1. Friday the 13th, Part 2
Boys and girls, it’s time to dive into Friday the 13th Part 2, and why it stands decapitated heads and shoulders above the rest of the franchise.
Part 2 continues the relay from its predecessor and runs as fast as it can, elevating the gore and terror to a whole new level. While we got a slight glimpse of Jason in the first film, this is his first full film as the iconic killer. Don’t expect a hockey mask though, as he dons a burlap sack with an eye hole cut into it like the killer in The Town That Dreaded Sundown. While the hockey mask is what he is known for today, the tater sack with one eye hole is far more disturbing in my opinion.
Director Steve Miner understands the power of building suspense much like in the first film and keeps the anticipation at a fever pitch as we sit on the edge of our seats as we wait for the climax of Jason’s final rampage.
There are a lot of people who take issue with the impalement kill, saying that it is just a rip-off of Mario Bava’s Twitch of the Death Nerve, but let’s look at that for a second. Does it happen in both films? Of course. But how many death scenes are just taken from a Friday the 13th film? Remember, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
One of the best kills in the franchise is Mark’s. You know, the guy in the wheelchair who got the wrong end of a machete to the face? Then ended up careening down a huge flight of stairs? Well, my only issue with the kill is Jason would now have to walk down all of those steps to get the machete, then back up, and who knows what kind of mischief would be happening in his absence?
Friday the 13th Part 2 is the absolute pinnacle of the franchise. With its masterful suspense, brutal kills, and unforgettable final girl, this film exemplifies the essence of the slasher genre. That is why it’s number 1 with a bullet…that wouldn’t have any kind of effect on Jason.