It’s been almost 10 years since Jason Voorhees was last seen in theaters hacking his way through a bundle of teenagers. Friday the 13th is the epitome of meat and potatoes slasher flicks. With Michael Myers stalking his way back to cinemas in the upcoming Halloween, one can only hope Jason isn’t too far behind him. Where we stand now is in the longest gap ever without a Friday sequel up on the big screen. News of the “13th Friday” is constantly being bandied about. Currently us fans find ourselves waiting for a pending lawsuit to fade away and for the rights to the series to revert back to New Line. If this Voorhees-less stretch of time has gotten you down, fear not! Sure, there haven’t been any “official” Friday flicks, but the world of fan films is a vast landscape worth diving into.
For those who aren’t so well adept at deciphering the complex mysteries that are context clues, a fan film is a movie (typically a short) that unofficially continues, remakes, or reimagines the stories and events from some of your favorite entertainment media (movies, games, comic books, etc.), and is made by – fans of said media. Horror fan films, in particular, are rampant. It’s so easy to run into a Party City, grab your favorite cinema slasher mask, and round up your friends to shoot a film in your backyard.
And, while many fan films feel just like that – a group of friends filming something for fun, there are some fan made shorts that are genuinely impressive in their scope and technical ability. I’ve rounded up 13 Friday the 13th fan flicks to help satiate your bloodlust while we wait our favorite hockey mask wearing madman to make his canonical return.
Friday the 13th: The Storm
Easily one of the more ambitious films on the list, Friday the 13th: The Storm is a true testament to what can be done with limited means yet with the advantage of today’s technology. If you didn’t know any better, you could easily be forgiven for thinking The Storm was a professional production. The masterminds behind this short actually went on to create a F13 web series entitled The Obsession which took a meta approach to the legend of Camp Crystal Lake.
Friday the 13th: The Game: The Movie
This quicky, faux trailer for the film based on a video game based on a movie that never was, is a retro delight. It pokes fun at the notoriously awful Friday NES game. The trailer includes all the absurd details that have become linked with that failed movie tie-in, zombies, purple Jason, and a flying Ms. Voorhees head. It’s way better than the similar production that was successfully funded through Kickstarter.
Friday the 13th: Fan Film
Okay, this one is about as straightforward as its title. Fan Film drops us right into Camp Crystal Lake with minimal setup and maximum bloodshed. Camp is over, all the campers have headed home, and a few counselors decide to hang around for some hanky panky. Naturally, Jason takes notice. This short is interesting for the unique appearance given to this mask wearing behemoth. It seems to be a take off on the Jason we saw in the 2009 film, only with stringy hair. I’m not sure I dig the look, but Fan Film is an easy way to spend ten minutes. Also, this happens to be the second film on the list (but not last) to callback to the series’ infamous sleeping bag murder.
“Watching My 1996 Friday the 13th Fan Film” – The Death of Jason
So, if you’ve never taken the time to jump headlong into the abyss that is fan films, you might not know just how bad some of them can be. A lot of them are made by kids goofing around. I actually stumbled upon one that featured a bunch of ten year olds being chased by a killer they called Jason Voorhees. I say “called” because the killer was just another kid with a plastic shopping bag wrapped around his head(!). As a burgeoning horror nerd myself, I made fan films with my friends as a kid. We did our own takes on both the “Clock Tower” video game and The Blair Witch Project. Thankfully, YouTube did not yet exist, so there’s no evidence out there to come back and haunt me. YouTuber Daniel Benedict isn’t afraid of his past, however. In fact, he faces it head on with this reaction video to his childhood film, Friday the 13th XII: The Death of Jason. The means by which the budding director chose to actually bring about “the death” of Jason is something you can’t possibly see coming.
Freddy vs Jason vs Ash
After the massive success of Freddy vs Jason, it seemed liked a no brainer there would be a sequel. Not only would the two titans of terror be facing off yet again, they were going to have to do so while evading destruction from the demon slayer dejour, Ash Williams! While rights issues ran that concept into the ground, a series of comics brought the epic script treatment to life. Fans were at least able to get a glimpse of what could’ve been. Now we’ll never see that story brought to screen, but leave it to fan filmmakers to at least give it a try.
Shut the Door (Camp Blood Month)
Last October, Free Fire Films chose to celebrate Halloween by deeming the month “Camp Blood Month.” Each week, they released a bite sized machete slice of Voorhees brutality. None of them are over two minutes in length, so if you’re in a time crunch – I recommend you head over to check them out. Each short features one unsuspecting victim and a hell of a bloody payoff. The entry above, Shut the Door, has a gory finale that proves there’s still plenty of inventive deaths at Jason’s disposal. A machete can only be so exciting for so long, right?
Friday the 13th: Hike to Higgins Haven
Featuring a final girl who’s not afraid to punch Jason square in the face, Hike to Higgins Haven is incredibly barebones but effective. While there’s not much stylistic sheen on display here, the short basically plays out as one big final girl chase and ends with a particularly gruesome display of Jason’s abilities.
Friday the 13th the Game Parody 1
This delightfully cheeky animated sendup pokes fun at the conventions of the film series as well as the gameplay of Friday the 13th: The Game (a superior modern take that practically erases the memory of the NES version from back in the day). The parody is a series of vignettes that are sure to stab at your funny bone. There’s even a great cameo by cartoon Harry Manfredini around the 2 minute mark.
Friday the 13th the Game Parody 2
What’s Friday the 13th without a sequel?! Samination brings more animated spoofery…now with bonus Shelly!
Friday the 13th: A New Wake
This French import features gorgeous cinematography, a gothic graveyard, and a couple of scantily clad himbos in place of your typical blonde, F13 bimbos. As enjoyable as I found this short to be, I have to admit the plot is incredibly murky. Despite the quissical narrative, there’s plenty of fantastic imagery that makes one long for a “stylish” Friday the 13th flick in this same vein.
Jason Voorhees vs Marvel
This Spanish stopmotion piece sees Voorhees captured by a gaggle of Marvel villains dead set on harnessing Jason’s regenerative healing abilities. Of course, Jason ain’t got time for that! It isn’t long before he’s free and sets out to pulverise the puny mutants standing in his way. The ghost of his mother appears only to demand the souls of the most powerful people in the world. Who could that be? Well, The Avengers seem pretty powerful. The animation is a lot of fun, even if the direction leaves a bit to be desired. It’s still worthwhile for the obvious amount of effort that must have gone into its creation.
Jason Goes to Wal-Mart
This quick clip features a lumbering Jason, wondering into a big box store in search of, what else, a brand new machete.
Never Hike Alone
Last, but certainly not least, is one of the more recent entries into F13 fan film canon, Never Hike Alone. Plenty has been written about this one, and it’s safe to assume many of you have already checked it out. If, for some reason, you haven’t – it’s April 13th…and a Friday, so this is certainly your opportunity to do so.
It’s amazing what can be accomplished with nothing but a camera, some time, and a the type of passion that can only be felt in the heart of an obsessive fan. These thirteen flicks are only the tip of the iceberg of what’s out there. Did I miss any good ones?