Weekend Friday the 13th Binge

I’m going to make a minor confession that may seriously impact my standing as a horror aficionado: I have never liked the “Friday the 13th” film series.

Can’t say why exactly, I just always found the plodding serial killer archetype represented by “…13th’s” Jason (and “Halloween’s” Micheal Meyers) kind of dumb. I much preferred the witty banter and complex backstory of “Nightmare of Elm Street’s” Freddy Krueger.

Nonetheless, my wife was out of town this weekend and I watched installments four, five and six of the “…13th” series. (I’ve seen the preceding ones at various points over the years.) And they weren’t bad—a bit funnier than I would’ve guessed and with a nice balance of characterization versus gore.

There is one scene that had me cracking up. A woman is being attacked by Jason and, believing him to be a mugger, offers him her wallet. Jason, not interested in such philistine pursuits as accruing money, kills her anyway, leaving in the dirt her cash and her American Express card, which the camera curiously focuses on. My suspicion is this was a play off the advertisements in the 80s of Am Ex’s competitor, MasterCard. The ads would list the attributes of an appealing restaurant or business and end by saying “and they don’t take American Express.” Jason, too, it seems, rejects the card. (It’s unclear whether the woman would have had different results with MasterCard or Visa.)

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