My Review and Ranking of the Entire FRIDAY THE 13TH Franchise

May 13, 2017


Not that long ago Amazon Prime uploaded the entire classic run of FRIDAY THE 13TH films. It had been a long time since I watched them and on a whim one evening I started the series from the beginning. Because I can be a bit of a compliest (especially when it comes to horror) I ended up rewatching the entire franchise.

I’ve never been much of a slasher fan. The first NIGHTMARE OF ELM STREET movie is fantastic horror but that series turning into cheesy comedy lost me. I’ve always found the HALLOWEEN movies to just be boring (yes, even the first). But for some reason I’ve always dug Jason. I love the character design and the franchises commitment to always being focused on Jason killing people. It’s sleazy, trashy, and just pure fun.

After rewatching here’s my ranking of all the movies with some brief thoughts on each one.




The quintessential FRIDAY flick. This film is essentially the origin story of every trope associated with the slasher genre. Tom Savini’s gore is some of the best of the series (at least from what the MPPA allowed us to see). It’s just Jason brutally killing teens for 90 minutes. When you picture a FRIDAY film in your head – you’re thinking of this one. Also this is the last film in the series to have the sleazy grindhouse feel (at least to me).



This is so absolutely insane and balls-to-the-wall that I can’t help but love it. People complain that this is stupid but that’s missing the point – this is Jason in space! Of course it’s stupid! There are some amazing death scenes (the frozen space and the “screw” death are obvious highlights) and cyborg uber-Jason. The moment when Jason is floating through space towards the characters never fails to make me giggle. Fucking great movie!



Super fun and the first appearance of zombie Jason. The larger scope of the story keeps it more interesting than many of the entries before and after. Plus the generous amount of metahumor predating the SCREAM franchise is surprisingly cutting edge. And what the fuck is with the cops in this movie? They are real fucking assholes.

4: FRIDAY THE 13TH (2009)


Basically a remake of the first four films in the franchise. It has that 00’s slick and gritty feel that many of the era’s horror remakes had but it really works here unlike so many other remakes from the same time. It’s just Jason killing teens with super slick gore but isn’t that why we watch these movies?



Baghead Jason is really cool here and I kinda wish that we got to see more of that Jason in the series. This entry also haves the heaviest grindhouse aesthetic of the entire series (which is something I really dig).



The quintessential 80’s slasher that ripped off Bava’s A BAY OF BLOOD and spawn thousands of imitators. This may be an essential part of horror history but these days its better remember for ushering in the slasher subgenre than the actual movie itself. The kills are good (awesome effects from Tom Savini) and the twist at the end is still perfect but this is one of the few film series where I like a majority of the sequels more than the original.



When this first came out I loved it. It’s ridiculous, over-the-top, and gives us the WWE-influenced Freddy versus Jason fight we’ve always wanted to see. Now that some time has passed my feelings have tempered a bit. We spend WAY too much time with the boring teen characters and, outside of a few brief moments, I could have used a lot more blood and gore.



A really fun sequel that wear’s its dumbness proudly. The “Carrie” vs Jason story is one of the more memorable and exciting of the entire franchise. If it wasn’t for the fact that the gore is cut to hell here (seriously – almost every death is practically cut out of the movie) this would be higher up on my list.



This one I feel very “meh” over. It is where Jason gets his iconic hockey mask and the movie does have some good grindhouse moments but it’s very forgettable and stereotypical “eighties slasher.”



A very average nineties-feeling horror movie that only features Jason in the opening and closing scenes. I believe this is the first movie that we don’t see Jason without his mask. I really wanted to see what super bloated and decomposed Jason looked like.



My complaints over this one have nothing to do with the fact that Jason isn’t in this. No, my complaints the actual explanation for what is really going on is so anti-climatic that it ruins everything before. The reason the killer is killing is just goddamn fucking stupid (even for slashser standards). Plus this features all the worse tropes of slashers (characters falling and can’t stand, characters refusing to move out of oncoming trouble, annoying kid that’s more proficient at everything than any of the adults).



Just bad. It’s Jason on a boat for ninety minutes and Jason mostly in back alleys of NYC for ten minutes. Most of the kills are boring (the head punch is one notable exception). Honestly, this was a chore to get through.


So that’s my list. After watching all the movies and thinking about them way too much I have some miscellaneous thoughts on the franchise as a whole:

  • I probably knew it in the past but had completely forgotten that 2, 3, and 4 take place over the course of one week. It was pretty neat seeing the previous massacres at the beginnings of the films from the perspectives of people just driving by.


  • The concept of Jason body-jumping – which was the basis for GOES TO HELL – was weirdly hinted at during the finale scenes of NEW BEGINNING.


  • Why do so many women lose the ability to walk/run/stand during these movies? At many points throughout the entire series the female characters will randomly fall over and crawl for sometimes up to dozens of yards while making zero attempts to get back on their feet. Why was this ever a trope?


  • The theatrical runs of these have many kill scenes that are borderline bloodless. I remember these movies being on TV all the time when I was a kid (it was how I first saw many of them). I wonder how little they had to edit out – all the nudity obviously but outside of a few scenes there’s just not that much gore in the franchise.


  • Jason reminds me a bit of Batman at times. In almost every movie there is a scene where he arranges in all the victim corpses into the perfect manner to surprise and scare the final girl. After she freaks out, he then appears. How does he know where to set everything up? Where does he know the right spot to hide? The answer – he’s Jason. Just like every question about Batman is answered with “he’s Batman.” Damn, now I want a Batman VS Jason story.


  • Is Jason is a spree killer or a serial killer? One of the defining aspects of a serial killer is the cooling off period. Jason, from the moment he starts killing in part 2, never seems to have a cooling off period. Sure he is stopped at times but he is more “killed” than choosing to take a break. In real life some spree killers take a night’s sleep before going back at it and Jason’s breaks seem more akin to that. Jason also has to seem to have a complete disregard for his own well-being whereas another trait of serial killers is planning out their crimes (but not always well) for their own safety. In conclusion, I believe that makes Jason a spree killer with the longest continuous spree in that franchise’s universe.


  • There’s actually a time jump in the series so most of the later movies are taking place years after the films actually came out. Fun fact – that means Jason is running amok in a post 9/11 NYC. No wonder no one cares.


  • The remake ends with Jason getting hung by a chain. If we would have got sequels this would have set up for zombie Jason to have the chain necklace which was present in all the zombie Jason movies from the original series.


  • I think the cat from the beginning of PART 2 was working with Jason. Jason was waiting for the girl to find the head in the fridge before attacking and the only reason she went to the fridge was because of the cat. We also never see Jason kill a cat the entire franchise.


  • This frame from JASON LIVES is the single best moment of the entire franchise:



Portland’s Burning or my thoughts on attending a counter Trump rally and the Portland May Day riots in just three days

May 2, 2017

Wow, its 2 a.m. as I am writing this and I still feel a little on edge. Today, May 1st, 2017 (actually technically yesterday since I’m writing this late at night) marked the first time that I found myself in a riot. I didn’t participate nor did anyone I was attending with but we experienced flash bangs, tear gas, and roving hordes of both destructive protesters and cops looking to arrest anyone that in any way looked like a “protester.”

Let’s begin with what the significance of what May 1st holds – there is the obvious pagan beginning of spring connotations but then there is also International Worker’s Day. A demonstration that dates back to 1904 advocating “the legal establishment of the 8-hour day, for the class demands of the proletariat, and for universal peace.” Basically that means “fuck all of those rich fuckers who abuse and use us and for one day every year we will all go on strike and protest for a better world.”

The date holds special meaning to me because of my grandfather (who is no longer with us). He was a union organizer in the coal mines and he participated in early May Day events that even included him having to fight the very violent and vile Pinkertons in the streets just for being able to organize for their rights to afford food and not work 80 hour weeks – things we now take for granted in the U.S. He installed in my very young mind a strong love and respect for labor movements and the knowledge that those rights unions fought for decades ago should be cherished because they could be taken away at any time in the right situation. Since I have been an adult I have participated in many May Day events knowing that my departed grandfather’s love for worker rights and social justice was living on in me.

That personal history for me and the terrible proposed policies of the Trump and GOP administrations meant I had to come out to join the protests. When I left my house based in east Portland I waited at the bus stop and four SUVs with masked cops went past me – I should have known something was up.

When I first arrived it was your standard intellectual anarchist rally. About a thousand people mingled in the park located in front of Portland’s art museum with signs, costumes, and noisemakers. People gave speeches against the President’s proposed immigration platforms and speeches in favor of increasing the minimum wage. There were about a dozen booths set up with information on political theory, worker’s issues, and activism groups – I signed up for a few mailing lists. At one point there was a pretty badass hip hop artist that took the main stage but I never caught his name.

Take a look:


Oh yeah, there were even clowns making balloon animals for the numerous small children in attendance (Portland’s protests tend to be family friendly).


And there was this badass guy playing guitar in the street. He was awesome.


But here’s the first sign that something was wrong and that some elements of the protest were extremely angry:


That sign might not make much sense but that’s because I need to explain something that happened this past Saturday, April the 29th. After receiving anonymous threats (at first attributed to a local anarchist group but now believed to be from a third party) a local Portland parade was canceled this year. In response, two groups not from Portland (that also had nothing to do with the parade in the first place) staged what they called a “free speech” rally in what is one of Portland’s biggest immigrant neighborhoods and also the same place I call home. The rally had nothing to do with “free speech” – it was a straight-up pro-Trump rally with a focus on “building the wall.” The right-wingers came with weapons (many that the police confiscated), wearing helmets and body pads, and ready to fight the dreaded left-wing menace of “antifa” (I don’t have time to explain the hysterics over that, how “antifa” isn’t really a real organization, and how long “antifa” has been around and it’s kinda hilarious they just noticed – google that or maybe I’ll explain some time later). But the antifa they were so scared of was just people who actually lived in Portland dressed up as Mexican wrestlers, jugglers, or just plain neighborhood folk like me who didn’t appreciate people from other states coming to our neighborhood to tell our neighbors to get out.

Their march was unpermitted but the police blocked a lane of traffic (and several intersections) over the course of two miles and at their ending point (a Burger King – seriously) offered city buses to take the demonstrators back to their cars – all things I have never seen at the very many left leaning protests I have attended. And before you say “they were following the rules,” remember, they had no permit, blocked traffic, and attempted to instigate fights with the counter protesters the entire time.

The point being is that some protesters were already angry at what they perceived as the city and police showing a bias for the out of town Trump supporters.

When the May Day march started the crowd had grown to around 2000 and I found myself near the back with my friends because we were walking very leisurely and also I needed to take a piss. What this provided us with was a first-hand view for all the shit that was about to go down.

The march was divided into loose groups (there was no enforcement of this) – families and those with special needs in the front, various local labor groups that followed, everyone else after them, and then the black bloc (which is the more common name for “antifa” in U.S. leftist circles) in the back. My friends and I found ourselves between the “everyone” group and the black bloc at the start of the event.

For the first fifteen minutes (roughly) everything went fine. People chanted, sang pro-labor songs, beat drums, and just chatted with each other – you know, normal protest shit.

See video here

But at some point I heard some loud bangs behind me. I turned around but couldn’t tell what I was hearing but I saw the cops (who to this point had only been on the lines of the march with the occasional one coming in to pass a message to one of the many official march representatives) looking pissed off at something.

“What’s happening?” I wondered out loud.

“Some guy is throwing cans of Pepsi at the cops,” said a woman next to me.

Right then a few blue tin cans went flying from the black bloc area at the cops.

That’s a really fucking dumb thing to do, I thought, someone’s getting arrested. Sure enough, some guy went running right pass me wearing a brightly colored shirt (I think it was orange – crazy day so not so sure), giggling, and clutching to his chest a half empty carton of Pepsi cans. I want to point out that this person was wearing no mask nor was dressed in any black clothing – he was not a member of the black bloc. Later in the night I wondered if he hadn’t thrown anything if things would have gotten so bad.

Police swarmed out and grabbed him and put him in cuffs. In response the black bloc rushed forward in anger to someone being arrest (the BB is like that). Parade organizers came over to tell everyone to move around and let the cops be – the unintended result of this, plus a corner the march was turning, ending up combining all the various groups.

When now the intermixed group of protesters came to a bridge protected by police in full riot gear there were more cans of Pepsi thrown along with red, white, and blue smoke “bombs” thrown at them. I put bombs in quotes because they didn’t explode or go bang, there was just a bunch of smoke. It looked like this:


What’s really interesting is that the riot cops kicked the “bombs” back into the marching crowd – a crowd including elderly and young children. Before anyone says “that’s what you get” – retribution isn’t the job of cops, that’s courts. Their job is to protect and serve. This becomes important later.

Within minutes there was a police announcement from speakers on a truck behind us that the march permit was immediately revoked and that all protesters must disperse. Sure, but behind us are cops saying to go move forward (that’s where the speakers are), the river to our right, and buildings with no space between them to the left (there’s not really alleys in downtown Portland). Ahead, where the march was supposed to be heading with the permit (with streets already cleared for us) riot cops moved in to block us off from moving forward.

This left one route, a side street before the wall of riot cops ahead, for all marchers to go through. Not really knowing what to do (I have my suspicions if the people in the front even knew what was going on) we just kept advancing as a group down the only street available.

As I turned to go down it a guy next to me pointed and said, “look, their moving ahead. They’re going to surround us.”

That was the exact moment I knew everything was going to go to shit. This is a technique known as kettling. Police justify it as a way to control mass groups of people. Those experienced in protesting know this is a way to block in protesters, antagonize the crowd, and then justify excessive use of force. The technique is also known for arresting more peaceful than violent protesters by grouping everyone together.

This is also about the time that I noticed black bloc members starting to run around with chunks of broken up concrete (where or how they got it is beyond me – it looked like pieces of street curbs).

So, yeah, not looking good.

The side street led to a much more main road that only had left or right choices due to the large buildings with no space between them. After rounding the corner the group headed left which was the direction of our gathering point and where lots of people had cars, stuff, etc. Halfway up the next block and talking with my friends about how we were going to get out of this, police blocked off the way the crowd was headed. Behind us, the direction the march didn’t choose suddenly was rush with riot cops and police vans.

Outside of the side street that we were forced into, we were trapped.

See video here

People milled about unsure of what to do. The police continued to make announcements about how we had to leave but there was no visible way to get out as police had us completely surrounded.

Then, the people that were still on the side street, began running and yelling “they’re using tear gas!”

Sure enough, a cloud immediately followed them around the building along with riot cops and trucks. I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced tear gas but it smells and tastes fucking awful. Fortunately I was not close enough to the actual gas container as I have asthma and direct exposure to tear gas can be fatal to me.

My friends and I rushed forward, pausing to make sure that we stayed together – always remember the buddy system during protests. Then the police announced that everyone on the streets had to get on the sidewalk or would face immediate arrest. Everyone got on the sidewalks, still completely unsure of where to go. There were still children, elderly, and people with disabilities mixed in with the crowds. They got the safest spots against the buildings in case things ended up going very terrible.

While the police continued to make more announcements, flash bangs began going off ahead of us. If you’ve never experienced a flash bang – they are SUPER loud and flash very bright in the dark (but this was the middle of the afternoon was that affect was lost). And then more tear gas ahead of us.

See video here

So to be clear, we are trapped in a city block with riot cops on both ends, tear gas at both ends, and flash bangs. The police made ZERO attempt to allow time for children, the elderly, the disabled, or the peaceful (where my friends and I were) to get out of this situation.

I have no shame in admitting for a few moments I was very legitimately scared.

After being like, what the fuck do we do, we tried working our way to the front of the crowd where there was a row of riot cops and it turned out that if you went against the building the police would let you out at the corner of the block (not that they ever told us that – or if they did there was no way of hearing). But you did have to go past several lines of masked cops pointing rubber bullet guns and gas grenades at you. Not exactly where you feel inclined to go.


Once we got out of that area we could see that there had been other conflicts happening while we were trapped. A large bonfire of god knows what was burning in the center of an intersection a block ahead.


So we were out, all good, right? Not exactly.

Now all the protesters were spread out everywhere in downtown. As we started to head back in the direction of my friend’s car (I was offered a ride and no way was I waiting on the buses to get out). Police had blocked off seemingly random intersections and streets all over downtown so we had to constantly be rerouted.


At one point two protesters walking in front of us were suddenly grabbed by cops, cuffed, and thrown into the back of vans. No clue what that was about and we were concerned we’d be next.

At another corner we passed an organizer of the march talking on a walky talky about how there were protest stragglers all around but she didn’t know where to take them or where the main group was. We never actually found the main group again. We got completely cut off. That may have been a good thing for us.

Flash bangs kept going off in all directions and police kept blocking our ways out.

We passed a Target that had its windows smashed.


And a trashed cop car that is certain to appear on some future punk band’s album cover.


Finally, after a way too long walk we got to the car and got out of downtown without being arrested or gassed.


Really two groups.

Before I address them I already see right-wing groups talking about this as if they were there and beat the “antifa.” Unless they are saying they are directly working with police organizations, they are straight-up wrong or lying. There were zero counter protesters that I saw.

That out of the way – group one:

THE POLICE – They used tactics that are well known to escalate situations (like kettling) and offered no opportunity for us peaceful protesters to get out. They were eager to show force and did not hesitate to use it. If they would have acted calmer at the beginning of the incidents there’s a real chance that the protesters would have not escalated and the whole thing would have been a note in the paper like “Anarchists throw Pepsi and fireworks at police” at worst. And “fireworks” would have been a media exaggeration as they were just the smoke things I posted above. In other words, a non-story.

Instead they went straight to gas and flash bangs on large crowds in which the vast majority had been perfectly peaceful. This is exactly how one escalates a situation when in a position of authority.

Now, the second group, which I have a lot more to say about:

THE PROTESTERS – specifically the protesters that came looking for a fight. I understand their anger, remember that Trump march I mentioned at the beginning. They had no permit, were trying to incite fights, blocked traffic with police protection, and were given free buses from the city. There was a lot of anger that many felt the city government has sided with Trump and they no longer had a voice. Not saying that I agree with that viewpoint but just that I understand it.

But they came looking for a fight just like the Trump supporters but unlike the Trump people the protesters got it today and pulled in a lot of peaceful protesters and innocent bystanders.

The issue here is don’t pick a fight with a cop. Not because I respect them (most cops are shit and most of the good ones protect the shit ones – blue code and all) but because you can’t win. In a physical fight almost no punk anarchist is going to win against a cop. Let’s be fucking honest here.

There was a time that I didn’t believe this hippie-dippy peace-punk anarcho shit but I do now. You can’t defeat the system with the same tools it uses to hold itself up. Violence and anger will never win because that’s exactly the reaction that they want and they expect. So the key is what do you do when those tools are off the table?

I point to how we handled the Trump supporters in my neighborhood. The outside groups were posting on their Facebook pages about how they were looking forward to traveling to Portland to fight “antifa” and facedown the black bloc. So what the protesters did was we made ourselves extremely colorful and non-threatening. We were jugglers, lucha libre wrestlers, queer people throwing glitter with dance music on boom boxes, trans people, boring community members, and me – the type of people that don’t give any satisfaction if you beat them up in public with news media paying attention.

Those fucks that came into my hood had no clue what to do when confronted with us. They came out expecting a fight and we gave them a circus/dance party. Our goal was never to shut them down but just be a constant annoyance saying “no, we don’t fall in line and we don’t support these policies.” Hell, that was my go to line whenever someone asked why I was there. I quickly learned that Trump supporters just want to argue about a liberal strawman and have no answers when it comes to policy or spending issues.


When the Trump march ended and they didn’t get a fight the Trump supporters surrounded the protesters that were left (I was one) and screamed at us for about fifteen minutes with cops feet away and doing nothing. That was another frightening moment I’ve had in the past few days. I want to make it clear that at the end we had no signs, we weren’t chanting, we were doing nothing other than being a presence at the corner of the rally that they knew didn’t belong because we looked “weird” or “threatening” – there was one guy in all black with a handkerchief over his face that did more to protect us than the cops did. In fact, the cops did nothing when an obviously aggressive crowd surrounded peaceful protesters on the fringes of an event (that was on private property – Burger King – still confused over that as they were really focused on having the right to being on a “public space”).


But who won that day? No one. That wasn’t the point. The Trump people marched and expected and wanted violence but they had no clue what to do when we acted silly and ridiculous. The system and those that support it are prepared for violence and hate but they have no idea what to do when you don’t play that game. I watched someone that day point at and scream at a juggler with a big red nose and he just kept juggling. If someone is so hopelessly gone that they try to start a screaming match with a juggler it’s better just to let them go and just keep juggling.

So who won in the May Day riot? I guess the police, they got to play with their toys that the military keeps giving them.

Would the protesters have won if none of this happened? Also probably “no.” Here’s the sad fact about protests – if they don’t go violent or wrong, the media doesn’t give a shit and pays no mind.


I don’t know.

That’s the truth. We seem to be reaching an a point where now both sides of the political spectrum come out expecting violence and if you are always expecting violence, you’ll probably get it a few times. And that does nothing. Sure, both sides make memes and laugh at others who disagree with them being hurt but is that really where we want to go? Is that really your only way of thinking about and interacting with the world? Laughing at the pain of others? And does that mean if you are in pain, you have lost?

I don’t think that’s what I want.

At the Trump rally protest I told the juggler how much I loved what he was doing and he replied with, “I only want to bring the smiles.”

That’s the first new idea I’ve heard since November 8th that I can get behind.



Jeff Attacks 23 – Suicide Forests and the Big Bad Wolf with Leza Cantoral

March 16, 2017


Leza Cantoral joins Jeff to talk about her new short story collection, CARTOONS IN THE SUICIDE FOREST, folk tales, AWP and other conventions, occultism, Trump’s views on Mexico, and much more!

Check it out here! 

Jeff Attacks 22 – Anti-Venom and Fucking Borders with Armando Razo

February 22, 2017


Armando Razo joins Jeff to talk about his history in punk, ska, and crack rock steady, his band, Anti-Venom, what the scene is like in Mexico, and how President Trump is trying to divide them.

At one point Squishy interrupts the show by trying to piss on the floor.

Check it out here!

I Was on John Podesta’s Pizza Party Podcast

February 21, 2017


John Podesta’s Pizza Party is a great new political and pop culture podcast hosted by Clash Media.

It was a two parter where I talked about the value of protests, conspiracy theories and why they are bullshit, why we need to stop building so many bombs, how Dwayne ‘the Rock’ Johnson is the perfect person to save us from Trump, and much more.

You can listen to part 1 here.

You can listen to part 2 here.

Jeff Attacks 21 – Building Your Brand with Brian Keene, John Skipp, Nick Mamatas, J. David Osborne,Laura Lee Bahr, and Jeff Burk

February 5, 2017


Panel recorded live at BizarroCon 2016.

BUILDING YOUR AUTHOR BRAND THROUGH PODCASTING, BLOGGING AND VIDEO (Mod­—Laura Lee Bahr, Brian Keene, Nick Mamatas, Jeff Burk, J. David Osborne, John Skipp) Learn how to create presence as an artist and build a strong identity that connects with an audience through podcasting, blogging, and video.

Check it out here. 

My Top Ten Movies of 2016

December 22, 2016

My annual write-up of my favorite movies of the year was just published at Go check it out!