Friday the 13th is a cult classic and perhaps the quintessential slasher movie. It’s hard to imagine now how shocking and panic-inducing this groundbreaking movie must have been to audiences at the time. Its influence looms large, as its ideas have been used again and again. They even kept on making the film again and again. To date, there have been 11 follow up movies, be they sequels, reboots or tie-ins with other horror franchises.
But making the film was a very interesting process itself. Here are some incredible facts behind the making of the movie:
1. Actress Betsy Palmer took the now iconic role or Mrs. Pamela Voorhees so she could buy a new car. Her car had recently broken down, and she has since admitted that if she didn’t desperately need a new one, she may have never taken the role.
2. But filming had already started before Palmer was cast, so many of the crew members’ hands were used for close up scenes.
3. Palmer gave Mrs. Voorhees a backstory that involved a hatred of sexual transgression. In Palmer’s mind, Mrs. Voorhees had Jason out of wedlock and her parents disowned her because of it.
4. In an attempt to create publicity, it started advertising before it was even financed.
5. It was originally going to be called Long Night At Camp Blood.
6. Its shooting location is a real functional camp called Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco that’s still in use today.
7. In fact, Tom Savini, the special makeup-effects artist, made use of the camp’s pizza ovens to make the latex appliances.
8. Tom Savini was also the person who suggested that Jason should appear at the end of the movie. Therefore, without him there may have been no hockey mask slasher in the sequels.
9. The camp also had a famous neighbor: Lou Reed. Reed owned a farm nearby, so the cast was treated to free shows during filming.
10. The original inspiration of the film was another film: Halloween
11. The screenwriter originally had a different name in mind for the film. It was going to be called: Long Night at Camp Blood.
12. Jason’s name was originally supposed to be Josh!
13. Betsy Palmer was quite thin and had a small frame, so she was required to wear multiple layers of clothing, including many sweatshirts, to bulk her up and give her a larger appearance