp that Alice was working at. She killed Mrs. Voorhees and is now living alone at home, drawing sketches of herself and often having nightmares about Mrs. Voorhees attacking her. She wakes up one night and answers the phone, which is her mom. She goes to take a shower but is interrupted by another phone call, though there is nobody on the line this time. She then hears a noise from her kitchen. Arming herself with a screwdriver, she is scared by her cat as it comes in the window. She goes to get food for her cat and is horrified by Pamela's rotted head in her fridge. Then an adult Jason Voorhees, Pamela's son, avenging his mother's death comes and stabs her in the temple with the screwdriver, killing her.
Five years later, a new summer camp is being opened near the now deserted and dilapidated Camp Crystal Lake, Camp Packanack. Two counselors, Sandra (Marta Kober) and Jeff (Bill Randolph) are making their way to the camp, before meeting their jokester friend Ted (Stu Charno) and getting warned by the town crazy Ralph (Walt Gorney) that they are doomed if they go to Crystal Lake. Sandra, Jeff and Ted continue to camp and they arrive, meeting the owner Paul (John Furey) and some other counselors. These counselors include wannabe Scott (Russell Todd), his crush Terri (Kirsten Baker), who he can never win over, Mark (Tom McBride) a wheelchair-ridden teen (after a motorcycle accident) and his love interest Vicky (Lauren-Marie Taylor). Paul gives the counselors some safety rules and precautions.
Paul's assistant Ginny (Amy Steel) arrives late and is scolded, and after a short meeting in Paul's office, it is hinted at they have something romantic going on. That night, around a campfire, Paul tells the counselors about Jason, how he drowned and Jason's mother, Pamela, went into a rage and killed several people. A lone survivor Alice chopped her head off but then someone else killed Alice years before. Paul says the locals believe that Jason killed Alice and now roams the woods, still alive, avenging his mother's death. And then, Ted, wielding a spear and donning a warrior mask, leaps from the woods, scaring the teens. Paul assures everyone Jason is dead and tells everyone to go hang out in the main lodge, he also tells them that the Original campsite is off limits and to stay away from it.Scott tries to win Terri over, Jeff and Sandra dance, Ginny beats Paul in chess and Mark arm-wrestles, with Vicky cheering him on. Ginny retreats to her cabin, but is greeted by Paul at her cabin, they begin to kiss passionately. Outside, Crazy Ralph spies on the lovers, but before he can continue, Jason murders him with a lace of barbed wire making him his first victim of his rampage of revenge that night. The next day, the counselors engage in some training activities and then while the counselors are taking a swim in the lake, Jeff and Sandra sneak off to the abandoned Camp Crystal Lake. But before they can get very far, they are caught by a police officer, who brings them back to Paul. The officer is flabbergasted at the fact Paul barely punishes Jeff and Sandra and the officer leaves. While driving, he catches sight of Jason running into the woods, towards Crystal Lake. Thinking he is a trespasser, the officer pursues him to a run-down crudely-built shack. Inside, the officer is murdered by Jason with a hammerclaw to the head. That night, Ginny Field, Paul Holt, Ted and the rest of the Counselors decide to go into town for one last party at Casino Bar. Mark, Vicky, Terri and Scott decide to stay back at the camp, Jeff and Sandra are forced to stay back at the camp (as punishment by Paul for them sneaking off to Camp Crystal Lake earlier in the film) and Jason comes in and murders the remaining counselors one by one. First, Terri goes skinny-dipping and chases Scott into the woods when he steals her clothes. Scott is caught in a snare in a tree and Terri goes back to her cabin to get a knife to cut Scott down. While waiting for Terri to return, Jason slashes Scott's throat with a machete. Terri comes back to Scott with a knife to find him dead. She attempts to flee, but is murdered as well. Mark and Vicky decide to sleep together that night, and Vicky goes to freshen up. Jeff and Sandra go upstairs and have sex. While waiting for Vicky, Mark rolls out onto the porch in his wheelchair, and is killed by Jason, who buries a machete in his face and Mark goes rolling down a flight of stairs backward in his wheelchair. Jason then enters the main lodge, grabs Ted's spear and heads upstairs to a lovemaking Jeff and Sandra.
Jeff and Sandra are about to finish, when Jason barges in the room and impales them both with the spear, which penetrates them and then on through the bed and into the floor - in the future, this prompts Rob (Sandra's older brother, who appears in Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter) to seek revenge against Jason. Vicky returns and goes upstairs to investigate, but only finds Jeff and Sandra dead and Jason, who now is shown, clad in a burlap sack over his head and overalls. Jason slashes Vicky's right leg with a butcher knife and corners her, then stabs her in the stomach. Ginny and Paul leave a very drunk Ted behind and arrive back at the camp. Upon entering the main cabin, they find it dark and empty. They find blood everywhere upstairs and soon after, Jason, wielding a pitchfork, attacks Paul and Ginny. Paul is knocked unconscious and Ginny is attacked. First, Ginny hides in a bathroom, and attempts to escape through a window, but Jason appears outside and grabs at her. Ginny runs into the kitchen, finds Crazy Ralph's corpse in the pantry and escapes the lodge. With her car unable to start, Ginny is chased across the camp by Jason. She hides under a bed inside another cabin, but sees a rat and urinates in panic. Through this, Jason finds her, but she manages to salvage a chainsaw and wounds his right arm, then as Jason recovers, she smashes a chair across his back, and he is rendered unconscious.
Ginny flees into the woods and stumbles upon Jason's dilapidated shack. Upon entrance, she finds a rustic shrine dedicated to Jason's dead mother, and the dead Winslow, Terry, and Alice. Pamela's sweater, her pants, a machete and candles. Jason begins to break down the door, which Ginny barricaded, and the girl develops a plan. She puts on Pamela's sweater and pretends to be her, calling Jason's name and lulling him into a trance. The trick works for a moment, but Jason (seeing his mothers head still on the shrine) eventually realizes the ruse and attacks Ginny, injuring her leg. Paul appears and struggles with Jason. With Ginny having time in her hands, she grabs the dropped machete and buries it deep into Jason's left shoulder, apparently killing him. Before leaving the shack, Paul and Ginny remove the killer's burlap sack, horrified with what they see of his face.Paul and Ginny stumble back to camp and take refuge in a cabin, but hear noises outside. Paul slowly opens the door, to reveal Terri's little dog, Muffin. They are relieved, until Jason - now unmasked and showing his horrendous facial deformities - smashes through a window behind Ginny, grabs her and drags her outside. The next morning, Ginny is being loaded in a stretcher and put in an ambulance as she repeatedly calls Paul's name. Paul is nowhere to be seen, leaving his fate unclear. The final shot shows Pamela Voorhees' rotting decapitated head.
Following the success of Friday the 13th in 1980, Paramount Pictures began plans to make a sequel. First acquiring the worldwide distribution rights, Frank Mancuso, Sr. stated, "We wanted it to be an event, where teenagers would flock to the theaters on that Friday night to see the latest episode." The initial ideas for a sequel involved the "Friday the 13th" title being used for a series of films, released once a year, that would not have direct continuity with one another but be a separate "scary movie" of their own right. Phil Scuderi—one of three owners of Esquire Theaters, along with Steve Minasian and Bob Barsamian, who produced the original film—insisted that the sequel have Jason Voorhees, Pamela's son, even though his appearance in the original film was only meant to be a joke. Steve Miner, associate producer on the first film, believed in the idea and would go on to direct the first two sequels, after Cunningham opted not to return to the director's chair. Miner would use many of the same crew members from the first film while working on the sequels. Cunningham had mixed feelings about the entire "Friday the 13th" enterprise that he outlined for film critic and author Stephen Hunter in an interview for a book Hunter wrote on violent films. Hunter stated that Cunningham "wasn't particularly proud" of his work on these films, and Cunningham bluntly said that the only thing that seemed to reach a teenaged audience at that time period involved high levels of gore and graphic violence.
Adrienne King was pursued by an obsessed fan after the success of the original Friday the 13th and purportedly wished her role to be small as possible, though in the documentary Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th, it was stated that King's agent had asked for a higher salary, which the studio could not afford. The film's heroine, Ginny, is played by Amy Steel, who won the part through an audition. "At the time of [making the film], it was before the genre really picked up so I didn’t give it a lot of credit or take it seriously. For me, it was just another audition because I had no idea what it would end up meaning after all this time. When I played Ginny, I was really young and different from a lot of the people working at the time so that came out in my character. I was naturally suspicious of cocky guys at that age, and you see a lot of that when I’m on screen with Paul (John Furey). I tried to put so much behind the actual words in the script just so she felt almost unreachable, to Paul and to audiences. I wanted her to have some power."
Actor Warrington Gillette played Jason unmasked at the end of the film. Stuntman Steve Daskawisz (also known as Steve Dash) was credited as Jason Stunt Double but played Jason throughout the rest of the film.
The small village of New Preston, Connecticut was one of the filming locations.
Principal photography took place from October 3 and finished in November 1980, and primarily occurred in New Preston and Kent, Connecticut. Special effects artist Tom Savini was asked to work on the film but declined because he was already working on another project, Midnight (1982). Savini was replaced by Stan
Winston. Steve Daskawisz was rushed to the emergency room during filming after Amy Steel cut his hand with machete during filming. Steel explained, "The timing was wrong, and he didn't turn his pickaxe properly, and the machete hit his finger." Daskawisz received thirteen stitches on his middle finger. During the subsequent shoot, Daskawisz was forced to wear a piece of rubber over his finger, and both he and Steel insisted on reshooting this scene.
In one scene where Daskawisz was wearing the burlap flour sack, part of the flour sack was flapping at his eye, so the crew used tape inside the eye area to prevent it from flapping. Daskawisz received rug burns around his eye from the tape from wearing the rough flour sack material for hours. The use of the sack hood was similar to the 1976 film The Town That Dreaded Sundown.
Rumors sparked that John Furey left before the film wrapped, as his character does not appear in the end. In truth, his character was not intended to have appeared.
Like its predecessor, Friday the 13th Part 2 had difficulty receiving an R rating from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). Upon reviewing the film, the Classification and Rating Administration (CARA) warned Paul Hagger, an executive at Paramount, that the "accumulation of violence throughout the film" may still lead to an X rating even if substantial cuts were made. A total of forty-eight seconds had to be cut from the film in order to avoid an X rating. Most noted by censors was the murder scene of Jeff and Sandra, who are impaled by a spear while having sex in a bed (a scene many have compared to a scene in Mario Bava's A Bay of Blood), which the censors found particularly graphic.
- Amy Steel - Ginny Field
- John Furey - Paul Holt
- Adrienne King - Alice Hardy
- Lauren Marie-Taylor - Vickie
- Kirsten Baker - Terry
- Tom McBride - Mark
- Marta Kober - Sandra Dier
- Bill Randolph - Jeff
- Walt Gorney - Crazy Ralph
- Russell Todd - Scott
- Stuart Charno - Ted
- Cliff Cudney - Max
- Jack Marks - Deputy Winslow
- Steve "Dash" Daskawitz - Jason Voorhees (masked)
- Warrington Gillette III - Jason Voorhees (unmasked)
- Betsy Palmer - Pamela Voorhees
Much like its predecessor, critical reception to the film was initially negative. It has a 32% approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes among 31 reviews. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times wrote that Friday the 13th Part 2 was "a cross between the Mad Slasher and Dead teenager genres; about two dozen movies a year feature a mad killer going berserk, and they're all about as bad as this one. Some have a little more plot, some have a little less. It doesn't matter." When reviewing the film's Blu-ray release, David Harley of Bloody Disgusting said, "It doesn't exactly stray far from the formula of the original film — neither do most of the other sequels — but Friday The 13th Part II still stands as an iconic and important entry in the series due to the introduction of Jason as the antagonist of the series and the usage of Italian horror films as an inspiration for its death scenes — most notably, the spear copulation death from Mario Bava’s A Bay of Blood." Scott Meslow of The Week described it as a transitional film that blended elements of the original film and those to come later in the series. The final scene where Jason crashes through the window and the scene where Jason raises his knife before killing Vicki were featured in the tribute to horror films montage during the 82nd Academy Awards.
In 2014, the film ranked at number one on a list of the 100 Greatest Slasher Movies on the genre website Vegan Voorhees.
The film's ending has been a source of confusion for fans. Writer Ron Kurz has stated that Jason's window jump was intended to be set in reality and that Paul was killed offscreen. However, the beginning of Part III, in replaying the end of Part 2, instead showed Jason pulling the machete out of his shoulder and crawling away as Ginny and Paul leave him for dead in the shack. This arguably retcons the scene of Jason's window jump into a dream. In addition, near the beginning of Part III, a news broadcast reports the body count at eight, thus excluding Paul from this count.
The film was released theatrically on April 30, 1981, bringing in $6,429,784 its opening weekend. It played on 1,350 screens and would ultimately gross $21,722,776. It was the 35th highest-grossing film of 1981, facing strong competition early in the year from such high-profile horror releases as Omen III: The Final Conflict, The Howling, Scanners, Wolfen, Deadly Blessing, The Funhouse, My Bloody Valentine, The Fan and The Hand.