Friday, October 13, 2006
Friday the 13th, Part 12?
What better day than Friday the 13th to speculate on another Friday the 13th movie? Although seemingly on hold, the current sequel has Joel Schumacher attached to direct. Wow. Has the series finally become trendy enough to attract an A-list director? Aside from the series founder (former Wes Craven partner) Sean S. Cunningham and two entries by Steve Miner, the series has pretty much been a training ground for lesser known directors to cut their teeth. (One other possible exception being the established horror director Tom McLoughlin). But no one close to Schumacher's marquee value as ever worked on the series (one of the most successful horror franchises in cinematic history). Lest you forget, when last we left Jason (the monster of the series) he was doing epic battle with another modern movie monster in Freddy vs Jason -- which actually picks up from Part 9, Jason Goes to Hell, forgetting all about the 10th entry Jason X - where Jason goes to....(what?)...Outer Space! As these series go, Friday the 13th has been a somewhat interesting string of films (if you like this sort of thing). Parts I, II, and II actually work together nicely as a trilogy, as do Parts IV, V and VI. Starting with Part VII, however, the series basically became an anthology series, with none of the episodes connecting. In (Part VII) The New Blood, Jason squares off against the telekenetic Tina (nice idea, well done). In Part VIII, Jason Takes Manhattan, he (eventually) makes it to the Big Apple, where he's done in by...New York sewage! (bad idea). As I said, Part IX sent him to Hell and Part X to Outer Space, and then there was an attempt to draw on Part IX to create 2003's Freddy vs Jason (one of the best in the series). That same year, a Friday the 13th short entitled Friday the 13th: Cold Heart of Crystal Lake, was written, produced, and directed by Joe Patnaud of Timberwolf Entertainment. So now what? Fans are already debating it at www.fridaythe13thforum.com. Will Schumacher actually stay on to direct? Although he's no stranger to the genre, I doubt it. Wouldn't Quentin Tarantino or Eli Roth make more sense? As a fan of the series myself (and after films such as Saw and Hostel have raised the bar on gore), I suggest a return to basics. Forget gimmicks like Outer Space, Manhattan, and Elm Street. As the series nears its logical conclusion (Friday the 13th Part 13?), to paraphrase from a well known song "they've got to get themselves back the forest!"