MY FAVOURITE HORROR MOVIE: PADRAIG REYNOLDS
Best known for the noir slasher Rites of Spring (2011), PADRAIG REYNOLD'S latest genre offering The Devil's Dolls will be released later this year. Reynolds describes the movie as 'a down and dirty detective story filled with voodoo curses and bloody violence' . What's not to like? Here he talks about his love (and initial terror!) of one of the most famous slasher movies of all time...Friday 13th (1980)
FRIDAY THE 13TH is the scariest fucking movie of all time. Let me tell you why. My Dad took me to FRIDAY THE 13TH opening weekend at Halls Ferry 8 cinema in St. Louis Missouri. I knew nothing about the film and wanted to see THE LONG RIDERS instead. By the first frame with the campers singing “Down In The Valley” over the spooky ass night camp shots. I knew I was in deep trouble.
I started sweating and getting really uncomfortable. Then goddamn Harry Manfredini’s score starts kicking in, the campers sneak off to have some sex and then get gutted like pigs. I was terrified. By the time Annie gets her throat sliced open. I was a full on basket case. Hiding behind the chair, pleading with my Dad to get the hell out of there. I begged him to go see anything else... just not this. I remember hiding behind my chair and him looking down at me with a mouth full of popcorn. Don’t be such a pussy. This is good. I was like ...no...no... this is not good. This is bad...I’m going to die... Can we please leave Dad. No, I want to see who the killer is.
So I watched the rest of movie with my hands over my eyes. I would peak out every now and then to watch Mr. Footloose get an arrow through the fucking throat, A girl thrown through a window, the girl with tiny underwear get beheaded with an axe. By the time Old Pam shows up. I couldn’t believe what I was watching. What the hell was this? I had never seen anything like this. And what kind of sick bastard brings a 9 year old to this bloodbath. This is child abuse. So finally the movie ends with Alice in the boat floating peacefully on the lake. I finally sit up in my chair and relax. The nightmare is over. I made it through the movie without having a heart attack and can go home now. Then BAM!! Retard Jason bursts out of the water and grabs Alice. I swear I screamed like a six year old girl with a spider on her leg. Popcorn flew the audience went freaking bananas. My Dad was laughing the whole time like this was fun. This isn’t fun dude. This is insanity. I remember thinking on the drive back home. My life is over, I will never sleep ever again. Then something really strange happened. I wanted to see that shit again. But I wanted to bring somebody.
I wanted them to experience the nightmare I just did.
So the next Saturday, Ben Geringer and I snuck into the theater to watch it. It was just magic. The movie still scared me but I knew what was coming. Ben, literally was crying from fright. I was hooked on horror big time. I began soaking up every horror movie I could watch.
Let’s flash forward 25 years later and I’m sitting in the Egyptian theatre in between Harry and Sean Cunningham to watch a beautiful 35 mm print of Friday the 13th. It’s funny where life takes you. I told them both that I hadn’t seen the movie on the big screen since the 80’s and was blown away by how gorgeous it looked. There is a shot at dusk where storm clouds are rolling in and the sky is orange. There is another one when the waves are slapping against the dock and the clouds are dark. These two shots are just so beautiful and epic. There is nothing like them in any of the sequels. The whole movie feels very authentic as well from the look of the camp, the town and even the rain drenched diner. There has been other horror movies that I love more, but none that I cherish as much as the original Friday The 13th. Everytime I watch it, I think of my Dad and I miss him. He would have loved to know that I was now writing and directing horror movies.