It's Friday the 13th, so of course we had to include a FRIDAY THE 13th in our countdown to THE CABIN IN THE WOODS. And we included the winkiest one of the series!
Happy Friday the 13th, everyone! I think it’s kind of perfect that the “holiday” happens this week when we are showcasing deconstructionist horror films in honor of Cabin In The Woods, because as it so happens, Jason Voorhees got into the “winking” game long before any of his peers. 1986’s Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives is my 2nd favorite entry (after Final Chapter), and remains one of the more respected sequels (relatively speaking). Not only that – and of more importance to the franchise as a whole - it gave us “Zombie Jason”, as he had been dead in the ground for quite some time and is now undeniably blessed with some form of invincibility.
Plus it’s just pretty damn funny. There were horror in-jokes (a town of Carpenter, a store named Karloff’s, etc), some genuine wit (a little girl reading Sartre's “No Exit” might be the best joke in a horror movie ever), and even some meta humor. When an early victim spots Jason standing in the road, she informs her husband (Tony Goldwyn!) that she has seen enough horror movies to know that it’s a bad sign. It’s not exactly Scream, but it’s the sort of thing that separates this entry from the others, and it’s a shame that the next two (mostly hated) sequels didn’t follow Tom McLoughlin’s lead and continue having a bit of a sense of humor. New Blood and Jason Takes Manhattan are hilarious, sure, but not intentionally so.
So enjoy this trailer, which seems to be the only one Paramount ever commissioned for theatrical play. It’s actually a teaser in the strictest sense of the word – no footage whatsoever from the movie, no appearance of any of the actors or even Jason himself… hell, they don’t even provide the title! Jason’s name appears on a tombstone for less than 2 full seconds, so if you missed that, only the “ki-ki-ma-ma” music would inform you of what they were advertising (in fact, they keep saying “The nightmare returns” which would suggest it was actually a Freddy movie). In this day and age when we have announcement commercials for teaser trailers that don’t leave much to the imagination, it’s fun to go back and see one that actually “teases” the audience.