Saturday, July 14, 2012


We’ve seen that, while it seems fairly obvious that the setting of the first Friday the 13th movie was inspired by Mario Bava’s Twitch of the Death Nerve, most of the other similarities could conceivably be coincidental.  Cunningham himself has denied knowledge of Bava’s work prior to making F13.  In Friday the 13th Part 2, most of the possibly coincidental similarities are there, however there are also some new, far more damning ones that make Part 2 as undeniably guilty as OJ, Casey Anthony, or Michael Jackson.  Hmmm…nope, I’m still going with that.  On a side note, I LOVE when sequels actually use the word “Part” as part of the title. Anyway, let’s look at some of the things that make it damn near impossible to deny that Friday the 13th Part 2 stole from Twitch of the Death Nerve.

-           Skinny Dipping = Death.  Check out those POV voyeur shots.  See the similarities?  Sure you do. While skinny-dipping had appeared in movies before, TOTDN was the first time it became an executable offense.  The second time someone got themselves deaded for swimming nekkid was, you guessed it, F13 Part 2.  Coincidence?  I think not.

-          Wheelchair = Death.  After searching high and low I could only find 2 wheelchair bound characters in horror history that had been murdered onscreen before F13 Part 2; Franklin in Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Countess in TOTDN.  Since TCM’s influence on F13 Part 2 is negligible at best, and TOTDN’s influence is, well, pretty much irrefutable, it’s safe to assume that this was stolen from Bava.  In fact, just look at how he gets it…

-           Machete/Billhook to the face kill.  Look at those two pictures.  True, in TOTDN it’s a billhook and in F13 Part 2 it’s a machete, but now we’re splitting hairs instead of focusing on splitting faces.  That is an identical kill any way you look at it.  The blades are even at the same angles for the love of Hitchcock!  While Marcie’s axe to the forehead in Part 1 was somewhat similar, Mark’s face hack is exactly the same.  The only difference is that in TOTDN we get a lot more gory shots of the aftermath and the blade being pried out of the skull.  That crap wouldn’t fly with the MPAA, so F13 Part 2 got shafted.  Have I mentioned lately that I hate the MPAA?  Anyway, here’s the final straw…

-          The double mid-coital shish-ka-bob kill.  This is the most blatant rip off in the film, and one of the most blatant in horror history.  Just look at those stills folks.  It’s damn near a shot for shot copy, or at least it was before it was cut to get an R rating (the impalement pic from F13 Part 2 up there is actually a shot that was cut), but that’s a shameless carbon copy none the less.  Is there really any way of denying that?  That’s the smoking gun right there.  That’s the bloody glove.  The only difference is that we don’t get the just-before-impact “Oh shit!” shot in TOTDN because the female is on top.  I tell you, those Italian ladies are take charge kinda gals. I think they did that to make up for the fact that we, once again, don’t get to see as much of the blood and guts in the American flick.  Thanks a lot MPAA.  You know what MPAA?  You guys can suck it!

(Let the official court record reflect that, after the last sentence, the prosecutor performed a “DX style crotch chop” in the general direction of Hollywood, presumably directed at the MPAA.)
So, While the fact that the entire inspiration for the first Friday the 13th movie was taken directly from Twitch of the Death Nerve cannot be proven incontrovertibly (merely strongly inferred) I do believe that I have proven beyond a reasonable doubt that portions of Friday the 13th Part 2 were lifted whole cloth from Bava’s masterpiece.  Now, the question is, who is the responsible party?  The most obvious culprit would seem to be the director and/or screenwriter of Friday the 13th Part 2.  However, I intend to present both evidence and testimony that leads me to believe that the guilty party is none other than…


NATHAN HAMILTON is the Son of Celluloid. He writes the mad musings of an unapologetic horror freak. The ultimate goal of his writing is to bring his take on horror to the masses.Stop by the SON OF CELLULOID NOW!!! Make sure to hit "like" on his FaceBook page and Follow his blog. He will be guest judging the HALLOWEEN HORROR MOVIE MARATHON MADNESS this October.

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