Wednesday, June 24, 2009
A Cut Below
From the Adventures in Inadvertent Tastelessness file:
Last night, for reasons that I'll go to my grave not fully understanding, I watched the 2009 remake of Friday the 13th on pay-per-view. Produced in association with Michael Bay (I'll give you a minute to groan) and directed by Marcus Nispel (or is it Sardo Numspa? Or maybe Nipsey Russell?), the new version of the slasher "classic" pretty much follows the same formula as the original, only with a lot more nudity.
Strangely though, despite all the color-corrected gore and gratuitous exploitation on display -- I mean, come on, a topless girl gets a machete through the head, but she's then lifted up so you can get one last look at her breasts -- there was one scene early on that I found more shocking than the rest. And the best part is that I guarantee you it's something that wasn't done intentionally. The producers probably didn't realize the juxtaposition of images they were putting onscreen. (And I guarantee you the film's core demographic of brain-dead teens had no idea.)
In the opening moments of the movie, the audience is treated to flashbacks of the deranged Mrs. Voorhees as she tries to kill the last survivor of the unfortunate counseling staff at Camp Crystal Lake, circa 1980 -- whom she blames for the death of her son, Jason. These scenes are intercut with the opening credits, which are shown on a plain black background. For the most part, there's nothing interesting about this -- until they get to the scene where the counselor turns the tables on Jason's mom and lobs her head off with a machete.
The camera then slowly creeps up on the headless body of Mrs. Voorhees, lovingly scanning it and the detached head.
Then the whole thing cuts to the name of the movie's director of photography, in large white letters across the screen.
And his name just happens to be?