It’s not often that the characters we consider icons in the horror genre become part of popular culture, but Sean Cunningham and Victor Miller set the stage for Jason Voorhees to become such a character. Granted, the hockey-masked, hulking monster of a slasher doesn’t become the pop culture icon we know him to be until the third entry into the series, but the seeds were planted back in 1980.
There are two fascinating documentaries worth checking out if you have the time. The first is His Name Was Jason: 30 Years of Friday the 13th hosted by makeup FX guru Tom Savini. Written by Tommy Hutson (Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy) and Anthony Masi (Halloween: 25 Years of Terror) and directed by Daniel Farrands (more on him in a second), HNWJ is a cool 90 minutes, touching on all 12 Friday entries up until the point of the documentary.
Where HNWJ TOUCHES on all the Friday movies in a nice hour and a half chunk, Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th is a full-body rubdown, clocking in at 6 hours and 40 minutes. This is the full retrospective Daniel Farrands wanted to do, based on the book by Peter Bracke. You could certainly carve out half a day to watch this making-of epic, but I’ve heard the best way to watch it is by taking it in chunks – watch the movie, then watch the segment of the doc that covers said movie, and so on. Either way, the few segments I’ve watched cover every single thing you’d want to know. Watch it on Shudder.