Combustible Celluloid
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With: Betsy Palmer, Adrienne King, Jeannine Taylor, Robbi Morgan, Kevin Bacon, Harry Crosby, Laurie Bartram, Mark Nelson, Peter Brouwer, Rex Everhart, Ronn Carroll, Ron Millkie, Walt Gorney, Willie Adams, Debra S. Hayes, Dorothy Kobs, Sally Anne Golden, Mary Rocco, Ken L. Parker, Ari Lehman
Written by: Victor Miller
Directed by: Sean S. Cunningham
MPAA Rating: R/Unrated
Running Time: 95
Date: 05/09/1980

Friday the 13th (1980)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Crystal Fear

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

This first film in a long series was very clearly a big studio ripoff of the independent hit Halloween (1978), and also borrowed elements from Mario Bava's Bay of Blood (1971). But it was a huge hit and is still notable for stripping down the genre to its essence and for establishing genre traits like the killer's POV and the virginal "final girl." In this one, of course, the identity of the killer is a mystery; the later films even do away with that formality. Paramount released a new DVD version in 2009 to cash in on the remake; it's the uncut version, though the cuts that were made to achieve the "R" rating back in 1980 add up to less than a minute of footage, and only the most hardcore of fans will be able to tell the difference. The DVD also comes with a commentary track and featurettes about the film's lasting popularity.

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