When I was a kid, I didn't understand why Friday the 13th was considered an unlucky day. Sure, it was unlucky for those kids at Camp Crystal Lake, but Friday the 13th always meant a marathon of Friday the 13th films and TV series on at least two cable channels. To me, that's a score. Now that I'm a grown-up, I realize that I can make any day Friday the 13th but even still, the actual day holds a certain magic for me.
Luckily, the rest of the horror community feels the same as I do. For this past Friday the 13th - the first of 2012, our friends over at Shock Till You Drop co-hosted a Friday the 13th double feature with special guests. The event also acted as an album release event for the first official release of Harry Manfredini's score for Friday the 13th Parts I-VI. Manfredini was part of the panel, hosted by Shock's Ryan Turek.
"People have been asking me to put out the scores for the last 10 years or so," Manfredini revealed during the evening's Q&A. "But I didn't have the masters." An unrelated meeting at Lionsgate put him in contact with the music supervisor at Paramount, who had Pro Tools mixes from the recent remastered DVD set Paramount released. Paramount didn't have the score for Part VI; luckily a buddy had a good copy of most of the music from Part VI. La La Records, the company that put out the box set, wanted every bit of music Manfredini wrote for the films.
But Friday night wasn't just about the music. Adrienne King (Alice in Parts I and II) was on hand, as were Darcy DeMoss (Nikki in Part VI) and Nancy McLoughlin (Lizabeth in Part VI, as well as wife of Part VI director Tom McLoughlin).
King got the gig through a regular open audition. While many actresses today try to avoid horror films because they fear they will get pigeon-holed as a scream queen, King didn't have any such fears. "Actors want to act. As long as it was a SAG gig and I got paid, it was a great gig. Oh, and I also, I was trying to keep my clothes on." Friday the 13th was her first leading role in a feature, and she has nothing but happy memories about shooting the film. "We got to be kids," she reminisces about co-stars Kevin Bacon, Jeannine Taylor, Harry Crosby, and Laurie Beltram. "We were all at the same places in our careers. What you see with us hanging out on the docks, me sketching, the boys lifting weights... that was all real. It was very natural."
Although DeMoss was only on set for about four days for Part VI, she has nothing but good memories. For starters, she is proud of the fact that her fight with Jason was the longest Jason-fight in the film. Even better, she got paid for three Friday the 13th films. "They hired me for part five, but ended up cutting the scene. I still got paid, and they brought me back to audition for part six." She got that role - and made it into the film. Then footage of her was used in Part VII, so she got paid for that, too.
Tom McLoughlin had a scheduling conflict, so his wife Nancy was there to speak for him. When asked if, by Part VI, the studio was interfering more in production than they did in, say, the original, Nancy said it was a yes-and-no situation. "They were bringing Jason back to life, so there was a lot of tension," she said. "But they were pleased with what Tom was doing. I think they loosened the reins [after their first set visit]." Apparently they didn't loosen the pursestrings. "We ran out of money and Tom had to shoot the last few scenes in his parents' pool."
"Tommy likes killing people - on film," Nancy said, which would likely explain why he wrote her death scene specifically for her. "Tom says that every eight minutes, someone had to die," adds Manfredini. "But he made sure the kills were clever. It is easy to kill people; it is difficult to make [their deaths] layered."