The Bohemian Artifact Wing #2: Boog & Bear's Friday the 13th Marathon, Part 1

It started as what seemed like a joke to me: “Hey, we should watch all of the Friday the 13th films in a row, back to back, all the way through!”

A long-running joke, that is... The statement above would bounce back and forth between myself (who, in this particular section of the Pylon, will usually referred to by my
Bohemian alias “Boogieman” or, most often, “Boog” – nobody in Alaska calls me “Rik” or “Rik Tod”, not even in formal settings… alas…) and my pal of long standing, Robear (again, known as Robert to the general populace, but every Bohemian goes mainly by nicknames, sometimes piles of them). I thought for a while that it was mainly one of those time-filling “we should do this” sort of statements that friends toss about while lounging about on a dull afternoon, but of which none of the parties are ever truly concerned of committing and following through. I had always considered the Friday the 13th statement to be along those lines. But Robear was actually deadly serious about it, and one day, looking for any conceivable option for avoiding the missus, finally decided to match his gravitas concerning a dozen or so hours of hockey-masked homicide and said, “Sure! Let’s do it!”

The trick to engaging in something like this is purposefully elevating your level of devotion to the cause. I can watch crappy horror films ‘til the cows come home to get slaughtered, but I have never been a huge fan of the Jason series. Seen them, yes – but only in the way that I have seen so, so many crappy horror films: in a search for actually decent horror films. Regardless, because I was for many long years absolutely unable NOT to tape any horror or sci-fi film that crossed my path, I did have six of the nine Jason films created to that point copied off of cable, including the most recent, Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday, which I had just snagged off of Pay-Per-View. (I had also seen seven of the films – I missed Parts 4 and 5 – in the theatre, and mostly on opening nights, because I was young and hanging out with various pals of low ambition for the evening. Two of the films (2 & 3) I saw in rather an inebriated state, which only helped matters.) Robear is not really known as a "horror" guy -- he's more of a comedy fiend, actually -- but I've never known him to shy away from any spook film. Hell, I saw Children of the Corn III with the guy. Clearly, our individual interests in completing such a task greatly varied, but once we decided to really, truly commit to the Jason Fest, we went through with it.

But just watching the films was not enough for me to get involved. I needed a project, a reason for doing the whole thing.
And so, once the location and time of the marathon was locked in, Robear and I then decided we were going to keep track of how many people got killed in the films overall. Not just how many murder Jason or his pair of stand-ins commit, but any deaths at all in the films. I figured this would be a good enough anchor to keep our interesting going. But then we noticed patterns that occur merely from the set-in of the standard horror clichés, and we also noticed the lack of patterns that occur from random hands being engaged in the production of the films and the relative lack of foresight and an overall guiding plan thereof. We also decided to mark down some other random items (which I will detail in another portion of the archive), and some of it occurred to us or one of us as we made our way through the films, so sometimes our notes would be a tad incomplete. In all, by committing to the taking of notes, we were actually able to get through the first seven films in one sitting, before the early morning hours made it far too easy to succumb to slumber laying in front of the pulsing glow of the living room television. (A four hour nap left us refreshed enough to knock out the last two late on Saturday morning.)

Once more, my pack-rat ways have enabled me to relive this experience, which really is only important to Robear and myself, but enough of the remainder of Bohemia have heard about it over the years to warrant the placement of our quickly scribbled notes in the recently founded Bohemian Artifact archives. So, here are the first two pages of our official Friday the 13th Death Count, and while they were not created initially for purposes of internet usage (I barely understood the word at that time), since they have survived the years, I suppose it was inevitable that it would happen that I would place them upon the Pylon. The prevalent hand on these notes is my own, all left-handed and awkward when scrawling straight up and down, and whilst scrolling left to right. On the notes for Part 3 (page 2), you will glimpse the only sighting of Robear’s largely neater and more compact hand (though his hands, on the physical level, are far meatier) on the entry for Victim #12. As the body counts grew noticeably larger, Robear picked up more of the notes almost exactly halfway through Part V: A New Beginning. We had agreed to split the duties anyway, though with numerous other items of which to keep track, it’s not as if I could just nap through the remaining films whilst Robear scribbled away.

For those seeking a legend of some sort: “M” stands for Machete, “K” for Knife… there are other shortcuts taken on these pages which I am still attempting to decipher. At the bottom of page one, I cut it off purposefully as there was a phone number referenced by the phrase “Tony at R’s Dad’s,” which I think refers to Robear’s own pater, but I can’t recall. “R” could be any number of people, and uncertainty about whether it was still a working number made me cut if off. At the top left hand corner of the first page, there is an attempt to make sure that the year count is correct in the first film between Jason’s accidental death and that of the “modern” events. On the left hand side of the first page, it appears that we were coming up with reasons why each murder occurred, with examples being “bad acting,” “obscene wriggling,” “furthering Native stereotypes,” and on the second page, “drinking on the shitter.” Sadly, it appears we gave this game up after that last example.

(To be continued…)

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