Nostalgia Video: Roger Ebert Ferociously Attacks Friday the 13th Films


The Friday the 13th films have always been more about horror fans than trying to cater to critics. Nothing expresses this more than the infamous rants from iconic film critic Roger Ebert during the early ‘80s. Ebert and critic Gene Siskel co-hosted the PBS show Sneak Previews, and on two ossacions torn two seprate F13 films to pieces.

The first film in question was 1984’s Friday the 13th Part IV: The Final Chapter. Now, many fans of the franchise consider this the best film of series. To Roger Ebert however it was simply an “immoral reprehensible, piece of trash” filled with “mindless bloody violence”, fair enough.

Apparently Paramount studios refused to release any clips to be played for these such television shows, which should come as no surprise, seeing as the studio had always been transparently ashamed of the films they were producing. Ebert is content with simply showing the movie trailer for the film in all its ‘80s glory before he vigorously condemns it.

Friday the 13th Final Chapter Mask

A year later he would “review” Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning. The first thing that’s worth mentioning is that Ebert explains that this film features Jason once again killing a bunch of teenagers. Well, any F13 fan will quickly tell you that Jason Voorhees isn’t doing any killing at all. Indeed, the killer is actually a paramedic named Roy Burns who dons the hockey mask after his son gets killed over a candy bar. Ebert then makes a joke about Jason’s hockey mask being durable, because as he words it, the mask in the previous films had been “burned”, “sliced”, and “crushed”. Ok, all this begs the question of whether the famous critic actually watched these films. His mind just seems to be made up before he even went to the theater.

Anyway, if you were a kid during the ’80s, public critical discredits such as these weren’t discouraging but enticing, you only wanted to see these films that much more. To this day horror films have seemed to be critic proof, or at least mainstream media critic proof. With the abundance of horror blogs and YouTube horror movie reviews, who the hell is influenced by another person’s opinion anymore anyway?

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