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Thoughts on Friday the 13th Day 4: Redshirts

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“You know what I think? I think we’re dead meat.”- Tyen (Friday the 13th Part VI)


            The supporting cast was a varied bunch, especially in the Book I.  When I say “supporting cast,” I mean the other characters who weave in and out of Jason/Pamela’s path until they are inevitably dispatched in a patented Voorhees smack-down.  Digging into the little mini-dramas of each supporting character would be pretty intense, so I will just mention one from each chapter that stuck out for one reason or another.

  • Chapter I:  I’d have to go with Marcia, who meets her end at the archery range.  I like her because she introduced some foreshadowing, both poetic (she dreams of a storm turning into drops of blood), and, well, not so poetic (a shot of a beaver swimming transitions into Marcia and Jack making out).  Nice.
  • Chapter II:  Mark, the guy in the wheelchair. Book I did not really make much of an effort to include any diversity; this was the exception.  He’s training for the Special Olympics and believes, really believes, that he’ll walk again. And while is legs are temporarily on the DL, “everything else works,” he coyly tells Vickie.
  • Chapter III:  Shelley by a country mile. He’s the guy who supplies Jason with his mask!  But I also admire his chutzpah, making up for low self-esteem with a series of elaborate jokes that culminate in him submerging himself in the lake to surprise his crush with a speargun that he had hidden in his little toolbox.
  • Chapter IV:  How about a shout-out for Axel, the sleazy doctor?  I believe the nurse he hits on calls him “the superbowl of self-abuse.”  What the hell does that mean?  I wonder about the relationship of Axel and the nurse.  She seems to want more from the relationship than he does.  All he seems to be interested in is sex and watching one of the most suggestive aerobics shows of all time.  Oh, and he makes pervy comments about the attractiveness of female corpses.

These supporting characters have gotten a bad rap as just robots who exist to drink, smoke pot, and have sex (and eventually to be, uh, killed).  In fact, it has long been thought that the best way to get killed in a horror story is to lose your virginity (see Scream).  But it is amazing how innocent their debauchery was in Book I.   The kids in Chapter I open the story sitting around a campfire singing “Michael Row the Boat Ashore.”  Their conversation to one another isn’t so much about who they want to bone; instead:  “If you were a flavor of ice cream, what would you be?  Rocky Road!”  Teenagers, man.  As far as drugs go, you see a little weed (as typified by the couple from Chapter III who exist only to be smoking pot.  The guy, Chuck, even looks like Tommy Chong).  If the Voorhees’ are truly punishing these kids for their sins, then you have to make the assumption that Pamela and Jason are pretty strict in this regard.  Maybe they are Baptists.



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