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Synopsis: Camp counselors are stalked and murdered by an unknown assailant while trying to re-open a summer camp that was the site of a child's drowning.

Reaction: A bit rudimentary, but the idea of the mother being the killer was still a good twist back then.

Personal Rating: 6/10

Sean S. Cunningham => Director
Victor Miller => Writer
Harry Manfredini => Composer
Adrienne King => Alice Hardy
Ari Lehman => Jason Voorhees
Betsy Palmer => Mrs. Pamela Voorhees
Debra S. Hayes => Claudette
Dorothy Kobs => Trudy
Harry Crosby => Bill
Jeannine Taylor => Marcie Cunningham
Kevin Bacon => Jack Burrel
Laurie Bartram => Brenda
Mark Nelson => Ned Rubinstein
Peter Brouwer => Steve Christy
Rex Everhart => Enos, the Truck Driver
Robbi Morgan => Annie
Ron Millkie => Officer Dorf
Ronn Carroll => Sgt. Tierney
Sally Anne Golden => Sandy
Tom Savini => Man The Knife Killer (uncredited)
Walt Gorney => Crazy Ralph
Willie Adams => Barry

Random Trivia For This Title:

  • During the first few weekends of the film's release, makeup/effects artist Tom Savini would go into theaters for the last five minutes of the show to see the audience react to Jason emerging from the lake and grabbing Alice. That scene was suggested by Savini himself.
  • Kevin Bacon's character, lying in bed with his throat impaled by an arrow, has the blood in his neck making little bubbles. Originally, it was just meant to seep out, but the arrangement of the tube with blood didn't work, and Tom Savini ended up blowing into the tube to make it flow, causing an unintended (but ultimately used) bubbling effect.
  • In the scene where Bill is found impaled to a door with arrows, his eye twitches continually because the eye effect that Tom Savini applied was actually burning his eye and causing him excruciating pain.
  • Victor Miller had originally given Jason the name of Josh. After deciding that it sounded too nice, he changed it to Jason after a school bully.
  • Victor Miller admitted that he was purposely riding off the success of John Carpenter's Halloween.
  • Betsy Palmer worked on the film for ten days, for which she received $1000 per day.
  • The filmmakers never intended to make this the launching pad for the series that followed. According to Victor Miller, Jason was only meant as a plot device and not intended to continue on his mother's grisly work.
  • The movie was filmed at Camp Nobebosco in New Jersey. The camp is still in operation to date, and they have a wall of [Friday the 13th] paraphernalia to honor the fact that the movie was set there. Most of the location and set was already there, they only had to build the bathroom set.
  • Betsy Palmer said that if it were not for the fact that she was in desperate need of a new car, she would never have taken the part of Pamela Voorhees. One critic was so angry at Betsy Palmer's role in the movie (which had angered many of her fans), that he published her address in his magazine, and encouraged people to write her and protest her. He published the wrong address.
  • Sally Field auditioned for the role of Alice Hardy.