I’ve been on a bit of an 80s horror movie bender over the past week or two, which has led me to watch the first four installments of the “Friday The 13th” franchise (in order, of course). In fact, the occasional occurrence of the actual date during a given year will often prompt me to gather some horror fiends together to drink and watch a few of the films, often deconstructing them to what would be to a non-horror fan a ludicrous degree. But, since I don’t feel limited to the actual date to do this on my own, and the whole analytical thing for me pretty much being a default, I have at least one major mystery to conquer, and I may have just nailed it.
The end of the second film shows Ginny on a stretcher being wheeled into an ambulance with nary a glimpse at her boy pal, Paul in the scene. What happened to Paul? Some fans say he lived, some fans say he died. But there still needs to be a character disappearance explanation. And I’m pretty sure I found it.
At the beginning of the third movie, a housewife is watching a TV news report of the killings from Part 2, and the voiceover of the reporter states the body count found at the camp at eight — which would not include Alice, because Jason got her at her home, away from the camp and, according to the campfire tale, her body was never found to verify murder.
So, I did my own count (and, yes, I have all central characters pretty much memorized by name from the first five films). Here’s who got snuffed at the camp: Vicki, Mark, Jeff, Sandra, Terry, Scott, the cop, and Crazy Ralph. That’s eight. Granted, the cop was killed in Jason’s little Mom-worship shack, but the officer’s abandoned cruiser and the survivor report pretty much take care of him. So, it appears that Paul lived.
As a side note, watch Part 2 and pay close attention to how Crazy Ralph is killed. With Ralph’s back propped up against a large tree, a strangulation wire is looped over the tree and across Ralph’s neck… held with BOTH of Jason’s hands from directly behind! How does one swing a two-foot piece of wire with both visible hands over an entire TREE? Perhaps, Mr. Miner didn’t think about that when viewing the dailies of what is out of frame but would still be an obvious error to those with even a few seconds of time to figure out the logistics.
And, if you really have nothing to do one night, check out the fifth movie and pay close attention to the hockey mask design. It not only changes, but it seems that it should change, given the plot. It boggles the mind how even the most thorough FT13th sites haven’t mentioned this. Regardless, once you catch it, the extra knowledge really does add to the enjoyment of the flick. Have fun with your friends, too, and challenge them to find the obscure physical evidence as plot tipoff. No point in telling them right away, of course.