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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Friday the 13th (1980)

Precisely why you don't swim right after eating.

Alfred Hitchcock created the genre. The “Slasher” picture. It was 1960, and the film was Psycho. If we wanted to stretch that fact, we can claim that the original ‘slasher’ film was a small, yet admittedly scary, film called Peeping Tom. It was released only a few months before Psycho, but didn’t have nearly the same impact on audiences. Or critics. Psycho soared to the top, and Peeping Tom was left to be later rediscovered and revered. Hitchcock, without intention, birthed a new era of horror film that wouldn’t come to into its prime until 1973 with the release of Black Christmas.

Black Christmas redefined what Hitchcock had started, and set the rules in stone - a mentally unhinged masked killer stalks attractive teens and picks them off, one by one, in creative ways. After Black Christmas, then came Halloween which cemented the popularity of the genre. After Halloween was a critical and financial success, studios ran with the idea that they could make money selling “dead teenager movies” (a term coined by Roger Ebert) to live teenagers. They were right, and in 1980, the first studio-backed ‘slasher’ film was released. It was May 9th, and it was Friday the 13th.

More after the cut--

Friday, May 13, 2011

In Theaters This Weekend

... I can't.

What happened to Paul Bettany? I'm going to go ahead and blame it on Wimbledon. Let's look - Dogville, Master and Commander, A Knight's Tale, A Beautiful Mind... all Oscar worthy performances. He was shaping up to be the actor of his generation, but then came Wimbledon and the land of guaranteed audiences. Wimbledon, Firewall, Legion, and now Priest? Creation, and his astonishing portrayal of Charles Darwin, is the late exception. 

With Priest and Bridesmaids (consider it an... estrogen-fueled The Hangover) opening this weekend, can you guess what I'm going to recommend? Let's take a brief look at both after the jump. 

More after the cut--