Thursday, June 22, 2017

Thursday Movie Picks: The Woods


This week's topic for Thursday Movie Picks, hosted by Wanderer at Wandering Through the Shelves is simple: The Woods. No problem. Let me explain why. For the thousandth time, I grew up in New York City, Queens to be exact. We had more trees in Queens than most of the city, but were short on actual woods. I didn't really encounter any until coming to visit my grandparents in North Carolina in the early 1980s. They're backyard stretched out about twenty/twenty-five yards from the house. At the end of that was a creek about four feet wide and three feet deep. On the other side of that creek was a stretch of woods I dared not enter to find out how deep they went. In the quiet of the night, whatever creatures it held were in full throat. This was unsettling to a city kid like myself. It didn't help that in concert with all the buzzing, humming, and rustling I was watching this...

Friday the 13th
(1980)
By now, you know the story. Back in 1958, a couple of summer camp counselors were off somewhere trying to make little campers of their own when someone brutally murders both of them. Fast-forward to 1980, or the present as we called it. The camp, Camp Crystal Lake, had been closed since that fatal day, and is about to finally re-open. Before it does, there is lots of work to be done. To do it, a group of counselors show up to get the place up to snuff before the kids arrive. Little did they know someone else was hanging around the place. This mysterious person starts knocking them off one by one. Most notably, a young Kevin Bacon gives us one of the franchise's most memorable deaths.


Friday the 13th Part 2
(1981)
Five years after the event of the first film, the ever mysterious "they" decide to give it another go and open a summer camp. Of course, some mysterious person was also present and starts killing off counselors, say it with me, one by one. The difference is that this time the identity of the killer was no secret. It was guy we would all come to know and love. Okay, he's a guy I came to know and love. The one and only Jason Vorhees. The most memorable scene this time is not a killing, but our final girl fooling Jason into thinking she was his mother.

Friday the 13th Part III
(1982)
This time around, no one is dumb enough to suggest re-opening Camp Crystal Lake, aka Camp Blood. Instead, we get a group of people who live nearby along with some derelicts who hang out there. Sure enough, our boy Jason shows up and starts slaughtering them, once more with feeling, ONE BY ONE. This entry is significant for a couple of reasons, For one, just look at the title of this film and the previous one. That one was "Part 2," 2. Just plain ol' 2. This time, they classed the joint up a bit by dropping a sparkly...er...blood-soaked, Roman numeral on it. Yeah, "Part III." They also made it the first and only 3D entry. More important than any of that, this is the movie in which Jason donned his iconic hockey mask for the first time. Oh, most memorable scene? Take your pick. I did mention this was in 3D, right? There's the arrow Jason shoots straight at the camera which plants itself in an attractive young lady's eye. Speaking of eyes, there's the guy who gets his head squeezed so hard by Jason one of his eyes pops out the socket, directly at the camera, of course. The best part of that is seeing the metal coil attached to it as it dangles about the screen.

You know what? Just go watch them all.



24 comments:

  1. Of course, you can't go wrong with the Friday the 13th franchise. It's always set in the woods and what fun they are. Even the bad ones. I was going to go for a horror film but then I realized that's too easy for me as I would save those for the world of horror.

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  2. I was pretty sure you'd go with three Friday the 13th flicks. And I think you already know how I feel about them.

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  3. I love the Friday the 13th movies. Even the bad ones are still fun. I was always rooting for Jason in Freddy vs Jason. lol

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    1. I have such a blast watching them. And was I rooting for Freddy or Jason? Yes.

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  4. ...why am I NOT surprised that you went ALL Friday the 13th?? I enjoy the first one for what it is, but I've never felt compelled to check out any of the sequels.

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    1. I thought it would be a bit predictable of me, but I couldn't resist. If you've never seen the sequels then you've never seen Jason, the master, in action.

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  5. Well Dell you know I love a theme within the theme and I can't believe I can say I've seen two of these, the first of my own choosing and the third after much persuasion and I was SO sorry, but I'm just not a horror guy but they couldn't be a better fit for the theme.

    My first one popped into my head the minute I read the theme the other two took a bit of thought but are decent films.

    The Emerald Forest (1985)-Engineer Bill Markham is in Brazil with his wife Jean (Meg Foster) and young son Tommy (the film’s director John Boorman’s son Charlie) working on a hydroelectric dam on the edge of the rainforest. One day while the three are having a picnic near the site Tommy is taken by a forest tribe known as The Invisible People. Markham spends the next ten years searching the jungles for Tommy meeting many obstacles including the cannibalistic Fierce People along the way. Beautiful looking complex adventure based on true events.

    Sometimes a Great Notion (1970)-The Stamper family, father Henry (Henry Fonda), oldest son Hank (Paul Newman), his wife Viv (Lee Remick), younger brother Leeland and nephew Joe Ben (Michael Sarrazin & Richard Jaeckel) are independent Oregon loggers. When the local union loggers go on strike against the corporate giant that controls most of the area they urge the Stampers to join them but being struggling independents they fear they won’t survive and refuse. The tensions that run high among them and the townsfolk is mirrored within the family leading to conflict and tragedy. Based on a Ken Kesey novel this is a sometimes slow but extremely well-acted (Jaeckel is a particular standout) complicated family drama.

    The Edge (1997)-Uber rich Charles Morse (Anthony Hopkins) has gone with his model wife Mickey (Elle Macpherson) on a photo shoot to a remote mountain area along with photographer Robert Green (Alec Baldwin), who Charles suspects is involved with Mickey, and his assistant (Harold Perrineau). While Mickey stays behind the three men fly into the wilderness for nature photos but the plane crashes killing the pilot and the three men must struggle to survive not only the elements but the giant bear tracking them through the woods and ultimately each other.

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    1. The only one I've see is The Edge. You're right, it is a decent film. I'm not familiar with the other two, but both sound interesting.

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    2. The Emerald Forest can be quite intense at times but it also has a sort of lyricism at certain points, a strong suit of Boorman's that he was able to utilize well here as he did in Excalibur though it's of a different type.

      Sometimes a Great Notion is scattershot at times but with that cast you know you'll get your money's worth at least in the acting angle...can't believe I forgot to include that Newman is the director as well! Taking that into account it's rather surprising that Joanne Woodward isn't playing the female lead but great actress that she is Lee Remick (an actress I love and find fascinating) is a better fit in her role.

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    3. I like intense, so The Emerald Forest is higher on my list than Sometimes a Great Notion. That said, a Paul Newman directed film does sound intriguing. I mean, it's Paul Newman.

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  6. A theme within a theme and all Friday the 13th movies which I will never see:)

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    1. No worries, I've seen them all enough times for the both of us.

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  7. So, I bashed these very movies with my Blair Witch pick, but, to be honest, I dig all these movies. And I'm pretty sure I've seen them all in some sort of fucked up order. You have me sold on Part III. That might be what I need to do first.

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    1. Part III is goofy and terrible in all the right ways. Love that movie.

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  8. I think I've only seen the first one.. it was alright. Not a big horror fan so it's hard for me to love these movies, even though I see their potential.

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    1. They're just dumb fun and I love 'em for that.

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  9. I sense a theme....and I'm terrified of all three of them.

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    1. I've seen them, and many other slasher flicks, so many times I've lost touch with any sense of fear they might induce so it's hard for me to tell which ones of the F13 flicks are actually scary. I'd set the number at zero. However, I gues a case could be made for putting that number at two or three. Eventually, they become a parody of themselves and are more dark comedy than actual horror.

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  10. ha, you really love Friday the 13th series, don't you. Seeing all these posts about films set in the woods makes me realize it's kind of a subgenre in itself.
    Eden Lake managed to scare the hell out of me because of the realistic horror, although it's divisive due to the violence.

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    1. Hmmm...hadn't heard of Eden Lake. I'll have to check it out.

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    2. I agree with this writer (https://www.theguardian.com/film/2014/oct/29/eden-lake-the-film-that-frightened-me-most ) that Eden Lake is the one film that frightened me the most. Unfortunately there is a chance it could spawn copycats among the impressionable youth, so I’m not sure if the film should even have been made in the first place.

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    3. If it's that good it should definitely have been made. I'm going to hunt that one down pretty soon. Thanks!

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