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Trivia / Friday the 13th (1980)

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  • Advertised Extra: Betsy Palmer gets top billing, but only appears in the last fifteen minutes of the film.
  • And You Thought It Would Fail: When Betsy Palmer was approached for the role, it turned out it paid exactly enough for her to buy a new car, since her old one had just died. Upon reading the script, she declared it the worst she'd ever seen and that no one would ever see the movie, and she'd take the part.
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  • Cast the Expert: Robbi Morgan was a trained acrobat and thus well able to jump out of a moving jeep and run through the woods.
  • Contractual Purity: As noted below, Betsy Palmer was known as a squeaky clean goodie two shoes before this film. According to her, after it came out there was an outrage. Gene Siskel published her address in the paper and encouraged people to send her hate mail. He got the address wrong.
  • Cowboy BeBop at His Computer: When the film was aired on AMC's "DVD on TV" note  it featured an interview with Robbi Morgan, who played Annie. After talking about her role in the film, she ended by saying she was honored to be Jason's first victim.note 
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  • Creator Backlash: The only detail Victor Miller doesn't like about the film is the cop that shows up at the camp to warn the kids about Ralph. This scene wasn't in any of his drafts, and he wanted the camp to be isolated and away from any authority figures to give the impression that no one could save the kids.
  • Creator Cameo: Tom Savini doubles for Brenda when her body flies in through the window.
  • Cross-Cast Role: A male stand-in was used for the first seventy minutes to disguise the killer's identity.
  • Enforced Method Acting: Ari Lehman, who played Jason was originally intended to only appear in a short flashback of him drowning. But the director decided to have him appear in the end as a surprise. He was instructed not to show anyone the mask he wore for the scene. The shock and fear on Alice's face is genuine.
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  • Money, Dear Boy: Betsy Palmer's only reason to appear was to get cash for a new car.
  • Old Shame:
    • Initially for Betsy Palmer, who was bemused and hesitant from the start and experienced a lot of backlash for the role. As the years went on, she embraced the movie and the sheer dedicated devotion from fans that had come to define her career.
    • Subverted for Kevin Bacon, who despite being the most successful of the cast has never been embarrassed to talk about it. This is the guy who spent the longest time unable to even mention Tremors.
  • Playing Against Type: Betsy Palmer mentioned how at the time she was typecast as a Girl Next Door and stuck doing game shows. So playing a "psycho-biddy" was quite a different role for her.
  • Pop Culture Urban Legends: Rumors abound that Claudette's death was filmed and cut from the movie. The crew have said it didn't happen, but there is a still image of Claudette with a machete in her neck. This could have just been shot for promotional purposes.
  • Reality Subtext: Mark Nelson, Jeannine Taylor and Kevin Bacon all knew each other beforehand, which is reflected in the banter between Ned, Marcie and Jack.
  • Reclusive Artist: Adrienne King opted to stop acting in films after a bad experience with a stalker and so only did voice over work for years. She didn't appear at a convention until 2009. But she has since embraced her fans and gives more interviews and public appearances.
  • Stunt Casting: Subverted. Harry Crosby's casting as Bill seems like it mirrors Jamie Lee Curtis's in Halloween (1978) (both being the children of Hollywood stars), but the producers didn't even realise Harry's father was Bing Crosby until later.
  • Throw It In!:
    • The bit with the snake in the cabin wasn't in the script but Tom Savini suggested it after his own personal experiences.
    • Robbi Morgan wasn't even auditioning when she was cast. She was in Julie Hughes's office when the latter looked at her and said "you're a camp counselor" - and she was on set as Annie the next day.
    • The bubbling effect when Jack is stabbed in the throat happened because the blood pump wasn't working - so a crew member had to blow it himself (they only had one take to use the latex neck).
    • Bill's eye twitching when his body is found is because the make-up effects were irritating the actor's eye.
    • The Friday the 13th Title Drop came about when the crew realised there was no reference to the date in the film.
  • Tuckerization: Steve Christie is named after the film's producer Steve Miner.
  • Unintentional Period Piece:
    • Steve wears jean cut-off short-shorts and a neckerchief in his first scene, a get-up that inspires snickers today.
    • Teens quoting Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn, which were already pretty old-fashioned references at the time.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Jason's original name was supposed to be Josh. Finding that to be "too nice", Victor Miller renamed him after a school bully he'd known.
    • The jump-scare ending wasn't there originally. Tom Savini had just seen Carrie (1976) and suggested having a similar ending.
    • An early draft of the script had Ned being a polio sufferer, with deformed legs and a muscular torso.
    • Marcie was supposed to be killed by getting an arrow shot into her chest while in the archery area. Contrary to popular belief, this was never filmed.
    • The original draft of the script had Mrs Voorhees losing her middle finger while trying to kill someone.
    • Adrienne King auditioned for all three female roles. Apparently her scream got her the part of Alice.
    • Estelle Parsons was cast as Mrs Voorhees initially. Producers also courted Penelope Milford for the role of Brenda, in the hopes of drawing more audiences in (as she had just been nominated for an Oscar). When she turned the role down, Estelle Parsons soon dropped out too - finding the film too violent.
    • Producers had plans for Alice to become a recurring protagonist who frequently had to fight Jason off - essentially making her this franchise's equivalent of Dr Loomis. Adrienne King's sudden retirement from acting - due to being stalked by an obsessive fan - led to Alice being killed off in the second film.
  • Word of Saint Paul:
    • Mark Nelson has said he believes Ned jokes around to hide his insecurities and is secretly in love with Brenda.
    • Betsy Palmer came up with a backstory to give Mrs Voorhees a Freudian Excuse; Jason was the result of a Teen Pregnancy that her parents disowned her for, and thus she hated any kind of premarital sex.
  • Working Title: The script of the film was originally called "Long Night at Camp Blood", hence why the townsfolk really push the "Camp Blood" nickname early on, and had to throw in a last-minute comment that Friday the 13th was Jason's birthday.
  • Nominated but not ranked for AFIS "Thrills" list.


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