While I often opine that the 2009 Friday the 13th reboot peaked in the opening 20 minutes, with the rest of the film merely a serviceable slasher yarn, one character really stood out in the group of college kids on the conveyor belt of death… It’s Chewie! (who I thought was named Troy for ages).
“Shoot the boooooot!”
Why is he there? Dorm-dwelling collegiate, bong-enthusiast, best bud of Lawrence, and pretend-friend to the arsey rich host, Trent, Chewie is on the trip for the chance to see how the other half live. Not because he likes Trent or anything. Duh.
What does he want? Like most boys who visit the shores of Crystal Lake, Chewie just wants to get stoned and get laid, preferably by Bree, but admits he has more chance of fucking a penguin.
Why we love him: Yoo was able to inject so much into what amount to probably less than 15 minutes of screentime with pitch perfect delivery of lines, even babbling to himself as he drunkenly explores the toolshed and helps himself to rich folks’ wine.
The late Margot Kidder was the Lois Lane I grew up with: Husky voiced and inquisitive, although she was often there to be saved by Superman, there was always an air of agility about her that gave you the idea she was quite capable of saving herself if it came down to it.
Playing what could easily have been dumbed down to a standard bitchy girl role in Black Christmas, Barb is, well, barbed, but we get a little insight into her psychosis, the turbulent relationship with her mom, and her dependent relationship with alcohol…
“Darling – you can’t rape a townie.”
Academia: Barb’s major goes unspecified, but she knows enough about the mating habits of certain species of turtle.
Kicks: Punking dim-witted public servants into oral-sex-affiliated phone numbers.
Why we love her: Barb may be problematic, but you gotta compare her to her goody-goody sorority sisters – she’s a wildcard of Stock Background Character 101 fusion: A prankster, the bitchy girl, a substance abuser (later: stoner), and in her more famous role, the snooping reporter. Plus she gets the best lines.
I’ve always loved a bespectacled girl, but in film, that just means A). she can’t see shit without her glasses or B). all she needs to do to go from plain to pretty is take off said glasses and shake her hair out a bit.
In Friday the 13th Part VII, such an arc is followed by Maddy (Diana Barrows), one of the nicer party guests at the cabin on the shores of Crystal Lake. When she voices her liking for a handsome stoner dude, her ‘best friend’ Robin tells her she needs “a little touch up work.”
So Maddy goes from this:
…but immediately goes outside to look for stoner dude (without any evidence he’d be out there) and is killed by Jason, who becomes the only person to see her rocking her new lewk.
Status: Standard DUFF in her group of friends. Everyone likes her ‘as a person’ though.
Hidden talent: Tina might be the psychic, but it was Maddy had the foresight to pack sexy clothes before she hatched the plan to give herself an aesthetic upgrade.
Why we love her: Everyone loves a trier, and slasher films of later years gave up including sympathetic characters whose gruesome deaths we’d actually feel some sense of loss over.
One of the first Friday the 13th‘s I saw was Part VII: The New Blood, which, on the back of the original, I found to be pretty lax. There were still enough scraps to feast on as the genre was still new to me then. Aside from the awesome Maddy, and the swoon-worthy Nick, there was, after previous VIP Inductee Wendy, the best bitchy girl found in the genre… bow down for Melissa.
“…’Like’ has nothing to do with it.”
Missive: To get Nick (Kevin Blair) into bed at any cost.
Talents: Manipulation, seduction, eavesdropping, but also hair care and modelling those Hamptons-housewife pearls that her daddy gave her for being ‘the perfect daughter’. Hmm… hey Melissa, meet Madison Penrose!
Why we love her: Melissa is just a force of pure evil, rivalling Jason from a social perspective – while he destroys people physically, Melissa and her ilk are destructive in another way entirely, cutting them down with her scheming ways rather than a bladed weapon.
Being brutally honest, there’s not much going on in Final Exam. Sure, I love it and it made it to the Top 100 ’round here, but as far as seminal 80s slasher films go, it’s probably not going to be remembered by many.
The reason I like it, apart from superbly likeable final girl Courtney, is that it put more effort into character than many contemporaries. And as such, we celebrate one of its most memorable facets – Radish.
“It’s happening… the psychopaths are here!”
What’s he do?: Radish is the know-all type at Lanier College, celebrating the end of his exams by opening a bottle of Bourbon (was it Bourbon? I can’t remember) and finally working up the nerve to tell best friend Courtney that he kinda, sorta, might like her…
But isn’t he…? Textually, no, and I’ve no idea if Joel S. Rice is, but you wouldn’t need much in the way of intuitive deduction skills to conclude it from his camp delivery and general… ‘swishyness’. VeVo does not discriminate though (duh!)
Why we love him: Radish goes all out to save the day, after failing to convince the police of the threat, his first thought is to save Courtney – which doesn’t end so well for him.
Seems that Rice went on to enjoy a notable career as a producer. Bonus yays.