Halloween or Friday the 13th which triggered the slasher boom?

Discussion in 'Slashers' started by Ash28M, Jul 30, 2010.

  1. Ash28M

    Ash28M Active Member

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    Which film do you think was more responsible for the slasher boom of the early 80's?

    I would have to go with Friday the 13th. I know Halloween got the ball rolling in 1978 and was the more influential but there wasn't really many copy cats until Friday the 13th came along two years later and then it just exploded. I really think that Friday the 13th was the trigger.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2010
  2. Iron Jaiden

    Iron Jaiden New Member

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    Black Christmas :)
     
  3. rhett

    rhett Administrator

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    It has to be Friday the 13th. The Halloween copycats prior to Friday the 13th's release didn't really recognize the slasher formula as we'd come to know it. They'd more be thrillers with a bit of slashing. Even Carpenter worked in the Friday the 13th mold with Halloween II, forcing reshoots for added gore to compete with that of Friday the 13th. I will say, though, that even though Friday the 13th is more responsible for the massive boom, once it started there were a lot of films that went back and lifted from Halloween with a more enlightened mindset. It's like Friday the 13th cracked the slasher code, and then everyone just used it to make their own ripoff of Halloween. See He Knows You're Alone, the music from Final Exam, etc.
     
  4. Ash28M

    Ash28M Active Member

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    Black Christmas flew under the radar. It should of made slashers popular but Halloween didn't come out till 4 years later.
     
  5. wago70

    wago70 Surviving on nostalgia

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    I think HALLOWEEN did. By 1980 and around the same time that FRIDAY THE 13TH was made, the slasher boom was already kicking in.
    FRIDAY THE 13TH enhanced/set a huge standard of enhanced special effects. Not all films followed this suit.
    Sometimes, it's not necessarily the films that followed suit, in some cases it was only the advertising used to hook lovers of like-minded films. Films like DON'T ANSWER THE PHONE or WHEN THE SCREAMING STOPS (re-released in 1980) had very FRIDAY THE 13TH type of advertising while the actual film wasn't a body-count slasher film at all.
    HALLOWEEN got the genre rolling (holiday theme or popular date theme, isolated locale, nubile young people, killer with one intention) with quality but producers of like-films saw only one thing: possible financial profit. Within 2 years...well, our DVD and Blu Ray collections show the result.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2010
  6. Iron Jaiden

    Iron Jaiden New Member

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    It was a slow boil but without Black Christmas we may never have had a slasher genre to speak of. With no slasher genre studios in the 80s wouldn't have invested any real money in horror in general and we'd be posting at discodigital.com right now!!!! :(

    But yeah the F13 series clearly sparked and carried the boom. Halloween on it's own would've ended it's run at Season of the Witch if it weren't for Jason hacking his way through box office receipts in the 80s.
     
  7. wago70

    wago70 Surviving on nostalgia

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    You know what - I totally see this.
     
  8. Chomp

    Chomp Rudest Motherfucker on HD

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    Black Christmas started it, Halloween perfected it, and Friday the 13th popularized it.
     
  9. dickieduvet

    dickieduvet Member

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    Right on the money there, Chomp :D

    Shout out to Bay Of Blood too
     
  10. maybrick

    maybrick Well-Known Member

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    Follow the money. In the long run Black Christmas became influential but back in the 70s it didn't do Jack. Bay of Blood would prove to be an equal influence on the genre. In contrast, Halloween showed film producers a formula to make millions with very little on the front end, and THAT'S what started it all. I would say that the slasher craze was already underway by the time that F13 came out. Prom Night, for instance, was released 2 months afterward but I heard that the director had a hard time getting the green light until Jamie Lee came aboard, which leads me to believe that it's release ultimately had nothing to do with the success of F13. It would've happened anyways. I will credit F13 for escalating the visibility of the genre in the mainstream marketplace, however.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2010
  11. Chomp

    Chomp Rudest Motherfucker on HD

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    Isn't that what a "boom" is?

    Black Christmas started the genre in America (when I say started, I don't mean starting the "boom"). I've always considered the slasher genre an American-bred style of horror film making. Bay of Blood is definitely an influence (even though we all know Cunningham loves to deny it), but I wouldn't consider it part of the slasher boom here in the States.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2010
  12. maybrick

    maybrick Well-Known Member

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    The California Gold Rush (or boom) didn't begin with the second lode to strike big, it began with the first.

    Yeah, but if you're going to go that far back then you're going to have to give props to Tower of Evil. It had the same basis premise of a bunch of sex crazed drugged out teens getting stalked and slashed by a maniac a full 2 years before Black Christmas. Also further props need to go to the grand daddy, PSYCHO.
     
  13. Chomp

    Chomp Rudest Motherfucker on HD

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    I'm pretty sure Halloween didn't strike it big the moment it hit theaters. It was word of mouth that garnished its success almost a full year after its release. When I think of "boom" I think of right there and then...the moment its released.

    Tower of Evil is a British flick.

    A slasher film needs a body count. Its one of the main ingredients. Psycho is without a doubt an influence, but with it's measly body count, I could never consider it the "grand daddy" of it all.
     
  14. Matt89

    Matt89 Well-Known Member

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    It's obviously, undeniably, without question, Halloween. Friday the 13th was only made because of how successful Halloween was. Cunningham himself has been quoted as saying they ripped off Halloween and Victor Miller went to see Halloween and studied the formula to get an idea of how they would construct the plot of Friday the 13th.

    Sure you can trace the slasher genre back to films like Bay of Blood, Black Christmas, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, etc, but like maybrick said, films like Black Christmas and Bay of Blood didn't do shit at the time they were released. Sure some filmmakers who ended up making slasher films may have used them as an influence (Carpenter with Black Christmas and Cunningham with Bay of Blood), but the films that inspired these directors only became popular over time, not at the time they were released (and quite possibly they became popular because of the obvious inspiration these films had on directors like Carpenter and Cunningham).

    Halloween definitely started the slasher craze of the late '70s, early '80s. I don't think it was Friday the 13th, either, that started the whole rush. Prom Night, Terror Train, He Knows You're Alone, Tourist Trap, The Funhouse, Silent Scream, etc were all made in the style of Halloween, and all of these came out the same year (with the exception of The Funhouse) that Friday the 13th did. Sure they got gorier and more violent after Friday the 13th, but the slasher boom was already in full swing by the time Friday the 13th came along.

    ~Matt
     
  15. springjack

    springjack New Member

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    Well, Halloween is kind of a sequel to Black Christmas...

    And, Friday The 13th is a copycat of Bay Of Blood...

    Bay of Blood and Black Christmas are the ones that started it all.
    ________
    Brunette Vids
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2011
  16. maybrick

    maybrick Well-Known Member

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    And Black Christmas is Canadian, not American. Tower of Evil was british, but it still played the States just as much as Black Christmas did.
     
  17. Matt89

    Matt89 Well-Known Member

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    A high body count actually has nothing to do with it. Halloween has an extremely low body count. Myers only kills like 4 people. In Psycho, Bates only kills 3 (if you include his mother). Also, a slasher film doesn't have to be American. Slaughter High is a British flick. And it doesn't matter if Tower of Evil is a British film, that doesn't mean it isn't a slasher (or inspired them). Peeping Tom can be seen as another inspiration, and guess what? That's a British film too. Sure the formula was popularized in America, but that doesn't mean slasher films are inherently American.

    I personally wouldn't consider Psycho a slasher, but if you wanna go way back, then yes it can easily be considered the grand daddy of it all. They just modified and altered certain elements in Psycho and as a result, the slasher film came out of it.

    ~Matt
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2010
  18. Matt89

    Matt89 Well-Known Member

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    Oh and if you throw in Fright (1971), another British flick starring Susan George, that can quite clearly be seen as an inspiration for When a Stranger Calls.

    ~Matt
     
  19. maybrick

    maybrick Well-Known Member

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    Well, if you think about it THAT way, then that's only further evidence that Halloween caused the boom. Think about it a bit. It premiered in October of 78, took months to gain ground, and by the time October of 79 came around Carpenter had a huge megahit on his hands. Now thinking conservatively, even a low budget quickie would take at least 4-6 months to reach theaters when you factor in acquiring the money, hiring the cast and crew, securing the locales, shooting the actual film, editing, and then scoring. Friday the 13th was out in May of 1980. That sounds about right. A lot of slasher films from that year you consider to be a result of the success of F13 were in all liklihood probably already in pre-production at the time of it's release.
     
  20. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    Interesting discussion. First of all, throw out any of the "throwbacks" to Black Christmas, Bay of Blood, Psycho, etc. Because if you wanna go back that far, you can keep going to the silent era, saying this movie led to this which led to that which led to....
    You get the idea.

    At first, I did think Friday the 13th was more to "blame" (or credit, depending on how you feel about slashers) for the glut of slasher films we got in the early 80s. Like Matt mentioned, Halloween did not have a high body count, but that's precisely the reason I look at F13 as more influential. Most of the cheapie slashers that were churned out emphasized creative kills, lots of them, and excessive gore over any kind of real tension. When you look at it that way, which film does that describe?

    But brick has an excellent point about the profitability factor, which is the real driving force behind any wave of copycat films. Halloween made ridiculous amounts of money in comparison to it's budget, and that's what really makes producers take notice.

    Finally, I might also throw in the Australian film (forgot it's real name, but it's spotlighted in Not Quite Hollywood) that got re-titled "The Day After Halloween" as an obvious attempt to look like a sequel. Granted, that film was probably made at the same time or even before Halloween, but just the fact that so many wanted to cash in on Halloween's popularity seems to tag it as the more influential film in the slasher wave.
     

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