Other than the sheer number of them, the most remarkable thing about the Friday the 13th
movies is that not a single one is very good. But after 30 years, 11 movies, at least 200 deaths and adventures
that span from space to hell, the
series has carved out its own niche.
Besides, sequel after sequel, Jason's enduring beef with
oversexed teenagers kinda grows on you. The man is epic with a machete,
and even in death he still finds a way to keep it going. With a nod to
the glossy new Friday the 13th
reboot in theaters today, here
is our ranked guide to all 11 movies so far—some surprisingly decent,
others so legendarily awful
it’s hard to believe they exist (here’s to you, Jason X
11. Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1988)
Obligatory Plot: Yet again Jason is willed back to life by an errant zap of electricity, and he hasn't changed. Per the series tradition of totally misleading titles, two-thirds of the action takes place on a boat.
Death Count: 21
Money Shot: Once he eventually does make it to Manhattan, a group of thugs threatens Jason, but in a classic move, he turns around, takes off his mask and glowers at them until they run away screaming.
Verdict: Jason on a Boat is somehow worse than Jason in Space. Sweet trailer, though.
10. Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993, part nine)
Obligatory Plot: After a military operation “kills” Jason, he passes his spirit (in the form of black mucus) from body to body while he searches for his only known relatives, the key to his survival.
Death Count: 27
Money Shot: For once, the titular promise is kept, and Jason is violently dragged to hell. As a bonus, Freddy makes a surprise appearance at the very last moment to help out.
Verdict: Although well-made compared to most of the sequels, the movie’s arbitrary rewrite of the series’ mythology is both callous and tiresome.
9. Jason X (2002)
Obligatory Plot: Another vaguely governmental outfit gets its hands on Jason, and after he nearly escapes, he's frozen and sent into space. In the year 2455 (!), the sound of female orgasm brings him back to life (!!!).
Death Count: 28
Money Shot: To buy time, an android tries to occupy Jason with a simulation of Camp Crystal Lake circa 1980, complete with two floozies who beg Jason for booze, pot and "premarital sex."
Verdict: Although the movie is an undeniable novelty, the sci-fi spin is as lame as it sounds.
8. Friday the 13th Part III (1982)
Obligatory Plot: A woman who apparently once had a run-in with Jason while he was
chilling in the woods travels up to a farm with a group of friends.
Jason shows up to take care of business.
Death Count: 12
Money Shot: Note the movie is also known as Friday the 13th Part 3-D,
which explains all the yo-yos and baseball bats that keep flying at the screen. In one priceless instance, a pair of doomed hippies pass a joint as if it’s handed directly to the audience, perhaps
as a suggestion to anyone who has to sit through the rest of the movie.
This chapter gives Jason his hockey mask, but it also gives the series
its dubious sense of humor. Too zany to be one of the greats.