Cult Classics: Friday the 13th (1980)
Sean S. Cunningham sends Halloween to overnight camp, trading in the Bill Shatner mask for a goalie’s faceplate and, with the aid of a Steenbeck flatbed editing table and a stack of tracing paper, clumsily drawing around John Carpenter’s masterwork. In response to celebrity offspring Jamie Lee Curtis’ star turn as Laurie Strode, Cunningham went so far as to cast Bing’s son, Harry Crosby. (Other than the one in Bing’s wallet, name another Harry Crosby picture.) Paramount — the studio that brought you Hitchcock's Psycho — acquired the rights, making this the first indie slasher film to secure U.S. distribution by a Hollywood major. Budgeted at $550,000, the film took in close to $60 million. Game Show Network addicts will be delighted to learn that Goodson & Todman goddess (and champion of the Stanislavski method) Betsy Palmer plays the mother of Jason Voorhees! For those who enjoy artless slaughter, this screens as part of Reading Town Square’s yearlong series of Cult Classics.