Celebrate this Friday the 13th by watching the original 1980 American independent slasher classic the way it was meant to be seen… on the big screen, in a spooky boat shed late at night by a lake. Go on, we dare you! (Featuring Kevin Bacon in one of his earliest film appearances.)
One of the longest-running horror film series began with this gory shocker from director Sean S. Cunningham, who had previously produced Wes Craven's classic Last House on the Left. Entrepreneur Steve Christie re-opens Camp Crystal Lake after many years during which it has been cursed by murders and bad luck. The young and nubile counselors all begin to die extremely bloody deaths at the hands of an unseen killer during a rainstorm which isolates the camp.
--Robert Firsching, All Movie GuideSean S. Cunningham
Like William Girdler, Oliver Hellman or even Ed Wood, Sean S. Cunningham had a successful career of starting films cheap and fast. Originally from New York Cunningham met Wes Craven and together they made the comedy-romance film Together. Struggling in Hollywood Cunningham saw John Carpenter's Halloween and wanted to make a follow up type film. Cunningham brought Friday the 13th into the cinema in 1980. Friday the 13th was a shocking, gory and violent film about camp counselors being slashed by a killer, with Betsy Palmer in the lead role. The film would produce several sequels all of which Cunningham declined to direct but he would eventually produce the 1993 sequel Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday as well as the 2001 film Jason X.