“all we were try­ing to do was make a small movie for a small au­di­ence”

SFX - - Friday the 13th -

floor of Crys­tal Lake by a sud­denly not- deadat- all Jason Voorhees…

“We nearly ran out of money and when I was do­ing that scene in the lake at the end we did not even have enough cash for a wet­suit,” sighs the ac­tress. “It was ab­so­lutely freez­ing [ laughs]. We were on an ab­so­lute min­i­mum bud­get and ev­ery­one was sur­prised that Sean even man­aged to fin­ish the movie. I have never been so cold in my life!” the stu­dios,” re­calls King. “I re­mem­ber that was how my mum saw it for the first time. It was at the Para­mount lot and when the end­ing, with Jason, came out of nowhere she jumped right out of her seat [ laughs]. I turned around and saw Sean shak­ing hands with some­one. It turned out it was Frank Man­cuso, one of the top guys at Para­mount Pic­tures, and the rest – as they say – is history…”

Af­ter Fri­day The 13th proved to be a phe­nom­e­non, Cun­ning­ham was handed the keys to the Hol­ly­wood castle. How­ever, per­haps in tune with his re­bel­lious in­de­pen­dent begin­nings, the di­rec­tor opted out of tak­ing the reins of the se­quels. In­stead, selling away his prop­erty rights to Camp Crys­tal Lake, Cun­ning­ham wanted noth­ing to do with Para­mount’s plans to make Fri­day The 13th into a fright fran­chise. “It was sort of like this lit­tle cash cow that kept com­ing around ev­ery year or two but which they were kind of em­bar­rassed by,” he ad­mits. “But, no, I don’t re­gret not do­ing the se­quels. There are fi­nan­cial rea­sons why I should have made them but I just thought, ‘ I don’t want to do the same film all over again.’ I did Fri­day The 13th and that’s fine, but I didn’t want to keep do­ing it, and I wasn’t driven to do it.”

Nev­er­the­less, the shadow of Jason would not leave Cun­ning­ham’s life. In the early 1990s his hit prop­erty was brought back into his pos­ses­sion and, just like Baron Franken­stein try­ing to mur­der his own mon­strous cre­ation, he at­tempted to kill it once for all. How­ever, since Jason Goes To Hell: The Fi­nal Fri­day ( 1993’ s ninth in­stal­ment), Cun­ning­ham has been tempted back to pro­duce Jason X ( 2002), Freddy Vs Jason ( 2003) and the in­evitable re­make ( in 2009). De­spite his ear­lier at­tempt to walk away, the di­rec­tor- turned- pro­ducer just can’t seem to give up the Voorhees ghost…

“All we were try­ing to do with that first film was make a small movie that might find a small au­di­ence,” laughs the di­rec­tor in ret­ro­spect. “If you had told me Fri­day The 13th would some­how lead to mer­chan­dis­ing, hockey masks and a tele­vi­sion show I would never have be­lieved you. It just goes to show, though, that 13 isn’t al­ways an un­lucky num­ber!”

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