“The world is a totally evil place, this movie says, it’ll kill ya. It doesn’t matter what your dreams and hopes and ambitions are, it doesn’t matter if you have a new boyfriend or a new girlfriend, you’ve got plans for the future. You can forget those plans, because Saturdays are for the boys!!!”
This week on AYA VS, THE BIG BOYS, a podcast about watching “boy movies” for the very first time, Kevin and Aya get lost in the woods with the (for some reason unknown to them) seminal FRIDAY THE 13TH as they forge on through an October full of spooky Big Boys.
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Okay, let’s chat ‘bout horny teenagers getting chopped up like dog food.
It’s not very fun, it looks like garbage, and the mystery is shit, so why did Sean S. Cunningham’s FRIDAY THE 13TH spawn one of the most influential franchises of all time? Could it be that Saturn is in retrograde on this fateful 1980 Friday the 13th? Or is this just how things go down in New Jersey? Perhaps it sprouted up at the right place and right time in history, a stroke of pure luck that fulfilled an empty slot in a market craving salacious, low-calorie grub. So transparently devoid of meaning, nearly defiantly so, Paramount and Cunningham’s holiday-slasher cash-grab is a staple in “pay us, sit in this dark room, then get the fuck out” carnival-barking cinema, a film blindly in search of easy capital and if you like it, well, you’re dumb as bricks for thinking so, but God bless ya. At its core, FRIDAY THE 13TH is PSYCHO if you met Norman Bates in the final 10 minutes, it’s a twist ending shocker that only registers as a satisfying twist because we’re 40 years removed from recognizing Jason Vorhees as the main character of this series, and, most critically, it’s the inferior HUBIE HALLOWEEN. Sweaty, greasy geeks at horror conventions would regale this IP like a May Queen for decades to come, but as our hosts find out (and get bummed out by for choosing this over recording a NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET episode), the reason why was still years and a few sequels to come for the FRIDAY THE 13TH cinematic universe. Yet, there’s still something to admire here on a pure trash level. It’s difficult to explain, but in a modern market currently dominated by “elevated horror” and meta-genre deconstructions, we could certainly use a young, dumb, and full-of-cum slasher resurgence.
On this episode of AYA VS. THE BIG BOYS, the duo dives into Aya’s very first viewing of FRIDAY THE 13TH, with wildly split opinions on sleepaway camp, why the FRIDAY THE 13TH franchise prevails despite not having a single good film, and just how badly they want to suck *checks notes* Harry Crosby’’s co-