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A Retrospective On The Friday 13th Composers!

Featuring 12 films over 33 years, Friday The 13th is often placed next to the Halloween and Nightmare On Elm Street series as one of the most important and recognizable horror franchises in, well…ever! And since it’s Friday The 13th, what better way is there to celebrate one of horror’s most iconic dates than by taking some time to appreciate and reflect back upon the very people who brought us the spine-chilling music behind the iconic series?

Below we take a little bit of time to talk about the four composers who have laid their musical stylings upon the Friday The 13th series. We’re going to look at the films that they worked on as well as their other contributions to the horror genre. So head on down and check it all out!

Harry Manfredini

Films: Friday The 13th – Friday The 13th Part VII: The New Blood, Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday, Jason X

The original, the master, the founder of what we think of when it comes to the music of the Friday The 13th series. Manfredini is singlehandedly responsible for the infamous “Ki-ki-ki…ma-ma-ma…“, taking Mrs. Voorhees’ recital of, “Kill her, mommy!” as inspiration.

Compared to Bernard Herrmann, Manfredini has scored over 100 projects, including House, Slaughter High, Wishmaster, Swamp Thing, The Children, and more.

Fred Mollin

Films: Friday The 13th Part VII: A New Blood, Friday The 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan

Mollin co-composed Part VII: A New Blood with Harry Manfredini and then took the reins on Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan. He is also responsible for composing the music behind Friday The 13th: The Series, the syndicated television series that ran for three seasons.

While Mollin didn’t delve too much into scoring for other horror projects, he did score a few episodes of The Outer Limits and several episodes of Forever Knight.

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  • Bouncy X

    just wanted to say Fred Mollin didn’t do “several episodes” of Forever Knight, he did the opening theme and all 70 episodes of the show. okay my nerd moment is over. 😛

    • c-s-a78


      • JonathanBarkan

        I didn’t realize that! Thanks for letting me know!

  • elemperador

    I’m a little surprised with your choice of films to list for Harry Manfredini. He didn’t score a single note of new music for part VII. All of the new music was done by Fred Mollin and the parts that were Harry’s work were all inserts from his previous movies. He wrote all new music for parts I, II, V, VI, IX and X. Some new music was written for III (including the iconic disco version) and IV, but significant parts were reused as well (with III mostly being assembled by Jack Tillar as Harry was largely unavailable).

  • djblack1313

    i completely love Manfredini’s scores for parts 1-4 (and from what i remember part 5). in parts 1-3 (less in part 3) his incredible score was (this will sound weird) an actual character/integral part of why the movies (again, most notably in parts 1 & 2) were so good. i’ve had the soundtracks on disc for years and they are STILL superb today.

    what Manfredini wrote/composed is 1000% the opposite of bland/forgettable/generic. it’s one of my all time favorite soundtracks ever. i fell in love with the ending slow piano ballad played at the end when Alice is floating away in the canoe, back in high school (OK, a geek moment here! if you notice, the country song playing in the diner scene at the beginning with Annie is actually the ending’s Alice/canoe ballad but in a country format and with vocals! yes, i’m a geek to even know that. lol).

    the only part of the reboot’s (a movie i DO enjoy too!) score that had anything memorable-ish or remotely interesting was the keyboard/techno-ish(?) part that plays when Whitney escapes in the very beginning (her BF Mike was just killed) from Jason’s house. other than that i think Jablonsky was either very uninspired with the this soundtrack or he just phoned it in and didn’t care.

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